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btw—this indiegogo campaign kicked some serious ass.

Re: Barrowmaze by RidiculossusRidiculossus, 29 Aug 2012 15:40

I had to work crazy hours all weekend long, but I'm done now and will get back to this later in the afternoon.

I'm away from the internet until Saturday night.

Clegis has one more thing to say to Gryph: “I knew a man once, ensorcelled by a pagan fiend, forced to commit a sin more foul than any Sir Carrick hath committed. I would see no more good Christian knights led away from the virtues of God and civilization.

“Priest, tell me of the nearest hamlet or village or manor to the north. I shall ride there, and ask of this succubus ‘Rosemarie’ or ‘Rosealee.’ If they have not heard of her, I shall ask for the next hamlet or village or manor to the north, and I shall ride there. And so forth, until I find her, or the Wall where these knights did good service once. I shall pray every night that God might lead me to her. For I must release them from her grip, by word or sword.

"Unless there is more you might tell me, fare thee well, priest."

Before departing, Sir Clegis took Humboldt, the Steward, aside and asked him his final question. The Steward seemed a bit taken aback and ashamed, as if the information he shared the night before was only done so under the influence of that devil, Old Sack. "To the best of my knowledge, he doesn't send his letters anywhere," said the old man. "Although it has been a decade since I last visited m' lord's private quarters, even then the floors were covered with stacks of notes and poems. Some piles were at least up to my waist."

He paused and whispered sadly. "Some would call him mad, but my loyalty to the family prevents me from making any base assumptions. My duty lies with Sir Carrick."

Soon afterward, Sir Clegis joined in prayer with the manor's chaplain, Gryph, who shared some additional information between psalms. "I'll tell you this, Sir Clegis. Both Sir Carrick and Sir Drake were tempted by the devil and fell short of their vows to Christ. For years I've tried to drive the influence of the succubus from my lord, but to no avail," said the priest. "If you know what's good for you, you'll ride on from here as quickly as possible an' ne'er return! These mountains are filled with giants, devils, and all sorts of pagans practicing base witchcraft!"

Assuming that Sir Clegis rides off into the wilderness, how will he conduct his search?

"Thanks for your generosity, my lord. It grieves me to so strain the resources of this barren waste. I vow to make you whole, unless God sees fit to end my days before then. God willing, I shall see you sooner than the hour you appointed."

Before his departure, Clegis will consult with Humboldt for more information ("Where does Sir Carrick send these love letters? I would know what civilized places I might find before me.")

Clegis will also seek out Gryth to hear his confession, and in passing bemoan that two brothers in Christ like Sir Carrick and Sir Drake should despoil their valor over this woman. ("Alas, if only it might be settled between them!")

Clegis will then ride north, seeking the lady "Rosemarie" or "Rosealee."

Sir Carrick has a Generous trait of 14. He rolls a 19 and fails. He then rolls on his Selfish trait of 6 and gets 14, which is also a failure. He will give Sir Clegis some horses, but not without a cost.

"Sir Clegis, we are but a poor and humble folk, so I can not give away my horses freely," said the older knight. "Seeing how we both share the in brotherhood of knights, however, I will gladly give you a courser and rouncy on the expectation that you shall repay in coin or in kind within in a year and one day. This is our custom in the Perrines."

"All aside, I have no messages for you to carry this day, and wish you well in your fight against the Irish pirates. Tis a pity I could not loan you a sea horse instead!"

The assembled knights laughed at Sir Carrick's lame joke and wished Sir Clegis well.

Clegis thanks the Steward. He will retire when it is courteous to do so. In the morning, he plans to beg an audience with Sir Carrick. He will inform Sir Carrick that he is, sadly, unable to remain and make war on Sir Drake at this time, as he seeks to strike a blow against raiding Irish pirates in the north; but if the lord will outfit him with a courser and rouncy, he will gladly carry any messages that Carrick might have to allies and friends in that direction, with the intention of returning the steeds as he passes ack this way. If he will not provide the horses, Clegis can pay.

Clegis secretly hopes that Carrick will give him a letter for "Rosemarie." He intends to seek the woman out, and see if there is a way to put an end to the feud from her end.

As to paying for the horses, Clegis has "buying power" but probably is't carrying 6 Librum in coins. Let me know what the Arthurian way is for handling such exchanges.

Hey sorry I've had to be offline. Will have posting time tomorrow.

Free free to take a check in indulgent.

Humboldt the Steward had also been tipping back cup after cup of Old Sack, which has a notorious reputation as a loosener of lips. He spoke to the knight in a (moderately) low voice. "I'll tell you this, Sir Clegis. Sir Drake and Sir Carrick were once the best of friends, and spent their youth fighting the savage Picts along Hadrian's Wall to the north," whispered Humboldt. "After the campaign of… lessee… 498… they had a falling out whilst riding home. Something about a 'Rosemarie' or 'Roseallee' or some such. That was when the original bridge — a stout wooden construction — was burnt and the feud began in earnest!"

"In the twenty-some years that followed, my lord gave up on warring against the Picts and focused his energy on two things: getting the better of Sir Drake and sitting in his tower writing love letters. Twas a most unfortunate series of events for all involved, for as far as I've heard, Sir Drake does the self-same thing."

At that point, one of the serving boys plopped a large plum duff into the center of the table, and Humboldt turned his attention towards his pudding.

(Indulgence Roll: 6. Successfully Indulgent!)

Sir Clegis eyes the Old Sack. It has a piquancy he appreciates. He makes certain the servant fills his cup to the brim.

Clegis sees that Sir Carrick does not appreciate his more civilized sensibilities. He sits with the steward Humboldt at the first opportunity. “I tell thee, sir,” he slurs, “this Sir Drake must be a rascal, to have piqued my lord so. It must be difficult to maintain the manor when such trouble brews… and not to know the cause of the feud in the first place. Why, it would trouble any man!”

(Trying to see if the Steward knows why the feud started, using Intrigue. Roll a 15: Fail!)

(And yes, I am up at 4 in the morning.)

Indulgence Roll
Intrigue Roll

Sir Carrick was obviously not very impressed with Sir Clegis, but the customs of hospitality forbade him from throttling his guest with a ham bone. "All the problems of the world must seem easy to fix when you've got the resources of the High King behind you, but out here in Cumbria, we have to fend for ourselves," he said. "If you must know the nature of our conflict, let it be said that Sir Drake has done me a terrible wrong, and I will not rest until his head hangs from my rampart and his village is burnt to the ground!"

The knights in the room cheered as Sir Carrick raised his cup and drank deeply. "As to the conclusion of our feud, perhaps you would like to participate in righting these wrongs by throwing your allegiance behind our cause?" he said. "For truly, a man with experience in the Battle of Badon Hill and wily hill fighting in the barrens of Ireland should have no problem finding a way to defeat something as commonplace as Sir Drake and his men."

Carrick ended his proposal by refilling the table's cups with another round of Old Sack.

Make an Indulgent roll.

(Courtesy Roll for handling Carrick’s court: 17! Failure!)

“Indeed, Humbershire is most lacking in modern advances. No roads, no large churches… Not at all the standard to which I, as a son of the city of Dorchester, am accustomed. I am thankful that you are honest about your region’s flaws in this regard. I thank you for your hospitality nonetheless. And I shall be happy to report to you all that I have heard and seen transpire these last few years…”

(Orate, JIC: 7. Failure.)

Sir Clegis tells of his journeys: such mighty events as the Battle of Badon Hill and the Deception of the Fear Darg. He interweaves his extensive knowledge of Roman custom.

“There is something that I might yet learn from this backward place… Sir Bodwyn informs me that you are locked in a feud with your neighbor, Sir Drake. What is the cause of this dispute? It seems that much effort is spent in its prosecution, but not its conclusion.”

Courtesy Roll
Orate roll

Sir Bodwyn passed his charge to Sir Barnabus and lead Sir Clegis and his squire up the hill. They passed through the village, which was simple and clean, and eventually arrived at an ancient motte-and-bailey keep that was perched at the very top of the ridge. The usual hospitalities were followed: Clegis was announced and formally invited to dinner, given a room in which to wash up, and, within an hour or two, was seated as a guest at Sir Carrick's table.

The hall was relatively small and reminiscent of the old ways, as was typical in England's more remote outposts. A dozen knights and other assorted staff filled the room, while the lord, his family, and his most trusted friends sat at large table at the front of the hall.

Sir Carrick was in his mid-fifties and is slightly bald. His chaplain, Gryth, and his steward, Humboldt, were also seated at the table. The rest of the table was empty.

The butler poured the first toast — a large cup of Old Sack — to which Carrick toasted the arrival of his most eminent guest. "Tell me, Sir Clegis, what brings a knight of Logres to such a rural and backwards county?" he asked. "Surely there are more interesting things in the realm than the petty doings of us mountain folk."

"You are most gracious, Sir Bodwyn. I shall speak of the hospitality of you and your lord to all men I meet. Lead on, sir."

"Arthur's customs sound most civilized. Lord Govier has never bowed to the High King, however, and neither has his lord, the Duke of Danger. Both men take a disinterest in the affairs of their vassals, save for their ability to pay taxes, which is why the bridge remains intact. Thus I stand watch, although my replacement, Sir Barnabus, doth approach over yonder," he said, pointing at an identical green knight that was ambling down from the village of Humbershire. "Should you be interested, I would gladly escort you to the hall of my lord for the evening's repast. He would be most appreciative for any news of the outside world."

“My horses were stolen by a local varlet. The cur made off with them as we slept, by the grace of God, that I might do penance for my sins.

“Steadfast Sir Bodwyn, I shall tell thee of one custom Arthur hath instituted. No longer are his vassals allowed to let such disputes fester between them. They settle it by trial in the king’s court, in combat or otherwise. This is the Roman tradition that Arthur doth continue. This matter between your lieges should be resolved, lest misfortune befall you. I suspect that this raging river might even flow more prettily, were matters pretty between your lords!

“But prithee, tell me, if there be no hope of resolution to this conflict between your peoples, why maintain the bridge? Why not sever it in twain, as your lieges’ hath severed their friendship?”

"Ho there, Sir Clegis," said the Green Knight as raised his visor to reveal a thick and luxurious moustache. "I recognize your shield. I am Sir Bodwyn, household knight of Sir Carrick of Humbershire. My liege has charged me with defending this crossing from the treacherous swine on yonder bank, the foul servants of Sir Drake of Todwick. Thus I stand, ever vigilant!"

"I can only assume that you find it most peculiar for two close neighbors to be such mortal enemies," he continued. "Tis passing true that our lords were once the greatest of friends, but a dispute has soured relations beyond repair. From what I recall, it was over a woman, although the details have grown vague over the years. Neither man seems willing to forgive the other, and even our lords' liege, the honorable Lord Govier* of Lestroite, has washed his hands of the whole ordeal."

"In the old days, when I was but a squire, each side would raid the other incessantly, but since guards were posted on either end of this treacherous rope bridge, we have been forced to merely wallow in our boundless hate," he said, pausing to shake an angry fist at the Red Knight on the other side of the bridge. "If not for this raging river, we would surely have settled their hash many years ago!"

Sir Bodwyn ended his tale with a sigh. "Now if I may ask you a question, good Sir Clegis, where is your horse?" he asked. "I've heard that King Arthur has been making grand changes to customs of knighthood, but surely horses are still allowed… aren't they?"

  • - Lord Govier played dueling lutes with Sir Hervis in issue #524 — Smilin' Sternum
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