MERP: The Waters of Life

The party started in Imdorad (aka. The Mering Steps) at the beginning of the Entwash.

The Party formed at Entwash -- Sigrbrand, Guthbrand, & Ruti

Ruti (an Ohdriag mercenary) came into town and stayed at King’s Crown Inn. Sigrbrand (a Beorning mercenary who claimed to be Rohirrim) came to town and first tried to sign up at the fort, who rejected him and sent him to the south side of the river. He went to the King’s Crown Inn and there met Miena, an overweight middle-aged woman whom he took to immediately, though she rejected him. Then he met Ruti and learned of a possible caravan job.

Thalian, a clean and impressive knight, Lieutenant of the local garrison, entered the Inn and Sigrbrand approached him to see if he wanted guards. Indeed, Thalian wanted people on his side and wanted the party to talk to Vinniee, whom he described as his second in command. Really, Vinniee ran the disreputable hostel in town and had the power of the Syndicate behind him.

Thalian had several stalwart fellows with him in rigid leather. He came in to lean on Miena, and began to threaten her. More of his guys came into the bar.  Sigrbrand thought he was a creep, so he cast Sleep 5 on him, putting him to sleep for 3 hours. After he fell, Sigrbrand tried to unobtrusively steal his purse, but failed utterly. Luckily Guthbrand (a Rohirrim warrior exile), who had been sitting in a corner, came to his aid, stealing 18 s. from Thalian. He gave 6 s. each to Ruti and Sigrbrand. Sigrbrand and Guthbrand laid the blame for Thalian’s collapse on Lancy, one of Thalian’s men. After getting Clancy (another of Thalian’s men) convinced, Sigrbrand began talking about taking Lancy to the garrison and torturing the truth out of him. Lancy took off running, which convinced the locals, and a lynch mob raced after him.

Meanwhile, Miena liked the party’s acts, and hired all of them for 20 s. each. Vinniee, she explained, was a drug dealer selling watered down water of life (Firinin) that was given to a dying boy in town by an aged wizard five years ago. The wizard was accompanied by a tall dangerous man in the shadows (Tannukodol) and both left after saving the boy and leaving the Firinin with the boy’s mother. The mother then sold drops of the water to make money, until she was killed by thieves anxious to get it. Miena still had some of the Firinin, and wished to hire the party to take it to an agent in Mirkwood to preserve it.  From there it will go to Maethelburg. The party agreed to go north for 10 s. each per week. Miena was to accompany them and they would also abduct Thalian as a hostage. They headed west out of town, largely unseen because of the furor over Lancy. Thalian was tied up on Vartil’s back (Vartil is Sigrbrand’s mountain pony) and Guthbrand stole his chain mail for himself.

They crossed the river at Twyferry and then headed north. Since they had Thalian hostage, Guthbrand stole another 80 s. and 56 c. from him.

That night, Sigrbrand was on watch and failed to notice the tittering sound near him. The party was next to the river, and four giant minks attacked, tearing apart the Lancer next to him and dragging his body back to the river. They of course did not attack Sigrbrand (a Beorning), who retreated next to Vartil and Thalian to protect them. Sigrbrand awoke the others with his shouts, and then begins to meditate in preparation for magic against the six other minks that were attacking. Guthbrand leapt onto Perry’s back and sliced a mink in half.  Another fled. Erkram (Miena’s head guard) was hit and stunned with a strike to his arm. Ruti slightly wounded one mink and then on her second attack wounded another, forcing it to stumble back.  Sigrbrand put two of them to sleep. Guthbrand wounded another, causing it to run away. Only one was left. Ruti hit it in the arm, causing minor damage and it ran away as well. Ruti killed the two sleeping ones while Sigrbrand comforted Miena. Guthbrand helped heal Erkram.  The pelts of the mink were worth up to 10 gp each and Guthbrand skinned the two that Sigrbrand had put to sleep. Sigrbrand would have not of those furs, and called Guthbrand a dirty trapper.

Guthbrand again taunted Thalian and threatened to drag him behind Perry, while Sigrbrand told Thalian he would be safe. Sigrbrand was ensuring that if Thalian escaped or was released, he would remember Sigrbrand kindly. The party was now traveling through the plains of Rohan and they camped in valleys out of the light during the day and travelled at night.

Edorhil and Taska (two of Vinniee’s killers) appeared to the south and gestured. Guthbrand wanted to go to them but Sigrbrand didn’t trust them and shot them. Ruti joined him in shooting and Taska fell and Edorhill vanished (the arrows went through him). The lancers and some of the party were greatly troubled. Sigrbrand thought it was strange, but probably just some strange monster, which they had managed to avoid. Guthbrand was appalled by Sigrbrand’s attack on an apparent attempt at a parley.

The party arrived at the Vane, a small ranger hideout just south of the Wold River (reminiscent of Henneth Annûn, but less hidden). As a mercenary, Sigrbrand saw the possibility of ambush now that the job was done, and made sure to get the party’s pay from Miena (20 s. for the two weeks) before going further. Against his better judgement, he went inside the building to protect Miena. The horses were left in the stables.  

Sigrbrand walked Thalian in, still tied with ropes. A thin black haired and pointy eared man by the name of Faris welcomed Miena with a hug. Inside were a dozen men, some Dunedain, some half-elves and one full elf. In Sylvan, Sigrbrand said to the group, “the fat one is mine. Hands off.” Besides the elves and half-elves, only Erkram showed any sign of understanding.

At dinner, Miena showed the vial, but Sigrbrand became increasingly jealous of Faris. When Faris claimed that mysterious encounter on the plains had been “a carnivorous bear under an illusion,” Sigrbrand became angry. As a Beorning, Sigrbrand was offended, and said that not only were there no bears on the plains, but that bears were not carnivorous. He also suspected that Faris mentioned bears specifically to provoke him, something that Erkram had said was typical of the behavior of Taska and Edorhill. Given the apparent illusions at that plains encounter, Sigrbrand smelled a rat, a big fat pointy-eared one.

Faris and he got close to blows, and everyone in the room was soon in the same state. Sigrbrand accused Faris of not being who he purported to be. Guthbrand was angry with Sigrbrand’s behavior, which he thought was motivated solely by jealousy about Miena. To settle things down, Guthbrand suggested that Miena ask Faris something that only he would know.  Miena asked him for the name of the boy saved by the wizard, and Faris couldn’t answer. Sigrbrand drew his sword, whereupon Faris and some of the rangers disappeared and only five of the men remained. Two had bows, three had swords and shields. All prepared to attack the party.

Guthbrand ran outside to get his horse, while Sigrbrand told Miena to take Thalian against the wall and stay out of the fight. Then Sigrbrand attacked one with a bow, doing little damage. Two lancers attacked one of the swordsmen, while another lancer hit an archer. Erkram attacked another and missed.

Guthbrand found four versions of Perry (his horse) outside. Guthbrand stabbed the one that seemed the most fake. It vanished. Two of the remaining Perrys began fighting the last Perry.

Inside, Erkram chopped off the arm of one man, who said “oh no” and vanished. Ruti killed another, who also vanished.

Guthbrand mounted the horse fighting on his own, which proved to be Perry. He then hit one of the others and it vanished.  He heard some quiet chanting and then an explosive sound and felt a great heat smashing into him.  He was stunned and his hand was burned. Perry managed to bear through the heat.

Likewise, Sigrbrand identified one man chanting inside. He attacked and called for the others to concentrate their attacks on the chanter. Sigrbrand missed the man (he was rolling abysmally all evening), but the three lancers hit the chanting one, who died, and the other two enemies vanished.

Perry damaged the chanter outside.

Sigrbrand searched the dead Edorhill (for it was indeed he) while the lancers ran outside and Erkram protected Miena. He found 7 gp, 27 sp, 52 cp, a neck scarf that seemed mystical, a fairly plain sword, gold bands around two fingers, rigid leather armor, and a weirdly opaque left eye. “Glass,” thought Sigrbrand. Edorhill also had a shield. Sigrbrand carved out his left eye (not glass, but definitely a false eye constructed of a strange material), and took the two gold rings and the scarf. He pocketed the eye and the gold rings, and wore the scarf around his neck. He then picked up the gold and silver and copper and went outside to help. Now revealed, Toska was fighting Ruti and 3 lancers attack. Guthbrand sliced him in half.

Sigrbrand then searched Toska, who also had a fake eye (the right this time), two gold arm bands around the same arm, rigid leather, a sword, and a little knife.  Sigrbrand carved out the fake eye, wiped it off on his faded tabard, and pocketed both it and the knife. He took the bands as well, since Guthbrand didn’t want them. He shared the money with the others. Next, he will cast Essence’s Ways to determine which items are enchanted, and hopefully, in what ways, after which they can be divided among the party. For now, however, he ran after Vartil, who ran away during the fight.

About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
This entry was posted in Middle Earth Roleplaying, Session Summaries. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to MERP: The Waters of Life

  1. Now I totally like the post – character portraits 🙂

    • lostdelights says:

      Thanks! I had the worst time finding a female warrior in chainmail that wasn’t soft porn, and I had absolutely no luck finding one who actually wore a helmet. There’s definitely a place for an artist who draws women in realistic armor! The other issue was that Ruti is an Easterling, and the movie version of an Easterling warrior is just as racist as Tolkien was. After playing an Easterling (Tannukodol), I’m very sensitive to the racist notions about Easterlings.

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