Decaying Lands 11: Polde's Homecoming

PCs Present & Played:

Barthelm Schade, Specialist 4 (James)
Caleb, Fighter 1 [farmer kit]
  Suzie, a stubborn but loyal mule
Claus Drexol, Magic-User 3 (Vegas)
Jewel, Really Good Dog 1 (Rudy)
Tenkos, Cleric 1 [plague doctor kit]
Viggo Marklund, Specialist 2 [bounty hunter kit]

I'd start this off with a spoiler warning about The Trail of Stone and Sorrow but this is so far off the end of that adventure that it's not even relevant anymore. Take this as one possible, absurd, end-game and then go buy it so you can run it for your players or give it to your referee to run because this is where you can take it.

This session picked up right where the last one left off, with Jeremiah the blacksmith on the front porch of Polde's house yelling at him. Barthelm immediately inserted himself and got up in Jeremiah's face right back, ended up looking like a Wolverine/Sabertooth matchup size-wise, except Barthelm is probably much dirtier and smellier than Wolverine.

After a few moments Polde's son Anton came running out along with his wife, Ivana. Jeremiah initially caught the boy from running to his father but backed down when Barthelm subtly (or not) threatened him. Claus brought the three Kosovels inside their farmhouse to get an explanation and shield Anton from the potential violence that was simmering. Jeremiah backed down, however, and the blacksmith retreated from the farmhouse in the direction of the town center with an "I'll get you!" look.

The folks remaining outside of the Kosovel house immediately started preparing for battle. Barthelm posted up on the roof after working with his comrades to place their bear traps just off the road on the town side of the house. Bear traps are standard operating procedure for them at this point but they did at least spare a thought for keeping Anton away from them. Jewel meanwhile went exploring about the farm, finding some cats in the barn! She immediately went into righteous slayer mode and brutally ripped the throat out of the first feline. The second managed to escape up the ladder to the top of the barn leaving Jewel to wait underneath, barking.

Inside the house, Claus caught Ivana's hint to have Anton show Polde around the recently fixed up farm and introduce his farther to their new animals. When the rest of her family had left, Ivana explained that Polde's disappearance coupled with the damage to the farm fences and loss of so many animals left her without many options. She couldn't afford to replace the livestock and couldn't work the farm by herself. Jeremiah swept in, sold off the stone statues, and raided Dr. Brenner's house. He claimed to have killed Brenner for doing dark magic and soon had enough money and influence to control much of the town. His influence got the town to stop shunning Ivana and Anton and his money got her farm back into working order. "It was either that or let my son starve."

At this point Claus brought Ivana back outside at the sound of a commotion. During Anton's guided tour of the farm renovations with his dad they came upon Jewel, barking over the barely recognizable corpse of Twinkle Kitty, one of the farm cats. Jewel followed the sobbing boy back to the front of the house, tail wagging the whole way. Caleb tried to scold her but couldn't stay mad at such a sweet face. To distract the boy instead, Caleb knelt Anton down and stood over him in his full plate and knighted him "Sir Anton of Farmhouse" with his greatsword. "Now ride my steed!" Anton was now distracted enough by his new title and riding on Suzie that the rest of the folks could focus how to attack the problem at hand.

Anton was excited!

There was a lot of back and forth planning and discussing going on at this point. Claus initially just wanted to leave, he even tried to convince Ivana that they should leave town and start somewhere new. When that didn't land, he was pretty nonchalant about "Well let's just go kill him!" which didn't exactly help with the "wizards are awful people" stereotype. Barthlem's plan is to tell the townsfolk that he was the one who actually killed Dr. Brenner (true) because "BAD wizards deserve to die" (emphasis his). Caleb meanwhile shared with Anton that he was looking for a wizard to "bring his boy back" which only confused the little guy more ("So wizards can do good things too?").

Anton was confused.

The group eventually settled on a preemptive strike. They would go into town, in force, and try to interrupt whatever Jeremiah was trying to put together. They wanted to go in, claim the credit for killing Brenner, and pass off Caleb as a knight from the city, which they had already kind of done with Anton. Tenkos demonstrated a bear trap for Anton too, which he loves, and then they told him that he got to announce "Sir Caleb of Teutonitopia!"

Anton was ecstatic.

Before leaving, they realized that Jewel was missing. Where'd that rascal get off to? Oh no, she went in and ate all the breakfast off the table and got blood everywhere. Oh that Jewel!

Their Plab B was 100% just to murder Jeremiah. I'm not sure if it was "murder and run away" or "murder and lie" or maybe "murder discreetly and cover up" because they never got that far.

They arrived at the town center to find a group of a dozen or so rowdy townsfolk clustered around the newly renovated smithy (with attached tavern). Mostly they were armed with pitchforks and clubs, although there was at least one sword in the group. Anton announced "Sir Caleb of Teutonitopia, from the capital city!" and Barthelm started to try and reason with the crowd by saying stuff like "Good people, they kill evil wizards and let bygones be bygones, they don't hold it over your head!" There was a lot of talk back, some yelling, and Barthelm accusing Jeremiah of being a bad guy. One of Jeremiah's apprentices, Tobias, was there and toeing the party line in support of his master. When things weren't going as well as Barthelm would have liked, and seeing Jeremiah approaching from across the town, Barthelm went all in: "I'll pay a gold piece to everyone that stands with us!" Tobias was instantly sold. He also promised to build upgrade their mill to a windmill and build a wall around the town.

Sidebar: LotFP uses a silver standard and on top of that 1 gp = 50 sp, so this is a fair amount of money.

Jeremiah immediately launched into accusations against Polde, calling him some kind of devil spawn creature. Polde countered by calling out specific people in the crowd with memories. Barthelm also claimed that Jeremiah was in league with evil magic users. Tobias subtly threw up three fingers, Barthelm nodded, and then Tobias launched into a tirade about how he saw some shady meetings but never wanted to say anything because he was scared of Jeremiah working magic.

At this point, sensing the changing tide, Jeremiah pulled out a longsword. Caleb immediately responded by tackling him to the ground, and Barthelm punched him for good measure. Caleb claimed to have been sent by King Heinrich IV himself to arrest Jeremiah for being in league with dark magics! They bound his arms, everyone went into the bar which formerly belonged to Jeremiah but now belonged to Tobias.

They took Jermiah down the road a bit, then into the woods. They dug a shallow grave, tortured him a little bit (Jewel bit off one of his fingers!) and then murdered the shit out of him. He really pleaded to be let go, but no dice. Before his death, he did divulge that he sold all the stuff he got from Dr. Brenner's house to two hooded and masked men named Manfred and Perminio. He had previously done business with them before by selling them blacked out armor, and they seemed very scary.

They went back to the smithy, cased it out and aggressively interviewed Tobias a bit but didn't get much more. They did find some hidden money, which they gave to Tobias to distribute to the townsfolk (more Barthelm promises) as well as an eight inch, cold iron key covered in hieroglyphs.

After they killed Jeremiah we all said something like "wow now you guys really are murder-hobos, it's your first murder." After the fact the rationale for murdering Jeremiah boiled down to "he was mean to a couple of us once and he wanted to get with Polde's wife." Totally justified.

I realized later when talking to Caleb's player that Barthelm has personally murdered a bunch of people already! Even directly the session before, murdering prisoners! I don't know what we were thinking. 

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