Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Another adventure by Gregory - part two

See part one here

You can also comment about the adventure on G+

Casting :
- Grégoire de Marsiac, Frankish Leader who went to the holy land to avoid ashaming his family further more
- Azim ben Arrabas, the veteran follower of the book of Q trying to redeem himself through combat for what he did during the crusades

Our two blood brothers just arrived at the gate of the remote village of Bersaba after being sent by Magister Geoffrey to evaluate the economical and strategical potential of the place and start partnership with the Iron Fist if worthy.
As they rode down the mountains where they had to flee an enormous Roc bird, they spotted a group of riders arriving at the village as well…

As they approached, they realized that the village was circled by a high (5m) stone wall and the door to wit they were arriving at was flanked by a wooden tower. A villager spotted them from afar and urged them to state their business. The compagnions declared being sent by the Iron Fist compagny to discuss the possiblity of a partnership with the village and there was a bit of a fuss from behind the walls. Several people were arguing amongst themselves and after a short while, the doors opened and two men welcomed Azim and Grégoire to Bersaba.

One of them, a broaded shoulders man by the name of Yakov, told them that it’s so rare to have so many visitors in Bersaba, especially the kinds who want to do business with them. The battle borthers were intrigued about the identity of the others and, as an answer, Yakov led them to the village plazza. The place was crowded by many villagers, men, women, old ones and children, gathered to listen and watch to the other visitors and as Yakov opened the crowd for Azim and Grégoire, they saw them as well.

A small group of warriors cladded in shiny and exotic armors, scimitars sheathed at their flanks, were standing next to a stern looking man, with an aquiline nose and an impressive and intricate helmet. They were grim, dour and dangerous followers of the book of Q and as soon as they saw each other, their leader stared straight at Azim with a murderous expression in his gaze.
In the middle of the two groups, sat on a small bench was a very old villager with a sheep pelt over his bony shoulders and a very long white beard. Despite his very advanced age sparkles of wits and wisdom could be easily seen in his grey eyes and he spotted at once the animosity that arose between the leader of the riders and Azim. Yakov hushed to his ear some words designing the newcomers and a cunning smile appeared on his dry lips as he spoke with a clear warm voice :
“By the Holy Vengeance of Judas, what do we have here? Other visitors who want to treat with us and from the City of Judas itself no less? So fortunate we are here in Bersaba! So, my friends, as I was saying to lord Al Kerim here, we, Bersabites, are a humble but hard working people. Our ancertors built this wall a long time ago, before even the Sons of Rome came and settle in Judea. We’re mostly herders and farmers but open to new opportunities nonetheless. So what is it you have to offer strangers?”
Lord Al Kerim, who didn’t stop staring at Azim with hate and disgust, answered to the Elder :
” We, followers of the book of Q, won’t demand much to your people, old one. We only ask you to convert and join our evergrowing army of followers for the benefit of the only Truth, in exchange of what you’ll receive protection from us against the carrion-eaters and scums that apprently roam this land even inside your very walls as it seems!”
Azim replied :
“At least, we, brothers of the Iron Fist won’t let their families rot when all the men will be killed in your senseless wars and feuds!”
NOTA : as you understood, Al Kerim & Azim knew each other. I introduced here an element of the BG of Azim as he chose for an issue which he will have to deal with soon. He described how some other followers of the book of Q beside whom he fought during the crusades resented him as a traitor and apostate, hence the behaviour of Al Kerim here.

The Elder, turned to Azim and Grégoire and asked them :
“So what do you have to propose then dwellers from the Holy City of our Saviour Judas blessed his name?”
NOTA : Grégoire should have spoken here for, as the Leader, his character was the most skilled at this, but as Azim stood up against Al Kerim AND it was an issue from his BG, I prefered to let him do the talking. So he spoke :
“Our brotherhood only want to start a partnership with Bersaba. As we saw, your walls are thick and high and your flocks plentiful. We may have the use of such an asset as your village as a place for shelter and resupply in this wilderness. In exchange, we’ll send brothers to help you out in case of need, some of our barbers might be sent here as well to tend the wounded and the sick, and our warriors will protect you against the rapacity of the desert wolves and other petty annoyances” said he looking at Al Kerim.
NOTA : he rolled+charm for a manipulate check the leverage being the help the IF might give to the village, and he got a 7-9.
The other followers of Q grabbed the hilt of their scimitars but Al Kerim raised his hand and they backed off.
Once again a witty smile shone upon the Elder’s face.
“Hummm…let’s see. So we both have here two valiant and potential allies and both their requests seem to be fair, in a way despite the fact that our faith is deeply rooted in Judas…”
“Then, you’ll have to pay a fine and go on with your faith. We’ll ensure that your temples and ceremonies go on as they always did.’ replied Al Kerim.
“That is very kind of you lord Al Kerim and a very sensible counter proposal. So now how to decide between the two of you?”
“Put us to a challenge! -proposed Al Kerim. We could easily overpower those ridiculous worms and son of traitor!”
“Then it is settled. There is a threat to us and our shepherds in the mountains nearby. A gigantic bird kills our people and our flocks for many moons but we can’t repell it. Warriors might. So here is the task : the first of you who brings us the head of the beast will receive our support. I swear it by the Holy Name of our Saviour Judas. What say you?”
The two sides agreed and the hunt shall begin.

As nightfall was upon Bersaba, Al Kerim and his warriors left the village by the way they came but the compagnions were offered a place to stay for the night. They really didn’t want to spend another one in the mountains… And as they were getting water at the village’s well by a young woman, Azim saw in guise of her the beautiful maiden he met in the Essenian district during his last mission. She was smiling at him with her radiant smile, her birght red lips and something, a primal urge to take her in his arms and kiss her was devouring his soul.
NOTA : remember the visions he had when he got bitten by the scorpion in the Part 1? I chose this precise moment to have him make a test your Spirit check that he totally botched. He chose then to take a -1 spirit instead of succombing to his urge…
NOTA : as it was getting late, I decided to jump in media res from this point to the confrontation with the Roc bird.

After a long day of hunting the monster among the rocky wilderness, they finally found it feasting on the remains of a few sheeps. But as they were getting closer, they could see the reflection of the light against metal : their rivals were here as well.
A tough and dirty battle was about to begin…

END of part 2.
As you saw there wasn’t so much of tests this time, I prefered having the players role play the talking but what I loved was the tension between the two sides and the surprise of Azim’s player when I told him that he saw this old ennemy in the village (I think he welcomed his presence with a “oooooh crap” or something like that).

Continue to part three