Tuesday, July 5, 2016

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #45: The Destiny of Dukes... and Princesses

32nd of HexDec, 1135, Free Barony of Vadevincsky
A plot to overthrow the Kingdom of Marakeikos had been uncovered!

Gwen But first, we need to find out who stole our %#%@!#$ horses!

Nothing could be found, so they set up a makeshift camp for the night. 

On the third watch of the night, a huge flying thing blocked out the crescent moon.  It gets dark and hen light again.  Gwen wakes up the other Trogs,

Tyweulyn kept an eye on the creature as Gwen helped the others with their armor.

Zorin moved to a better position and reported back that there were at least four people ontop a large saddle on the "bird"  It appeared to be twenty times the size of the men!

By the time dawn rolled around, Gwen could identify the creature as a Birch Roc, which tend to be much larger than average rocs. Their circling around the forest seemed to be growing greater and greater.   Gwen explained that these creatures can detect horses and ponies within a 100 yards, do the chance of finding their horses were probably nil.

In a quick Trog meeting, Zorin wanted to try to get a message to Linnard, but given the circumstances, the rest wanted to head back to Celsior with the roc noticing them.

By mid day, the back portion of roc's huge arc fell behind the hills and it does not return. The Trogs set up a more secure camp with the same, if more vigilant watches.

33rd of HexDec, 1135.  Free Barony of Vadevincsky
The party woke up, prayed for spells, and the head off early.  They spent the better part of the day, eluding, a sizable, but clumsy patrol of mixed races.  Around mid-afternoon, they saw the roc take off again with people on its back and head south.  Tyweulyn performed some recon, finds the army, and reported that they were heading south as well, towards Celsior, or possibly Mirros.

With an army between the Trogs and the destination they need to warn, Zorin  convinced Gwen to turn into a bird, have Terval cast Invisibility on her, and fly with Tyweulyn to Celsior and find Baron Desmond.

Gwen: "Hope they listen to the tree hugging dirt worshipper and a pixie fairy."

They flew off,  leaving the rest of the party behind.

35th of HexDec, 1135.  Near Celsior, Marakeikos
Gwen and Ty came across across two large armies fighting.  One side was Marakeikan.  The other side was full of bugbears, goblins, and golems?   They could do nothing but press on...

1st of SeptDec, 1135, Celsior
Tyweulyn and Gwen finally reached Celsior. They approached the castle and requested a meeting with Desmond.

They are scheduled for an afternoon meeting with "Bobbitt" who is yet another Seneschal.  He was barely cordial with them, informing them in a most exasperating way that they are already aware of the encroaching army,  DUKE Desmond is out leading the armies against Vadevinscy.

They took their leave, went back to Trog HQ and got the skinny on what's going on.    Apparently, the Queen's messenger arrived with a decree from Queen Adrianna bequeathing the title of Duke upon desmond, and declaring all his territory to be call the Duchy of Celsior.  A formal ceremony would take place soon, but first he must leave the armies Marakeikos against the usurpers!

For Gwen, this was confusing, for although she didn't follow politics, she was sure the Seneschal of Marakeikos was still in charge and Princess Adrianna was not eligible to sit on the throne for a few more months...

3rd of SeptDec, 1135, Marakeikos Wilds
After flying through the battlezones, the duo finally met up with the Trogs.  She reviews their conversation with Bobbitt and the Duke's new status.   Zorin wanted to head towards all the armies, but Janus reminds him of the message that Pangrus gave him.  He then demanded everyone travel to Mirros and claim this is all the work of the Master.

Not a horse can be found, so it took many days to reach the capital.

8th of SeptDec, 1135 Elven Dominion of Radlebb
The Trogs travel through Dominion of Radleb.  Refugee elves from Agenmoory have seen Marakeikan armies fighting each other!  Everyone, persona and monster, is escaping the wilderness  We are running through the Dominion of Radleb.

New rumors are acquired as they purchase steeds to finish the trip to Mirros:
  • In addition to Baron Desmond becoming Duke, a new Baroness has been named for the area around... Cloudland Castle?
  • This was going to be a great year for the harvests.  
They continue on their travels towards Mirros before dinner.

10th of SeptDec, 1135, Mirros, Marakeikos
The Trogs reached Mirros, to find a small wooden fort with the Barthey flag flying appears outside the city limits .   They reconnected with General Bacares. He knows nothing of Bargle or Seneschal Bobbit, and there had been no update from home.

They requested a new audience with Alexis Korrigan, but when they arrive, they are informed that he has cancelled.  As the guards escort them out, Korrigan pops out of a hallway and asks them to come with him. He escorts them to an awaiting carriage that takes them out a secret gate and takes them to the neighboring village of Marlinev.  They were led to a small cottage to have an audience with the Queen herself. 

One of her advisors, an unnamed wizard, did the majority of the talking. 

After the Trogs left Celsior to investigate the unrest, Desmond sent secret magical messages to Korrigan and Baron Sherlane in Califon.  Between the aggressiveness of the Master's envoy, the rumored armies to the north, and his trust in the Burning Trogs as honest ambassadors, Princess Adrianna needed to ascend to the throne early to allow a figurehead to lead the kingdom through these times of troubles.  If Marakeikos could survive the uprising and political maneuvering, any hero emerging from it may decide to declare a rightful stake at the crown.  With the blessings of Celsior, Califon, the elvish elders, and most of the prominent Traldar families (the Marlinevs included), Adrianna was snuck out of Mirros and crowned Queen.  She has sent out numerous decrees acknowledging her ascension, the promotion of Desmond to command the armies, etc, but outside a few loyal advisors, and dozens of fanatical henchman of the Marlinev family, no one knows where she is.   Not even her own husband, Devon Hyraskos, the Admiral of the Marakeikan Navy, knows her whereabouts.

The ambassadors from Barthey fill in the Queen of the knowledge they have uncovered.  The Queen finally speaks and fills in the details.

"Bargle is simply a bad man.  He was the Court Magician for King Ludwig of Vlachia.  It's very possible that the "L" you mentioned in the communication is Ludwig, but he's been missing for four months.  He had mysteriously showed up in Stronghome custody charged with crimes against halflinghood, but somehow, he mysteriously escaped. Bargle should be to blame for that."

"We accept an alliance with Barthey against the Master and his allies, but first we must quell this attempt to overthrow the crown.  The Minister of War has mobilized all five of our standing armies against  Vadevincsky.  They must be defeated first."

Janus:  Zorin decided we need to fight in Marakeikos. I think this isn't a good idea, besides the fact that Pangrus told hime to stay out of the  "Big War"."

The next morning, Zorin lead the Barthey Heavy Cavalry of the 1st Barthey Expeditionary Force west towards Celsior.

Next:  Episode #46:  The Fate of Marakeikos

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