D&D Chronicles 2: The Baroness of Black Rock

More from the D&D Mythos campaign… In which Sariel and friends find themselves making an unexpected alliance.


SARIEL

It’s quite remarkable how things turn out. Right?

We made the detour to Black Rock, intending to earn some gold clearing the silver mine of kobolds. But that’s not what happened. No it is not.

Instead, things got twisty.

From Black Rock keep, we set off towards the silver mine confidently and in high spirits. I’ve heard kobolds are pretty easy to deal with. And so it proved after a quick skirmish in the forest, when we overturned their ambush and slew nine of the creatures.

But then they came after us with poisoned arrows, incapacitating poor Brosia quite severely. We found ourselves prudently retreating — although not all of our number agreed with this strategy, it must be said.

Frustrating, yes. But not dire. The plan was to secure some poison antidotes, in Rivermeet if necessary, and return to deal with the pesky kobolds. The baron’s man paid us for the nine kobolds slain so far and sent us on our way without comment. (That should have been our first warning.)

So, there we were, overnighting peacefully in a way-hut, when the baron’s guards surrounded us in the dead of night. They were commanded by his niece, Loren.

When she recruited us days earlier in Black Heath, we thought she hadn’t recognised us as the Watch unit she’d fought against to reclaim her uncle’s sword.

Turns out we were wrong. Turns out her brother was slain in that encounter nearly two weeks earlier and the baron wanted retribution for his nephew.

Prepare to die, she said. (But there’s another twist to this tale!)

Or you could give us coin and be on your way. (And yet…)

Or you could join with me and my loyal followers, slay the baron’s men and return with me to kill my uncle and overtake Black Rock. (Oh my.)

Fairly certain that option two would most likely lead to option one, we chose option three.

And so, at dawn, the odds of five against 24 shortened to almost evens and, with a flurry of arrows and steel, the baron’s sellswords were soon either dead or swearing allegiance to his niece.

The following day we returned with Loren to Black Rock.

My companions and I had secretly debated whether to turn tables on Loren and take her forces on. We were not too outnumbered and would have had the element of surprise.

But, in truth Loren seems a more decent person than her uncle (the irony is not lost on me); and, besides, the baron would doubtless hunt us even harder if we killed his niece as well. If we held faith with Loren, Black Rock would no longer be our enemy.

So we returned to Black Rock in the guise of prisoners, loosely bound, our weapons near to hand, herded into the keep by Loren’s force. But perhaps the baron was cannier than we realised, because he had more guards than we expected and they awaited us in the courtyard. Perhaps it had not escaped his notice that all the remaining guards were Loren’s.

The baron gave the command to kill us. Loren refused and so we fought.

We prevailed, of course. More arrows, more steel. I saw most of it from atop the wall, the perfect vantage from which to prick the baron with arrows.

Aramil, in particular, was glorious!

Atop the wall, his twin blades flash in sunlight
Death sweeps down, once, twice
The baron’s men slump, heads cracked on paving stones

Atop the roof, he flies towards danger
Outstretched wings dark on pale skin
The baron’s men roar, steel raised against fury

Atop the box, his might is breathtaking
Dark hair whips, green eyes spark
The baron’s men fold, life draining with their blood

Atop the foe, he swings without mercy
Twin blades bite into soft flesh
The baron falls, pale eyes cold and dead and empty

by Sariel Donnodel

Loren, who has assumed the title of baroness of Black Rock, was so pleased that she let Aramil keep the baron’s fancy sword on top of our agreed payment in coin. We rested overnight as her guests, then headed somewhat belatedly towards Rivermeet once more.

But at the town of Black Heath yet another surprise awaited us. A missive from the Watch commander…


Curiouser and curiouser…

Looks like we’re off on another adventure. Huzzah!

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