“My horse has been stolen!” came the
lament from a stocky, balding man who had just entered the Dancing Basilisk.
Nobody gave him much attention, but his insistent complaints finally drew Gadur Yir’s attention. The fellow shrunk
back as the half-orc turned towards him, then, seeing he wasn’t going to get hit,
he continued: “Blossom is her name, and Freg the Mover is mine.”
“Anything special about your horse?”
Gadur Yir asked, bored out of his skull.
“A five-leaf clover. ... Thank you, Sir, for
taking up my cause! Thank you, thank you!”
“A stolen horse, you say? Does this happen often
in this place?” The question came from a newcomer, a plain-looking man in
nondescript grey clothing.
Yir took a good look at the man’s sword and heavy crossbow, then paused – “Who wants to know?”
“They call me Armand… Armand the Scumbag. Well, some people do. I am a fortune-seeker, looking for companions.”
about the horse also seemed to draw the attention of the lean, melancholy elf
who had been playing his harp in the corner. Gadur Yir noted a long spear and a
tall shield with the image of a crying maiden.
“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lafadriel Hundertwasser, from the
distant west. I have come looking for my brother, Elandir, who was last seen on
half-orc looked up and shrugged: “I know
him… well, knew. His remains rest beneath the ruins of Perladon Manor, brought
down by black magic. He died, along with many others, to a fireball spell.”
sighed. “Alas, poor Elandir! I have come
too late, then – I can’t even bury you. Perhaps I will find more of my people
on this island, and see if I can join them. Until then, I would be hapy to come
with you… just tell me how my brother met his end.”
sat down to talk some more through the evening, and soon, they all agreed to
continue to Baklin together the next day.
sunrise, the newly formed company – Gadur
Yir, Drolhaf Haffnarskørung, Phil the Terror of Turkeys, Lafadriel
Hundertwasser and the taciturn Armand
the Scumbag – left Haghill through the front gate, just as a row of tired
soldiers were returning from the siege of the Singing Caverns. They were
leading a row of chained orcs, some of them clearly from Truglag’s Tavern; they
were also carrying two cartloads of ale barrels and assorted goods. None of the
green-clad men were with them.
“I suggest we should make a small detour. Bramerlic
the Mineral Dealer is still missing, and the soldiers might not have found him
at Truglag’s” Phil recommended.
crossed the blooming fields, carefully avoiding the beekeeper’s hut, and
descended into the caverns. A short expedition showed that Tuglag’s had been
well and truly ransacked: the guardian lynx was slain, and the furniture was
all smashed up. There was nothing of value, although the passage behind the
counter lead to a few more rooms and a secret escape route into the wilderness.
If Bramerlic had ever been held there, he was no longer present.
|The Road to Baklin|
on the road, the company travelled west. After a few hours, they passed the
remains of a primitive village – rotund stone huts conquered by the wilderness,
long abandoned. Finding only the tracks of boars, and not interested in a
confrontation, they decided to continue rather than investigate. Perhaps an
hour from the village, the road crossed a small river.
“Wait! I hear something!” Phil whispered
to the others. “Wings! Great wings!”
scrambled for the undergrowth and hid themselves as well as they could as two great
lizard monsters with enormous wings and long, swan-like necks descended on the
ford. They hissed and drank in large gulps.
“Wywerns!” hissed Lafadriel. “Beware, the stingers at the end of their
tails carry a deadly poison!”
remained silent as the grave as the beasts drank themselves full, and took to
the air again.
“These two were sent by Haldor himself, and
you let them get away!” Phil teased the half-orc.
“I am a little disappointed” nodded
"I wonder if the wyverns are connected to the abandoned manor of the Feranolts on that deserted island. Could they have killed the inhabitants there?" muttered Gadur Yir, mostly to himself.
things didn’t stay quiet for too long. Cries came from the north, beyond the pine
trees, and strange, rasping roars responded to it. The wyverns had met someone
in the woods, and judging from the clamour of weapons, they had met their
“After me!” Gadur Yir cried, swiftly
crossing the pine forest. But by the time they arrived, silence had fallen on
the large clearing where the woods gave way to leafy plants, and they beheld a
scene of horror. The wyverns, slightly bloodied, were feasting on the grisly
remains of a group of Northmen. The only sounds were the snapping of bones and
the tearing of meat as the beasts gorged themselves.
“In the name of Haldor, perish, you wyrms!”
hollered Gadur Yir as he charged the more wounded of the pair, the others
following a bit more cautiously. The half-orc rained blow after blow on the
beasts, but he was struck by one of the deadly stingers, and went pale from the
“Githoniel Elbereth, Silendil Mithrill!”
came Lafadriel’s battle cry as he came to his aid, while those who stayed back,
rained arrows and crossbow bolts on the beasts. At last, the two reptilian horrors
were brought down, and they exhaled their evil spirits.
“Let us rest a little, because I feel very,
very bad…” whispered Gadur Yir as he staggered to the nearest tree, and
fell with his back to the thick trunk.
looked far westwards, sighed, and took out his shovel from his backpack. The
others collected the Northmen’s loot: 25 platinum coins – a rare and valuable
haul – a potion, and an old brass sceptre that Phil appraised for 80 gold
pieces, three intact chain shirts (the rest were too chewed up or punctured to
be useful), and a rune-engraved longbow named “Kingfisher”. Armand cut up the
beasts to check if they had something in their gullets but found nothing, while
Phil had carved off some of the scaly skin. They dug shallow graves to bury the
dead while Gadur Yir was fighting for his life, hanging between this world and
the next. He felt his consciousness fade and his vision dim; but before the
spark of life would leave him for good, he felt the touch of a hand over his
heart, and the venom of the beasts being drawn from his blood. Haldor had
performed a miracle for his champion! With that, he drifted into a peaceful,
Yir’s body was too heavy to carry over the shoulder, and he was delirious,
hovering between life and death. Drolhaf Haffnarskørung and Armand the Scumbag
assembled a stretcher from two pieces of wood and a length of rope. They also
searched the half-orc with Phil’s help, but found nothing suspicious in his
pockets. Finally, they returned to the road.
the ford, the road entered deep and dark woods, filled with birdsong. They were
passing through a ravine between two tree-capped hills, when they heard the
merry sounds of a pipe. The source of the unlikely music was a short,
jovial-looking man in weathered green clothes and a feathered cap, sitting on a
fallen tree by a yawning cave entrance and playing a cheerful ditty. Next to
him slept a snoring mound of flesh and feathers – something that looked like a
cross between an owl and a bear. The man smiled and nodded.
“Fair greetings, my good fellows! I am the
man they call the Piper. What brings you here into these woods?”
greeted him cautiously. “We are
travellers, on our way to Baklin.”
“You are on the right way, then!” the man
laughed “Just be careful. The woods are
dangerous around here.”
cast a sidelong glance at the sleeping owlbear. “Could you tell us about these dangers?”
Piper laughed. “Sure I would! Consider,
for instance, this owlbear. It is fast asleep, but if I were to stop playing
this lullaby, it’d get up and become mighty irritated. And suppose someone did
away with the owlbear? Why, the only reason the langomir lurking within this
cave doesn’t come out is because it doesn’t like the smell. Do you understand
eyes narrowed, but he nodded solemnly. The Piper played a little trill, then
smiled like a cat.
“Let’s make it 25 gold pieces for safe
passage, and for another 25, I will tell you a secret.”
the Terror of Turkeys and Armand the Scumbag gasped and quickly traded a glance,
but Drolhaf gestured to them to stop, and counted out the money.
“Very smart! Very smart indeed!” came the
Piper’s response. “Well then. Ask Gadur
Yir about the purpose of his journey. I bet he could tell you some very
interesting things. Oh, and here is another one for free: you are lucky I told you
this, now that bards are scarce on Erillion.”
quickly nodded, said his farewell, and they left the ravine, followed by the
pipe’s merry tunes.
“Wait!” Phil stopped in his tracks. “Gadur Yir – how did he know his name when we
never introduced ourselves?!”
words were followed by an uncomfortable silence, but nobody cared to turn back
the forests thinned and they came to a fork in the road. An old, but fairly
well-maintained signpost pointed back east towards Haghill, southwest towards
Baklin, and northwest towards Barzak Bragoth and Granite Bastion. Drolhaf
looked at the pale, unconscious body of the half-orc.
“The way he looks, we might as well bring him
to the Valley of Barzak Bragoth for his burial. Then again...”
turned towards Baklin, and were at last out of the woods as dusk approached.
Rolling hills and fields of grass stretched to the distance, broken here and
there by tall mounds. When they could no longer go on, they made camp next to
one of these outcroppings, covered with hardy scrubs, and crowned by tumbled
white standing stones. On Phil’s advice, they avoided it, and instead, made
camp in a small depression where they would be hard to see. The hobbit’s
instincts were correct: on the first watch, Armand saw a row of lights creep
towards the mound. He crept up to Drolhaf, and shook him: “Hey, Soap-man! Something’s afoot!” They watched for a while, but
could not make out who was carrying the torches. Waking Lafadriel Hundertwasser,
the elf finally saw them for a company of goblins, perhaps thirty men strong.
They were climbing up the steep incline in an orderly row, and the wind carried
guttural shrieks and rhythmical chanting. They lifted Gadur Yir, and silently
left camp, spending the night at a distance. When dawn broke, they returned to
the scene, only to find the goblins gone. Lafadriel climbed up to the top, but
only the tracks of sandaled feet remained, along with the remains of a bonfire,
broken and charred bones, and two antique bronze daggers. Looking around, he
could see a mound further north.
continued along the road, travelling south through the heath, which was filled
with vicious snakes they could scarcely avoid. Shortly after noon, the highland
began to descend towards the sea, and they could see the white walls of Baklin
surrounding a narrow bay. The city walls were built on an escarpment, with the
massive palace complex on the northern side; below them were rows after rows of
houses until they reached the harbour. At the gates, they paid one gold per
person to enter, and Drolhaf paid five more for a simple city map.
“Would you recommend a place to stay while in
Baklin?” he asked from one of the guards.
“Depends on the price you care to pay. The
fancy kind of travellers go for the Nine
Doors, but that’s too rich for me. Below that are the Golden Plate and the Inn,
both most affordable and almost as fancy. If you want something cheap – the Naked Hound and the Gullet are in the poor part of
town, but you get what you pay for.”
“Where would you go if you had to choose?”
“If I work the western gate, I tend to have a
beer at the Inn. That’s a good place
for travellers. If you fancy a serious eat, the Golden Plate is close to it.”
“Excellent! We might also be looking for the
advice of... well, some kind of wizard. Are there any in Baklin?”
“Why, yes! But he is a very ominous fellow – Slarkeron the Wizard is his name, and
you can find him next to the palace. But beware! It is said his garden is full
of enchanted statues, and those who come to him uninvited will never leave his
“We will keep that in mind. Do you know of a
shrine to Gladuor in the city?”
“That Kassadian god? There are not many
temples in Baklin; ours is not a god-fearing folk. If you are looking for a Kassadian
god, though, you might have luck at the palace of Fantagor the Kassadian. He
is the richest merchant in town, and he lives close to the marketplace.”
“Anything else to keep in mind while in Baklin?”
guard laughed. “If you want my advice, go
down to the harbour and take a good look at the platform near the Lockhouse.”
“I will do” said the barbarian as he
handed another gold piece in the man’s hand.
|The City of Baklin|
made their way down to the city, through the narrow plazas and markets. The
Lockhouse was a tall, ominous building overlooking the waterfront, full of
pulleys and platforms. Guards and accountants were running to and fro on
various errands. The platform they were looking for stood next to the
Lockhouse, a scaffold with a pile of leather sacks and multiple long, hafted
iron maces chained to a central stone pillar. Drolhaf beckoned to a loitering
“What is this odd contraption?”
“That be the Sacker” the swarthy sailor
grinned “They catch a fellow doing
something wrong, they tie him in a sack, and hit him until he moves. Last time
they were sacking Hemlar; now he is in the mortuary with the knights.”
“They aren’t too keen on trials around here,
are they” mused Phil.
“No they ain’t, but a good look at this thing
straightens out most never-do-wells before they stray. Didn’t help Hemlar,
“You must be from a far land, stranger! They
be the knights of Yolanthus Kar, who guard the dead in the valley of Barzak
Bragoth. Here they only have a mortuary, and they take the bodies up to the
“Right. Do you know where I could find an
armoursmith? I want the best one there is in this city.”
sailor guided them to a small shop on the side of the marketplace. The Cauldron & Anvil was busy with the
coming and going of several apprentices, working on different metal objects
under the hands of their master, Ragorlak
Othmar. Othmar wore a mask covering half his face, and when Phil asked
about his best wares, he showed them the ingots of dragon iron he was working
with, as well as a row of breastplates hammered from Arxine cobalt-steel.
“See anything you like? We can fashion them
to your size with a little work.”
“I am looking for something else. Take a look
at these things” he unrolled the length of wyvernskin. “I’d like you to make these into a suit for
looked over the material. “It will not be
easy. ‘Tis a fine piece, but damaged, makes the work harder.”
“As you can guess, it didn’t hand it over
peacefully. Can you do the work or not?”
“It can be done, especially for your size. It
will make for a very light breastplate that won’t hinder your movement, but
protect well against blows. I can make it for 500 gold pieces... or if you
like, I’d buy the skin for 400.”
shook his head, and started counting out the advance. “I need the suit. Have it ready when possible – I will be back for it in
a few days with the rest, and until then, keep the skin as a guarantee.”
Lady Callodric maintained her
household in an elegant house next to the western wall. The antique residence
had belonged to the Count of Tullomarg, who was back in the Twelve Kingdoms on
account of one of the many power struggles that had divided the place into a
myriad mutually hostile territories. The Lady’s household included her own
guard, servants, and Harkell the Butler,
who received the good news of the enchanted flower’s arrival with the same world-weary
contempt as anything else. He led the company to a cool little side garden to
wait for the lady, and ordered a maid to bring refreshments while he conferred
with her mistress.
Lady was in her early fourties, an elegant sight in her velvets and silks,
mixing the fur-lined cloak and hunting boots typical of the Twelve Kingdoms
with the more refined Kassadian aesthetic. She nodded courteously as she entered
“Harkell reports you have good news for me.”
“Indeed we do, my lady!” Drolhaf bowed
and beckoned to Phil, who produced the enchanted flower, still intact and
glowing with an inner light.
“How beautiful it is! Old Tomurgen was right
when he described it to me. It is a most remarkable thing.”
“Know it, oh Lady, that it was costly, too:
we had obtained it at the price of multiple lives, and after grave dangers.”
“Your bravery will not be left unrewarded”
the Lady rang a little bell to call Harkell. “I will pay you the agreed-upon sum of 600 gold pieces, and for your
heroic deeds, I will also give you a magical potion – it contains the spirit of
heroes, and you will find it very useful in your further adventures.”
sat for a while, talking about all kinds of subjects – the odd customs of the
island’s burial rites, and the dark ambitions that seemed to lurk below
Erillion’s calm surface. Lady Callodric mentioned she would have more work for
the company soon, but she would first have to consult the bard Tomurgen – he had
spoken of the significance of the enchanted flower, but his further words were
still unclear. She would send for the company at the Golden Plate if anything came
up. She was also troubled by the disappearance of several travelling trunks,
brought from her home by ship and containing her personal effects. The trunks
were due to arrive any time now, but they were missing. Agreeing to call on her
if they learned anything about the mysterious cargo, they bid their farewell,
and – dividing the sacks of gold among Drolhaf, Phil, and the still unconscious
Gadur Yir – made for the Golden Plate and new adventures...
date 20 May 2017).
Referee’s notes: The first fully
successful instance of divine intervention in the campaign: Gadur Yir was
almost a goner, but was saved at the last moment by Haldor’s protective hand.
He is still in a rough shape, and needs healing to recover properly, but the
longest-lived character of the Inheritance campaign is still kicking.
session kind of marks the end of the second arc of the series. After bringing
back the enchanted flower (with a long stopover in Haghill) to Lady Callodric,
there are a lot of directions the game could develop. Alas, this will have to
wait a bit – we will probably have only one or two sessions until September –
but, as they say, “Season 3 will begin
after the break.”