Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Social Butterfly: random social networking for new characters

This post is a small chunk of a random generation set of tables that I made up for GURPS traveller. The whole minigame was pretty fun, but I'm mostly interested only on the social networking bit here. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bretwalda - The Abbey of Brixworth pt. 1

Location: Brixworth, Danelaw's territory, former Middle-Angle kingdom.
Time: Harvest time (around September)
Character Cast:

  • Wyne of Brixworth, convalescing one-armed thegn. (Dan)
  • Edlyn, Abbot of Brixworth. (Martin)
  • Holt, coerl and caretake of the estate. (NPC)
  • Ingram of Brixworth: Danish adoptive son of the Earldorman (Jason).


It had been a terrible harvest in the kingdom of the Middle-Angles. People were starving, although the whether was more to blame than the Danes.  The ground in Brixworth was bone dry, the crops had failed, the cattles had to be sacrificed, and so was about half of the sheep's herd. A Dane raid to the south had caused much damage. The Earldorman, answering to the call of  neighbor, had left to the south a few days ago with his fyrd made of most of his able-bodied men. Wyne of Brixworth, a thegn, had to stay behind to recover from the amputation of his left arm.

Abbey of Brixworth, 9th century.
Wyne was drinking watered down wine when a horse walked out of the forest up from the southern road. He reached for his spear and headed to meet the animal. The horse belonged to the Earldorman. The saddle had signs of damage made by a blade. Some dried blood was caked in the weave. He lead the horse to the Earldorman's homestead. Lady Ora confirmed that is was one of the Earldorman's horse, but not his personal mount. They headed to the Abbey with the kids and met with Abbot Edlyn for a conference.

Later into the morning, Wyne was walking to the southern edge of the estate when a number of Danes arrived into view. Hey mocked the one-armed Saxon in their own language. Wyne was livid. The Danes demanded a cart full of food, 70 silver coins, and all of the cattles and sheeps. Wyne lost his cool and tried to engage the leader. He only received mockery for it. They promised to come back on the following morning.

The trio, soon joined by Holt, a ceorl (freeman), discussed the possibility of a Dane raid. They settled on moving the valuable assets and the people to the Abbey. Ingram, the Danish adopted son of the Earldorman, came back from a long horse ride to the North. He probed the southern approach. Ingram intended to ride south to make contact with the Danish camp. However, he ran into a pair of sentries camping at the edge of the woods and decided to head back to the Abbey. A watch to the North confirmed that the Northern road was also covered by a pair of Danes.  The Saxon decided to mount an ambush on the sentries under the cover of night. They relaxed in the cool of the Abbey while the sweltering heat cursed the world outside.

The ambush went just ducky, giving everyone a
false sense of invincibility.
The Saxons waited for the night to mount an ambush against the sentries to the South.  Coerl Holt and Friar Hrothgar slipped through the dry underbrush and, taking advantage of a deep knowledge of the surrounding, made it meticulouslty to about 15 yards of the campfire without being detected. Wyne, Edlyn and Ingram made their way under the cover of darkness down the road. Since the Danes were huddled around a campfire, they too made it to the 15 yard line. The startled sound of an alarmed Dane triggered the assault. Edlyn' arrow hit one of the from a respectable 50 yards, followed by the spears from Wyne and Ingram. The second Dane was grievously wounded by Wyne's spear. Holt hacked the other Dane with his great axe. By the time that the last Dane was standing, he had received another injury from Hrothgar's spear and fell to the ground.

Edlyn attempted to perform an interrogation on the last one standing, but the Dane spat blood back at his face. Wyne, trying to rough him up, went into a blind rage and killed the Dane before he could spit more blood in his direction. So much for getting information from that one. That lest the other Dane with an arrow in his leg and a great axe gash in his back. Hrothgar stabilized the main wound and contained the bleeding. The Dane was, however, unconscious and on the cusp of death.

They recovered two Danish horses. Edlyn then propted the dead Dane to a tree and wrote on his shield using the Dane's own blood the word: "Cattl". He fell to a grand mal seizure before writing down the last letter. The Saxon contained him while he writhed, then took everyone back to the Abbey.

The new moon left Brixworth in a false semblance of peace. In the Abbey, Abbot Edlyn was recovering from his fit. People were talking: was it the Devil's work, divine retribution, or just the mark of a soul worned down by past atrocities? Edlyn and Ingram decided to scout to the south to locate the Dane's main camp. Holt, Hrothgar and Wyne headed North to scout the position of the sentries over there.

Ingram and Edlyn walked past the grim scarecrow and proceeded down the road until an advantageous bent. Edlyn plotted an ambush site while Ingram moved to contact further down the road. Ingram eventually ran into a group of three Danes having a meal by a bonfire. He couldn't see signs of others and concluded that the camp was much smaller than he expected. They both ended back at the Abbey for a meal and much needed sleep. Wyne and the others were already back and confirmed that two Danes were blocking the way Northward. The sentries detected them and they decided to recoil and regroup.

They were tired, hungry and stressed. However, the prospect of taking the fight to the surprised Dane was still on the table.