Monday, March 7, 2011

Chapter Two: The Tale of Sir Bebe

Sir Bebe Talks the Talk with a Hykar hetman.

Note: This installment contains detailed descriptions of game play. I have tried to put all such references in italics. If you would like to just get on with the story, feel free to ignore the italicized text...except this bit of course or you wouldn't know to skip the other bits of italicized text.

After the events at Spoil’s Farm, we left Sir Bebe in need of atonement for having fled before the Lycans. The event, while unfortunate had allowed Sir Bebe to draw on an inner strength that, formerly, had been lacking.  

His Hardiness rose to 1.  This rise was unfortunately mirrored by his declining means as he is now a pauper knight.

Retiring to the cathedral of St. Cyril, Sir Bebe fasted and sought spiritual guidance regarding his failings and how to atone for them. For his faith, Sir Bebe was rewarded with a vision.

It was long ago, he could see the legions of Tropilium marching back to defend their homelands from the rising Dark.

Time passed and Ekra was in torment. Goblins, Orcs, and creatures more foul, despoiled and burned fields once green and fertile. Farm houses, villages, and even cities burned as well, centers of human misery surrounded by a bleak land of death and darkness.

Then a light came from the west. Dim and flickering at first, growing ever brighter and pushing back the darkness before it.

It was the divine light of Charles the First, shield of Ekra and Hammer of the Orcs. Wherever he traveled men of war gathered, and together, they beat back the night.

More time passed … here lain out before Sir Bebe was a battlefield. A huge host of Ekran men at arms faced an even larger horde of green hatred. Battle was joined and the Ekran chivalry, led by King Charles, was piercing the center of the orc line.  Charles smote all before him but one by one his men were dragged down behind him.  Charles’ courser stumbled and the King fell! The Ekran charge had stalled.

The King regained his footing and, with blade drawn, hacked a macabre island in the center of a tide of filth. The orc lines parted and a mighty, misshapen, one-eyed, giant lumbered forward. Barely avoiding one sweep of its huge maul, King Charles fell back, and the Cyclops closed in of the kill.

It was then, with the King on the very brink of death, that Sir Bebe saw motion in the sky.  It was a hawk diving from on high.  With unerring aim the bird of play streaked towards the giant’s face. With a sickening squelch the bird pierced the giant’s eye. The giant staggered back for a moment and in that moment Charles was on his feet again. With a blade in each and he climbed as the giant staggered in agony trampling Orcs and goblins left and right. Finally the King was able to slit the giant’s throat. Spouting gallons of crimson like a fountain the giant fell back, crushing even more of his allies.

The loss of the giant was too much for the morale of the orc host and they fled, first singly then in small groups until finally they were routed. The Ekran reserve battle pursued and soon the knights came upon the form of their fallen leader. King Charles was still breathing although badly wounded and there, lying next to him, was the body of the hawk.

More time passed and now Sir Bebe could see King Charles enjoying a victory feast in his hall. The enemies of Ekra had been defeated and the Realm was secure again. A new land, The Border Kingdoms formed a buffer between Ekra and Old Night as hardy younger sons bid to carve their own estates from the wilderness.
Above Charles' throne, in a place of honor in his hall, was the stuffed body of the Hawk of Ekra, a constant reminder of that long ago day when the fate of Ekra lay in the balance.

The Hawk of Ekra! This Holy relic had gone missing over the years. Some said it had simply disappeared one day, perhaps reuniting with the force that sent it to the King’s aid in his time of need. Others leaned toward a more sinister explanation. Treachery wrought by some of the King’s ministers. Without the Hawk the fate of Ekra could not be in the ascendant.

Whatever the cause, it was agreed that one day the Hawk would be recovered by a knight of rare virtue and heart. Many had set out to find it, few had returned, none had succeeded.

This then would be the Quest of Sir Bebe. Adopting the mantel and arms of the Hawk of Ekra, Sir Bebe set out to find his destiny.

Game Notes
This is the start of a Warrior Heroes Armies and Adventures Quest adventure. I plan to play this out recording dice rolls and noting which tables are used for each step of the game.
Normally one would roll 2d6 on the Quest table to determine the object of a Quest. In this case you can see that just chose “recover and item” as the goal. Important point here that cannot be stressed enough. All of the encounter tables, and etc. are there to give direction when you might need some. If there is certain scenario you have in mind to play, just do it and ignore the rules.

1st month, May. I have chosen May as that allows for the preceding encounters in the campaign, the Massacre at the Farm, and De Ristalier’s expedition, to have occurred in March and April respectively. Sir Bebe travels from on the border of Ekra to "on the border" of the Border Kingdoms.

Roll on the “Is it Here” table:  1+1 = 2 giving a result of “object not in the area”. Sir Bebe must now roll for an Encounter. Checking the ER by Country table, being on the border of the Border Kingdoms yields an ER of 5, modified by +1 for Spring. This means an Encounter is inevitable.
Roll of 1d6 to determine if Sir Bebe encounters locals or someone else: 6 = 6 sends me to the Border Kingdoms encounter table and another d6 roll: 3 = 3 Hykar. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
Now to find out where they are: 6 = 6 Woods. And a second d6 for the type of settlement involved: 2 = 2 reduced to 1 for being on the border: A farm.

The “Now What” section directs me to the Adventurer’s Encounter table for a 2d6 roll: 6+4 = 10 C, Talk the Talk involving 6 = 6, a hostile group with unknown intentions. Is Sir Bebe alertr? 4 2  vs 5 = Pass 2, Sir Bebe is on the Alert.

Rolling for “How Many Enemies” gives: 5+6 = 11 or 50% more CV than Sir Bebe. Sir Bebe is currently CV 4 so that means near on 6 CV of Hykar.

Consulting the Hykar army list and rolling 2d6 gives us:
2+5 = 7 Cavalry CV 1
1+4 = 5 Jurgan Archer CV 1
2+6 = 8 Cavalry CV 1
5+2 = 7 Cavalry CV 1
6+1 = 7 Cavalry CV 1
1+5 = 6 Cavalry CV 1
Total CV 6.
That gives 5 horse archers and one archer on foot. Hope they will talk nicely, as Sir Bebe might well end up doing a fine impression of a pin cushion.
Are they alert: 4 6 vs 4 = Pass 1.  
The story of this encounter is shaping up. His search for the Hawk having proved fruitless in this province, Sir Bebe is lodging with a farmer’s family for the night when he hears riders approaching. Five mounted Hykar and one of their Jurgan footmen. They certainly aren't from around here and have a warlike cast. Sir Bebe tells the farmer to stay inside with his family while he goes out to see what business the riders have at this place. The Hykar hetman rides out ahead of his men to parley.

Sir Bebe and the leader of the Hykar are 2” apart. The rest of the Hykar are 12” to the rear of their leader, two Hykar to each side of the Jurgan. Sir Bebe and the Hykar leader must now test for talking the talk.

Sir Bebe, Rep 5, rolls 5d6, 5 4 6 6 1  vs 3 = Pass 1
Hykar, Rep 4, + 1 for outnumbering, +1 for opposing alignment, 6d6 3 6 4 1 6 5  vs 3 = Pass 2
Hykar passed one more d6 than Sir Bebe.

The hetman demands "a fee" foe leaving the farm intact and Sir Bebe in possession of his fine horse. Well Sir Bebe didn’t ride all this way to get hassled for change by some chumps. Using the advantage he gained in the alertness test, he charges!
Hykar are meant to be "Hunnic". However Huns have I none, so my trusty Plains Indians take up the slack.

Sir Bebe rolls 5d6, while the Hykar leader rolls 4d6 and they both check Wanting to Charge:
Sir Bebe 6 4 3 3 4  vs 3 = pass 2
Hykar 4 3 4 5  vs 3 = pass 1

Sir Bebe scores one more success and charges while the Hykar looses an arrow.

Hykar shooting at Sir Bebe.
Hykar starts with Rep dice (4), and armed with a bow (1) for a total of 5d6: 1 5 3 4 1  vs 3 = Pass 3
Sir Bebe starts with Rep dice (5), and armor is protected vs weapon (1) for a total of 6d6 3 6 5 3 3 6  vs 3 = Pass 3 for a net of Each side passing scores same number of successes and a miss.

The Melee:
Hykar Leader Rep 4 with no applicable modifiers gives 4d6 1 6 2 4  vs 3 = Pass 2
Sir Bebe Rep (5), pole arm on contact (1), armor is protected vs weapon (1) gives 7d6 6 6 5 2 5 2 6  vs 3 = Pass 2 with 3 shield dice. Both sides pass 2 so the combat ends with two figures in combat.

This ends the first turn and now activation must be diced for: Hykar 5 = 5 , Sir Bebe 1 = 1 . The Hykar are unable to activate while Sir Bebe is.

Sir Bebe initiates another round of melee. The Hykar still rolls 4d6 2 4 2 6  vs 3 = Pass 2. Note that had the Hykar been carrying a shield or second hand weapon he would have scored a shield as well.
Sir Bebe can no longer count pole arm on contact as he started in contact and rolls 6d6 3 6 4 1 2 5  vs 3 = Pass 3 and 1 shield. The Hykar is pushed back 1” and now the combat is continued with the Hykar using one less d6, for a total of 3d6 4 6 4  vs 3 = 0 successes.

Sir Bebe still rolls 6d6 5 6 2 4 4 3  vs 3 = 1 success and 1 shield. The Hykar is pushed back another inch and fights again with one less die. Now the Hykar is at 2d6 6 3  vs 3 = 1 success.
Sir Bebe still rolls 6d6 4 1 2 1 3 6  vs 3 = 4 successes and a shield. Sir Bebe passes 3 more dice and delivers a killing blow! 

The Hykar leader tries to loose an arrow, but Sir Bebe's onslaught was to fast. Dropping his bow and drawing his war axe the two combatants engage. The Hykar look on as if in a dream as their leader is cut down and falls to the ground stone dead.
When parley fails.

Winning by 3 successes grants Sir Bebe a ride through, but first let’s see how the Hykar’s followers respond to his demise.

Lost leader test:
Hykar 2,  4 4  vs 4 = Pass 2
Hykar 3, 5 4  vs 4 = Pass 1
Hykar 4, 3 2  vs 4 = Pass 2
Hykar 5,  1 4  vs 4 = Pass 2
Jurgan 1, 6 5  vs 3 = Pass 0

Hykar 3 retires from the field. Jurgan 1 flees the field. Hykar 2, 4, and 5 hold their ground. They are not within 4” of the leader’s body and do not try to recover it.
Now the Hykar have to take Crisis tests caused by their retiring and routing fellows.

The routing Jurgan causes Hykar 2 and 4 to test:
Hykar 2, 5 1  vs 4 = Pass 1. Hykar 2 does not have another friendly figure within 2” and so routs, causing an additional test for Hykar 4 and one for Hykar 5.
Hykar 4, 3 6  vs 4 = Pass 1. Hykar 4 is within 2” of Hykar 5 and so retires one normal move.
 Retiring Hykar 3 causes Hykar 4 and 5 to test:
Hykar 4, 2 6  vs 4 = Pass 1.  Hykar 4 is within 3” of Hykar 3 and retires from the field. Causing another test for Hykar 5
Hykar 5, 6 3  vs 4 = 1 pass 1, There are no friendly figures within 2” of Hykar 5 and he runs away.

As the combat began, the Jurgan took advantage of the commotion to beat a hasty retreat. With the demise of their hetman, the remaining Hykar lose heart and flee. 

The Hykar flee.

Sir Bebe has won the day! As Neil Young wrote “Red means run son. Numbers add up to nothing”.

Post battle:
Sir Bebe rolls to see if he made any advances:
Rep, 6 = 6, increases to 6.
Hardiness, 4 = 4, increases to 2.
Social Standing, 1 = 1, remains at 0.
Sir Bebe’s CV has increased to 7.

The farm has been saved and Sir Bebe receives the gratitude of the farmers.That is really all he receives as the Hykar hetman was carrying nothing of value. Sir Bebe takes comfort in having done the right thing and honing his fighting skills.

End of Encounter 1.
Second encounter: June.
Riding towards the Goblin lands in search of the Hawk, Sir Bebe is now “inside” the Border Kingdoms.

First he checks to see if the object of his quest is here: 1+2 = 3. Three on the “Is it Here?” table gives a result of “No”, and Sir Bebe has to roll for a regular encounter.

Checking the ER by Country table, being inside the Border Kingdoms yields an ER of 3, unmodified for Summer  yielding an of 3. A roll of 2d6 on the Encounter table yields: 3 3  vs 4 = Pass 2d6. There is an encounter and on to Encounter specifics.

Roll of 1d6 to determine if Sir Bebe encounters locals or someone else: 4 = 4. Locals!  One d6 for Where are they? 4 = 4, gives me mountains and another roll of 4 = 4 gives me a village.

What kind of encounter?  Two d6 are rolled, totaled and compared to the Adventures Encounter table: 6+5 = 11, which cross referenced with a village gives C, Talk the Talk. Well that seems reasonable. Foreign knight rides into view, looking trail worn and with no retinue. Suspect I’d want the authorities to check him out too!

Who and how many of them are there? 5+3 = 8 gives equal forces. Sir Bebe’s current CV is 7 so it is time to roll on the Border Kingdom’s army list until a force of at least 7 CV is assembled.
1+2 = 3 Borderer, CV 1
1+3 = 4 Borderer, CV 1 (2)
1+4 = 5 Retinue Cavalry, CV 2 (4)
4+1 = 5 Retinue Cavalry, CV 2 (6)
2+2 = 4 Borderer, CV 1 (7)

So there it is. On approaching a village, two armored horsemen backed up by 3 footmen emerge from the village to confront our hero. 

One rider moves forward to the obligatory 2” range.

Are they alert? No modifiers on 2d6 vs. leader Rep  of 5 reduced to 4 for first contact of encounter: 6 4  vs 4 = Pass 1d6. Target group is aware and may act normally when called on to do so.
Is Sir Bebe Alert? 2d6 vs. leader Rep of 6 modified down to 5 for first contact of encounter: 3 3  vs 5 = Pass 2d6. He is alert. 

Talk the Talk:
Sir Bebe rolls 6d6 for his Rep of 6: 6 6 5 4 3 4  vs 3 = 1 success!
NPC who has introduced himself as one Morrad the Black, rolls a total of 7d6 (5 for Rep, +1 for outnumbering Sir Bebe. +1 because Sir Bebe is a foreigner in these parts): 1 5 2 5 2 4 6  vs 3 = 3 Successes.

Morrad passed more than twice as many dice as Sir Bebe and it’s time to Walk the Walk. 

Sir Bebe is ready to spring into action at the first hint of a fight. Being neither an invader nor a robber knight, he is hoping for a peaceful outcome. However being ready for anything is rule number one in the “The Dummies’ Guide to Quests”. The leader identifies himself as  Morrad the Black. Although he claims he is simply invoking his right to question strangers approaching "his" village, his manner has become impertinent. Perhaps some item of Sir Bebe's has caught his fancy and seeks only to start a fight that he might claim it as his own.?  Even though Sir Bebe is a peaceable fellow, he is not about to walk away from a fight when that his foe insists upon.
Sir Bebe charges! 
Morrad the Black becomes increasingly impertinent.

 Or at least he intends to. Here are the rolls:
Sir Bebe, Rep 6, no mods for 6d6: 1 3 4 2 2 2  vs 3 = 5 Successes!
Morrad the Black, Rep 5, no mods for 5d6: 4 1 3 4 6  vs 3 = 2 Successes!

Sir Bebe has scored 3 more successes than his foe and a sniveling Morrad flees the field!

What do Morrad’s followers make of this turn of events? Lost leader tests all around:
Retinue Cavalry, Rep 5 rolls 2 5  vs 5 = Pass 2d6,
Borderer 1, Rep 4 rolls 6 5  vs 4 = Pass 0d6.
Borderer 2, Rep 4 rolls 5 4  vs 4 = Pass 1d6.
Borderer 3, Rep 4 rolls 2 6  vs 4 = Pass 1d6.

Faced with the fury of Sir Bebe's charge, Morrad the Black turns tail and flees!
The borderers retire (well one with undue haste!).

The remaining Retinue Cavalry has to test for three fleeing friends. Since he stayed on to fight after his craven leader fled, let’s give this guy a name: Danyr the Gold. Here are his Crisis test results:
  1. 6 4  vs 5 = Pass 1d6
  2. 6 3  vs 5 = Pass 1d6.
  3. 4 3  vs 5 = Pass 2d6.
The unfortunate  Danyr the Gold is caught up in the flight of his party.. His resolve failed him in the end and he retired with the Borderers conceding the fight to Sir Bebe.
Will no one stand before him?

On to the spoils.

Sir Bebe takes his advancement rolls:
Rep? 4  vs 6 = as he needed a 6 to advance, no change there.
Hardiness? 2  vs 2 = No advance there either.
Social Status? 2  vs 0 = Finally an advance on his SS. With a social standing of 1 Sir Bebe is a pauper knight no more. Wooo-hooo!

It seems that the locals were none to pleased with the over-lordship of Morrad the Black.  They give Sir Bebe the contents of Morrad's coffers. 

Sir Bebe now has the means to support a retainer or two. 
Still I’m not sure he wants to spend the month required to recruit as that means one month taken away from his quest…

So a clearer picture of Sir Bebe has emerged. He is not a flatterer or smooth talker but he's a good man to have in a fight.

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