Keep on the Borderlands (Game Thread)   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 12 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 02:10
Keep on the Borderlands
Ahead, up the winding road, atop a sheer-wailed mount of stone, looms the great Keep.  Even from the road, the Keep is an impressive sight:  a mighty castle perched on a flat-topped hill, with a path climbing steeply up beneath frowning guard towers until it reaches the main gate.  Here, at one of civilization’s strongholds between good lands and bad, you will base yourselves and equip for forays against the wicked monsters who lurk in the wilds.  Somewhere nearby, amidst the dark forests and tangled fens, are the Caves of Chaos where fell creatures lie in wait.  All this you know, but before you dare adventure into such regions you must become acquainted with the other members of your group, for each life will depend upon the ability of the others to cooperate against the common foe.

Now, before you enter the grim fortress, is the time for introductions and an exchange of information, for fate seems to have decreed that you are to become an adventurous band who must pass through many harrowing experiences together on the path which leads towards greatness.  You travelled for many days, leaving the Realm, and entering the wilder area of the Borderlands. Farms and towns have become less frequent and travelers few.  The road climbed higher as you entered the forested and mountainous country.  You now move up the narrow, rocky track towards the Keep.  A sheer wall of natural stone is on your left, the path falling away to a steep cliff on the right.  Crenellated battlements line the walls of the Keep, offering plenty of cover for archers to attack any foe coming up the exposed path.  As you draw near, a clanging as of a great gong goes up from one of the towers that overlooks the path – clearly your approach has been noticed.

Following the curve of the path around to the side, there is a small widening ahead, where lies the main gate to the Keep with a drawbridge flanked by thirty-foot-high watchtowers.  The drawbridge allows passage across a chasm, a break in the trail before the gate.  The blue-clad men-at-arms who guard the entrance shout at you to give your names and state your business.  All along the wall you see curious faces peering down at you - eager to welcome new champions of Law, but ready with crossbow and pole arm to give another sort of welcome to enemies.



You six are outside the Keep having just made the climb up the road.  You can decide where on the road from the more civilized lands to West you met.  Up to about a day's march from here there are traveler's inns along the road.  You haven't seen one all day, since you left the last one last night.  The sun is low behind you and the Keep is the only civilized place in sight.  Each of you introduce yourself to the Men at Arms, when all six are declared they will open the drawbridge.
Thorona
 player, 5 posts
 Acolyte
Tue 11 May 2021
at 03:47
Keep on the Borderlands
The old woman, feeling the weight of her mail upon her shoulders after the long day's travel upon the eastward road, makes an effort to straighten her back and look skyward toward the men-at-arms atop the parapets. She throws wide her arms as if about to deliver a fiery sermon, and shouts up to the men.

"Good men of the Realm," she announces, "I am Thorona, late of the Cenobitic Sisters of the Crystalline Dragon. I am come in the name of our shared faith, that I may do my small part to rid these wild lands of discord and depredation, and by might of arms, make them safe for all goodly, Law-abiding folk." Her gnarled hands and deeply wrinkled face may draw questions about her ability to deliver on such ambitions, but her stubborn gaze defies any mockery or laughter that her words may elicit.

"As for these good, sturdy men," she says, gesturing toward the others, "I shall allow them to speak on their own behalf, though I trust each one is as devoted to this cause as I."

As she steps aside to allow the next in this motley company to speak, she mutters, "Don't make me a liar."
Finn the Mighty
 player, 3 posts
 Veteran
Tue 11 May 2021
at 10:49
Keep on the Borderlands


Finn waited for Sister Thorona to finish her introduction, and then removed his steel helm so that the crossbowmen could see his face as he spoke.  He was young, perhaps not quite to his twentieth nameday, and — while normally clean shaven — a few days' worth of beard had come in on his face and neck.  The color was a dark brown, and matched the unkempt hair that had been under his helm.  His armor was a simple, yet serviceable, affair. The motif was that of oak, a tree common in the farm country of the lowlands.  The pauldrons each had a large oak leaf, one upon each shoulder, and the breastplate was worked with the design of a grand and many-limbed tree.  The armor itself was worn but serviceable, showing signs of recent repairs.  This was not the armor of some dandy knight.  Rather, this was the armor of an itinerant swordsman.  One who made his living by the blade.

The only splash of color outside of the steel plate, mail and leathers was a dusky gray-blue woolen cloak in a hue that matched Finn's eyes.  The color of the sky before a storm.

"I am the warrior, Finn the Mighty."  He said plainly and without preamble.
Ash
 player, 5 posts
 Apprentice Thief
 Weak willed & Impulsive!
Tue 11 May 2021
at 11:10
Keep on the Borderlands
Behind the bulk of Finn a slender, wiry figure slid into view. He was also a young human, a scruff of auburn hair and beard visible from beneath the cowl of a dark green cloak that had seen better days, as had its owner. His eyes were green too, glinting with cunning or a passable imitation there of. Just visible beneath the cloak was an old but viable leather jerkin, a belt with a sling and a sheathed dagger. In contrast to his two predecessors he might have been from anywhere, lacking any heraldry or religious symbols.

"I am Ash the Apprentice," he said in a clear voice, bowing low to the guard before straighting up and offering a roguish smile. "An expert in traps and scouting."
Falco Mugwort
 player, 6 posts
 Spear Fighter
 Uncouth/Dull-Witted
Tue 11 May 2021
at 17:13
Keep on the Borderlands
As the others introduce themselves, Falco stands there among them with his spear resting over his right shoulder and a round, metal-shod, wooden shield slung over his left shoulder. On his back is a pack. His chain mail armor is covered with a dirty, ragged, undyed wool tunic. He wears a padded leather cap on top of his unkept and matted hair. He looks like he's not bathed in at least a year...if not far longer.


Once the flow of introductions works its way over to him, Falco looks up at the men-at-arms and proclaims, "I am Falco Mugwart, a simple spearman, come to stick some goblins...and sample your beer!" He belches with no thought of manners and then scratches his stubble-covered cheek. He lets out a big yawn. His teeth have seen better days.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:16, Tue 11 May.

Benny
 player, 2 posts
 Acolyte
Tue 11 May 2021
at 23:07
Keep on the Borderlands

Benny leaned and stared down the cliff face at the side of the road.  There were pretty birds flying down there.  Featherx were so soft and hollow, the others used them to write so they were of the Taut Spear - light and stiff.

He came back to reality as people started talking above them.  Impatiently he waited for his turn, hopping from foot to foot until Falcon stopped talking.  He didn't look like a bird though.  He never knew the man hated Gobbos.  Benny didn't like them either.  They were dirty foul creatures like Falcon except they were also ugly.

It was his turn to speak.  Finally!  What was it the doorman had asked?

"I'm Benny, and this is Knight." He said quickly, waving his right hand.  "We came from Robrenn in a boat with sails and it was windy.  We are here to battle the not normal things.  Knight wants me to show her I am worth talking to."

Dungeon Master
 GM, 16 posts
Thu 13 May 2021
at 22:20
Keep on the Borderlands
Two towers 30’ high with battlements flank a gatehouse 20’ high. All have holes for bow and crossbow fire. A deep crevice in front of the place is spanned by a drawbridge, currently down. One of the men-at-arms calls down into the keep and the portcullis rises granting admission to the gatehouse. ehind the portcullis there is a passage about 10’ wide and high, the ceiling above pierced with murder holes and walls to either side slitted for archery. It is obvious that the building is constructed of great blocks of the hardest granite, undoubtedly common throughout the entire fortress.  At the end of the passage a set of sturdy double doors made of thick wood reinforced with iron bands blocks entry into the keep proper.

A slotted window opens in one of the doors and a mustachioed man in plate mail looks out.  "This is a peaceable place," he says gruffly, his voice gravelly.  "We don't like brawling in the streets, folks stabbed in the tavern or anything like that.  Keep your weapons sheathed within the walls and stay out of trouble and you'll find friends here," he adds looking to confirm that all weapons are sheathed.
Falco Mugwort
 player, 7 posts
 Spear Fighter
 Uncouth/Dull-Witted
Fri 14 May 2021
at 17:15
Keep on the Borderlands
Falco's knife is sheathed on his left belt and his sling is tucked away on his belt as well. His spear, however, clearly rests over his right shoulder. Falco's eyes glance up at his spear and then he gives the man-at-arms a deadpan look as he replies, "Right. No stickin' folks inside town." He raises an eyebrow and crassly asks, "Stickin'em outside town is okay though, right?"
Ash
 player, 6 posts
 Apprentice Thief
 Weak willed & Impulsive!
Fri 14 May 2021
at 17:42
Keep on the Borderlands
Ash pulls back his green cloak to reveal his rather paltry collection of weapons - a sling and a dagger - are firmly tucked into his belt.

"No brawling, understood," he replies to the guard, looking relieved.
Benny
 player, 4 posts
 Acolyte
Fri 14 May 2021
at 18:11
Keep on the Borderlands
Benny nods his head enthusiastically to what the guard is saying.

"I like friends.  I won't start anything.  We are here to help!"
Thorona
 player, 8 posts
 Acolyte
Sat 15 May 2021
at 06:46
Keep on the Borderlands
Thorona smiles stiffly, as if the expression were a stranger to her face, and says, “From the mouths of babes. As good Benny here says, we shall welcome your friendship, and be all the stronger for it.

“I carry no blade,”
she adds, holding open her arms to demonstrate. “Nor shall I take one up, for my sacred vows forbid it. As the ancient scriptures decree, ‘I took not the sword, nor any weapon that cleaves, for it is the right of kings alone to shed the blood of men.’ I have but this cudgel, for the smiting of the vile and the monstrous.”  She gestures to the mace that hangs from her baldric, more than a mere club, though it is questionable how much damage it can do in her gnarled hands.

She assumes that her monastic habit and the weighty Icon of Law thumping against her breast with each step will testify to her peaceable intentions.

The sturdiness of the gateway reassures her that they would be free to relax their guard in this place. It reminds her of how much she has missed the orderly solitude of the abbey and the comforting presence of its enclosure.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:08, Sat 15 May.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 18 posts
Mon 17 May 2021
at 20:16
Keep on the Borderlands
The mustachioed man opens the gate to let the five adventurers into the keep.  "Greetings sister, I expect you'll be wanting to check in with the Chapel.  Abercrombie is the priest.  You, you can put that spear in the rack over there," he says the last bit to Falco.  There is indeed a generalized weapon rack with some pole-arms in it already inside and North of the gate.

The entry court is twenty feet wide and at least 150 feet long.  Across this court from the main gates are the stables to the right, easy to tell from the smell and sounds of horses; and the warehouse on the left.  At the southern end the court turns West.  The man points in that direction.

"I'm Jarl, corporal of the watch.  Sam here will show you to the Fountain Court, where the Inn be," he indicates one of the four men-at-arms armed with spears, two on each side of the gate.
Thorona
 player, 9 posts
 Acolyte
Mon 17 May 2021
at 21:31
Keep on the Borderlands
"Thank you, Corporal," Thorona says. "Blessings upon you, and those who stand with you."

Turning to the rest of the party, Thorona says, "I must make my introductions at the chapel. Father Abercrombie shall surely know more about the evils that beset the Borderlands than most, and he may know where we would be most needed." She glances at Benny, adding, "You may accompany me if you wish. I imagine this Abercrombie would welcome hearing news from Ogmna."

To the others, she says, "I shall find the rest of you at the Inn, where I trust you shall arrange for our accommodations." Sternly, she fixes her gaze on Ash and Falco. "Pray you, do not give yourselves over to debauchery before we have engaged the foe, hm?"
Ash
 player, 7 posts
 Apprentice Thief
 Weak willed & Impulsive!
Tue 18 May 2021
at 21:52
Keep on the Borderlands
Ash looks shocked that anyone could expect such behaviour of him and pulls his threadbare greek cloak around himself with the affronted dignity of a prince.

"Well, gentlemen, shall we proceed to the tavern?" He looks at Sam to lead the way.
Falco Mugwort
 player, 8 posts
 Spear Fighter
 Uncouth/Dull-Witted
Wed 19 May 2021
at 07:59
Keep on the Borderlands
"Right then," replies Falco as he places his spear on the rack. He follows the corporal-of-the-watch's indication as he points Sam out. He gives the soldier-guide a nod.

He replies to Thorna, "As you say, Sister," just before he scratches his butt.

He answers Ash, "By all means. Let us be off," before he looks over at Sam and says, "'Appears we are ready, Lad."
Benny
 player, 5 posts
 Acolyte
Fri 21 May 2021
at 19:28
Keep on the Borderlands
Benny calmly walks through the front gate, looking down to the4 road and trying to touch all the yellow bricks,  Mr. Moustache was a nice man indeed.  Plus there was new friend Sam who was going to lead new friends Ashley, Falcon, Finn  and Thorona to the tavern where 're would be more people to befriend.  It was going to be another good day.

Thorona wanted him to meet the Priest of the Keep and give him news of Ogmna.  He wasn't sure he had any news but it was probably a good idea to become his friend.  His friends could get hurt.

 Benny knew priests sometimes had funny ideas about ding things 'the right way' but at least they got done.  A priest had taught him lots of things, and he had laughed alot.  He missed those simpler times.

"OK Thorn Ona.  I will go with you to meet Amber Cromby.  He sounds like a nice man.  I'll see you again friend Sam and say 'Hi.'"
Dungeon Master
 GM, 20 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 23:37
Keep on the Borderlands
Sam sighs at the menial duty but motions in a friendly manner for the group to follow.  "C'mon, then," he says leading the way South along the narrow court and turning right (West).  He points out the Smithy on the corner and the indicates that North up the passage between the Smithy and the Provisioner is the chapel.  Sure enough, at the end of another narrow passage, the steeple poking up behind a two-story free-standing building, the chapel can be seen tucked up against the wall separating the Inner and Outer Baileys of the keep.

"Rafe Smith can make some decent weapons and armor, maintains all of our stuff, a good man," he says.  "The chapel is the nicest building in the outer bailey, you can head straight down this way to it, Ma'am," he adds addressing Thorona.  Then he Points to the long building with two signs on it.  "That's Quartermaster Moseley's shop, he can get most anything, and what he can't his neighbor Quince will likely have it in the Trader's market."

The buildings in the Keep, those not part of the actual structure, are almost uniformly two stories high, with the lower floors made of stone and the upper of wood.  The roofs are thatched, presumably with wooden beams.



I will pause here to give you the opportunity to comment as those heading to the Chapel peel off. You are standing in between 8 and 9 on the map, the Chapel is 17.  Group 1 Map has labels on the right side for relevant buildings inside the keep.
Benny
 player, 6 posts
 Acolyte
Sat 22 May 2021
at 21:53
Keep on the Borderlands
So many friends!  The keep was small but everything was new.  There were no dark alleys with the sun out, Benny should explore when it was light and hunker down to hide at night.

He wish he had more coin.  He'd work hard for a place to stay safe.  Maybe if he ran out of money Mr. Crosby would let him into the chapel.  Or he could become a guard!  That might be fun.

Hopefully they would find things in the hill.