Saturday, May 25, 2013

033 - A winter in Tharbad

Wintering in a Frontier town

This post documents the abstracted character development of the PC in the campaign between Session 10 and Session 11. The next report referring to a live session is 034 -  The Lossoth people of Laakvesi.

Tharbad, circa Fourth Age 15

The company spent the next 14 days in the Shire after the 19th of Hithui (November). By then, it was the 3rd of Girithon (December) and winter was deeply set. The company set out with their caravan and cross the Sarn on the 6th. The going was difficult and the progress slow, but the company didn't push the pace and traveled at a leisurely pace. They arrived in Tharbad on the 22nd Girithon: birthday of Sir Galdor who celebrated his 22nd birthday at the Alehouse.

Overland travel during the winter months isn't common, and the link between Tharbad and the world is by ship along the Gwathlo river. So far, the riverine navigation has not been hampered by ice. Commander Ciril is receiving the commission with open arms. Winter has slowed down the construction work in Tharbad, but there are a number of opportunities in Tharbad for the company members. Arnadil accepted the position of Captain of the Guard, Halin helped chief architect Haeron to upgrade the foundry. Sir Galdor (and kasper) lead small patrols into the East to keep an eye on the Dunelendings. Irina spent her winter teaching a marksmanship course for volunteers in the Guard of Tharbad. Finbert was an apprentice to the master brewer and Araliniel acted as Tharbad first (and maybe last) Seer.

Finbert natural magnetism get humbled

The master Brewer is called Max Milfoord, a no-nonsense 40-something man from Anorien (Gondor). His initial reaction to Finbert was initially Good ( Reaction Check 13 -1 (failed carousing) +2 recommendation from Cmdr Ciril = 14 ). Max puts Finbert hard at work almost right away but doesn't trust him with key operations: Finbert must watch quietly first. At night, Finbert gets to man the floor of the Alehouse. The manager, Lady Arda, is an interesting character. She is initially Neutral to Finbert (roll 13 -1 (failed carousing)), and the relationship get more strained when Finbert use too much of an hands-on approach to entertaining the customers (Carousing-13, roll 15, reaction with Arda down to 11, still neutral). In the brewery, Finbert turns out to have a fine palate and impress Max with his discriminating palate (Succeeds Connoiseur (beer) at default, 1 pt, +1 Reaction with Max = 15).
Finbert is still looking for help with honing his melee combat skills. He is not spending as much time on the floor as he wanted, largely because if his strained relationship with Lady Arda. As a result, he is not meeting as many folks in the guard who would help with lessons. There may be people capable to teach him a trick or two, but he hasn’t found them in the usual places (Carousing-13, roll 14).

Finbert is straightening his act to smooth out his relationship with Lady Arda. Over the course of the winter, he gets a whole lot of experience brewing ale. What helped Finbert out of the doghouse is the rise of Irina as the star attraction in the evenings. The hobbit fever took hold into Tharbad and Lady Arda moved Finbert on the floor at night. From there, Finbert picked up on bartending and cooking and built a rapport with the patrons (reaction roll 9 +1 hobbit in Gondor +1 friend of Irina +1 (Carousing-check) +1 (Signing-check) = 13, good). This positive reaction improved his relationship with Lady Arda (13, good) and finally get Finbert close to the social heartbeat in Tharbad. Irina soon invites him to spar with her students for an an hour each day. Finbert gets a lot out of these sessions.

Skill in progress: Connoiseur (Beer) [2 pts], Brewing [2 pts], Bartending [2 pt], cooking [1 pt]

NPC reactions :

  • Max Milfoord (Master Brewer) 17, very good. 
  • Lady Arda (Manager), 13, good.

Irina gets a following

Irina takes on her teaching gig and has to work out the details of setting up a marksmanship course for an organization (Administration @ default Merchant-3, or 9, roll 9, Success, 1 pt gained in Admin). She also got her best shot at teaching (Teaching @ default, IQ-5, or 7, roll 12, failure). The students are appreciating the opportunity to learn, but not so much because of Irina’s teaching skills. Her students, however, are worshipping the ground that she walks in (reaction 16 +1 Archery skill +2 voice +1 Fashion sense = 20, excellent). They include her in their daily sparring and pay her back in melee combat training with her favourite melee weapon (Quarterstaff).

On her free time, Irina manages to perform at the Alehouse. She makes up crowd appropriate songs (Singing-15, roll 10, MoS:5), and do very well as an entertainer (Performance-13, +2 voice +1 Fashion sense +1 student groupies +1 Songs, tgt:18 roll 11, MoS:7). She rakes lots of tip money ( 40 celebins /months). Her reputation 1 in as an entertainer now extends to Tharbad (as it was exclusively within the Shire).

Arnadil finds a Northerling

Arnadil quickly establish a working relationship with Cmdr Ciril (roll 8 +2 Status +1 voice +0 Rank differential = 11, Neutral). Arnadil feels that Ciril was told to accept him under his command, it doesn’t look like a lasting friendship in the making, though. The Guard of Tharbad is only 50 men strong, Arnadil’s reaction with his subordinates is (roll 12 + 2 status +3 rank +1 voice +1 Leadership check successfull = 17, very good). Finally, Arnadil is introduced to Max Milfoord, Master Brewer: they politely exchange a few words now and then but are very busy men (roll 8 + 2 status + 1 voice + 1 Winemaker-12 = 12, neutral)
Arnadil is particularly interested in the ins and outs of Tharbad. Probably the most interesting character in town is an Easterling called Vacros. Vacros is a scrap metal scavenger operating a sea-going vessel on lease from the Prince of Dol Amroth. His business mainly consists in scouring old battle sites to recover scrap metal from weapons and armor, and sell them to foundries and smith as supply. Vacros is a bit hard to approach (roll 8 + 2 status +1 Voice = 11, neutral). He is, however, most interested to sell his wares to the chief Architect Haeron, or to the new dwarf in town who is seeking to upgrade the blacksmith shop into a proper foundry (Halin). Arnadil did notice in the Ship’s log that was submitted after docking that Vacros had sailed to the North in the past year.

Skill in progress : Leadership (8hrs, on-the-job), Administration (8 hrs on the job), Area Knowledge (Tharbad) [1 pts], Intelligence Gathering ( 8hrs, on-the-job), Strategy (8 hrs, on-the-job)

Halin gets back to his roots

Halin is sent to report to the chief Architect Hearon shortly after arriving. Hearon is a nervous and rather young man from Dol Amroth. Hearon and Halin are getting along very well (roll 11, +2 status, +1 Engineer, +1 metallurgy = 15, good). Halin and him spent many hours going over plans for the reconstruction of the fortress, and Halin’s insight proved to be very valuable. Halin is thus invited from now on to the briefs with Commander Ciril. Halin and the commander of Tharbad are also getting along very well (roll 10 +2 status + 1 Engineer +1 Metallurgy = 14, good).

Halin spends the best of his day advising Hearon and planning the construction of a small-scale foundry for Tharbad. During his preparation work, he is introduced to a scrap metal merchant called Vacros. Vacros is an Easterling operating a ship under lease from the Prince of Dol Amroth. Vacros is extremely friendly to Halin (roll 14 +2 status +1 Metallurgy +2 potential client = 19, excellent), but in part because Halin is the key to his next big sale. Nonetheless, Vacros is a fearless merchant with a badass team of sailor who may come handy if the Commission takes to the sea in the spring.

Skill in progress : Metallurgy ( 8hrs, on-the-job), Architecture( 12 hrs, self-learning (assisted by Haeron), carousing ( 8 hrs, on-the-job)

Sir Galdor and Kasper are soldiering

Sir Galdor was received by Commander Ciril with polite reservation (roll 9 +2 Status = 11, neutral). He was instructed to take on the leadership of a squad of 5 men tasked to establish a daily perimeter perimeter to the south of Tharbad and keep an eye on Dunlending movements. Sir Galdor’s men are still rather neutral (roll 8 +2 status + 1 rank = 11) to their new leader: he may be a noble knight, but he is the youngest man in the patrol nonetheless.

The new job isn’t that easy, but Galdor is finally feeling like he is doing what he was born to do: lead men of war.

Galdor :
New Military rank: Rank 1 [5 pts]
Skill in progress : Leadership (8 hrs, on-the-job), Riding (12 hrs, on-the-job), Teaching (4 hrs, on-the-job), Solider (15 hrs, on-the-job), Intelligence Gathering (4 hrs, on-the-job)

Kasper’s work as a squire took off more than ever since the arrival in Tharbad. With Sir Gador taking on a patrol leader role, Kasper gets to sample the exerting life of a soldier. Unfortunately, there is no love between Galdor’s men and Kasper (roll 4 +1 Status = 5, bad). The men find Kasper unsettling, and Kasper has the distinct feeling that the rest of the patrol wouldn’t hesitate to do ill on him if the occasion occurs. This works out well, because this means less punch pulled during sparring: Kasper gets a good work out bashing on Galdor’s men, even if it means sporting darker bruise than necessary at the end of the day.

He spends a little time at the Alehouse like everybody else and keep an ear for rumors and interesting folks. The rest of his time is spent going over either his favourite book, or the Treatise on shrouding Palantirs.

Kasper : Skill in progress: Leadership (2 hours, on-the-job), Riding (12 hrs, on-the-job), Two-handed sword (6 hours, self-teaching), Intelligence Gathering (4 hrs, self-learning). Treatise of the Mind (14 hours, self-learning), Treatise on Palantirs ( 6 hours, self-learning).

The Commission embarks on a sea voyage

While Arnadil is seeking information about the Great White North, he hears of a new prisoner in the brig that is of Northerling stock. A teenager he is, an a thief. He was caught stealing from the Guard stores in the dock area. Arnadil met with him and found that the kid, Thannolf, can actually speak the language of the folks in the far north, and knows bits of Forochel Lore. Arnadil offers him a position of guide for the commission, with payment to be made after the end of the trip. 

Arnadil manages to get the funds released by Commander Ciril to rent a ship to sail to the Ice-Bay of Forochel. The ship is commanded by Vacros, the scrap metal trader. Arnadil uses his mechant skills to manage to squeeze out of Vacros 15% of any profits made if any sales are made while on journey. Vacros is very unimpressed with himself for agreeing to this, but somehow Arnadil managed to swindle him into this rotten deal. 

On the morning of Gwirith 1  (April), the Raven set out for the Ice-Bay of Forochel.   

1 comment:

  1. Did Fin get anything out of that sparing with Irina's students?