On reflection, there is no need to merge campaigns or start a new party here; I’ll import Johann into the Border Kingdoms from season 1, have him join up with Ispitan, and arbitrarily change tack to a series of dungeon raids. This will give me a chance to become thoroughly familiar with the combat rules before adding any more rules sections into the game. We last saw Johann in the Ekran countryside in October 986; strictly speaking it should have taken him four months to get here, but let’s gloss over that in the interests of moving on.
The Brass Dragon in Acromerinth is overpriced, and full of loud men in garish clothing. Ispitan sits nursing a cup of mead against the chill, as close to the fire as he can get. The door swings open, to curses from the regulars hit by the flurry of snow, and a party of six enters, heavily muffled against the cold. Conversation falls silent as the patrons take in the newcomers.
An armoured man at the front of the group leans on his halberd and calls, “I’m looking for Sir Bertrand de Plastique, Ekran knight. Has anyone seen him? Or his brother?”
There is no reply. The man scans the crowd and fixes his eyes on Ispitan as he stamps the snow from his boots. He leads the group over to the table by the fireside, and signals the barman for mead. Conversation resumes.
“You’d be Ispitan,” he states. “Word is, you’re hiring. We’re looking for work. What do you have in mind?”
“Tell me a little about yourselves,” Ispitan says. He has been sitting here for over a month, and so far there have been no volunteers.
“I’m Johann, this is Sir Charles – we are fighting men. Gottfried over there is, well, let’s just say a specialist. Beatrice is our healer. Gervaise and Jean-Paul, crossbowmen from Ekra. And you?”
“Ispitan, at your service; journeyman wizard, recently returned from Goblin territory, where I found this…” he pulls out the item dropped from a goblin chariot a few months ago. “It’s a map, of sorts. It shows the way to a Stygustani tomb, about a week’s travel from here. As you may know, the Border Kingdoms were taken from the Black Moon by the Brethren, the Black Moon took it from the Legions of Tropilium, and Tropilium took it from the Stygustani.”
The mead arrives, and Johann takes a deep draught from his mug, before gesturing at Ispitan and declaring, “My friend will pay.” After a second draught, he continues, “Most useful phrase in any language, always the first one I learn. And why are you interested in this tomb?”
“The Stygustani buried their nobles in underground tombs, with their life’s treasures.”
“You have our complete attention. Why do you need us?”
“The Stygustani also stocked their tombs with traps and undead guardians. Why are you looking for Sir Bertrand?”
“Friend of yours? Have you seen him?”
“No, and no. Just wondering if he will be a distraction.”
“Only if we meet him, and then only briefly. He killed my friends. I will have my revenge.”
“Well enough. Let us discuss terms, conditions and shares of the loot…”
“First,” interrupts Sir Charles, “Arr leetle band of adventurers needs a name. Eet must be one of panache, striking fear into ze ‘arts of arr enemies, and rousing arr friends to greater deeds of arms.”
“Fine,” Ispitan sighs, glancing around the inn for inspiration. “Aha, got it. We are now the Brass Dragons.”
“Ah like eet!” exclaims Sir Charles. The rest of the group shrugs and glances at each other.
“Well, if it keeps him happy…” says Johann.
We’ll leave them there for the moment. Next time, into the dungeon.
|Sir Charles Atain||Mounted Melee||4||1||Spear, sword||6||12”||Elite Trained||1||SS||4|