Friday, 28 June 2013

Actual Play: Pendragon of Mars, Sessions 5, 6, and 7

We had a bit of a hiatus from Pendragon of Mars due to timetabling issues, illness, tangles with the police, and various other obstacles. But we're getting back to regular sessions.

Characters Present: Sir Wiglaf the Windhover, Sir Elias the Overly Curious, Sir Xyre of the Barrens, Sir Emerec the Modest

The knights had captured Sir Michael, the wayward knight who had cuckolded Lord Jagent, and his brother Sir Aquinal. They now brought these two men back to Sarum to face the wrath of Earl Roderick. Roderick passed judgement on Sir Aquinal for aiding his brother against his vassal lord's knights and exiled him for a year. He then imprisoned Sir Michael and dispatched a bird to Lord Jagent to inform him that he could come to claim vengeance.

Sir Wiglaf took advantage of his success to press the issue of marriage with Lady Elaine. She said that she would like to wed him, but that Earl Roderick would have to permit the union and currently the Earl favoured another knight, Sir Phelot, to be her husband. But she knew that Lord Jagent would be holding a tournament that summer as he always did, and that if Sir Wiglaf could be invited to the tournament and embarrass or defeat Sir Phelot in a challenge, this might move him above Sir Phelot in Earl's estimation.

However, a further problem was that Sir Wiglaf took it upon himself to appeal to the Earl for clemency towards Sir Michael and Sir Aquinal, since Sir Michael's wife and young son would be alone without them. The Earl, perhaps scenting a replacement husband for Sir Michael's wife, ordered Sir Wiglaf to administer Sir Michael's estate in his stead.

Lord Jagent arrived some days later to duel Sir Michael and regain his honour. He was accompanied by some of his bannerman, including the massive Sir Barcal, known as "The Boar". His wife, Margeta, was also in his party: clearly, he aimed to make her watch him kill Sir Michael. And that he did: in a duel with swords he brought Sir Michael rapidly to his knees and then thrust a dagger through his eye into his brain, much to the shock of the court at Sarum.

Lord Jagent took Sirs Wiglaf, Xyre, Elias and Emerec to one side at the feast that night and told them that since they had brought Sir Michael to "justice", he owed each of them a boon. He said that they could ask him for this boon at any time, and while he would not promise to do whatever they asked, he would promise to do what was in his power to permit. He also invited them to his tournament that summer.

Summer came by and around 200 knights gathered at Jagent for three days of jousting, melee and challenges. On the first day Xyre, Elias and Wiglaf were all somewhat successful in the jousting. Elias, however, was altogether too successful - he accidentally killed an opponent, a poor knight from Somerset, and the man's squire, a boy called Keith, swore vengeance. Xyre faced up against a mysterious Black Knight, who he rather fortunately defeated, whereupon it was revealed that the Black Knight was none other than the exiled Sir Aquinal, who fled into the wilderness. Sir Wiglaf was given Lady Elaine's favour to carry on the end of his lance.

That evening, the knights tried to decide how best to bring low Sir Phelot so that Sir Wiglaf could get him out of the way and ask Roderick to let him marry Elaine. Eventually they came up with a complicated plan: the  best swordsman in the realm was Sir Jaradan, they decided, so if they could get Sir Jaradan to somehow bring Sir Phelot low this might act in Sir Wiglaf's favour. But in order to do this they would have to perform a quid pro quo for Sir Jaradan; Jaradan intimated that there was another night, from Somerset, called Sir Ector, who was a rival for the daughter of Lady Adwen. They agreed that they would find a way to make sure Sir Ector was embarrassed at the melee, if Jaradan would find a way to "do something" to Sir Phelot to make it easy for Wiglaf to vanquish him in a challenge on the third day.

The plan worked rather well. Sir Xyre and Sir Wiglaf got Sir Ector appallingly drunk that night, reasoning that he would be hungover and weakened the next day. (Meanwhile, Sir Elias managed to annoy The Boar by insulting him as he tried to flirt with Lady Adwen; he subsequently learned that at a previous melee, The Boar had managed to decapitate somebody he didn't like with a blow from a shield.)

The second day was a day of melee. Here, Sir Emerec covered him/herself with glory by rallying a charge which won the entire fight. Sir Wiglaf was able to find Sir Ector in the general chaos and fight him one-on-one; early on in the fight he accidentally dealt Sir Ector a real wound, and then made the decision that he would kill the man and claim it was an accident. Sir Ector fumbled his sword and dropped it, leaving the opportunity for Sir Wiglaf to do the deed, but he decided eventually that he would not perform such a dastardly act and instead spared Sir Ector, hoping that would be enough to satisfy Jaradan.

Meanwhile, Sir Xyre and Sir Emerec sought out Sir Xyre's nemesis, Sir Guy, planning to do him "accidental" harm. Xyre and Guy fought momentarily but Xyre was quickly disarmed and Guy had him sword-to-throat. But Sir Emerec stepped in and held her sword to Guy's throat, a la Reservoir Dogs, and session 7 ended with the three of them agreeing to stand down and pretend nothing untoward had happened - with the clear plan of getting revenge through issuing challenges the following day....

1 comment:

  1. Had a conversation on the way to the art supply store--apparently Mandy's plans for Sir Guy are _far_ more devious than that...