Saturday, 12 December 2015

Iron Kingdoms Roleplay - Interlude (Part One)

Those of you following our Iron Kingdoms campaign will have noticed that we're outgrowing our role as glorified train guards and have during our travels gained quite a reputation for success in a number of different missions types. We've gained a number of recruits in the form of hired soldiers, rescued prisoners of war, grateful recipients of our aid and the occasional orphan that have either joined us on our journey or been sent to our fort on the outskirts of Ternon Crag which we've also out grown.

During our last few sessions Tom's missions have given us a way out of our old job and transitioned us into a more traditional mercenary company albeit one with a lot of civilian operations under its influence and now he's handed that over to me I had to wrap up eighteen missions worth of acquired allies, favours owed and about a hundred and fifty recruits once I'd added them up, lol.

I decided to do this as a two-parter with the first being a re-introduction of the PC's and then a second part being a mission with 'new' characters so I could introduce our base of operations and a few other things through the eyes of some new recruits so most of this first part is in a 'reading to the group' style.

Here we go with part one then...

The Brotherhood - An Introduction.
Many months have passed since the Brotherhood of the Rail parted company with the Transcontinental Rail Company and the split has largely been amicable as with the line established the Brotherhood were rapidly becoming an un-necessary expense and the TRC had already made plans to convert the train to something more aesthetically suited to their desired class of customer and this has become any even higher priority for them given the massive boost in trade and prestige that the deal with Rhul has bought about. As is usual in such matters the Searforge's trade council have presumed that as the agents of negotiation that the Brotherhood is entitled to some financial compensation for their part in the the transactions though have unsurprisingly taken it from the Transcontinental Rail Companies share.

'Frontiers Hold'
Noting the logistical considerations of their current customer base Sebastian has acquired the functional sections of the train that was once your place of employment and several promissory notes for preferential terms and conditions with a wide variety of the train companies suppliers and subsidiaries have been generously provided as a personal thank-you from Marcus Darling for your work over the last year and especially this your final task. Given their history with him it's also quite likely that Sebastian earned these perks in some clandestine manner best left to the imagination.

This combined with your share of the trade revenues from Draegyn, the 'Old Thorn' and the continuing passing trade via the railway and new docks has enabled you to continue with rates of pay that are still on the generous side even without the allowance the Rail Company used to supplement your pay with and has enabled Sebastian to considerably expand the fortress now that it's effectively required to provide for all your needs.

'Trollkin Kriel'
The Brotherhood having access to a flexible and grateful Trollkin workforce has also reopened the quarry they discovered when scouting out the bandit camp in order to minimise their reliance on others as well as taking over the mining facility previously occupied by the aforementioned bandits. Though this mine is simply a moderate source of coal with some newly discovered small quantities of copper and tin it is still an important resource and deemed worthy of the work necessary to maintain it and combined with the continuing influx of minerals acquired from the Rhulic deal this has made the Brotherhood far more self sufficient than many other mercenary groups of their type. The quarry of course has greatly increased the viability of expanding the fortress and at a significantly reduced cost than normal. And indeed the fortress has been expanded into a formidable and well equipped edifice that could more accurately be described as a castle than a fort. The farms depopulated by both the Skorne incursion and the bandit raids have also been absorbed by the Brotherhoods civilian operations though the official line is that they are being 'held in trust' should any family members wish to claim them.

Additional barracks and the associated armouries and facilities, larger stables, training areas and the like have all been constructed and the dockyard has been rebuilt in order to accommodate the river trade negotiated by Rafaldo while in Llael which has also helped bring significant revenue into the area from which the Brotherhood takes an appropriate percentage due to their ownership of the facility that they rebuilt. Fortunately the difference in types of goods preferred by these large-scale traders has meant that the issue of priority has yet to become an issue. However it is only a matter of time before this becomes an issue for some-one. Sebastian has however put this into the 'problems for another day' column and his increased personal influence has made this less of a threat than it would have been a year ago. It's also more than likely that any such problems would due to careful delegation become Rafaldo's problems...

'The Market'
The fortress is increasingly becoming the centre of activity in Ternon Crag with many local businesses and support industries appearing outside the fort in order to take advantage of both passing traders and the increasing needs of the expanding Brotherhood operations. With the many contacts gained in your travels through Immoren and spreading tales of your successes in a variety of less traditional examples of the mercenary trade the Brotherhood is rapidly becoming the go-to organisation for specialist requirements and though large scale mercenary actions are still sometimes undertaken it is your overall flexibility that makes you so attractive to employers with more interesting problems. The services you have provided for the locals have also ensured that any jobs that occur in the immediate area are invariably given to the Brotherhood. Expansion into employment areas rarely taken on by mercenary groups such as bounty hunting, exploration, hostage retrieval, negotiation (and if some of the more vicious rumours are to be believed) assassination has ensured that the Brotherhoods operatives are rarely idle and now number nearly two hundred and quadruple that in staff for the various civilian operations under your control including dock workers, miners, farmers, wagon drivers and the like.

The Brotherhood - Allies
The promised support from both the Fraternal Order of Wizardry and the Temple of Morrow in exchange for the Brotherhoods services in Corvis finally arrived with the former being granted a fairly substantial guild house in the fortress's outer courtyard and a small military force courtesy of the Morrowan priesthood is now stationed at the forts own temple to Morrow. Those races that worship other deities such as the Dhunian faiths have their own modest shrine in the Trollkin and Ogrun barracks though they rarely congregate except for the occasional seasonal ritual which is overseen by a shaman from the local Trollkin Kriel.

Blythe Langworth of the 'Dedicants of the Enigma Cabal' 
Considered a radical amongst his peers for his attempts to push the boundaries of current knowledge in a wide variety of both mechanikal and magical fields through study of arcane formulae. He has made no secret to Rafaldo of the fact that he requested this assignment due to the somewhat remote location giving his less orthodox experiments a convenient place for testing. His entourage consists of four other full members of the order, five acolytes, two lab assistants and a gobber who has the unusual role of Blythe's personal assistant.

Stianna Madrah Priestess of Morrow
A firm believer that the word of Morrow is best spread through stirring and inspirational speeches, acts of charity and other good works her magical talents are more inclined towards blessings, healing and defensive enhancements of those she deems worthy. Her speeches are a stark contrast to Danika's own more militant ones but she has given no sign that she gives her own methods any less respect than hers. She has four acolytes of her own as well as a small bodyguard of Knights that she seems to treat with complete disdain though they themselves treat her with a deference bordering on the fanatical.

As is usual in such circumstances these reinforcements arrived about six months after they would have been really quite useful but their presence now has several benefits. Firstly they are both important information sources, secondly they are an additional source of manpower and thirdly any attack on the fortress is also an attack on both the wizards order and the church of Morrow. Making three enemies in one stroke is a risk few should be willing to take and both Rafaldo and Danika respectively have made special effort to cultivate these new friendships. Though not exactly 'allies' the relationship with the Steelheads has warmed somewhat with both mercenary companies passing appropriate work to one another and occasionally utilising each others personnel where appropriate. The fact that both groups have knowledge that the other would rather be kept secret has also no doubt helped.

It is becoming a running joke amongst many that it's only a matter of time before 'Captain LaCroix' starts referring to himself as 'Baron LaCroix' and this increase in power has not gone unnoticed with the powers that be in the area. Fortunately with powerful allies and the support of the local populace it is unlikely (but not impossible) that any overt attempts at disruption will least not yet...


The Brotherhood - Roles and Responsibilities.
In honour of their service and taking into account the increased number of troops under Brotherhood control both Danika and Bosh have been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with Rafaldo's title being changed to senior Lieutenant in order to maintain the current chain of command. Several of the most senior Brotherhood soldiers have been made up to Sergeant to fill the gaps and a new title of Corporal has been introduced for those given squad level responsibilities.

Soldier - 5gc's per week
Corporal - 10gc's per week
Sergeant - 15gc's per week
Lieutenant - 20gc's per week
Senior Lieutenant - 25gc's per week

Editors Note - Every-one got a point of Command. Any-one at their max of two got to go up to three as we're nearly at Veteran level anyway. Any-one not entitled to take Command was still allowed to have the one point but may not increase it further without acquiring an appropriate career.


Rafaldo Scorgiani
The construction of the dockyard has enabled the contacts you made in Llael to bring trade through Ternon Crag and this has in turn bought in other new traders.  As the new dockyard is effectively the Brotherhoods property given that they constructed it the fees for using it are paid to them though it's well known that if you want a preferential dockyard berth and handling of your cargo prioritised then a small fee paid to yourself is the best way to go about it. Much of this additional income however has been invested in finding information on your missing family and though you have little solid information yet you have now acquired yourself a rather effective information network with which your former allies Amelie and Christophe has been surprisingly useful in the organisation of. You have broached the subject of acquiring the dockyard operation from the Brotherhood with Sebastian and though his terms were not unreasonable the price is too high for you to consider at the moment.

The 'Brotherhood' Spy Network has contacts that though cultivated by yourself and your new resistance contacts are also available to any of the other officers who can be bothered to check. Your own Spy Network reports only to you and that information is yours to do with as you please...

Editors Note - Rafaldo's player got to add 'Connections (Brotherhood Spy Network)' and 'Connections (Personal Spy Network)' to his character. I also had to quantify the abilities of his staff as Tom had allowed him to add an 'Arcane Force' runeplate to it which normally gives you plus two to the power of the weapon in melee but in this case would be allowed to add that to the damage of his spells. In the interest of game balance (a melee character would have to have one of those runeplates per weapon to get the benefits with them all) I decided that the Staff's 'Arcane Force' ability is attuned to a particular spell and made him pick one though I did say that he could 'attune' it to further spells by purchasing additional 'Arcane Force' runeplates at the usual cost.

Danika Jansen
The human members of the Brotherhoods rank and file have quickly learned that regular attendance at Morrowan services and the odd church donation has a direct relationship to the type of assignments one is allocated. It also seems only reasonable to yourself that as the person responsible for maintaining the spiritual integrity of the company you should be in some small way be financially compensated for your efforts though the appearance of other church representatives has made this somewhat trickier. Your neophyte Dora has made some progress with her training though her natural aptitudes seem to be towards magic detection and spells that enhance deception rather than the more directly offensive capabilities you yourself favour. She has however shown a formidable talent for routing out the secrets of others which she then passes on to you...well...mostly passes on to you...

The newly arrived priestess Stianna was greatly impressed to learn of your destruction of the Thamarite cult in Tarna and to learn of the symbol of faith that you rescued from their corrupt temple and has offered to complete it's reconsecration in Morrow's name. She has dedicated several sermons to the subject and the story itself has now become somewhat exaggerated with each telling...

Editors Note - I decided to represent this 'blessing' in an in game practical sense so Danika's Battle Staff as her symbol of office now counts as 'Blessed' as long as she follows the basic tenets of her Morrowan faith...or more long as Stianna believes she is following the basic tenets of her faith. In mechanical game terms this means that when making an attack with a weapon with the Blessed ability you ignore spell effects that add to a character’s ARM or DEF.

'Bosh' Skullsplitter

With the Brotherhood Ogrun and Trollkin 'Men at Arms' fully trained Bosh has been spending more and more time expanding the Brotherhoods sidelines into the fields of Bounty Hunting and acquiring interesting specimens for Baron Helstrom's hunts from a variety of locations. These new revenue streams are surprisingly profitable and have the added benefit of spreading knowledge of the Brotherhoods services to a wider customer base. However Sebastian has sensibly employed several mercenaries with more subtle investigative talents to complement the Ogrun's more direct ones and at the moment Bosh is rarely utilised by them unless they need to track a target through the wilderness or if they are tracking a target who is very dangerous indeed though the department is still (at least on paper) his responsibility. Captain LaCroix is considering the expansion of this section in order to gain the maximum possible benefits from these revenue streams and possibly to report back should Bosh's increasingly erratic behaviour become a problem that needs resolving. Bosh himself is now rarely seen out outside of training duties or combat missions leading the Ogrun and Trollkin men at arms though his growing reputation for victory against formidable enemies has attracted many new Ogrun to the Brotherhood.

Editors Note - Bosh has recently become 'Blighted' which is going to cause him some roleplaying issues. In practical terms I've changed his race from Ogrun to Blighted Ogrun and added the disadvantages that this inflicts on him to his character sheet. I decided not to give him any 'rewards' like I'd given the other PC's as it's difficult to be objective about your own character so I erred on the side of caution.

Toborg Lugosh
Your current duties primarily revolve around making sure that the surrounding area is scouted adequately for potential threats to the fortress and it's associated assets and after a surprising level of success in the Rhulic missions have been given nominal command of the Brotherhoods scouting elements. You were however somewhat disappointed to find that the rank of Corporal doesn't come with some kind of impressive hat.

This more flexible role suits you far better than the more rigid ones usually associated with rank and despite the fact that every-one is now sick to death of your 'heroic mission into enemy territory' story your inclusion in more important missions is now far more commonplace.

Editors Note - I gave him a 'Hunting Ground' ability from a choice of three out of Forest, Mountains or Swamp. I can't remember which one he picked at the moment but I'm sure it's in my notes somewhere.

Thorsten Dovur
Given the expansion of the Brotherhoods civilian operations it has been decided to split the engineering section into both civilian and military arms with Bragg taking on the civilian part of the operation and yourself being the logical candidate for leading the military arm and have been given the rank of Sergeant to reflect this. Your rapid elevation had resulted in some initial ill feeling amongst the other engineers now under your command though this has somewhat lessoned with several military successes bought about by the fire-power of the 'jacks under your control and your mechanikal prowess has earned their begrudging respect but not necessarily their trust as yet. In typical dwarfish fashion you couldn't care less about their friendship as long as they do their jobs to your exacting high standards.

Through hard work, sleepless nights and creative time management you have managed to create a few days of spare time for your own personal engineering projects.

Editors Note - I gave him 4d6 days of engineering time and specified that he may use this time for any project that he personally had the skills to create though he don't necessarily need to complete them. Mundane raw materials would be freely available to him though anything more exotic will need to be acquired through his own personal funds or creative roleplaying.

Lyra Syalyss
As the bodyguard of an officer with rank you have gained some of the privileges that come with that including the rank of Corporal and it is your job to ensure that Thorsten is unmolested while carrying out his military duties as it is common knowledge amongst experienced soldiers that killing off a 'jacks controller is often easier to accomplish than destroying the 'jacks themselves. The Brotherhoods formidable material resources, expansive and exotic armoury and well maintained workshops has made equipping yourself far simpler than you have experienced in the past.

Editors Note - This is Tom's new character to replace Sebastian and hasn't really done much on which to base an in character bonus so I settled for allowing her to stock up on a reasonable number of 'specialist' arrows before each mission without purchasing them in the same way that other Brotherhood members get issued their ammunition free of charge. She's fairly well optimised from a mechanical point of view anyway so probably doesn't need much help.


Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

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