Encounter at Farside - Interview at the Inn
rating: 0+x

By HoratioAtTheBridge

Interview at the Inn

The adventure begins with Ever-Blooming Lotus already in the Inn's common room with Sweet Soybean Pod, one of the local pig farmers. Nellens Herren is eating his breakfast, rather annoyed at being interrupted for something as prosaic as some missing pigs. The other player characters are also present. Kyushin is standing at attention, observing the whole thing, while Iron Shirt is sitting at a table with his men trying not to get involved. Eagle Talon and Bloody-Handed Shen are eating with Iron Shirt's men, as these auxiliaries have integrated somewhat with the troops.


Nellens Herren - Use the Young Dragonblooded QC for this character

Nellens Herren is a Wood-Aspect Dragonblooded and the commander of the scale of Realm troops dispatched from Nasaru Redoubt to investigate the Fae. He is a client of Nellens Rombulac, the Satrap of Greyfalls, and was given the position more as a favor from his patron than as any reflection of his skill. He is only distantly related to Nellens Rombulac, but House politics insist that all members of the House take the same surname as a sign of solidarity. Herren does not wish to be involved in combat and is has worked up a fair amount of anxiety about the Fae. It's his fondest wish to not find them so that he doesn't have to do anything about them. The only thing stronger than this fear is his fear of losing his reputation and having his career derailed. He has the following intimacies:

Defining Principles: The Dragonblooded Bestride the Earth (i.e., Pride in Station)
Defining Ties:
Major Principles: This Uniform Makes Me Look Good (i.e., Military Service is a Tool for Advancement), Cowardice, Sloth, and Indulgence
Major Ties: Nellens Rombulac (Loyalty to Patron)
Minor Principles: The Problems of These Peasants Annoy Me
Minor Ties: The Immaculate Faith (Social Expectation), The Fae (Fear)

Sweet Soybean Pod - Use the Brigand QC for this character

Sweet Soybean Pod is a surly old pig farmer from Farside with a highly lucrative side business in hunting truffles for trade outside the village. He and Half-Ear have a long running feud which no-one (including the participants) remembers the root cause of. They can both list a long list of more recent grievances that keep the feud going, however, such as poaching favorite truffle spots or letting that darn dog loose to terrorize my poor pigs. The feud has been mostly low key up to this point, however, and most people would say that the two old farmers really care about each other under their curmudgeonly exterior. Theft and the assault of King Truffle Snuffle would step things up to a new level. Sweet Soybean Pod is ready to kill or at least maim his rival at this point.

Defining Principles:
Defining Ties: Half-Ear (Love to Hate)
Major Principles: Complaining
Major Ties: King Truffle Snuffle (Love and Pride), Children and Grandchildren (Love)
Minor Principles: Pride in Truffle-Hunting Expertise
Minor Ties: His Herd of Pigs (Pride in Ownership)

Presenting the Problem

Ever-Blooming Lotus nudges Sweet Soybean Pod to lay out the facts: Several of Sweet's pigs have gone missing and his prize pig, Lord Truffle Snuffle, was severely injured. The hog is now curled up under the porch, refusing to let anyone near to help with its wounds. Sweet is very worried that Lord Truffle Snuffle is going to die, as well as about the missing sows and piglets. Sweet believes that his neighbor, Half-Ear, tried to steal the Lord Truffle Snuffle, but Lord Truffle Snuffle resisted. He knows because there was a lot of squealing in the night, and by the time he ran out there was a big churned up mud spot with a lot of blood in it, and a broken spear stuck in the ground. Good old Lord Truffle Snuffle gave as good as he got! (at this point Sweet might need some time to compose himself). Sweet was getting his family together and getting weapons to go and hunt Half-Ear down - the jerk isn't at her house, and all her pigs are gone too. There's a big bunch of tracks going into the forest, so Sweet figures that his rival was heading out there to hide her wrong-doing.

For Ever-Blooming Lotus's part, they saw Sweet getting ready to put together a lynch mob, so quieted things down by suggesting that the dispute be brought to the attention of the soldiers. It's dangerous in the woods with the Fey about (and the soldiers are less likely to kill Half-Ear out of hand).

Herren's first response is to roll his eyes. "The Realm did not send us here to chase pigs and solve quarrels between peasants."


Passive Check

Have all players roll Perception + Awareness while Sweet Soybean Pod is presenting his case.

Basic Success (1+) - Sweet has the broken spear with him (probably intending to return it to Half-Ear violently).

Exceptional Success (5+) - This is an unusual spear, made of bone rather than iron, yet it is not chipped or worn the way an improvised spear might be after stabbing a pig repeatedly.

Cursory Inspection

If the players ask about the spear, they can get more information with a roll of Intelligence + Craft, Investigation, or War.

Basic Success (1+) - They get the same information as for the Exceptional Success on Awareness, that this is a bone spear that is not chipped or worn as might be expected after being used in combat.

Detailed Inspection

If the players ask for the spear and investigate it in detail, taking at least five minutes, they can get more information with an Intelligence + Craft, Investigation, Occult, or War roll.

Great Success (3+) - This is a Fae weapon!


The main thing to do is to convince Nellens Herren to intervene. Sending some troops to deal with the situation only requires a Minor Intimacy to justify, but he's not really inclined to muddy his hands dealing with peasant matters. Any of Herren's Intimacies can be used to convince him to look into the matter, though his Minor Principal of Annoyance is applied against any effort to gain his aid, increasing his Resolve by 1. However, appropriately worded arguments can even turn that into a boost - perhaps something along the lines of "if you just do this little thing, the problem will go away and you don't have to think about it anymore." Note that Herren has no real intimacies toward duty or the welfare of the people, so any arguments pitched towards those ideals will automatically fail.

The players may be able to pick up from the description some idea of Herren's intimacies and pitch arguments appropriately. The ST is encouraged to ask players why they think their argument will be persuasive, then have them roll on Perception + Socialize against Herren's Guile to see if they can confirm whether or not Herren has that intimacy. Note that they can make the argument even if they can't confirm the intimacy, and the intimacy applies whether they confirm it or not, but this will get them in the habit of sizing the NPCs up for suitable motivations. After this, players may roll Charisma + Presence or other social skills as appropriate to make their case. If the players fail, they may try again. They cannot appeal to the same intimacy, but they may appeal to some other intimacy.

Players may also resort to bribery to secure Herren's help, or attempt to Instill an Intimacy. Herren might not help because of duty, but he might as a favor to his friend Ever-Blooming Lotus. Performance is another way to Instill intimacies, though it is not possible to control what Intimacy is instilled. Orating on duty or honor can be resolved as a Charisma + Performance roll, or preaching a sermon on the duties of the Dragonblooded under the Immaculate faith might be resolved the same way.

Note that bringing up the spear's provenance actually makes things Herren less likely to help. See the Special Note below.

If the players convince Nellens Herren to help, he assigns Iron Shirt's fang to help with the investigation. If they fail to secure his help, the players may investigate on their own, but Iron Shirt may not bring his men in any official capacity.

Special Note

Herren is afraid of the Fae and does not want to actually find them. Once the players bring up the possibility of Fae, he refuses the first successful argument they make by spending a Willpower on a Decision Point based on his fear of the Fae. He masks it as contempt for the problems of the peasants, but a successful Read Intentions action will reveal his true motivations.

If the players recognize the spear as being of Fae make and use it to push their argument, Herren grows angry. He snatches up the spear.

"The Realm is not going to waste its time traipsing around the woods just because some pig farmer ties a tusk from one of his filthy animals to a stick!" He slams the spear on the table. "I am a Prince of the Earth, and I will not waste any further time," he growls, and lets a bit of essence leak into his anima. Flickers of green energy twine around the spear, scarring it. "Leave. Now."

In addition to spending Willpower to refuse the request from the PCs, Herren employs an Intimidation check against everyone in the room. This is at -3 dice for addressing a crowd, but Herren is spending essence to boost it. He rolls a total of 7 dice. Anyone who has a Resolve lower than his successes must scurry away. Everyone develops a negative Minor intimacy related to Herren because he used an Intimidation action to get his way.

It is unwise to continue to push the point at this point even if the player characters do resist the Intimidation attempt. Continued arguments by the members of the Realm expedition would not be considered insubordination, which is a punishable offense, and Herren will use force to eject Ever-Blooming Lotus if they continue to bother him.

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