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3/06/2019 9:59 am  #1

Princess Clodagh

I ran a BoL game last weekend – a 1 player game for my wife set in 11th Century Ireland, were she plays an Irish princess who hunts down Viking raiders. Actually that was the way it started, but by this 6th Princess Clodagh game things have got a bit more complicated – Clodagh made the mistake of getting involved in dynastic politics!

In the previous game, Clodagh had volunteered herself to go to the Viking town of Wexford and assassinate King Donnchad’s half-brother, Prince Tadc, who had just tried to assassinate Donnchad. (King Donnchad is Clodagh’s king, and rules Limerick.) In a tense game Clodagh succeeded in her mission, killed Tadc, and managed to escape by the skin of her teeth.

Now she and her ship’s crew resting out the winter in Limerick, but Clodagh is now seen as an embarrassment by King Donnchad and has been made to give up the rooms in his palace and move down to the dockside, close to her men. (The gratitude of royalty!) The King’s councillor, an old priest, even visited her had suggested that she should take the veil to atone for her sinful life.

Angered by the priest’s suggestion, Clodagh retired to bed with her right-hand man and lover – a runaway monk turned pirate called Donan. While sleeping she had a dream of the pagan Irish goddess the Morrigan (the PC has the boon Prophetic Dream, and has dreamed of the Morrigan before). In the dream the Morrigan showed Clodagh in combat with the Jarl of Wexford, and she was losing! She awoke just as the Jarl’s axe was about to split her head.

The next day, she was approached by a Norse witch who warned that the Jarl of Wexford – outraged at the offence to his hospitality by murdering Tadc in his longhouse – had arranged for an assassin to kill her in Limerick. The assassin was an Irishman hired in Dublin. The Christian Norse of Limerick were uneasy at the pagan witch being in town, and a Norse friend urged Clodagh to not trust a word the witch – Snofrid – said.

Suddenly word arrived that the Jarl of Wexford was harrying the coast of Dal Cais (where Clodagh was born and raised), burning villages, stealing livestock and enslaving people. King Donnchad ordered his half-brother Prince Fiann to sail down the Shannon to the coast with as many ships as were ready, to fight the vikings. He especially asked Clodagh to sail with the Fierce Raven (oh, now he want’s her service!) While getting her ship, the Fierce Raven, ready to sail, the hired assassin struck but Clodagh killed him with ease.

The Irish flotilla sailed down the Shannon to the coast.The Viking fleet had scattered into smaller groups to cover as much of the coast as possible, and the Irish ships likewise scattered, in search of the Vikins. Clodagh led a group of seven Irish galleys in search of some raiders – she found them. The Irish made short work of the four longships – killing many of the crews, subduing others and also freeing captives. Then a large longship sped down on the Fierce Raven. It was the Jarl of Wexford. Soon Clodagh was locked in combat with the Jarl – and things got weird. 

The dice rolls echoed the prophetic dream I had made up for Clodagh.

She rolled rubbish and the Jarl rolled superbly and Clodagh was losing the fight! As a devout Christian, Clodagh called on Jesus – and still rolled rubbish. Then in desperation she called on the Morrigan – and rolled a legendary success and killed the Jarl! (This was, frankly, rather unsettling!)

The game wrapped up with Clodagh being invited to a clandestine meeting with King Donnchad’s estranged mother, where Clodagh swore to protect the King’s life under his mother’s secret direction.

And then the Irish discovered that the late Jarl’s psychopathic son has got behind their ships with the bulk of the Viking fleet, and is sailing up the Shannon to attack Limerick. (To be continued.)

Last edited by Gruntfuttock (3/06/2019 10:02 am)

My real name is Steve Hall

3/06/2019 10:16 am  #2

Re: Princess Clodagh

Awesome report and game! Keep ‘em coming!


3/07/2019 3:20 pm  #3

Re: Princess Clodagh

Interesting plot line you have going... I like it.


3/12/2019 11:28 am  #4

Re: Princess Clodagh

Another weekend, another Princess Clodagh game. At the end of the previous game Clodagh had been fighting Viking raiders on the Irish coast near the mouth of the Shannon, leading a small squadron of Irish galleys. She killed the Jarl Agder of Wexford (a Norse warlord she had angered previously) and captured some 5 longships – freeing Irish captives and killing or taking prisoner their crews. She also met secretly and swore allegiance to Queen Gormlaith – the divorced wife of the old king, Brian Boru, and a woman most of the Irish consider a traitor (it’s complicated).

 On being re-joined by the rest of the Irish fleet led by King Donnchad’s brother, Prince Fiann, she was informed that the bulk of the Viking force, led by the Jarl’s psychopathic son Gudleif, had sailed up the Shannon behind the Irish fleet, and was intent on sacking Limerick.

 A hurried council of war took place led by Prince Fiann, and including King Cassidan (the sub-king of Dal Cais, Clodagh’s homeland). It was agreed that while King Cassidan raised the country to march on Limerick, and while Prince Fiann got the fleet in order, Clodagh would go on a scouting expedition in the Fierce Raven. Prince Fiann then got a re-enforcement of allied Norsemen from Cork, led by Jarl Egil Sokki. Egil gave the unwelcome news that the Wexford Vikings had been re-enforced by 10 longships of Norse pirates from Waterford – giving Gudleif 30 longships worth of raiders.

 As the late Jarl Agder had been popular with the Wexford men, but his unstable son was less so, it was decided that in an attempt to sow unrest in the Viking camp, that Jarl Agder’s corpse would be sent to the Viking host besieging Limerick. It was hoped that the Wexford men would be less prepared to fight for the unstable Gudleif, and would be set thinking of succession. Also the Waterford Vikings had an agreement with the late Jarl, not Gudleif.

 A captured longship bearing the late warlord’s body was crewed by unarmed Viking prisoners, guarded by some allied Christian Norse led by Vali Flatnose (an old friend of Princess Clodagh and her crew). They were be accompanied to a bend in the river short of Limerick by Clodagh’s Fierce Raven, which took on Vali and his men, while the longship continued on to Limerick. Once the longship was safely out of sight, Clodagh set off with her scouting party – Donan (her lover and right-hand man), Farann (the best javelin thrower in her crew), Vali, and Erik (a skilled Norse archer).

 As dusk turned to evening, the party reached the high ground above Limerick. They saw the results of a Viking attempt to storm the fort protecting the ford, just a little way away from the walls of Limerick. (Limerick is set on a large island in the Shannon.) The raiders had tried to set fire to the gates, but had retired for the night, unsuccessful. But it was judged the fort would not withstand another assault. The scouting party took an estimate of the numbers before Limerick, and realised there must be some 200-300 raiders elsewhere – probably guarding the other fords onto the island, preventing King Donnchad from escaping the city.

 Vali then went down into the Viking camp and find out the state of the Viking force. He returned to say that the Wexford men were stunned by the loss of Jarl Agder and were not keen on Gudleif succeeding his father as ruler. Vali also discovered that Gudleif was not camping with his men before Limerick but lodging at an abbey on the banks of the Shannon, guarded by 100 of his best men. (This was the church at Kilrush in real life, but an abbey in the game.)

 When retracing their route back to the Fierce Raven they viewed the abbey from the hills above, but had to hide when a Viking patrol passed close by. The patrol included Gudleif’s chief scouts – Ulfhednar – ‘wolf-skin clad ones’; Light skirmishers wearing coats of wolf pelts, with the wolf’s head worn over their helmets. Vali and Erik, although Christian, were unnerved by the sight of these warriors – rumoured to be possessed by the savage spirit of the wolf.

 The next day at dawn, Clodagh and the crew of the Fierce Raven supported by Jarl Egil’s Cork Norsemen, assaulted the abbey. Meanwhile, Prince Fiann led the rest of the Limerick ships up the Shannon to assault the besieging Vikings, supported by the levy army led by King Cassidan attacking from the hills above Limerick.
Clodagh and her men attacked the Abbot’s house inside the abbey grounds, which was where Gudlief lodged. The Cork Norsemen encircled the abbey and attacked from all directions, overwhelming the guards and catching the bulk of the garrison as they were preparing breakfast. Clodagh’s crew faced the cream of Gudleif’s warriors, while Clodagh herself looked to find Gudleif. Vali had a hard fight with the commander of Gudleif’s Hird (professional warrior retainers). Farann missed with every javelin her threw (clearly more practice needed!) And Donan nearly came to grief fighting the leader of the Ulfhednar – Erik finished the wolf warrior off with an arrow through the eye!

 Clodagh faced off with a berserker and her shield took the force of his axe, while her axe eventually dealt with him, in a hard fight. The berserker dealt with she ran into the Abbot’s house. In the gloom she found Gudleif. She dealt with him in two blows of her axe – taking first his left arm and then his head. The head was promptly stuck on a pole, and leaving Jarl Egil to secure the abbey, Clodagh sailed to Limerick to show the raiders that they were leaderless.

At Limerick the Vikings were attacked by land and river, and then King Donnchad led warriors out of Limerick to add to their woes. Unable to get to their boats because of Prince Fiaann’s men, the Vikings surrendered. After swearing to never invade Munster or attack Limerick again, they were allowed to depart to discuss the succession of Jarl of Wexford.

 At the celebrations in Limerick, Clodagh got rather drunk. When going into her crew’s lodging by the harbour, she was suddenly confronted by Deirdre – Queen Gormlaith’s Irish sorceress!

 “I come from the Queen, with a message. She wants you to kill someone.” (end of session)

Last edited by Gruntfuttock (3/12/2019 11:30 am)

My real name is Steve Hall
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