RECAP: Black Dogs, 12-27-19

Players: Don (Pastor Ebenor), Les (Halfdan), Steve (Aerys) and Libby (Iria)

Iria’s research… everywhere she goes, there’s maybe a single line but nothing detailed on the Orbs. They were created during the Suel empire but have been missing for 2000 years. It is only maybe believed that the last emperor of the great kingdom way up north may have had one
(northern continent, not Greyhawk. No books, scrolls, tomes that she can find. Verstrate Aurora suggests she hires mages in the school of Cannistan and recommends Iria go there, or the Valley of the Lost Mage, next. Mason
wants nothing to do with it and recommends that they get destroyed.
There’s one for every age group of dragons.

Day 24 – Very little information having been found. Iria might need to go to Cannistan next. About not allowing the orbs to touch – Verstrate had witnessed two artifacts on one field of battle, and they interfered so heavily with each other that nothing good happened for other side.

No magic allowed inside the City in Cannistan – they fear and hate magic, but respect strength and mercenaries. There’s a place called the Boot and Strap (a tannery) that Llewellyn takes me to after a meeting. He wakes the proprietor, a giant half-orc, to introduce her to, so she has a safe place to travel in/out of.

While Iria is away, Ben and Halfdan are away building their temple. About a week in, the Emir’sprimary wife lets Ben and Halfdan know that several of the emperor’s ships will be coming in 3-4 weeks to restock water, etc. Halfdan lets her know he’ll have barrels ready and waiting, etc.

Thaedon tells Aerys that he’s heading off to the Harbour to meet with the Countess and leaves him to keep an eye of Rabat. Two weeks in, the Chamberlain gives Aerys a letter from Thaedon. He’s been instructed to go to Eor with Halfdan to procure lodging and training facilities for 1000 men.

When Iria returns, she’s received a letter instructing her and Ben to take 5,000gp (left for her in a chest) and to go to Cannistan, and recruit 650 men to the Black Dogs ‘from the jail and abroad’ at normal wages, and to arrange passage for them to Eor, where we will all meet up in 40 days. Thaedon has already arranged for passage via two Eorian ships.

Halfdan, Aerys, and two senior members of the black dogs travel to Eor. When they arrive to the huge port city Dhabiya, the smell of salt and incense vie for most prominence. Onion-domes, armed soldiers, lots of gold, ships, and temporary tents (refugees) everywhere. A troop of roughly 20 soldiers in head-to-toe chainmail with shields and scimitars, pointed
helmets. Their skin is almost gold. (Persian/Saracen analogue) Aerys’ tattoos are drawing lots of surly attention. One of the soldiers (missing most of his nose) speaks in slow, struggling common. Sergeant Varr tells us he’s been sent to escort them and the other emissaries to the Emir.

Other humans of note are wearing garb of white/gold/yellow, with a giant golden disc on their chests. Normal people get the heck out of their way. The onion domes are churches of some kind with large statues of a Man in front of some of them.

We’re brought to an Inn, with the main room cleared out, and a single chair. The ~20 black dogs and ~20 soldiers under Vaar take up 1/3 of the room. A man with almost glowy golden skin, dressed in gold and white robes and dripping with gemstones walks in and sits down. There are many professional guards here.

A short, elegantly-dressed fat man approaches, and bows. His voice is high-pitched. “My name is Skahib. I am the head eunuch of the Emir’s household. I wish to speak with you afterwards to discuss the Emir’s primary wife to make sure she is doing well.” Aerys and Halfdan introduce themselves. The Emir does not speak the common tongue, and Skahib will be translating.

“His Divine Excellency, Behir al Alyubi, of Kingdom of Southern Eor.” The Emir thanks us for making the journey. He recently received a letter from the Primary wife explaining the contract in his name, which is not everything he wanted, but will be accepted.

Halfdan makes obeisance, the Emir thanks him, and wants to know Why we’re here and what we need. Aerys tells him that we’ve heard of the troubles they’re having, and that we wish to address it on their behalf, but need housing and training facilities, and any intelligence they can offer for
scouting. The Emir wants to know when to expect these people – approximately 40 days. He will evacuate the NE Quadrant of the City for our needs. There’s some discussion about what servants/horses we might need (nope, and nope) Sgt. Vaar gets yelled at, and runs out after saluting. We’re told we’ll be escorted to the city of Quill, near the front. The Emir rather suddenly dismisses us, and walks out.

Skahib has been assigned to be our cultural envoy, but has questions for Aerys about his tattoos. Aerys explains that he’d been enslaved by the Yuan-Ti, who are the aggressors against these people.

We go back to the ship to get our belongings, and when we get back, the inn looks like an actual inn again. Food is super spicy, mostly lamb, lots of wine. After dinner, Skahib returns with his own guards.

Next day we’re shown where we’ll be set up. The day after we head out towards Quill (30-35 miles to the south) with Skahib and Varr and all of our entourage. There are large training camps of 200+ men and women per camp training with spear and shield. There are at least six of such camps. NCOs are screaming at the recruits. The afternoon brings men/women in the yellow/gold robes with discs speaking with the troops.

When Halfdan asks, the priests are called Rashahs are the holy men and women of Al’Hatha, and they’re giving the holy teachings to strengthen the resolve of their warriors. A quote in Bakluni: May you receive the Blessings of Al’Hatha and his Prophet Emir. The troops used to get 3-4 weeks of training before going to the front. Now it’s a week. Anywhere from 100-300 troops are sent here per day. It’s pretty obvious that we’re kept away
from the trainees. (they aren’t armed or armored), but the sound of smiths is all-out, and wagonloads of wounded are being brought up to a field hospital here. The smiths are given salvaged armor that they recovered, patching it up, and redeploying it. Black smoke from burning bodies to the south smells horrible.

Skahib tells us he’s not accompanying us the next day. Sgt Varr will accompany us to the front and communicate any needs. We should only bring a small honor guard. We’re warned against any sort of aerial manouevres. There are a series of five berms built up to hold the line.
The large hill in the center is miles long. There are probably 30-40k defenders of Eor here, but less than 5000 are professional. They lose several hundred per day. All spells are being used to burn the dead to keep the Yuan-ti’s necromancers from raising the fallen.

The Yuanti are being led by a multi-headed snake creature.

Ben and Iria, meanwhile, take a small retinue with them to Cannistan to meet with the owner of the Silver Goblet, Bakrog the Beastly. It’s a clean and classy establishment frequented by nobles, tradesmen and trappers. He has three Dwarven acrobats that work for him. The bar has mediocre ale but excellent Elven wine. He’s already been told to contact Constable Bull Jirelmor on our behalf, who runs a small jail and Superintendent Red Knaffer, who has a much larger jail.

Constable Bull comes to meet us. He’s dressed like an Italian renaissance noblemen. He’ll meet us at the Jail the next morning. He has about 50 prisoners but most will make bail. The next morning, he meets and says they have 46 current, mostly drunks or gang members. Roughly half will be gone by the end of the day. We find 4 of the remaining 20 that might be acceptable.

We go to City Jail to meet Superintendent Red Knaffer, who becomes cooperative AFTER he sees our writ of authorization. He tells us there are over 1100 prisoners, most of whom have been there for 2+ years. Thieves, brawlers, political and white crime prisoners, debtors, and others. There are no judges to help get these people out, so it’s almost a life sentence. Approximately 200 are too old. Some are diseased. Lots are old members of the Legion. There are “3” levels within the jail. Upper (best-connected prisoners), Medium, Lower, and then there’s The Pit (below) – Guards don’t go to the Pit. Those people are too dangerous for that.

Iria’s made an overture to the Sage’s Guild. On Day 2, a gentleman with a 2h sword and dagger walks into the Silver Goblet. He asks if we’ve put together the Posters. His name is Pavain, a former member of the Knights of the
(Cannistani) Realm, which was disbanded. “We find ourselves at a bit of a loss, as the new Regime doesn’t trust us, and we don’t see a future of our way in this direction” So he wants to scout us out to see if they’re interested in joining and what our intentions are.

There are 18 knights and 80 squire and followers. Heavy/Medium Calvary. 2 nights from now, he will bring his four superiors and a small retinue to dinner with us to get the measure of each other.

Red meets us at the City Jail at the appointed time. He tells us that there are 1076 of the 1100 prisoners that are alive. He’s ruled out 215 for being over the age of 40. 161 have diseases or missing body parts. 10% (108) are former slaves. 15% (162) are political/white criminals. 430 of the largest group are former military members (some have attitudes or injuries). There are
several specialists on each level. He mentions that there are another 2000 former slaves in town if we can get the criers mobilized in those parts of the City.

The Black Dog Leadership with us are interviewing the former military personnel.

Specialists:

First person – Fijind, a weaver – smuggling charge / debtor prison / failure to pay taxes. He’s 5ft 2” with broad shoulders, probably late 30s, red hair/beard streaked with grey. He’s been there a year and wants out. He can connect us to people – take

Second – Berzick – muscled, 5’5” @ 170lb, mid 20s. Still smiling after all this time. /Short, light hair, stubble. / drug peddling, smuggling, blackmail (merchants). Retired member of the Thieves’ Guild, who supposedly bought his way out. Ben asked how he got caught. “Well….I had a girlfriend….” (no longer together) – take

3rd – Mathki — older gentleman in 40s, in for killing someone in a duel with another naval officer for insulting him. He’s 6’8” and was the Captain of a small warship. Dark skin, dark hair, mustache, slender. (take)

Ryongshu – 6’9” @ 250lb // late 20s / trained cartographer. In jail for insulting the emperor. As a child, he was given to the Priest of Osprem and has some clerical ability. (Take)

Zishun – 6’1” – late 30s, black hair & mustache. Wrongly Charged with kidnapping and rape for hiding the daughter of a neighbor (Ben 35 sense motive, it didn’t happen – she falsely accused him to avoid punishment.) Owns a silver mine, at 10 yrs old he was a member of the assassin’s
guild. Retired at 25 after purchasing controlling interest in said mine. (Iria – probably pass)

Baika – arrested with another person for extortion. He was a Jr Partner with the Merchant’s guild. His partner was great, trained him, and helped him start his own shop when he was 30. Short and overweight, older. Has connections within town. Says he’s innocent (seems right, to Ben) Take?

Daxong – brothel owner. Arrested for kidnapping, rumors that some of his girls don’t work willingly. Accused by a local nobleman. Bald with a long brown beard. Thinks it was a revenge accusation when one of the ‘girls’ ridiculed the nobleman’s manhood. Ben thinks it’s probably truthful. Grew up in a brothel, mama was a working girl, became a bouncer, then took over the brothel when his boss was killed. Opened a second house. Considers himself to be pretty stealthy (Ben: true) Iria: pass

Dazoyosht – gentleman farmer, early 30s, blue eyes, brown hair, 150lb, decent shape. Accused of a nobleman on his property. Only suspect. Says he didn’t do it, but refuses to say who did. Says the nobleman was killed for handling a female on his property in a rough manner. (Ben: truth) He was a former militia man, farmer, rancher – Take

Sir Eufoe – shockingly emaciated. 6’1” @ 120lb. iron grey hair, brown eyes. 50s. Hit the former chamberlain with a closed mail fist for not getting him in to see the Overlord regarding a plot on the Overlord’s life. The OL is now dead. He was the teacher of tactics in the military. Take

Rixju – commander of archers aboard a ship. 23yo, held for brawling when he was knocked unconscious and couldn’t flee. 6’3” @ 193lb, broad shoulders, dark hair, brown eyes. Longbowman. Made a shot and hit the rope to a vessel’s main sail at 130 yrds. Didn’t sever it as hoped, but did hit it. Take

2nd lvl prisoners:

Apapo – death penalty. Sergeant mercenary. 6’5”, 38yo, slim and muscular. Has a temper. (pass)

Elrick — Elf – saw a city official meeting with unsavory characters. He tried to blackmail the city official and failed. Forrester of note. Woods and plains for sure. Mountain and swamp at lesser extent. Works best at night (low light vision) Take

Uzishoc – murder. Argued with a fellow noble guard and killed him. Drunk, doesn’t remember why. (Pass)

Eadchat — Hand on fishing vessel – simpleton – spit on a nobleman – very strong. When Ben queries him about the situation, he says he spit a fly out of his mouth, but that’s illegal. (Take)

Chezl – Rowdy after religious ceremony (Hextor) – Ben: PASS

Ijeng – farmer, in for trespassing. Spends time in woods and lower city, trying to stay alive. (take)

Acu – small, with ginger pigtail braids and beard, sailor, 2 nd Mate. Carpenter. Tavern brawl, incited a riot. (take)

Wynga – tavern brawl. First time in the city. Militia training, scout. Best at shooting deer. Hunter for a local nobleman. (take)

Rathma the Wolf Butcherer: notorious killer, mutilates his victims (Ben: PASS)

Zlatos, a baker – tax evasion. Excellent Singer (bard) – Take

Angemun – treason. Naval architect, accused of stealing from an overlord’s shipmaster (take)

Hag Woebringer – deserter. He was shot in the left arm, became too stiff to hold a shield, was released from duty but no one filled out the paperwork. His arm is in pretty bad shape. He had been apprenticed to an armorer. (take)

Ravo – 6’2” @ 210lb. Murder – says he was framed, he owed money to a dead man. Ben thinks he’s telling the truth. Minor spellcaster. Take

Shinga – arrested for spycraft. Lies– he Came to sell produce from elf point keep and was thrown in jail. He’s good with a longbow and woodcraft. Take

Cutsing – multiple offender, theft. Late 20s. He’s a bowyer. Linguist – over 30. (Yup!)

Cusheal Attacked a master of the wizard’s guild. 5’3” late 30s, 150lb, blue eyes, red hair. Says he got tired of being turned into a frog and back, as punishment, for not casting a spell correctly. Wizard-Apprentice (yes)

Tashu – arson. Red thinks it’s a technicality. Daughter of the stonemason’s guild. Fell asleep next to an oil lamp in a stable and accidentally set it on fire. Very young-looking. She can read/write, keep ledgers. (take)

Thiafung- attempted bribery / unemployed miner. Has a cleft lip, mid 30s. one blue eye, other is dark green. Not a pretty person. Militia training. (take)

Gan – murderer. Saw someone putting something in his friend’s drink (assumed poison). Attacked the poisoner. Turned out it was a roofie (mild sedative). Druid – TAKE

Miwot – petite woman, loves the outdoors. Father was a trapper/butcher. Arrested for poaching. (ranger) – TAKE

Gamle – sturdy woman but pretty (16 CHA) – slapped a nobleman who was advancing against her. Animal handling, no fighting skills. Take

Lynzope – was a scribe, but he was apprenticed to an assassin’s guild. Set a trap for someone, found out it was the wrong person, let him go, and got caught. Take

Skemaz – H,M, blacksmith and weapon maker. Came to town to sell wares. Didnt pay taxes he didn’t know about. A little warrior skill, but 5 th lvl expert smith. Take

Vozwad — Arrested/charged with spying on a councillor’s private discussion via clairvoyance, and paid for the spycraft. Will not give up the employer’s name. – Take

Of the 430 former militia members – we take 360, others dismissed due to injuries/emaciation. Basic breakdown: 360 legionaires // 16 political/white crimes // 75 former slaves = 451

70 injured military Grade B/C

2nd week of interviews: in the former royal warehouse, Fijind locates the chainmail and weapons of the former legions. It’s owned by the state, if we can get them to part with it. If we can put together a list for Fijind, he can help us legally procure it. Tashu might make a great assistant. No hanky panky tolerated.

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