Being in the middle of nowhere, Druids’ Dale covenant doesn’t expect too many visitors, but this session we had two groups. In our previous session of the Druids’ Dale Saga, we had arranged for the heads of some of the nearby villages come to meet us, so they were expected.
By this point our companions had joined us, including Jack who was my own companion. Given that my maga Pisciculus is a pacifist, I deliberately made Jack quite the opposite, so I’d have a character to play when we needed to get violent. Being a soldier from the England-French wars, he quickly took over leadership of the covenant’s turb (fighting grogs). He didn’t speak much Gaelic, but he could shout loudly in French and English if necessary. We have four grogs, and the GM tasks us with fleshing them out. I come up with a quick list, which the other players are happy with:
- Knox – The Hunter
- Malcolm – The Tough Guy
- Hamish – Grizzled Veteren
- Callen – Standard Soldier
The locals were somewhat apprehensive with meeting us, but they are provided with sufficient quantities of food and drink that they relax a bit, Aidhan provides high quality, but also high brow, music. Most of the magi lurked quietly at the back of the hall, especially those of us who had the Gift and didn’t want to scare the locals. Maedbh, with her Gentle Gift, was able to talk to them without scaring them. So mostly it was Maedbh and Jack trying to be sociable, though again Jack’s lack of local language skills made things difficult.
We did find out some useful information from them whilst they were here.
- There are five main villages hereabouts, and though there is a bit of raiding between them, and serious raids are done against those further away.
- The King of the Scots is going to war, and might be heading this way since there is fighting expected to the west where the King is backing a new noble.
- At Loch Eck there is some beast lurking under the water, so it isn’t safe to go swimming. If you take a boat out onto the water, you need to sprinkle barley or something onto the water in offering.
- There is a faerie hill that needs to be avoided during the full moon. Music and dancing happens there, and mere mortals can vanish for years at a time.
- There are bandits on some of the local roads.
Things are finished off with more down to earth music by Greysen, and then Alexandra gives a speech, which is politely accepted, though neither Jack nor Pisciculus understood a word of it. Having characters who don’t speak the local language will be challenging for a while, but hopefully Jack can pick it up fairly quickly, and Pisciculus is planning on learning Thoughts Within Babble for when it is needed.
The next day our visitors leave us and head home, making our first social event a success!
For the end of the season, we as a group got to select story hooks for our covenant – we already had enough bonuses that the GM had provided ‘for free’. We chose:
- Contested Resource (minor)
- Monster (minor)
- Beholder (minor)
We also got to spend the season gaining some experience. Jack was assumed to have been learning Gaelic most of the time (mostly by shouting at people), which almost got him up to level 2, and Pisciculus took a point in both Magic Theory and Gaelic from exposure whilst setting up her lab. She had probably been trying to talk to at least some of the servants.
For our second season we had planned to finish setting up our labs, but were soon interrupted by another set of guests. We got word from our scouts that a group of armed men were heading our way. One was fancily dressed, in metal armour and riding a horse. There were about half a dozen guys accompanying him on foot, in leather and carrying spears.
Once Jack had had the situation explained to him (several times), he went to get Maedbh and Allistor to head out and meet them. They were struggling up the hill through the woods, when they encountered Maedbh sunning herself (in Scotland?) on a rock, with Jack lurking behind her. Allistor and Hamish stood some way back, and Knox lurked out of sight with a bow.
The fancy guy was surprised to see Maedbh, and possibly concerned to see Jack, and introduced himself as Murdoc son of Callum. He was here following the orders of his lord, Donnchadh of Argyll, and was investigating rumours of a new fortification up in the woods. I guess that would be us.
Maedbh told him that we were all scholars, and invited him up to visit. He was again surprised at the quality of our walls and buildings, especially since nothing had been here just a few seasons ago. In the end, we show him some (old) legal documents that give us permission to be here, and he is mollified somewhat as to our legality. He does mention that if we were to deal with the local bandit problem, it would help demonstrate the legality of our claim (and our ability to hold it).
After he leaves, we decide that we should probably check out the bandits. Most of the discussion involves ways of killing them, though Pisciculus suggests that maybe some of them might be useful and could join us. The issue there would be feeding them all, but the chances are there will be a fight and at least some will die.
That though is an issue for next session.