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The Adventure of Merlin’s Silver (for feedback) (GPC Spoilers)


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The Adventure of Merlin’s Silver

(This takes place after the battle of Bedegraine in 510 A.D. in the GPC. It is based on the suggestion of a mini-adventure for obtaining the treasure for Arthur, along with material from Malory I.17 and the Vulgate Story of Merlin.)

Setting: Forest of Bedegraine 

Characters: Cornelius the hunter.

Problem: Get treasure from the annoying guy.

Secrets:  It’s Merlin, of course.

Solutions: Find an appropriate response to the hunter's claims.

After the Battle of Bedegraine, the nights are someone before King Arthur. He asked them to proceed to a place in the forest identified by Merlin as a cache of silver from Roman times. This will be used to compensate his troops for the battle plunder he gave to Kings Ban and Bors. 

One of the clerks provides the knights with a train of sumpters and servants, along with directions to the spot. These are fairly easy to follow, requiring a success of a Hunting roll. Failure means the knights must search another four hours, until they find it.

Once they arrive on the scene, they find someone has arrived first. A hulking man in hunter’s garb, with three geese attached to his belt, sits on a stump, pouring silver between his hands. A large pot, previously hidden by the stump, lies revealed at his feet. 

“I found it! I found it!“

When the man sees the nights, he is convinced they are bandits. He quickly sees otherwise, and he responds with a surprising deal of courtesy.

He tells him his name is Cornelius. His family has lived here since Roman times. His great grandfather hid a treasure in the woods when the legions pulled back, and the family that remained slid into poverty. They have had the right to hunt in the woods since time immemorial, and he has kept his eye out for signs of his ancestral wealth - until now.

The players may ask for the following rolls:

  • Stewardship or Law - (Success: Discovered treasure trove is the property of the Crown, save if an heir of the person who buried it appears. Such a case would take some time.)
  • Folk Lore - (Success: He does seem to be who he says, and he doesn’t seem to be a poacher. Critical: You can detect a slight mocking tone to his speech.)\
  • Fairy Lore - (Success: This could be a fairy or a human - it’s hard to tell. Critical: There is the smallest glimmer around the edges of his outline.)  

After some player rolls or discussion, the GM should require the following roll:

  • Loyalty (Arthur) - The king ordered you to bring him this treasure.

The characters may handle this in a number of ways:

  • Attack the man -  Just as a player strikes, Cornelius vanishes. Upon their return, he appears at the side of Arthur, before reverting to his original appearance. Merlin turns aside the king’s ire with laughter. The first player who struck at him gains 50 Glory but no share of the plunder - and the mild displeasure of the king.
  • Convinces the man to return to the king’s judgment - Cornelius resists this, insisting loudly on his family prerogatives. PKs should make an appropriate roll, such as Orate, to convince him. If so, he returns with them, reverting to his true form in front of the king.
  • Make an offer - No monetary incentive will cause Cornelius to give up his wealth, but he proves open to other offers: an item of magical or sentimental value, a wealthy bride, or a period of service. Cornelius plays it skeptical to see if they will increase the offer, but will eventually acquiesce. Upon their return, Merlin either returns the item, or refers laughingly to their offer. He will not require the player knights to fulfill their promise, save if that leads to adventure. A generous offer may grant a Generous check and 10 or more points of Glory.
  • Ask Cornelius if he’s Merlin - Cornelius laughs, transforms, and tells them they are free to take the treasure. 10 Glory to the knight who asks.

Once he is out of the way, the player knights will find an opportunity to take treasure without observation. Ask them what they will do, followed by rolls of Selfish/Generous or Honest/Deceitful to see if they succumb to temptation. Their Loyalty (King Arthur) might stop such actions.

Upon their return, King Arthur distributes the treasure to the troops, giving them 20 Libra. The player knights who delivered the treasure gain 20 Libra. Those who decided to take some for themselves gain the initial 20 Libra, minus whatever they decided to take, and no reward - Merlin has seen through their deception.

As appropriate, give checks to Generous/Selfish, Honest/Deceitful, Just/Arbitrary, Merciful/Cruel, or Trusting/Suspicious.

Glory: 10 Glory, along with the rewards above.
 

Edited by SaxBasilisk
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This is a great little adventure!

If you'd like some KAP6 feedback:

1. For the first rolls: Stewardship is only about the knowledge of the quality of land, agriculture, and animal husbandry. There is no more Law as a skill. Instead, this situation involves the laws of the nobility, and so Courtesy (knowledge of the culture and laws of the nobility) is probably better. 

2. There is no more Faerie Lore skill. It is either a Folklore roll (knowledge of the culture and laws of the common class) or Religion roll (knowledge of the culture and laws of the clergy) to access knowledge (in the moment) about fairies from what was learned about them in childhood (stories, tales, etc.). 

3. Omit any mention of selling or giving away a bride as compensation for Merlin?

4. I wonder if there's a way to hint that Cornelius is really Merlin? A game of riddles or some such?

As I said, this is a great adventure, and very Arthurian. 🙂

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