The Æcyr Gréne Campaign 

Campaign Logs

Session Four - Dealing with the Prisoners

By day-break the following morning, things were quiet in the village. The morning sun fitfully pierced the early morning mist that clung to the valley, and low clouds in the hills indicated that rain was probably on its way. Æðelred and Cardhu, having spent the night drinking, were both the worse for wear. The combination of pain, medication and drink meant that Æðelred was passed out by the door of the Chapel, while Cardhu was sitting half-asleep nearby. Cedric, flushed with a sense of victory (having been the only defender in the village to completely avoid injury, and having been instrumental in capturing several of the bandits), had retired to his chambers with one of the local girls. His brothers and father had also retired to bed that evening. First thing in the moring, Cedric awaoke early, and looked outside to see that the guard that was supposed to be guarding the Prisoners held in the stable was nolonger there. He immediately alerted his brothers, and raced downstairs to muster and of the available militiamen. only two were present, but seening Cardhu and Æðelred, he attempted to rouse them. Cardhue was up had his sword drawn as soon as he comprehended the seriousness of the situation, but when he woke Æðelred, he toppled over onto his broken arm when he tried to get up, rendering hiom more-or-less uselsss for the remained of the events that day.

Getting to the door of the stable, Cedric could hear a couple of people moving around inside. As he crouched there, waiting for the others to arrive, he heard the sickening sound of someone having their throat slit. Wuscfrea and the others arrived at this point, and Cedric quickly tried to indicate his assessment of the situation. Then Cardhu approached the door, and on a signal from Cedric (prompted by another of those blood-curdling sounds), he kicked the door in. Two shapes were seen to move in the shadows, and a dagger came flying out towards Cardhu, but missed. Seeing an opportunity, Cedric loosed an arrow at one of the moving targets, but he only winged the target. As they assessed the situation, they realised that the guard was lying dead at the door, but the sounds they had heard was actually the death-throes of some of the brigands. As they were trying to comprehend this, two of the brigand leaders launched an attack agains Cardhu, while the third caused part of the stable to collapse, resulting in a huge cloud of straw, wood splinters and wreckage to cloud the situation. As the freshly injured Cardhu climbed out rfom under a bale of Hay, he spotted the remaining leader complete some sort of spell and disappears. Wuscfrea and Cedric attempt to take in the destruction, and assess the status of the prisoners, but as they pull them from the wreckage, Cedric hears his mother scream from insde the house. Racing in (followed by several others), he gets to the foot of the stairs, to be greeted by the sight of the brigand’s leader holding a knife to Tortgyð’s throat. He immediately backed off as the brigand edged his way down to the foot of the stairs, and then started to leave the manor house. In the courtyard, the people of the manor looked on with anger as the lady of the manor was so crudely treated. Then, as he manoeuvred for a position which he hoped would not leave him vulnerable to the growning number of militiamen with bows, the brigand got the final surprise of his life. Wuscfrea suddenly crossed the courtyard faster than he should ever have been able to (by using a Haste spell), and succeeded in slaying his wife’s captor.

With the bandit’s leader dead, and the memory of the previous night’s excesses being superceeded by morning hangovers, Wuscfrea quickly orders Cedric to “clean up this mess”, and escorts his terrorised wife back indoors. Cedric begins to organise nearby villagers to pull the prisoners - both living and dead, from the wreckage of the stable. A quick assessment reveals that the three most badly injured brigands that had been captured had been killed by their purported leaders, presumably to facilitate a quick escape. The weapon that they used - an unusually designed dagger - had not been noticed the previous night when they had all been searched. Also - upon searching the body of the now deceased leader, a small bronze amulet was found on his body - something that should also have been found last night. Unsure of its significance, Cedric pockets it.

The two remaining leaders were imprisoned in the empty wine cellar (the winter having been difficult for the Rægenhere family, the stores were rather empty), while the surviving brigands - six in all (three having been killed by their own leaders, and two who died during the assault or due to severe injuries soon afterwards) - were placed in the stocks. Cedric encourages some of the villagers to clear away the remainants of the stable and use the wreckage to create a pyre to dispose of the bodies of the three bandits and their leader who killed them.
He also dispatched Hereric to Æcyr Holm to ask for the attendance of the local priest to oversee the burial of the slain villagers.

Determining that most things were starting to get in order, Cedric asks Cardhu to help him in questioning the two leaders. Their attempts at interrogation were rather weak, their use of duress being poorly judged and generally ineffective. However, during the interrogation, they did find out that had the attack gone as planned, the Rægenhere family would have been trussed up and transported by wagon to a meeting point in the hills above the manor, where some unknown party was to meet and take custody of them. The brigands also revealed that their leader had had repeated meetings with a mysterious individual, whose face they had never seen. He had always been dressed in high-quality garments, but whose design was highly unusual. Despite the obvious high quality of the cloth and it’s tailoring, the clothes were all a deep charcoal grey or black. He had also been noted to speak with a Coryndan accent. Making a very tenuous connection between the description of the physical build of this messenger and the build and appearance of Lord Xavier de Montfor, Cedric becomes convinced that de Montfor is connected to these events somehow. However, as he cannot act on such suspicions, he simply notes this along with the long list of other slights and offences he feels de Montfor has perpetrated agains his family.

Based on this information, Cedric asked Cardhu to accompany him as he went into the hills and approached the meeting point from another angle. Heading out to the courtyard of the manor, they met Æðelred, who had managed to recover from his hangover sufficiently to get his arm properly splinted. When he realised that Cedric was heading up into the hills, he began to arrange for the horses, including one for himself. Because of the damage done oto the main stable, the horses for the manor, including the captured mounts of the defeated bandits, were being held in a stable on the edge of the village, so it was there that Æðelred spent the next few minutes, preparing the mounts for a two-day trek.

As Æðelred busied himself in the village stables, Cedric spent some time speaking with his father about the bandit attack, while Cardhu deftly procured some of the Manor’s supply of Whiskey. Having ensured that he had all necessary supplies, Cardhu then sauntered over towards the gates of the manor, where one of the villagers practically ran into him, breathless from having run halfway up the glen. Surprised, Cardhu calls out to him to find out what’s wrong, but the villager just continues into the courtyard, calling for Sir Rægenhere. Eadwyn came out and the villager - Wictred - explained that he had seen a column of mounted men approaching from the south. Cursing, Eadwyn calls to his father and Cedric, and the two come running to the courtyard.

Unfortunately, at this point it is obviously a bit late to arrange any sort of organised defence, because as the two enter the courtyard, the column of mounted soldiers appears at the valley mouth, immediately spreading out for a charge up the valley. However, the charge never occurs, as the soldiers appear to falter and halt. The sensation of silence and confusion is palpable, as three of the leaders meet up and ride towards the village, unfurling a banner. As the wind picks it up, the heraldic device of the Sherrif, Baron de Montford, becomes apparent. Eadwyn quickly signals to the militia that were just starting to arm themselves to step down, and the riders are welcomed into the manor. Baron de Montfort and two of his knights rode into the courtyard and dismounted, greeting Sir Rægenhere in a courteous manner. Wuscfrea began to speak to the baron, Cedric decided that things were “under control” at the manor and beckoned to Cardhu and Æðelred to follow him, and the three headed out of the village and up into the hills to investigate the allies of the brigands.

After leading the horses out of the village unobserved, the three ride up into the hills. It takes them about six hours of careful riding before they get to the area where the brigands were supposed to have brought the Rægenhere family. As they climbed into the mountains to the west of the manor, the low clounds rapidy turned into a light fog. This fog reduced the visability further that any of them would have liked, but equally, it helped obscure their passage from any potential observers. With very little wind, the fog clung to the mountains all day, the dampness slowly seeping through the cloaks and armour of the three riders, making all of the damp and uncomfortable.

Looking at the lie of the land, Æðelred suggests that they should climb the ridge to the sout of the ravine, enabling them to overlook the site. the riders halt and discuss the best approach to deal with the situation. Having determined to proceed on foot, Cedric and Cardhu begin to climb the hill, weapons at the ready, while Æðelred quickly tethers their horses in a nearby copse and then follows them. Taking great care not to be observed as they climb, the three soon are approaching the brow of the ridge. As they do so, Cedric spots someone coming down the ridge towards them. The three hide as a man, matching the description of the messenger or spy that had been in contact with their leader. Cedric and Cardhu quickly subdue him, knocking him unconcious, binding and gagging him. Trying to get their bearings, they pause to listen, and faintly hear more voices from above them on the bluff overlooking the ravine. Cedric quickly signals to the other two that they should quietly sneak up and observe the others.

Very carefully, and stealthly, they approach the brow of the hill where they can observe four more individuals sitting around a rather improptu camp. One of the individuals is cautiously observing the ravine below, where the wagon containing the Rægenhere family was due to arrive. The others are busy striking camp. The location of the camp is perfect for the use they are putting it to - the entire ravine can be observed without revealing the observation point. However, it is not so secure from the rear, and the three companions manage to get quite close before they have to stop. Realising that they are a bit close to be able to formulate a plan, Cedric quickly signals to the other two that they should ready their bows and await his signal. However, as they signal, one of the cloaked individuals shoulders a saddle-bag and starts to walk out of the camp, carefully avoiding being seen from below. Cedric decides that they need to act and draws back his bow. Selecting one of the strangers, based on his reasoning that “he looks like the boss” - he had been seen speaking to the guy leaving the dell - Cedric fires. His shot hits its mark, and the guy stumbles. Cardhu immediately fires on one of the other guys in the clearing, but misses, while Æðelred, his shield arm broken, hefts his spear and charges across the intervening ground. The two uninjured watchers in the clearing react immediately. The guy nearer the three compatriots whips out a sling, while the other appears to start casting a spell with one hand, while drawing his sword with the other. The third guy in the clearing does not seem to be as injured as Cedric may have thought, and begins to struggle to his feet.

Covering the distance quickly, Æðelred launches his melee attack on the spell-casting swordsman just as the clearing is surrounded with a shimmering dome of energy that appears to partially deflect the arrows shot by Cardhu and Cedric. The main force of the blow is deflceted by the swordmans blade, but Æðelred managed to wing him. Meanwhile, the sling-weilding combatant begins to shoot bullet after bullet at the companions without appearing to have to pause to reload.

Seeing the effect of the defensive spell in place, Cardhu charges into the dell, dropping his bow and readying his sword as he does so. Cedric continues to reload and fire from the partial cover of the trees. Seeing Cardhu’s charge, the sling-man gets in two more shots (which do minor damage to Cardhu) before drawing his sword and meeting Cardhu head on. Æðelred’s fight with the other swordsman is looking bad - the swordsman is obviously a much more powerful fighter - but luckilly, he looses is footing and leaves an opening that Æðelred exploits to the fullest, driving his spear through the swordman’s chest just below the collar bone. As Æðelred closes in for the kill, and Cardhu engages the second swordsman in hand to hand combat, Cedric continues to fire at the ‘leader’, succeeding in hitting him twice more, although none of the wounds appear to be critical. During this time - the runner has disappeared, presumably heading for the horses ...

Cedric looks on in disbelief as the badly wounded leader of the watcher staggers over tot eh edge of the bluff and launches himself over the edge into the ravine. Quickly running across the dell, he draws his bow and shoots the falling figure one in the back, and once more after he hits the ground. Meanwhile, the other fights are progressing successfully for Cedric’s companions. Æðelred’s opponent, slowed severly by his sucking chest wound, has been repeatedly forced back, and although he managed to block several blows, he finally slipped and fell backwards, and Æðelred took advantage of this to drive his spear deep into his chest, puncturing his lung again, and scewering him to the ground. Cardhu’s fight also turned out successfully - although his opponent obviously outclassed him and landed several telling blows, Cardu was able to stay in touch, and when his opponent faltered having seen his compatriot topple over into the ravine, Cardhu quickly ran him through.

Looking at the fallen enemies, Cedric suddenly remembered about the fleeing opponent, and quickly ran in the direction he had last been seen heading. Passing through a clearing where four horses were tethered, he could see down the hill to where the fleeing watcher could still be seen, just within bowshot, trying to escape. Drawing back his bow, Cedric prayed for success as he loosed his arrow. The gods must have been listening that day, as the shot arced through the air and bit deep into the fleeing watcher’s leg, nicking the horse’s flank. The unexpected wound paniced the horse, and it reared, throwing the rider. Cedric ran down the hill to the fallen rider, but as he came closer, he could see that his haste was unjustified - the rider had been knocked unconsious by the fall.

Having seen Cedric disappear off after the runner, Æðelred decides to follow after, while Cardhu takes to opportunity to rifle the corpses. Passing the horses, Æðelred unties one of the animals, and rides down towards Cedric. After quickly checking in with Cedric that everything was under control, Æðelred rides after the fleeing, panicing horse, and after some deft manowuving he manages to catch and calm the beast. Leading the animal back to Cedric and the fallen rider, they lash the rider to the back of one of the horses, and then ride back up to the dell where Cedric is.

Of the watchers they had encountered, the two they had fought in the dell did not look like they would survive their injuries, so Cardhu had ‘helped them on their way’ while the other two had been busy. The leader was lying deep within the ravine, and after a discussion they decided that they did not want to spend three hours going down to fetch his body at this time (dusk was fast approaching). This left them with two prisoners - the rider that had tried to flee, and the watcher they had ambushed on his own prior to attacking the watchers in the dell. After some discussions, they determine that it would probably be a bad idea to bring any captured watchers back to the village while there is a possibility of the Baron de Montfor being present at the village, so Æðelred leads them to one of the foresters cabins a couple of miles away. They bring the two dead watchers as well, and when they arrive at the forester’s cabin, they make an improptu pyre for the two dead watchers.

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