Betrayal-and-Attrition

Session 4- April 2009

PC’s Present
Guznik Rocaviche aka “Our Fearless Leader”(Mike Harris)
Destrier (Jason Johnson)
Martin Greenlocke – “Locke” (Darren McVittie)
Nami aka “Our Brilliant Captain” (Jody Sherwood)

The Shell Game

On the streets of Ravens Bluff there is a common, although somewhat unsavory, sight as one travels about. At nearly every intersection where the authorities are not in evidence, there is a small, easily transported table set up, generally covered with a fine swath of silk or linen. Around this table there is a small crowd of tourists, stretching and craning their heads in order to be able to observe the tabletop. Upon this table there rests three circular cup-like objects. The person behind the table usually claims that they are rare Aboleth eggs, turned to cups for the audiences’ edification. The presenter then places a single gem under one of these, and begins moving them around and around on top of the table, switching the placement of the three cups as the crowd watches. The idea is then that the observers, for a small wager, can try to choose which cup holds the gem, winning the gem if they are correct, losing the wager if they are not. Obviously, the audience member always loses.

I bring up this sight because this week our heroes seemed to imitate nothing so much as this shell game. They were persistent in their wishes to appear to be what they were not and were incessant in their efforts to lose at every opportunity! Let me elaborate…

The whole situation began as our Heros tried to imitate civilized folk. Ensconced in the Princesses apartments at the end of a very fancy party they looked the part of a noble entourage, but of course, we all know this was the shallowest of shams. Deciding that perhaps this illusion wouldn’t hold long enough to fool everyone looking on, we approached Kendra the Seneschal in hopes that we could stroll down to the docks where we really did belong and take a quick peek to ensure that all was well with the boat (you remember, the boat, the one thing that Rochaviche still owns in the world, the single way we have left to reclaim his birthright, the one thing that might allow us eventual revenge and redemption – oh yes! The Boat!). At this point Destrier decided that he would further fool everyone. Instead of being a brilliant bodyguard, he would ensure that he was a complete liability by always playing the odds with his new favorite number – a one. Kendra apparently was also game for the deception mode for she abruptly changed from kind and generous host to brutal commander, quite possibly ordering us to our deaths in the deep of the night. Deciding to really get into the spirt of the evening we didn’t even try to act like heros, but took on the clever disguise of humble sheep and quietly gathered our things and hurried meekly to an unknown fate.

Out in the streets, it became apparent that once again Rocaviche had set the trend. Now everyone was trying to seem to be something that they weren’t. The whole town had turned into a war zone, with armies readying, front lines being established and siege preparations being made. What happened to the fun port city we stopped at just a day or two ago…remember the “have a little shore leave, do a few drugs, get a little drunk and pick up some work” place…now we were in the middle of an armed camp, ready to rain armageddon down on everyone! Quite frankly I wasn’t too fond of this game and wished we could get out of it, but Destrier was determined to play, and brought his 1’s to bear, ending us up in an armed camp by the city’s border. The Princess arrived, and apparently she was loving the new motif as well, for she arrived looking not like the sweet Princess of Rocaviche’s dreams, but rather like a vision from one of the darker planes of Hell. Where did she get a horse like that? The theme continued as we discovered that the port wasn’t really a port – it was a swimming pool. It seems that someone had really gotten into the theme of “now you see it, now you don’t” and somehow transported every ship right out of the harbor. THE SHIP IS GONE!

Well, the fun continued. Despite the fact that we have proved numerous times that we are completely incapable of interacting with groups of people without it ending in horrible bloodshed, both Chendra and Kendra felt we should lead a few armed contingents for them. Now completely in the spirit of things we decided we would act as if we were leaders and strategists! Off we charged, leading our troops and setting them about as if we waged war regularly. We came to a small inlet where Chendra assured us that if we could successfully battle the emplaced armies we would have a boat to take us onward. Since we were deep into the spirit of things not being what they really were, we completely took her at her word and suspected nothing else was possible except what she told us. Our Brilliant Captain was so caught up in this game that instead of doing exactly what she wanted, she acted as if she were a true team player and followed Our Fearless Leader’s orders to the letter. Our Fearless Leader, for his part, acted like he was a concerned and brilliant strategist, and not once throughout the whole event did he even hint at killing off his own crew members! Everyone got into the act as Martin rains down arrows on an unknown enemy and once again Destrier uses his new lucky number to find himself alone and discovered on the wrong side of enemy lines. Chendra, not to be outdone in this game of not being what you were, decided to charge in the calvary at just the wrong moment, ensuring that the battle would go fairly horribly wrong. Finally, to culminate the evening, Our Brilliant Captain decided that she would act like a fighter and go hand-to-hand with a dinosaur, Locke would pick every wrong place to be, Rocaviche would just plain stink in this fight and Destrier would cling tenaciously to his lucky number, running off in defeat to escape certain death. The bad guys took off in boats they apparently have no trouble keeping track of while we managed to tuck our tails between our legs and slink off on a small ship, having less than a quarter of the troops left, gained no ground, and LOST OUR SHIP. Happily it turns out that the mageocracy and their dopplegangers were in charge of the evening’s games, and thus is becomes clear why everything seemed to be different than it truly was. You can’t play a dopplegangers’ game and expect to win!

Our adventures end with a cold rain dripping down on a ship too small to carry the pitiful contingent that made it out of the inlet. Ravens Bluff is now apparently closed to our new employer and her house and we clearly have a first list of enemies of Rocaviche and a second list of enemies of Chendra. All in all, lying in the bowels of my ship sleeping off some lotus blossom is starting to seem like an unattainably high aspiration.

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Session 3 - March 15, 2009

PC’s Present

Guznik Rocaviche aka “Our Fearless Leader”(Mike Harris)
Destrier (Jason Johnson)
  • (Jody Applegate)
    Nami aka “Our Brilliant Captain” (Jody Sherwood)


    Note: Last week’s chronicle seems to have been accused of slanting toward Our Brilliant Captain and ignoring the amazing capabilities of Our Brilliant Leader. Let the record show that it was duly noted, and this entry humbly seeks to refocus the attention where it belongs.

Session begins

Apparently the whole “getting arrested” thing was just meant to be a pleasant invitation to join the party. The Princess only wanted everyone together to have the opportunity to bask in the glow of the aristocracy at work.

Princess Chendra and Rocaviche apparently were on the same page, plotting and planning at a speed that the rest of the assembled cast and crew were only able to watch and marvel at. Luckily the food was fine, the day was pleasant, the chains were removed, and the nobility being throughly convinced of their own greatness and not really requiring anything from the assembled group, the marvel-ing was pleasant enough. As we had suspected, Rocaviche did have a brilliant plan for all the contraband we had shipped. He gave it away. It’s true that the powers of the land think in ways few mere mortals can comprehend. The Princess had, as expected, gone through our entire shipment with no authorization or permission whatsoever. Upon finding our cargo not to her particular taste, she decided that she needed to have a chat with all of us to see what was up. Thus the disturbing “arresting of the entire crew” incident. However Rocaviche had apparently planned for this and used our cargo and our story as a leverage point to enter into the employ of House Molt. We do gain some shipping contracts and a right to dock at ports and berths under the flag and protection of House Molt. However the crew feels a bit “iffy” about that report that “if you ship for House Molt, you are a lifer.” Rocaviche is fairly open in his quest for vengence against those he feels have wronged him (Does anyone know exactly whom these individuals are? Because sometimes the crew seems to mutter that perhaps he thinks EVERYONE in the world has wronged him, and really, who IS on the kill list?) and Princess Chendra seems to want us to hang out at her place and get ready for a ROYAL FUNCTION later in the evening to formalize the whole employment business. She kindly escorts our team to the “Golla Suites” area of the castle and turns us over to the Senechal there.

This is apparently the ideal place to undertake the business of hiring on extra hands. Offers of a future percentage of the family profits in exchange for total deniability for any wet work are made (Does this sound like an old Popeye cartoon…”I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!”) and amazingly accepted. Again the genius of House Rocaviche leaves lesser mortals stunned and amazed.

Of course there are many preparations to be made. Important things like massages and baths and ironing clothes – really, there is even perfumed oils and such! While these vital preparations are being undertaken, the rest of the crew goes slacking about, trying to find out information about who is at the party, whether there are enemies lurking about, who else is invited to tonights ROYAL EVENT and so forth. A possible contact – a goblin by the name of Lt. Norgert – is found and it is apparent that there will be quite a little assemblage of species gathered there tonight, however all seems on the up and up, the ship is still in one piece in the harbor and, fancy invitations in hand, we all meet back up at the fountain in the town square.

Apparently when Rocaviche shows up, everyone wants to be sure they are following his trend-setting style. Who knew he was such a red-carpet guy? There in the fountain square there are a distressing number of dopplegangers somehow associated with the Eye of Gromish trying to look just like Rocaviche and his entourage. And, just like the papparazzi everywhere they are extremely difficult to discourage. Finally they are convinced that they will NOT be attending this little event wearing the same outfit as Our Fearless Leader and they shuffle themselves back to wherever they came from.

The event itself cannot be described. The clothes…the food…the fancy decor… the tiefling? Hold up! A sworn enemy of Our Fearless Leader is here exchanging notes with the Dear Princess. This seems unsavory, and a little rude! What of the blossoming romace between the Princess and the Leader? Apparently the Princess is somewhat of a player and not entirely to be trusted with Rocaviche’s heart (what? you mean we have already entrusted her with our cargo, our ship, our lives and our futures? How can this be?) While the tiefling is discreetly followed, the Princess is approached. In another amazing and completely unexpected move Rocaviche tells her everything about the attack, the tiefling, the rudeness of her dockworkers…everything! He holds nothing back, no cards to his chest, simply gives her every bit of knowledge and information he holds. Again, there is nothing left to do but stare in stunned amazement at this brilliance. How amazingly lucky his crew is to be able to stand near him at times like this.

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The Princess is cavalier about her ongoing dealings with the hateful tiefling, in essence playing coy with Rocaviche and saying that she will shun no suitor ( I mean business opportunity) until it is proven to be in her best interest. She is, however, deeply concerned about the interest that parties have shown in imitating Rocaviche. She offers us her generosity in the form of employment (that may or may not include a small slice of our souls) and her hospitality in the form of a beautiful set of suites here on the castle grounds (that may or may not be the nicest prison the crew has ever stayed in) while she makes a few inquiries of her own.

Session ends

Our intrepid heros find themselves in a rather luxurious set of digs, wondering who is trying to be them, what cargo the Princess may have for them on the morrow and why was the Princess so very eager to release their ship from it’s impound at the docks?

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Session 2- Feb 15, 2009

PC’s Present

Guznik Rocaviche (Mike Harris)
Destrier (Jason Johnson)
Martin Greenlocke “Locke” (Darren McVittie)
Thundermane (Joe)
Nami (Jody Sherwood)
(and 2 more)


Session begins

The crew is at sea and despite the excellent sailing by the amazing captain,the seas are getting rougher. It is time to either seek some shelter or decided that the bottom of the sea is a good real estate investment. A protected but seldom used bay is spotted by the increasingly irreplacable captain. As the group approaches it becomes obvious that another group has already taken shelter there. Cautiously approaching they are made welcome and determine that they will spend the night with these fellow travelers. At first all seems well. Grund the gnome with his assistants Bletz and Tomy welcome them to their little piece of beach, share a fire and a meal and report that they are on a shipping run for one of the major houses. All of the crew settles in to get friendly and a few interesting facts are noted.


“Our Brilliant Captain”

These guys seem to be shipping for House Molt. It turns out that if you are shipping for Molt, you have the ultimate job security. Unless you turn traitor and then your career comes to an abrupt halt, along with your heartbeat. Apparently recently House Molt doubled their profits (although no one really seems to know how that happened or what led up to this remarkable event). Having so much ready investment lying about they decided to take up real estate and have bought up a great deal of outlying land. A very great deal. Houses Veldt and Graun took umbrage with this and seem to be, if not working together, than certainly offering aid and shelter to each other in efforts to work against House Molt. In between, House Toltoil is making out just fine and trying to stay neutral and sell to all sides. Apparently the whole she-bang is run by a Council of 13. Each Family sends three members and then the 13th member is the Council Chamberlain (currently Prince Vizier). The night continues with relative good cheer and as the merriment dies down there seem to be some sinister forms on the horizon. Giant spidery-horrible stuff are attacking from the seaward side while the Molt crew turns downright rude on the beach. Of course, due to the brilliant strategy of the team (what do you mean the bodyguard left the leader to fight it out on his own? And you heard half the team was drunk? They almost let the ship burn down right there in the bay? I don’t know where you are getting your information from!) the dark forces were defeated or chased away and our heros were left on the beach with a windfall of cargo they didn’t expect to have. Upon further investigation it became evident that they were a hold-full of materials to make uniforms of rival armies. Probably not a friendly thing to be transporting. Probably not a great thing for our heros to ship out with. But this group plans ahead and plans big, and I am sure that Rocaviche has some brilliant, if undiscernable, plan for it all.

Some more brilliant captain-ing leads our team with no further difficulties to the docks at Ravens Bluff. Port seems a bit tense, and the dockside area is definitely divided up, although it is difficult to say which bits are on what team. Again the captain brilliantly circumnavigates the difficulty and the ship is safely brought to port. A big ‘ole orc named Tunga Glee wants to take charge of the ship, and be paid to do it! Despite the brilliant advice of the captain, the heros leave the ship, the contraband in the hold and all of their current worldly possessions in charge of Mr. Glee and stagger off into the city to drink, whore and otherwise celebrate their glorious landfall.

A stay at “Abes Inn” provide our heros with a base of operation. While several of our team stay behind to take care of business, our fearless leaders make for the powers that be to have a pow-wow. Amazingly enough they are received by Princess Chendra, her brother Kenja and helpful man-about-the-garden Secretary Minsk. Lance Corporal Valerie leads our heros to a pleasant garden tea where things seem to be going along quite well, until the rest of our crew is dragged in in chains and the whole affair takes on an ugly cast.

Session ends

We leave our heros in the garden of Princess Chendra, working hard to find any explanation for this outrageous behavior and horrific breach of courtesy – and bemoan the fact that scones were not even offered. Who are these barbarians masqurading as nobility?

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Session 1 - Jan 18 2009

Campaign Themes

(as determined by PC’s)

Primary: INTRIGUEPOLITICSWAR
Secondary: MONSTERSCLASS TENSIONHORROR
Tertiary: SPYTHEFTDESTINYHISTORYHUNT

PC’s Present

Guznik Rocaviche (Mike Harris) is the nominal leader during this session. He is the second son of merchant lord Androv Rocaviche, head of one of the three merchant houses in Tantras. He is not in good standing with this father right now and is scrambling to cover losses and battling this brother’s perception that he is weak.

Fear: Discovery || Belief: Father still love’s him || Hate: Nouveau riche || Love: No home || Secret: Guznik is the reincarnation of a necromancer. Has unnatural attraction and fear of undead.

This character is a Merchant/Linquist and has knowledge of the arcane arts. He fills the role of primary controller in combat.

Destrier (Jason Johnson) is Guznik’s protector and shadows him at all times. Eladrin (Gold Elf) Bladedancer from the feywild, the house in which he served was destroyed during the collapse of the Feywild into the Realms during the Spellplague. He loves order, structure, planning and is incredibly loyal.

Fear: Claustrophobic || Belief: Honorbound || Hate: Unseely Fey || Love: Xenophile || Secret: From the weakest and poorest of the old fey houses. Has a bastard child with a human.

This character is honorguard and versed in servitude to nobility. This character is a duelist trained in both short and long steels. His role is that of primary defender in combat.

Martin Greenlocke “Locke” (Darren McVittie) is a Half-Elf (High Elf) in the employ of House Rocaviche and channels the powers of the fey realms. He is concerned with the using trade or whatever tools available to bring civilization and freedom to the world at large.

Fear: Acrophobia || Belief: Personal Freedom || Fear: Savages || Love: Family || Secret: Destier’s house died at hands of Locke’s house. Was part of the team that was responsible for Guznik’s mother’s death.

This character is a liberator in the guise of a businessman. By channeling his fey blood he blesses friend and curses foe. His role is that of primary striker in combat.

Potential PC’s (Not Present)

“Thundermane” (Tracy Wylie) is a duskblade with a lightning affinity. She spent her youth as and orphan cloistered with clerics, monks and paladins of Selune, but when she showed a gift for arcane sword work she was encouraged to leave and discover herself. Her faith remains, but clearly the powers have other paths for her to walk. Life was more complicated outside the cloister, and now she works as labor and protection for House Rocaviche. Her role, as light shock trooper, is secondary defender in combat. Temporary characteristics: Fear: Abandonment || Belief: There is a reason that Selune did not give her parents || Hate: Yelling and loud arguments || Love: Cleanliness/order || Secrets pending…

“Nami” (Jody Sherwood) is a Genasi – A human infused with energies of the primordial/elemental realms. She has many faces depending on the weather and her mood: Soft as a breeze, strong as the tide, fierce as a storm. She is the pilot for the majority of Guznik’s operations and has more loyalty to him than the house. Her role, as a well trained merchant marine, is as primary leader in combat.

Session Begins:
North shore of the Moonsea, in the Free City of Hulberg

Orc and ogre invaders to the north cause the team to flee home (south) from a trading endeavor, losing all cargo (at least temporarily). The team returned to its home port of Tantras, the nominal capital of the Principalities of Vesperin. You found that the prince has rescinded your dock slots and reallocated them to a new trade agreement with a principality from Raven’s Bluff. Investigation showed that this was timed to coincide with the head of House Rocaviche’s absence to the south for trade negotiations in Sembia. It is not known if the prince did this on purpose or if the other two trading houses in town short sheeted Rocaviche. Guznik’s older brother, second in command, sent the group to talk to the prince’s vizier, but no headway was made there. In order to potentially turn a loss into a win, the team sets off to the principalities of Raven’ Bluff to determine if Rocaviche can secure the shipping rights to this new trade venue, in effect getting back the docks and no longer having to pay for usage. On the first leg of this trip, during moonlight and rough tides (parked on a sand bar) the swift boat of the team was attacked by several unmarked people in an unorganized attack. They appeared to be dock workers or laborers in kayaks after investigation…

Session Ends:
Twenty Miles West of Raven’s Bluff off the southern coast of the Principality of Vesperin.

Important people/organizations met or named:
Prince Gelmest – Prince of Tantras || Princess Chendra – One of three princes of Raven’s Bluff || Mendel – Officer with rival house Vardadt, fled Hulberg with him || Avery – Half Orc working for Vardadt || Truska – Mendel’s daughter || House Shilish, other rival house || Cheld – Androv’s oldest son (age 35) || Anja – Androv’s oldest daughter (age 32) || Telda – Androv’s youngest daughter (age 27), full sister to Guznik, friendly with Destrier || Bronjoi – Human, Chelds right hand man || Echlust – Androv’s court connection with prince || Weldin – Rocaviche dockmaster || Trune – Ogre woman, Rocaviche master chief || Horst – Teifling, Rocaviche master chief. || Vizier Uld – Senior advisor to prince Gelmest, hostile.

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