Hillfolk: Tales from Roaring Water

Episode 3: Secrets

Episode 3 – Secrets

1 (Raven)

Night-time at the Upriver clan village. Raven has been separated from the rest of the raiding party and bound hand and foot to the central pole of a shabby tent.

Ash, the right-hand man of the Upriver chief, comes to speak with Raven, telling her that the chief will soon come to interrogate her. He encourages her to cooperate and tell the chief some secret way through the defences of the Roaring Water stronghold, saying this is the only way to save her life.

Raven instead attempts to get Ash on her side, suggesting they work together to gain control of their respective clans. Ash does not trust her, and departs in a dark mood, admonishing Raven to consider his words.

(1pt to Raven from pool)

2 (Herbmaker)

Dawn, the grasslands.

Herbmaker wakes amid the tall whispering grass. He has numerous cuts and bruises and is covered in blood, but has no memory of how he came to leave the Horse clan camp.

Standing, Herbmaker sees he is on a ridge overlooking the Horse clan camp. The camp is a scene of pandemonium. Tents are on fire, bodies lie scattered on the ground, and armed men are looting the place. A phalanx of horsemen watches from nearby.

Herbmaker is greeted by a young but weathered Horse clan warrior, who approaches on foot. His name is Blue Eyes, and he knows Herbmaker from time they spent together in the Holy City of the northern kingdom. He asks Herbmaker to join the Horse clan and ride with his band, as his knowledge of the sciences will prove invaluable “with everything that is going on”.

Herbmaker agrees.

(I can’t remember what happened here, drama points-wise.)

3 (GM)

Early morning at the Upriver village.

The Upriver chief’s young son Sparrow brings food and water for Raven, agreeing to free her right hand so that she can eat. He asks her numerous questions about her being ‘a barbarian’ and seems reassured that she doesn’t want to (or can’t) harm him and his family. He mentions a man in a “shining jacket” who is visiting the clan.

(1 pt to Raven from pool)

4 (Shaggy)

Morning, the pillaged Horse clan camp.

Shaggy announces to Hillwalker and the Roaring Water warriors that the chief’s glorious victory has fulfilled what the spirits foretold and that he himself prophesied. Hillwalker publicly acknowledges Shaggy’s wisdom.

Shaggy, pleased, inspects the women and children who have been taken prisoner and informs them that they should rejoice to be members of the Roaring Water clan. He picks out a young boy named Kite (there’s a lot of bird names in this episode) as his new protege and leads him away into the plain.

(1 pt to GM from pool)

5 (Raven)

Morning, Upriver village.

Procedural – Raven tries to escape from her bonds. She gets her hands free but not her feet.

(Since we later realised there was no need to make this procedural, we agreed she could be assumed to have eventually worked herself free by the start of the next scene she appeared in.)

6 (Herbmaker)

Morning, the Horse clan camp

Herbmaker and Blue Eyes walk down into the ruined camp, backed by the half-dozen horsemen from Blue Eyes’ band.

Hillwalker seems leased to see Herbmaker and greets him with talk of today being a great day and so forth.

Herbmaker, in contrast, denounces Hillwalker as an incompetent who has led the clan to the brink of ruin. As a condition to his joining the Horse clan, he asks Blue Eyes to kill Hillwalker.

The duel (procedural interlude) is over quickly. Hillwalker is caught off-balance by Blue Eyes’ attack with his shield. He recovers enough counterattack with a powerful swing of his sword at the horseman’s throat, but Blue Eyes sees it coming and leans back to avoid Hillwalker’s blade.

As Hillwalker recovers from the momentum of his swing, Blue Eyes lunges and buries his blade beneath Hillwalker’s rib cage. Hillwalker collapses to the grass with a gasp and expires.

(1 pt to GM from pool)

7 (GM)

An indeterminate time, the spirit world.

Shaggy has located a place of power at the intersection of spirit lines, and meditates there, attuning himself to the power of the cosmos.

He finds himself in a throne room carved from rock and lit by guttering torches.

The empty throne is carved from dark wood and decorated with human skulls on each armrest. The skull on the left has a gold tooth for its left canine.

Outside the ring of light made by the torches stand the people of the Roaring Water — including Raven, Hillwalker and Herbmaker.

Seated at the foot of the throne is a young woman, who seems foreign, perhaps from the east near the Three Rivers.

She rises and greets Shaggy. She tells him her name is Dekima, and answers questions about the throne evasively, but tells him that the king that sits in it will have a great kingdom.

Shaggy accepts this information as a prophecy applying to himself, naturally. He declaims as much to the watching Roaring Water clan, despite Herbmaker’s attempts to create dissent, and sits in the throne.

(1 pt to Shaggy from GM)

8 (Shaggy)

Noon, the grasslands

Returning to the mortal world, Shaggy tells Kite he has been communing with the spirits. He also tells Kite that prophecy speaks of a ‘chosen one’ – a boy who will bear a special mark. He has Kite remove his clothes so that he can inspect him closely. There is no mark, but Shaggy says that perhaps it will appear in future, and he will have to check regularly. Kite is uncertain about this, but trusts Shaggy.

(1 pt to GM from Shaggy)

9 (Raven)

Daytime, the Upriver village

Raven has escaped from her tent and is observing the village, concealed behind some rocks at the edge of the settlement. Shining Jacket (played by Sean Bean) is by the central campfire, drinking wine and eating a leg of chicken.

He finishes his meal and comes over to the rocks where Raven is hiding to relieve himself.

He is surprised to see her there but takes her for one of the Upriver clan. He explains to her that he is from the northern Kingdom, and that the Upriver clan have allied with the Kingdom in exchange for better weapons, armour and protection, especially from some ‘troublesome’ local barbarians.
(1pt to GM from Raven)

10 (Herbmaker)

Afternoon, the plains

The Roaring Water and Blue Eyes’ troop have parted ways. Preparing to ride, Herbmaker and Blue Eyes discuss what is going on in the region.

Blue Eyes points out his and his men’s mail armour and other gear – a gift from the Kingdom. He says that a new order is coming, and it makes sense to join with the Kingdom, including for the Roaring Water.

Herbmaker agrees but says that while the Roaring Water may ally with the Kingdom, they can never be subject to another group.

Blue Eyes says this is unrealistic – the clan will have to accept some measure of colonisation or suzerainty (2pt force).

Reluctantly, Herbmaker agrees, and he and Blue Eyes make plans to travel to the Holy City of the Kingdom.
(2pts to Herbmaker from GM)

11 (GM)

Several days later, Roaring Water

The expeditionary force returns to the stronghold, bearing the body of Hillwalker.

Shaggy conducts the funeral ceremony, extolling the virtues of Hillwalker and taking some time out to denounce Herbmaker as a traitor.

Hillwalker’s body is dressed with his gold torc and other accoutrements for the journey to the ninth underworld.

After the pyre is lit, Harrier (played by Damien Lewis with a black dye-job) calls upon Shaggy to install Hillwalker’s son Rockfall as the new chief.

Shaggy does so, anointing him with water drawn from the pool beneath the waterfall.

Rockfall is given the chief’s ceremonial bronze dagger, with which he cuts across his own chest to draw blood and announces himself as the clan chief.

(1pt to Shaggy from GM)

12 (Shaggy)

Night, Roaring Water

As the raucous wake for Hillwalker goes on in the background, Shaggy draws Raven aside in their shared dwelling to remonstrate with her about her raid on the Upriver village. She retorts that she gained valuable knowledge from it, but Shaggy is unmoved.

He also tries to persuade Raven of Herbmaker’s perfidy, and eventually she ‘admits’ that Herbmaker is a traitor.

(1pt to Raven from Shaggy)

END

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Episode 2: Retribution

1
(Shaggy)
Shaggy, Raven, Herbmaker and the senior fighters of the clan attend council in the Chief’s chambers. Shaggy is still in his ceremonial regalia and, brandishing the severed head of the Horse clan prisoner, convinces Chief Hillwalker to lead the mission of reprisal himself, promising great glory is to be found in the west where the Horse clan dwell. He orders Raven to choose 10 men to go on the raid but to stay at the Roaring Water fort herself. Herbmaker and Shaggy are to accompany the party.
(kitty—>GM, Herbmaker)

2
(Herbmaker)
Procedural scene: after dark, Herbmaker goes down to the scene of the raid and finds one of the horses, perhaps that of the captured warrior. He gains the creature’s trust and eventually is able to take it as his own steed.

3
(Raven)
Raven finds Broken Stone at a lookout point, overlooking the farm. As they watch Herbmaker’s laborious process of befriending the horse from a distance, they talk about the upcoming mission. Broken Stone hints at being willing to do away with Hillwalker while on the mission, but Raven is reluctant to come right out and say what she wants: quite the opposite of that, in fact, as she has designs on becoming Hillwalker’s daughter-in-law.
(No exchange.)

4
(GM)
Procedural scene: After a week’s arduous march to the west, the raiding party comes upon the edge of Horse clan territory, where a lone rider watches over a herd of cattle.
While the rest of the party hide in the long grass of the plain, Herbmaker disguises himself as a Horse clan member, using the captive’s clothing, and rides down into the valley to scout out the lay of the land.
He is spotted almost immediately by a patrol of three riders, who move quickly to pursue him.
(Test failed)

5
(Shaggy)
As Herbmaker approaches, with the Horse clan riders following at a steady canter, Hillwalker is ready to pounce. However, Shaggy persuades him to bide his time. Herbmaker is taken under guard to the Horse clan encampment.
(kitty —> GM)

6
(Herbmaker)
In flashback, before leaving camp, Herbmaker suggests to the Chief that they make up a whole set of Horse clan disguises based on the outfit they already have, and train the warriors in facing cavalry, with himself and his new steed as practice targets.
Hillwalker accedes to preparing disguises as far as resources allow, but says no to the training idea: one alchemist on a horse, he reckons, is no preparation for the real thing and is a waste of time.
(GM—> Herbmaker)

7
(Raven)
Back in the present, Raven takes to the podium in the centre of the fort to address the whole clan, most of whom have remained behind. She orders all existing food supplies be brought to the stronghold where he can be protected from attack, arranges extensive hunting for meat, and plans a raid on the despised Upriver clan.
As desired, she wins the clan’s admiration for the way she is taking charge.
(kitty —> GM)

8
(GM)
As Shaggy and the rest of the raiding party trail behind but out of sight, Herbmaker is conducted to a small nomadic encampment, where he is greeted by the dignified, weathered band chief, Ironhand, who conveniently speaks the language of the Hillfolk.
Ironhand refutes Herbmaker’s accusation that his people attacked the Roaring Water clan.
He tells Herbmaker that a neigbouring Horse band had half a dozen horses stolen from them by hillfolk recently. But that wouldn’t be enough horses to account for all those in the attack. Other than the Horse clan, only the Kingdom to the north would be likely to have a dozen or more horses available.
Herbmaker is somewhat dubious about the details, but Ironhand believes that Herbmaker accepts his version of events.
(GM —> Herbmaker)

9
(Shaggy)
Outside the Horse clan encampment, Shaggy informs Hillwalker that this is the sit where the spirits say he will gain his glory. Hillwalker fears for Herbmaker’s safety, but Shaggy says he has most likely betrayed the Roaring Water in return for clemency, true to his strange outside ways. He also grudgingly admits the possibility that Herbmaker is still a prisoner and is in danger.
Despite the odds against them, Hillwalker agrees to go for an attack at nightfall, sending two men to create a distraction by attacking the cattle herd outside the camp.
(kitty —> GM)

10
(Herbmaker)
Herbmaker quizzes Ironhand on the details of Horse clan dress (specifically, the horsehair plumes in their helmets) to try and find any inconsistencies in his account.
The results are inconclusive.

11
(Raven)
Procedural: As Hillwalker launches his attack on the Horse clan, miles away in the hills, Raven and her fighters assault the Upriver clan village under cover of darkness. Unfortunately they run right into an Upriver patrol at the first watchpost. They manage to subdue these guards in a cutthroat scuffle that is over in a few seconds, but one of the Upriver warriors manages to crawl to the alarm bell and sound it with his last breath.
Upriver reinforcements arrive in numbers, killing several Roaring Water men. Raven and others are taken captive, bound hand and foot, and thrown into a pit to await their fate….
(Test failed)

END

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Episode 1: Hunger

Episode 1: Hunger

Characters –
Raven, Watch Captain in charge of the clan’s defences
Herbmaker, healer and apothecary, recently returned to the clan from travels abroad
Shaggy, the clan shaman, older brother of Raven

Scene 1
(Caller: GM)
Characters present: Raven, Shaggy, Herbmaker, Broken Stone (a young warrior)
At the main gate of the Roaring Water stronghold, named for the waterfall that plunges through a cataract within its walls, Broken Stone comes running up the path from the foothills to the west, panting with exhaustion.
He tells Raven that a band of horsemen have attacked one of the clan’s outlying farms and set fire to the crops. Food is scarce this year, and the loss of this harvest could have serious consequences. Raven assures Broken Stone that she will send someone to the farm right away and tell the Chief herself.
(1 drama token to Raven from the kitty)

Scene 2
(Shaggy)
Characters: Raven, Hillwalker (the Chief)
Raven goes to the Chief’s chambers, which are carved into the mountainside. She tells the Chief about the attack on the farm. Hearing that the attackers were horsemen, he concludes the Horse clan are to blame.
He scolds Raven for coming to him when she should see to the incident immediately herself. But Raven sidesteps the issue and evades responsibility, promising instead to go now.
(1 drama token to GM from kitty – Hillwalker wanted Raven to assume responsibility for responding to the attack)

3
(Raven)
Characters: Raven, a dozen clan warriors
Raven takes a band of fighters down from the mountain to the farm. The attackers are in the midst of setting a fire in the farmhouse while the crops around it burn. The horsemen are too many to take on directly, but by creeping through the wheat, obscured by the black smoke, Raven and her men are able to creep up on a straggler as the raiders ride away, and take him prisoner.
(Procedural scene)

4
(Herbmaker)
Characters: Herbmaker, Hillwalker
Time: shortly before the arrival of Broken Stone at the gate
From a crag above the stronghold, Herbwalker observes the initial attack on the farm in the valley below as he collects rocks to make a plant-growth potion.
By the time Herbmaker picks his way down the mountain, Broken Stone has arrived at the stronghold. As Broken Stone gives the news to Raven, Herbmaker shows Shaggy the bag of rocks he has collected. Shaggy is unimpressed, so Herbmaker goes to the Chief’s chambers.

Hillwalker is initially dismissive, but Herbmaker wins him over and the Chief agrees to have some of the clan help look for magic rocks, and to collect leftover food to make crop-growing potions.
(1 drama token to GM from kitty)

5
(Shaggy) ** Yes, I got the order wrong. No one seemed to notice.
Characters: Shaggy, Herbmaker, Hillwalker
Shaggy strides into the Chief’s meeting chamber and proceeds to tell the Chief that Herbmaker’s outsider ways (learnt on his travels away from the clan) will lead them astray.
He rebukes Herbmaker for picking up rocks while the fields burned, though Hillwalker points out this is not Herbmaker’s responsibility. Nonetheless, he seems somewhat swayed by Shaggy’s dire warnings that “no good will come of this”.
Rather than outright reverse his earlier words to Herbmaker, Hillwalker dismisses both the healer and the shaman.
(1 drama token from GM to Shaggy)

6
(GM)
Raven has returned to the stronghold with her captive, who wears the shiny plumed helmet of the Horse clan. She and her men are tired, and blackened with soot from the fire.
The whole clan gathers in the centre of the fort, surrounding the captive. Hillwalker calls upon Shaggy, who knows the language of the Horse clan, to interrogate the man. Shaggy retires to his hut and puts on his shaman’s regalia – ornate headdress, face and body paint, magical staff with beads and fish bones, etc.
He puts on a grand performance, questioning the captive and roaring declamations to the waiting crowd, rousing them to anger.
Raven and Herbmaker urge restraint, wanting to keep the man alive to follow the Horse clan raiders, and to find out why they would attack without looting anything or taking captives.
However, egged on by Shaggy and the expectant crowd, Hillwalker draws his sword and cleaves the prisoner’s head from his shoulders in one mighty blow.
“We will follow the Horse clan and take our revenge,” says Hillwalker, summoning his senior advisors as he storms towards his chambers.
(1 drama token from Shaggy to GM, 1 from GM to Herbmaker)

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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