Espen Rosted

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Continued from On to Bergen


The DM: It is anything but pleasant out here in the storm. There's really nowhere to change Hamish's clothing except in an alley somewhere, even though rain is sousing every stitch of clothing that the party has on. Hamish seems more cognizant, enough that he begins to ask questions about how you came into possession of the grant he meant to receive years ago. He hasn't found the will to actually look inside the satchel yet.

Lexent & Vafrandir

The DM: A "vittling yard" is a storehouse for shipboard food, for military ships to collect stores for long voyages at sea. Ships come in and send their boats to the yard to collect sufficient food to fill up their holds; this is managed with an eye dropper, as it were, as ships are not entitled to more food than their orders permit. You find the place quiet due to the weather, as no captain would risk having a load of their permitted food falling into the sea, not unless they absolutely had to have it in time of war. There is no war just now, so the yard is empty of boats. There is a funnel of water pouring off every shed roof and a steady sheet of water pouring across the dock and into the sea. Presumedly, you ask for Espen and he's directed to meet with you at the gate. As it happens, he is perhaps the plainest, almost the ugliest guard you've ever met.

Lexent: "Thank you for seeing us sir, we would like to speak with you concerning one Hamish Ross. Marla over at the Courtland told us that you would be the best person to assist us and to speak to no one else until we had spoken with you."

The DM: not a good idea using Hamish's name loosely like that.

The DM: There are other guards within earshot as Espen asks what this is about.

Vafrandir: "It really would be best if we could speak in private, sir."

Esper: “Hm. All right.”

The DM: He leads you to a place along the nearby wall, under an eave, asking again how this affects Hamish.

Lexent: "Plainly put, we have proof of his claims and are trying to help set things aright"

Esper: “You have proof of his claims? What kind of proof?”

Lexent: "A document from King Christian IV granting him land on the island of Askøy"

The DM: Esper reacts, thunderstruck. He curses, though with relief, before he speaks.

Esper: “Hamish is danger. Where is he now?”

Lexent: "In danger? From whom? An associate of ours was seeing him to the Quayside Inn. He is understandably shaken by the change in his fortune."

Esper: “Sir gnome, you are plainly not from around here. Hamish has told everyone in Bergen than when he gets his rights, he will become the Baron of Askøy – something which hasn’t happened. Just now, most rents on the island are collected by a cartel of Genoans, who assumed the rents on account of the Count of Hordaland’s inability to pay his debts. Now what do you suppose they will do when Hamish produces a document taking those lands away from them?”

The DM: for the record, the Noble of Hordaland is Count Sissel Grieg, who served as a naval officer in the 1630s; he’s in his early 70s.

Lexent: "Would it not be considered treason against the crown if they made any attempt to prevent his rightful claim?"

Esper: “Yes, of course it would. But that won’t be a problem for them if Hamish Ross has an accident, would it?”

Lexent: "So what do you recommend we do? What does Hamish need to do to secure his position?"

Vafrandir: "I imagine Hamish could get some bodyguards - if there's anyone left in Bergen willing to work with him."

Esper: “If he can be gotten out of Bergen and to a safehouse, then we can speak with reliable authorities, making sure his acquisition is certified. Many of the guards here at the yard take bribes from the cartel. I hope none of them suspect what we are talking about. I have confederates I can trust, to smuggle him out of town. Can you keep watch on him for a day? Where are you staying?”

Lexent: "Yes, we can do that. We have rooms at the Quayside Inn."

Esper: “That’s a good place. Get a private room there and I will meet you both in the tavern at nine.”

Lexent: "Thank you. We will be there." We head back to the inn.

Vafrandir: Very good.


The DM: Hands up anyone who feels they’re being manipulated. I want to double check, because all I’m doing at this point is providing exposition in the best way possible.

Lexent:(OOC) Occasionally having to remind myself of the fact, but no, I don't feel manipulated. Every choice has been ours and excepting things that would naturally be beyond our control.

Vafrandir: I feel the same. We could help Hamish have his accident - and the consequences are clearly outlined. We're making our choices.

The DM: Good. This seems a good time to check.

Lexent:(OOC) So is 13 July the next time we plan to play then?

The DM: Well, we’re off for two weeks. Enjoy Independence Day. I’m awaiting a product in the mail that’s expected to arrive between the 2nd and the 6th that will enable me display what I’m working on, so keep an eye out for it. We’ll be starting again two weeks from Tuesday; the 13th of July. Anything else I can help you with?

Vafrandir: Not at the moment. This is a tense situation - the cliffhanger should carry us through the time off! See you all soon.

Lexent:(OOC) Nope, I'm good. Everyone have an enjoyable holiday! Out.

The DM: Be well! Out.

The DM: OOC (jul12) because the hospital moved Tamara's third operation from the end of April to today (with a follow-up examination tomorrow), there will be no game on Tuesday Jul 13th. But count on me for Wednesday.

Restarting the Game

Lexent: In.

Vafrandir: In.

The DM: In.

The DM: As ever, picking up after a lull, things will go slowly. What information do you need right now to enable us to pick up with where we left off? You have entrusted Hamish to Rosted and returned to the inn.

Lexent: For Vafrandir and I, I can't think of anything we need until we meet up with Rosted in the tavern at 9.

The DM: I must tell you, the obvious temptation is to suppose that Rosted is a villain, that he spirits Hamish away and that the DM tries to force a scene where the party goes on a quest to rescue Hamish. I hate these sorts of manipulations by writers in cheap, low-hanging television shows, because they’re so obvious. I have no intention of implementing any such event at this time. Do you wish to get better rooms with the rest of the party? Returning to their inn before noon should ensure there will be rooms available.

Lexent: Six private rooms, all that had been available, have been reserved through the 30th.

Lexent: My understanding was that Hamish was still with Pandred and, presumably, Marcule.

Vafrandir: Pandred has returned to the Quaypost with Hamish and Marcule, we went to Rosted alone. There really is no way for us strangers to be savvy to all the machinations in Bergen so at some point we have to trust someone and deal with whatever fallout.

The DM: You get a good feeling from him.

Vafrandir: I would like to try and find someone about who may have been up towards Bronnoysond and may have the lay of the land. Is there anyone about at the Quaypost at this time?

Pandred: In.

The DM: OOC: How was your vacation, Pandred?
Pandred: Lovely, thank you.

The Quaypost

The DM: Several people at the Quaypost have asked whether your inquiry about Hamish paid out. Several people apparently have some affection for the fellow, even though he is something of a notorious figure.

Vafrandir: "A sad story indeed. You never know how a man's life will turn sometimes."

The DM: As the 27th passes (I believe it’s the 27th), you receive a message from the Morkinskib, confirming that you’re still intending to sail with her on the 30th. Can I confirm that you’ve paid for the trip to Trondheim?

Lexent: We had not yet made that payment.

The DM: The captain is apparently hungering for it.

Vafrandir: Should be 13 gp, 12 sp again, correct?

Lexent: Hmmm. Is it going to be a problem to give her that answer (and payment) tomorrow, the 28th? I don't suspect things will have been resolved with Hamish by the 30th, but if we can at least get a feel for things at the meeting with Rosted this evening, we can choose whether we are interested in involving ourselves more deeply here, or moving on.

The DM: For the record, Hamish will need a bath and new clothes. He has not taken a drink since learning the news. Let’s take it that you’ve smuggled him into the inn in order to get him presentable.

Vafrandir: Good idea Lexent, if possible. We can also get him those things this afternoon.

The DM: Let me know when you’ve bought the clothes. Do you intend to tell the captain you’ll pay him tomorrow, or just let it be?

The DM: It occurs to you that you might want to keep Hamish’s sobriety and good fortune on the down-low, rather than giving people in the Quaypost reason to gossip.

Vafrandir: Yea, I'm not spilling too many beans, I hope.

Lexent: How did the message from the Morkinskib arrive?

The DM: It was a message left with the innkeeper.

Lexent: What does everyone think? Leaving the message unanswered until tomorrow carries the risk of complications with our stowed possessions, answering it with a request for delay limits our options slightly, while confirming passage and making payment will likely lead to us forfeiting those funds if we change our minds. Or are our minds made up that no matter what happens this evening, we plan to sail on the 30th?

Vafrandir: We're not delaying the ship. Just figuring out whether we should stay here in Bergen for a few more days, since it'll likely be a few weeks since we're back.

Pandred: You think we can solve this in a few days, or you just ready to eat the cost?

The DM: You could send a message to the captain that you'll pay him tomorrow ... then change your mind or put him off until the 29th, with the possible ill-feelings that would produce.

Lexent: I do not think that we can solve this in a few days, but hopefully after tonight we can make a better decision on whether or not we are interested in being involved in its solving. My inclination is to send a message back to the ship that we have some business to resolve this evening, but will come by tomorrow to square things away.

The DM: I await your doing that.

Lexent: Does everyone else like that plan of action?

Vafrandir: I concur. That doesn't make any promises we'll break.

Lexent: Very well. I compose a message to Captain Larsen stating that we have business to which we must attend this evening, but that we shall come by tomorrow morning to square things away. I then have the message sent to the ship.

Lexent: After completing that, I go to the room where we have Hamish and ask him if he has any preferences on the change of clothing that we are going to help procure for him.

The DM: He’s sleeping. Probably best that you just pick out some basic things.

Vafrandir: Yea, just we're mostly concerned that it be clean.

Lexent: I have difficulty accessing the Market excel sheet here at work. Can you or Pandred select something appropriate?
Vafrandir: workman's wear, 18 gp.
Lexent: Deducted.

The DM: Pay the money and we’ll move on.


The DM: Rosted will arrive after 7:30, along with two trusted compatriots, Alvin and Sven. He’ll introduce them and suggest taking the conversation to the yard, a green space out back between the tavern and the outhouse. He’ll suggest standing back from the outhouse path, so as not to be overheard by passersby.

Pandred: I'll introduce myself, thank them for sticking their necks out. "What's the plan, lads?"

Esper: “Sven has a hunting lodge five miles to the east from here. If we smuggle him out of Bergen and take him to the lodge, we can dry him out there. Alvin’s cousin is the chief scribe of the Thane of Odda; Alvin will visit him and attempt to have the Thane recognize Hamish as the legitimate title-holder of Askoy. You have the documents with you?”

Vafrandir: "We do. Who will be looking for him or recognize him when we try to smuggle him out? Does anyone suspect his newfound legitimacy?"

Esper: “The Genoans almost certainly do. No doubt they’re used to losing track of him inside the city for weeks at a time, but if one of their number see him leaving the town in the company of citizens, there will be suspicion.”

Esper: “Once we’re able to have the Thane meet with Hamish and confirm the documents, then the Count of Hordaland will be forced to acknowledge him also. Until then, we shouldn’t expect the Count to be on our side. No doubt, he’d love to thwart the Genoans, but he doesn’t dare do so without explicit right. The Genoans have friends in Copenhagen, too.”

Lexent: "How long do you think it will take for that recognition to take place?"

Esper: “Depends on how long it will take for Hamish to dry out. A few weeks. He’ll need to be presentable. If it’s all right with you, we’ll take the documents and Hamis6h and make our exit from Bergen tonight. Do you wish to come along as additional protection, in case something arises?”

Lexent: "We had made plans to sail north from here on the 30th, and most of our effects are still stowed upon the ship on which we arrived. This, however, also includes a couple of chests that we found in connection with those documents and bearing Hamish's name."

Esper: “According to what we’ve been able to find out, the King sent more than ten thousand gold pieces along with the title. I assume some of this fills the chests you mention. It’s probably best to hide that inside the city. Can we make arrangements to get it off the ship before daybreak?”

Lexent: "I don't think we have any objections to that, but I'm not sure what the captain will have to say about it. Do you have a place inside the city that you feel will be secure?"

The DM: Why would the captain care that you’re removing your cargo from his ship that you’ve paid him to carry? Isn’t that part of the privilege you’re paying for?

Lexent: I assume that doing so will cause some amount of disruption on the ship which he may not enjoy in the middle of the night.

The DM: Ships run 24/7. There is no “middle of the night.” It is merely the next watch.

Vafrandir: "We can get it off tonight. Where can we bring it?"

Esper: “I suggest we go together; I know the docks better than you, and so I know who’s watching. Alvin, you want to fetch me half a dozen of our shoremen friends? Collect them at the guard post by Nadja’s place. We’ll be by in half an hour.”

Vafrandir: "Very good. We'll meet you there." Who'll come with me? Someone can stay here with Hamish.

Lexent: "I'll come." I accompany Vafrandir to the ship.

Pandred: I got the Ham.

Lexent: As we travel I ask: "I suppose then, that we have a choice to make. Do we wish to continue with our plans to head north at this time, and merely deliver Hamish's goods to him at this time, trusting these fine gentlemen to adequately guard his interests, or would we rather forgo the trip to Trondheim for the time being and put in all our efforts to see Hamish restored to his rightful place?"

The DM: Esper suggests that getting Hamish gone is the first priority. Are you willing to take him and Sven to Hamish and hand over the document? And while I heard Lexent decline on the offer to go with as protection, I need to know the rest of the party’s thoughts on that. Are you good to let Hamish go off without you?

The DM: Lexent and I are thinking alike. Out until Friday. Getting my second shot tomorrow for covid.

Vafrandir: I'll have to give the matter a bit more thought. At first I was willing to go (and I currently do trust Espen), but I am wondering if our arms could make a significant difference if it comes to blows. I'll think about it.

The DM: In. Awaiting decisions.

Lexent: In.

Lexent: Overall, I'm leaning toward helping, but I'm happy to pursue either course of action.

Vafrandir: I mean, obviously none of us will complain about the party's final decision. I'm putting my vote on continuing to Bronnoysond and checking in when we return back through. Hopefully we can get a tie-breaker in here.

The DM: Do pick a course of action; we can't move forward until you do.

Vafrandir: Lexent, how much coin do we have on hand?

Lexent: 445 g.p.

Vafrandir: So we can afford to hang around here for a few days if necessary and catch another ship up to Bronnoysond. Let's stay and help Hamish.

Pandred: In. Here to lend a helping Ham.

Vafrandir: Decision made. On to the ship!

The DM: To put it clearly, the party votes to protect Hamish?

Vafrandir: Correct. We'll settle our arrangements with the captain.

Lexent: Correct from my perspective.

The DM: Then you’ll leave in the night; let’s take it that Vafrandir goes with Espen and unloads your gear from the ship. Do you willingly transfer the gold to Espen’s care?

The DM: While you’re deciding that, I’ll start building a new post. It will take until ten the next morning to reach the lodge; during that time, you’ll be able to take a few short naps to keep from feeling overworked.
Vafrandir: Yes we do transfer the gold.

Continued on The Lodge