Thursday, June 16, 2022

Session Twenty-Four: The Squire's Tale

The Battle Continues

Though many of them are sorely wounded, the company is able to rally and press the cultists hard. Several of the cultists fall as the horrible pink daemon once again disappears from the battlefield, greatly evening the odds.

Inexplicably, a well-dressed man appears on the battlefield behind the cultists’ battle line. He cheerfully addresses the cultists and asks if they can tell him where he is. Two of the cultists, distracted by this, turn on the man and fire arrows. Fortunately for the new arrival, he vanishes before the arrows hit, disappearing as quickly as he arrived.

The horrible pink daemon reappears, only to be quickly surrounded and dispatched by Renee, Andre, and Magnus. To their horror, the dying daemon splits into two, smaller blue daemons. The trio waste no time in hacking the blue daemons to bits. Though they stand vigilant over the remains, the dead blue daemons do not further subdivide into four daemons of another color.

The lead cultist raises his hand and once again begins to call upon the Winds of Magic. Sir Henri rides him down and strikes the cultist a killing blow with his mace. The cultist’s summoned magic backfires on him, enveloping him in purple fire and branding a blasphemous sigil on his chest that rapidly incinerates his torso.

Seeing the daemons and their sorcerous leader fall, the surviving cultists turn and flee. About half are cut down, but the rest manage to escape through the woods to freedom.

An Awful Blue Thing

After the Battle

Pierre tends to the wounded while several of the others strip the dead cultists of their equipment. Andre asks Pierre if teeth have any value to barber surgeons. When Pierre says yes, Andre proceeds to remove every tooth from the head of every dead cultist. He even takes the purple-black and sparking teeth from the lead cultist’s head.

Unbeknownst to the others, Garnier takes a small black book from the body of the dead cultist.

Sir Henri checks on the prone form of Sir Matthias and finds that the knight is unconscious but alive. Pierre’s ministrations get Sir Matthias back on his feet again, and he gratefully rejoins the company.

Once they have taken stock, sorted out the cutlists’ possessions, and patched themselves up as best as they can, the company hurriedly leaves the battlefield, continuing eastward on their pilgrimage.

Ludovico Giallo

A few hours later, the company meets with a cheerful and singing Tilean merchant who introduces himself as Ludovico Giallo. The merchant has a mule that pulls a small cart containing all of his wares. Seeing likely customers, he greets the company and begins opening up his cart for business. He says that he sells small items that travelers might need (soap, boot laces, and so on), and also sells small treasures that one could give to one’s family and friends after returning home from pilgrimage.

Sabina asks her usual questions. Ludovico has seen no one matching the wandering monk’s description, but did just leave Gascon and the pilgrims in the nearby town of Vierzon. He then warns the players against buying any purity seals offered by the group’s pardoner, as he suspects the bishop’s signature displayed on them is a forgery.

The company looks over the cart and sees that Ludovico has numerous knick-knacks for sale. Renee looks for weapons and armor but finds that the most dangerous thing Ludovico sells are belt knives in metal sheathes. She then decides to buy a pair of pretty earrings. Other purchases include:

  • Maurice buys a metal fish medallion on a chain. He also has Ludovico appraise his remaining blue gemstones and his long golden gemstone, which turns out to be a Norscan sunstone.
  • Andre buys nothing, but sells his bag of teeth to Ludovico for quite a good price.
  • Garnier asks Ludovico to fill a small sack with various trinkets for his family, which the merchant is happy to do.
  • Magnus buys a book of religious poetry (first confirming its contents with Pierre), presumably as a gift for Lady Josephine.

The company tells Ludovico that the road ahead is safe now, thanks to them clearing it of cultists earlier. He thanks them all, blesses them in the name of the Lady, asks Ranald to keep his hands out of their purses, and travels westward.

Tilean Merchant, Ludovico Giallo


Just as it reaches early evening, the company crests a hill and can at last see the town of Vierzon in the distance. They also see a young man dressed in the robes of a traveling friar coming toward them. The friar hails them and asks if they have a physician or barber-surgeon among their ranks.

The company questions the friar and discover that he is Friar Thomas, one of the pilgrims that they have been following for so long. Friar Thomas informs them that Gascon, the leader of the pilgrims, has been grievously wounded, and the doctor that has accompanied the pilgrimage from the start cannot be found.

Friar Thomas

The company is a touch suspicious, but as they seem to have found their original employer, they volunteer Pierre’s services and agree to accompany Friar Thomas to Vierzon.

The friar is glad to be reunited with Andre, who had been in the pilgrimage previously. Andre complains that he was abandoned by the pilgrims, and says they could have simply knocked on his door to rouse him instead of leaving him behind. Friar Thomas apologizes, and says that Gascon, for reasons that are not clear to him, seems to always be in a hurry to get to the next destination. Friar Thomas promises to make sure that no one is left behind in the future.

The company asks how the pilgrimage has gone so far, and Friar Thomas says that, while it has been mostly pleasant, there have been quite a few snags. It seems that everyone on the pilgrim’s path is out to make money, and has been charging the company a dear price for just about everything. He goes on to say that Gascon has proved to be a shrewd negotiator, and has managed to get most merchants and hostlers to lower their prices, but the trip has still proven much more expensive than any of the pilgrims could have imagined.

By the time Friar Thomas is done relating all of this, the company has passed through the gates of the town of Vierzon. They find an air of tension in the city, and Garnier overhears two men who seem to have found something unpleasant and are going off to take care of it. The company is unable to investigate this more fully, however, as they must accompany Friar Thomas to the Inn of the Hungry Mice, where the pilgrims are now straying.

At the Sign of The Hungry Mice

The inn is located in a disreputable part of Vierzon, and is in somewhat of a dilapidated condition. Its common hall looks like a dive bar, which excites Andre, but dismays some of the others. When asked why the pilgrims are staying here, of all places, Friar Thomas explains that every other in was far too expensive, and even the rooms at the Hungry Mice are quite dear.

Upon entering, the company is greeted by a well-dressed fellow from the Empire who introduces himself as Herr Kleiner, one of the pilgrims. He welcomes the company and praises Friar Thomas on finding a physician so quickly. Herr Kleiner escorts Pierre, Andre, and Garnier up to Gascon’s room, while the rest of the company follow Friar Thomas into the common room.

Herr Kleiner

Upstairs. Pierre, Andre, and Garnier are introduced to Guilbauld, a summoner of the Church of Myrmidia, who is standing vigil over Gascon. The leader of the pilgrimage lies semi-conscious in bed. He sports a deep chest wound that has been inadequately wrapped with bandages. Pierre looks at the soaking wrappings and is shocked that no one has done anything to stop Gascon’s bleeding.

Guilbald, the Summoner

While Pierre goes to work, the summoner explains that they tried everything they could think of, but they could not get the bleeding to stop. He tries to explain that this is why they sent Friar Thomas to find a physician, only to be repeatedly interrupted by Andre, who asks why no one bothered to stich up the wound. Guilbauld becomes frustrated, and says that he didn’t know that that was something that needed to be done.

Pierre does his work, stitching the wound and rebandaging it. Despite this, he looks troubled. He tells the others that, though he has done all he could, he had great difficulty trying to close the wound. He is not sure that he succeeded, and he says that he will check in on Gascon to see how he’s doing.

In the common room, the company gets a frosty reception from the other pilgrims. Sabina promises Bram that the Yeoman can punch Gascon just as soon as he recovers. Meanwhile, Magnus, fearing an attack, surreptitiously slips on his brass knuckles.  Sir Henri decides to lighten the mood by buying meals for the company and the pilgrims. This display of generosity shocks the pilgrims, who look at one another in disbelief and with suspicion.

Friar Thomas politely calls over an older woman in well worn armor, who introduces herself as Dame Britolette, a knight of Aquitaine. The lady explains that she must bear the blame for what happened to Gascon. She then explains what happens.

Dame Britolette of Aquitaine

It appears that several of the pilgrims were becoming frustrated with Gascon, largely due to the expenses that the pilgrims had unexpectedly occurred, but also for other reasons that Dame Britolette does not touch on. This led to much grumbling in the ranks, as well as pointed questions for Gascon. This came to a head earlier in the morning, when Dame Britolette’s squire, Charlotte, who is also her daughter, got into a screaming fight with Gascon in the common room. Before anyone else could react, Charlotte stabbed Gascon in the chest with a knife before fleeing out of the Hungry Mice. No one has seen her since.

Dame Britolette says that, as Charlotte’s mother and mentor, she is the one to blame. She confesses that, had she taught her daughter better discipline and manners, none of this would have occurred.

The company listens to this tale in silence, and considers their next move.

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