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The Pendragon Chronicles - My Attempt at the GPC

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After being cheered on by the people in the Discord, I finally took the leap and decided to write something about my current game.
Without further ado:

 

The Pendragon Chronicle

A Chronicle detailing an Attempt to Play the Great Pendragon Campaign.

Welcome to my little attempt at the great white whale of Roleplaying Games.
I’ve always had a thing for the tales of King Arthur, and this spoke to me in a lot of ways. A few years back, I had the pleasure of playing Merlin on a Danish RPG Convention, where we retold the mythos in our own version and it was a blast, which made me consider how one could tinker with the legends that we all know and love.
I recently got enthralled by someone’s review of Pendragon, and I think what really pushed me into doing this, was reading John Wick’s eulogy for Greg.
I sat down, and began to read Pendragon which soon made it clear that I at least had to make an attempt to play this sublime game.
So, I bought a *lot* of Books, and within days, I had four players lined up to give it a go. I began the game before knowing that 480 was an option, and I’ll probably deviated a *lot* from the established form and story. But, that’s the beauty of the GPC and Arthurian mythos.
There is no wrong way of doing it. 

A few months ago, I picked up Book of the Sire, and began rolling a test character. Then, my players got their shot, and this is what we came up with.
(The completed Lineages can be found attached. I've tried to dramatize them as much as possible, but it's not always as rivetting reading as it could be.)


Reccared de Toulouse 

a Squire born to a true and noble Knight of a proud Aquitanian tradition, Sir Perrin de Toulouse, who fought as a mercenary under Aurelius Ambrosius and later with Count Roderick and King Uther. Sir Leander, disgusted with the state of his Aquitanian King, rode with his uncles and brothers to heed Aurelius' call and gained land in Salisbury through his deeds, which included the defeated of two Saxon champions, first at Exeter and later at Maisbeli. 
At the beginning of the campaign, word of his father's demise at Eburacum has just reached him, making him the character who has known his father for the longest time. Reccared is well-schooled in the blade as well as the Venery of his people, and has inherited the family blade, Aljan, a spatha claimed in combat with the Romans.

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Reccared’s player rolled up an old knight for a part for a part of the house, we decided to see what relation it was.  And then rolled him as be the grandfather's brother.
For the heck of it, I decided to put that guy through the BoS treatment, just to see where he would end up if he had lived that long. Sometimes, dice give a godsend. The NPC in question is now going to be the Obi-Wan mentor type to the knights, Sir Solis de Toulouse, The White Fox, a now almost retired knight of 66, who ended up with a whooping glory of 8410. A study in first outliving your father's legacy, then your brother's and then his son's, one who you practically had to raise on your own. Old, bitter and filled with wisdom. He can even advice the knights if he still lives when Uther becomes a bit.... tyranical, having served under a whooping six kings in his lifetime.
 

 

Graid ap Owain 

A young Cornishman of Ascalon, son of Sir Owain Y Marchog, who was Gorlois' friend and a Knight famed enough to lead an Eschille, yet ended his otherwise glorious days a few years back, when his horse tripped in a molehill. Truth be told, Graid might be the oldest of his siblings, but he has a plethora of younger brothers and bastard brothers, as his father might have not been the chastest of Knights. (and some claim when he had that accident, it was to escape a furious husband following one indiscreet tryst too many)

Graid is a proper Cornishman, raised on the stories and legacy of his people  and have an especially a healthy hatred of Irish, but have squired in Salisbury after his father's death, as the only granted part of his estate was near Sarum. His family still aspires to reclaim their ancestral lands, but the new system of feudalism has caused it to shift hands to another family.
The Marshal, Sir Elad praises the lad for his Just nature and skills with the spear and lance, it is widely known that his skills in falconry makes him quite the hunter. He is by far one of the most light-footed people in the land (Dex 17). And, like his ancestors, he's a very good rider. (Ironies of Ironies...)

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Graid’s got a lot of extra stuff.
One, he’s actually not the son of Sir Owain, but the result of a desperate mother taking a shady decision while Sir Owain was away fighting the Aquitanians. Currently, we’re working with magic as an explanation.
Second, his grandmother Lady Eurwen, is a shrewd political manipulator in Cornwall, hoping to use Graid as a pawn to move against the Cornovii, as she is still focused on old tribal politics. He also have three uncles, his father's half-brothers, one of which is rumoured to be a sorcerer.
Third. One of his ancestors might have hidden a clue where the Axe of Corneus was hidden. After all, did they not live in the Estate of Axe?


Aldwyn ap Morien

Descendant of a Cumbrian family with roots in Roestoc, who were first dispossessed by Vortigern, fought diligently with Aurelius to reclaim their lands, and then dispossessed once more when the Great Wyrm ravaged Roestoc. Here, Aldwyn's father, Sir Morien the Piper, died in a glorious last stand in their family manor. But, his sacrifice meant that Aldwyn is alive and has been bethroated at the game's start to the heiress to the Salisburian knight Sir Daffyd of Newton, who used to be Roderick's Butler.
He is the only surviving trueborn son of his father's name, but have five strange sisters, two of which are wed. Like his father before him, he is tall as a tree with a Size of 19, but is not all that strong.
Aldwyn is also a Pagan, and a gifted player of the bagpipes. He is also a Just man, with far too much Pride for any Christian, but enough for a Pagan.

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For Aldwyn, I also decided to go with a modified background. First, he has no brothers, which could prove to be a problem in the long run, though the player is considering either bringing in Colm, his bastard brother by his dad's Cambrian war-time fling, or just putting armor on one of his five sisters.
Still, his uncles are middle-aged Knights with a few Squire kids of their own, his aunt Arwen is the Queen of Roestoc in this version, being the bride of Masgwid Gloff (aka the Lame), the King of Roestoc. She’s got two sons who could be pretty cool to see in the game at a point, one of which are named to be the King of Roestoc in a future scenario.
Blame that on me rolling really well on the random chart in BoKL. It makes sure that the pagan Knight also have some connections.
I also decided that there might be a bit open interpretation wheter the Great Wyrm was slain or not.

It seems like a good aspiration to have around, especially as Aldwyn's father died gloriously when the creature was sweeping down on Roestoc back in 479.
So. Wyrm might still be around.

 

Aurelius Sertorius

Aurelius is the youngest male scion of the Sertorius family, a lauded lineage from Dorsette. His great-grandfather was a commander of Mascen Wledig, his grandfather was a fierce defender of Roman values, even after having lost the Empire, who ended his days as due to the politics surrounding the lost sons of King Constantine,  shanked in a dark Dorsette street.
His father, Gessius, was a loyal follower of Prince Aurelius, and fought alongside the Prince for years, and Gessius even named his son after the man he idolized. Unfortunately, Gessius lived for his true king, and died to Saxon spears at Exeter protecting said King.
The children were raised by Gessius' brother-in-law, the Bishop of Salisbury, who was appointed caretaker of the lands that Gessius had been awarded posthumously.

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A Roman Knight, pretty standard type, except for the insane statline, which has not a single stat beneath 13. Aurelius is a man with a true heart and a lot of morals, especially his Modest and Chaste.
Pretty close to being a proper Christian Knight. I’ve tinkered a bit around with certain plot hooks, but nothing remarkable as of now. I am still trying to angle the backstory.
Currently, he's a window into the part of the world that prays, as the Bishop's fosterson.

That was wordy.
I'll be back tomorrow with the stuff from the first session.

The Lineage of Sir Graith ap Owain.pdf The Lineage of Sir Reccared de Toulouse.pdf The Lineage of Aurelius Sertorius.pdf The Lineage of Sir Aldwyn ap Morien.pdf

Edited by KungFuFenris
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Took a little while longer, but we're ready for the first chapter.

 

Session 01 - A Calm Spring and the Bear of Imber

The year was 485 CE.
Fifth year of rule of King Uther Pendragon, the Warlord King. In the north, Uther had narrowly claimed a victory against the hated Saxon menace, but his belligerent nature and ambition for the seat of the High King has made the other Kings of Britain distrust the Pendragon.
His brother, the late King Aurelius Ambrosius, had been a beloved liberator from the yoke of both the Saxons and the Traitor King, Vortigern.
The future was uncertain as ever for our fair Britannia, but our tale begins somewhere else.

In Salisbury, at Castle Vagon, four accomplished knights of Salisbury and their squires were guests of Sir Elad, Marshal of Salisbury, who wished to make sure that their now adult squires were fitting prospects for knighthood. 
Much to the old, one-eyed Marshal’s consternation, these youngsters were not the finest lancers in the land, but quite enthusiastic. The only one that excelled was young Reccared, which befitted his family. Then, their knights decided that a bet was in order, and Sir Elad ordered them to perform a test of their skills as riders, which was far more promising, with squire Graid and squire Aldwyn had been neck to neck at the end of the race.
Perhaps these lads would not be so hopeless after all.

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First contact with the dice? Lances? Should be great, right? Wrong. Three 20’ies in a row. And in Pendragon, a system where you roll under your skill? That’s a Fumble, as the quintain kept sending them sprawling to the ground. It was quite magical. Finally, young Reccared managed to break the streak, and the Horse Race that followed was a lot more forgiving when it came to the dice.


With little to really prove themselves, the young squires spend time socializing with each other. With five years of squiring for Knights in Earl Salisbury’s household, they were already friends. Each of them had hopes for the future. The prideful Aldwyn especially boasted of his betrothal to the fair Iseult and it did not even occur to him that they could remain squires for all of their years if no one took note of them. He even seemed a bit panicked as the four of them sat down at the wall to eat their meals. Perhaps they would never really excel enough to amount to the legacy left behind by their fathers.
But, fate would have it otherwise.

After the meal had ended, Sir Elad sent the squires to the small town of Imber, where an animal had decided to prey on the livestock of the local peasants. Normally, this would need a knight to look into it, but the Earl of Salisbury would soon arrive at Vagon, to share news from the northern wars and inspect his castle, and by all accounts, it was probably a rabid dog. With that in mind, the four squires rode off, on their first task apart from their knights.
The crossed the hills, and entered into land that was newly conquered by Earl Roderick, taken from the neighbouring Summerland a few years prior, and Graid could not help but notice the locals might not be as welcoming to Salisburians as should be. After all, they had been a kingdom not three years prior.

In Imber, the four were introduced to the life of peasants, and especially the sheltered Aurelius had trouble figuring out why they did not just kill the feral hound that was clearly eating their calves. But, the local priest had a different tale. It was a bear. An old and sly bear, which had been haunting the woods near Imber for years, much to Aldwyn’s joy.

They organized a pair of hunting parties. Aldwyn and Reccared in one group, Graid and Aurelius in another. The old Priest would help the latter, as Aldwyn had some hunting skills. The next morning they sat out on the hunt. And the next evening, they returned with nothing to show but branches and burs, with Aldwyn having made a few mistakes in riding around the woods. This pattern repeated itself for four days, until Aldwyn finally managed to find the trail of the old beast.
Within minutes, they were upon it, and with a well-placed spear, they ended the bear so swiftly that it took several moments for the bear to realize it had been slain. With the bear’s blood staining the earth, Aldwyn carved out the heart and per his people’s custom, painted a strip of blood on Reccared’s brow, with them being true bear hunters now.

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And, that’s where we ended our first session. That poor bear never stood a chance when my players roll a few crits that damages 49 in a single go! All in all, it was an amazing little session, and while Pendragon is filled with minigames, I adore them., even though it’s pretty difficult to pry some of them out of the book. As said, we’re not really the fastest gamers in the world, so 485 is going to be three sessions all in all. The, one year per session thing is really not our speed. The players also roleplay a lot more. We spent almost twenty minutes of them interacting as squires in Vagon.

 

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Session 02 - After the Hunt

The squires returned from the hunt, only to be waylaid by the bandits who was trying to help themselves to the cattle of a poor farmer and combat ensued.

Even unarmored, the squires had little hesitation, but a hard lesson was learned as one of the rogues released an arrow at Sir Graid. It lodged itself beneath his ribs, biting deep into the guts. Even worse, it also pierced his lung. Enraged, the other squires soundly walloped the bandits, and secured a few prisoners.

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One thing though, is the sudden realization of how lethal this damn game is, especially as the players have neither shield nor armor. One lucky bowman took a potshot at Squire Graid, who got a whooping 17 Dmg on 3d6... Major Wound right there, and them without any help around. So.
If not for the plot I had made, he'd have died trying to get back to Vagon aggregating his wounds due to his Energetic 17
Trait…

Graid lived, but he needed help, as the First Aid skills of young Aurelius only helped to staunch the bleeding.

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When they returned to Imber, they dreaded having Graid being treated by the old, drunk town priest, but to their surprise, Imber was hosting more than squires on their return.
A banner, green field with golden dragons stood at the side of a large tent, pitched at the top of the nearby hill. It seemed to be the retinue of a knight, but the knight in question was none other than Reccared’s famed great-uncle Sir Solis, the White Fox.
Solis was here with his squire, Madoc ap Uther. For a short second, the four squires were oblivious, until they realized that they stood in the presence of the heir to the throne of Logres, King Uther’s recognized bastard son.

Madoc turned out to be a fine fellow, and between squires, they shared a meal.
He even commanded the Monk in his entourage to attend to the unlucky Graid’s wounds, while the five of them share stories.
While there was a notable difference in class, Madoc was cameraderly and friendly, as he knew several most of the families that the other squires had been born from. Reccared was the son of a hero and had been trained by the same legend that Madoc was squiring for.
Graid’s father was one of the most notable knights during the March of his uncle Aurelius Ambrosius, though he couldn’t but to remark on the lusty nature of the late Sir Owain, which almost made Aldwyn roar in protest, and he knew of Aurelius’ father, as Sir Gessius was often used at court as an example of the dutiful knight, prepared to sacrifice everything.
When Madoc casually commented said his father and the realm could use people like them, it was quite clear that the Prince was also thinking ahead for his own eventual reign. He even offered to mete out a royal judgement on the captured bandits, right then and there, instead of having to drag them all the way to Vagon.

In spite of the temptation, both Aldwyn and Graid held onto their principles, and convinced the Prince that it was better to stick to the legal procedures, as not to upset Earl Salisbury.

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I think I managed to convey the Prince as a suitable NPC and they even made enough of an impression on him that he would remember them.
The whole Player Just vs Madoc Aribitrary was done as a contested roll between player and NPC. It worked quite okay.

They returned to Vagon a few days after, saying goodbyes to Sir Solis and Prince Madoc.
At Vagon, Graid was commanded to get to bed, while the rest of the squires were to return to their duties.
While bedridden, Graid was tended to by Sir Elad’s wife, Bronwyn, but also their youngest daughter, Aline, who caught Graid’s eye, but he dared not act on that inclination, lest to risk the wrath of Sir Elad or be known for being just like his father.

Two months later, Graid was finally well enough to travel.
The other squires had been bound by their duties, patrolling with their knights.

In the middle of the summer, the squires and Sir Elad rode to Sarum, the capital of Salisbury. Elad, the countys Marshal, was immediately summoned into the hall, while the squire had to wait outside. 
During that wait, Aldwyn managed to point out his bride-to-be, Isolde of Newton, one of Countess Ellen’s handmaidens. His friends had trouble believing that a rough-hewn man like Aldwyn was poised to wed one of the prettiest maidens at court, yet it was true enough, as the old knight, Sir Leo could confirm.

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Aldwyn is APP 8, Isolde , a character rolled by the player RL wife, is APP 20. Opposites DO attract 😁
We had agreed that the two characters would already have a Love Passion for one another, having been engaged for years, with Aldwyn being a adorable lovesick puppy.

In the middle of the court proceedings, a company of knights bearing the royal colors arrived at Sarum.
The newly knighted Sir Madoc had arrived, his entourage in tow. It was not long before the Prince just waltzed into the hall, and smilingly sat down among everyone else.

Finally, Sir Elad could present the matter of Imber to Earl Roderick of Salisbury. He called up the squires, and told them to retell the story, and with the smooth skills of his ancestors, Sir Reccared recounted the tale in the most engaging way possible. They also presented Earl Roderick with the skin of the bear, as Aldwyn rolled it before his lord. Finally, they told of banditry in Imber, and how they dealt with it in the name of their liege.

With their tale acknowledged, the squires returned to the back of the hall, but not before they had earned to quite vocal ire of Sir Bedo, the landholder of Imber and the conquered areas, who was incensed that the squires had dared to not tell him anything of these events. Granted, as the Earl’s Huntsmaster, he had little time for those lands, but it was an outrage that squires would shame him like that.
Things would have been heading for a beating, unless a white-bearded knight intervened. Sir Solis, now a companion of his former squire, the prince, had neither desire nor patiences to wait for Sir Bedo’s umbrage to dissipate, and reminded Bedo that if he had taken care of his lands, this would not have happened.
Sir Bedo, unwilling to test the matter, walked away with a sour look on his face.

Then, the Prince spoke his piece.
King Uther, sovereign of Logres and his royal father, knew that the Saxons of Sussex had designs on another invasion. 
Ælle, King of Sussex was bound to be marching on Logres any day, and it was their godsgiven duty to face the heathens in open battle.
So, Madoc was here to encourage Earl Roderick to send as many knights as possible, and perhaps even knight a few more to prove their mettle against the Saxons. Perhaps even his honored friends, the Bearslaying Squires? On that note, Earl Roderick smiled, and called for those four squires to step forward.
They would be knighted, as their deeds had proven them to be worthy of becoming a part of the brotherhood of knights.

On the steps of Sarum Castle, after a long vigil overnight, Reccared, Aurelius, Graid and Aldwyn were knighted.

Roderick's herald spoke: "Reccared de Toulouse, come forth and kneel before the throne."
The herald continued, "Be it known to all men that I, Roderick of Salisbury am minded to raise Graid ap Owain by virtue of his
honor, loyalty, valor, and skill at arms, to the high rank of knighthood.
"
The herald then addressed him, "Aldwyn ap Morien, do you swear and acknowledge Roderick to be your true and lawful liege?"
"I do so swear." he replied.
"Do you also swear fealty to Uther Pendragon, to defend and obey him until he depart the throne, or death shall take you?" and an immediate "I swear!" followed suit.
Then, Roderik rose and walked over to the kneeling Aurelius.
"Let this be the last blow you receive without just recourse." he said, and with a backhanded strike, Roderick did just that.
Then Reccared placed his hands palm-to-palm and upraised, with Roderick placing his own hands atop of them.
The Herald spoke once more "Repeat after me: “I, Graid ap Owain, do solemnly swear and pledge my sword to Roderick of Salisbury,
my liege, to defend and obey him until he depart his demesnes or death shall take me, and to uphold the honor of knighthood.
” which was carefully repeated.
Then, Roderick replied, "And I, for my part, do swear to defend and honor Aldwyn ap Morien as befits a true knight." A page handed Roderick
his sword and tapped him lightly upon both bothers with the blade. 
"I dub thee Sir Aldwyn. Receive now your spurs," and was handed spurs, "your right to suitable arms," and received a shield, " and take this, my sword,
and finally a sword was strapped to his belt, "to your side to serve and defend me well. Arise, Sir Knight."

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This speech was done as written, alternating lines between the players. It worked really well. We repeated the last part four times, to give everyone a insight in the nature of the knighting ceremony, but not bore the entire table to death.

What followed was the more simple ceremony of the Leap, and all four young knights rushed outside after their knighting, armed and armoured, and leapt into the saddle. 
All except Reccared managed to make it.

And with those words, we’ll leave our tale here for now.
 

Edited by KungFuFenris
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Session 03 - "The Battle of Mearcred Creek" 

Summer of 485

Dawn broke of a beautiful summer morning, but all of our noble knights knew that there was a storm awaiting them.

With the aid of his more eloquent friends, Aldwyn managed to buy and gift and make some beautiful words for the beautiful Isolde, declaring his undying love for her, as high as the love he had for the land where they dwelt on.
And even better, he had the chance to actually tell her in person, as Graid and Aurelius distracted the matrons from discovering the pair’s little secret meeting.

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At that point, I allowed for Aldwyn’s player to roll a Love: Isolde passion. It seemed fitting at that point: 3d6-2. As Amor was not really a thing yet?
And it turned out to be a 16!

In the courtyard, Reccared met his gruncle Solis again, who vaxxed on about the nature of the deeds they were about to carry out. The old knight had a sorrowful tone to his voice, as these battles had claimed most of the people he had cared. Now, only he remained and he hoped that he would not outlive the younger generation of his family.
With those words, Solis pulled forward a gleaming roman blade. Aljan, the sword wielded by both his father, his grandfather as well as Sir Solis on many an occasion, was now placed in the hands of the future. If the White Fox could not protect his grandnephew himself, the legacy of the family would be his ward, and if Solis fell, it would be a good day to part with life, as many Saxons still owed for the death of Reccared’s father. The two men parted, promising to see each other after the battle had been done.

The ride to the battle itself took more than a week.

First into Silchester, joining up with the rest of the Logrean armies, and seeing King Uther’s standard being raised above the host. Salisburians alongside Silchesterians was a rare sight, and with the men from Glevum, Gentian and Clarence, it seemed a large enough army, even though rumour had it in the ranks that the Cornishmen had not shown. Again. Just like at Bedegraine and at Eburacum.
Then, the weather changed from pristine summer sunshine, to grey skies and light showers of rain, making the army's advance a bit slower.
Finally, they arrived at the border to the lands of Suth Seaxe. Ælle, King of Sussex had little intention of meeting on unfavorable grounds, so several days were spent with skirmishes and maneuvers, constantly shifting the battlefield to what seemed advantageous.

In the camps, everyone was tense, and just waited for the call to be made. But, finally, at a creek near Mearcred, it seemed like the odds were even and battle was about to be joined.
Ælle might seem to have a bit higher ground, but Uther’s host was better armed than the vile Saxons.

Ranks were formed up, and under Sir Elad’s keen eye, the Salisburians assembled in two Eschille, squadrons of ten knights each. 

Earl Roderick’s eschille would ride alongside Uther, as befitted a man of his standing. This left Elad with the eschille for the right flank. The vanguard.
The squadron would be composed of himself, Sir Leo (the moral center of the household knights), Sir Caradoc (a drunkard with a talent for axes), Sir Bradoc (often called the sailor, and Aurelius’ mentor), Sir Mors (Aldwyn’s uncle) and Sir Jareth (an ambitious knight and the finest swordsman in Salisbury), along with Aldwyn, Graid, Reccared and Aurelius.

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I am taking great care to develop the Household of Roderick as a stable of NPCs.
It seems to be the best way to approach stuff like this and I love making up quirky knights to add to the ones that are already there through the GPC.

The horns sounded. The eschilles lined up. Their sharp lances at the ready.

A different horn sounded, and the Saxons advanced, step by step, until they were almost in the creek. 
That’s when the British horn blew again. Three sharp blows, and everything sat into motion, as the sound of thundering hooves from hundreds of horses swept forward towards the saxon shield wall. That’s when they laid eyes on their opposing foes. Saxons bearing the red eye of the wargod Wotan, painted across their own left eye, stood ready to meet them, and just as the clash was inevitable, a hail of Saxon spears were flung towards the charging knights.
Then battle was joined as lances broke and everything became chaos in the din of war. Spears pierced mail and flesh, arcing swords carved away limbs and painted the ground red!
The eschille had broken through the Saxon wall, and was in the middle of the heathen horde, and they were besat on almost every side by foemen.
It was almost impossible to see anything, but the eschille remained together, felling foes left and right. Aurelius had to drive his blade straight into the gut of one who attempted to pull him off his horse. But, they prevailed, and their own footmen rushed in behind the knights to fill the wedge carved by the charge.

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Turn 1: They charge the ferocious Men of Wotan. It was kinda bad luck to roll some of the most badass Saxons on the first round. But, it was a Win, nonetheless.

Sir Elad cried out to his men for a push forward, and with a roar, they hammered into the second line of Saxons, where large shields attempted to halt their advance. Aldwyns spear reached over and stabbed many a Saxon warrior through his helmet, and Reccared stabbed Aljan through more than one shield, his presence leaving cries of death in his wake.

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Turn 2: They push deeper into the Saxon line, hammering against the Shield warriors. That was actually a freaking Triumph!

That’s when Elad caught glimpse of an infamous, boar-adorned helmet through the din of war.
Ælle’s brother-in-law, Thegn Laugier, was on the field, and the one-eyed warrior spurred his horse forward in a warcry! His eschille followed suit, the enemy commander within the reach, only shielded by a fierce retinue of Wotan’s Men. That mattered little, and with a cry out for Salisbury, the eschille almost trampled the foes faster than anyone could react. That’s when Graid and Aurelius rode forward sending their weapons towards the thegn. Aurelius carved into Laugier’s shield, biting into his arm as well, but Graid’s spear found home in the eye socket of the Saxon warleader. With a thud, the Thegn fell to the ground.

There was no time to savour that small victory, as some of Ælle’s Heorthgeneat made their way towards the knights, eager to avenge their fallen thegn.
With axes as tall as themselves, the Heorthgeneat, dressed in the finest Saxon armor and cloaks of the deepest red, advanced like oncoming thunder, and if it hadn’t been for the swift reactions of Sir Reccared, it would have been the end of their advance. However, there were casualties. Aurelius’ young squire Lucius was ripped from his horse by a Heorthgeneat, decapacitated and his head thrown at Sir Aurelius as they redeployed. Though, poor Sir Caradoc took a spear to his gut, as he fought two of them off.

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Turn 3: Sir Elad rolls a Crit, and the players roll a 19 and finds the enemy commander. I thought he would have time to escape, but the group carved through the bodyguards almost immediately. That I rolled a bunch of Heorthgeneat afterwards was just… well, not salty, but ironic. They took their aggression out on the players, dealing them a hell of a blow to their pride when the Squire was brutally murdered.

From behind them, they could hear the sounds of joyous roars, as Uther himself advanced into the middle of the fray. Despite muddy earth of the Creek, the hot headed charge of our heroes had allowed Uther’s forces to push the Saxons back up the hill, avoiding getting stuck in the mud-filled riverbed, which seemed to have been Ælle’s plan.

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Turn 4: They saw the Camp mark at the end of the field. And decided they wanted to go there. The Saxons also have to retreat at this point.

With a raised sword, Elad commanded his eschille to advance further into the ranks of the enemy, even as the horns of retreat were blown across the Saxon lines.

A rear guard, of old, well-trained Saxons veterans stood between the Salisburian and the Saxon encampment, but it meant little. With a charge, they broke the Rearguard, and were the first to get their share of looting while the cowardly Saxons fled for their lives.

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Turn 5: And even with Rearguard Bonus applied to the Blue-cloaked Warriors, it mattered little. My players were on FIRE! Cue them getting into the camp on the end of the battle. Looting TIME!

From behind the Eschille, down in the Creek, roars of victory resounded, and the dour Sir Elad smiled, for the first time in living memory. Truly, they had been blessed by God this day. 
With their newfound loot, their returned to their own encampment, and their lord Roderick, who was delighted to see them. He aimed to spread the words of their deeds to the lords of Logres. 

As the four were resting alongside the rest of their eschille, and enjoying the salutations from passing knights, it became clear that what they had done might have meant the difference between victory or an indecisive mess.
Alongside the rest of the Salisburian knights, the four friends tended to their wounds and joked around, but when a familiar prince arrived, things changed. It became clear that Roderick’s words had reached high. Madoc's royal father, King Uther, was overjoyed with their efforts, and wished to reward them. As all of them were prospective landowners, Uther would waver the Seizins, his perq of demanding a steep inheritance tax. All they would have to do is to give up the loot they had earned that day.

It was a hard decision, but at least they would not have to give all of their income for the next five years to the King.

Madoc departed, overjoyed with his new acquaintances, and return the tents of the army commanders, to give the new to his father.
Later, it became known that that the knights that broke the saxon flanks were here solely due to Madoc’s eye for talent and tactics.
Come morning, the four said their farewells to their new comrades in arms. Reccared said his goodbye to Sir Solis and wished for his gruncle to come visit the family manor during christmas, after all, he was about to be handed said manor as inheritance. The old knight smiled with pride and clasped the young knight's shoulder.

All of our heroes returned to Salisbury as the first days of August came around.
In a small ceremony in Sarum, Reccared, Aurelius and Graid were sworn in as enfeoffed vassals of Earl Roderick of Salisbury, and were now known as Sir Reccared of Baverstock, Sir Aurelius Sertorius of Woodford and Sir Graid of Stapleford.
As for Aldwyn? He returned to his beloved Isolde, and declared that it was his love for her that made him return.

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Not wrong, that passion did come in handy.

Aldwyn finally approached Roderick on the subject of marriage, and cited the old agreement between his father and her grandfather Sir Dafydd of Newton, Roderick’s former butler. The Earl just smiled and gave his blessings.
And beneath the White Horse, the two of them swore their oath of marriage to each other, before Gods and Lands, embracing in a very non-chaste kiss when the Druid bound their hands with white cloth. What followed was a delightful summer feast, and some say that Epona herself paid notice of the happy couple.

- End of 485 -

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I love it!!  It just so good!

However, it looks to me you forgot a few rules during the battle, which is perfectly fine.  I don't understand how your PK can manage the battle so well, even with a bit of luck. Did you apply all of the intensity bonus (the killing zone especially?)? Did you remember that passions last only one battle round?

Either way, the army commander should be Aelle himself, even if I perfectly understand why you changed it. The brother-in law of Aelle is probably not a thegn but a more powerful noble. Vengeance is in the air, I suppose. Aelle is not a man to forget a grudge.

During the extended melee round against an army battle, the process is:

  • First round, you fight each a bodyguard
  • round 2, a new bodyguard appears for each player (even if the old ones aren't dead) and you have a chance to fight the army commander

So, I don't understand how your players managed to have numerical superiority in this fight.

Anyway, awesome read!

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2 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

I love it!!  It just so good!

However, it looks to me you forgot a few rules during the battle, which is perfectly fine.  I don't understand how your PK can manage the battle so well, even with a bit of luck. Did you apply all of the intensity bonus (the killing zone especially?)? Did you remember that passions last only one battle round?

Either way, the army commander should be Aelle himself, even if I perfectly understand why you changed it. The brother-in law of Aelle is probably not a thegn but a more powerful noble. Vengeance is in the air, I suppose. Aelle is not a man to forget a grudge.

During the extended melee round against an army battle, the process is:

  • First round, you fight each a bodyguard
  • round 2, a new bodyguard appears for each player (even if the old ones aren't dead) and you have a chance to fight the army commander

So, I don't understand how your players managed to have numerical superiority in this fight.

Anyway, awesome read!

Quick answers as I am heading out the door.
Yes. Yes, I remembered *all* of it. It was crazy rolls on crazy rolls. Passions was a single round, as per written. Killing Zone was applied. It was... to say the least, madness. I have a blow by blow account.... somewhere. With the amount of luck rolling, it was almost like we were watching a football game and our team was winning. (At least, that's what the gaming group in the room next door asked about...)

The Thegn was a Battalion Commander, not the Army commander. And they rode down the FIRST set of Bodyguards in a single round. I think that exact moment had two PK's criting Passions. And the second set all fell, except a single one, and two players doubleteamed on the Thane during the rest of the Ex. Melee.

Let's just say after this *and* the current session, there's some anger in the air. We're on the Naval Raids atm.... and, well, I'll show some more soon.

Edited by KungFuFenris

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Thank you for your explanations. If two players critted their passion rolls, everything become possible of course. You had a crazy session and it's fantastic. I am always amazed how crazy rollings, against all odds, happen all the time in KAP.

31 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Let's just say after this *and* the current session, there's some anger in the air. We're on the Naval Raids atm.... and, well, I'll show some more soon

yummy!

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