Lankhmar 1.06: The Disturbed Duke, part one!

The characters for this session:

Rogar, a mariner [L2 Warrior, sword and shield]

Snorri, a northern barbarian [L1 Warrior, axe and shield]

Dokrah, a Keshite [L1 Rogue, talent = locks & traps]

Prasimion, a freeman scribe [L1 Rogue, talent = fraud]


To advertise, without painting a target on ourselves?

The four caper cronies spend a time recovering and eking out the monies in the general loot (see 1.05 Crypt caper). Then, in the day of Scorpion:Hare, they form a consensus to have Lee-Na assess the urn so that they can make a bill of sale with some authority.

He pronounces it genuine. He and Pras write up the bill of sale. Then, having agreed that Snorri’s fence Renago is less likely to cheat than Dokrah’s fence, Snorri and Pras approach Renago.

Pras’ point of view is to sell the urn as soon as possible to the next rung up the underworld ladder, rather than being dazzled by the 50+ gluditch true value Lee-Na estimates.

Cash is always acceptable thanks!

Pras does a lot of the talking, which is why he is there, and his point of view prevails. He fixes Renago with the idea of doing ongoing business, as well. A second meet at which Renago actually inspects the urn [Pras makes a good CHR SR for bargaining] settles on 4,000 gold rilk as the sale price. A third meeting [Pras manages a L1 CHR SR] keeps Renago honest and the 4k is handed over in four bags!

The new falchion is my balanced investment plan – check out the balance!

Once Lee-Na’s cut is taken off that leaves each adventurer with 850. When Pras mentions he will invest most of his gold, the idea catches on with Dokrah and Snorri, and they all three create a balanced investment plan with Hurik of the Merchants Consortium. Rogar also invests, but in better armour and weapons. He sports a dashing and deadly falchion.

[The GM permits rulebook upgrades to gear, excepting Dwarven Smith quality. The investments may begin to pay off in a couple of months’ game time. Pras and Dokrah also upgrade weapons and armour where they can – they can’t afford to lose DEX or clank around in metal armour! Snorri is fairly happy with his current armoury. Pras also upgrades to a better cloak and meets one of his contacts, a laundress named Verna.]

A mission calling for ingenuity and violence is our cup of tea…

A couple or so days later Renago mediates a meeting between the cronies and a mystery patron, advancing a purse each as surety for discretion. The Golden Lamprey bouncers wenches and whores all look more up-market than the four are accustomed to!

For their part the four attract curious stares. For reasons best known to himself and his victims Dokrah has armoured up before setting foot out of the Goosedown Inn, causing Pras and Snorri to paranoically hurry back and do the same. They look very out of place as a group! [The GM has made the general expected level of dress clear but Dokrah’s player ignores this so Snorri’s player and I role-play along with this 🙂]

Following directions to the second door on the left upstairs the four meet Avish, scion of an aristocratic house. He reiterates the deal (of silence) and narrates a tale of the Mad Duke Danius.

Danius holes up in a fortress in the aristo quarter of his own building. He has manned its defences mainly with Mingols, dismissing most previous men at arms. Few of his old household staff remain.

Danius holds Lessie, Avish’s step-sister, against her will and intends to marry her! According to Danius’ own admission she is held in dungeons beneath the fortress.

Avish of course wants her freed. His offer is an advance, more gold when a viable plan is presented, and more on completion. However, there is only a week at most to prevent the wedding!

The cronies ask a few more questions – though Pras is sold already – then accept. They receive 1000 rilk between them as initial payment.

Actually being ingenious is more of a stretch!

It’s time to come up with a plan. But it has to be feasible! So, a two-day research period is agreed.

  • Pras imagines there will be any number of tunnels beneath the present-day fortress and sub-contracts Lee-Na to do that research in the Great Library.
  • Rogar heads to the Slayers Brotherhood to listen out for disgruntled ex-retainers who can betray a good way in.
  • Dokrah and Snorri observe the fortress while acting innocuous, attempting to pick up routines and weak points.

After they reconvene Rogar recounts how, in their recent personal history, Snorri slew the Wizard Gen-Gen and left his hearthguard, all northern barbarians, living in the mansion which is an arrow-shot from the fortress. Once Lee-Na hands over a plan of tunnels, Snorri heads over to the mansion to ask about renting space or a work crew. He brings a keg of brandy as a conversation-starter. In the brandy-riddled conversation the idea of working out of the mansion spins a little sideways but the main goal is achieved.

Above or below, which way will we go?

Snorri brings Rogar and Pras back with him that night for a second visit, bringing a second keg. The hearthguards’ terms are agreed and they investigate the basement level. It offers easy tunneling assuming baulks of timber are purchased and used to shore the tunnel up. Elsewhere in the mansion grounds a slop-chute from the abattoir offers a possible route to the cesspit systems below.

Meanwhile Dokrah cat-burglars his way up to a vantage point and observes the fortress. He sees the way food is pullied up to the keep, counts sentries and notices each curtain-tower is only guarded by one guard, with three shift changes.


And before the four can meet and make a decision, the session ends.

About half the session was spent in managing the sale of the urn. Since it could have gone horribly wrong I rate that half as a success and the GM handed out a fair amount of bonus AP for it.

Buying gear is usually fun but equipment is a bit of a distraction. Rogar has three levels of armour he could choose from, which when you think of it is the same as when we had a spaceship to work out of, not an inn with doors that lock. Even I, humble crooked scribe that I am, now have four pointy weapons and can choose to strap a buckler on my arm.

I have run Citadel of Fire, also setting it in a larger city, for this group and being on the other end of such a challenge [the two fortresses are similar in design] is really interesting. The timeline (pitch a feasible plan to the patron on day 3, then the next 3 days to finish) is tighter for this group.

AP for ideas pitched was generous – our GM says he is still finding the right balance for AP – and should there be a down period, more of the group will hit Level 2.


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