Session 1: Training Day
The Level 1 PCs arrive at Fort Fendawar after willingly joining the newly formed military of the City of Sasserine.
Sasserine’s council has counted on the acts of heroism by small groups of freelance adventurers in the past with great success. They decide to use a similar template for the creation of squads in their military. The squads will be created out of a pool of different class types that belong to a larger platoon. The platoons could be deployed around a battle area to accomplish the goals set to the companies they belong too. The squads will be comprised of 4 to 8 soldiers (Players), and they will be made up from a pool or platoon of 18-24 specialized soldiers (PC pool).
The Council has authorised the creation of the military because of the growing power of the city-state and the dwindeling effectiveness and reach of it’s local guard organization. Sasserine now counts among its assets, Cauldron, Farshore, Rat’s End, Fort Greenrock, Fort Blackrock, Fort Highland, Fort Fendawar, and much of the farmland and forest around these locations. These “dots” are not connected on the map and as such are vulnerable alone, so the military had to be a marine group that could traverse Oerth and defend Sasserines holdings anywhere.
The final reason for the military creation was the talk of war spreading through the streets. Merchant ships from the North, the Sea Prince’s territory, told of the growing military force and royal navy in those cities. It had been quite a while since the Sea Princes had annexed the City of Sasserine and occupied it under their rule, but the citizens never forgot. Since the fall of Demogorgon and the rise of Orcus, the City has grown inpopularity rivaling that of Greyhawk.
The PCs are given uniforms, and basic equipment. Over the course of the training (6 weeks in game, 2 weeks reel time), the PC recieve training with the standard armor(studded leather), and weapon (longsword) of the SMC (Sasserine Marine Corp.). They have team training where they learn combat tactics to work together in battle. They have specialized training to hone their individual skill sets, and learn their role within the platoon (based on class). They receive some sailing training to crew the ships that will take them to the fight. Finally they learn about each other, and the abilities and limitations of thier fellow soldiers.
Session 2: Graduation Exercize
The PCs have completed their training and are ready to serve but the Military leaders want to show off their new troops to the public so During the Worm-fall Festival in Sasserine, they march in all the new soldiers during a parade to kick-off the week-long festival. They have all also been entered into the Challenge of Champions competition. The individual platoons have been entered separately and the one who scores highest will receive the honor of first duty. Competition between the platoon bunkhouses in sparring sessions has been high during training, and it was no less so at the Challenge.
The challenge consited of 10 scenarios that the 6 indivituals the platoon chose to represent them had to complete within 15 minutes (real and game time). Most of them were “Cross the Whatever” type of challenge where a few consisted of moving something difficult to move or reach from one spot to another. The City guards had tried to bribe most of the officials to make things harder for the military teams but were unsuccessful- most of the time.
The Champion’s Platoon were the victors and had the honor of serving before any other graduating Platoon.
Session 3: First Duty
The Platoons were given extra time before curfew and lights-out to celebrate and were even given permission to have friends or family come to the Fort to help send them off because the next day, the orders would arrive with the Colonel (in charge of Fort Fendawar). No one knew where they would be stationed first, but the odds were it was going to be far away. The regular Fort Guards were given the night off too, and the job of guarding the Fort came to the winners of the competition, Champion’s Platoon.
The task of guarding a Fort containing the (at the time) bulk of the Sasserine military seemed loke nothing more that a token duty to the PCs. They were forced to patrol the fort, and police the barracks were the others got to drink and celebrate with friends and lovers.
There was some teasing, and some chest-beating between the bunk-houses but for the most part the partying stopped when it was supposed to and the guests were escorted out when they had to go. There was a fight or two they had to break up, and more than a few passionet good-byes they had to cut short- oh yeah, there was a murder they had to solve…
While on patrol after hours, they found the body of a young woman in the courtyard outside one of the bunk-houses. They brought the body to the Security office and woke the head of security. He began an investigation and delegated the jobs of finding clues and following up with suspects and witnesses. He began to examine the body to find out how she died and who she was. When they brought in suspects, he took over the questioning. The Colonel would be back at sunrise (in 3 hours game and real time), and would expect an answer as to what happened, so they had until then to solve the mystery.
As they delt with cooling clues and fuzzy memories from witnesses and suspects, The Captain found out that the body was a young Dutches who was visiting Sasserine with her family for the Festival. It soon got worse as he found out she was from Westfall, a township within the Sea Princes holdings. The nightmare continued as time was running out; She was posing as a servant girl so no one she was celebrating with seemed to know she was visiting royalty and it was likely her parents didn’t know she was drinking with young soldiers, and her real servant girl/companion also turned up dead while following clues.
They ended up following the wrong clue to it’s conclusion and had a running chase after their lead suspect through the woods only to have the chase reversed on them when everyone began being chased by an owlbear. The chase became a race to get back to the safety of the Fort.
Not long after that they found out that the man had only run because he had allowed the girls to sneak-in to see their lovers after curfew. That’s all he was guilty of, but then the Colonel arrived with the dawn. After being briefed on the unsuccessful investigation, he delayed the morning assembly and pulled in the top officers and instructors to get the the bottom of it. It turned out that the Magic instructor was the real murderer of the first girl and another sergeant was coerced into murdering the second by him- to keep her quiet. When confronted with the facts, he teleported away- thus confirming his guilt in the crime. He has not been seen or heard from again, which is no small matter since he was a mute who communicated telepathicly, and developed a special means to cast spells requiring speech.
Session 4: Funeral Procession
The next day had very dire consequences. The Duke and Dutches of Westfall were not even in Sasserine at the time of the incident, their daughter was being escorted by some local security company who botched the job and lost track of the young Dutches and her lady-in-waiting during the confusion after the tournament. The Duke is ready to declare war and the Sea Princes are recalling their embassadores to escort the young Dutches’ body back to westfall. They have their own magic to preserve the body and refuse to let anyone from Sasserine dessecrate the body with foreign magic. As a token of good-will, and appology to the Duke the Sasserine government offers a military escort all the way back. The Duke reluctantly agrees under the sole condition that the soldiers in charge of the Fort security be the ones to escort them back.
The champions platoon is called on to escort the bodies of both the Dutches and her lady-in-waiting. Before leaving Sasserine the platoon officers are briefed on the situation and told to cooporate in any way they can to preserve the peace, but at the same time take every oportunity to confirm the numbers and armorments of the Sea Princes. Should a war break out, this first hand intel will be quite valuable.
The whole platoon escorts them to Port Toli by ship and then disembarks for Westfall by road. The Sea Princes Army only allows a small honor guard beyond the city, and the rest of the platoon will have to wait on the ship. Along a stretch of road boardered by marsh, the group is attacked by a small horde of undead skeletons and zombies. As it become clear that they can not prvail, The commander, Lt. Lorchester orders the others on to complete the mission. He stays behind to cover their escape and is presumed lost. (later rescued by a road patrol and brought back to the ship.)
The Trip was supposed to only take 2 weeks with most of it being on the ocean, the last 3 days before the preservation spell wore off were filled with distractions and obsticles. The group did all they could to help out the local people along the way while still getting the precious sad cargo to its destination. The Dutches was loved by her people and many of them blamed the SMC for her death, especially those who knew the murderer was an SMC instructor. Despite their efforts to hate the SMC soldiers in front of them, the majority of the people the SMC encountered were won over by diplomacy or kind acts of charity in the form of services rendered or provisions shared.
Upon reaching the Duke’s Castle, the honor guard found themselves surrounded by his personal guard ready to take the lives of the PCs at the Duke’s command. The Duke was heartbroken and wanted revenge. He was filled with a rage that was fuled even more when he saw his wife draped over the coffin-crate sobbing. As he gave the order to slay those responsible, a half-dozen of his own military leaped to their side (they were saved by the SMC honor-guard just the day before when they were outnumbered by hobgoblins). Then a dozen or so citizens who had followed along behind the honor guard once they knew what they were doing, began to call out for mercy. The leader of the Duke’s conflicted men joined the chant, and the Embassadore even pleaded for their lives, vouching for their honor, and character.
The Duke, not wanting to make an enemy of his people, chose mercy, but vowed to push the Princes into a war so that he might have his revenge on the battlefield. And he did.
The group returned, the ship set sail back to Sasserine, and they were debriefed and decorated, despite the break out of war.