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1623 Case of Monsieur Le Droit (Part Trois)

Having escaped poison the Cauldroneers send Joesph’s lackey Pierre to the Constable-General with a secret message. Maintaining the rouse that they and the Davide family have fallen foul of poison the adventurers are collected by a city death wagon and taken to a clandestine meeting with their employer, France’s premier lawman.

While the Davide family are farmed off to s sumptuous Gite at the state’s expense for the duration of their temporary demise it is decided to ambush the Red Brotherhood at their Graveyard rendezvous.

To this end Joesph lurks in the tree tops his bow ready. Jean crouches in a fresh dug grave hole with 6 loaded Savoy muskets and Antonine at his side. The Baron Sordeau has disguised himself as the Baron De Gras one of the conspirators.

6 City Guards with matchlocks or halberds are available to seal the two entrances to the graveyard when merde gets real.

When the conspirators arrive they each have two rapier armed guards – so The Baron Sordeau stands out like a sore thumb. As he exchanges accusation and counter accusation with the real Baron De Graz loses his temper and pulls a small pistol shooting our hero! Fortunately his shot in the flank is not serious and Jean ‘le fusilade’ De Griz who has been aiming at the Spanish Ambassador fires – blowing out a chunk of his forearm and disarming him.

There follows a flurry of action archery from Joesph stuns a Spanish swordsman enabling Baron Sordeau to draw and hold Don Salamanca at rapier point.

At this the French conspirators flee. Jean ‘power burns’ de Griz blows the head off Monsiuer Moulin the rival banker in the conspiracy while Antonine trips and incapacitates the read Baron De Graz. Jean then eventually on the second attempt hobbling the Chevalier Didone and the City Guard closing the trap.

Evidence was required and evidence was found :

  • Don Salamanca had a bill of exchange for 10,000 pieces of eight on him (40,000 Livre)
  • The Baron had plans for the forts on the Spanish Netherlands border
  • Monsieur Moulin had accounts that would have confirmed the artillery of the forts

Don Salamanca is returned to Spain under some experiment the Cardinal has agreed called ‘diplomatic immunity’ but the Baron De Graz and Chevalieur Didone are broken on the wheel for their treachery!

EPILOGUE

Celebrating their payment in their lodgings the adventurers respond to a knock on the door. It is the Lady Malfleur ! She congratulates on them on their recent service to France and gives them a word of warning – the poison in their case is well know to the Cardinal’s Agents – it’s the tool of a Spanish assassin Martin Pedrosa – a man known to be unhappy to be have been duped and leave work undone.

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1623 Monsieur Le Droit’s Secret (Part Deux) 

Investigating the scene of the crime the player characters visit the Eagle and Child a Tavern owned by the black cross club. Despite the protestations of the manager Monsieur Reber talking to a quick witted barman they are able to uncover (for a bribe) Le Droit was drinking with a Chevalier De Didone and he sells them the mugs they were drinking from. A consultation with their landlord & alchemist Anton Davide confirms both mugs contaminated with a slow acting poison. Suggesting Didone was immune. Didone’ residence is confirmed to be on the Rue St Michel not far from the Brother Vittoria Bank.


Staking out Didone confirms he runs many pointless errands about town and then has s meeting at the bank with 3 August gentlemen bearing scarlet handkerchiefs 

  • Don  Salamanca the Spanish ambassador 
  • Baron De Gras , a obese libertine noble
  • Monsieur Moulin, head of the Paris Branch of the Brothers Vittoria 

Consulting with their employer the Constable of France he is able to confirm Moulin is investing in new French forts being built opposite the Spanish Netherlands and De Graz is overseeing the construction. Obviously French secrets are being passed to the hated Hapsburg but there is no concrete evidence yet.


Baron Sordeau and Jean De Griz surmise that De Didonne is their courier and tailing him on subsequent days intercept messages in the cypher partially decided by Le Droit. Breaking the code they see the conspiracy are too meet in a graveyard at night. 

As the players eat in their lodgings they narrowly escape being poisoned – Baron Sordeau noticed the metallic smell around the vittals. They also save Davide’s family from meeting the same fate – but regretfully not the family dog. A knife sharpener visited the house – someone knows of their activities ! 

The games afoot ! 

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1623 Monsieur Le Droit’s Secret (part un) 

The Cauldroneers are requested to assist Constable General Chevalier de la Tour de Vezelay , the Chief Lawman of France. The Archduke de Mainz  has recommended the adventurers after their Italian adventure to help the Constable with a tricky case. 


The Constavles key agent Marcel Le Droit has been assassinated in the midst of uncovering a high ranking conspiracy against France.  The newly ennobled Baron Remi, Jean de Griz, Joesph and Antoine are to take up the case, uncover the conspirators build a strong case and deliver them to justice.


They start inspecting the decomposing body of Le Droit and his affects finding an address for a banking house, a code key, a red handkerchief and the street address at which he is despatched.

Next week ! The scene of the crime ! 

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The man behind the mask (part cinq) 

Having sorted medical attention after their altercation with the Horse Guards the Cauldroneers call into an Inn by Auxerre before the last step of their journey back to Paris and the Archduke De Mainz

A flustered Lady Malfleur


The only rooms in the Inn are taken by the alluring Lady Malfleur and her maids who waylaid by ruffians in a suspiciously familiar red coach are only two pleased to see the big strong Cauldroneers and appeal to them for company and protection. 

The Lady Malfleur ‘s maids


While Joesph is all ears, Antoine more interested in gambling the worldly Jean de Griz and Chevalier de Remi are more suspicious. The Chevalier takes the offer of a rest in her Ladyship’s boudoir while she plays cards with Antoine.

Searching he finds she has poison, hollow daggers and grenade – he also spies a gentleman and two ruffians having waylaid the parties servants and sacked the Archduke’s coach advancing on the Inn.  

There follows a mighty brawl. Joesph blocks the back door and fences with the gentleman – the Baron D’Lle-de-Batz. He delivers powerful blows but the mighty Baron does not fall. 

The Baron


Jean exchanges fire with the ruffians – later revealed to be cardinals guards.  Antonine hurls brandy bottles at the acrobatic and razor sharp card hurling Lady Malfleur until she is stopped a Jean bullet to the arm at which point she and Antoine are reduced to brawling.

The Chevalier and Jean get embroiled duelling with dagger wielding maids of Malfleur dispatching them they are they fencing the Cardinals guards as well.   

Eventually Antonine gets the better of Malfleur on calls on her to yield. She does but a her warrant from Cardinal Richielieu persuades the player party to let her and her henchmen go on good terms.


Returning to the gold masked Archduke De Mainz they handover the Da Vinci manuscript which remarking ‘ yes a device who’s time has not let come..’ the Archduke casts in the fire.

Grateful for their service he offers each adventurers a reward of money, position or favour – which will each choose ? 

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Why wait till New Year: the 100kg Grogmeet 2018 challenge 

I really enjoyed Grogmeet on 10-11 November 2017 and the year before.  A lovely time playing table top RPGs. However I also plateau bench pressing at a measly 67.5kg (148.5lbs.)  As I’m 6’4″ and 250lbs that’s not very good at all. Other lifts I’ve seen better gains (I deadlift 130kg, barbell row 90kg for instance)  but benching is sticky. 


Last year I set loads of fitness goals and achieved very few. This year I’m going to commit to one I will bench 100kg by Halloween 2018 or I will not allow myself to go to Grogmeet 2018. I have a fellow gym goer in work to act as a commitment partner (nag.) I’m sharing this on here and with my team in work. 

I’ve set a plan benching Mondays and Fridays (StrongLifts A routine with a B routine Wednesdays.) I will support this by getting a bench and weights at home for days I’m not in Liverpool where my gym is.  Father Christmas is getting me micro plates so I can break through plateaus. On due days I cannot bench (say if traveling) I will press up to failure to build similar muscles. I have researched issues of technique (thanks YouTube) and am addressing those. 

Still much room for improvement


I will Share progress monthly using social media and talking to colleagues in work gym. 

I will track progress towards the 100kg goal using a spreadsheet. 

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Flashing Blades: The Man behind the Mask (part quatre) 

With Antoine and Chevalier Remi in the lead the characters head north having earlier made much play of sending a (false) scroll by mail coach only  to be be pursued by a dozen carabiners of the Colonel St.Giron’s Horse Guards outside Grenoble. 

Steering their carriage into a ruined chateau the players take to its tower with Jean de Griz and Perdu firing muskets and Joesph his bow at the cavalry charging up the hill. The remainder of the party being no marksmen load the plentiful muskets which include those looted from Signor Brandi’s party.


Their musketry dispatches several riders but the canary ride on dismounting when they’re path into the chateau is blocked by the Archduke D’Mainz’s carriage and return fire downing Perdu with a graze to the temple. 

While Joesph starts to fire Signor Brandi’s grenades down with the stolen crossbow Antoine and Remi draw their swords and defend the carriage as Carabiners try and climb round.


DISASTER! Carabiners kick grenades into most or stamp out the fuses which are too long. Remi and Antoine fall victim to lunges from their opponents – the Chevalier wounded in the arm dropping his sword and Antoine lamed by a being impaled through the thigh. 
The Chevalier drags his injured colleague up the outside stairs of the tower as the enemy pours through the entrance to the Chateau.  Antonine try’s to throw rubble but loses his footing and has to be pulled up by his knightly friend while Carabiners take pot shots. 


Reaching the top the Cauldroneers are outnumbered by 6 cavalry, out gunned and without food – they parley and persuade St.Giron’s men they that the ‘wonder weapon’ scroll is on the mail coach. Just in time to avoid a strip search.  The Cavalry look to loot the parties horses but are bribed by the player party providing a letter to get the mail coach to release the (decoy) parcel to them.

While this goes on Remi and Antoine find and unexploded grenade which they light and with distractions leave in the Horse Guards saddle bags. It’s explodes downs the road killing 2 of the surving 6 riders and scattering the rest. 

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Deva Pendragon: Year 499 The Year of the Three Invasions 

While still winter the player knights hear from Friar Stephen of Cameliard  (via messengers Sir Alfred and Sir Bruce) the location that Sir Gregory of Stafford, turned satanist is torturing their friend Sir Gilmere. Sir Anerin, Sir Hannibal, Sir Gato, Spurius and Mathuin ride to the rescue. 


Sir Renauld and Sir Piran stay in Chester to see the City suffer a surprise attack by an Irish armada sailing up the Dee having sank the Cheshire fleet. Steadying the defence Piran, custodian of King Pellinore leads the former King of Norgales out to suffer one of his ‘battle sanitys’ that gives Sir Renauld and other riders a chance to break out the seige. Sir Renauld orders the swords of Cheshire to muster at Caveley while he rides to enlist the aid of King Rhyons of Norgales, Dux Randle’s leige – who has offered Renauld a daughters hand in marriage. 

Sir Piran rides with King Pellinore who on breaking the Irish line hears the Questing Beast and pursues it into the Wirral. There are attempts of ambush by Monro, last believed dead and her minions attempting to capture both King and Questing Beast. Most seriously Sir Piran has to battle a green giant knight which he beheads but simply laughs and recovers its head. Through fleet footedness he manages to escapes the machinations of Monro with his charge – but not before learning the reason Pellinore pursues the beast – it his wife – cursed by some action by King the guilt causing his lunacy. 


Meanwhile in Stokesay Sir Gilmore suffers sundry tortured at the hands of Sir Gregory and the brothers Cerebus while the rescue party ride. The rescue happens in the face of the Brothers Cerebus,  Sir Gregory’s mercenaries and the hated Wizard Silenus last seen leading cultists around Oswestry.  Sir Anerin dispatching the Brother Cerebus. Sir Gregory being away with the wars escapes their vengeance.  Sore from their wounds they ride North.

Sir Renauld aware of Sugales and Cameliard invading from the south in alliance with the Irish. He is unable to entreat King Rhyons to ride against Sugales in Winter but marrying the Princess Blonwed persuades the cannibal to unleash his javelin raiders on Sugales ally Orofoise. He does so with a heavy heart aware of the savage ways of the raiders.  Riding under a flag of truce for the Sugales-Orofoise army besieging Malpas he informs them of the raid and with bitter threats the Orofoise contingent returns to defend farms & families. 


The rescue party passes by the besieging forces discovering they are able to campaign in winter thanks to carrying stores of Logres grain. They rest a little at Sir Gato’s manor Crewe by Farndon and then travelling to Cavaley to join the Cheshire Army  witnesses a council between the Irish and Sugales Kings. Kidnapping foraging Squires they find Sugales is relying on further supplies bought from the Franks and shipped to Chester but now sitting in Irish hands as the City did not fall to the lightening attack.  Sir Renauld joins his comrades and they all join the Army at Cavaley and ride to relieve Chester and seize the grain. 

Smashing the Irish on the east bank of the Dee they have to raise swords to force their way through the liberating Cesterians to engage the Irish on the West. Sir Piran joins his brother knights having ridden to the sounds of battle. While they break through their efforts to sweep away the Irish leadership are blocked by a counter charge of the knights of Red Branch and then a steadied Irish spearwall. The surviving raiders escape up the Norgales coast. 

The remainder of the year Sir Anerin and Mathuin clear the north Wirral of Irish raiders. Sir Hannibal, Sir Gilmere and Sir Gato besiege the Sugales forces who occupied Malpas while Sir Renauld and Sir Piran lead counter raids again the Cameliardians who have ravaged east Cheshire all this year in grim ambush and counter ambush. 

The year ends on a bitter note as freeing Malpas from the Sugales yoke the men of Chester seeing their Norgales allies pouring a broken and bent river of human misery from Orofoise to Dinas Bran for King Rhyon’s pleasure and profit. 

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