After your last job, the local Thane has grown interested in your achievements. You receive an invitation to dinner with him. Thane Rickard Dunn lives in a well kept manor. You are shown to a luxurious dinning room: There is a wide assortment of dishes and entrees for you to try on a beautifully carved mahogany table. Thane Dunn is a middle-aged strong man with reddish straight hair resting on his shoulders. “I have heard a good deal about you, adventurers” his low pitched voice reverberating in the chamber. “I need a group of determined people to escort my accountant to the king.”
Thane Rickard Dunn wishes to pay his land’s dues to the crown. The harvest of the season has just finished and the king awaits the payment of taxes. Bands of brigands know this perfectly and await by the roads to mug accountants, messengers and anything that resembles “official”. Often the dues are paid in gold so there is a lot to win or lose. This mission is scalable for any level, it is the traveling itself that is challenging. The Thane can arrange for a percentage of the values transported as reward for the PC’s.
This new town (insert name) looks peaceful and quiet. Hardworking townsfolk meander through the streets and plantations working endlessly. A man in silver armor rides towards you, he pulls the reigns to position his horse sideways, blocking the road. You can tell by his clothing that he is no peasant. “Welcome travelers, I am Sir Jonned Arlington. You can stay the night at the old inn down this road. Stay a day or two, and be on your way. We offer you our hospitality, however, we do not like foreigners, as soon as you are rested, be on your way.”
Sir Jonned Arlington is the son of Lord Arlington, who is very sick and close to dying. As his heir, he is making sure his lands are safe. He doesn’t tolerate the presence of strangers for long. If necessary, he can assemble a militia of 30 townsfolk, armed with scythes and farm forks. Himself and Sir Denis, the master-of-arms can lead this militia.
As you are being escorted to the city guard’s keep, you wonder why you didn’t do things any differently. The guards take all your stuff and leave you waiting in a small chamber with a desk and enough chairs for all of you. After ten minutes the door opens and a man in breastplate enters. Short black hair, trimmed moustache and fine clothes under his armor. He is Sir Donal Waff, chief of the city guard. “Oh by the gods, you’ve been arrested and if I wish so, might spend a very long time rotting in a cell. Fortunately for you, I have a good eye for feisty warriors.”
Sir Donal Waff has many responsibilities as Guard’s chief. But some of them have to be done without staining his name. In exchange of a pardon, Sir Waff will ask the PC’s to look for a brigand’s settlement supposedly located in a nearby forest. They are overly daring and feel protected because the son of a local noble is working with them, it makes them feel immune to the law. If the brigands are exterminated the better. After this quest, the PC’s will be asked to leave town to tie loose ends.
After performing that last job, word has spread in town that a group of helpful travelers are aiding the townsfolk. A messenger delivers a letter with an invitation to court. All the noble families were invited to House Darlett’s keep for a socialité night. You spend the evening talking with important people, playing cards and dice games and enjoying the best food. The host, Lord Anfer Darlett, promptly interrupts the party to say something, everybody shuts up. “Good evening to you all, my beloved guests. Know that, as always, you are welcome to Darlett’s keep.” Lord Darlett drinks and everybody else does too. “As protector of these lands, I am pleased to officially introduce a group of travelers that recently arrived to our town. You know who I am talking about, surely. Please welcome them warmly.”
Everybody drinks and applauds, the keep’s steward prompts you to stand up and approach Lord Darlett, who is sitting in his throne-like chair. When you are in front of the Lord, the steward gives you an indication that you should kneel. It is then that you realize that you have been set up. You are expected to pledge loyalty to House Darlett, and everyone who is someone is here to see it.
Lord Darlett decided to do this to gain powerful followers. He has done it several times in the past. In reality he is a fair Lord, and being forced into his service can be seen as a good thing depending on who you are and what are your expectations. If the PC’s refuse to kneel there will be conflict. Good roleplaying and a Persuasion check (DC16) or Intimidation check (DC 18) will let them out of this situation. Otherwise, Lord Darlett will order their arrest.