Gyruff (Grand Duchy of Geoff)

Life and Times of Dandelion the Bard, Chapter 1

Hello, my name is Drustan Aodhan Ninian Mandismoor, or in the classic Flan; Dustan ap Mordelin, third child of Mordelin Mandismoor and Nicole Fairweather Mandismoor. However I am known by my stage name of Dandelion. Perhaps someday I’ll tell that story but not right now.

Sit back and relax as I write my story – starting with the initiation of my “adventuring career”.

Chapter 1

Part 1: Pymtheg Cerrig
I won’t go into too many details about our initial adventure in the town of Pymtheg Cerrig. Another of the Brehyr’s family had passed away and the two factions in town – Keolish immigrants and Flan Ffolk – were at each other’s throats. We managed to track down the culprits of those trying to drive a wedge between the Keolish and the Flan but were not able to provide enough evidence to link them back to their source.

That source, we suspect, is none other than the shamed former Chancellor of Gyruff; Colwyn ap Ffagan.

With that business complete we wandered up to Aberglain for the funeral of Awesten ap Cadwaler, the Arglwyth (Baron) of Daden Bryd. Seems people were dropping left and right in the Downlands!

And that’s never a good sign. Yes, this country needs some turn-over, but too much is usually just not natural.

Part 2: Aberglain to Gorna
Old Awesten was apparently a popular guy and lots of people lined up for the funeral. As a matter of fact the town guard was making sure that everyone was either on their way to or from the funeral.

So naturally we went to the showing of the body in Caer Gwyn.

The whole family was there; his wife Margaret, their four daughters (Charise, Dreia, Awen, and Tiria), as well as the adopted son and chosen heir Emyr Cadwaler. The whole thing was a somber affair, and without even the appropriate musicians to set the mood.

I was a bit uncomfortable and, to be honest, looking forward to relaxing after the whole unpleasant funeral thing when one of my companions (a dwarven cleric) shouted “Oy! Assassin!!!” And pointed at a slightly open door.

Chaos erupted.

As various heroes moved to capture the assassin several others revealed themselves as well for a total of four assailants. The initial assassin fired a hand crossbow and struck down Emyr who was bleeding profusely from a nasty wound.

Knowing that the assassin would likely try to hide during his escape I surrounded him in a halo of Faerie Fire, illuminating him for all to see.

Several guards fell in the initial onslaught but the family escaped up the stairs. Several heroes followed them up to ensure that they there were no further threats that direction while the rest of us set upon the assassins.

The assassins quickly saw they were overmatched and made a break for it; two out the back bridge, one out the front, and the original assassin (still glowing) up a tower.

The various heroes turned out to be quite adept and we quickly struck down one of the assassin on the back bridge. The other unfortunately made it into town and was lost in the buildings.

The one who ran out the front also quickly disappeared amongst buildings but the final assassin ran up the tower and dove off. A masterful shot stopped him dead in the water and he was fished out.

Meanwhile my clerical friend had stabilized Emyr and he was being tended to. A bit green from the poison on the bolt it appeared he was going to survive.

Much more exciting than your typical funeral procession.

The noble family and especially Emyr were very thankful and he decided to make us his honor guard for the trip to Gorna – the capitol of Gyruff. He intended to make his plea to be his father’s replacement as Arglwyth of Daden Bryd. We would have all expenses paid and be his guests as we traveled with a local caravan.

Things went smoothly until we came upon a creepy forest with an old hag gathering sticks. The forest had many people hanging, dead, starting to rot.

Knowing I had a way with women I approached and spoke to the old woman. She didn’t seem to mind us being there or traveling through the forest, and only indicated that “bad” people were the only ones in danger. Being good, upstanding folk, I figured we had nothing to worry about. As we proceeded through the forest that seemed to be the case. Despite the somewhat ominous start and creepy feel, there were no dangers.

We stopped for the night on the far side and managed to bag a boar for dinner. Someone even noticed a small hut at the edge of the forest and we went to investigate. The two old women inside again seemed a little creepy, but ended up trading a bit with us. They appreciated my music enough to give me a small life-like carved statue.

The caravan crew really wasn’t all that friendly and didn’t appreciate my music to aid their putting together the camp. These savages just don’t understand the value of good music and how it makes work easier.

We continued on through progressively rougher slowly rising terrain. Several small villages of Gnomes and Dwarves were encountered with a small amount of trading going on.

We confused some rather dim-witted orcs to let us pass for a paltry sum. The Wizard threw in further confusion by trying to explain higher mathematics to these simpletons.

It was cold, rough, and generally unpleasant during this part of the trip and we were all relieved when we came down out of the craggy hills and to a small steading. All I wanted was a few drinks and a warm bed. But they gave us neither.

I played some tunes during dinner and was quickly noticed by the wife of one of the family. She was a lovely young woman with auburn hair and green eyes that sparkled when she looked at me.

Now, I know I am irresistible, especially when playing and singing, but this woman could not keep her hands off me. She was so interested in my daring exploits and travels that we ended up talking long into the night. She all but dragged me to a quiet nook (farm women are stronger than they look).

In the morning her husband was a bit upset! I was simply an ear for her to bend and to talk out her problems and fears, but he clearly wanted to kill me! And he would not listen to reason despite our best efforts.

Still, I did not want to hurt the poor lummox, so even though he struck me with his axe (don’t worry, merely a scratch) I did not strike him down. Instead my brave compatriots restrained the poor misguided dolt and I said my goodbyes and wandered off.

By the next day we had reached Gorna, the lovely, bustling capitol of Gyruff. We said our farewells to the caravan and made our way to the castle.

The Chancellor, Bran ap Aeron, met us gruffly and out of hand denied Emyr’s petition to become Arglwyth of Daden Bryd. Shocked, we argued on Emyr’s behalf but even with irrefutable evidence the Chancellor would only agree to possibly make him a Brehyr someday.

Emyr was understandably depressed by this turn of events and went to drink himself into a stupor.

While most of the party went to the arena to blow off steam, I called in a favor to see what information I could gather. Amongst other things, it seemed that the Brenin was not himself after his wife’s death but did come to place flowers by her statue every dawn. This would give us a chance to talk directly to him and possibly get what we needed.

I caught up with the others at the arena – and also kept an eye out for the princess because apparently she frequented this part of town. We planned for the morning and went in ready to negotiate.

We met Rhys by the statue and through astute diplomacy managed to convince him of Emyr’s worthiness.

All were happy in the end and we partied for a day with Emyr, celebrating his successful rise to Arglwyth of Daden Bryd.

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