Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Campaign: Getting Started

Even though Kazimir hasn’t put his character up on his blog yet, that’s fine. I don’t need those details in order to get started. This should be an interesting experiment. Feel free to input your character’s actions; I’ll answer questions or add description as needed, until there’s enough of a change in circumstance to warrant a new blog post.

It is early afternoon on a Sunday, May 5, 1650. Four of you are resting yourselves on the porch of a town gasthaus, the Pig, at the corner where a narrow lane meets with the town square. You‘re waiting for your friend Kazimir to arrive. Not long ago, you watched the usual scattering of most of the citizenry from the town cathedral’s doors from your usual place across the square…whereupon the gasthaus threw open its doors for business. A number of stalls and tables were quickly erected by teams of young boys in the employ of their merchant masters, a goodly number of them against the side wall of the church, where you can the usual piles of vegetables and sacks. Various less blessed members of the town are picking them over, haggling with the sellers and stuffing their bought wares into sacks to be hauled off to the various common quarters of the town.

The bartender, Helmunt, fills your drinks at no charge. Upon an agreement, the four of you have been given the privilege of drinking free in exchange for your endorsement, your willingness to put an end to any trouble and the simple fact that you represent the higher end of Helmunt’s clients. He has hopes that your presence on his front stoop might expose the quality of his kitchen to a few of the better members of the town.

You’re bored. This has been the routine for nearly two months now. You four, Tiberius, Josef, Delfig and Anshelm, met on a cold morning in mid-spring (for the region), finding yourselves all stranger, fairly compatible with one another and equally of the opinion that many of the vicissitudes of life are unappreciated by most. At the moment, however, you could stand a few more changes than there have been.

But it is a fine day; May Day celebrations were four days ago. The Bishop of Friesing, the nominal lord of the town, along with Dachau’s burghermeister, gave a fine festival--and since, all of you have been fairly restless. The discussions around the table have suggested a number of reasons for this…that you can’t stay in this dull town forever. That it is these ridiculous Catholics with their fascinations with guilt and sin. That a small taste of the outside world has whet your appetites. But what to do now is left to your minds to conceive. So far, there has been little luck there.

40 comments:

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Has anyone visited "das Schwein" that would have given us a reason to think they might have something interesting to talk to them about?

Was anything said/done at the May festival that would have be interesting to follow up on?

Anything interesting in terms of other "strangers" in town?

I'll most likely be idly strumming my lyre and humming, seeing if anyone is interested in a song (and parting with a few coins in appreciation.)

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

Anshelm spits and gestures at the marketgoers. "Like little rats, out and back to their holes." He reaches for his snuff box.

Anything unusual going on among the merchants and commonfolk? Any unusual people? Even if it's not unusual, anyone look like their casing the crowd for an easy mark?

Alexis said...

Delfig,

No, no and no.

Anshelm,

No, no and no.

Gentlemen. This is not a "story" campaign. There's no rule, no plan, no set up. Nothing will be handed to you on a plate. You will have to make a decision about what you, as a group, want to "do" and then set about doing it.

I know you're not used to that. But sadly, there are no "unusual" people.

You might see the church's head deacon poking about the chicken cages at one of the stalls.

Josef Mieszko said...

I'll ask Helmunt the next time he comes to the table if he knows of any legends or rumors of the town or vicinity where
profit might be gained by adventurers such as ourselves.

Tiberius said...

"Gentlemen," Tiberius says while taking a slow swig of his drink. "We're all bored. No disrespect to our fine patron for the free beer, of course." Tiberius salutes the owner. "But, why don't we hire ourselves out to one of those merchants and see if we can't see some real action?"

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

"Eh, why shouldn't we? It's better than chasing errant rats back to their hiding holes. Should we wait for friend Kazimir?"

Anshelm continues scanning the market crowd while speaking.

"Not sure I like the look of any of 'em, though..."

(You know this doesn't mean Anshelm's against it; he just doesn't like people in general)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Delfig nods to himself as he remembers a request. He digs in his pouch, fishes out four silver and tosses it to Josef.

"I know I'll see that again... especially when we get off our collective asses and start seeing what we can see. Lets wander about and see what is happening."

With that, Delfig will stand and start walking about the marketplace, strumming his lyre. If any seem interested, he'll greet them and play a bit if they seem interested. He makes sure to approach the various merchants, nods and smiles and calls out a friendly greeting. If any seem inclined to talk, then he'll start a conversation with them, inquiring to any local news or if they have any sort of interesting work.

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

"Well, I guess Delfig's made our decision for us. A pretty song, at least."

Anshelm follows the bard into the crowd.

Josef Mieszko said...

"Thanks Delfig."
I'll go the the the grocer and purchase some rations, and then return to the gasthaus.

Tiberius said...

Tiberius gets up as well and searches among the merchants who have the more expensive wares, asking if they need any guards for their caravans.

Alexis said...

Helmunt the bartender, having overheard Tiberius' suggestion will stop Josef and Tiberius just before they go and will say, "Are you bonded to the merchant's guild? Would it be possible for me to post a small notice in favor of my establishment?"

Alexis said...

People show a vague interest in Delfig; but of course, they've seen him before, doing exactly this most every day, and frankly, there are better bards in the town.

Tiberius said...

"An excellent idea, my good man," Tiberius says.

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

How often do merchant caravans enter/leave Dachau? Is anyone selling any sort of luxury item, anything that might attract the attention of highwaymen, etc.?

Josef Mieszko said...

Bonded? No. Perhaps we should go to the Guildhall then to sell our services insetead of frightening the fishmongers and fruit vendors!

Josef Mieszko said...

Although, I wonder. The roads here seem safe - I wonder how much need there would be for such protection as we might provide...
Still, money is money - and I have precious little. Perhaps I should go work in the sale mines?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Any merchants that are from out of town or bearing unusual wares?

Any particular discussions of interest, about goings on in other towns, or anything with regards to local happenings? If there are, I'll keep an ear out and see what I can hear.

If there's nothing of interest around the market and everyone seems boring, I'll go back and join Josef and Tiberius and suggest that perhaps we go for a walk away from town along one of the roads. Maybe it's time for a road trip to Ingolstadt.

Alexis said...

Tiberius,

Helmunt is confused at Tiberius’ answer. He looks askance at Josef, then asks slowly, “Would you be hired if you were not bonded?”

Anshelm,

The principal trade route extends from Italy/Innsbruck in the south to Nuremberg/Northern Germany. Beer, precision tools and metals tend to move south; fabrics, spices, incense and perfumes tend to come north.

Everything attracts the attention of highwaymen.

Josef,

The roads are not that safe.

Delfig,

Not a great many merchants, not in the way of caravans. Peddlers and merchants with one or two wagons tend to dribble into the city steadily. Therefore, posting yourself to the north or south would certainly allow you the opportunity to see one. Of course, merchants often conceal valuable goods under ordinary goods such as hay, sacks of grain, uncut timber and so on.

Tiberius said...

What do we have to do to get bonded to the merchant's guild? Can Helmunt get us an introduction to someone over there?

Josef Mieszko said...

Everyone so fascinated by the merchants...the lure of all this money...
Ilgolstadt seems an interesting place, and I'm fit for some short travel.These towns are one and the same to me...Id like to get out among the trees and steams again.

Alexis said...

Tiberius,

To get bonded, you must have a merchant of the guild vouch for you.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

If I come up to the discussion between Helmunt and Tiberius and hear that exchange, I'll put my arm around Tiberius and gently guide him away with a cheery "Of course we're bonded! We will inquire with the guild, my good man."

After guiding Tiberius away, I would say "Perhaps we should inquire to the merchants guild and see about becoming 'bonded' since such things have escaped any of our attention. While you and Josef do that, perhaps Anshelm and I can move to the northern road and see what we can see. We'll meet here in a couple of hours if we don't hear from you."

If I don't hear that exchange, then I'll go looking for my mates and make a similar suggestion.

Couple of setting questions - Are there more than one guild of merchants? Do any larger merchants have homes established here that we would know about? Where could we find notices of news or other things going on, aside from rumor and listening at the drinking holes? (I am trying to think like a bored medieval bard in Dachau)

Josef Mieszko said...

My guess, Tiberius, is that we'd be on our own with the Merchant's Guild. There must be a guildhall somewhere. I'd not be opposed to hiring on to a march to Nuremburg, either.

Tiberius said...

Then, Tiberius will ask Helmunt the location of the guild hall and start there.

Josef Mieszko said...

Tiberius - wait! I'm not 'certain' that such a place exists! Thinking about it, it seems that perhaps we'd have a better time talking to one or a few of the shopkeeps who provided us our gear of late. It seems it would be one of these men, who actaully deal in goods brought into town, that might be inclined to bond us.

Tiberius said...

Okay, let's do that.

Josef Mieszko said...

OOC:
BTW - Tiberius - what is your email? We're going to have to vurtualize 'table banter' too!

Joseph said...

I'd rather not publish it online. If it's convenient for Alexis, he has my email, which he can forward to any of the other players.

Alexis said...

Delfig,

There’s only one merchant’s guild in Dachau, but every trading town, indicated by a cross on the map, has a guild. There are several large homes maintained by merchants; the burghermeister, Martin Folkes, is a merchant, and the royal family, Wittelsbach, has considerable interest (and family members) in the guild.

Most of the rumors that one might hear would be who was sleeping with whom or questions that the taxes are likely, or not likely to increase.

Tiberius,

You need not ask. The merchant’s guild hall is the large three-story building across the principal square from the cathedral.

Josef Mieszko said...

perhaps the apothecary is in need of some materials - I used to engage in similar activities in my youth...
or we could go hunting, and sell pelts to the furrier...
but these men are tradesmen...

Alexis said...

Tiberius,

I missed this: ” Can Helmunt get us an introduction to someone over there?”

Helmunt had hoped that YOU could introduce him.

At the moment, I can’t forward anyone’s email, as I’m not at home. I could do so late this afternoon or early evening.

Josef Mieszko said...

Let's you and I, Tiberius, as learned men inquire at the Merchant's Guild.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Anshelm, let's go to the northern road and keep our eyes open. At the very least, we can see who is on the road as we make our way north, should we choose to.

Tiberius said...

"Then, we're agreed," Tiberius says. Setting down his cup, he walks over to the guild hall with Josef.

Josef Mieszko said...

OOC
I understand not wanting to post your email - i didn't want to at first, but I've done it already - so no going back!
josefmieszko@gmail.com - if you write me, I'll not sell or give it away :)

Joseph said...

Okay, I'll send over an email in a little bit.

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

(sorry; I was trying to save an account for the past hour!)

Josef...I noticed that your blog is inaccessible as of yesterday...can you send me an invite?

IC:

Anshelm grumbles a bit, as is his wont, but nods assent to Delfig and accompanies his friend to the northern road.

Josef Mieszko said...

anshlem - I'm keeping my character sheet private with alexsis, but my email is josefmieszko@gmail.com. Feel free to email, I'm keeping my gmail window open...
Nice to meet you BTW - this is an interesting experiment!

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

Josef, understood. My email for the game is anshelmhelbelinc@gmail.com. Great meeting you and all our companions, as well. :)

IC:

Before setting off, Anshelm calls back over his shoulder, "Helmunt, can you tell Kazimir we're out and about, friend?"

Alexis said...

Good.

Let's suspend for the morning. I will post twice this evening, once for the merchant's hall and once for the northern road, and pick up from there.