A Knot of Thrones - Balentyne Reconnaissance

Vicky wakes up early, before the rest of the party, and heads back to the tower.  Just as she did the day before, she makes herself invisible, sneaks into the tower, and reports for duty in the kitchen.  Throughout the day she converses with her fellow servants and overhears head cook Sue say "Bellam Barhold is such a lush. He does enjoy his wine. He’s always complaining about how he can’t get any of the good stuff here in the borderlands."

Shivers, Lumond, and Harlocke wake for the day, eat their breakfast quietly at the Inn, then head to the farmland area of town so they can discuss their strategies out of earshot of other town folk.  Lumond hands Shivers a note Vicky left for him outlining some items she needs procured from the market while she is gone.  The meeting concludes with Shivers making his way to Master Caldwin’s Cauldron to purchase 2 doses of Oil of Restfulness.  Harlocke bullies a local teen into giving him a crutch then proceeds to disguise himself as an injured farmer and hobbles off to The Church of St. Alden.  

Lumond lingers near the farmlands watching sacks of potatoes being hauled away.  Asking around about the potatoes he learns it's potato soup day at the tower.  One farm hand even says "I hear Captain Varning is leading another patrol out tomorrow. I wonder how long they’ll be gone this time? The last time they were gone for five days! If you ask me, these patrols are a waste of time. They’re just an excuse for Varning to get out of the tower and gallivant around the countryside instead of doing his fair share of guard duty." as another farmhand responds with "They say the bugbears are massing up north. I wonder what their up to? Well, it doesn’t matter! We’ll be ready for ‘em! You’d think those shaggy walking carpets would have learned by now that the Watch Wall is unbreakable!".  This intrigues Lumond so he heads to the tower and inquires about Varning's patrol, presenting some wine and food as gifts for the good Captain.  He learns that Captain Varning has 6 young soldiers he takes out on patrol and that they typically camp near Freeman's Rock (about a 2 day hike southwest of town).  Happy with his findings, Lumond heads back to the Inn.

After a successful haul at Master Caldwin's Cauldron, Shivers stumbles across a group of cats; one of which has several kittens following in tow.  Always the deviant, Mister Shivers quickly snatches up one of the young souls, puts it out of it's misery, stuffs it into his backpack, and heads back to the Inn for lunch.

Meanwhile, at the church, Harlocke meets Brother Justin of Travismere, the caretaker of the church.  Hoping to meeting Father Donnagin, Harlocke learns that the good father rarely visits the church much these days, spending most of his time in service of the tower.  Spending the next hour of worship, he overhears brother Justin say "Have you ever been to the choir hall of Balentyne? Amazing! The priests are such beautiful singers and sometimes the stone saints that adorn the place join in the chorus. Such a miracle!".   Concluding his business at the church, Harlocke disguises himself as a wealthy merchant and makes way to the town hall where he meets the village reeve Dominik Vallison.  Vallison, recognizing good taste, shares details of the upcoming town market and its' merchants.  Although the market is still a few days out (happening this coming Sunday), he does register Harlocke a spot for him to sell sculptures; something Harlocke claimed to do upon his first meeting of Dominik.  After a successful encounter with the magistrate, Harlocke heads back to the Inn to meet up with his friends. 

Back at the Inn, Shivers leaves Vicky the kitten he found as a trophy.  As Lumond and Harlocke return, they all sit down for a lovely lunch with some coded discussion about their adventures around town that morning.  They decide to start the festivities at the Inn by garnering the help of a few performers to play music.  This gets the dwarves drinking at the bar area rowdy with the whole Inn now in full swing.  Harlocke and Lumond take this moment to sneak down to the cellar.  Remembering the secret tunnel from the night before, they open the tunnel and head through the winding passage nearly a mile into a dark vault.  It holds a vast stockpile of durable, emergency rations that are still edible (if only just).  Several thousand days’ worth of iron rations fills this vault alongside barrels of potable water and other durable provisions. A trap door in the ceiling leads up to the armory.  They open the trap door slowly and look around the armory.  There is a fully functional forge here that vents its smoke through a crude chimney.  On racks are twenty halberds, longswords, breastplates and heavy steel shields. All bear the marks of the Talirean military.  Our villains slowly open the door to the west to discover a dark hallway and the sound of several people snoring.  Considering this a win, the two head back to the Inn and rejoin the party briefly before heading to bed for the evening.  Shivers, being caught up in the festivities, doesn't notice Harlocke and Lumond's return.  Eventually he concludes to resign to his chamber for the evening.

Waiting until the wee morning hours, Vicky disguises herself as a random guard and goes off to explore the tower more.  She locates the armory and heads up the tower to the rookery until she sees a faint bit of light from under a door and heads back down.  Making her way to the great bridge she notices two guards stationed across the draw bridge; she decides not to tempt fate and heads back to the main entrance to Aldencross.  A guard stops her at the door and accuses her of abandoning her post, threatening to turn her in.  A quick decision on her part dissuades the guard in pursuing her allowing her to retreat to the pantry and wait until the rest of the staff returns in the morning.  She feels exhausted from lack of sleep.  

Start of Wednesday, Day 3

Harlocke wakes early, as he did the day before, and heads out to see Captain Varning heading out of town on horseback with his patrol.  Once back to the Inn, Harlocke and Lumond disguise themselves ad guards making their way to Mama Giuseppe's residence to talk with her.  They all have a lovely conversation about how she makes her stew, how it is delivered, and how it's served to the soldiers of the tower.  They also discus the upcoming market and the play where our villains offer to sit with Mama during the performance.  They dismiss themselves and head back to the Inn.

Vicky, always the hardworking type, makes friends with Sue, the head cook of the tower kitchen, learning more about what it takes to become a cook.  Around noon, she makes her leave and returns to the Inn.

GM Thoughts

It's been a nice change of pace to have such engaging role playing this session.  The players learned a lot of information and are making some clever plans on how they can better infiltrate the tower, take out key persons, and prepare for the horde's invasion.  Some of their points of interest (as observed by the GM):

  • They now have a secret passage they can use to get into the tower unnoticed.
  • The group of dwarves at the Inn seem to have unmonitored access to the tower as they are performing remodeling to it.
  • Captain Varning's patrol could be of interest.  Killing some, or all, of the patrol might weaken defenses.  Posing as the patrol could get them access to the tower also.
  • The troupe of actors performing the play on Saturday will have access to the tower.  It also may be a good distraction as it seems all of the tower will be in attendance.
  • Mama Giuseppe's beef stew could provide a means of organically poisoning the entire tower of guards.  
  • The town market on sunday might be a good distraction as it seems to be a big event.
  • The night shift at the tower has so far been a skeleton crew.  Might be a good time to do more recon or to slowly take out guardsmen.
  • Something big, perhaps unnatural is going on in the main tower of the watch tower.
  • Father Donnagin might be corruptible.  


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