Wednesday, February 27, 2013

014 - The sword under the river fortress

Oct 14th, FA 15

Kasper, Galdor and Finbert entered the Alehouse and stretched their feet. The two Gondorian knights have been displeased with the company's leadership from the beginning, and wanted no part in the chit-chat with the commander of the city. In fact, Galdor's interest in the Palantir is really only in hope that the glamour of bringing home a national treasure would earn him enough reputation so he would not have to train as a man of law anymore. Kasper, in turn, was drawn to become Galdor's squire mainly to escape the drab routine of a Gondorian beacon posting in Anorien. Neither had much interest in getting all excited over a crystal ball, nor be told what to do by a gentile career watchmen. Finbert was in the Alehouse for a more direct reason, there has to be food in a place like this, and life owed him a meal or two since that they set out for Annuminas. 

One thing was of interest in Tharbad, and it was the profecy made by Araliniel that a sword of great valor was to be found "underneath the cellar of a tower of a ruined fort by a river". Finbert had identified this fort as the river fort that was at the upstream tip of Tharbad's centre. The three companions decided to pay their tab and head for the fort, in search of the sword. 

The fort was in a sad state of disrepair, just like everything else in town. A lone guard was keeping a watch on the main gate, which was left open. Beyond the guard, they could see piles of lumber, tool and masonery supplies. He stood by and told them that they could not go beyond this point. Annoyed slighlty, Sir Galdor began to discuss with the guard, trying to find an angle to make him change his mind. Finbert could have easily slipped inside past him, but needed not to as the guard, in mid sentence, became completely disinterested in the conversation and returned to his stool in a nearby alcove. He seemed to be bored, but unconcerned by the knight and his company. "What just happened here?", asked Galdor, as he looked at the distracted guard. Kasper, tapped on his shoulder, and told them that obviously the guard didn't care whether they got in or not anymore. They slipped in and started scouring for a sword.

Meawhile, Arnadil and company also arrived at the Alehouse and found the place empty. They asked the barman about a knight, a squire and a hobbit and found out that they had left some 10 minutes ago. It didn't need the skills of a seers to guess as to where the rest of the company had gone to. They left to seek the river fort as well. They found at the gate a guard who seemed to be bored out of his mind. Intrigued to see an elderly dwarf, an young woman and an important looking man of broad stature, he left his alcove and told them that the fort was out of bound.  Arnadil discussed with him for a brief moment and managed to impress to the guard that they were entering the fort as part of a royal errand and with the permission of the commander of Tharbad. This shouldn't have worked, but Arnadil rightfully invoked his "honest face" advantage and the obvious fact that most of the claim was true to impress the guard and let them pass (That 1 point advantage has got to pay off once in a while).  Beside, no one in Tharbad would even attempt this kind of bluff: if there is a dwarf and a noblemen asking to get in, it probably is true.

What Arnadil, Halin and Araliniel found inside the fort was their three companion, sitting on a pile of lumber, looking rather perplexed. There was 6 towers in the fort, and the two firs that they tried had their cellar flooded. They were "regrouping", catching a bit of rare sunlight while the rain had relented.

Finding the right tower was simple for Araliniel since she had herself the vision some 12 or so days ago. She simply walked to the furthest tower, which required a bit of hiking through loose stones and led the company into its cellar. There, she instructed her associates to dig at a specific location. The sword was found, in it sheath, amids a number of other rusted swords. The sword was perfectly intact and rustless. It gleamed in the late fall light once outdoors like as if it were freshly polished. It must have spend the last 400, maybe 1000 years under a few inches of dirt. The sheath was, however, deeply encrusted in mineral deposits and dirt.

The company agreed that such sword was the property of the King. In a way (and a GM can never imagine this happening), nobody wanted to claim the gondolin sword for themselves. It was suggested that it be kept safe as part of the baggage, under the care of a reluctant Arnadil. It seemed fitting that such sword be entrusted to someone of high birth such as Sir Galdor, but the knight did not made a claim. Araliniel argued that such sword was not fit to be baggage, and that she was willing to bear it until it could be returned to the King. She implied by this statement that she intended to carry it on her back, and NOT hand it over to the commander of Tharbad.

"If the valars have put this sword in our way, there must be a reason. Let me be the bearer.", said she as she tried to fit the oversize weapon to fit somewhere around her body.

GM Note: Araliniel will be carrying the blade. It will be interesting to find out what will come out of this in the coming few sessions. For now, she is going to have to wield it with both hands as she doesn't have the pre-requisite strength for it. However, following the two-handed logic and applying backward, using a broadsword two-handed with a ST of 9 should negate the -1 to hit for being understrenght (assuming that the sword's hilt is big enough for her two hands), but make the weapon unbalanced. On the flip side, this is a GONDOLIN sword: she will benefit from a net +2 to hit 1 because it is a high quality weapon, +1 because it is magic). Maybe someone within the company will be willing to teach her the rope with it! I'm not expecting Araliniel to be interested in putting herself in a melee combat anytime soon, however. 

1 comment:

  1. I wish people had listened to Finbert. He was sure there was a Gondolin blow gun close by if only we could have excavated more.