(514-05-19) Stolen Wine
Summary: Deryn is given the mission to discover what happened to several wagons of wine destined for Carlion and the Pendragon's table. STed by Galahad.
Date: May 19, 514
Related: None

You check your intrigue at 3, you rolled 10.

It's late afternoon when Deryn has set herself out to the journey the Earl assigned her. Secrecy, he said, because this might compromise the good spirits of the King and his Queen in their wedding ceremony and festivities. The daughter of Cadfan has been assigned a hefty task: to investigate the delay of a shipment of wine that was headed for Carlion, said to be from one of the finest vineries of the world.

The road ahead is mostly quiet and devoid of danger until she reaches a fork; she has a few sergeants with her, in case she requires backup, as well as a tax collector, a knight, just as she is, but responsible for investigating such things on the Earl's behalf, sometimes. Only, he's got a special assignment now and he grumbles a bit to not be leading the expedition.

She has two choices, left or right. Left certainly seems like a more treacherous road. Right, well, it is a high road, is it not?

Deryn draws up the group at the fork, studying each way that they might go. Surely, right seems the best choice, but by the lay of it, and her memory of the land, it is the wrong way to go. "That way heads north, and it is not the way we need to go.." Of course, this means they msut take the left path, down the more treacherous looking way.
While the tax collector does grumble, she doesn't make further comment, merely looking to the other knights and nodding to them, making sure they all realize that they must keep alert at all times. With a nudge given to her charger, she tugs the reins and sets the group's course to the left.

The road ahead is, well, fraught with holes and mud spots and a lot of ridges that make any horse ride hellish, particularly at higher speeds. Thankfully for knights and their assorted company, they are all ahorse and thus do not need to worry about getting themselves dirtied. Nevertheless, the road is winding, and soon there are clouds to darken the sky as a light drizzle falls upon them, making matters worse.

There is some light, just beyond a hill, on the far horizon, after six or so hours of travel. It seems to shine very brightly despite the rains, the shade of yellow composing a pretty picture in the dark orange and blue backdrop.

You check your awareness at 10, you rolled 17.
Galahad rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5)

Thankful for the horses is Deryn as they continue down the road, avoiding the holes and muddier areas where able. Still, it makes for a winding road, the only sound to fill the air is the clink of armor and the rattle of tack upon the horses. As the sky darkens with gathering clouds that soon release a drizzle to fall upon the group of knights, there is a soft sigh to escape her. Just her luck, right? To be here of all places, instead of the tourney grounds back in Carlion?
It's not easy to miss the glow that comes ahead, her gaze soon to find it, attempting to figure out what it might be - candle? Fire?

"Sir," the sergeant who has spotted what is most likely fire, calls for Deryn's attention, his keen eyes discerning in the night-time, "that does not look like a bonfire, but rather like something set ablaze. Should we investigate?"

And, definitely, it is fire. Any person keen on camping knows that to put out a large fire you do not pour water over it, for fear it might grow unruly; that is what happens when drizzle falls upon the flames and they dance, the yellow over the hills that more accentuated, pronounced.

Deryn shifts upon her charger's back, peering into the darkness towards the glare of light. with her man's comment, she nods, "We should check it out. If need be, someone may need some help.." In whatever form that 'help' might take, she and the others will lend it. "Let's head for light, cautious and careful." Nudging her horse into quicker pace, she'll lead the group forwards.

And ride for light they do; Deryn's group has herself, another knight, and three to four serjeants, all of whom are moderately competent at being men at arms. As they get closer, the flame burns brighter, brighter, until it is no longer yellows, but oranges, reds and even purples, if one looks too closely. But when they ascend the hill they see it for what it is:

An upturned wagon, set on fire likely from the liquid that seeps out from underneath the caskets, while the others remain intact, on their wagons, well, except for one. And it appears thus that a band of brigands is in celebration of their black deed, for a good number of them are drunk, on the ground, while others sing in revelry. There are two standing watch, however, and they whistle, alerting the others to the presence of the foe.

It takes but a moment for Deryn and her knights to take in the scene from the upturned wagon burning brightly, to the bandits that are celebrating their success in making off with the wine. As she spies the nearest one that was set on watch, she rides for him to engage him, hopefully before he gets off too much of a warning, calling out for another of the knights with ehr to take care of the other. The rest of the knights with her, are left to take on the drunken bandits.

The Bandits scatter, two of them face Deryn, bearing spears, the others, wielding axes, go for the sergeants, who are now entangled in a fight with said officers of the Earl. And the taxpayer busies himself with a swordsman, the blades clanging in the air.

Still, and waiting, is another individual, also a swordsman, but he is on horseback and tries to gallop out of danger.

You check your spear at 15, you rolled 8.

Galahad makes a check for Bandit 1's Axe at 12, it rolled 11.

Deryn rolls 8d6 and gets (1 3 4 5 3 5 3 4) for a total of: (28)

You check your spear at 15, you rolled 19.

Galahad makes a check for Bandit's Axe 2 at 12, it rolled 3.
Deryn rolls 4d6 and gets (3 4 6 6) for a total of: (19)
Galahad rolls 1d20 and gets (6) for a total of: (6) - GM Note: All rolls from hereon are based on the combat between her followers and the rest of the bandits. Results are described in pose as follows.

Galahad rolls 1d20 and gets (10) for a total of: (10)
Galahad rolls 1d20 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)
Galahad rolls 1d20 and gets (2) for a total of: (2)
Galahad rolls 1d20 and gets (5) for a total of: (5)

Galahad rolls 8d6 and gets (6 4 4 5 5 3 2 2) for a total of: (31)

Galahad rolls 4d6 and gets (5 5 5 5) for a total of: (20)

Unfortunately, Deryn's opponent has a buddy. He attacks her in tandem with the other, but her spear thrusts through the chest of the first, causing him to fall on the floor in a pool of his own blood. Leather does not good armor make.

The second tries, oh yes he tries, to hit her, but she wounds him in the counterattack, the man reading himself to try and pull her from her horse next. That would make for an easier target, after all.

One serjeant is hurt badly on the helmet by the offending axe of a marauder, while another manages to fell a blackguard swiftly with his own spear. The tax collector and the swordsman are still locked in a fight with eachother, with neither the clear victor.

You check your spear at 15, you rolled 14.
Deryn rolls 4d6 and gets (5 3 3 1) for a total of: (12)
Galahad makes a check for Bandit 2 Axe at 12, it rolled 2.
Galahad makes a check for Bandit 2 Uncon at 5, it rolled 14.

Deryn faces off on the two bandits that come her direction. One is dispatched fairly quickly, the other takes a moment longer before finally she manages to knock him to the ground, unconscious. The spear in her hand is pulled back,t he knight still on her horse. It's only then that she will look to the others, to see how they fair, taking quick stock of the situation.

Half of the sergeants seem to be faring well, with their opponents felled. These are bandits, after all, and fall easily to the might of professional men-at-arms. There is the matter of the taxpayer and the man with the sword, who appears far too skilled to be a mere highwaymen. Indeed, beneath the dirty brown clothes one might plainly see a suit of chainmail. Finally, the taxpayer seems to be struck on the side, blood drawn from him as he falls.

This gains Deryn's attention, and so to one sergeant that is free of a bandit, she yells at him to give chase to the bandit that's running away while she spurs her horse forwards, heading towards the taxcollector as he falls before his opponent. With spear in hand, she seeks to engage this far better trained bandit.

The sergeant does as ordered, riding after the fugitive, though it appears that said man is quite speedy on horseback! Soon enough he might be gone, fleeing from the law of the King as he is.

Meanwhile, the rogue, well trained swordsman trains his attention on Deryn as she advances. He lifts his sword in order to hew horizontally at her, powerfully.

You check your spear at 15, you rolled 1.
Galahad makes a check for Rogue Knight's Sword at 15, it rolled 14.
Galahad rolls 4d6 and gets (1 1 2 6) for a total of: (10)

Deryn meets the man, the clash of his sword against her spear to ring out. Too high is she, the point of his sword to cut against her thigh, and yet the armor worn by the lady knight serves her well in keeping her uninjured this evening. A tug on the reins, her charger dances, and she makes to engage the man again.

Indeed, the rogue strikes Deryn on the high, but chainmail links clink against the metal, rupturing perhaps, but inflicting no damage on Deryn de Woodford's person. He pulls his weapon back once again, readying himself to strike. Upon closer look, she can tell this is no brigand; it is likely a knight, or at least some sellsword of some sort who has managed to acquire himself at least a librum in equipment. The chainmail he wears seems ill-fitting, and the sword's hilt is perhaps a bit too large for his palm.

Galahad makes a check for Rogue's Sword at 15, it rolled 4.

Critical Fail!
You check your spear at 15, you rolled 20. - GM Note: Critical success: +5 for mounted/height.

Deryn rolls 8d6 and gets (1 5 4 3 3 6 4 1) for a total of: (27)

Galahad rolls 1d20 and gets (20) for a total of: (20) GM Note: rolled unconscious for the individual, with 20, he drops.

Deryn turns about, her spear on the ready. A quick look over the man she feaces, and his appearance is taken in, those little things noted about his equipment that leads her spear to find the perfect weak spot within his armor. A place where a patch upon the chest was giving way, leaving him ill defended against the point of her spear.

You check your awareness at 10, you rolled 16.

It is a pretty ugly jab, the one that Deryn inflicts on the swordsman. From her vantage as a horsewoman it further skewers him through his body, not enough to kill, just under his lung, but the bandit goes into shock nevertheless, falling limp on the woman's spear. Meanwhile, the sounds of metal clashing can be heard from some distance, then a shout in pain.

She can't tell whose it is, but it's close enough that, should she spur her horse into action, she might know.

Meanwhile, the others look to her for orders, but almost as if knowing what they must do, start tying up those of the blackguards they caught, one of them trying to treat the tax collector's gash on the side.

Deryn doesn't wait, but spurns her horse into action, to follow the sound of the cry to see who it might be once her spear has slid free of the bandit. Nodding to the sergeants who go about their duty of tying up those still alive, she seeks to help whomever might need it.

Critical Fail! - GM Note: The rolls were called so she could catch up with the culprit who ran; three were enough to catch up with him, critical failures to be discarded as failures. She did not meet the goal of at least two out of three successes, thus:
You check your horsemanship at 14, you rolled 20.

You check your horsemanship at 14, you rolled 17.
You check your horsemanship at 14, you rolled 16.

You check your awareness at 10, you rolled 19. GM Note - Awareness was called so she could recognize the man for subsequent plot.

Unfortunately, Deryn does not arrive in time, and the sergeant is dead, a huge puncture wound through his gut. He apparently gargled blood as he died, for his mouth is full of it, his eyes open in pain and shock. His horse, on the other hand, seems unarmed, grazing not too far away.

On the other hand, it seems they have secured at least two quite full wagons of the wine meant for the King's wedding which, by all accounts, should be considered a success.

Further down the road she might notice the decomposing bodies of commoners and what could have once been a merchant, had his face not been torn off by some wild carrion beast at some point.

A grisly explanation for a mysterious happening.

The horse seems to be having problems, half stepping on the man she speared that leave her trying to hang on. And so, she's late to help the sergeant, frowning as she peers down upon the man who's gargled his last breath. While she might be tempted to try and run down the man that left, he's got too good a lead on her, and she knows well that it's best not go after him alone.
Instead, she turns back to help those of her group, to take up the bandits they have caught. She'll have the bodies of the commoners wrapped and likely buried, though anything identifying - jewelry or whatever - might be gathered to be brought to whatever family might exist for them.

The travel back is uneventful, the second wagon piled up with the caskets while the first serves to transport the bodies back to Carlion. It is a somber turn of events, surely, but at least Sir Deryn de Woodford has accomplished her mission and likely helped make the wedding not an embarrassment for the King. After all, without the full supplies of wine, it would have to be diluted. And that, one does not do, not for the royal household.

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