Dismal weather soaks the city of Tannis for three days. Low grey cloud and downpour usher in autumn. Magnus, Goa Finnbjorn, Elroy Wick, Corun Dum’man, and Eberk anticipate an update from Captain Martin as they keep a tavern in business.
The weather clears on the fourth day. One of Lieutenant Richard’s soldiers brings word to the party – Captain Martin is headed for the port city of Lyttel. There, three ships await mercenary passengers and crew to sail north. Runners spread word through towns and settlements of the House of Davis, calling Martin’s hired men to muster.
At last, the party has direction. Quickly Corun and his friends bundle up their possessions and collect their horses. Already they see mercenaries leaving for Lyttel, under burden of travel kits and armor. The party takes in a last look at Tannis, a home away from home. Then they head off.
The port city is a few days’ ride. The days and nights are cold but dry. Elroy Wick asks Fharlanghn for safe passage, and his faith is rewarded.
Lyttel teems with activity. It is not difficult to follow a perceptible flow of armed men and women through bustling markets and tradesmen streets, to a staging area in the warehouse district. Mercenaries congregate in this open lot near a wharf. Magnus catches sight of Captain Martin. He is talking with two men of some importance. Closer to the party, lesser officers intercept new arrivals, verifying their identities and issuing marching orders.
Beside the meeting site, three massive longships are tied to the pier, nudged gently by the waves of the sheltered harbour. Each seventy feet long and twenty feet wide, the boats are large enough to carry more than a hundred men, plus horses and tons of cargo. Lines of oars stand locked in upright position along their gunwales. Each ship has a tall mast, with square sails tightly stowed. Elroy Wick glances at the water beyond, the grey-green inlet where dozens of boats ply the waves, and feels uneasy. With Wick’s post-death experience came a distinct aversion to bodies of water; he is not looking forward to this voyage.
The logistics officers do not approach the party. The group dismounts and Magnus leads them to Captain Martin. The recruiter and Fighter exchange pleasant welcomes, and Martin greets each party member in turn. Captain Martin arrived in Lyttel two days ago and has personally overseen all arrangements, with the assistance of JONAS and CAPTAIN CREGG. Jonas is an acquaintance of Captain Martin’s, a bowman from the south and leader of half the mercenaries that have been hired. Captain Cregg is an active-duty member of the House of Davis military. When word of the party’s plan to re-take North Point reached Davissian leaders, the decision was made to contribute a House of Davis ship and a cavalry division to the effort. For his part Cregg seems capable; rigid, formal, a veteran of several campaigns and a skilled leader of men, kitted in full-plate armor.
Introductions done, Captain Martin makes his official recruitment report to the party. A total of three-hundred and forty-seven capable fighters are expected to sail. All human; two-thirds male, one-third female.
- Forty riders of the House of Davis, a mix of Heavy cavalry, Light cavalry, scouts, and Mounted Archers.
- Fifty-nine archers, in chain shirts with composite longbows and stacks of arrows, with spears as their backup.
- Eight Heavy Infantry, phalanx fighters with breastplate and heavy steel shield, short swords and light crossbows.
- Nine “specialists” – rogues or rangers. Precisely which, is murky.
- One hundred and thirty-eight militiamen with heavy wooden shield and chain shirt, longspears, short swords, slings.
- Ninety sailors and three captains to crew the boats – all trained medium-infantry fighters, quick with falchions and light crossbows, clad in chainmail.
Eager, loyal, and ready to fight. Just as the party wanted. Captain Martin has done brilliantly in his recruitment and organization. One matter to attend – Elroy Wick offers to do the honours but Magnus makes the pitch (Diplomacy = 15) to formally ask Captain Martin to be the Company Commander, reporting to the party. Goa and her friends present Martin with the suit of +1 Full Plate and the +1 Heavy Steel Shield set aside in Party Treasure for him.
With great humility, Captain Martin accepts both the gifts and the leadership role. This has the assent of Jonas, Captain Cregg, and the lesser officers and mercenaries observing the scene.
On with business. Captain Martin intends the convoy to depart Lyttel at daybreak the day after tomorrow. Almost all of the expected recruits have arrived and been instructed to load up on supplies and find temporary residence.
The boats are being inspected by shipwrights for seaworthiness. Barrels and crates of food, water, tools, healing kits, feed for horses, other provisions, are being loaded into the holds. Crew and passenger assignments are determined, weather observations considered, maps and navigation gear checked and stowed.
If the party needs anything, Captain Martin suggests they go and get it. Wise advice. Leaving Martin, Cregg, and Jonas, to their duties, the party hurries into Lyttel for supplies before shops close for the night.
The next day, the same again; Eberk and associates scour the city for everything they might possibly need. This will be the last major city any of them will see before next summer. Spell components, ammunition for bows and crossbows, survival supplies – anything the party can think of, they seek out in a rush with limited time available to them. They cross paths with hireling mercenaries doing the same.
Halfling Goa Finnbjorn has a master list. First she buys four strong, locking iron chests. These she stuffs to the brim with wines, cheese, dried meats, spices, dried fruits, root vegetables, mushrooms, sweets and candies, ales and rare liqueurs, hard breads. Locked up tight, Goa personally oversees the delivery of the chests to a longship and their secure placement in the hold. There will be provisions on board, but the Rogue simply must have a personal supply of gourmet goods.
On their last night in House of Davis territory, the party gathers for a hot meal and drinks, and a chance to relax. The last few days have been a whirlwind. Elroy Wick (Perform : Sing = 29) offers a memorable hymn, imploring the good will of Fharlanghn to accompany he and his friends tomorrow on their perilous journey north.
(end of the session)