Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

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Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#1 Post by BrianSmaller » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:10 am

Well, I think my players have become too complacent - everything going their way, silver in their pockets, s fine ship and a crew of stout rogues.

So the temporary repairs that they had done in the previous autumn finally sprung and they had to put into Asax (on the east coast of Orbaal). A quick look at the Orbaal module gives a description of the lord of Asax as being coarse, brutal and prone to violent outbursts).

My players pulled their ship in and made themselves known. The valhakar of Asax, Hjarn Atejaal knew their father from the Thay Raids. My players are from a clan that holds the thran of Genheim - except I have changed the clan name to Keldarj. They have to spend two weeks give or take a few days in Asax so they settle in. The crew are quartered in the village in a few houses that the Lord requisitions from his thralls. The PCs are staying in the valhakar's hall.

I decided that the Atejaal's foul temper was mostly due to his terrible gout and they got to see him thrash a few thralls and servants. On a personal level the PCs got on well enough with him. His son, and hier apparent was a different story.

I had recently watched the Thirteenth Warrior so modelled the son in many ways on Prince Wigliff. He was an Agrikan convert, slimy and rude with a coterie of followers. Anyways, one of the party is a shield maiden and he started making remarks about her. With some egging on from his followers it got out of hand and one of the other PCs stood up and got into a shoving match with one of the "prince's" follwers. A small brawl broke out which was stopped by the Lord's huscarles and the prince ended up with a bloodied nose from Eydis (the shield maiden) having head butted him.

It got smoothed over as a result of "ale" and "youthful hijinks".

With their ship almost ready - but not quite - the party were invited out into the hills hunting. Only one of them had Riding skill was it was quite funny gaming them trying to look like they knew what they were doing while holding on for dear life. Several boars (and a sow) were speared and one character actually got a feral bull. It was quite nifty as it was flushed from a thicket and charged him. He set his spear but missed and got shouldered head over heels as the bull ran past. It turned from other hunters and ran back over the player. He managed to dodge to one side and not able to reach his spear he hacked it with his sword and mortally wounded the bull.

After a picnic lunch the hunting party proceeded to chase a rather magnificent stag. As this was on horseback they soon got seperated as the chase.

Two of the PCs were trying to find their way back when they heard a horse whinny and also what they thought was someone crying in pain. They topped a small ridge and saw horses, and one man lying on the ground writhing holding his guts. He had a knife embedded in them. There were four other men bending their shieldmaiden comrade over a trunk. Three were holding her and the fourth was either raping her or about to.

She had been jumped by the prince and his men. She managed to knife one (apart from a hunting spear it was her only weapon) but got knocked down.

Her two comrades, seeing this ran down and laid into the rapists. Skeld the Pilot felled three after an exchange of blows and Ragnar cut down the guy whose pants were around his ankles as he tried to run away. This was the prince.

One other Pc and another local also happened on the scene when they heard sword play and the PC failed to take in what had happened. The local however did spurred off and got away.

The session ended with them rescuing their comrade, and now wondering what the hell they should do. The final PC, the party leader, was actually with the Ateejaal when this occurred and knows nothing of it.

I was a little concerned about the content but decided that this is supposed to be a gritty campaign. If someone wants to have a female character then there are real dangers. When the PCs raided a village in Rethem there was plundering and rapine and they thought nothign of it. The boot was definately on the other foot. I am not sure how this one is going to play out.

As an aside - this was the first time that they had ever fought without armour and shields and noone had more than clothes and a cloak on. Wounds knocked people down very quickly. I think it sobered them and made them appreciate their good mail.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#2 Post by macgorgor » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:31 am

Wow! This is good saga-in-progress material! :D

A few ideas to bounce around: On the PCs side, the Ljârl thing to do is to go straight to the father and tell the whole story. Then on his side, the Ljârl thing to do would be to pardon the PCs after settlement of a compensation for his loss (man-silver, or better yet, prince-gold). Of course such leniency could spur the Agríkan faction in the clan (if one exists, of sufficient size) to stage some kind of coup (underhanded or open, as their strength allows) to replace the sick, weakened and isolated válhakâr by one from their ranks (if they have a substitute for the one they were patiently grooming, now deceased thanks to the PCs). Now if Hjarn doesn't do the Ljârl thing, there's still possibility of fleeing after a rescue by the crew and their leader.

Fleeing is a good way of eventually being declared outlaw in all of Orbáal and perhaps also of starting one or more of those generation-spanning blood-feuds that also make good skaldic material. Of course, they'd have to steal a ship to have any reasonable chance of escape...

Then, fleeing to the protection of another lord is an intermediate but also somewhat risky proposal, the PCs may with bad luck become hostages or pawns in inter-clan politics. Still if for one reason or another they were felt they are denied a chance at fair hearing in Ásax, the seeking-refuge-and-arbitration part may be the safest thing to do provided they have someone powerful or independent enough to turn to.
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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#3 Post by Nightly Knight » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:57 am

Loved Thirteenth Warrior. It sounds like it was off to a good start, fun and exciting. So will there be pursuit and vendetta? Ideally at some awkward moment for them?

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#4 Post by BrianSmaller » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:56 pm

I am still figuring this one out. Life would have been easier for them if they had not let one 'witness' escape.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#5 Post by BrianSmaller » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:46 am

This situation has progressed. One player went in search of their ship's captain while the other's returned poste haste to Asax and started preparing their ship to leave. The locals were getting VERY suspicious, and then got seriously upset when some of the ir crew appeared in armour and took up defensive position to protect those who were loading the ship.

Meanwhile, the Captain was found, fortunately before the lone witness met up with the hunting group that included the PC Captain and Lord Atejaal. He told the captain what had happened and he decided that fleeing was the best option so they snuck away from the main group and when out of sight rode off. They did run into the 'witness' on the way down the hill trail to Asax - he was coming the other way tryign to find Lord Atejaal to tell him his 'son had been foully murdered'. He got foully murdered himself as it turned out.

The Atejaal clansmen at the village could not really do much to prevent the PCs and their ship leaving. The PCs had 26 armed men, and while Asax could field more than that any attempt to stop the PCs leaving would have caused serious casualties to both sides. I decided that in the absense of Lord Atejaal - who was still hunting or searchign for 'lost guests' in the hills - his man at the Thran was not going to order the PC group detained when it could have cost him a dozen men killed.

anyways, the PCs got away, sailed to their home thran and dumped the bad news on their clan's doorstep - they had probably started a clan feud. Their thrangaard had a fit. In the end they decided that they would approach the King in Geldeheim to mediate - offer weregild. If that was not going to be accepted their own clan would declare them outlaw to try to preserve themselves. They are too weak to take on the whole Atejaal clan.

I was looking at Anglo-Saxon weregild amounts and man, they are big sums of money. Assuminng things go well for them in Geldeheim - and by that I mean that they are not killed - they may well be out of Orbaal for some time.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#6 Post by Takeda » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:59 am

Very cool ... sounds like the kinds of things that happened in the game I used to play in ... and may start happening the game I'm starting to play in. 8)
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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#7 Post by White Lion » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:05 am

Hi Brian, just wondering how your party fares and if you have any updates since your last post?

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#8 Post by BrianSmaller » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:32 pm

No - we have missed a few sessions due to my work committments and the fact that I have taken this week off to watch First XV College Rugby. Back to it next week. Will post an update then.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#9 Post by sard » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:29 am

i know the 7-days week,
i know the tendays of hârn,
but i have no idea about your weeks in Aotearoa :mrgreen:
everybodyTHINKShimselfSOwellSUPPLIEDwithCOMMONsenseTHATevenTHOSEmostDIFFICULTto PLEASEneverDESIREmoreOFitTHANtheyALREADYhave. RENEdescartes.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#10 Post by BrianSmaller » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:30 am

Yeah OK. I have been a bit slack. Only had one session since I last updated.

Back in Geldeheim the players and the Atejaal's, presented their cases to the king. A weregild amount was decreed, which was beyond their ability to pay and they got three years outlawry. However, the Atejaals were not in the mood for mere cash so there were a few judicial challenges. Two were to be fought in front of the king, and one PC picked a fight with another Atejaal clan member which was taken outside. No need for formalities.

To make it more interesting the Atejaal huscarles fought in armour and the party shieldmaidens in tunics. The judicial fights were over in seconds as the two shieldmaidens in the party absolutely dealt to their foes. One went berserk and it was over in seconds as she chopped her opponent into gobbets. The other did a lot of dancing around and pincked her opponent to death.

Now the party has to high tail it out of Orbaal - they have three months to leave. Now to get my Venarive modeule out.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#11 Post by BrianSmaller » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:46 am

Hi Chaps. After a hiatus of a few years and the death of one of my players, I am restarting my Whale Road campaign in the New Year. Really looking forward to it. Have not done any RPGing for several years and have the itch back.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#12 Post by Shagwell » Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:42 am

Good luck Brian - on the plus side, plenty of new maps/material on Venarive from KP since 2010... 8)
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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#13 Post by MDMann » Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:44 am

Cool, Whanganui nice area. Welcome back.
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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#14 Post by Paul Lehman » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:46 am

I too appreciate these sort of updates on campaigns where there is talk bout why this and that was done for game play reasons. Thanks for the necro.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#15 Post by BrianSmaller » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:07 pm

I must be Morgathian because i have resurrected this from the dead. Got a quick play tonight of one last combat at Geldeheim then the party has to gather their gear for three years Outlawry from Orbaal. GOt a big gaming session this weekend. The guys are all coming to my farm. I have had to hunt out my Harn stuff and prepare the first Harn session we will have played in six years. Real life and laziness has got in our way.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#16 Post by Leitchy » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:33 pm

Welcome back to the fold once more, my friend!

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#17 Post by BrianSmaller » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:09 pm

I was never that far away.

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Re: Whale Road Campaign - party in big time trouble.

#18 Post by BrianSmaller » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:47 am

First off we fought a single challenge combat that had come up at the King's Hall. Slekd the Pilot and an a Tareeskald ship owner with whom he had issues fought. Skeld came out victorious but ended up with a broken elbow from a shield bash. When it finally healed he had 2 points of Dex lost as a permanent injury. Given we have not played Harn for a long time it was a reminder about how dangerous combat was.

The party hightailed it from Geldeheim to Genheim to get their ship provisioned for a journey to Ivinia. They decided that it would be a good time to go to the Ilbengaad Festival. They also picked up two more characters - a distant cousin from Seldenbaal who had been fostered with their clan head. A combat machine Huscarle and a cousin who is a very good forester and tracker.

Long story, they sailed to Tavu. Went to see the Oracle of Lokis and got some enigmatic and vague prophecies. From there they have decided to head to Froyahaim. Skeld comes from there (he is a Storzar). Heading through the islands on the way to the mouth of Leimenfjord they were jumped by two warboats who rushed out from behind an island and caught them in a dangerous spot. There was a lot of endurance rolls and some very good seamanship rolls which managed to stuff up the attackers plan of sandwiching them between two ships and instead the party managed to run their bow aboard one while the other was way out of position. Asjold Keld the huscarle leaped aboard the enemy ship laying about with his axe. Charys the Shieldmaiden/captain followed, tripped on the heaving deck and fell on her face. A vicious ship fight ensued. The enemy ship was forced down on it's side from the weight of the player's ship, the gunwhale almost in the water. Most of the PCs piled aboard the enemy while the Pilot kept eye on the other ship's progress and Ivarr the Tracker nailed people with his arrows.

They PCs were lopping off legs left and right - one of those nights when every other hit location roll came up Calf. Anyway to cut a long story short, poor old Skeld who has been recovering fro his busted elbow wore a thrown spear in the face. It skimmed across his nose, giving him a serious wound. With the other ship approaching they piled back on their own ship, backed water and came free from the ship and skedaddled while the enemy licked their wounds.

At the moment they are sailing into Leimenfjord. Welcome to Ivinia.

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Whale Road Campaign - Adenturing in Ivinia

#19 Post by Brian_Smaller » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:38 am

My old playing group (minus those who have passed on to Yashain) gathered at my place for a weekend of gaming. My son came home as well and joined in picking up one of the NPCs for the duration. It was quite fun roleplaying from 0900 in the morning until midnight - only stopping for food breaks (those slow cooked home-killed pork roasts are delicious) and restocking the ale fridge. Was like being at Uni again except the food was better.

The party had made it's way to Mt Ilbengaad and partook in the annual festival. With the ructions going on in central Ivinia numbers were down. From their crew there were six PCs and six NPCs. They only lost one person (an original NPC who was dying anyway of some consumptive cough and they had to carry him up the mountain) but most acquired a wound or two. At the end of the day their group was with a small band who held the summit. It was interesting that all the real fighters in the party decided to ditch their mail and stick with woollens and furs. Less encumbering given that they were all suffering from the altitude.

After the festival they made their way back to Sulabin where the rest of their crew was waiting with their warboat. The Idain had closed the lake and were not permitting anyone to leave. Some questioning around town and they discovered that the Idain had thrown their lot in with the Dagen of Ilbanvaal. As it was in the middle of Bjarri's Feast, the party made a major contribution to the feast and used the cover of the feast to get their boat in the water and slip away.

They had decided to go back to Froyaheim and pick up one party member who had not wanted to make the pilgrimage and perhaps throw in their lot with the Storzars (the PC pilot is a Storzar). When they arrived the thran was under siege and had after landing they discovered that the ilbanvaalers had attacked, but withdrawn the bulk of the army to counter a raid by the Daas. Their information about the Idain confirmed intelligence Storzar had already heard

The decision to evacuate the thran was made and the PCs took an overloaded boatload of refugees to Ygesdram. They managed one more trip before Erling Storzar personally fired his thran and left. At Ygesdram much talk and argument about the best course of action was had. The PCs, who are from Orbaal, were questioned considerably about Harn, Orbaal and Rethem. With the Tejaals, Idains and Ilbanvaalers advancing on them Daas and Storzar decided to leave Mengalana and seek their clan fortunes in foreign climes. With an unknown boat and a crew of foreigners, the PCs volunteered to scout Leimenfjord for the Stahler fleet which was rumoured to be gathering to finally attack the Ilbanvaalers or to finally squash the Storzars and their allies.

Scouting towards Vulenheim, they were intercepted by a squadron of Stahler boats and playing the ruse of "returning Ibengaad pilgrims" (which they technically were) they actually entered Vulenheim where they offered some information up - that the Idains and Tejaals had committed treason and that they had heard that Storzars had fled their clan. They were offered mercenary service in the Stahler fleet. Given that they were playing a pretty dangerous game here they trod lightly. They discovered that the scuttlebutt was that the Storzar was massed to attack Vulenheim and Pelyn in revenge - hence the Sthaler fleet was being mobilized. Once those upstarts were dealt with the King would take the war to the Ibanvaalers. Their first job was a patrol up the fjord to see what the Storzar fleet was up to. Three boats in total. Of course they were ambushed by a Daas/Storzar flotilla. Finally displaying their true colours they attacked the nearest Stahler warboat and helped the Starzar/Daas defeat the other two ships. It was a little touch and go at first because the Storzar ships had no idea that the PCs ship was a "friend" and the PCs actually took some damage before their bonafides were established.

What they did get out of this was another boat - slightly bigger than their own 60' warboat. Storzar had not actually rewarded them monetarily so he gave the ship to them. The plan to break out of Leimenfjord and sail to Harn was finally decided but exactly how to do it given then two bottlenecks of Vulenheim and Pelyn was a puzzler. A hard fight was expected and casualties were expected to be high. Now as an aside, one of the players in my group (a lady as it happens), and all her knowledge of Harn comes solely from our sessions. The characters were pouring over charts and she said - is there a way or place that the ships could be portaged across a neck - like here - while pointing to the narrow gap at the head of Heizfjord. In Roland's future history posts that is what happened. I thought it was quite funny.

But...it was decided that a diversion would be required. It was decided to have a volunteer force sail fire ships into the harbour at Vulenheim and the PCs were going to slip past Vulenheim and stage hit and run raids along the coast to try to drag attention towards the sea.
The PCs had a second warboat so split themselves across the two ships, took some of their experienced crew across and filled the oar benches with mostly young Storzar and Daas clansmen who for the most part had little experience. They got two days to try to shake the crews into some sort of order.
So the big day came and the fleet set out, warboats ahead to try to stop any scouts reporting their position. The weather was in their favour with mists and a lot of rain, reducing visibility. From the position of the PCs they slipped past Vulenheim and saw the glow of flames in the distance so hoped that the fire ships had done their worst.
Next came the hit and run raid along the shores of Leimenfjord. They would beach, attack and burn and retreat. They faced barely any opposition until one PC and three NPCs encountered an old man with no armour, a sword and shield. Those old retired huscarles have to end up somewhere it seems as this one NPC badly wounded the PC, two of the NPC raiders and killed a third. This was also the first time that a PC got an infected wound – and weirdly it was his minor wound. His serious wound healed perfectly. One of the wounded NPCs died of infection but the PC managed to beat it.
The PCs sailed a circuitous route to Stimby where they hoped to find the Storzar and Daas fleet. They had credentials from the Storzar and his father in law Gargaan Rald was somewhat stunned at these events. He went with the PCs up the fjord to see if the Storzar/Daas fleet had managed the portage. They found them almost across and with the aid of Rald clansmen and extra muscle were able to get most of their ships across. A rear guard had been fanatically trying to hold off the Stahler fleet, which had defeated the few ships left to hold them up and was preparing to land and finish off the survivors and pursue the refugees. Apparently they had, at the last minute, turned their prows towards Leimenfjord and sailed. To where and for what purpose nobody knows.
The weekend session ended with the PCs assisting in getting the ships of the Storzae/Daas fleet ready for the open sea and the PCs preparing to head back to Harn to take word of developments to firstly 1. Their home thran of Genheim, then to Arathel and finally to the Storzand’s of Pled.

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