Sunday, July 19, 2020

Kommando Kronikles: Two Knights and Two Ghosts

Sir Sander of Lychgate

Characters Present
Stavros, Fanatical fighting-man and devotee of St Deodat [only in the first session]
Abraham Nermal, graverobber turned landowner
Kozel, Novgovite cleric and devotee of St Santa Claus (Eastern)
Johanna d'Ligne, Averois cleric and devotee of St Santa Claus (Western)

Uein of "Nordovulgaria" (actually just a part of Vulgary), folk hero and fighter
Istvan Melles, pagan barbarian and foul changeling (also from Vulgary)

Leftember 26th - Quintember 1st 1396
  • Long has the party planned on traveling to Blackleg and dealing with the following hook, which they heard about last Duodecember:
    Perhaps in anticipation of needing to pay for this, or perhaps just knowing that with a war on he is likely to need the Iron, the Bishop has also let it be known that he is offering a knighthood (or 200gp if the person is already a knight) for any who can restore the mine in Blackleg to its proper activity. What precisely stopped the workflow is up to debate, but most agree that knockers are involved and some dimly whisper of a creature called "the Old Man of the Mountain."
  • In the meantime, Bishop Notker had appointed a knight named Sander of Lychgate to take over the wardship of Anne of Waldheim, thus making him the de facto Count of Blackleg.
  • He had arrived some time ago in Nightwick and had discussed making the journey to Blackleg with Abraham and Stavros in order to "meet the neighbors." A member of his entourage, Witchsmeller Hertel, made friends with Kozel during a drinking bout Kozel had with Osperant of Prattle. He had assured Sander that rumors of Stavros and Kozel's heresy were untrue.
  • Johanna had spent the past month deep in prayer attempting to dedicated a ruined church near Frogguts to St Santa Claus and the God of Law. Upon finish her prayers she was able to change Uein back to flesh after he had been poisoned by a basilisk in the Great Swamp. They arrived a few days before the party was set to leave.
  • Fingers, the lieutenant of the Howling Kommandos, had informed Stavros that the leader of the Corbies had become good friends with Sir Sander. Not yet sure what to make of Sander, Stavros decided he should leave the Corbies behind in Nightwick while the Kommandos traveled with Sander's small army.
  • Fingers also informed him that Sir Sander had met with a strange group of men and women under mysterious circumstances, though he did not know the content of the meeting.
  • Abraham elected to take the Loyal Toads (a group of frogling infantry) and the Company of Devil's with him on the journey, planning to leave the Toads in Frogguts where they could bolster the new trading house Fredrick Bull was running there.
The Journey from Nightwick to Blackleg normally takes about 3 days
  • They left on an overcast morn with thunder threatening the oncoming deluge that marked most of their journey. 
  • By the evening they had made it to the outskirts of Knightpath, where they found a man who claimed to be "the Knight of Knightpath" and demanded that those wishing to pass into the village must joust him before doing so. 
  • Kozel, in one of his characteristic acts of zealotry, conjured part of the storm to bring down lightning in order to invite the God of Law and Saint Santa Claus to view any such joust.
  • Stavros was able to goad Sander into doing three tilts against the knight noting that "it seems like your sort of thing."
  • Sander bested the knight in the joust but took several hard hits in doing so. Kozel healed Sander and Johanna offered to heal the Knight of Knightpath. The knight took some persuading but ultimately was convinced by the logic that if the God of Law had not meant him to be healed then he would not have sent two clerics.
  • Curious as to why the knight felt that only those who were good at jousting should enter Knightpath, Stavros queried him on this topic. The Knight of Knightpath responded that he meant to keep out frogling caravans, which he felt came too often to the village. This soured everyone's mood greatly, as the Howling Kommandos are known friends of Froglings.
  • In Knightpath they discovered the lord of the village - a member of the Order of the Elk - was embarrassed by the storybook antics of the Knight of Knightpath, noting that he was a new recruit into the order.
  • That night the leadership of the Howling Kommandos, along with Sir Sander, ate in the manor of the lord of Knightpath.
  • During the dinner, Abraham attempted to recount the time he and others of the Howling Kommandos had saved Knightpath from a group of dreaded varkolaks. His storytelling was of poor quality, and soon their host and Sir Sander began to nod off.
  • However, when he mentioned the name of Martha the Black, who had been the acting lord of Knightpath at the time, they heard screaming erupt from where the Howling Kommandos were sleeping.
  • They rushed out to find that Martha's shade was attacking them, her head lolling around the gaping neck wound she had been allegedly delt by the mercenary Badder some years ago.
  • Abraham had prepared for this eventuality, and removed from a sack the porcine head of Badder, who had been captured and turned into a pig-man after the Battle of Vollage. The Howling Kommandos had slain him during their retaking of the Witchfort.
  • Upon seeing the black fur and white streaks atop the disembodied pig head, Martha's shade knew who it was and that his fate was far worse than hers. She let out a wheezing laugh as her head rolled back (again exposing the wound) and the spectre descended down into the earth - no more to ever trouble men.
  • During the next day Sander proposed hunting in the Fog-bound Forest, but the torrential downpour and the fear that he might need silver weapons for such an endeavor put him off the idea.
  • The party then made their way to Frogguts with little issue, left the Loyal Toad's there and found that one of the froglings in the service of Fredrick Bull had been convinced to worship St Santa Claus.
  • The next day they passed an elf corpse that has lain unmolested on the road for many months now - seemingly incorruptible save for the mortal wound dealt to it by a bear trap.
  • Outside the town of Blackleg they found a number of men they believed to be from Anne's garrison (many clothed in the livery of Waldheim) attempting to desert. 
  • Abraham instructed the Company of Devil's to round up these men and they were subdued quickly. 
  • Kozel, Johanna, and Witchsmeller Hertel discussed how to properly interrogate these men once they arrived in Blackleg. Kozel was able to determine from Sir Sander's demeanor that, despite employing him, Sander may be skeptical of Hertel's powers.
The Town of Blackleg
  • The party arrived in blackleg during the worst part of a days-long storm. The town seemed to lack a garrison, and Sander was able to quickly get his men to occupy the military buildings both inside and outside the walls.
  • As evening turned into night the thunder and rain continued, but a group of soldiers in the livery of Blackleg came down from the castle in the south and announced to Sander that Anne of Waldheim wished to dine with him tonight.
  • The group opted to follow Sander, taking the Kommandos with them up the switchback trail into the foothills of the Nameless Mountains. The going was rough as the way was slick from the constant rain and the only illumination were the frequent bolts of lightning.
Castle Blackleg
  • Arriving at the castle around midnight, the party found that both themselves and the castle's guards were dead tired. Still, both groups remained awake in order to perform the courtesy of having Anne feast the new lord.
  • Their horses stabled and their soldiers quartered, the party was led to a dining hall of some size to meet with Anne of Waldheim. There they found her dressed not in the red livery of that city but in the yellow of Blackleg, and noted with some interest that she introduced herself as Anne of Blackleg.
  • Kozel, who had cast a spell on himself as they were led to this large chamber, was able to see an immolated corpse seated next to her - the ghost of her husband Arn of Waldheim. The party had known for some time that his ghost was rumored to haunt the towers, warning that previous appointees of the bishop were responsible for his slaying. It was the general consensus of those living in the town that the ghost would be heeded more if his pronouncements had been vaguer.*
  • During the dinner, Abraham and Kozel attempted to suss out the character of Sir Sander, as he had thus far been something of an enigma. Istvan, however, took opportunities to make Sander look like a city fop and to promote his own barbaric virtues.
  • Stavros made a comment about Kozel's ability to see "between worlds" and Kozel noticed that Anne gave a very subtle hand gesture that the invisible (to all but Kozel) shade of Arn took as a command to leave.
  • Anne shortly exited the dinner but offered to have more food brought up. It was clear to Kozel that this had to do with her husband but unclear if that meant she was a witch controlling him or merely a concerned wife unable to let go.
  • After convincing Sander he should go to bed in the quarters appointed for them, the rest of the group debated the nature of Anne and the ghost. Kozel and Abraham said they should wait outside the sleeping quarters and then rush in to save Sander when the ghost "inevitably" attacked him.
  • Johanna and Istvan had a different idea. They decided to sneak out into the courtyard of the castle and use the same magic Kozel had used to reveal the ghost in the first place to search for him. They found security to be quite tight, despite everyone in the castle being quite tired.
  • While Johanna and Istvan were trying to find an exit through the latrine, they saw the ghost was above them - in the very room where Sander slept!
  • Hearing Sander seemingly in the grips of a night terror, Kozel burst into the room. Seeing nothing, he placed Sir Sander under a hold person spell and then attempted to turn undead.
  • The ghost, now visible to all, appeared in its burned hideousness and flew through the walls away from the Novgovite cleric... right into the stairway Johanna and Istvan were making there way up!
  • A battle ensued with mostly Johanna, Istvan, and Uein battling the ghost.
  • Uein, seemingly terminally unlucky, was aged 30 years by the ghost's terrifying scream.
  • Abraham gave Sir Sander a silver dagger as Kozel announced that the "hunt [was] on," seemingly hoping to make Sander feel like an ally of the party.
  • Sander, still in his bedclothes and armed only with his knife, arrived just in time to see Johanna destroy Arn's spirit for good, shattering it with the bells of St Santa Claus and watching it destroyed in the spectral fire of the Pit.
Anne of Blackleg
  • The next morning, the absolutely exhausted party met with Anne once again, announcing to her the release of Arn's ghost from the World. She seemed saddened and relieved in a way that some of the kommandos compared to the reaction of someone who had been in an abusive relationship.
  • Sir Sander took some of the credit for the deed, irritating some of the party and seemingly all according to plan for others.
  • Some discussion of the ghost's attempt to possess Sander led many of the assembled to realize that the infamous fall that Baltzer the Bold had taken from the high tower of the castle to be an act of Arn from the grave.
  • With all these adventures now behind them, the party made ready to talk to Anne about Blackleg Mine...
Monsters Killed
Martha's Shade and Arn's Ghost

Treasure Gained
10 suits of splint armor

XP Per Player for both sessions

XP for Stavros

* Famously he screamed "Baltzer murdered me, you fools!" before an assembly brought before Baltzer the Bold when he was lord of Blackleg.