Empire's Foundation

May 2nd
Out of Canterbury

Summary

XP received:
Freya: 88
Hilde: 20
Aleksandr; 176
Klaus: 50

In-game start time: 9:00 am
In-game end time: 10:35 am

Weather: brisk, overcast, with a light breeze.

Location of party: Watling Street, 4 miles SSE of Canterbury.

Details

The party left the walls of Canterbury at 9:00 am, heading south for Dover. They aim to find passage from there unto Calais, and from there a ship to Oslo.

Monsters encountered: 3 Dire Rats, while fighting over unidentified detritus. Alek rushed to the fore and smote strongly a rat, then was savaged on his legs by the rats, Freya pierced two of the rats with arrows and slew them. Hilde played her lute while the rats were killed.

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Dover, May 3

They dilly-dallied around for about an hour with exhuming, examining, and excavating a new grave for the body that a gnome came up the road behind them, also from Canterbury. He introduced himself as Morelli Grimsbane, and Freyja (who is the defacto group leader) agreed to allow him to travel with them at least as far as Calais.

They reached Dover without further incident, arranged passage on the ferry for late the next morning, and had dinner at the White Horse Inn. After dinner, Freyja snuck out of her room while Hildegaard played for the patrons in the tavern. She wandered down to the docks, found some taverns, bought some drinks, and came away with some interesting information about the German eagle, the Hanseatic League, and trade relations across the North Sea.

They sailed the next day, a few of them losing coin to Klaus in cards and dice while on the boat, and hit shore just after 1:00 (the winds were extremely favourable). The last thing that was settled was negotiating passage on a ship bound for Hamburg setting sail three days hence. I rolled the random encounter dice, and there will be opportunity for more XP for the group the next time we meet. Oh, that was just Freyja and Morelli at the shipping office, Alek, Hilde, and Klaus went to find lunch.

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Calais, May 4
Two Different Wolves

After leaving the shipping office, Morelli and Freja were lured down an alley by the sound of a young girl crying for help. They were attacked by a thief and his young accomplice, both of whom received grievous wounds before escaping.

At the inn, Hilde swooned over the talents of the performing bard and sought lessons, which said bard was happy to provide after dinner in his room. Klaus was invited. The bard made other arrangements.

During dinner, the whole group overheard the local denizens talking of the doings of some beast or other ravaging the countryside, attacking and killing innocent women and children, as well as lone farmers. Freja asked the cleric at the Eglise Notre-Dame about the doings, and was told that the Bishop de Graneville had offered a prize of 300 francs to anyone who would bring the beast to heel.

Plans were made with the assistance of Klaus, whose father was a woodsman and experienced with wolves. The next morning the party set out after Alek had been healed and had purchased a new collar. Leaving the town and the marsh that surrounded it behind, they headed for the road where the last attack occurred, and by chance the wolf fell upon them. It was a grizzled beast, and roughed up poor Alek some, but the steel gorget he had purchased no doubt saved his neck. They brought the beast back to the cathedral, and the parish priest (sorry, revised from archdeacon) promised them the gold on the morrow. The carcass was left in the care of the adventurers.

The adventure will resume as the group is leaving the cathedral, gold in hand, about 9:00 am, Wednesday, May 5, 1550. They are due to sail out of Calais for (eventually) Hamburg tomorrow, Thursday May 6 at 11 bells.

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Calais, May 5
The Wolf's Den

After recieving the prize money for the Beast of Calais, the party went shopping. Morelli went off on errands, promising to meet the party at the ship before it sailed. Freja and co went to the shipping office to confirm details about their transport, and inform Alek about his duties aboard ship. After which, the actual shopping happened.

Upon returning to the inn, the innkeeper (William) had a letter that had been dropped off for Freja. It seemed to indicate a business deal, to be discussed at a certain address just before sundown. Freja and Hilde went to scope out the place, and then returned to the inn. Meanwhile, Alek returned to the inn and found Klaus waiting for the ladies to return. They discussed the events of the last day over a brief dinner, and then Klaus and Freja went to the house to see about the business deal, leaving Alek in charge of Hilde.

It turned out to be a small-time crook and would-be crime lord, offering Freja either a job or a reparation fee for wounding one of his men and the little girl. Freja refused, and fought the thieves to a standstill, and won reparation money of her own. Klaus took the brunt of the damage, and after a quick jaunt to the cathedral, all was (relatively) well.

Freja XP: 520
Klaus XP: 536

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The North Sea, Antwerp, Amsterdam - May 6-13
The winds of fate begin to blow...

So. Lots has happened. The party set sail after an extra day in port due to unfavorable winds. Then they sailed to Antwerp to pick up a load of sugar. Then, nearly as soon as regaining the sea proper, a massive storm blew in that severely damaged the ship’s rigging and sails, so the Notorious put in at Amsterdam for repairs.

XP for storm damage:
Freyja: 135
Hilde: 135
Alek: 179
Morelli: 183
Klaus: 143

While in Amsterdam, Morelli and Aleks went looking for some trouble, and they found it in the form of an Assassin’s Guild contract to teach “a lesson” to a local butcher.

The initial interview caused some second thoughts in the back of Alek’s mind, and he spilled the beans to Freyja, unbeknownst to Morelli. Freyja then went to have a talk with the butcher, and convinced him to skip town for a couple of days.

Now night is falling, and Morelli is preparing to approach the Butcher’s shop.

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Hamburg, May 14

So your friendly neighborhood Sorcerer-Assassin decided that it wasn’t worth it to explore the house/shop of the butcher he was supposed to scare into silence after he found a notice from the town council declaring it to be vacated and handed over to the Honourable Guild of Butchers. The party set sail, weathered two small storms and made it into Hamburg. Once there, they made contact with the harbormaster and arranged for passage on a small ship that was due in to port in about six days. Then they decided to buy some horses (which were cheap), some saddles, (which were not), provisioned up (in theory) and set off.

After an hour on the highway northeast towards Lubeck, the party turned off onto a smaller road that will take them up into Denmark. Another 3 hours and they stopped for lunch under some shade trees at a crossroad. They traveled on again for another couple hours, when they noticed their new horses getting a little jumpy. A stand of trees nearby was investigated, and the party came unexpectedly upon a shadowy figure, which leapt out of the copse and drained some strength out of the barbarian by it’s cold, ethereal touch.

However, the thing didn’t seem inclined to leave the copse of trees, and the party retreated a moderately safe distance to make a plan. They decided to experiment to find the limits of the thing’s small demesne, and in so doing Alek discovered a body under some shrubs in the midst of the trees. He then retreated to retrieve the shovel from his horse, and Freyja charged in while the shade was busy chasing Hilde.

XP for storm damage: XP for “wight fight” (so far):
Freyja: 40 20
Hildegaard: 40 20
Aleksandr: 128 152
Morelli: 96 48
Klaus: 136 18

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Slesvig, Tuesday, May 18
to Haderslev on Thursday, May 20

With the newly met Druid’s assistance, the shadow is laid to rest and the party continues on towards their goal.

After passing into the country of the Danes, the party makes quick time, pausing only long enough to rest at night and ignoring all other business but that which is necessary. Well, mostly, anyway.

Morelli and Oliver decide to investigate some business in the back alleys of Kiel, and manage to make contact with a caravan of Gipsys, arranging to make a trade deal with the next town. Freyja, Hilde, and Klaus ride on ahead of their erstwhile companions.

In the next town, Flensborg, they meet with one of the Hanseatic League officials in the town and arrange for him to purchase the tiny, red, carved horses the Gipsys are selling along with their “fresh Chinese spices.” Oliver also secures for himself entry level membership on the Hanseatic League roster.

Meanwhile, on their ride towards Olso, Klaus discovers an ancient underground structure of some sort. The ladies investigate, and discover it is inhabited. By very large weasels. They leave, while noting that some air is passing through the underground mysterious location. By evening they are safe inside the walls of Haderslev, and Oliver and Morelli manage to catch up to them there.

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Outside Haderslev, Friday, May 21
The Caves Below

After discovering the apparent system of caves below the tomb of some forgotten hero, the party encountered thick-skinned, aggressive gray growling beasts who wield stone battleaxes. One was slain in the room with the pool, and another in the storage cave where he had run to after his axe broke in his hand.

Then, in the vine chamber, two more were slain, but not before sturdy Klaus took a punishing blow which destroyed his armor, but also broke the axe that struck him. Freyja then ran up and shot an arrow clean through the head of what was apparently their leader, for he had a shield strapped to his arm.

The one whose axe was broken had run off, deeper into the cave, and the hoots and growls of several more of the beasts are slowly increasing in volume from the corridor.

Quickly formulating a plan, the party takes up positions on either side of the tunnel entrance into the cavern. Soon a small horde of the gray, thick skinned cave dwellers rushes in to attack. Klaus and Morelli cut into them, but are quickly overwhelmed and pushed back. Freyja fires into the boilling mass and allows them down a bit. The beasts seem unaffected by Hilde’s magic, but Morelli falls back and begins pelting the creatures with arcane fire. Just in time too, as Klaus soon finds himself in dire straights.

Then the tide of battle begins to turn. One hulking menace drops his axe down the chasm lined with vines, another misses Klaus and slays his compatriot instead. One by one the grim foes are slain, but only at great cost. Morelli and Klaus both end the fight at 0 HP.

The group then decides to leave the cave below the tomb, head back to town to rest and heal. They resolve to finish exploring the cave as soon as possible tomorrow.

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The Road to Aarhus, Wednesday, May 26

After resting up, selling off loot and resupplying, the party heads north once again. On the north side of Kolding the group was stopped by bandits looking to secure funds to aid a rebellion of Norway against the “Danish Oppressors.” Upon learning that the ladies were in fact Norwegian themselves (and partly elvish to boot), they were given a letter to deliver to a member of the resistance. Upon opening it while safely ensconced in their room in Vejle, they found it was addressed to them, and invited them to join the rebellion by meeting under a certain landmark on a certain date three weeks hence. The letter was burned.

Tuesday night otherwise was spent uneventfully in Vejle, and then the next afternoon, soon after passing through Horsens they met a brightly-colored vardoo driven by an enthusiastic Frenchman selling magical wares… or so he claimed. Nothing was purchased.

Then, a couple of hours later, the party came upon an apparently abandoned wagon filled with bolts of cloth. One of the wheels was broken, and it was soon discovered that a child of about ten was “guarding” the wagon, waiting for the return of his father. The father was described as great big, with black hair and a red nose. He has been absent since mid-morning. The party waited with the child for an hour, and are beginning to grow anxious.

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Aalborg, Friday May 28, 1550
Of Mercers and Mages

Having resolved to go into Arhus to find the erstwhile parent of the boy Arne, the party makes short work of finding Carter street, and asking around find Yosef drunk in the “Greased Axle” public house. Hilde and Freyja take the man out and promptly duck him in the horse trough. A dwarf, the only other patron in the pub at that time of day, follows to see what is to become of the man at the hands of the two beautiful ladies.

Concerned for the man’s well being, the dwarf (whose name is Griswold Windburn) objects to any ill-treatment of the man, but his pleas for mercy are ignored by the enraged Frejya, who orders hot coffee, which Hilde provides. Yosef suitably sobered (at least enough to roll his wheel down the street), they set off for the wagon. A supper of cold chicken is had by the party, and of dried beef by the dwarf, who followed as well to ensure no undue ill treatment befell the man.

They managed to return to Arhus and secure lodgings before full dark, and set off north once again in the morning.

Upon the road, they met a strange man, Stanislas Galopin, who was apparently following a newly appeared ley line in the sky. The mage was quite genial, and explained about his work, and about the strange appearance of the magical conduit in the sky. It was pointed roughly north-south.

Leaving Stanislas to his research, the party continued to Aalborg, reaching it with plenty of time to secure accommodations. The next morning they checked in at the Guild of Mages, and learned that Stanislas had made provision for them. The coordinator of the ley line surveyors had dinner with the party in the Guild’s dining hall, and explained that they still had very little idea where it could come from or go to, or what purpose it serves.

Morelli also had a meeting with one of the mages, the local dragon specialist, who was able to communicate the concept of some sort of disease that might infect and kill or transform heroes who spend time around a well-established dragon’s horde.

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