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Sequel to the Adventure of the White Horse - What Would You Do?


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My players enjoyed the White Horse Adventure... and I'd like to do a reprise, now that the game-world lunar cycie is coming around to the same phase on that night. Plus, it means the riders will be mostly the second generation.

Anyone want to help me brainstorm on how to twist it? I'm thinking about making it a ride from a dull party at Amesbury to the Uffington White Horse, to stop a zealous cleric from disrupting the ceremony. Along the way, they might test some of virtues, particularly some of the pagan ones (it was always odd in the original to require a Lustful test...) At the end, there's a diplomatic and religious test of sorts, possibly with the Lady of Uffingham looking on...

Have you run a scenario like this? How would you transform it? 

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I very much think that the Adventure of the White Horse can be transformed into a generational adventure. What is the year in the game itself? During the Anarchy, Saxon raids or perhaps better yet, Saxons wishing to participate in the ceremony might be an interesting twist. During Romance/Tournament you can easily throw some more fantastical Faerie stuff into the mix, too.

And yes, I agree that it is a bit odd that the Pagans have a lower chance of participating in the Pagan ceremony than the Christians. But many of the KAP adventures have been written with a Christian bias, which does reflect the source material, admittedly. I assume you have already read the thread (maybe even participated in it?) where we were discussing some alterations for the adventure here in the forum?

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By the way, you can easily have similar 'rush to get there' Horsemanship challenges, even if the PKs would know the location beforehand (or, in your case, you might send them to the Westbury Horse just to switch that it is the Uffington one this time around!). After all, the PKs are probably not as plugged into the Pagan calendar. "It is tonight?! Why didn't you tell me earlier!" Or they might know the date, but the liege lord wishes to talk with them NOW, or they are returning from another adventure/court, and the roads are muddy and slowing them down...

Edited by Morien
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12 hours ago, SaxBasilisk said:

Along the way, they might test some of virtues, particularly some of the pagan ones (it was always odd in the original to require a Lustful test...)

It bugged a long time. RAW, If you want to explain the scenario with its chastity test, I would allow a religion (pagan) for all knights. If they succeed, I would tell them they can enjoy this night of joy and life, BUT if they want to understand the higher mysteries of Epona, they have to ignore the "call of flesh".

For a rerun of the adventure however... to have Saxons in search of a blessing is a good idea.
A good idea is to test pagan virtues this time, not christian ones.

- To lend some horse to some fellow dismounted knight ? (generous)

- an ugly old crone (with some ogres as bodyguards?) is asking with a threatening voice if they are in quest of the Whithe Horse? (Trustful)

- the same old crone is asking the PKs if they are worthy of this holy quest ?  and why? (proud)

- the same old crone maybe wants some love, in exchange for some intel ? (lustful to "satisfy" her)

- Some energetic test is not difficult to imagine either.

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44 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

BUT if they want to understand the higher mysteries of Epona, they have to ignore the "call of flesh".

To quote Gerald of Wales (A Norman Christian chronicler):

"There is in a northern and remote part of Ulster, among the Kenelcunil, a certain tribe which is wont to install a king over itself by an excessively savage and abominable ritual. In the presence of all the people of this land in one place, a white mare is brought into their midst. Thereupon he who is to be elevated, not to a prince but to a beast, not to a king but to an outlaw, steps forward in beastly fashion and exhibits his bestiality. Right thereafter the mare is killed and boiled piecemeal in water, and in the same water a bath is prepared for him. He gets into the bath and eats of the flesh that is brought to him, with his people standing around and sharing it with him. He also imbibes the broth in which he is bathed, not from any vessel, nor with his hand, but only with his mouth. When this is done right according to such unrighteous ritual, his rule and sovereignty are consecrated."

Yes, the bestiality part is EXACTLY what it sounds like.  Never assume that we understand those higher mysteries, or that they didn't involve the "call of the flesh".  Now this may have been Christian propaganda, but that's a lustful roll you don't want on your permanent record imo.😅

Edited by Darius West
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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

Never assume that we understand those higher mysteries, or that they didn't involve the "call of the flesh".  Now this may have been Christian propaganda

I read different articles about this custom during the crowning of the king. Maybe it was pure propaganda. Maybe it was not. Ireland was already (mostly?) christian at the time, so it looks unlikely.

However, in the life of Caradoc (a french tale in the 12th century with old roots), the king Caradoc the Elder (and the sorcerer Eliavres afterward) are both forced to have intercourse with a mare. And Eliavres and his mare got a son together, a stallion named Lluagor. This weird tale could be an echo about some forgotten myth. The monk could gossip about the same old myth.

Anyway, I don't think bestiality (even sacred) is a good theme for the game 😅

3 hours ago, Darius West said:

Never assume that we understand those higher mysteries, or that they didn't involve the "call of the flesh"

I was just trying to make sense about the contradiction in the original adventure. PKs are looking for a pagan blessing, but they should remain chaste. It's a good explanation from a gaming perspective.

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I wonder if the Saxons could so something relevant with Sleipnir or another of the magical Aesir horses...

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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The Saxons probably would want to be involved in some way - they clearly have some reverence for horses given that "Hengist" and "Horsa" literally mean "Stallion" and "Horse" and a white stallion has to this day been the official symbol of Kent.

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Thanks, everyone! I like where this is going.

Right now, my three tests are going to be:
 

  • A boasting contest at the feast beforehand (for Proud)
  • A challenge by the Marlborough guards for their names (for Honest)
  • A challenge by the returning Sir Tustin to joust (Energetic for those who joust)

It's difficult coming up with a Generous challenge which is both meaningful in terms of giving and involves all the characters.

We'll end up with the Saxons, seeing what sort of cues I can give to indicate they're not entirely hostile.

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On 5/17/2022 at 1:19 AM, Tizun Thane said:

Anyway, I don't think bestiality (even sacred) is a good theme for the game 😅

My post was pretty tongue-in-cheek, but when I saw that you had suggested that Epona and Lustful didn't mix in Paganism, I felt I had to question the assertion with truly disgusting historical evidence that not enough people know about because it renders them nauseated, and thus is not considered a fit topic for discussion.  

On the other hand...  A sadistic GM might have fun putting PKs in a situation where they are strongly encouraged to perform such a ceremony and watch how they wriggle out of the ghastly ritual commitment.😁   (Or call the FBI when they don't try)

Edited by Darius West
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