The Journal of Gerrol

Campaign: The Iron Circle

Marked by Failure
Three days passed and Baronet Gerrol was outside the brig. He had spent three hours in conference with his officers and was weary that they did not seem to think it was an issue. The man was off duty. They didn't understand that Gerrol wasn't upset that the soldier didn't fight the barbarian, he was upset that he didn't go get help. There was a patrol in Marl and they could handled the situation. The soldier was dejected after being incarcerated for that long. Gerrol had interrogated him once, and it was true that he had known what was happening, but didn’t want to do anything because it was his night off.

It was raining outside as the soldier was walked to a small platform and he was strung to two poles by his arms. His shirt was removed and Baronet Gerrol addressed the assembled group:

“Men. I brought you here and trained you to protect Harkenwold. You must treat everyone in this area as if they are your family."

They all watched as the man took 5 lashes and he wailed the whole time. When it was done, Gerrol took off his own shirt and walked to the post. And announced in a loud voice: “I have failed as well. Would you let your sister be raped because it was your night off? No. I expect better of you. This man failed in his duty, and so we have all failed.” He looked at the whipmaster, "Please strike me until I make a sound.” The whipmaster looked confused, but eventually he began striking. After the 6th one Baronet Gerrol grunted and it stopped.

A new recruit stepped forward and helped Gerrol put on his robe. He walked across the stage and said “I have failed. I know that I would have made the same decision as he did." The soldier's sergeant stepped forward, "I have failed. I did not train him to love and respect those that we protect." It was a long 3 hours, but every member took at least one lash. After the whipmaster had taken an amazing 11 lashes without a sound, Baronet Gerrol shouted “Harkenwold is counting on us. We will be forever marked by our failure, but it is not who we are. We will not fail again!” the responding roar was deafening.
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Baronet Gerrol was doing paperwork when Ferris and Erdrick the Brewer entered his study. He raised an eyebrow questioningly and waited for them to begin.

Edrick the Brewer: “We had an incident last night at the local inn in Marl. We had an ‘adventurer’ *he spat* who drank too much and forced the innkeeper’s daughter in a room upstairs. When he came down he tossed some silver at him, started drinking again and passed out.”

Baronet Gerrol: “It was Trina wasn’t it?” They both looked away from him. “What else? You wouldn’t have both came if it was just that”

Ferris Fleetfinger: “At least three separate reports say that one of our soldiers was there and he didn’t do anything.”

Baronet Gerrol: “I assume he is in the brig?” His face heated as the anger welled up in him.

Ferris Fleetfinger: “Yes.”

Baronet Gerrol: “Have the men assembled in three days. All of them. Put militia or men from Harken at the checkpoints for the day. We’ll take care of the rapist today.”

They rode to Marl at a hard pace. His new war horse was fast and swift. He entered the village and a large hulking man who overtopped him by more than a head was chained to a post with three guards with aimed crossbows at him. Baronet Gerrol advanced toward him, dressed in fine robes, and his axe and shield. Most of the town had heard of his arrival and had come to see what would happen.

Before he could speak, the large man yelled “She was a fucking whore for God’s sake. 3 silver was way too much. Let me go you fucking weakling. You are pretty enough to be a woman, maybe I’ll take a turn with you.”

Baronet Gerrol: “So you choose to prove your innocence in combat? So be it. Return his weapons and Armor.”

Baronet Gerrol watched carefully as his opponent put his armor back on. The scale was kept in good repair, but it was obviously a mismatched set. The upper body/chest area was clearly masterwork, and possibly magical, but the lower body was of average quality at best. He nodded his head and they walked to a small area that would serve as the field of battle. The priest consecrated the area and the battle began.

The human clearly knew how to use his great axe and Gerrol approved. Briefly he thought about how Zevron or Drag'os would handle the situation. His mind smiled as he thought of a decapitated human with a dwarf standing over him kissing his biceps. The human moved in close and brought the axe around in an attempt to take his head off his shoulders. Gerrol lacked the raw power of Drag'os and the pure skill of Zevron, but he made for it with style. Gerrol dropped to a knee and took an instant to think, if he brought his axe down, the battle would be over, the human had over extended and was vulnerable, but this wasn’t about justice, this was about making a point. In an instant his robes changed to reveal a full set of platemail and he exploded from his knees upwards and his gauntleted fist went straight into the human’s codpiece. It hit with such force that he could feel the thin armor plate buckle and be shoved into his groin.

The human doubled over grunting and vomiting. Baronet Gerrol slipped behind him and kicked him and forced him to the ground, and kicked him in the back of the head. The human rolled over onto his back, and as Gerrol advanced, he grabbed one of his boots. Unfortunately, Gerrol was expecting that and he pivoted on that foot and brought his other down on the humans face and planted hard. More bones shattered as he got clear of the human. Baronet Gerrol walked over and kicked him again in the groin. He knelt by the human’s face and said quietly. “Trina was not a whore. And you are not a man.” Then he shoved a dagger through his eye.

The crowd was stunned and began cheering. Baronet Gerrol shouted “Let this be a lesson. I am the Defender of Harkenwold. Crimes of this nature will not be tolerated.” He walked over to Edrick the Brewer. “Please take Trina to the keep and have her taken care of. In a week if she wishes to return, she may. If not, give her a position in the keep. Sell that thing’s armor and weapons and split it between her and her father.”

Justice had been served here, but the hard part was yet to come.
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The Circle Continues
Baronet Gerrol's head throbbed from drinking too much the night before. He rummaged through some reports of bandits coming too close to his road.

So far they had only attacked people who had not paid their tolls, but he had confirmed that they were not from the group of bandits that he had.... arrangements with.

Gerrol called in Ferris Fleetfinger.

"Ferris, we have a situation, and I don't want to trouble our hired soldiers. Is there anyone at any of the inns in the area that appear to be mercenaries or adventurers?"

"Of course sir. I always keep track of that since they can cause trouble, especially since our inn-keepers like to jack up the prices when they are in town."

"Excellent, please send for them."

Baronet Gerrol got through some more paperwork and a few hours later and they were introduced. He tried to hide a smirk when they walked in. He remembered doing the same thing on so many occassions before, there were four of them and you could almost identify them by the way they walked and the equipment they wore.

The meeting was quick and efficient. For 20 gp and as much loot as they could carry they would take care of the issue for him. He wished them luck and wondered if they would survive and thrive like he had, or if they would perish as so many of his friends had.

Baronet Gerrol sighed and took a drink to make his head stop hurting and kept on pluggin away.
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Baronet Gerrol
So much had happened. The last year and a half of activity had brought so much change. Baronet Gerrol pulled out a flask of the hard stuff and drank half the flask, feeling the burning sensation spread through his chest.

9 months ago he had known for sure that his friends were still alive. One of his trading caravan leaders had brought word of a total shit-storm of a situation out in the east that had their names written all over it, but now he had heard news that truly troubled him.

Ferris Fleetfinger had been groomed as a perfect majordomo and had brought in a guest tonight. The Eladrin was perfectly groomed and wore his sword like someone who knew how to use it and introduced himself as Tamel the Traveler. After pleasantries he indicated that he had run into my friends and that thing had not gone well for them. While he hinted that his order was concerned with multiple planes of dimensions, he seemed very worried what would happen if this group did not succeed and told me when and where I would be able to find them.

Two hours and a trade agreement later, I knew that I was going to have to head out again. It was very inconvenient since he had just been raised to Baronet and was named heir to Baron Stockmer.

Baronet Gerrol shook his head as his fingers played with a letter confirming he was now betrhothed and a wedding would be held in the next year. He smiled thinking about his intended. She wasn't the prettiest, but she was smart and cunning. He had met her during a recent tournament that Baron Stockmer had suggested he attend, probably for the purpose of finding a wife.

He muttered... "The Feywild.... what a fuck up." Another quick drink and it was time to get ready.
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Meanwhile in Tor's Hold
Sir Gerrol took a big swig from his flask and grimaced. Erdrick’s latest concoction was bitter and strong. Gerrol tightened the flask and went back to looking at his reports. The past year had seemed to fly by, but his position was still perilous.

Gerrol was happy that he solved the first issue with Tor’s Hold by re-populating the area after the devastation of the Battle of Allbridge. Fleetfinger’s report showed that not only had all of the surrounding farm land been cultivated, but that he had even used up the entire allotment of land that had been granted to him that had been ruled by Allbridge. Gerrol made a note to speak to Baron Stockmer about getting more land. Allbridge was not recovering at the same rate and already Tor’s Hold was equal in population.

Gerrol knew that his advertising of no taxes for all crops grown locally would draw people in. Now the farmers sold all of their crops to three business owners who paid handsome fees for the right to store the crops and produce them, he also smiled knowing that Tor’s Hold had a treasury ten times as large thanks to his taxing of all exports, especially the Spirits made by Erdrick.

Gerrol knew that The Iron Circle was gathering strength, and he was not staying idle. Tor’s hold already had a martial background, but now he had a standing army of 50. 10 of which came from the elite of Fallcrest after the unnatural storm. Gerrol knew that he could field a militia of twice the size, but they would be ill-equipped and ill-trained.

Gerrol’s hand hovered over the two messages he had recently received. Who would have thought that he’d have marriage proposals so soon? Gerrol had acquainted himself will all of the noble in the Barony, and neither of these were from towns larger than his. One of them even adjoined lands and the Father had no living sons. Gerrol scrawled a note and moved on through the pile.

Gerrol looked at the costs for the fully paved road from Tor’s Hold to Harkenwold. Gerrol knew that having paved roads would increase trade. Gerrol wrote a letter to Baron Stockmer asking for some gold and labor to complete the project. He promised to patrol the road in the name of the Baron. Gerrol also scrawled a note to offer paid protection on the route to generate extra money and give something for his mercenaries to do other than squabble and get into fights.

Gerrol took one more swig from his flask and looked down at his burned hand. He had not heard from his friends in a long time and hoped that they were able to do something about the Iron Circle. Gerrol feared that Baron Stockmer was going to sit in his castle and wouldn’t fight until it was too late.
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Epic × 2!