Nuzyeal 2nd in the Year 720 TR.
The next day under an overcast sky the players assemble in the courtyard. A few notice that there is an unusual chill in the air this morning. They approach Valdek who is already there waiting for them. He motions them over to a small table near the front gate where he has laid out a map of the Kingdom of Kanday.
Pointing to their current location on the map, Valdek addresses the group.
“We will leave Dunir in the early afternoon and arrive in the port at Hebon sometime in the early morning tomorrow. Once arriving at Hebon we will meet with our contacts there to arrange horses and wagons and will then travel south and west to Mezint.”
Cutter interjects, “Those contacts Val, are there any on the ship we might want to know about on our mission?”
“Cutter, the story we will go by is that we’re acolytes of the Peonian Church, and we’re following our master Valdek”, adds Maximus.
Valdek nods his head in agreement with Maximus’ assessment, then continues, “No one on board the ship has any idea. As far as they know, they are escorting Peoni pilgrims and a priest to Hebon, and that is all they need to know. A reminder, weapons must remain hidden at all times, daggers and maybe a hand axe would be OK until we reach Hebon, then a spear/staff would be acceptable. Once reaching Mezint all weapons need to be hidden again lest the peasant see them. Of course as it can be easily hidden beneath your acolyte robes, your armor can be worn on the journey.”
“Now back to the map. Here is your final destination. The manor at Mezint. At Mezint you will tutor under Sir Kaen Mezine, the lord and knight there. His son will work with you as well. At all times you will remember your station as acolytes.”
“We understand Master Valdek, what will Sir Mezine be teaching us?” asks Gunnar Ludin.
“And what does he look like?” adds Maximus.
Valdek responds, “The main goal is for you to increase your weapon skills and Sir Mezine will be in a better position to let you practice in and around his manor without drawing attention as it would here at the abbey. You will assist him by scouting the woods, confronting brigands, hunting, etc. Also, as part of your cover, you will be responsible for rebuilding the Peonian shrine at Mezine and administering to the masses. In and around the manor you will retain your acolyte personas lest the masses get suspicious, so no weapons.
A look of concern on his face “Even my handaxe?” asks Maximus “that’s the reason I chose it, over the sword… it is so mundane.”
And then Cutter jumps in, “but stored closely and we can have our daggers, right?”
“Sir Mezine and his family know your identities but no one else. And Maximus, a hand axe would be ok since you can chop wood with it as well.”
“Good, good “Maximus replies”, I will carry it at all times in a well-worn sheathe, so the people will know that I’m a hardworking acolyte, who takes his job seriously…”
Interrupting, Gunnar Ludin chimes in, “While I am greatful for my training here I look forward to the chance to put it to use in real world situations.”
“Maximus, you may be happy to know that there is a friend of yours who will be going along with us to help with the restoration of the shrine. One Gordy of Flaren, a journeyman Timberwright. He will be picking out the trees from the lords forest for the necessary wood.
“Old Gordy. It would be good to see him again. We use to call him Guileless Gordy, he’s got a face so innocent you’d think he was an angel, but inside, well, let’s just say he’s surprised quite a few people hehehe. A man after my own heart.“
“Sir Mezine will not necessarily be in charge of you all BUT you must respect his position as lord there. Your activities will be coordinated through him for the most part so he can help prevent others from stumbling onto your activities. If there are no other questions we will leave once the wagons are loaded.”
As the other acolytes of the abbey finish loading the wagons their drivers head off in the direction of Dunir. Valdek beckons to follow the path of the wagons on foot. The group passes some regular peasants and other seemingly innocent travelers. After about a 2 hours walk the group arrives at Dunir. The wagons head to the dock, stopping at a ship appears to be getting ready to set sail. The drivers dismount and help the crew begin transferring the cargo to the ship. The crew seems to consists of 6 men and then 4 armed Laranian guards.
Gunnar Ludin breathes in the sea air and walks up and down the dock looking over the ship and crew. The others of the groups scan the area for danger in particular the 4 Laranian guards.
Eyeballing the guards Cutter mumbles to himself, “some help if we get into trouble at least, hope the guards are good.”
The dock is filled with workers and travelers moving too and fro, the typical hustle and bustle of an active port.
Lagging behind on boarding the ship Cutter rushes to catch up when his path is suddenly blocked by a large man dressed in red and white which clearly this man is a member of the Checkered Shield, a Laranian Fighting Order. Three others stand move in behind him (they are holding spears and round shields). Cutter looks anxiously to his left and right hoping that one of the others has observed his plight.
The large man looks Cutter straight in the eyes and asks, “Where’s Torien that pig friend yours? He wouldn’t be leaving town before I get the chance to settle an old score would he?”
“HHMM, haven’t seen him since yesterday,” cutter replies “why is that, what do you want with him? I could relay a message if you would give me your name good sir?”
The man nervously rubs the hilt of his broadsword (still sheathed) and says “I owe him for a past transgression and I am to make payment next time I see him”. When you see him you tell him Arsyn of Loldis is loking for him. He will know who I am and why.” With that he walks away and the others follow him.
Maximus , who by this time has moved up behind the 4 men to get a better position on the situation mutters to himself, “Arsyn? No doubt his friends call him Ars.”
As the 4 men disappear into the crowd Cutter determines that the leader of the groups appears to have been a Corporal of the Checkered Shield from the looks of his uniform.
As they go Maximus walks up to Cutter and says, “Oh well, the day waits for no one. Let’s board and be on our way, its getting late.
As Cutter climbs on board he approaches Valdek. “Val, know anyone by the name of Arsyn, a “friend” of Torien?”
“That large Laranian fellow? I see he has a long memory that one and a thirst for vengeance. Hardly befitting a follower of Larani. Best to steer clear of him and any other Laranians for a while.”
“I see, thanks for the info.” Then as Cutter takes a position at the bow of the ship he looks back over the crew for a minute, especially the Laranian guards. The he looks up and notices they are on board a Laranian flagged vessel.
Slowly the ship moves away from Dunir and out to sea. Although a seaworthy ship you notice you still stay close to shore. During the journey the group helps out the sailors, trying to learn as much about the ship as possible, and keeping an ear out for gossip and anything useful the crew might let slip.
Seeking more information on the dockside encounter Cutter pulls one of the guards aside and asks if he knows of this Aryn fellow.
“You mean Corporal Arsyn?”, replies the guard. “Yes, he’s a member of the Checkered Shield. A bit of a hot head they say. A good man in a fight although he has a tendency towards giving no quarter. Rumor has it that many an Agrikan soldier has been summarily executed after surrendering to him in battle. He seems to be a favorite among some of the more extreme Laranian religious zealouts. Other than that I cannot say.”