10th June – Leaving Villanus and the beaten Lord our heroes head south. As they go Peter finds that he is now wearing Colada, the looted arming sword, it feels familiar to him and rests easily on his belt he feels the need to release it and try it out in his hand. He does so and the sword busts into brilliant light as he draws it. The sword Colada feels right in his hands and he seems to know its history and wants, as if the sword was alive. There journey is still through the high passes with the mountains towering over them as they follow the narrow route, to Castiello de Chaca [a castle holding the pass into the valley] they then descend towards Chaca, and the route opens up as it brings them down into the high alpine Chaca valley. This valley is formed by the river Aragon running down its length, with cultivated area’s beside it. As they look they can see small villages away from the fields near to the wooded rocky sides, with activity along the river and the road which follows its banks. A few miles ahead they can see the welcome smoke and spires of a city, it must be Chaca.
Colada the sword of El Cid given to Martin Antolinez by El Cid himself.
Won in combat from the Count of Barcelona, the sword was presented (along with Tizona) to his sons in law, after his sons-in-law beat his daughters and then abandoned them on the side of the road, El Cid asked his gifts to be returned. Colada is a sword that frightens unworthy opponents if wielded by a brave warrior. El Cid gives the sword to Martín Antolínez as a present, and he uses it in the duel against the infante Diego González. Martín Antolínez took his sword in hand, it lights up all the field, it is so clean and bright, he gave him a blow, he hit him a glancing blow, it broke away the top of the helmet, it cut away all the helmet straps, it tore off the mailed hood, and reached the coif, the coif and the hood all were ripped away, it cut the hairs on his head, and it reached well into the flesh, one part fell to the ground and the other remained. When precious Colada has struck this blow, Diego González saw that he would not escape with his soul, he turned his horse to face his opponent. At that moment Martín Antolínez hit him with his sword, he struck him broadside, with the cutting edge he did not hit him. Diego González has sword in hand, but he does not use it, at that moment the infante began to shout, -Help me, God, glorious Lord, and protect me from this sword! The sword Colada is in a Old tatty but obviously good scabbard, it dislikes those who hurt women, are bullies, or have no honour, and will only work for a good person. It gains power from doing good and uses that power to use the abilities time have given it. Abilities like a illuminating radiance, smashing past parries, cutting deeply, and helping the welder hit.
[Hero Points: max 18 Permanent 6 [recharge 1st of month] Current 6
Gains Hero Points for upholding honour and dealing with bullies.
Talents :- all cost 1 hero point per use. –
Mighty blow; Severing slash; Second Chance – missed attack roll only; Heroic aura;
Light – permanent – the swords radiance illuminates 50 yards radius. Lose 1Hero point per hour of use [to stop it being used as a light source]
1H Damage 1d8+1, Size M, Reach M Str 10 Dx 9 ENC 2, AP/HP 8/12
Combat Manoeuvres: – Bleed, Impale, Sunder]
Sinclaire talks to a few locals and finds out that a Nunnery under Abbess Sanca is at Araguas del Solano, Peter spots a patrol in the valley from the city and they head to the nunnery avoiding the patrol, which is not hard as they are behind it and travelling across the upper valley to the village. By late afternoon they reach Araguas del Solano, seeing the local peasants working the fields and along the river, collecting wood and pelts from the forest and going about the every day work of a peasant anywhere. Moving past the on-looking peasants our group head for the nunnery gates, which stand open and inviting. They stop and make themselves look presentable, with Sinclaire the Knight of Christ in the lead. As they do Peter looks around checking for any agents or other threats, he sees nothing suspicious. So they approach the gate and two men stand forth and ask what there business is. Sinclaire replies, ‘we have women and men in need of help and care and are on Gods business’.
The gate guard answers, ‘hold on here and we will send to the nuns who will guide you and give you the aid you need. Ten minutes later a young nun appears, she sends the grooms to the stables with the horses and cart, telling them they can sleep there. She says, ‘we will house the ladies in the main building’. Sinclaire points out that one of the women is possibly possessed. She then guides the men to the quest area where they settles in to there rooms. They are made aware of the later afternoon service being in an hour followed by dinner.
They are collected by a nun and lead to the chapel, where the nuns are waiting, the two ladies have been left to recover in there rooms. The Abbess takes the service which has an emphasis on the Holy Ghost and the power of the fire of God. Our godly heroes, or three of them anyway, wonder about whether there is any heresy here but do not think so. After the service they are guided to the refractory for dinner, as this is the main meal of the day it is quite elaborate. The men are seated at the end of the table by the Abbess and she tells them that as meals are normally taken in quite but they can speak quietly with her tonight. Sinclaire tells about the ladies and there mission to gain the finger for the bishop. They tell about following Bergen and finding devil worship at Arette, they do not mention that he was involved or his new name. That it has been a long journey following Bergen, that the fight against the demons upset the mistress and that the manor has been left in the grip of evil. The Abbess says that it just to be the Order which dealt with things like that, now its left to the local inquisition under the bishop and what with war and such these things have got out of hand.
The Abbess is then encouraged to talk about herself, she is mid aged widow who was put in the nunnery after her husband died. Her husband was killed by Garcia Ranirez the Vicar General when the family crossed him. Her family connections put her here to keep her safe. They soon realise that she hates him and will do anything to hurt him as long as she can protect her position in the abbey, that her positsion is due to conections rather than any calling. This might be useful to them. She tells them that they are welcome to stay her for as long as their wounds will take to heal, this turns out to be around three days with the sisters care. During that time they think about there experiences and learn from them, some of them ending up with a better faith, as well as learning new ways of using their other skills.
The Abbess and Sinclaire decide that Amalinda needs to be exorcised and she thinks that he with her and the sisters will be able to do it. Sinclaire spends some time in the nunneries library reading up on this and Jules gives him some extra insight. So on the 12 June – St Basilidis day they arrange for a mass with all the sisters and Jules and Peter praying while Sinclaire and the Abbess start to pray over and for Amalinda, using the host and holy water and calling on the demon to leave in Jesus name. This service goes on for an hour and at the end, the demon spirit is forced to leave Amalinda, freeing her from its control. She still is envious but is not as bad and still loves Romeo, however she has lost all the demonic powers she had.
Lady Elzbeth Staufen decides to take refuge here with the Abbess blessing, after all the Nunnery will be gaining control of her manor, or at least once it is cleared. Romeo is not happy about this as he thought he was gaining a heiress as his lover. After the service Peter with a drawn Colada in his hands draws the black sword. As he does it names itself as Sanguis mitti – it is a rusty black serrated mean looking Falchion sword in a Rich clean scabbard. They realise that this means Blood letter, and the black is dried blood. They try to clean it off with holy water but it has no effect, and Peter, Sinclaire and Jules have no intention of letting this into the hands of Romeo who really fancies it. So Peter gives it to the Abbess to hide from those who might use it. It may not be evil and all blades take blood, but this one just does not seem a blade for good men. She takes and says it will be safe here. Romeo tries to convince them it would be fine in his hands but Jules points out that it might be dangerous for anyone hurt by a blood letter and those cleaning it could be at danger. Romeo says that what squires etc are for and Jules points out that no French or Spanish squire would work for a penny pinching Italian.
During this time they have also picked up various rumours from the locals. 1/ The caves are home to a family of giants 2/ The Holy Ghost seems to be directly worshiped in Binue’, with manifestation’s of fire.. 3/ A rich merchant disappeared near ‘Ipas’ with his whole caravan, 4/ There are bandits in the forests around ‘Abay’ it is rumoured that the local lord is there leader, 5/ There is a group of Castilian raiders based in the area, 6/ The nunnery is more a brothel than a place of worship. One and six are discounted and they assume that the Vicar general might be behind the bandits and therefore the missing merchant. By now they also have a good idea about the main players in this area.
Chancellor Fr Pedro – a short stooped man with a little grey hair, moves slowly and with a stick
Cannon of cathedral – Fr Simon – A young tall noble man, with dark hair and a tendency to wear bright silk in his gowns. Hates the French and Italians.
Mayor – Johan Oares – A city noble, middle aged with a scar across his face going from right eye to left cheek. Fair minded only interested in furthering his own wealth. He will also want a job done for himself before helping others.
City Captain – Goncalo Peres – A young noble with aggressive, pro Aragonese outlook. He leads the city militia as well as a few of his own men [men used to garrison the citadel and supply some order].
Local Villages within a few miles of the city and under its protection and lordship. Those north of the river – Araguás del Solano, Far North West of city zone, the local Nunnery village, the nunnery is run by Abbess Sança, Binué, North West of the city zone and East of the nunnery, run by Lady Dolca she and the Abbess are friends of sorts. Ipás, Almost north of the city, run by Lord Josep a Young hothead. Those South of the river – Abay, South West of the city zone, Run by Lord Llorenc Abay a mean minded greedy man, young in charge because his father is to ill to take control. Bergosa, Due south of the city and river, run by Lord Narcis a pious man. Fraginal, Far West of the city zone and south of the river, run by Lord Gil a careful cautious old man. Navasa, just West of Bergosa, run by Lord Marti a middle aged drunk.
Peter heads off to the village of Bergosa which is south of the river and the city and about 4 miles away, to see what he can find out about Peter of Bergosa i.e. Bergen. He sees the locals going about there everyday activities and asks about the priest and heads to the church, putting a donation into the poor box. The local priest is a local man who holds the living for the Vicar General, he has just enough training to manage a service but little else. Peter talks to him about Peter, but the priest says he knows of no one who has left the village and gone on to be a priest. Maybe his friend comes from another Bergosa! Peter heads back to the nunnery with the thought that Bergen is just using the name Peter of Bergosa as a cover, he wonders if the Vicar General knows that.
15th June St Vitus day, The party all rested and healed have to leave the nunnery, Peter is going to the city, on foot, to see if he can use his minstrel skills to gain access to those in power and find out about Bergen, while Jules, Sinclaire, Romeo and the two grooms Pedro & Ferrer head towards Ipas to see about the loss of a merchant, Romeo is sure this is important. Amalinda is left in the care of the Abbess till they are ready to leave.
Peter walks into the fortified city of Chaca, passing the guards at the gate consisting of Javelin and crossbow armed warriors supported by patrols of Men At Arms and Squires on horse in the valley and city. He gets to know some of the locals by talking to them in the local inns. He manages to get invited to perform for the Captain Goncalo Peres evening dinner with his Men at Arms. He performs well and in conversation asks Goncalo if he knows Peter of Bergosa a friend of the Vicar General. Goncalo says he has met him a couple of time only once to talk but not for a while and has no idea if he is around at the moment. Peter is given some sliver for his performance and goes to find an inn near to the cathedral to stay in. He takes a single room rather than share and moves the bed against the door and takes other precautions to stay safe.
16th June St Cyr of Quiricus day. Peter’s day is interrupted by a request to play at the Vicar Generals evening meal, with the city elders. Peter accepts with glee and prepares himself for one of his biggest performances. While doing so he does some shopping meeting the local merchants and buying a new bow, a nomad bow from Grenada in the south, he also gets 40 arrows half normal and half broadhead hunting ones. He also gets a small sliver cross to replace his last oneand awaits the time he can get it blessed. Last night must have gone well if the captain praised him enough to get this job. He arrives with plenty of time and is shown into the hall to play after being given refreshments. The hall has a long table at the top and others running down from it. The top table has the Vicar General in the middle, with his mistress Teresa to his left, on his right is Bergen or Peter as he is known here. also on the top table are Fr Pedro, the chancellor, Fr Simon the Cannon, the mayor John Oares and Goncalo. The lower tables have the local guild elders and important nobles sat at them.
Peter’s performance is one of his best and he regales the hall with his harp, singing and stories, he is well rewarded by the top table and ends up with 70 sliver coins. He recognises Bergen, but tries not to stare, after a brief thank you and acknowledgement of his skill from the Vicar General Peter disappears quickly.
What will he do now?
What are the others up to?
Does Bergen now they are there?