Age of Arthur

Session 8
How 'bout a little fire?

Shortly after sunset, Caradoc assumed his owl form and flew across the river to scout. During his trip, he saw the Jute army encamped about 8-10 miles south of the river. They seemed to number about 1000, but he didn’t take the time to count. Caradoc also saw a huge fire some miles past the Jute army. To avoid surprise, he looped around on the way back to make sure that the Jutes weren’t sailing up the river. They weren’t.

As he returned to camp, Caradoc felt a huge magical malevolent presence. Just as he landed, a huge fire emanated from the magical presence. The fire immediately caught on some of the buildings of the village. Under the esteemed leadership of the PCs, the army leaped into action and worked to contain the fire. It wasn’t easy, but after a couple of hours, the fire was out without seriously damaging the village.

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Session 7
Conversations with Kings

The night after the refugees safely arrived north of the river, a wind storm blew across the land. Gwyn was able to determine that the storm was not natural in origin, although he wasn’t able to determine the exact cause.

The next morning, a ragged army appeared on the south bank of the river, flying Bevyn’s banner. The PCs crossed the river and briefly met with Bevyn. He agreed to come across and meet with Cedric. When he arrived, Bevyn was greeted by an honor guard. He then met with the PCs and Cedric..

Negotiations were tense from the start. Bevyn recounted the arrival of the Jutes and their campaign of destruction against his kingdom, and proposed renewing and strengthening the oath of friendship between his kingdom and Owain’s. After being pressured by the PCs—including Gwyn walking out of the meeting—Bevyn acknowledged that he was in a weaker position, and that his men had in fact committed an act of aggression against Owain’s kingdom. The negotiations then adjourned for lunch.

After lunch, the parties met again. This time, Bevyn began the meeting by proposing that he swear allegiance to Owain. Deciding that this was not enough, the PCs pressured Bevyn to make his kingdom a part of Owain’s, and to name Cedric his heir. Bevyn was unwilling to do this, although he couldn’t explain why. Bevyn agreed to make his kingdom—or whatever could be recaptured from the Jutes—part of Owain’s, but insisted on the right to name his own heir.

After the negotiations, Gwyn was able to determine that some sort of magical compulsion prevented Bevyn from explaining his opposition to naming Cedric as his heir.

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Session 6
Take Me To The River

The PCs, with a few soldiers as an escort, rowed across to the south side of the river to reconnoiter. Leaving the soldiers behind to guard the boat, the PCs proceeded south and west. They encountered a group of about 300 refugees. Taking charge of the situation, the PCs began to lead the refugees back to the ferry town, on the condition that the refugees swear an oath to Owain. The refugees reported that they were fleeing from a terrifying Jute army, which somehow brought fire down on them and slaughtered many.

Rufus, in owl form, scouted further in that direction and found what seemed to be a beaten and dejected Brythonic army, flying Bevyn’s colors, further southwest. Beyond that in the distance were signs of fires and burned out villages.

The next morning it was raining as the PCs led the refugees to the river. There, the PCs organized a river crossing. Rufus handled security matters, keeping the refugees in line through a combination of browbeating and intimidation. Caradoc the Other arranged for food, shelter, and other necessities for the refugees. And Philip was in charge of the actual crossing. Although the whole process was fraught with danger, by nightfall all of the refugees had safely crossed.

The session ended with a conference with Cedric. The PCs suggested that one possible way to reach an agreement with Bevyn: Bevyn agrees to name Cedric as his heir, while Calder inherits Owain’s kingdom.

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Session 5
We have met the enemy . . .

The PCs were woken before down with the news that King Owain had reached a decision about Arthur. Owain announced that Arthur was to be beheaded immediately. Arthur was taken to the courtyard and the sentence was carried out. After the execution, though, the head said (distinctly but not too loudly) “It’s not over, Owain” several times. The body was disposed of, and the paranoid PCs burned Morgan’s body to make sure he wouldn’t be resurrected (again).

After this, the council had to deal with the invasion from the south. The PCs ordered the militia to assemble, and then took the elite guard south to meet the invaders. They encountered the invading army on a small hill about a day’s march south of Lindham. Because of some shrewd generalship, Owain’s army attacked the next morning before the enemy was fully ready. The elite guard suffered heavy casualties, but inflicted more serious casualties on the invaders too. Because of (1) good generalship, (2) a well executed sneak attack from behind, and (3) strategic use of Greek fire, Owain’s army broke the much larger invading army. Most of the invaders fled in panic but about 20 were captured, including a lieutenant. From the lieutenant, the PCs learned that the kingdom to the south was suffering terribly from an invasion by the Jutes, and were attempting to take Owain’s land in order to escape the Jutes.

The next day, the PCs led the army down to the river and took control of the ferry. Over the next day, they convinced the villagers from the ferry site across the river to come to Owain’s side, and to bring all their boats with them. They also built some watch towers up and down the river bank.

Cedric arrived with the militia, and deployed it to guard the ferry site. The captured lieutenant swore an oath to Cedric to return to his king and tell him that if he wanted help against the Jutes, he needed to come up and communicate directly with Owain and swear an oath to him. The lieutenant departed.

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Session 4
Arthur's Trial

The party, with Arthur in tow, headed back from whence they came. They arrived back at the hedge wall, and Rufus managed to cut a pathwway through. They returned to the soothsayer’s hut, where (after burying the soothsayer’s body) they questioned Arthur. Gywn’s truth serum kept Arthur on the straight and narrow.

Arthur said that the soothsayer had told him that he (Arthur) was destined to be High King of Britain. To achieve this, the soothsayer advised resurrecting a wizard named Morgan; he told Arthur and his friend Bevyn how to do this. The two proceeded to do that. Morgan in turn summoned the Hound. Soon after this, Arthur and Bevyn began to fight about the nature of the prophecy. The Hound then killed Bevyn (along with Maddock and 2 others), thus settling the dispute.

The party then took Arthur back to Lindham to stand trial for murder and defiling the grove. Some members of the party entertained the idea that Arthur could be a useful dupe: back him as High King, and then run him from behind the scenes. Gwyn and Caradoc broached this idea with both the king and Cedric. Rufus and Philip, on the other hand, strongly argued that Arthur needed to die. After hearing the arguments, the king said he needed time to ponder the matter. The party also spoke (not all together) with Cedric, trying to persuade him.

While this was going on, the party also found out that Calder had returned from the south. His force was attacked by an invading group of Britons, from across the river. Instead of refugees, it seems like an invasion is brewing.

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Session 3
Into the Swamp

When the PCs awoke the next morning, the terrain had changed massively—behind them to the south trees, hedges, and bushes formed a wall. The rest of the land had become a swamp. Arthur’s tracks were easily discerned. And Reginald immediately knew the supernatural presence was back.

Travel through the swamp was difficult. And on top of that, the beast that killed the soothsayer reappeared, stalking the PCs. Relying on the strategic expertise of several PCs, the party took a stand on a small hill and waited. The beast appeared, causing nausea and fear, but the intrepid PCs stood their ground. After damaging it some by missile fire, the PCs fought the beast in hand to hand combat and slew it. Reginald, however, was very seriously hurt, almost losing his left arm.

After the victory, the PCs continued following Arthur’s tracks. And soon Arthur was joined by a companion—the PCs were now following 2 sets of tracks. They caught up with Arthur and his companion near the edge of a large lake. Arthur was arguing/whining about how he, and not his friend Bevyn, was supposed to become high kind of Britain (the soothsayer foretold it, he claimed). (Bevyn was one Maddock’s men who was killed along with Maddock). The PCs struck up a conversation with the pair. Then Rufus grabbed Arthur, although was initially unable to get a good grip. Philip grabbed the wizard, who promptly laid a curse on Philip (“May your arm fail you when you need it most!”) Rufus secured Arthur, and Philip quickly killed the wizard by breaking his neck.

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Session 2
Investigating the Deaths

After attending Maddock’s funeral, the PCs head to the Pictish village to investigate. There they learn that 2 people seem to be missing: a soothsayer who lives out in a hut in the woods, and Arthur. After searching Arthur’s house and finding no signs of foul play, the PCs find some tracks leading into the woods, and they follow. The tracks lead to the soothsayer’s hut. Inside are the dismembered remains of the soothsayer. Reginald, who apparently had a dream foreseeing this, senses a horrible supernatural presence.

Arthur’s tracks continue on past the soothsayer’s hut. The PCs follow. After a time, Reginald notices that the supernatural sensation has stopped, even as Arthur’s tracks continue. As night falls, the PCs make camp.

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Session 1
Council Meeting, and a Death

The PCs are in Lindham to attend a meeting of the king’s top advisers. People there include:

  • Owain, the King
  • Ula, his wife
  • The king’s twin sons, Cedric and Calder
  • Innis, the king’s cousin and de facto sheriff for the kingdom

Maddock, a close friend of the king and the largest landowner in the kingdom is supposed to be there, but he isn’t.

The main business of the meeting is a flood of refugees crossing the river to the south that forms the boundary with the next kingdom. Calder is eager to be appointed to lead a small armed group south to investigate; eventually he is sent south, along with a trustworthy man (a trusted friend of Phillip’s) to keep an eye on him.

During the meeting, Owain says little, but shows some signs that perhaps he isn’t all there.

As the meeting goes on, Maddock’s wife bursts in with the news that Maddock and 3 of his men were horribly killed two days before. The PCs head north to Maddock’s land to investigate. They find that Maddock and the 3 men were killed by a combination of blunt force trauma and being ripped to pieces. And despite reports to the contrary, the men were killed inside the Pictish sacred grove which is located near Maddock’s land.

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