CAST & SETTING: 'Team Keep'   Posted by The Chronicles of Old.Group: archive 0
The Chronicles of Old
 moderator, 9 posts
 History is written
 by the survivors
Thu 10 Nov 2011
at 07:28
CAST & SETTING: 'Team Keep'
This is a thread of the keep life as communicated to the players based in the keep, and the discussion between Skyldig, Knud, Velena and Gwindel regarding how they would be regarded. -e.

The information as shared by the GM. -e.

Knud is a Border Ranger assigned to the keep to be a specialist, a scout if required, and also a runner back to the proper Ranger's station.

Skyldig is the only Corporal in the whole thirty men stationed, and the lowest ranked NCO. He tends to look after the day-to-day affairs of the men who keep watch during the daylight hours.

Velena is a Sister of the Crystal Star temporarily assigned to the keep to be a specialist and take on the traditional duties expected of a Brotherhood mage. Magical defense, magical aid and even (supposedly) healing. She's been stationed for two months, with a further month expected to go.

A specialist in this case is going to be like the specialists in the army. Both specialists have an equivalent rank of Corporal, but are not officially seen as NCOs. Therefore the two non-soldiers have the delicate task of technically being able to order around any normal soldier, but need to be careful of when they do it and why!

Skyldig holds a little more sway than the two specialists, being the actual assigned NCO, but that is a very delicate and loose thing. So he can order around the normal soldiers ok in the absence of other commanders, but has to be just as careful of when he tries to pull rank, and why, with the two specialists.

Outside of that distinction in your posting, the Border Rangers and Brotherhood fall outside the mundane chain of command of normal men-at-arms. So Skyldig, and even the higher up officers, have the tricky balancing act of being higher up the chain of keep life while being unable to affect any direct orders from either the Brotherhood, or the Border Rangers (who are directly under the King and the Crown Prince's auspices).

Note that a Sommlending Knight would outrank Skyldig, and would be further up the political food chain than a Border Ranger or a less connected Brotherhood mage. However, since Brotherhood and Border Ranger orders can filter directly from the Crown, then there is some wiggle room.

I come off as a city girl, not entirely the most ideal fit for a boarder keep. I am never seen with a hair out of place and wear the robes of my order with an elegance not expected this close to the wildlands. I talk easy enough with most of the soldiers in the keep and have befriended a few of the soldiers within the keep. On occasion, I have been seen to have a sharp tongue and an obvious tempter, and clearly am not here of my own free will.

I am friendly towards Kund and Skyldig, quick with a warm smile whenever I see either of them. While neither have ever seen me preform any particular keep-ish task, my work always seems to be get done in a satisfactory manner. If ever asked by either of them to do anything, an edge of my sour and sarcastic deemener is shown.

As of yet I haven't had to exercise any of my magical abilities, but I can sometimes be found by the keep water source and appear to be competent enough of mind and will.

Skyl will have a shown considerable respect towards Knud and Velena it will probably have been clear that he admires their being willing to be here, whether he's right about that willingness or not. If occasions have arisen in which he has requested something of either of them, he will likely have done so somewhat more carefully than might be deemed necessary or, indeed, than he really wanted to. It will also have been noticeable that while he obviously doesn't like this place in common with pretty much everyone else he will never say so.

He appears to carry out his day-to-day duties as Corporal efficiently enough, though occasionally may have seemed to be trying a little too hard to get some things exactly right.

Anyone particularly discerning may feel that Skyl perhaps has something hanging over him, but he largely interacts with the other soldiers both professionally and informally, as appropriate in a fairly natural way.

Knud is a calm young man who carries out his duties conscientiously and at other times tries to busy himself with whatever small work (and at times entertainment) there is at the keep. He mostly keeps to himself if not disturbed but at the same time is neither hostile nor rude when approached by other people.

He considers Skyldig and Velena what could be called friends as they are all in similar position: Velena being a specialist and Skyldig being above common soldiers (who, despite Knud's friendly attitude, still see the Ranger as their superior).

Knud has always been open that his secondment to the keep was a kind of a self-imposed punishment. But he will never go into more detail though, evading the answer or plainly falling silent if asked.

Regarding the reason for being in the keep:
On any occasions when this has come up, Skyl will have made no comment, and most likely looked a little uncomfortable - especially if it was inadvertently down to him that the subject was raised. But aside from such occasions he will have been friendly and respectful towards Knud.

Knud - if you think Knud is fairly perceptive, let me know.

If you're asking because Knud should've noticed something about Skyl, I'm not sure he would have. Especially if we're talking about the moments when Knud speaks of the reasons why he is at the keep (when he pulls back into his own world of thoughts and memories).

Regarding Gwindel Sverger (sometime visitor to the keep):
[...] Gwindel might best be described as being in a constant mindset of "the happy drunk."  The truth is, he rarely drinks, but his boisterous personality, his love of stories and ability to cite an anecdote or fable to describe any situation, and his loud booming opinions which he brings to bear on any subject that touches his ears have lent him the same memorable spot in many people's minds as the regular at their favorite inn.

Gwindel is a character, but he is also extremely wise and his fables often have merit.  He is quick to get to know anyone stationed at the keep, no matter how long they have been there, and his attitudes towards the others is as such...

To Valena he is like a jester.  Sensing her discomfort at the post, he has been tempted to get her to smile and tries his damndest to do this whenever they turn up at the some spot, whether it's by intentionally smearing soot in his beard and grinning like an idiot who has almost blown himself up or by (ye gods, this was memorable) juggling two small casks of gunpowder.

Skyldig he is merely friendly with.  He hasn't, by circumstance, had a chance to make much of an acquantice of the man and Skyldig hasn't particularly stood out amongst the other soldiers.  Of course the man will know of his antics and stories and two the have probably never been rude to each other on purpose, but they don't know each other well.

Knud he knows better, perhaps, than anyone in the Keep and considers him a close friend and almost a dwarf-kin.  While Gwindel's light hearted stories are well known at the Keep, it is to Knud that he has told the serious stories, stories that dwarves tend to keep to themselves and their culture.

Gwindel will find that Velena rarely smiles much at his antics. She my manage a half smirk and a cocked eyebrow, even an exhale of breath that some might consider a laugh. The stories he weaves of are more interest, sometimes she may even ask absurd questions as young city girls do.

Instead, she is far more interested in the supplies he carriers, constantly on the look out for any fine silks or jewelry. As a supplier she may even ask if you've heard of her father, a merchant by the name of Alan Karar.

Regarding names and salutations:
[...] Knud is OK with being called just by the name. If anyone wants to be more official Ranger Knud or even Ranger Anleifr is the right form, I suppose. (Not trying to impose anything on anyone. Just was wondering how, for instance, I should address Skyldig to show some sort of camaraderie but not be rude at the same time.)

Gwindel should be called by his first name.

[...] Lady Vel or Lady Karar, or some such variety.

[...] coming from Knud and Velena, he'll be quite happy with just Skyl, so long as they appear comfortable with that.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong (very possibly!), but I'd guess that the ordinary soldiers would address him as Corporal - or a shortened version of that (Sergeant gets shortened to Sarge, so Corporal....Corp, I guess?) - in formal situations. Other than that, he'd be called Skyldig or Skyl depending on how friendly he is with the individual.

He'll be perfectly comfortable addressing Velena as Lady Karar. He'll likely have remained formal - using Ranger Anleifr - with Knud until told not to be, which I'll assume he has been unless told otherwise! (Please! It's so much easier to type! :D )

Likewise with Gwindel, he will probably have to have been told not to be formal, but I'll assume that's happened.

Yes, Skyl can definitely call Knud by his first name. (Besides everything else, I wouldn't want to type Avsvaghen, either. :))

Regarding Knud/Gwindel relationship:
Knud, since Gwindel delivers to both the Ranger's station and the keep, it's very probably you guys have travelled back and forth together. Infact, you might have learned some tricks in negotiating the trecherous mountain passes of your then new posting from him!

I figure Gwindel knows the paths from here back to Holmgard better than anyone and may have shared this information with Knud.  IN short: there may be a faster way back to Holmgard than going through the Ranger's Station!

I like the idea (about Gwindel and Knud having become close friends and sharing more information between themselves than with other residents of the keep).
I suppose you already have something in mind so am eager to hear it.

The big thing is that I like it when past relationships have an effect on the game, so with the GM's permission I'm thinking that Gwindel and Knud may be able to lead the party on a faster trip to Holmgard than by going through the Ranger's outpost, taking a secret trail they discovered together two years ago and have traveled many times since.

Aside from this, I don't know that we need to explicitly detail any secret past between the two, but I think Gwindel has taken Knud to the very gates of Bor, a rare honor for a human, and I'll of course be treating your character appropriately in the game.

With that nod, and private notes to each toher, everything else can be discovered and retconned into the game, I am sure.

Obviously, Gwindel and Knud are free to suggest routes and alternate routes. Depending on the circumstance they might be welcome suggestions, or they might be argued again. Who knows with NPCs :D

Same here (about past realtionships).
The secret trail is a great idea. On top of everything, it would also present a dilemma for Knud, because he'd tend to use Ranger's outpost as a first option since he is...well a Border Ranger.

By secret past I just meant that Knud told Gwindel about the reason for coming to the keep. Which is: Knud was part of a ranger patrol that pursued a Giak raiding party into the Durncrags (west of the Pass of Moytura). They were ambushed by more Giaks and Knud was the only one to escape. On the rare occasions Knud spoke of this part of his past he also mentioned some innocent Sommlending died at the hands of the Darkspawn that day.

There are still some details in the story Knud haven't revealed but otherwise it's all true.

I like everything I read here.  Gwindel's past is less heroic: he simply grew tired of living in the shadows after his first wife died and wished to experience more of life than he could underground.  I guess he is running from his past in a way, but he's not as emotionally scarred as most of my characters (Falfalin, for god's sake...)

Interesting point about the dilema: I hadn't thought of that.  In that case, I'll have Gwindel push for us to definitely use the secret trail.  I was going to anyway, as it will make the most sense to the dwarf to exhibit speed and avoid as many people as possible while escorting this dangerous man, but now I'll really push it to give you that to work off of.

I wouldn't call Knud's past heroic (and I'm saying this because it is obvious Knud feels burdened by whatever happened back there).

Well, if we indeed end up on the secret trail, I'm sure GM will make it an unforgettable experience. So I better start rehearsing 'I told you it was a bad idea' line. :)

And when you said "[Gwindel] has taken Knud to the very gates of Bor" you meant it literally (they travelled together to the Kingdom of Bor) or figuratively (Gwindel told him a lot about dwarves of Bor and their culture)?

Not since being posted to the keep. Even if he wasn't, Bor is pretty far away for a lowly ranked ranger to decide to roam. I think you will need to be metaphoric!

Unless he managed to snag a place as an escort for a larger caravan of Gwindel's, one to do with the Border Ranger station on the other side.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking.  If not, metaphorically works fine and I like the phrase "To the gates of Bor!"

Now I'm torn - it'd be nice to be able to say my character have travelled to Bor but I don't know if it wouldn't be too much for a lowly Ranger.

If you don't mind we'll leave this as something Knud dreams of doing. When he becomes at least a Sergeant in the ranks of Border Rangers.

Certainly he'd have an 'in' with Gwindel to justify such a request when higher ranked. Sounds like a nice drive for your character to have :)

Alright, then Gwindel will consider him somewhat of an apprentice to him.  Gwindel definitely believes that he, Gwindel, knows the routes around these parts better than Knud but really does love the lad like a son.

Yeah, that's good.
Plus it fits with the fact that it was Gwindel who showed Knud around the mountains (and the secret short-cut to Holmgard).
And I believe Knud will have no problem treating the dwarf as his mentor.

Appropriately, Gwindel will be more serious and straightforward in his treatment of Knud than, say, to Valena.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:28, Thu 10 Nov 2011.