Friday, April 14, 2017

Bretwalda - Daggers of Oxenaforda pt.1 - Murdered

Location: Oxenaforda county, Danelaw's territory, Border with Wessex.
Time: January
Character Cast:

After the botched raid on Brixworth (Episode 1), Kollsvein brother became the clan leader on the run from the Jarl of Northumbria. He was joined by Kollsvein's widow, Eydis, and a pagan seer named Aarne. They rode to the south to steal farming lands from conquered Saxon territory in the hope that the drought had been less severe in the south. 

The travelers arrived in a small settlement in the vicinity of Oxenaforda. They were met by a small number of danes coming out of a pallisaded strong point of Saxon origin. The danes ushered the travelers inside swiftly and introduced themselves. Their leader, named Alda, was a friendly individual. He invited them to share a meal and an ale in the longhouse. 

Eydis tried to assert her authority over Brynjar but was put back on the sideline. While the men were engaged in a pointless discussion about headcount, she was approached by a dwarf, painted like a cornish man, who engaged her into small talks (Actually, a critical success on Fortune-Telling, so she pretty much told him everything that she knew). Meanwhile, Hallvard tried to engage with the #2 in Beckley, but only met resistance and a certain feeling of unease about the travelers' motives. 

By mid afternoon, some excitement took over the fort. Alda launched an elaborate con operation to make the fort appears to be staffed  by more warriors than it was. To buff her numbers, he invited the travelers to join in in the meeting of an advancing procession. Brynjar followed. The procession was a group of Saxon soldiers escorting a cart driven by a Christian priest. A Saxon huscarl followed from the edge of the village, then about 10 danes. As the saxons were arriving, Brynjar prompted Hallvard to get Alda to concede part of the danegelt loot. Alda, having to concede discretely, agreed to give them a cut. 

No one suspects the Cornish dwarf.
The Saxon were upset that the danes wouldn't be escorting the cart back to Oxenaforda. Everyone headed back into the longhouse to celebrate the danegelt payment. The danes got drunk pretty fast. A few hours later, more danes arrived with in their arms the chainmails of the Saxon soldiers. Much rejoicing was to be had as daylight faded to the red glow of the fire pit. As the evening devolved into a drunken debauchery, the travelers plotted to overthrow Alda and take over Beckley. 

On the sideline, Osmond figured out that his service may come handy. Aarne first pretended to read the bones and made up a prophecy about the change of leadership to a dane with blonde hair. Hallvard made sure that the prophecy stayed alive as the audience got floored drunk. Things came up to a head when Alda finally challenged Brynjar to a duel. Alda was very drunk, and managed to stay on his feet long past the combat was over. 

Alda was laid to rest on a litter with two deep cut to his chest. The audience was much too drunk to consider the implications of the change in leadership. This would have to wait for the morrow. As the fire died down, Osmond crept to the litter and dismissed the slave taking care of his wounds. Alda opened his eyes by a slit as Osmond sank a dagger in his heart.  

On the following day, the danes came to term with the unexpected turn of event. Brynjar realized that taking over wouldn't be without challenges. However, for the time being, Beckley was in their hands.  

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