I had a nice relaxing night in the master bedchamber of the former Lord Grace. Good servants don’t miss a beat when their master if overthrown – they just keep on doing their duty. This place has goods servants, if too few. Sadly this was ruined by a lot of shouting and banging early in the morning. Throwing on Lady Grace’s Halfling cotton and ermine robe I went out to see what all the fuss was about. Sir Bedeweir was bellowing out orders and people were running hither and yon like madmen.
“What’s going on?”
“Preparing for the siege mum. The Vielanders are right outside our gates. Have you ever been through a siege my lady? It’s a grim business. I wish I could spare you this. I’ve seen men . . .”
I put my hand on his shoulder “I feel like there’s a horrors of war speech coming on so I’m going to stop you there. I don’t think there’s going to be a siege – I’m no military expert but what I see is about two dozen men on horses with no siege equipment and last time I checked horses can’t fly so I think we’re safe enough. Besides which we’re leaving anyway if they want the castle just give it to them.”
He gasped like a new maid being groped for the first time.
“My Lady surely you can’t mean that! Turn this fortification over to the enemy? There is a war on!”
“So I keep hearing. That’s probably why there’s no marmalade in the kitchen stores – rationing or something. Look good Sir, they’re probably lost – we’re a hundred miles from the border, there’s no way a small group of horsemen is here to assault this keep. It makes no sense. Even if they were here to attack who cares?”
Another girlish gasp – “My lady, I have sworn to protect the realm in the name of the King!”
“Does this rockheap even have any military value? Why do they even build these things? What around here would anyone care about? Heathgrove is a cesspit, Graltontown is basically two shacks and a three legged pig, Malgareth may be worth protecting a little, I think they have a guy there that makes leather belts or something. ”
Bedeweir launched into a loud and rambling speech about the strategic importance of the area – he said lynchpin at least fifteen times in three minutes.
“Look brave sir knight don’t get your smallclothes in an uproar – I’ll get dressed and we’ll go out under a flag of truce or whatever and see what’s going on. If they’re here to kill everyone you can have your siege and tell me all your sad stories about men’s heads being crushed by rocks and being forced to eat your own horse and all that.”
The Lady Grace had a good eye for a dress I tell you that. I have to give her credit for putting together a decent wardrobe this far from anywhere. I was looking quite dashing as we rode out in force to meet with our neighbors to the south. They looked quite haggard and grimy. Once we were in the reputable military distance four of them rode out to meet with myself, Bedeweir, Erist and Dario.
“Are you the lady of this holdfast?”
He said that there had been a battle in the area of Bothlar’s Hollow and they had been separated from the main body of their troops and were chased north. They had come here thinking that Vieland had some kind of depot in this area but either their information was wrong or they hadn’t looked in the right place. They were several days without rations and trapped behind enemy lines – they wished to surrender. The captain dismounted and offered up his sword.
“I graciously and magnanimously accept your surrender.”
I gestured Bedeweir forward to take the sword – it’s a whole thing with these military types. We took them back to the keep as we rode in they noticed the mass-pyre of burned orc bodies.
“We had a bit of a kerfuffle her yesterday. Nothing to worry about.” I turned to Bedeweir “So what does one do with military prisoners anyway?”
Over dinner that night we discussed our plans – Bedeweir would still take Grace to Fellstone and Erist and I would still be going to Malgareth but now Grig and his men would be escorting our prisoners to Graltontown. We found a dusty old steward who agreed to take “command” of the keep until some kind of official word came down, with instructions to abandon the place if it actually came under attack. He didn’t need to be told twice about that last bit.
And then there’s the matter of the Vieland outpost our new friends were looking for. I questioned the Vieland captain about it and although he did his best to be vague I figured out that there’s a village in the area that’s secretly aiding and abetting the enemy. Scandal! My money is on Tall Elk – from what I’ve heard it’s always been something of a troublesome community and as a center for trade, not real trade – but poor people trade, there would be a lot of people coming and going. I suggested that we take a trip there to root out the traitors. Bedeweir seemed surprised and asked why I wanted to do that.
“For King and country of course. There’s a war on after all.”
Funds: 12,012 gold
Inventory: Peasant outfit, wooden box, Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, thieves’ tools, land deed, Bag of Tricks (rust), gold ring, Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket, candlerod (9), masterwork dagger, succubi carving, Disguise kit (6 uses), Domiel family ring, walking stick, aquamarine, masterwork playing cards , +2 Studded Leather Armor, +2 Light Steel Shield, +1 Keen Shortspear, hematite armbands (2), mithril hair clasps (3), Sir Humperdinck memoir, Mazzmus’ Wand (unidentified), Brooch of Shielding, Potion of Invisibility (3), Oil of Animate Dead, Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds (2), spinel and peridot holy symbol of Kralten, platinum necklace, Pouch of Magic Stones, flask of acid (2), alchemist’s fire (2), giant wasp venom (10), oil of taggit (2), alchemist’s kit, formula book
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince
Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle
the butler , Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire
Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror,
Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe,
Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni
Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander,
Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother
Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)
Teams – Labors, Brute Squad (Robbers and two teams of Soldiers)
Graltontown Buildings – Mill