(note: for those who are new to the blog and/or to "Dark Albion", it is the sprawling megacampaign of LoTFP I've been running for the past three years; it is set in a fantasy version of England during the War of the Roses. You can check out the full background and setting material, and the rest of the timeline, all for free at this glorious thread here)
Dark Albion Update: 1463
- In Wallachia, Prince Vlad's own brother, Radu Bey, betrays him and most of his nobles to the Turk; Vlad is defeated in battle and presumed dead. Radu Bey now rules over Wallachia as a territory of the Turk. The Turk expands as far as Herzegovina.
-Baron Scrope and Sir Robert Harcourt are made Knights of the Star. John De La Pole is restored as Duke of Suffolk (he's married to King Edward's sister). The aristocratic magister Baron Tiptoff, who is already constable of the Tower (for which he is nicknamed "The Butcher") is made Steward of the Royal Household.
-Sir John Neville (Baron Montegu) becomes Chief Steward of Durham and Warden of the Northern Marches.
-Edward IV meets Baron River's daughter Elizabeth Woodville while on his tour. He is immediately smitten with her.
-The Duke of Somerset switches allegiances back to Lancaster, taking his forces north. In Berwick, Henry De Gray becomes the Lancastrian Magister-Royal.
-William de Neville, Earl of Kent, dies of natural causes. His son Thomas ("the bastard") is made Lord Falconberg at age 13. William was commander of the Knights of the Star (for York), and is replaced in that position by Henry Bourchier.
-Lord James Berkeley ("the just") dies of natural causes. His son William de Berkeley (aka "William Wassail" becomes Baron Berkeley.
-Pontifex Pius II prohibits the enslaving of converts.
In The Campaign
This was in some ways a politically slow year on the surface; but of course it marks a crucial moment in the history of Albion, when King Edward of York first meets Elizabeth Woodville. The first part of the year's activity was spent by the PCs, in their capacity as agents for the Lieutenant of the North, discovering and exploring the Pod Caverns of the sinister mushroom men. It was a dungeon my players were initially enamoured with but eventually that feeling soured as the the module went on too long and felt too repetitive.
In our campaign, one of the Players (who had been lucky enough to get a minor-noble social status) was playing Sir Henry Woodville, younger son of Baron Rivers and brother to Elizabeth Woodville. In our game he was the one who, accompanying the King in his progress, suggested they go to his home estates, causing King Edward and Elizabeth to meet. It played in the campaign a little bit like a romantic comedy; with her initially hating the king (her deceased husband had died fighting in the war for the other side, after all), and him desperate to get her to like him. Amusingly, Sir Henry's player didn't initially understand what was happening, and later (not knowing anything of the history of all this) found himself in what he thought was the unenviable position of trying to avoid the king's ire while at the same time preserve his sister from becoming a mere mistress. Fortunately, he did something smart and went to his father for advice, who started manipulating the situation to the Woodville's favor.
I believe it was at the end of this session that someone first exclaimed about King Edward, the famous line "Oh shit, he's Robb Stark!"
Finally, the game year ended with the PCs having to go off to Bristol to rescue an NPC friend and sometimes-teammate of theirs, Smiley the Scot, who having fallen into grave debts and fled for his life, had a bounty put on his head by the foremost criminal gang in Albion, the moneylenders of the Burgundian mobster, Gilbert de Hutt. By the time the PCs found out about it, he had already been betrayed and captured (by famed bounty hunter Robert Fett) and transported to de Hutt's underground palace, so it was up to the PCs to trick their way in and save their friend. This adventure was played much more for laughs than just about any other in the campaign, the whole thing being one big RotJ sendoff, but the players seemed to enjoy the break from vile darkness and court intrigues.
Currently Smoking: Ben Wade Canadian + Image Latakia