The Heir, Sylvie Blackburn: The words of her player 'She doesn't start fights but she'll end them' describes Sylvie very well. Raised by the Historian Morano, she is a fairly well-rounded young woman- if a bit fiery and naive. Morano is both proud and frustrated with her headstrong independence, although he's really only frustrated when she's being snide with him.
The Spy, Valen Aventura: A compulsively-lying kleptomaniac who hopes to someday gain political power in the land- if he can stop pissing off important people and organizations long enough to actually get any work done.
The Drunk Blacksmith, Ruz: A superb worker and craftsman, Ruz has an appreciation for alcohol that is tempered only by his resolve to stay out of other people's business.
The Blind Girl, Adriene: Ruz's adopted daughter. Blinded in an accident in the past, Adriene takes a constant dislike to Ruz's alcoholism.
The Huntress, Bretia Faulkner: Preferring the company of most animals, especially raptors, to people, Bretia makes a living hunting and training falcons for local nobles in the area. She's very skilled with animals and taught Sylvie how to use a bow.
The Ranger, Althalos Yerel: Convinced that trees speak to him, and that trees never lie, Althalos is a very talented warrior. However, the trees do not actually talk to him, he just believes they do.
The Witch, Rowena Foxglove: The local witch doctor, Rowena recently took over the position from her now-deceased mentor. Rowena is an adept healer and spellcaster, and a huge flirt to boot.
The Disgraced Captain of the Guard, Albert Nash: Removed from his post due to the actions of his prior second-in-command, this character wants revenge for the disgrace he has suffered. Is a very capable fighter and administrator, and did a good job of leading the guard while he maintained his rank.
The Heir Pretender, Reginald: <-Just click his name, it's a link.
The Retired Historian, Morano: The now-reclusive historian has raised Sylvie since her birth, and now hopes to place her on the throne. Captured as of the end of session two.
My players have decided to track down Morano. With the information gathered from the monastery, they are likely going to investigate the area just South of their current position.
- The fifty men moving through the area were mercenaries hired by Baron Frond in preparation for a possible attack on Baron Stuart.
- The bandit hideout that the bandits failed to clear of intruders has been taken over as a base of operations for a group of assassins who have been hired to kill the heir, Sylvie.
The bandit hideout is a cave whose entrance has been hidden thanks to the construction of a small house over the opening. The house is usually occupied at all times by an old man named Jenkins who does his best to distract attention from the fact that there's a hatch under the carpet in the middle of the floor. Jenkins does his best to convince the party to visit an ambush site further down the road.
Observation: A decently hard (-4 to checks) Observation check will reveal something under the carpet. Failure causes Jenkins to get angry.
Detect Lies: A fairly easy Detect Lies (no modifier) reveals that Jenkins is playacting at being less intelligent than he really is. A harder check (-3) will show that Jenkins is deliberately hiding information.
Search: Cannot be used without Jenkins throwing a hissy fit.
Perception Checks: A very hard check (-6) reveals the hatch.
Empathy: Adriene's empathy will give the same results as the easy detect lies.
Intimidation: Jenkins responds to threats of violence by immediately demanding that everyone leave his home. This alerts the assassins inside who will attack players regardless if they leave or not.
Body Language: An easy check (+1) shows that Jenkins is confident and not very nervous.
Criminology: None of my players have taken criminology which is a shame because it would be vastly useful here
Should players find the entrance to the hideout, Jenkins will immediately rush inside. Inside are about six men, the last assassins left behind on the mission.
Orders left behind in the hideout state:
"Dave, I have captured the Historian. You and your men are to remain for a fortnight and ensure we are not followed. We will be moving to the Locust's territory to discover the identity of our next target. Be wary, especially the area very close to Ashen Mire Manor, we have lost multiple men in the area."
Should players move to the ambush spot, they are jumped by six men, and they will hopefully find the same note.
Albert immediately sent word to a contact he had at the Capital regarding whatever may be going on there.
Valen also spoke to a monk to glean some information about the situation.
After flip-flopping multiple times over their plan of action, the players decided to investigate the reports of bandit activity along a stretch of road. They pretty much immediately meet Jenkins."Good afternoon sir! Would you care to answer a few questions?" (Valen)
"Questions... I'm not good at questions." The man (Jenkins) says, smiling.
"Perhaps a riddle? A game of some kind?" (Valen)
Ruz prods the bard in the back of the head. "Quit being annoying to the old man."
"Riddles? I don't like riddles." The man says, looking at Ruz. "Best listen to him bard, he's got quite the muscles."
"In exchange for his portion of brains." Valen grumbles. "But, have you been troubled by bandits recently?"
Ruz grins. "Looks like you're on the right track there old man. Yes I do. Got em from working muscles that aren't on my face, like this fool."
"Has anything out of the ordinairy happend on this road recently?" Albert says to the old man.
"Bandits? No bandits have bothered me for a long time. Not a problem." Jenkins says.
"And to what would you owe that to?" Valen asks.
"I'm poor. They'd rather pick on rich folk than pitiful old me." Jenkins is smiling.
"What about the travellers that pass through here? Have they been attacked recently?" (Albert)
"Yeh, well, you seen any bandits even if they ain't been buggin' you?" (Bretia)
(Ruz at this point is attempting a Detect Lies check to see if Jenkins is being honest. He succeeds by five. I tell him: "Ruz gets the feeling that Jenkins wants people to think he's dumb, and he's definitely downplaying how much he knows about the bandits.")
"Nope. I keep to myself." The old man says.
"Your little hovel here is in perfect view of the road, surely you've seen something." (Valen Detects Lies, Success by 3, he is told that Jenkins is definitely hiding something.)
"Well, there was a large group of men heading North and a wee bit West a couple weeks ago- or was it a month? My memory is sluggish." The old man says. "Nasty looking folks."
"It's not nice to lie to people, you know. Specifically a bard." Valen says.
Ruz taps his foot a little on the ground. "You had that feeling as well bard?"
"I take back what I said about your brains."
"With how I look, people always assume that I'm a dumbass drunk laborer."
"But enough about that."
Wheatos Banditos: "You do little to change that visag- Yes indeed."
The old man is no longer smiling. "I don't know who you young'uns think you are accusing me of being a liar. I have been living on my own since I was a lad. I'm honest, I swear. Honest. Liar. I have been living on my own since I was a lad and you all think I'm a liar because of it." (I'm drawing inspiration from a customer I've dealt with at work for this dialogue.)
"I don't think you're trying to convince us with that are you?" Valen says.
"You really should calm down. We have no intentions to hurt you....if you're honest with us..." Ruz coughs.
"We only want information sir." The knight says getting off his horse heading towards the old man.
Bretia pulls her bow close by and strings it anyway, just in case.
"Its. An. Old. Man. Isnt this a bit excessive?" (Althalos)
"You fear those men, don't you?" asks Rowena.
The old man looks around at everyone, before turning around and stomping off towards his house, ignoring Rowena's question.
(Players discuss a little- Ruz decides to kick the door to the house.)
The door opens briefly. "Leave me alone! I don't know nothing about no bandits and I ain't thinking you're gonna find no bandits further down the road waiting just behind the old burned down barn waiting to jump travelers." It slams shut. (This is the ambush point.)
The trees to Althalos: "Ooh, that barn burning down was so cool! We got to watch Old Tree Fred catch on fire and die!"
The players move down the road, approaching the barn Jenkins mentioned. It is empty. Bretia catches on pretty quick that Jenkins threw them off the scent.
At this point, the players are obviously unimpressed with Jenkins. They return, breaking down the door to his house. At this point, the assassins show up at the top of the hill.
After a brief combat, all the assassins are dead. Jenkins is nowhere to be seen, and only Ruz took any damage in the fight. They found the note to Dave.
XP- What my players learned:
Althalos: Morano was the intended target
Sylvie: Feints are awesome
Bretia: Bows have range penalties
Valen: I hate enemies with Shields and impaling damage is sexy
Albert: Crossbows use ammunition and I should bring some
Ruz: Detect lies can change a scenario completely.
XP- Giving XP to other players:
Althalos to Sylvie: She didn't try to intimidate Jenkins like the rest of the party.
Valen to Bretia: For arrow management
Ruz to Althalos: Stays in character well
Bretia to Ruz: For being the only one to take damage
Sylvie to Valen: For detecting lies.
GM to Thomas: Messages to the capital
Althalos was named the MVP.