Grisly Eye Games

Black Griffin 40 - The Hand Over

In the 11th instalment of Black Griffin in which the party partakes of a double-cross and buys themselves some time...

This campaign diary taken from the in-character chat channel from session 40 of my ongoing playtest campaign, lightly polished and annotated.

Black Griffin is a play-by-chat game that runs every week on Roll20. The party are mercenaries in the employ of the infamous Company of the Black Griffin. Lowly even for sellswords, they have been placed on punishment duty as company fetches: bounty hunters charged with capture of deserters for trial.

Black Griffin Encampment Map Preview
Scene IX: The Hand Over

When we last left our collection of curmudgeonly crooks, they had learned of a meeting of spies and turncoats: a mysterious game of cards played at midnight.

There was a high toll to learn this information, and we join Biron as he emerges from the foul cellars-turned-oubliette of Captain Larke's manor house.

After the gloom of the cellars, it seems incredible that it is daylight outside, and Biron blinks in the sunlight.

Biron

storms out, striding forward with his axe in hand.

roars loudly, picking up some old wooden barrel and hurling it as far as he could with a roar of ridiculous anger. He seems oblivious to anyone around him.

stays silent a moment and looks back at the house.

They should die!

Traitorous, honor-less slugs.

Helia
If anyone'll be burning traitors, it'll be I.
Biron
glances up at this comment. a little bit surprised but no less angry.

Biron is surprised by the sound Helia's voice, and turns around to see the stern northerner accompanied by her surly bailiffs and Ba'Raknul, here to collect her dues.

Meanwhile, Quinn and Orin emerge from the scullery door of Larke's manor house, dragging Eggard between them.

Eggard
Where are you taking me?
Orin
We don't break our promises, Eggard.
Quinn
scratches at a spot on his chin Takin' ya somwhere where ya can take ya self I be thinkin'. But that would be up to my friend here, o'course.
Orin
holds Eggard's pack tightly in their opposite hand.
Eggard

looks from Quinn to Orin, searching for the lie in their faces.

You're joking?

You're actually going to let me go?

Orin
looks for anyone dangerous to their plan in the area.
Quinn
''No, joke none. Folk of honour us. That's what ya was promised. In fact, we aint none to turn ya out without the means of survival...'
Eggard
Means of... survival?
Quinn

subtly winks to Orin then turns back to Eggard.

Here, take some coin - so ya can buy some food when you find an outpost or village.

Orin
reappraises Quinn after seeing this generousity.

Orin furiously scans the crowds of milling company men and women... so far seems all clear.

Orin
holds Eggard tight and moves for the nearest gate.
Eggard
eagerly takes the coins, tears forming in his eyes at the generosity.

He seems completely speechless.

Orin
Let's go.
Quinn
nods and pushes Eggard gently forward.
Orin

whispers:

Slowly.

We're being followed.

Quinn
stops and bends to adjust his boots, subtly looks behind him as he does so.

Quinn spots a man, head completely hairless, sporting several elaborate piercings, rings and chains about his ears, trying to appear nonchalant.

He is clearly following Quinn and Orin though.

Orin

still whispering:

Can we lose him in the tents?

Quinn

stands and continues to walk, whispering in reply.

Could try, or do you want me to block his path, delay him some while you take our friend here beyond the perimeter some?

Quinn and Orin find themselves at the row of tents housing traders, catamites, and purveyors of dubious foods, that leads to the South Gate exit to the camp.

Orin
Here. Let's duck into a trader's tend and slip under the back wall.
Quinn
nods Aye, if not, I may be able to cause a distraction like...
Orin
That could work.
Quinn
whisper Yeah... you go on some... I'll try to hold him up.
Orin

leads Eggard to the trader's tent.

Eggard. No funny business. We may have set you free, but that just makes you a traitor to them. You want to get home in one piece, don't you?

Eggard
nods mutely.
Orin
pretends to be looking at an item near the front of the tent.
Quinn
clears his throat, adjusts his trews slightly and heads with feigned confidence back the way they came towards the bald stranger.
Quinn

as he approaches he grins and nods slightly at the man 'Scuse me guv'ner - don't s'pose ya could change some coin could ya?

fumbles around in his purse.

Mercenary
licks his lips, pauses a moment, then goes for his sword.
Orin
seeing Quinn has engaged the stranger, they duck out of the tent and run into the tents on the way to the South Gate.

Quinn gets the draw on the pierced mercenary.

Mercenary
FOR THE FOLK!
Quinn
stops up short of the man, seeing him reach for his sword and quickly pulls his bow.
Quinn
mutters Ye ain't coming closer guv'nor.

Quinn's arrow strikes the pierced mercenary in the left shoulder, knocking him back slightly. Unfortunately, he seems un-fazed by the attack and proceeds to draw his sword and approach.

Quinn
backs off 30 foot.

Clearly the man is right-handed, unfortunately.

Orin

This way, Eggard. Use the tents for cover.

ducks into the tents out of the man's line of sight.

guides Eggard further toward the South Gate as swift as they can.

With Eggard in tow, Orin weaves between the camp follower tents and makes it to the end of the row. The gate is just 30 feet away.

Meanwhile, the pierced mercenary dives behind the wagon of the apple trader, pulls out a rather large and lethal looking crowsbow and aims it at Quinn.

Quinn
screams I didn't mean nuffin' by it!

A bolt shoots and lands at Quinn's feet, burying itself in the hard soil up to the feathers. Quinn pauses momentarily to wonder what it would've done if it had hit his body!

Quinn
curses and returns fire.

Quinn's longbow shoots true, but hits the wood of the cart the mercenary is hiding behind. He gets a face full of wood splinters, but is otherwise unharmed.

Quinn

moves back to crouch behind a wagon, peering round and readying himself for the mercaneries next move.

(back another 30ft if there's space - so around 65ft away or so)

Orin

stands up tall.

Act normal.

walks to the gate and out to the left behind the wall.

The pierced mercenary is too preoccupied to notice Orin as they causally saunter to the gate. They find themselves standing outside the camp, the blasted waste of the Front spread out before them.

Orin

This is it, Eggard.

I have to go help my friend.

Eggard

seems to pause a moment, looking back into the camp with what seems to be longing... almost as though he was being dragged back by... something.

turns to Orin.

Come with me! Fuck the Three Kings, and fuck this war!

Orin
Believe me, I'm thinking about it. But I'm not ready for that yet. I don't know how to live on the lamb. You've got that writ, but not me.
Eggard
nods, and then runs off.
Orin
Run!
Eggard
They'll win, you know!
Orin
shrugs.

And with that he's gone.

Orin
grins slyly before turning and running back to Quinn.

Meanwhile, camp followers are scattering and screaming as they notice the bolts and arrows flying about their heads.

Quinn
shouts Don't mind us, none!
Mercenary

moves closer, darting between running camp followers and ducks behind a pile of crates closer to Quinn's position.

From his hiding place he fires another bolt at Quinn's head.

Quinn is too well covered, and the bolt harmlessly shatters the wheel of the wagon he's hiding behind.

Quinn
draws and looses another hopeful arrow.

The arrow strikes the pierced traitor in the right shoulder this time, sending him spinning.

Mercenary
Shit, shit!

He's clearly very afeared of Quinn's fine aim.

Quinn
crouches back behind the wagon.
Orin

slides between tents, positioning themself so that the commonwealth spy is clear in their view.

jumps out, arrow knocked and shoots, shouting...

COMMONWEALTH TRAITOR!

Quinn's arrow strikes true, hitting the traitor in the side of his face, sending shattered pieces of gold chains and rings of his piercings flying, as well as his jaw.

He slumps to the ground, dead.

Orin

breathes heavily.

Thank the father.

Quinn help me drag him back to the manor.

Quinn

staggers to his feet and runs his hand under his running nose Aye aye, will do...

mutters.

Best pick up these jewels and stuff first though right? Don't want 'em getting lost none.

scrabbles about the floor picking up the chains and rings.

Orin

shrugs.

Why not. See if he's got anything problematic on him while you're looking.

Quinn

looks up as he does so Hates to say it, but I reckons it best this be split among the men - let em know some that theres wealth in loyalty - if ya takes my meaning some.

nods Aye, will do.

Orin
I don't give a damn about loyalty or gold. Do what you like.
Quinn
shrugs ... ain't like no-one will be squealing about this as we speak anyway I figure.

Quinn collects what looks like about two gold pieces worth of shattered gold rings and chain piercings.

Quinn
stuffs em in one grubby pocket and goes and takes the man's legs.
Orin
grabs the shoulders and leads them toward the manor.

It is not an unusual sight to see dead bodies being carried through the camp, so the pair of fetches barely get a second glance before they arrive at Larke's House just a second after Helia and Ba'Raknul show up.

Helia

turns to Quinn and Orin.

Corporal Ba'Raknul, what is this?

Ba'Raknul
looks at the two and to the man.
Quinn
mutters closing his eyes momentarilly Mother watch over you, let your spirit depart your sins with your flesh.
Ba'Raknul

These are the two who were escorting Corporal Eggard.

I dont know who he is.... Orin who is he?

Biron
growls in the background.
Orin
You mean chasing Corporal Eggard, Ba? Off the traitor's tip he'd be escaping?
Biron
glaring at Ba, Orin and Quinn.
Orin
This one got in our way and stopped us from catching him.
Helia

shrugs.

Eggard won't get far.

Ba'Raknul

looks in shock to play along.

He escaped? which way did he go.. and where did this one come from.

Quinn

opens his eyes, sees Biron and winks.

Don't fret ye none - we're fine.

Helia
nods to two of her large, adult bailiffs who run off towards the South Gate.
Biron
looks at Quinn like he is about ready to plant his axe deep into him.
Orin
Pardon us, Sergeant. We're all very shocked by catching these traitors. And four, now. Not just three!
Helia
looks between the four of you, warily, pushing her weight from one crutch to t'other.
Biron
growls.
Quinn
shakes one leg of the corpse This one stopped us giving chase, so he did - then drew his blade on me! Was only my friend Orin saving me skin or it would be old Quinn being carried about stiff like. If ye take me meaning some.
Orin

Those two downstairs, the puffy-eyed one confessed to your business in Dismas. Said the third was stealing away in the night.

Quinn and I... we almost caught him!

Helia

raises a hand to stay you.

I don't know what's really going on, and to be honest, I don't care. As long as I get some traitors.

Bring 'em out.

Orin
Of course. Biron, would you help me?
Ba'Raknul.
nods and gives a motion.
Biron
snarls and glares at Orin.
Ba'Raknul
already moving to the door.
Biron
pushes a passing mercenary out of the way and walks into the mansion.
Quinn
lowers the legs to the floor and stretches That was quite disturbing. I'm quite shook so I am.
Orin
follows quickly after.
Quinn
follows.
Biron

the moment they get into the house and is away from view and ear shot. Biron spins around and pushes Orin to the wall furiously.

"YOU. LET. HIM. GO"

Ba'Raknul

hears the commotion and goes back staying near.

That was the plan Biron.

Orin
I also set him up to get caught again immediately and burned a traitor, Biron.
Biron
snarls and lifts Orin up off the ground enraged at this.
Orin

Not everything has to happen on your time scale of instant gratification, you burning meat hammer!

spits in Biron's face with each syllable.

Ba'Raknul

prepares to tackle Biron.

If you start attacking your team mates you're as much a traitor as them.

Biron
shouts with rage.
Ba'Raknul
I'm done with this crap.
Quinn
tries to push between the two We got enough peeps trying to hurt us some, don't need to find enemies in allies like.
Biron
lifts his fist to punch orin with one of his dusters.

Quinn grabs Biron around the waist, stopping him in his tracks... although now Quinn has an armful of northern berserker to contend with.

Biron

growls at Quinn but throws a punch at Orin.

misses and slams his hand into the wall. growls in anger but just drops Orin to the floor.

stops his aggression. Though now glares at Quinn holding his waist. Stares eye to eye.

Orin

slips out from between Biron and the Wall and hesitates, eyeing Biron's vulnerable bits before moving off near Ba.

They stand, half looking away, heaving with their own sort of rage.

Vins
ATTENTION!
Ba' Raknul
stands and salutes.
Quinn
half draws his rather fine looking rapier.
Biron
stands up tall.

The party all turn as one to see the looming figure of Lieutenant Vins accompanied by a retinue of his most grizzled veterans. This tall man towers over them, his great, thick black beard hanging off his infamous even greater, hawk-like nose.

Vins
DROP YOUR WEAPONS!
Biron
drops his weapons and stays silent.
Quinn
lets his rapier fall back into its sheath, then runs his hand under his dripping nose again.
Ba'Raknul
stands awkwardly holding no weapon.
Orin
continues to stand in place, heaving, hands empty.
Vins

turns to his men.

Arrest them. Take them down to the cellar. We can court martial them after lunch.

Quinn
snaps to attention Yes sir!
Ba'Raknul

sighs and just mutters.

Who needs enemies when we've got a Biron.. tearing us apart from the inside.

To be continued...