El Vago's 7th Sea Campaign Converted to Honor + Intrigue

The Golden Head Rush

After a few days journey, the party makes it back to San Gustavo. Each PC makes a report to their superior who they are surprised to find waiting in the city for them. (Quinn is debriefed by General Cristian Acedo de Lopez del Torres, while “El Vago” himself appears to Luis and Diego). Both however have essentially the same mission briefing (unknown to the PCs they are in fact, the same person) so I run it as if all of them are there, turning my swivel chair back and forth between the Players to sort of represent a cut-scene conversation that is not taking place simultaneously.

What their superior has to tell them is bad news, however. The Royal Army has been suffering from a series of mutinies. Aparrently, the soldiers have been unpaid for the past 6 weeks, and things are only likely to get worse. Good King Sandoval wants to pay his brave soldiers, however the creditors are now refusing to lend any more money to the crown, whose finances have been tapped out by the war as it was. During all this, Cardinal Verdugo has offered that the Holy Inqusition will happily donate money to see the troops are paid. El Vago/The General sees this as a power play by Verdugo to consolidate more power in his own hands while discrediting the king even further. Furthermore, he has a feeling that the Inqusiiton may have something to do with those creditors suddenly cutting the king off… Needless to say, Castille needs money if it is going to defend itself from the Montaigne without selling itself to the Inquisition. The story of the Tablet and All Seeing Eye and the Golden Head is no secret. The inquisition loves publicizing the “confessions” of captured “heretics” like Edmund. When it was discovered that Edmund was alive and well, word got around. So it is no surprise that El Vago knew about it. Indeed, it seems that there are quite a few new ships in the port as well these days, and the PCs have felt like they’re being watched all the time… So the General / El Vago gives the PCs a mission: for the realm and their king, they must try to find this Golden Head. The Explorer’s Society has arranged a ship to go on an expedition to find it, and the PCs are invited to come along: after all they have experience with Syrneth Ruins now, and saved the lives of two of their members. In exchange for helping the Explorer’s find the Golden Head, the Explorer’s Society will offer to buy them out of their share of the Golden Head (they want to study it, not melt it down for the gold). This could be just the cash injection that Castille needs. It will be a few weeks still before Edmund is fit to travel by sea, however, and they’ll need time besides to figure out how to use the Eye with the Tablet to discern their destination. In the meantime, more and more unsavory “merchant ship captains” have been arriving in port. The PCs noticed themselves being followed by a pair of Vendel Twins who tried to bribe them to sell them a map to the treasure, agreeing to pay them a share of the treasure when they recover it. Most of the PCs took this Vendel for some kind of a rich dandy, until a Vesten came into the tavern and tried to bury an axe in the Vendel’s head. He quick-drew a pistol and shot the great viking between the eyes and he fell dead at his feet. “Barkeep; have somebody clean this s**t up off the floor!”. The Vendel then paid for the drinks, and tipped his hat, asking the PCs to remember his offer. However Quinn decided instead that they would auction off the map to the highest bidder. This is where the session ended, with preperations underway for an auction to take place. I have no idea what they’re planning to do during this auction, since they themselves don’t know where the final destination is, however the potential bidders don’t know that, now do they?
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The Castillian Inquisition!

So the Heroes had stumbled onto the inquisition. Knight Inquisitor Sergio Aldana y Montenegro demanded that Rachel Longfellow surender herself and all “heretical” Syrneth artifiacts they recovered from the ruins, and in exchange they would be taken to Vaticine City where they would receive a “fair trial”. If they refused, they would be executed here and now (along with this other fellow tied to the stake).

Luis pretended to comply, but had readied a concealed knife for the moment he got close enough, walking forward with his hands up (the knife was attached to the back of his hand). He then held his action… then

Rachel was faltering; the horribly beaten man tied to the stake was in fact, her boyfriend (this whole expedition was a plan by her to bring her boyfriend’s kidnapper out of hiding). Before she could surrender, however, Diego charged on his horse at full tilt right at the Knight Inquisitor. He lept over the inquisitor’s head, with a half twist and a flip; stuck the landing, and immediately began a flurry of attacks pushing the stunned inquisitor back (in game mechanics terms, the player rolled a Mighty Success on the roll to leap from the charging mount successfully. Following the rules, a mighty success in combat for a non-damaging action gives +1 Advantage and also some additional benefit. I allowed a free extra action for it. So the player attacked with bladework. The Inquistor yielded advantage. Then the player decided to “Press the Advantage” and burned a point of advantage for another attack after taking his regular attack. So 3 attacks were launched from this single turn! He ended up yielding 2 Advantage and then having no choice but to take the damage from the final attack. However, the Inquisitor’s armor completely soaked the damage from the final attack. Quinn, who had been hiding in the woods setting up an ambush (against another squad of Defenders of the faith who were also planning to attack from ambush themselves) changed his corse of action and used the Mad Jack Glamour knack to walk out from behind the wooden stake and toss the burning torch that was sitting next to it in the river. He then used the same ability to go back to his hiding spot. The guards standing nearby noticed nothing. Montenegro attacked Diego, and managed a mighty success on his own with the Beat maneuver, but failed to disarm Diego with it. However, he did regain +1 Advantage and also forced Diego to yield 2 (with ANOTHER Mighty Success) which now made them on even footing as each now had 2 Advantage remaining. Montenegro fought his way away from the edge of the cliff, forcing Diego to roll back away from the savage swipes of his heavy serpentine sword of Solomon. Diego found himself backing INTO a group of Defenders of the Faith, however. He was surrounded on all sides. He also managed to defend himself from an assault by four of them WHILE fighting the Inquistor at the same time! He truly was living up to the title of “Master” in this fight! One of the Knight Inquistors with a Halberd decided to make an attack on Luis at that moment, and Luis responded by managing to grab the Halberd and use it as leverage (against a nearby tree) to FLING the inquisitor into the river. Rachel, seeing what was going on made a bee-line for Edmund, her betrothed, and used her whip to grab a Defender of the Faith by the neck and fling him into the river. She then dismounted and prepared the begin cutting the ropes. The ambushing group of Defenders of the Faith fired on the party, but missed (thanks to several Fortune Points) while the halberdier commanding them slid down the hill to fight beside Montenegro (basically replacing the one who went over the falls). When his Defenders of the Faith followed suit the next round (their vision was impaired by smoke from their current position; smokeless powder doesn’t exist yet), they ended up losing their balance and lost their round skidding down the side of a hill. Each phase of combat, I had anyone in the river roll or be moved one square closer to the edge of the falls. All failed. The halberdier found himself screaming as he fell over the side. I said that he managed to use his halberd to catch himself between two rocks about 100 feet further down. The Defender of the Faith was not as lucky and landed on the sharp rocks at the bottom.

The tide began to turn in the Heroes’ favor. Rachel handed Edmund a sword, and despite crippling injuries visited upon him by the inquisition, the shear distilled revenge / murderous rage within him allowed him to cut down several Defenders of the Faith, while Rachel casually shot another one in the head. Diego then got off another impressive series of attacks on Montenegro, who then asked “Who ARE you… I must know” to Diego. Diego gave him his full name. After that, one of Quinn’s arrows hit Montenegro in the cheek. Realizing the odds were against him (fighting Diego one on one would be too much for him; let alone Diego plus several allies) Montenegro shouted “You have not heard the last of Inquisitor Montenegro” and then lept over the falls! Montenegro used one of his “Miracle Dice” to give himself a Fortune Point, which allowed him to automatically make a successful getaway from the heroes, meaning he survived the fall without hitting any jagged rocks.

In fact, I asked one of the players to pick a number between 1 and 10. He picked “7”. I rolled a d10 and it came up 7… so I ruled that Montenegro’s fall was partly broken by the other Inquisitor who was holding onto some rocks below. At the top of the falls, this left Halberdier #2 and a few Defenders of the Faith. Luis demanded their surrender, and the Halberdier agreed, but the Defenders continued to fight on, though they were quickly defeated by Diego. Questioning the halberdier, they discovered that Montenegro possessed a Syrneth Tablet that he suspected was to be used in conjunction with the “All Seeing Eye”. The inquisition believes there are some things man was not meant to know, and planned to destroy them both together. After capturing and interrogating Edmund (he was the original owner of the tablet) they found out about his destination up into the mountains to search the ruins looking for the Eye. They also knew that Edmund suspected that the Eye and Tablet would reveal the greatest Syrneth treasure ever imagined: the golden head of Korlak ur-Nagath. A few weeks later, Rachel came looking for Edmund, and unable to find him went looking for the Eye herself in hopes of bringing Edmund’s captors out of hiding. The PCs were the strong and able party of adventurers she needed to take on the kidnappers (as well as the ruins).
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Syrneth Ruins Part 2

The Heroes recovered another gem along in a room that was filled with seering heat; the body of a dead Syrneth monster (some manner of gigantic centipede creature). The creature was coiled around a clutch of eggs (the source of the heat in the room) and also a gem. Luis decided that the threat those eggs might pose was not worth the possible sale value of them, and decided not to try to carry them out.

The Heroes also figured out how to get the correct gem from the three armed statue. Seeming to have most of the gems, they move northward where they discovered a band of Vodacce mercenaries (hired by Caligari; they were the ones who laid the boulder trap) finishing off a horde of giant ant-like bio-machines. They have also recovered some gems. They offer to work with the heroes so that the gems can all be placed in the beholder statue. Of course, once the gems were placed inside the beholder statue and a secret door to the “real” treasure was revealed, the mercenaries double crossed the PCs. In the ensuing fight, Diego managed to subdue the leader of the mercenaries into surrender (he was “between the sword and the wall” quite literally). The PCs took their firearms (they left them their swords so they would not be helpless) and left them in the ruins. Luis made sure to warn them “whatever you do; don’t remove those gems from the eye statue”. Within 15 minutes of the party leaving the ruins, they hear the sound of the ruins collapsing in on itself and the beholder statue can be seen flying away! Clearly, the warning to “leave it alone” went unheeded. The treasure they found in the secret compartment consisted of two things: a pair of earings (one white, one black) and a large amber disk (about the size of a frisbee). Inside the amber was a bracelet with all sorts of arcane markings allover it. Looking through the bracelet part of the amber distorts the view of the holder, so the heroes are pretty sure it has some sort of “seeing” power. The earings were discovered to hiss in whatever ear it is worn in. Putting both earings on makes this hiss unbearably loud. Eventually they figure out that if two people wear the earing seperately, they can communicate with one another remotely. Rachel is content to let them have the earings, but warns them that syrneth artifacts often have some sort of downside to their use; there may be somebody else listening too, or the earings may burn out after so much time, for instance. Rachel takes possession of the amber disk, which she has begun to refer to as the “All Seeing Eye” from an epic legend. Even though Luis thought he had taken it, when he looked in his pack, it turned out to be a rock (courtesy of some glamour magic, any time Luis tries to steal the disk, he will get a decoy instead). Making their way down the mountain, the heroes round a bend where there is a waterfall. Quinn had gone ahead of them, cutting through trees rather than taking the switchbacks. He sees a group of men readying an ambush, and is sneaking up on them. However, the PCs round the bend just in time to see a Knight Inquisitor who is also a member of the Swords of Solomon standing in the middle of the path. With him are a squad of Defenders of the Faith, and a halberdier as well. Behind him is a man tied to a wooden stake. They weren’t expecting the Castillian Inquisition…
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The Syrneth Ruins Part 1

So, obviously this session was a bit different from most 7th Sea games, because this was a bona-fide dungeon crawl. I made some changes to make this be more of a Syrneth Ruins and less D&D in style, however.

Giving a room by room description of everything would be a bit too much so I’ll just hit the highlights here: So the Heroes first found Room 2, and there was a giant, winged, horned ape in there which charged at them. It took some doing, but the Heroes finally killed it. I used the Demon template from the Honor + Intrigue book for it. They proceded south, where they wisely chose to ignore the room with the “rats” in it. Actually these were not rats, but “boca” creatures that are like combo of kangaroo rats and piranhas, probably was the deadliest encounter of the dungeon. Moving west, they see a horrifying Syrneth “statue” which was the exact likeness of a D&D Xorn. It had several gems fixed onto its body, each was one of its three “eyes”. Luis tried taking the wrong one, and the statue came to life; he quickly replaced it, and the statue ceased moving. They left this room and continued west, then south, crossing an underground river and seeing a large metal statue of a bull. This statue had no eyes, and its body was covered in scales, and I tried my best to convey that it looked like something that belonged in “Pan’s Labyrinth”. It also had a blue gem in its chest, that pulsed and hummed. They left this room without touching the thing. In the next room, they found a slimy green lichen with a feint glow covering the walls. Burning it off the wall, the discovered a green gem and some pictograms underneath which showed the beholder statue and the gems that must be placed in a specific order on it. Next door, they spotted yet another statue, this one of a cyclops holding a spear, ready to hurl. Luis cleverly noticed that there was a trap in the floor, and avoided it, then managed to pry the gem out that was serving as the creature’s eye. Hearing the boca on the other side of the next door, they doubled back and decided to investigate the underground river, and found it led to an underground lake, but there was nothing of further interest to them here. In a bold move, Luis and Quinn yanked the blue gem from the “bull” statue and it chased them right towards the cyclops statue. Leaping over the trap, the cyclops impaled the bull with its spear when it touched the pressure plate in the floor. However, the bull did smash into the cyclops, making a huge “boooooong” sound (the statue was hollow and functioned as a sort of alarm bell). The boca on the other side of the wall began chewing the wall itself trying to get in, and they left in a hurry.
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An Old Flame
Quinn's ex invites the heroes to investigate some ruins...

Act I: A Spark with an Old Flame

Rachel Longfellow, one of Quinn’s old girlfriends, who is also a member of the explorer’s society visits Vaticine City unexpectedly. She seems affable but is also nervous. She says she is on Castille because the society has found what appears to be a big lead on some Ruins within Castille and she means to find them. She’s nervous about being in inquisition territory.

Revealing the possibility of treasure, Luis’ interest is piqued and his skills seem especially useful for this mission. Diego’s sword arm will likely be necessary in case of any ruin monsters, and Quinn’s wilderness skills will be invaluable in finding the place. Further, Los Vagos communicate to Luis and Diego that the should accept the mission if only to find out what is in the ruins (before the inquisition does).

Her predecessor, Edmund (who is also her boyfriend, unbeknownst to Quinn) has gone missing and she suspects the inquisition is behind it. Her true purpose is to be “bait” for the inquisition in the hopes of finding Edmund’s holding place. But she does not tell this to Quinn, instead making it seem he has another shot with her.

Act II: Getting to the Ruins

The ruins are in the Sierra de Hierro (Saw of Iron) mountains of Rancho Soldano, close to the Vodacce border.

Entry to the Mountain Passes
The entryway to the Sierra de Hierro is guarded by a garrison of troops. The PCs have a pass from the General that lets them by (but the Inqusition does not need a pass).

In the Mountains
The weather there is extreme, and as it is fall, cold blasting winds will be blowing through the peaks and crags. It is very cold (but not snowing yet). The PCs purchased adequate supplies for the trip, using money they got from selling the horses and the bounty on the giant Black Wolf.

The Mysterious Cave Paintings
In the mountains, there were some rocks with paintings portraying an ancient culture of fire-worshipers, seemingly ruled by a great king who wields fire from his hands. The cave paintings are very ancient indeed, according to Rachel, over 2,000 years old!

The Boulder Trap
Taking point, Quinn somehow managed not to spot the tripwire across the path. Luis shouted out a warning, but the words left his throat a second too late as a boulder rolled down the hill right at Quinn. Quinn spent a Fortune Point, and ended up with a Close Call instead, as the boulder smashed into a tree adjacent to him. Obviously, someone was here before them; and does not want any followers. Quinn’s tracking was able to reveal there were no less than 5 people up in the place where the boulder dropped from, and their footprints appear later on the path and lead into the ruins.

These guys are not with the Inquisition, however; they are mercenaries employed by Vincenzo Caligari (these mountains border Vodacce after all). And they want access to the ruins for themselves alone.

Next… Arrival at the Ruins…

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Chapter 3: The Prison Break and Escape
Now all the PCs have to do is break Ramon out of the prison and escape Montaigne unnoticed...

Part III: The Prison Break

Last time, our heroes had had a rough night, being attacked by a huge black wolf, seemingly infused with Porte sorcery. Though it was a terrifying experience, they made it to the next day.

Traveling overland through the forests of the La Motte province, the dark and wild trees gave way to the orderly rows of an orchard. When the PCs saw the La Motte estate, they chose to give it a wide berth and avoided any potential confrontation. Traveling by night, and resting in an irrigation ditch during the day ensured they were not spotted by any laborers.

In a short time, the PCs had made it to the prison: a three story stone tower manned by over 20 guards. Across the (what passed for a) street, there was a tavern and stables. Closer to the tower was a barracks and smithy.

Then our heroes hatched a cunning plan to help Ramon to escape. I should point out here that there was no pre-decided “right way” for them to do it. I wanted to see what ideas they came up with on their own without having to pull them down a “path”.

At night, Luis snuck into the smithy and stole some hot coals. He took these and placed them adjacent to the tavern, where a good number of the guards spent their time off. In a short time, it was ablaze, and the guards on watch at the top of the tower began shouting “FIRE!” “FIRE AT THE TAVERN!”

At which point, the guards on the ground began shooting their muskets in the general direction of the tavern. With this distraction created, Diego climbed a rope grappled to the other side of the tower (in the chaos involved in the fire, the guards did not notice the grappler landing behind them). Upon reaching the roof, Diego’s player performed a Stunt that seemed to be an homage to the Three Stoogees, cracking all three heads together at once from behind.

The guards safely asleep, Diego began to open the trap door on the roof. From there, he spied something terrifying: the flames of the tavern turned into a giant snake made of flames and began slithering its way towards the tower, climbing the walls and going into the tiny hole that served as a window for one of the cells.

Quinn maintained a lookout from the treeline, ready to give covering fire should the other party members need it. Luis, meanwhile was half-way up the rope. He saw a Vaticine priest kneeling in prayer in one of the cells, then saw the fire snake burn its way through the heavy oak door and immolate the priest into a skeleton of black ash! The snake immediately turned around and left the room.

Making it to the roof, Diego and Luis began to make their way downward. They encountered no guards on the inside, and found 2 cells where the door had been burnt to ash; otherwise all the other prisoners remained untouched. One by one, Luis began picking the locks to the cells, freeing the prisoners.

Among them was Ramon, who informed them that the “Fire Mage” was in fact, his own cousin, who had gone mad. The priest who was killed was a member of the Inquisition, which the sorcerous cousin was determined to exterminate. Then, he burned his way out of the front gates to the prison. All the guards’ attempts to shoot him failed as their muskets mysteriously could not strike a spark. The gigantic fire snake encouraged even the bravest of the guards to flee for his life rather than try to return the sorcerer to his cell.

In addition to Ramon, the prisoners were mostly a mix of Castillian POWs and Montaigne political prisoners. The one exception was an Avalon privateer who had been captured by “The General”, an Eisen mercenary employed by L’Empeur to round up all pirates in Montaigne waters. The fact that he was alive at all and in this prison meant he must be some VIP in Avalon that the Montaigne did not want to upset by executing him.

Finally among the more interesting prisoners was a Montaigne Porte sorcerer sitting in between two mirrors. He cast no reflection on the mirrors, but instead there was a ghost “trapped” inside the mirror, pounding on the glass with non-existant hands (his wrists ended in bloody stumps, and bloody pits were all that remained of what should have been his eyes). Luis decided to free him, and after they got clear of the tower (very careful not to disturb the mirrors that imprisoned the ghost) he was able to use his Porte again. Before leaving, he gave the PCs his marker so that they could call on him for a favor some day in the future, and told them his name was Gilbert Rois et Reines du Rogné

Because they had an Avalon Privateer captain (I named him “Archibald Hornblower”) and a few other prisoners who were handy at sailing, Luis decided to forgo being smuggled across the river to Barcino, and instead walking to another port, where they could steal a ship to take them all back to Castille. He asked the Porte sorcerer to deliver a message to his contact in Buche, telling him not to wait for him.

Meanwhile, the Heroes determined to stop in Bastogne on the way to the port, as it was a region known for its exceedingly valuable horses (3-5,000 guilders apiece). Using the Prefect’s signet ring, and donning a Montaigne army uniform, Luis began preparing a writ to grant him two of the horses in the name of the Prefect of Barcino (and to be paid for by General DuToille, the Montaigne commander of the Castillian front).

The Road to Bastogne

On the way to Bastogne, the PCs were again traveling off the main road to avoid patrols of Montaigne troops, but they encountered a squad of Musketeers nevertheless. Because the PCs were dressed in Montaigne army uniforms, the Musketeers signaled them to approach.

The seargent in charge of the squad told the PCs that they were on the lookout for a group of bandits who had recently kidnapped a duchess, Therese Rois et Reines du Rogné (the mother of the noble Gilbert who they had freed from the prison the day before). Luis agreed to do all he could to find her (much to the annoyance of Diego) on their way to Bastogne, and was given a blooded coin that the Seargent could use to pass a message to him to update him on his progress the next day at noon.

Quinn was able to pick up their trail, leading to a shack in the hills. Catching the bandits in the shack by surprise, the PCs quickly dispatched them both, with Quinn making a nigh-impossible shot to hit one holding a gun on the duchess in the neck to sever his spinal cord, thus preventing him from pulling the trigger as he fell.

Duchess Therese, whose hands they unbound, was now able to use her Porte sorcery once again. The PCs made no mention of her son Gilbert (a good thing since she is the one who sent him to prison). At that moment, the Sergeant’s Porte coin activated and passed a message through asking about his progress in the search. The Duchess sent her own reply, confirming her rescue, and agreed to return the coin to the Sergent, which Luis happily passed to her (he did not like the idea of a Musketeer being able to track him).

With the Duchess rescued, she used her Porte to go home, while the PCs rode the rest of the way to Bastogne (she’d have offered them a lift if not for the horses).

Horse Trading

Arriving in Bastogne, Luis’ plan to swindle the garrison commander out of some prized horses went off without a hitch, and the Prefect’s signet ring worked like a charm. They billed General DuToille for the 6,000 Guilders for the horses!

Trouble At the Dock of the Bay

Arriving in the small port of Entour, Luis tried the same trick on the harbormaster to commandeer a ship in order to “deliver a pair of prized horses to his excellency”. This time, it did not work, and the Harbormaster claimed that because the Prefect was dead that the order was void.

At this point, a subtle conversation steering towards bribery ensued. However, Diego had lost all patience with this type of thing, and proceeded to steal a ship with Captain Hornblower in broad daylight. With the harbormaster distracted, they began pulling away from the dock… without Luis, Quinn, or the valuable horses!

The Harbormaster rang the bell and troops ran onto the docks, firing in vain. Some dove into the longboats to go after them, and the boats promptly sank thanks to the holes Hornblower and Diego had drilled into them.

Then “The General” the Eisen Mercenary charged with capturing all pirates in Montaigne waters, the very same who had put Hornblower in prison in the first place, stormed out onto the dock. He effortlessly pulled one of the Montaigne soldiers out of the water with one hand, shouted “YOU IDIOT!” and punched him back into the water!

He turned to the harbormaster and said, “Open a portal onto that ship” as he began lighting a grenade. The harbormaster happened to be a Porte sorcerer, and had blooded the wheel of each ship under his care as a precautionary measure against just this sort of thing.

While Luis was now sweating bullets at the prospect of having to fight The General (and lose the horses) to stop him from blowing up his friends, Quinn interjected and used some Glamour to “turn off” the Harbormaster’s Porte hole, leaving them all standing on the dock with a live grenade sizzling at their feet!

As terrified characters began diving into the water, the General picked up the grenade and put out the fuse with his fingers. Furious that all nearby longboats had holes in them, he stormed towards the far end of the dock to take a boat out to his flagship to give chase, though by this point, it would be hopeless.

This left Luis in a difficult position in regards to selling the horses vs. getting onto the ship. There was no way the ship would have time to stop and pick him up, given the General was in pursuit. Quinn was able to get aboard using the “Mad Jack” knack of his Glamour Sorcery.

Essentially, the PCs were now forced to split up, with Luis going overland with the horses, calling upon Gilbert to use Porte to get him into Barcino, after selling him the horses. From there, everybody reconvened in Vaticine City, where they were debriefed by their superior.

At this point, people had quite a few Advancement Points to spend, and we decided to pick up the campaign taking place a few months in the future, after they’d had time to spend them (and their share of the loot from selling the horses).

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Who's NOT Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf!?!?!

The creature that Diego is facing is a “Black Wolf” a monster described in the Montaigne sourcebook. I did not have the creature statted out for Honor + Intrigue, and instead used the stats for the Beast of Gevaudan instead.

At first, Diego is alone, but he let out a scream when he saw the creature (and what it did to the deer) and the other party members began moving in to help. Quinn used his “Mad Jack” Glamour in order to appear closer to the monster, essentially halving the 200 yard distance between it and himself, and opting to fire at it from the safe distance of 100 yards.

Luis had to get there the old fashioned way, and began sprinting towards the noise. Since we were not using any maps or miniatures, I just had him roll 2d6 + Daring. Next round, I had him roll the same thing, adding his result to the previous total. Once the total exceeded 20, he’d be close enough to try to attack the monster.

Before Diego had a chance to act to defend himself, the beast was leaping at him, attempting to swipe at him with both of its mighty claws! And then it rolled a Calamitous failure! I declared that Diego ducked just in time and the creature’s paw was stuck in a hollow in the tree behind him (its claws impaled the wood as well). This also had the effect of canceling the creature’s second attack and threw it enough off balance to reduce its Defense by 1.

Seeing that the creature was exposed, Diego opted to go for maximum damage and performed a Lunge at the creature, knowing it would not be able to exploit an opening as it was currently stuck. Since he has mastered Lunge, Diego did 2d6+1 damage, which ended up being 12 damage to the creature. This ought to have been extremely impressive, since the average Hero has 10 Lifeblood. However the creature was only angry about this attack!

Then, Quinn showed up and one of his arrows found its mark in the beast’s shoulder.

Next round, Diego did something extremely brave/foolish. He lept up onto the creature’s back, clutching at its fur with one hand, and holding his sword by the quillions in the other, and impaled it yet again. And yet again, the beast was only angered! But for such an audacious action, I immediately awarded a Fortune Point to Diego’s player!

The beast tried to buck him off (I made Diego roll a Might check against the creature’s 6 Might… and Diego SUCCEEDED by rolling boxcars) but could not. Diego knew if he let go, he was a dead man.

Quinn managed to hit the wolf yet again, even though he had the added difficulty of having to aim around Diego, but thanks to the Robin Goodfellow Glamour Knack, he was able to ignore the ranged and cover penalties and his arrow flew true; hitting the beast in its hindquarter. By this point the creature had taken 22 damage, at which point I announced that it was down to about half its Lifeblood. Jaws dropped.

Then Luis burst forth from the bushes, about 15 feet from the creature. I immediately had him make a Daring roll against the beast’s Terror rating of 3, which he failed and lost 1 Composure. His throwing knife struck the creature in the shoulder, and it immediately fixed its gaze on him!

Next round, the creature went first, and tried to bite Luis. The attack succeeded easily, but I allowed Luis to yield advantage; saying that he had stumbled backwards over a root, which the beast promptly bit in half.

The beast was stabbed and shot another time, but still clung to rage and its life; intent on taking ONE of the humans that had hurt it with it into death. It leapt to kill Luis, who killed it with a Stop-Thrust, pulling his knife from the monstrous beast’s throat. Diego managed to roll off its back before it crushed his leg under its collapsing body.

Quinn began getting to work preparing the deer and skinning the wolf (believing, quite rightly, that its hide would be worth a large sum of money; there is in fact, a bounty on these types of wolves). The other PCs ate and tried to get some sleep, but the thought of the monster they faced, and knowing that this part of Montaigne is the “most haunted” part of the whole kingdom makes their sleep less than restful…

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Onward to Montaigne!
Getting to Montaigne was a little too easy...

The PCs managed to avoid any trouble with guards and have enough money to pay for their passage across the river to Buche. They hide in some smuggler’s hold aboard Francois’ ship, and spend the night there and half the morning till they get the all clear from Francois (who bribed a guard not to watch him unload his cargo). They agree to reunite in 10 days time, when Francois will take them across the river again into Barcino.

The Heroes arrive in Buche to discover that getting into the city, as hard as it was, will be easy compared to getting out of it. There is a wall around the city that is patrolled by guards at all times. There is a gate where all people trying to leave are questioned and searched. They also learn that the main road from Buche to Bascone (where Ramon’s prison is believed to be) also happens to be the road to Charrouse (the capital city). At any time, they may see between two and two-hundred Montaigne troops coming down that road to Buche; and they’re known for stopping all travelers demanding to see papers, and also making arbitrary arrests; especially of foreigners. Because Buche is so close to the war with Castille, security is extremely tight here.

Realizing this difficulty, they decide to lie low until nightfall. As they are wandering the crowded streets of Buche, towards the Crusty Wench (owned by the twin sister of the old Vesten woman from the Salty Hag), Diego spots someone, and hears his deceased sister’s voice cry out! “He’s here, Diego! Be careful brother!”

At that moment, the Montainge Officer known as “El Craneo Rojo” (The Red Skull), the man who killed Diego’s sister, blinded his father, and burned their family home; turns and sees Diego. Diego immediately begins to follow him, but when he turns the corner into an alley, El Craneo Rojo is gone (he is a Porte mage). Diego is distraught for two reasons.

1. He is OBSESSED with bringing his sister’s killer to justice.
2. He thought he was already dead! In a previous adventure (run as a 1 shot) El Craneo Rojo was shot and apparently killed. Somehow, he has managed to cheat death (he did so by using the “Catch” knack with Porte, to prevent the bullet from harming him. When he wheeled around clutching his chest and collapsed, people assumed he’d been killed by the gunshot. The fact that porte sorcery causes blood to drip from the portal made this all the more convincing, as it seemed like he was clutching a bleeding wound right over his heart.

Needless to say, the fact that his sister’s murderer is alive and well, and that he had gotten away has left Diego rather upset. He drinks his dinner that night, while the other PCs try to choke down the horrid food from the Crusty Wench (it is actually worse than the Salty Hag). In spite of finishing off a bottle of what the old Vesten woman swore was brandy, Diego was still conscious (but certainly 3 sheets to the wind).

At nightfall, the Heroes set about trying to scale the wall. It is only 20’ tall, with crenelations around it. Luis uses Quinn to get a boost, then lassos one of the Crenalations. One failed notice check later, and there is a guard helping him to reach the top. Luis’ attempt to fast talk the guard into thinking that he was deliberately trying to get the guards attention (and that there was a murder just below) fails. As the guard tries to place Luis under arrest, Luis knifes him with the blade he had up his sleeve.

Then, they hear footsteps approaching. Luis uses the rope to lower the dead guard below while he hangs from the wall. The guard manages to pass by without incident (he paused when he stepped in a puddle, but in the dark of the moonless night, he had no way of knowing it was a puddle of the other guard’s blood).

Meanwhile, Quinn helped himself to the dead guard’s sword. The PCs made it over the wall without incident, and wandered into the dark Montaigne night. They moved into the countryside, off the main road to avoid the patrols. They planned to move all night until they could make it to the edge of the woods in the La Motte province, where they intended to rest.

Once there, Luis elected to stay and guard the camp site. Because they had not had anything decent to eat in days, Diego and Quinn each decide to split up and go hunting (Diego is hunting with a sword). Diego also manages to see a deer! But as he begins trying to sneak up on it, he is startled to see another predator in the woods.

A gigantic black wolf, the size of a small horse, bursts through a Porte portal and bites the deer’s head off in a single snap of its jaws! It then looks up at Diego, and gets ready to charge him!

At this point, I called for everyone to roll initiative.

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Danger in Barcino
Getting into Barcino was only half of the trouble...

Two of the PCs in my campaign, Luis and Diego are members of Los Vagos. A new PC, an Avalon Archer and Glamour mage named Quinn has just added. Getting them onto the same page, mission wise took some doing.

El Vago learned that the brother of one of his most important operatives in Occupied Castille, once believed to have died during the invasion, is in fact alive. His last known whereabouts were “Morteau Prison” about 100 miles on the other side of the Montaigne border. The operative was a double agent, pretending to be a collaborator with the Montaigne, where she caught the eye of a Montaigne general. He used his influence to keep her brother alive.

But when hostilities flaired up behind enemy lines, the General was killed. Now the operative has no way of knowing if her brother still lives. She had lost everything in her effort to help El Vago. He has promised her she will know if her brother lives, and if so, that he shall be returned to her. The two PCs have been asked by El Vago to venture into Montaigne and find proof of life of the missing brother. In addition, El Vago tells them that they will be bringing along somebody else, not affiliated with Los Vagos: an Avalon volunteer attached to the Castillian army.

Meanwhile, Quinn, the Avalon archer on voluntary duty with the Castillian Army, is requested by a Castillian General to go to Montaigne (since Avalon and Montagne are not officially at war) along with a couple of others who are going. Their mission is to find out if a certain Castillian Nobleman is alive within a Montaigne prison, and if so, to bring him back to Castille.

None of the PCs know that the General and El Vago are one in the same.

It was left in the PCs’ hands how to get to the prison. Options included boarding a ship, taking the river, going through the Selva de Fendes (Forest of Fiends), or trying to get by the authorities in the port of Barcino and taking a ferry to Buche. The opted to go with the latter. Of course, the first problem would be getting to Barcino. To do that, they had to get to the other side of the Montaigne lines.

Recently, Castille launched a successful attack that took back a few miles from the other side of the river before the advance was halted. Now, there is a grim no-mans-land between the crude sandbag fortifications that exist on both sides. Using the cover of darkness, the PCs chose to crawl their way across this no man’s land; crawling over the dead from the day’s battle.

During this crossing, one of them was spotted and a shot range out, impacting a corpse a few feet next to Quinn. The PCs immediately became totally still. Another shot rang out; this one striking a few feet further away. Then a third shot. It seemed as if the Montaigne sentries were trying to flush them out rather than making aimed shots.

Meanwhile, Luis managed to load a dead Montaigne’s musket and tied a long string to one end. While the sentries seemed to be reloading, he began crawling away, as the slack of string tightend behind him. His plan was to pull the trigger remotely once he got far enough away, to draw the attention of the Montaigne in the wrong direction. The musket had been pointed at the sentries, so it might even hit one of them.

However, this plan proved unnecessary, as they eventually got far enough away that the Montaigne troops were out of earshot. Why give them a reason to keep looking by pulling the cord? So instead, he set it up as a tripwire. The Montaigne would have one unexpected shot fired against them the next day when they advanced…

Having gotten past the battlelines, the PCs made their way into occupied Castille. They knew enough to stay off the main roads, and managed to make it to Barcino without incident. Rather than sneak into the city and risk being caught, they walked in through the front gates. When questioned about their business in Barcino, Luis told them about a ship they were planning to meet with, and that explanation was enough to satisfy the seargent, who let them in. After all, there were many Castillians in occupied Castille, and most of them were harmless enough.

Once inside, Luis went to a warfside tavern, “The Salty Hag” which was owned by an old associate of his (the player used his “Friends in Low Places” Boon to have a contact in the city who could smuggle them to Buche on the other side of the river). The food and service of the Salty Hag were so bad, and the barmaid so hideous, that no Montaigne troops would go near the place. The perfect place for a fence and smuggler to operate his business out of.

The Salty Hag
Luis and the party entered the Salty Hag and met the hostess, a leathery-skinned old Vesten woman with runes carved into her skin, and an eyepatch covering one eye. Her one-toothed mouth spat into a glass which she cleaned with a greasy rag when they entered. She asked, “What do YOU want?” When Luis mentioned he wanted to meet with Francois, she sent them to a dark table near the back, where the Montaigne criminal did business from.

After negotiating a bit, Luis managed to get Francois to agree to take them to Buche for 50 Guilders, and to take them back for another 50. He was also told that they would be bringing a fourth person on the return trip; but as there was less risk of being caught coming back to Barcino (the Montaigne are more worried about people trying to leave than people entering) that this would even things out.Of course, this did leave them with the problem that none of the PCs had any money, and they needed to earn 50 guilders in a hurry.

Luis spent the rest of the day pickpocketing, but did not earn nearly enough. Quinn lost what little money he had in a vain attempt to win the money at dice. Diego stayed at the bar, getting drunk. He awoke the next day in the arms of the leathery Vesten barmaid.

Luis decided that if they were to get the 50, he’d need to make a big score; so they decided to head into the wealthier district of the city. He managed to pickpocket a wealthy looking dandy, and got a ring probably worth 30 guilders.

While there, Quinn was hoping to strike up interest in an “archery contest” to earn the money,and he began putting bottles on barrels along the street to impress people with his archery abilities to get the contest started. However as he was beginning this, he was interpreted by a gloved dandy (the same one Luis stole from) of a Montaigne noble who demanded he stop littering at once. When Quinn refused, the Montaigne issued a challenge to a duel. Not being much of a swordsman, Quinn allowed Diego, a member of the Swordsman’s Guild to fight on his behalf.

Seeing this as the opportunity for profit, Luis began taking bets on the fight; emphasizing that the well dressed Montaigne noble likely was well trained, while his opponent was a mere peasant (of course, trying to get better odds as he was betting on Diego). Diego in turn decided to “make the other guy look good” for the first few rounds to drive up the betting. When the duel began, the Montaigne used his Porte sorcery to pull his rapier and main gauche out.

The duel at first went as planned. The Montaigne noble was actually very skilled in his own right, and began advancing. Diego indeed made him look good; stumbling back like an untrained peasant unfamiliar with a sword (he Yielded Advantage to the Montaigne’s excellent attack and used Feint to appear that he did not know what he was doing). The bets began coming in for Luis. Meanwhile, Quinn began using Glamour to give aid to Diego in case he should need it.

Then, the Montaigne did a Hilt Punch and bloodied Diego’s nose. At that point, he stopped playing around! After a frenzy of flashing still, where an attack was Parried, Riposted and the Riposte was Parried and Riposted, Diego managed to strike a blow. Thanks to the Glamour used by Quinn, Diego’s behind the back thrust was deadly poetry in motion. The Montaigne Noble collapsed to the flagstones and died.

Before Luis could collect the bets, however, he heard a terrifying sound: a bystander shouting “The Prefect is Dead!” While some guards began to close in on Diego, a few members of the Swordsman’s Guild, put their hands on their hilts and declared that this was a legal duel; indeed that the Prefect had been the one to issue the challenge. A guard captain, also a guild member knew that they were in the right and ordered the guard to stand down. Nevertheless, Diego and the others decided it was better to beat a hasty retreat.

Now with the money they needed to cross into Montaigne, the PCs wondered if they had enough to get back. Of course, the Prefect’s Signet Ring might be worth considerably more to Francoise than a mere 30 guilders…

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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