Home Forums Medieval [Argad AAR] An Davarn Ruz (The Red Inn)

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    Avatar photoPatrice

    A game we played Sunday 31st October at “Tourc’h 2 rôles” RPG and miniature games festival in Tourc’h in south-west Brittany.

    The events take place c.1350 in a small village on the coast in the same area, during the War of the Breton Succession in the early HYW (some Bretons were allied with the French, others with the English). This whole area is broadly on the “montfortist” pro-English side but there may be exceptions.

    Player characters:
    — Marie Keranster, a female innkeeper and merchant. (Marianne)
    — Guy de Troussequin, a petty nobleman from Poitou in the kingdom of France. (Jean-Jacques)
    — Auffret du Cosquer, a petty nobleman of the pro-English side. (Ehouarn)
    — The Bastard de Quimerc’h, a petty nobleman of the pro-English side. (Nicolas)
    These last two characters already had many adventures since the beginning of this campaign.
    Marie Keranster can be followed by some peasants if she wants to, the three others can later take control of some troops of their own side (not on table yet). Other characters (including the Navarrese) are NPCs run by the GM.

    The game begins when a ship appears near the coast… then another one… then a third one… all coming from different directions and viewing each other with suspicion, none of them hoist a flag. Sand banks in the water block the small harbour till high tide (when they are slowly removed).

    A brawl happens at the inn, two army followers begin a quarrell with a peasant. The innkeeper fails to calm them, but when one of the men hits the peasant with a sword she draws a hidden dagger (which she seems to wield very well) and strikes him, he will never make trouble again.

    Cosquer and Quimerc’h (who were on the first ship) come ashore accompanied by an English knight, they came from Brest with him.
    Cosquer knows that this man will discreetly meet a French knight to talk about a peace agreement.
    Quimerc’h doesn’t know why this English is here; but himself has received a secret letter from a secretary of the king of Navarre telling that someone would secretly come to him in the village, although he never knew them before. (The king of Navarre, also count of Évreux in Normandy, was neutral at this time but more interested in countering French diplomacy in northern France than by Navarre) …and then the second ship deploys a standard of Navarre on top of its mast.
    Both Cosquer and Quimerc’h also know that the road through this village is important for commercial activity in this area.

    Troussequin disembarks from the third ship which sailed from Poitou, and a French knight with him who comes to meet the English knight. Troussequin has also brought small barrels of claret wine, as a nobleman he would not sell them himself but he would be very happy to find customers to order more from his small domain in Poitou. He has also been told that cutting traffic on the main road would hamper the pro-English economy in this area if the war goes on; all this is a bit contradictory but, as the others, he’ll do his best for his own interest and for his cause. He also notices that some pro-French soldiers seem to be sitting farther near the coast.

    A Norman knight from the Navarrese ship comes to meet Quimerc’h, they discreetly talk in the first ship. He tells him that the court of Navarre at Évreux has heard about his previous feats and understands that as a bastard son he needs the war to continue if he wants to rise in fortune. Quimerc’h agrees but still doesn’t understand. The man tells hims that the English knight comes to meet a French knight for a preliminary discussion about a peace treaty, preparing more important diplomacy later (Quimerc’h did not know this, his friend Cosquer did). The man says that the king of Navarre strongly disapproves such discussions, and would be generous if it failed for some reason. Quimerc’h is quick to say he will do something!

    Night will come soon. The English knight and the French knight both made reservations at the inn in advance, intending to sleep there and their companions with them. The innkeeper gives the largest house to the French, one of the small houses to the English. Everyone eats and drinks on the tables outside the inn, Troussequin generously gives some of the wine he brought, they all know that they are on opposite sides but as everyone seems calm it goes well. Quimerc’h makes sure that the English knight drinks heavily and asks him questions; as they sailed together and are on the same side the English knight quite trusts him, and confirms he will talk with the French knight on the following day. Quimerc’h then tries to convince his friend Cosquer that it would be a good thing if the discussions failed; but Cosquer, who had been ordered to escort the English knight, doesn’t want to hear that. Quimerc’h does not insist and decides to act separately.

    Everyone then goes to bed (I mean, the characters, not the players!) except the armed servant of Quimerc’h, ordered by his master to stay near the inn; Troussequin’s armed servant comes to join him. After a while the two men prefer to sit inside the inn… Then a man in dark clothes approaches, seizes a ladder on a nearby wall, puts it under a first floor window on the side of the inn, climbs, manages to open the window… he has luck he doesn’t make a noise and the men in the room are asleep (Troussequin fails two perception rolls, then awakes on the third roll). The man goes out the windows with blood on his dagger: the French knight has been assassinated!

    The murderer escapes in the night!

    A monk comes to pray near the corpse of the dead knight (the beds are not represented but we imagine them).

    Everyone seems very surprised by this crime. Troussequin is furious and walks out of the village with his servant and his crossbowman, he wants to join a party of French troops who are discreetly stationed near the beach. On his way he hears noises and voices talking in Breton and English: another troop is approaching in the dark! He runs just in time to avoid being caught by them. They are the men of Quimerc’h who were waiting in the area since a few days, Quimerc’h had sent a messenger to them in the evening to tell them to go to the field near the harbour to ambush the French knight the following morning on his way back (they don’t know he has just been killed).


    Avatar photoPatrice

    No more diplomacy, now they all need a good old-fashioned skirmish! At sunrise the pro-French Breton troop walks near the village to take position on the road.

    Cosquer’s troop, which was also hidden but on the other side of the aber, comes in view and enters the village.

    Quimerc’h joins his men who take position on the other side of the field they were in. Foot soldiers exchange arrows and xbow bolts without much results (the pro-French wall of pavises is too strong, and most of the pro-English have cover).

    Marie Keranster wisely orders the villagers and peasants to leave the village without interfering and to hide their belongings in the countryside.

    All the newcomers now begin to ask who owns the tower near the village (strangely enough no one asked before)… People say it belongs to an old esquire, hard drinker and without money, who loosely supports the pro-English side. Cosquer borrows a horse in the village and quickly rides to the tower, and tries to convince the old man to take side. The esquire is reluctant to agree, he has one crossbowman in his tower, after some discussion he tells him to shoot at the French, the first bolt misses voluntarily, the next one kills an enemy. Some pro-French soldiers then walk to the tower but one of them is killed by a stone dropped from the top, the others go back.

    The mounted knights charge against each other in two different places. Very bad luck for the pro-French knights who are defeated (including by mounted sergeants that’s very bad dice rolls indeed).

    Seing their knights defeated, the pro-French slowly recoil out of the place.

    Meanwhile, the Navarrese ship has sailed away. The French ship sails later, Quimerc’h then runs to the ship which brought him, now he wants to fight the French on sea. Some of his men brought on sticks two beehives they took in a field.

    The pro-English ship and the French ship come close to each other, the first arrows are devastating for the French, then the men of Quimerc’h throw the beehives, one falls into the sea, the other one on the French ship, but it’s almost not necessary the French captain surrenders.

    Explanation and results:
    — The Navarrese (NPC) had prepared two different ways to block the peace meeting: the reward promised to Quimerc’h, and an assassin they sent from their ship (unknown to Quimerc’h). The NPC assassin was lucky (secret rolls by the GM and perception rolls failed by Troussequin). If he had been captured he only spoke in Basque.
    (This scenario was very, very loosely inspired by real events: a project of peace was actually discussed in 1353-54, the king of Navarre was really upset about it, he had the Connetable of France Charles de la Cerda murdered in a brawl in an inn in Normandy in 1354).
    — Cosquer and Quimerc’h succeeded in defeating the pro-French troop. Quimerc’h was eager to attack to make clear that the peace discussions had failed. He will be secretly rewarded by the king of Navarre, if only because this skirmish where pro-French knights died makes almost impossible an effective murder enquiry in the village.
    — Guy de Troussequin, who stayed on foot because he had no warhorse with him, retreated with the pro-French infantry and is safe. At least he has hope that local merchants will order wine from his domain later.
    — Marie Keranster the inkeeper hears that her house is now nicknamed “The Red Inn” (in Breton: An Davarn Ruz) because of this murder …but it could as well attract more visitors. And she now has an address to order wine from Poitou, trade continues even in war time.

    Pictures above : Jean-Jacques, Nicolas.

    The story and more pictures from the Bastard de Quimerc’h’s (player) point of view (in French):

    The story and more pictures from Guy De Troussequin’s (player) point of view (in French):

    The story from the GM point of view, in French:


    Avatar photoRuarigh

    That sounds like a great fun game to play. I really like the diplomacy section before the start as a build-up to the more traditional action.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


    Avatar photoMike

    I meant to reply, sorry.
    Thanks for taking the time to post.
    It is an inspiration!

    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    Really really cool!  Especially as you had PCs on both sides.  Pretty bad day for the French though, losing both knights and their ship, that’s got to be expensive.

    Was there really a chance that the French Knight would have survived to talk peace?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Avatar photoPatrice

    Thanks guys. 🙂

    I really like the diplomacy section before the start as a build-up to the more traditional action.

    We try to have diplomacy in every game, but it also depends on the time to prepare it, and you never know how the players will act and react to each other.

    I meant to reply, sorry. Thanks for taking the time to post.

    Oh, you’re not compelled to reply to every thread. 😉

    Especially as you had PCs on both sides. Pretty bad day for the French though, losing both knights and their ship, that’s got to be expensive. Was there really a chance that the French Knight would have survived to talk peace?

    The French player had very bad dice rolls most of the time… The French knight could have escaped the assassination (die rolls) I actually thought the NPC assassin would be captured inside the room. That would have slightly changed the situation the following morning, as GM I would have stated that the French knight and the English knight started their discussion in the inn and forbade any fighting near the village. The skirmish would probably have developped farther on the edges, but anyway Quimerc’h had decided to ambush him on his way back to the ship (to make sure to earn the Navarrese reward) and this player is often effective in planning and doing such deeds…


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