Solo GPC

Blind Man's Bluff

Winter came to Broughton and brought with it tragedy. Graid’s beloved wife, Lady Alis, gave birth to a son but did not survive the labor. Grieving, he ordered the hall draped in black, hired a nurse to look after his children, and departed for Sarum, where he intended to surround himself with the knights and ladies of the Earl’s court.

At Sarum, Graid brooded. He wondered if the death of his wife had been caused by the machinations of Lady Madule of the Raven Hair. He publicly denounced her every chance he got, but at night his dreams were haunted by visions of the reclusive woman. He began to drink heavily, both in an effort to forget his grief and dull his strange feelings for Madule. It was in this altered state, then, that he set his sights on the beautiful young wife of the steward of Ebble Castle, Sir Melianus. Her name was Amide, and, despite being a newlywed, she was captivated by Graid’s winish swagger. Their burgeoning affair was an open secret, particularly as the cold weather forced them to conduct their assignations inside Salisbury Castle – not the most private of locales for such scandalous behavior.

Sir Melianus was forced to stand by, impotent with rage. He was a knight of middling rank and advancing age, while Graid was the county’s greatest living knight and young and handsome to boot. Even worse, he was a favorite of King Arthur, so there could be little hope for justice even if Melianus took his case to the High Court – or so he felt. To his closest confidants, he swore vengeance upon Graid, but he knew it would have to be undertaken on the sly. He would have to be devious and catch Graid at a vulnerable moment. And so he began to plot and plan. . .

Bizarre Love Triangle

The year got off to a great start for Sir Graid: he developed a Loyalty (vassals) passion, his harvest was once again excellent, his wife Alis gave birth to a son, and Graid was formally recognized as patriarch of his extended family. In fact, one of his cousins even sent Graid a bastard child to raise as his own, a request Graid magnanimously granted.

All these boons resulted in Graid putting on a few pounds of muscle as he slowly recovered from his brush with the Fae from some years previous…

The Hard Rock Tournament

It was an easy winter at Broughton Hall. The harvest had been good once again, and the granaries and cellars were full to bursting with provisions. What’s more, Graid’s exploits at Camelot the year before had boosted him to a new level of prominence in the kingdom. Had there been any free seats on the Round Table, he would have been a shoe-in. As the Edition 5.1 Pendragon rulebook puts it, with Graid surpassing 8,000 Glory this year he was now “known throughout all in Britain [as] one of the best in the land…and sits at the High Table in any court save Camelot.”

[Such rapid advancement so early on in his career did give me pause, I must say. But Graid started out already well-known thanks to inheriting a huge chunk of Glory from his famous dad. This is typical of generational progression in KAP - each succeeding generation gets more and more of a leg up thanks to inherited Glory. Plus, I was beginning to appreciate how much more quickly Glory is accrued by an individual character in a single-player game, since Glory awards aren’t split between a group. It’s a nice reflexive mechanic, actually – it’s tougher to get through adventures on your own, but you become a badass much more quickly, so it balances out in the end.]

There Wolf, There Castle

I love the Tournament Period. This is high Arthurian roleplaying goodness, the apogee of the Pendragon experience, in my opinion. And this year was the year that Graid immersed himself fully in the sights and experiences that accompany the period. Onward, then…

Weddings, Tournaments, and Feasts

Cracking on into the next year of the Tournament Period, then. Of note: listening to the session recording, there were no less than five incidents where Des missed a roll by one. We even joked that the name of this session should be “Missed By One!”

A Caged Lion

[It’s been a while! If you want to go back and refresh your memory of where we left off, or are new to the saga, all the previous entries in this series can be found here.]

This year marked the beginning of a new period, the Tournament Period. Quoth the Great Pendragon Campaign:

The realm is peaceful, the bandit kings have been suppressed, and the faeries are imposing themselves (but as often for good as for ill). The lords of the realm are content to indulge in sponsoring more tournaments and building larger castles. There seems to be little worry of war.
On the other hand, some gossips talk more than they ought about that which is not their business. Some idealists are happy to find imperfections in the realm, which is not hard to do. Sometimes discontent is widespread, as is mistrust or suspicion…
Runaway Squires

Last time we left off with a bit of a cliffhanger. At the beginning of this session, I handed back Graid’s character sheet to Des. We had left off with the eager squire going quite mad with bloodlust, years of repressed anger and frustration bubbling over as he rode to the defense of Guenevere’s court. The last any had seen of Graid, he had been riding off, holding aloft the severed head of his enemy.

It's May

With squire Graid having distinguished himself at the Rochester Tournament the previous year, we entered this year wondering if he would soon earn his spurs as a knight. Graid did indeed continue to prove that he was his father’s son, not only in mettle but also in his ability to surprise us and take things in unexpected directions.

Up from the Buttery

That’s “buttery” as in “butts of beer,” not “dairy product.”

With the death of Loholt last year, we once again found ourselves back in the company of a lowly squire as primary PC: young Graid, son of Herringdale, squire to the Butler of Sarum Castle.
Low Hangs the Head Who Wears It

We left off the previous year with Sir Loholt, in effect, “winning the game” – it doesn’t get much better in Pendragon than making the Round Table and being crowned king of your own kingdom, much less both events taking place in the same year! Loholt’s glory tally for 535 was, I believe, an all-time record for a single year’s award: 2,993 points! (And that’s not counting Loholt’s annual glory. In the final tally, he was only about 300 points shy of racking up a whopping four Bonus Points in a single year.)

Both the achievement of the Round Table and ascension to high nobility have been put forth in the rules as logical end-points for a character’s story. So where to from here? As it turned out, the events of this session would provide all the answer we needed.


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