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Tuesday 8 October 2013

Dark Albion Timeline: 1464

(for the full details of this FREE campaign setting, which is system-neutral but was designed for a LotFP campaign, please see this thread on theRPGsite)

Dark Albion: 1464

Events in this year:

-Anthony Woodville is knighted by King Edward of York.  He is the brother of Elizabeth Woodville whom the King met the previous year and has begun to secretly court.

-John de Vere is pardoned for his father's previous treason and is granted his hereditary title of Earl of Oxford.

-Baron Tiptoff (the magister baron, nicknamed "the butcher" for his gleeful executions of lancastrians during his time as warden of the Tower of London) is now appointed Chancellor of Eire Land.

-In Arcadia, the Pontifex Pius II dies.  He is replaced by Paulus II (who was not a priest but a generous merchant of the city who buys his way into the pontificacy).

-The Battle of Hedgley Moor: 5000 troops under Lords Somerset, Roos, Sir Ralph Percy and the Magister Lord Henry Grey (an 8th level magic-user, who is an expert on summoning demons in battle) raise up a rebellion in the North; they are faced by John Neville (Baron Montegu) with 6000 men. Battle begins with archery exchange. Montagu marches across 1500ft of archery fire and the lancastrians are relatively rapidly broken when Roos' men scatter under his assualt; Sir Ralph Percy stays behind to fight and dies (his last words: "I have saved the bird in my bosom"); Roos is captured and executed. Somerset and Henry Grey escape.

-Lord Cobham dies of natural causes.

-The Battle of Hexham: 4000 men under Montegu (with the Earl of Wiltshire, younger son of the Duke of Buckingham) face the Lancastrian rebellion (led by Somerset, with Lord Hungerford) in the north, near Devil's Water Creek. Yorkists hit them hard charging down from higher ground and half the Lancastrian force (under Edmund de Roos) flees almost immediately; the other half are surrounded and many drown in the Devil's Water.  Somerset is captured and executed. Sir William Tailboys tries to escape with the Lancastrian war chest (containing over 2000 Pounds!), but he's captured and executed. Roos tries to escape but is captured and beheaded at Newcastle.

-Baron Montegu, for his honor in battle, named Earl of Northumberland (the traditional title of his family's enemies, the Percies); Lawrence Booth, who had once been the personal Cleric to the Lancastrian Queen Margaret, is now named personal cleric to King Edward for his loyalty and bravery in fighting the rebels.

-The Earl of Warwick has been engaged in prolonged diplomatic efforts to arrange a marriage between Edward of York and the Princess Bona of Lorraine; this alliance would end up creating a firm union between Burgundy, Lorraine, and Albion and would allow these nations to dedicate themselves to a war of extermination against the hated Frogmen (and thus the potential rescue of Albion's territories on the Continent).  Unfortunately, Warwick had not been informed that Edward has been secretly married to Elizabeth Woodville.  When he learns of this Warwick is livid, but is unable to prevent the young king from squandering the chance for a lasting alliance just to marry a woman of low birth.  It is the first time that Edward does not agree to Warwick's wishes.  Elizabeth Woodville is crowned Queen.

-Sir John Wenlock, along with Lord Hastings recaptures Dunstanburgh castle in the north from rebels.

In Our Campaign

This year in the campaign was spent fighting the battles of Hedgley Moor (where Lord Grey cemented himself as the NPC Wizard-nemesis of the party, once again having a demon wreak havoc over the Yorkist lines and once again the PCs are unable to catch him) and Hexham (where the PCs spent the better part of the battle trying to find Grey, who they assumed would be there but wasn't; only to find out in that process about the Lancastrian war chest, and then engage in a desperate rush to be the ones to capture it; for the King of course, but not before skimming quite a bit off the top).
In this latter battle the cleric PC became truly famous as the "Fire Cleric", for his tactic of casting resist fire on himself and his horse, dousing himself in oil and lighting himself (and his trained horse) in flames and only then charging with holy wrath at the rebel forces.

Various of the PCs got rewarded for their heroics in these northern rebellions, though none so much as Sir Henry Woodville who was made Warden of the Eastern Marches, quite a major title.  It no doubt helped that Woodville was the brother of the woman the King was secretly courting.

That brings us to the other element of the campaign year: that the PCs got to see first hand the intrigues of the Yorkist court; on the one side because of Sir Henry being a PC who is brother to Elizabeth Woodville (and got to see with some anxiety how the king was sneaking around to hang with his sister, and how his dad and older brother were desperately trying to manipulate the situation into a royal wedding, which they eventually got).  On the other side, because many of the other PCs are servants or agents of the Kingmaker, the Earl of Warwick, who they failed to warn about the affair quickly enough, and who they then got to see seriously failing for the first time in a decade of game time; not failing but with a backup plan, not failing but strategically, just totally sideswiped by a gang of people he barely considers above peasants (the Woodvilles are nobility but very low and fairly recent nobility).  And of course they got to see his absolute fury at this (perhaps more than he should have made evident to the King), and they could see that there was no way that Warwick would let this stand.  Many of them, including the PC playing Sir Henry Woodville, were fearing that more than one Woodville would be dead before this was all over.


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