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Thread: Sooo... that just happened (PKs moved to Cornwall)

  1. #1
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    Sooo... that just happened (PKs moved to Cornwall)

    Let me give you a bit of background first...

    In 500, the PKs decided to ally Salisbury with Cornwall, accepting Prince Mark's proposal to Countess Ellen, in order to get Cornish Army to fight off an invasion by Essex. Long story short, they ended on the wrong side of history, fighting against King Arthur and even Count Robert (who had been captured in earlier battle as a squire and then knighted by King Arthur himself, prompting the young man to switch to Arthur's vassal). Count Robert died in one of the battles, which left as the next heir his big sister Jenna, who had been married, surprise surprise, to the Praetor (Steward in the rulebook; we preferred a more Roman title, since steward sounded a bit too much like a manorial caretaker) of Levcomagus (since 495 the PKs had a brilliant idea of turning Levcomagus from an enemy to an ally by the marriage alliance).

    Anyway, in the Battle of Terrabil, the (other 5) PKs came within hairsbreadth of killing the Praetor, who was -3 HP when the only PK who had sided with Robert managed to drag him off the battlefield after knocking two other PKs out. But then, in a stunning upset, a young knight (he was just a nameless just-knighted knight at the start of the battle, but carries the working title of Sir Noob for now, until I can come up with a suitable name and background for him) in Praetor's eschille managed to drop the final two PKs thanks to 3 fumbles in a row by the PKs, and hence capture them all. The lone 'loyal knight' managed to parley his saving of the Praetor's life into sparing the other PKs, some of whom were his former friends. The decision was made easier by King Mark (who was elevated to the King of Cornwall thanks to the death of the other claimants in the battles, and bent the knee to Arthur in the aftermath), who offered double ransom for 'his loyal knights'. The 5 PKs were stripped of their Salisbury lands, but King Mark offered them positions in his household, with perhaps lands later on. The things are still a bit unsettled in Cornwall, after all the fighting and dying.

    So the focus of the campaign is moving to Cornwall instead of Salisbury, although I did talk with the players and since Mark is Arthur's vassal now, they will get the chance to participate in Arthur's Saxon Wars and stuff like that. So I am not too worried that I am going to have to throw GPC totally away by any means. I do have some ideas for a more local feel, too, but as always, it is nice to chat with fellow GMs and see if there are ideas worthy of borrowing.

    On the short-term, there might be some consolidation needed, but I think I will mostly handwave that away: King Mark is the rightful heir to the throne, he has proven himself as an able warlord to many of the surviving Cornish knights, and while he has been mostly absent from Cornwall for the last decade or so, he is bringing with him also a coterie of Cornish knights who served him in Salisbury, as well as the PKs, some of whom are rather high in Glory.

    For 514 - 518, I will probably focus more on what is happening in Camelot & the Saxon wars, which the PKs would participate in as King Mark fulfils his duties as a vassal. This allows also the one PK who stayed in Salisbury in Praetor's service to be in the same scenes/battles, too, making it a bit simpler for me to GM, and more fun for the player in question, too.


    TRISTRAM & MARHAUS

    Tristram is of course the second important character. I just notice that his stated birth year (501) is somewhat in conflict with how his story is presented:
    1) Year 522 has 'Child's Mercy', implying that Tristram is still a child, whereas he ought to be a grown man by then (20-21 years old).
    2) Year 529 sees Tristram take on Sir Marhaus in a duel, and it is said that 'the young knight' specifically knighted for this occasion. (Of course, in our campaign, I admit that I will be very surprised if NO PK will step forth to answer Marhaus' challenge, if they are still in King Mark's service. If they win against Marhaus, all fine and well. Heck, I will even let them usurp Tristram's role in the whole Isolt -triangle. :P If they lose, I will simply bump this event year down the line for Tristram to try in 530...)

    So counting back from 529, it seems much more likely that Tristram would have been born around 508-510, so that he would be, at most, 21 in 529. He is a prince, so it seems unlikely that he would not have been knighted at the correct age at the latest. In Malory, it is said that Meliodas remarries 7 years after the death of his queen in childbirth. The poisoning attempt happens after the stepmother has already had children with Meliodas. Also, it is stated that Tristram spent more than 7 years in France (Brittany in GPC) before returning to Cornwall to his father, i.e. to Lyonesse. The incident with Marhaus happens when Tristram is just 18, in Malory, which allows us to count back exactly to 511 as birth year, and the poisoning would have happened at the latest when Tristram is 11, so actually the 522 date would work, just that the birth year is off by a decade (typo?).

    Checking up on Tristram also allows me to start dating the Irish (Leinster) tribute: it is said that Cornwall is already 7 years behind on the tribute when Sir Marhaus is sent to collect it. So Cornwall must have been under the obligation at least from 522, possibly even earlier. However, in GPC the war between Leinster and Cornwall is implied to be in 524. I might put it to 519, when we have other Irish & Pictish attacks as well, and Marhaus arrives to Camelot in 520, possibly as an emissary for his brother-in-law, to keep King Arthur from jumping to Cornwall's aid. This would replace the Military Adventure in Ireland -plotline in GPC, since it is a bit harder to explain how Anguish is able to hold Cornwall to tribute if he needs help in Ireland, and attacking Cornwall later would be harder to justify why Arthur does nothing.

    One idea I am sorta toying with is King Mark deciding NOT to send his knights into the 'hopeless' Battle of Badon. This would nicely explain why Arthur would stand aside and let the Irish extract tribute from Cornwall. But it would keep the PKs away from Badon, which is not necessarily a good thing... I might split the difference, with Cornwall sending pretty much a token force, including the PKs, to let them participate in that grindfest, but at the same time upsetting Arthur enough that he would stand idle when Leinster invades, and making sure that he does demand a sizeable Cornish contingent (again, PKs included) for the Roman War.


    I may introduce some problem in Brittany with the bloodletting of Badon & the Irish invasion meaning that some of the Breton kings will throw off the Cornish overlordship. That might give the PKs a reason to campaign there. On the other hand, with the Roman War in the future, I might opt to hold off on the constant military campaigns and instead have the PKs do some more knightly adventuring, which they are probably due after the Saxon Wars. Also, chances are that the lone Salisbury PK has either died in the Saxon Wars, or the player switches to his Cornish brother-in-law, thus allowing for more focus on internal Cornish adventures to which his old PK would not have had any reason whatsoever to participate in (he sorta deserted then-Prince Mark to join up with Robert, so he would not be welcomed with open arms).


    Anyway, if anyone of you has any good ideas or suggestions, I am all ears.
    Last edited by Morien; 10-23-2017 at 08:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Wow, excellent swap! Actually Cornish adventuring sounds more interesting than many of the other options/satellite kingdoms of the era. King Mark is certainly a character, and one to rub the PKs the wrong way at the right time!

    In particular I like your plan for Mark to send just a token force to Badon. Sure, it's some of his highest-glory knights and their troops, so he thinks he's arguably ok. Arthur wants warm bodies and won't be amused, however. Mark may even order them to withdraw if it seems hopeless or they're too badly injured to continue.

    An alternative, depending on what Mark thinks he can get away with, is for him to secretly ally with the Bretwalda ala Netley Marsh, show up with his whole army, and make another go at taking out Arthur. That... would or could take the GPC off-track, which you might not want to do. It could certainly make the PKs the center of attention, again, and could give them a chance to switch sides and personally swear fealty to Arthur, disentangling them from Cornwall afterwards.

    Actually, regardless of how Mark approaches Badon, if the glorious PKs survive they may get substantial ex-Saxon lands from Arthur and he could have them swear themselves under himself as High King and King of Logres. That puts them into potential conflict with Mark (who would be jealous, plus any conflicting oaths) and gives them every reason to hang around Camelot regardless of what's going on in Cornwall. Arthur would want to do this to de-fang Mark and draw the best knights into his orbit.

    Regardless: very cool!

    --Khanwulf

  3. #3
    If going that route, I would say Mark should instruct his warriors to congregate on one flank only, do their best not to engage and let the Saxons and Arthur's troops go at it. He would prefer, I think, to have Arthur win, but be weakened to where his forces are now the strongest in the land. By making sure Arthur wins, he is doing his "duty" but, he then can compel Arthur to see his side of things on perhaps Salisbury. Then in another battle, claim another piece. And so on.

    Interesting idea, btw.

  4. #4
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    I think I will see what the PKs will be advising King Mark to do at that point.

    I might start the Irish raiding already right after Terrabil, as they sense the weakness with most of the Cornwall army dead on the battlefield. This would give the players more of a sense that they have their own worries to deal with, hence making it a more interesting choice than 'yeah sure, we will go and fight the Saxons, why not?'.

  5. #5
    Whats the latest news from the knights of Cornwall?

  6. #6
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    Alas, due to the RL, we have not actually continued the campaign yet. We should pick it up again during November, and I do have some ideas.

  7. #7
    Please keep us informed! It sounds very interesting!

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