Dune: The House Sindri Chronicles - Season 2

My group & I start the next season of our Dune campaign this week.

Set a hundred years on from the end of the previous House at the funeral for Lord Carlos Sindri the House, and all of Cheruf, is at the cusp of a period of change. The future of their Major House Ezherian is in doubt and in the chaos the new Lady Sindri intends to grasp the opportunity in front of her…

Family Tree
Family Tree 2

House Heirarchy

We have had some rough discussions about characters, but this Sunday is when we are sitting down and putting some flesh on the bones of them.

I will keep people updated!

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We now have 4 of the characters for the game. We will get a 5th, but the player isn’t able to make as many sessions.
I have given the players an extra point in a Drive & Skill and an extra Talent to reflect advancement.
One thing that developed during character creation was a lot of ties to members of the House whose ancestors had been part of the first game. So fan favourite Kinnard’s family makes a return for example.
An advantage of this being a continuation is that we have a good grasp of the House now which makes it feel more alive from the start.


Lady Kristen Sindri
Cousin to the new ruler of House Sindri, Kristen has just returned from Wallach IX where she had been studying with the Bene Gesserit. She has not yet taken her vows as a member of the Bene Gesserit and with the changes afoot in the House it is unclear as to if she ever will.

Drives

  • Duty: 8 (I know my responsibilities)
  • Faith: 4 (Faith is merely the obedience of the past)
  • Justice: 5 (Justice is just what you can get away with)
  • Power: 7 (Power comes from knowing someone’s deepest secrets)
  • Truth: 7 (The purpose of an argument is to change the nature of Truth)

Skills

  • Battle: 4
  • Communicate: 8 (Innuendo, Charm)
  • Discipline: 5 (Observe)
  • Move: 5
  • Understand: 7 (Deductive Reasoning)

Talents

  • Constantly Watching
  • Find Trouble
  • Hidden Motives
  • Subtle Words

Ashton (Ash) Kinnard
The bodyguard assigned to Lady Kristen on her arrival back on Cheruf.
Both boisterous & charming he doesn’t always seem suited to being present at diplomatic events, but no-one can doubt his skills & dedication to his task.
As the nephew of House Guard Captain Neven Kinnard, Ash is part of a long line of loyal servants to House Sindri.
((The character has described him as Jason Momoa if he played Duncan Idaho like he did Aquaman…)

Drives

  • Duty: 8 (Kristen lives. Full Stop.)
  • Faith: 4
  • Justice: 6 (Come at me with a fist, I’ll meet you with a fist. Come at me with a knife, I’ll meet you with a sword)
  • Power: 8 (Strength can end battles faster, sometimes before they start)
  • Truth: 5

Skills

  • Battle: 7 (Dirty Fighting, Duelling)
  • Communicate: 5 (Boisterous Charm)
  • Discipline: 6 (Self-Control)
  • Move: 6
  • Understand: 6

Talents

  • Constantly Watching
  • Improvised Weapon
  • Nimble
  • The Reason I Fight

Soren Vriani
The Vriani family has provided numerous Mentats, Accountants and other cold, logical staff to House Sindri over the years. Soren is not one of them, taking more from his Uncle Haval Afshani than his blood relatives.
Likable and gregarious he simply has no skills with numbers or logic. Instead, his talents lie making friends and persuading people. Skills that have stood him in good stead in the House Diplomatic corps.
Despite this he is seen as something of a disappointment to his family, a matter he intends to prove them wrong on.

Drives

  • Duty: 5 (Duty is what is expected of me)
  • Faith: 8 (I trust my instincts over data)
  • Justice: 8 (Justice must be seen to be done)
  • Power: 6 (The desire for Power is a weakness)
  • Truth: 4 (Truth is mutable)

Skills

  • Battle: 5
  • Communicate: 7 (Charm, Empathy)
  • Discipline: 6 (Espionage)
  • Move: 6 (Grace)
  • Understand: 5

Talents

  • Binding Promise
  • Find Trouble
  • Mask of Power
  • Passive Scrutiny

Natha Osgar
A former Martial trainer to the House, she has taught all of the Heirs swordsmanship as well as many of the troops. Married to House Guard Captain Vincint Osgar she has semi-retired from active duty following the birth of her son 5 years ago. She does still enjoy assisting in the training of her husbands troops by ambushing them in the Ash wastes using skills passed down from her mother.
Upon Cheruf her appearance is somewhat exotic, stemming from her father having worked for the Guild before being reassigned to Cheruf from Arrakis and her mother having come with him. The Guild keen to avoid its representatives being too entangled with the local tribes…
She still has the hilt of her mother’s personal knife. The Blade having disintegrated soon after her death.

Drives

  • Duty: 6 (What must be done, must be done)
  • Faith: 4
  • Justice: 8 (I must shield those in my care)
  • Power: 7 (Strength is nothing without Grace)
  • Truth: 5

Skills

  • Battle: 8 (Short Blades, Tactics)
  • Communicate: 4
  • Discipline: 6 (Stillness)
  • Move: 7 (Duelling)
  • Understand: 4

Talents

  • The Slow Blade
  • Master-at-Arms
  • Nimble
  • Waste Walker (A reskinned version of Desert Walker. More suited to Cheruf, but could be used on Arrakis)
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The last character has now been created:

Iago Kinnard
A former House Guard Captain, Iago left abruptly almost 20 years ago. The loss of his boyfriend and almost all his command obeying the Strategists order to Hold the Line broke him and he entered a monastery as a means of escape.
With the old Lord Carlos dead he has been summoned back to service, though if he can restrain his drinking habit remains to be seen.

Drives

  • Duty: 8 (I owe my men, not the House)
  • Faith: 5 (I hope there is something greater)
  • Justice: 7 (Those in Power must reckon with their actions)
  • Power: 4 (They rule, and we die)
  • Truth: 7 (In Vino, Veritas)

Skills

  • Battle: 8 (Long Blade)
  • Communicate: 6 (Strategy)
  • Discipline: 5 (Holding the Line, Tolerance)
  • Move: 5
  • Understand: 5

Talents

  • Drunken Stagger (A modified Subtle Step to have people discount him)
  • Hidden Motives
  • House Guard Training (Reskinned Crysknife Master with his Ceremonial House Blade)
  • Master at Arms

In a very stereotypical manner, we began in a bar. More specifically Ash hauling his uncle, Iago, out of it and to the funeral of Lord Carlos.
(Incidentally I had planned this opening with the death of long lived and well-liked ruler 3 months ago. At least it was easy for my players to visualise it)
After the funeral the new ruler of House Sindri, Lady Jing-Mei requested Kristen to seek out allies for House Sindri. “((The Major)) House Ezharian is failing. Our Grandfather maintained stability, but now it is time for House Sindri to seize the moment and find our own destiny”

With a gathering of Ezharian Minors on Erif IV in a weeks’ time the players spent some time brainstorming possible approaches, making use of the details of all the other Minor Houses of Ezharian that I had summarised (4 on Cheruf, 3 on Erif IV and 1 on the moon Tueris VIIa).
They decided to focus their initial attention on the Nascent House Bakken of Tueris VIIa.

Arriving at the Ezharian retreat on Erif IV the players noticed signs of a recent attack that had been covered up (Damaged trees and repaired buildings). Settling in they set about getting the lay of the land (‘touring’ the grounds, bribing the staff and investigating the training rooms).
While they gathered various bits of information on who was arriving and gossip about who was up and down, Natha found herself in a training duel with someone from House Varrik after watching him training with another. Despite burning her Determination to re-roll the pair of 20’s she got she ended up with 3 successes and still a complication (total of 5 dice rolled, three 20’s!) ending in a victory but with her shield shorted out.
The observer then introduced himself as Baron Kane Griffon and congratulated her on her victory. Thus, gaining the party the trait ‘Respected by the Baron’ and revealing a bit more on the links between Varrik & Griffon.

The session ended just before the evening soiree which we begin with in a couple of weeks’ time.


In random worldbuilding we have now decided that the House Sindri ceremonial blades are Falcata’s and the predominant religious orders on Cheruf follow the Salivatory OC Bible (Main difference is every reference to Goats or Sheep is replaced with Llamas…)

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The soiree largely went smoothly as this was mainly an opportunity for me to introduce the key members of all the other factions.
As the evening went on the players managed to identify some of the key relationships between the other Houses.

  • Houses Varrik & Griffon are close, with the half-brother of Kane having married the Lady Varrick.
  • House Griffon has an issue with the Nascent House Bakken.
  • House Bakken is being protected to a degree by House Eleko.
  • Houses Eleko & Karasu have a friendly relationship.
  • House Dahl has a rivalry with House Varrik.

Part way through the evening Baron Griffon tried to embarrass Lendmann Bakken, with the players providing an opportunity for her to withdraw without losing too much face. They also set up a meeting with House Bakken the following day and a friendly duel between the Baron Griffon and Natha after her impressive performance the previous session.

They all also flubbed the rolls to detect anything wrong with the drinks, even the Bene Gesserit who had a much reduced difficulty. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

The duel the following day was a very well attended affair, with the Baron apparently having quite the reputation. Given Natha’s shield failing the day before the Baron gifted her a Varrik shield as they were known for their quality. As usual I ran the rules simple as I am not one for the full duelling detail.
The initial pair of rolls were tied for successes after both sides tagged a variety of talents, though Natha once again rolled a complication! So for amusement I shorted her shield again. Much to the Barons anger at House Varrik. The following round ended with a narrow victory for the Baron, but with an impressive enough set of rolls that I gave the party the tag “Accomplished Duellists” for the remainder of the Act.

The meeting with Lendmann Bakken ended in an invite to Tueris VIIa to see the mining operations and possibly have House Sindri’s assistance in finding out why their equipment keeps failing.
By this point the players were pretty convinced that House Griffon had something to do with all this.

The final event of the session was an archaic hunt with Maula Rifles of the local wildlife.
The players did fairly well (Unlike Baron Griffon who managed to jam his rifle) until a loud Crack and ominous rumbling warned them of an incoming avalanche directly towards their location. (What a coincidence :astonished: )
I set a difficulty 2 Move roll for everyone to get clear without harm, forgetting that 2 of my players had taken Nimble (-2 difficulty on Move tests in difficult terrain).
Which with hindsight turned out spectacularly well as I allowed them to trade their extra success to other players and NPCs to boost their scores.
So not only was Kristen rescued by her bodyguard Ashton, so was the delegate from House Tethys. While Natha pulled Lady Varriks husband to safety (with the minor complication that he now has a twisted ankle).

All in all the session went well for laying out the political groundwork and boosting the parties reputation amongst the other House delegates.

Next session is the final Banquet, with so much having happened this far no-one is expecting it go smoothly…

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After recovering from the unfortunate accident on the hunt the players attended the banquet that evening. There was a fair amount of general RP bantering between the players and NPCs, with a hint from Lady Varrick allowing them to avoid the other part of the two-stage poison that had been introduced previous evening. Merely a mild poison to disable rather than kill, but would have caused penalties if they had failed a resistance roll.

Part way through the dinner various people began to get messages pinging through their personal communicators on emergency bands. A Heighliner had just arrived in orbit and reports had been received that House Ecaz had declared formal Kanly upon House Ezharian.

As the players began to discuss the implications, an explosion went off outside and the House Shield activated. Followed shortly by the House Shield failing…
With the Na-count Marcello Ezharian being whisked away, Natha rallied the Cheruf Houses to her. A call which only Tethys and Dahl heeded. Hallas and Karasu choosing to stand apart.

Leaving the main hall the group saw fighting in the complex and decided to make a run for it in some of the transport vehicles along with their entourage and those of Tethys and Dahl.
After foiling an ambush attempt Ashton & Natha acted as a rear-guard to delay the enemy assassins who had been disguised as House Ezharian servants.
While Natha did well in stalling her opponents Ashton’s player suffered abysmal luck while his opponent had remarkable success. Ashton did successfully defeat his opponent he was badly wounded (both combatants almost used up their Battle Skill). Rescued by the others in the vehicles they fled the Ezharian Estate leaving burning buildings in their wake.

After reaching safety and making it to the main spaceport they discovered that the Na-Count, Lord Hallas and the cousin of Princep Karasu were all missing after the attack.
House Ezharian was in uproar and the secret war between them and House Ecaz was now well and truly in the open.

Returning to Cheruf the players began plotting as to how to use this chaos to their advantage…


A map I created of the House Ezharian lodge. Stupid me accidently labelled it House Ecaz… :laughing: Which may have given the game away to my players at the start of the session.

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This week’s session had the grand total of 1 set of dice rolls. It was predominantly a planning session now that I had laid the groundwork for the new era, introducing the other major players they were likely to deal with and then shattering the status quo with a declaration of Kanly on their parent House Major.

In order to given them some structure I wrote up a report from the House Spymaster to the Lady Kristen Sindri, recapping the recent events and then providing some opportunities that were available.

Some followed directly on from actions they had taken at the Ezharian Lodge (Working with House Bakken and inviting Baron Griffon to visit) others were related (A proposal to rescue some of those taken in the assault), while the last 2 were wildcards (The possibility of doing some work on Arrakis and a mysterious proposal from the Peuchen, a semi-renegade intelligence group that works with/for House Sindri)

After discussing some of the earlier options they decided to discuss further details with Peuchen to find out what they were suggesting.
This led to a wonderful moment when I was able to have their contact say that an agent in House Solis had discovered something valuable and they had the opportunity to steal it.
They then opened up a film book (My copy of the Art of Dune) and displayed this:

The view as my players jaws dropped was beautiful. :heart_eyes:
Essentially House Solis was in the process of finishing fitting out a Frigate and due to secrecy it was lightly guarded. This was now what my players focussed on. Other plots were put to one side and the idea of a Starship heist grabbed their attention.

We are going to run this in Architect mode with a heavy dose of Leverage style gaming.
Next session: Grand Theft Astro!

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After a weeks delay due to illness we were able commence Grand Theft Astro!

House Solis has been secretly outfitting a Frigate on a remote asteroid mining base. A rogue intelligence agency of House Sindri, the Complicated, has discovered this and with an agent inside the House can get a team onto the base to hijack the Frigate for themselves.
They also were able to provide dossiers on the key staff of the facility.


For this one each player had control over a cut down character based around one of the Leverage style archetypes. Face, Pilot (Mira), Muscle (Helga), Spy (Toni) & SafeCracker (Robbie).
As these characters didn’t have statements their determination points could be used for Flashbacks instead. This allowed them to have a flashback scene where they were able to change one thing in the past which then reflected in the current scene.

They had a brief period setting things up beforehand which mostly built momentum, though one of the players rolled a pair of 1s while using their Find Trouble talent. After a bit of discussion we decided that the Face had been able to get cover with a less than legal Medical company and was able to replace the “supplier” to the base.

On arrival Toni got herself ingratiated with the Administrator using Passive Scrutiny combined with Putting Theory into Practice to ensure that she was his ‘type’. This gave her access to both his office and his ear.

Helga made friends with both the remaining miner and mine security. Or at least no-one wanted to be on the wrong side of the intimidating slab of muscle.

Mira became part of the team ferrying the ore to the bulk carrier. Helping relieve the stress of the Docking officer as she did so with her flirting and persuading her to relax a little.

Robbie rapidly hacked into the basic systems controlling the base, from phones to the schedules he had access.

The Face (NPC as the last player wasn’t around) stayed near the infirmary from where he was able to identify which of the House security were abusing combat stims to maintain peak performance, including their Captain.

With all the pieces in place they began slipping drugs into the House securities food to interfere with their combat stims, leading to short tempers and erratic behaviour.
Glitches and false alarms began occurring throughout the base putting everyone on edge and having the Chief Engineer questioning his reading of the systems. A trip to the infirmary allowed the Face to switch his reactor access with a fake.
Helga & Mira began stirring up the miners & pilots over the now more oppressive security.
While Toni with her new closeness to the Administrator began a whispering campaign against the Captain.

An accidental overdose of a House guard led to a psychotic episode with several dead miners and a rapid escalation of the characters timetable. This led to a full scale riot (instigated by the characters) which Toni persuaded the Administrator was due to the Captains stim addiction. An attempt by the Administrator to secure the infirmary led to a 3 way fight on the base.

In the confusion Mira led the miners to seize a passenger shuttle to escape. Doubling back ‘to ensure that everyone is off’ Mira and the Docking officer disengaged all the docking clamps and stole an ore transport and destroying the bulk carrier as they did so.
The Administrator decided to try and flee on the Frigate, unsuspectingly taking the rest of the characters with him as Toni was able to vouch that they were loyal to him…

This proved to be a rather fatal error as once they were aboard the Frigate and he had used his Command token he was unceremoniously murdered by Helga along with his secretaries.
Onboard the base the Captain ordered a full lockdown to prevent the escape of the Frigate. Cue another Flashback scene showing Robbie having rewired the system to trigger an overload of the base reactor… :firecracker:

With a near clean getaway Mira docked with the Frigate bringing the Docking officer with her as they had grown close.
Helga only saw a loose end however and poor Deanna was literally stabbed in the back to the shock of Mira. :astonished: (I believe the term used at the table was ‘Pikachu face’)

This made for an amusing diversion from the main game, with its emphasis on politicing and intrigue. The leverage style play made for a more immediate & faster paced game.

Next week we return to regularly scheduled campaign. I do recommend GMs experiment with things like this. They won’t always work, but occasionally you get a little gem. My players enjoyed the session so much that it is possible the Complicated will return, especially now that the players have a connection with their characters. (Even if Helga is a Murder Hobo)

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Only getting about 1 game a fortnight at the moment between life, illness and children.
I miss my university days where we could get 6 games a week in… :joy:

This week began with confusion and ended in chaos. So par for the course for my players.

After getting information about where some of the captives from House Ecaz’s raid on Erif IV were being held the players came up with a plan to extract them.
The Ecaz noble, Renier Ecaz, whose estate they were being held in was a known patron of the arts. And it just so happens that a minor noble of the Corrinos, Count Pellio Corrino, was holding an art exhibition on a space station above Ecaz.(He fancied himself quite the Artisté) By compromising one of the staff on the space station and then arranging to be at the main event they could copy his shuttle access. They just needed to stall him at the event long enough for a commando team to use the shuttle to reach the estate and escape with the captives.

As a starting point they put out rumours that the Lady Kristen Sindri was in the market for a marriage alliance to bolster House Sindri. The roll to spread this rumour was both Critical success and Complication. A lot of people believe the rumour, maybe too many.
This gave a plausible reason why she would attend a Corrino sponsored event, even one above Ecaz.

The arrival went smoothly, though they had to surrender any weapons to the single Saudakar bodyguard at the entrance.
Renier immediately spotted them upon their entrance and proceeded to make the assumption that he was one of the leading candidates for marriage. After all, one way for House Sindri to get onto the winning side in the Kanly would to be linked to House Ecaz by marriage. House Sindri gets a new protector and House Ecaz weakens House Ezharian by stealing one of their Minors. Win/Win…
As this suited them so they could copy the Shuttle Access the players ran with it.
Getting the access, but also being very clearly seen by many Nobles accompanying Renier Ecaz. This won’t come back to bite them in the rear at all…

While they were in process of delaying Renier from leaving the event, a different group gate crashed it. By blowing the main entrance up and storming the event. A group of Ecazian terrorists (The Elaccan Peoples Front) took the event hostage and demanded that the Ecaz authorities release their leaders.
Given that they were taking a minor Corrino noble hostage this was clearly a kamikaze mission as the rest of his Saudakar bodyguards were going to butcher anyone in their way when they arrived.
The players decided not to wait to find out whether House Ecaz would negotiate to ensure that Count Pellio survived.
After a fairly brutal fight where Ashton almost lost (He was fighting 2 at once) they managed to overpower the terrorists then get out of the way as the Saudakar came in and killed anyone between them and the Count. Who was at least pleased that the some of the party had tried to defend him.

Poor Renier was badly wounded in the fighting. Lady Kirsten enquiring about his injuries did reinforce the belief that House Sindri was looking at the possibility of a marriage alliance seriously.

No game next week as I am down at Dragonmeet spying on Andy & Danny for more clues as to what is next in the Dune line. :eyes:


One of my players has also started work on the crests of the other House Ezharian Minors.
Below we have House Eleko. The player based this on various African symbolism, due to where I drew inspiration for House Eleko.

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After bad weather prevented our precious session we managed to squeeze one in before we scatter for X-mass.

As they had worked through several of the actions on the previous report I had the House Spymaster draft a new report to them detailing the changes that had happened and what new options were now available.
It is an interesting style of running a game. The nearest I can liken it to is a Computer RPG where your journal will update with quests depending on what you have done. Some things disappear due to other actors (The situation involving Houses Bakken & Griffon) while new ones are created based on the players actions (The invitation to a Debutante ball on Kaitain)
I can also use the letter element to advise on what is happening and drop hints as to future events. (The activity at Paradise Island Spaceport)

As to the party they decided that after several sessions of running around the galaxy they wanted to focus on events closer to home on Cheruf. So to the Northern Islands they headed to try and sort out rising tensions between locals and the Houses’ latest mining expansion.

After getting a more detailed briefing from Nona Cline the Operations chief and her staff they determined that a technical solution wasn’t viable so met up with the locals headman, Elias Day, for a tour of the effected pearl beds and communities. Using a local vessel, despite the ops chiefs misgivings, they confirmed that the pearl beds near the operations were indeed doing poorly and that a lot of the local aquatic wildlife had fled the area.
Though they were suspicious at how quickly the effects had seemed to start.
Suspicions that were further raised when Ash spotted someone observing them from one of the islands and the satellite & scanning records they had pulled showed something was dropped into the area around the time the pearls beds and animals started acting strange.

Back at the mining town, the only large settlement in the area, Iago headed to a bar (again) to pick up the local gossip in his guise as a poor priest dispatched to the area. He identified the leader of the local hotheads, Caiden Garret, and that tensions were rising with fights regularly breaking out between the locals and the House miners. To the concern of the local mothers who were worried for their sons.

We finished up the session with Lady Kirsten meeting with the mothers to reassure them that the House had their best interests at heart, generally making nice with them and being seen as someone who was on their side…

I had actually expected them to go for the Debutantes ball so I only had the rough outline of this session prepped. Several things were rapidly improvised and I now have a much better idea of what the area is like. :sweat_smile:

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The party continued their investigations into what was happening in the Northern Islands. Successfully ruling out some form of contaminant in the waters, though they were now suspicious of the mining facility chemist who rolled terribly in his analysis. (Bad rolls would be an ongoing feature of this session on all sides)

Matters at the town by the base continued to escalate, with Soren almost getting caught up in a riot between the miners and locals. A riot that they were certain was escalated by a 3rd party to worsen the relations between the two sides.

A trip out to check out the crash site of whatever was picked up by the satellites almost turned deadly when their boat struck something and was forced into the shore. While they checked out the damage to the boat and what hit them an assailant took aim at Lady Kirsten, injuring her and leading to them to risk the boat and make a speedy getaway, if not for some bad luck on the part of their assailants they would have suffered further injuries.
Not being certain as to who trust in the area they dropped off Lady Kirsten, Ash & Natha in a hidden cove and Soren took the boat back to the base to throw off any pursuit. They also called in House reinforcements from the mainland so they would have people they could be certain of.
While waiting Kirsten, Ash & Natha saw a powerful speedboat race after Soren and then return when it realised they were too far away to catch. They also saw a small scout 'thopter launch from the mountain and race away further into the island chain.
Within the hour a platoon of troops had arrived and secured the area.
Natha checked out where the 'thopter had launched from and almost got herself and one of the soldiers killed when she ran into some well planned boobytraps near a small cave.
Eventually further reinforcements from the capital arrived along with competent sappers and they were able to find a small base & workshop inside the cave. Including examples of sonic wave generators that were the cause of the damage to the local environment.

Back at the Base tensions were rising again. Spooked by the large number of House troops that had suddenly arrived a demonstration at the base gates was growing.
Despite Ash’s opposition Lady Kirsten addressed the crowd in her wounded state and managed to pacify them for now.

With Lady Kirsten injured however the House troops, and Ash specifically, are out for blood of their own. Next session is liable to be far more deadly…

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Armed with what to look for the group rapidly found the sonic noise generators that had been causing the problems to the locals. Taking some locals along with them to see for themselves.

Back in town however the local hothead, Caiden Garret, was rabble rousing over the arrival of the House troops, convinced this was the start of a crackdown on the locals.
Iago, who had managed to ingratiate himself with them after the earlier riot, tried to calm things down but Caiden was having none of it. He’d heard rumours of what the House was doing on the mainland, but he had ways of evening the fight if it came to it. Disappearing out to return later with weapons from somewhere.
The arguments (very fun little RP) did mean that Caiden accepted Iago in his disguise as a priest was a supporter of the locals, though a naïve pacifist one. While Caiden refused the offer of the group to meet at the base he did agree to a meeting in a church in the town. If only to show that he was the reasonable one.

The church meeting was tense, both sides had plenty of people stationed right outside watching each other suspiciously. Natha’s initial sweep failed to find any obvious traps, though she did take the opportunity to lecture both sides on what she was doing, to the confusion of the locals who did at least listen.
During the talks it became clear that someone had not only been supplying Caiden, but feeding him false rumours about what the House was doing elsewhere. Painting them in a bad light with suppression and twisting of facts.
Just as it seemed that they were succeeding in persuading him there was a crash as an explosive was thrown through a window and someone began firing blindly into the church with a heavy Maula rifle.
In the scramble to find cover the players were hard pressed to also stop the two sides attacking each other, with conflicting orders over comms coming from somewhere.

The following skirmish was confusing with multiple sides, hidden tokens and both tactical and personal actions.
The end result was 2 dead infiltrators and 1 captured. Various House troops & locals were dead, Iago badly wounded and Caiden hurt.
Caiden, still believing that Iago was a friendly priest on his side, agreed for him to be evacuated first to the base and then the mainland for treatment. (The player being quite proud he had managed to maintain his cover throughout)
The mastermind of the infiltrators escaped, though the players had a name, Zandra Saxes, and a description from Caiden. Who, while not trusting the House, accepted that he had been tricked and would calm tensions in the area.

The players had succeeded in exposing and foiling an attempt to disrupt them in their own backyard. Now they know that they are not the only ones taking actions it will be interesting to see what steps they take to ensure the security of their territories.

No game next week, due to scheduling issues. But I should have something to show off in the meantime… Watch this space. :slight_smile:

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After several months of back and forth with the artist I now have the map of Cheruf for my game.
There are several variants of this, including some high res ones which give a wonderful amount of detail.

The key locations from the campaign are all present as well as a host of other settlements, borders and terrain.
I’ve now got plans for a lexicon of the locations and potted history to go with it. A complete set if anyone wants to use Cheruf in their games.

Artist is Tiffany Munro, check out her website for more of her amazing work. www.feedthemultiverse.com or follow her on Twitter @feedmultiverse

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So this week was mostly political. Quite hard to give a blow-by-blow account as there was a lot of manoeuvring and discussion. I’ll try and give the highlights.

The characters started by offering to take a member of the other House Minors on Cheruf in their party to the Debutante’s ball on Kaitain. Whilst House Hallas declined (they believe themselves the Senior House) Dahl, Karasu & Tethys all sent an eligible lady to join. (Forcing me to create 3 new characters on the spot).
Then there was some negotiation over dresses & jewellery. You can send a lot of messages with a carefully planned outfit.

On Kaitain itself the Ezharian courtier warned them about the Ecaz Lords nephew, Rohan Ecaz, who was attending the Ball. Advising the party to stay away from him mainly. There is still a Kanly going on after all. And Ezharian aren’t certain precisely where Sindri stand on this.
They also did a bit of research on who else would be there. Identifying a few Houses and that Beatrice Moritani would also be being presented, who have a low level feud with Ecaz.

At the Ball itself there was a lot of bantering and attempts to embarrass Kirsten (rumours about Kirsten countered by Soren, a spilled drink intercepted by Ash, Iago diverting attention with discussions on Art) while Natha was surrounded by young nobles who had heard of her duelling prowess.
Several of these appeared to have been orchestrated by Beatrice Moritani.
She struck again when Rohan Ecaz managed to manoeuvre himself into conversation with Kirsten and began loudly talking about how Renier Ecaz sent his regards, clearly aiming them at the Ezharian members present. Kirsten did a reasonable job of countering, but then Beatrice Moritani spurred the young nobles into wanting to know how well Natha would fare against the best duellist present and making those present believe it was Rohan Ecaz…

Thus we ended up in another duel.
It was fairly one sided as after Natha broke Rohan shield initially she managed a total of 5 success vs poor Rohans double 17 & a 20. A thoroughly embarrassed Rohan left shortly afterwards, certainly complicating any possible relationship between Sindri & Ecaz.
House Sindri, however, was now being viewed as a very promising up & coming House Minor who was able to hold their own in the cut & thrust of court on Kaitain. How they will leverage this in their future plans remains to be seen…

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Continuing on from the last session the characters attended various parties and events on Kaitain. Their host, Count Pellio Corrino appeared intent on showing off his latest ‘find’ on the social circle. Despite his foppish ways he did seem to have a very good grasp of the politics on Kaitain and a surprising amount of influence.

A trip to the Opera included a quiet talk with Captain Del Rio of Ecaz. Who offered House Sindri seniority over the other House Minors on Cheruf if they would switch sides and support Ecaz in the Kanly with their House Major. Of course he would much rather visit Cheruf in peaceful times than the alternative.
All done with smiles and politeness between him and Soren. My players didn’t seem inclined to take him up on the offer, but it was another option laid in front of them.

On the way back their ground car was waylaid in an ambush and disabled. While Ash, Iago & Natha held off the attackers Kirsten gathered the Cheruf ladies and made their escape. The only one to come out unscathed was Iago, whose opponent clearly had not realised that this ridiculous Artiste was an ex-House guard combat veteran.
Soren was badly wounded intercepting one assassin who made it past Ash, but in the end all the enemies were brought down. At which point the Kaitain constabulary miraculously reached the scene, just in time to clear up the bodies and provide an escort for the party back to their lodgings.
Someone was after them, but their list of suspects was pretty long.

A final event was a meeting with Beatrice Moritani.
A charming afternoon tea, where she obliquely offered Moritani support for House Sindri breaking away from both Houses in the Kanly, by offering sponsorship in the Landsraad during the negotiations that would end the Kanly. Of course, such support would be expected to be reciprocated. Friends should stay close to each other after all.

Thus finished our excursion to Kaitain. It worked fairly well, very heavy on the RP, though I threw in the assassination attempt to provide a bit of action for the characters who weren’t as heavy on the politics.
I am starting the end point of the campaign now. There will probably be another half dozen sessions as things accelerate to the end of the Kanly and we shall see how the players navigate their way out of the detritus.

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This was more a preparation session as we took stock after the shake up of their trip to Kaitain.
As such I handed out 3 letters their House had received from Houses Ezharian, Ecaz & Moritani.
The first, from Ezharian their House Major, demanded they contribute troops to the Kanly against Ecaz, which would have brought them into the firing line quite literally.
The second, from Ecaz, proposed marriage between Kirsten & Renier Ecaz, with a veiled threat of a ‘visit’ from the Ecaz Captain they had met earlier. This would effectively be a declearation of rebellion against Ezharian.
The final one was from Moritani, offering to help intercede with the Judge of the Change to make things more favourable to Cheruf. Just being friendly, hopefully for a long time. The players are suspicious, but think that Moritani is looking for long term allies that owe them.

The rest of the session was considering their options and working out a plan going forward. (Along with coming up with a plan to assassinate the Ecaz lord while making it seem that it was done by one of his House Minors upset at the marriage… :scream: Not going to be acted upon, but this is what I have to contend with!)

Currently the plan is to stall Ecaz & Ezharian, take Moritani up on their offer, and at the same time try to do a crash programme to build a nuke (Their Domain is mining rare minerals so I allowed it) & prepare their forces to try and leverage the end of the Kanly into bootstrapping them into House Major status.
They’re basically throwing a huge gamble and going all in!

For my handout this session I (by which I mean my wife) used our cricut to write several letters in different handwriting and then sealed them in their envelopes with wax seals (stolen off my youngest). She has a decent enough collection that I could actually match the seals with the Houses! Need a bit more practice, but sealed letters are a great handout. :star_struck:


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The players were off to Wallach IX this session at the ‘invitation’ of Revered Mother Montemagni who had met the party on Kaitain at the Debutantes Ball. This was an invitation that the party felt was not something that they could decline…

There were several Ladies from others Houses present. (The Great Game was incredibly helpful here for being able to quickly flesh out Houses) All of whom had trained at Wallach IX, just like Lady Kirsten.
It is hard to describe the interactions as it was a very heavy RP session for the first part. A lot of unspoken communication and double meanings to the conversations.
Basically though, Lady Kirsten and her entourage were being tested. Ash caused several scenes with his boorish behaviour, but never actually dropped his guard of Lady Kirsten, despite several attempts to separate them.

Part way through Soren accepted an invitation for negotiations with another House. After following up several clues Natha realised that something was up, the negotiator wasn’t actually who they thought and the room had been booby trapped.
Swiftly relocating matters to the gardens, Ash still only just managed to guard the Lady Kirsten as the ‘negotiator’ pulled a poisoned blade and attempted to stab her. Managing to stretch unnaturally to do so.
Once defeated the sagging appearance of a Face Dancer made them realise that maybe there enemies were prepared to throw more resources at removing Lady Kirsten than they had thought.

The final scene was supposed to be a quiet chat between just the Reverend Mother Montemagni and Lady Kirsten about how well she and her entourage had done.
Ash refused to stay outside the room with the door closed however. As she was not going to be dictated to by a bodyguard the Revered Mother used the Voice, gaining 3 successes plus 2 automatics against him.
The player then proceeded to roll 5 successes to counter it! (I may have had to pick my jaw up off the floor) Despite taking a step back, Ash held his stance in front of the Reverend Mother.
An agreement was reached that Ash would remain outside, but the door would not be fully closed.

Lady Kirsten, Ash & Natha has impressed the Bene Gesserit. As far as they were concerned Soren required further training however…
Regardless the Bene Gesserit were of the opinion that House Sindri was able to hold it’s own in the Great Game. As such they were willing to provide tacit support to the House.

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This scenario was a heavily modified version of @degroove’s Casus Belli at Mount Kellen. I altered it to be more suitable for my group and they went off-piste as usual anyway. I recommend checking it out if you are looking for a scenario or inspiration.


On arrival back from Wallach IX Lady Kirsten found a ‘request’ awaiting her from Count Pelias Corrino. He requested a favour from her, Some of the Minor Houses on an Imperial fiefs he handled were having a dispute and he required someone to resolve it for him.
Soren swiftly realised that this explanation was merely a front, Pelias could just make a decision and it would be obeyed. By requesting a favour, however, Pelias could then act to support House Sindri and be seen to be repaying it. While making House Sindri indebted to him for his action. Convoluted, but part of the dance of the Landsraad.

The dispute was regarding a rich mining site that had been revealed by a landslip on Lemnos. The landslip had altered the topography of the area and raised questions over whose territory the site was in, House Safr (If the border ran along the, now changed ridge), or House Kira (If it was along the original position of the ridge). Poor wording on a ancient treaty being to blame as it merely stated the border was along the ridge. Tension between the two Houses was high and Lady Kirsten was requested to meet with the two sides and resolve matters.

On arrival to Kellenburg, Pelias’ estate on the planet (modelled after Neuschwanstein Castle because that is just Pelias), they were introduced to the Steward of the estate and immediately set off to investigate the mining site. Coming up with several points for use in the later negotiations (Other landslips that could change borders, intentional altering of the landscape, that House Safr had numerous troops in the area).
They also got the measure of the two Houses, Safr being brutal, militaristic, but also very direct. Kira being weaker, but more manipulative and with a powerful propaganda machine.

That evening they received Landgrave Kahn Safr & Na-Heir Lady Uliana Kira (as well as her older sister Lady Zoya). Defusing the initial hostilities between the two Houses during dinner they began circulating amongst them afterwards. With Ash & Natha running distractions they were able to talk with all three of the nobles separately. Working out that Landgrave Safr was in a position to seize the mining site and was perfectly willing to risk the conflict, Lady Uliana’s position at home was not entirely stable & she was at risk of losing her position as Heir and that Lady Zoya would be perfectly happy if her sister failed as she would be most likely to take over as Heir.

((This is where my players swerved from the planned adventure))

Realising that there was a significant risk of a small war breaking out and that no matter how they chose to divide the claim someone would be unhappy they chose to focus on what would bring House Sindri the greatest benefits.
Using Lady Kirsten’s Subtle Words & Soren’s Binding Promise Talents they persuaded Landgrave Safr that House Sindri would rule in his favour during negotiations the following day as long as he kept matters calm at the mining site and Lady Zoya that she might want to take actions this evening to secure her position as the following day would prove unfortunate for her sister. Lady Uliana was kept in the dark as to all these manoeuvrings.

As promised the following day after negotiations, Lady Kirsten ruled that the mining site belonged to House Safr due to the reading of the treaty, though the border was to be properly surveyed to resolve any future issues. Lady Uliana objected, but undermined by her own sister and finding that she was behind the curve in persuading her own people she was forced to concede. How long she will remain Na-Heir now seriously in doubt.

House Safr was very pleased with the negotiations and took House Sindri up on an offer of supplying mining expertise, on generous terms…
House Kira was not so pleased, but with the Heir changing soon their attitude would also likely change. Or if nothing else the players now had some very powerful blackmail material.
Count Pelias was happy with the problem resolved and that he was now in a position to act as he wanted.
The Steward was less pleased, having hoped to sabotage negotiations to improve her position, but caught off guard by how fast House Sindri had stitched matters up before negotiations even formally began.


I had not expected the players to work to their own advantage and stitch things up so early. By doing so they:

  • Stopped Zoya attempting to assassinate her sister and blame House Safr.
  • Caused House Safr to stand down from seizing the mining site outright.
  • Undermined Lady Uliana’s position and, by letting Zoya know beforehand, leaving her isolated in her own House.
  • Arranged matters so both Houses owed them favours.

It probably shortened the adventure, but felt very Dune again…

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The players were recovering from their last mission and discussing plans with the Warmaster and his council when an aide interrupted their meeting with reports of an explosion at the Alnor Bay Research Facility, the cover station they were using to hide their research into Atomics. Hurrying out they discovered that the Spymaster, Jacinta Sindri, mother of Kirsten, had been badly injured in it.
Ash immediately checked on his charge and found her missing, with a high-speed 'thopter already taking off for Alnor Bay. (The player couldn’t make it so we planned this beforehand)

The rest of the group rapidly followed and found the facility in a state of chaos with numerous causalities and missing.
Trying to find out what happened and wary in case of further explosions they identified that the initial explosion had been caused by a couple of guards that had only recently been given clearance.
((At this point I added several tokens to the map of Alnor Bay. These were Spice Mining tokens from the Dune Starter Set. I repurposed them to alter the difficulty of their investigation rolls. The base difficulty was TN3, and the tokens adjusted it between -2 & +2))

Natha split off to investigate a suspicious cargo vessel in the harbour while Soren & Iago followed up clues at the facility itself.
Iago was the first to track down some of the suspicious guards in the Housing block. Unfortunately when he sent troops into take them he rolled a complication. Thus the players found out that complications were really bad in this scenario when they detonated the explosives they had been preparing taking several guards with them.
Soren meanwhile had identified that a single admin clerk had approved all the suspicious guards and she herself had only recently been transferred in. He followed the trail to the ship operations where he cornered two more.

Iago spotted the last of the attackers as they headed for the Medical facility where Jacintra & Kirsten were being guarded by Ash. He was able to cut off two of them with his men though he lost more troops and was injured in the fight.
Inside the medical facility Ash ambushed the attackers and in a remarkably brutal fight dispatched them before they reached his Noble wards.
At the harbour the vessel that Natha had been watching broke it’s moorings and began steering direct to the port fuelling station. With remarkable agility she boarded the vessel (Nimble is a very powerful talent we have found) and killed the crewman on the bridge. The marines that had been ordered aboard at the same time stormed the engine room to take out the other crewman. One complication later the engine room was reduced to wreckage and the ship embedded in a dock. Further investigation showing they were lucky the ship had not reached the fuelling station as the hold was packed with explosives.

Back at the Research facility Iago was suffering flashbacks of losing his men in battle in his past and had slumped to the floor.
Soren finally identified the clerk as Zandra Saxes, who they had tangled with in the Northern Isles previously (Sessions 7 & 8). She was attempting to use the chaos of the attack to rifle through the records and find out what House Sindri was doing here. Evading Soren she fled towards the injured hoping to disappear in the mayhem.
At Sorens instigation (“Iago, she’s the one that killed your men”) Iago snapped out his fugue and gave chase, both rapidly outpacing the following guards.
A desperate fight on the edge of the cliff followed, ended when Iago hurled them both off the cliff, killing Zandra. Iago, once more badly injured, turned his symbol of rank in to Ash and left to re-join his monastery.
How long that will last remains to be seen, especially given my plans for next sessions…

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The session began with an envoy from House Ezharian summoning the ruler of the House, Lady Jin-Mei, to a conclave of the House Major on Erif IV. After some judicious gossip with friends in other the other Houses on Cheruf, Soren found out that all the House heads had been summoned.
After Jin-Mei’s departure Kirsten found a letter from her laying out Jin-Mei’s concern that she and her twin brother would not return to Cheruf and appointing Kirsten as Regent to the younger brother until he came of age.

My players were now in full paranoia mode and proceeded to try and persuade the other Houses on Cheruf to prepare for the worst.
Which was realised when the next Heighliner arriving disgorged a Ecaz Frigate and numerous troop transports. Whilst small for an invasion fleet, none of the Houses on Cheruf had a navy so clearly Ecaz was relying on control of space giving them an unbeatable advantage…

At this point I unrolled the A3 map of Cheruf and handed out House SIndri’s defenses.

Kirsten spoke with Captain Phillip Del Rio, leading the Ecaz invasion force, and refused his recommendation of surrender. He advised that she should have taken their proposal, Kirsten advised that not only would they lose their troops, but she would sue them in the Landsraad for any damages.

As the troop transports and their Ornithopter escorts began to descend Soren came up the crazy plan of triggering several of the Volcanos to throw an ash cloud across much of Sindri territory. As House Sindri does actively mine the volcanoes for rare earths I accepted it was plausible. One of the 'thopter squadrons was forced to withdraw due to the chocking ash and a troop transport had a hard landing outside the capital, Irkalla.

Now the Warfare began in earnest. In the South at Alnor Bay, the fighting was bloody with some of the Elite Ecaz troops being caught in a pyroclastic flow (Complictions on the very first dice roll!) and then a counter attack by the fresh recruits finished them off. The fresh recruits themselves were soon wiped out, but the now weakened Ecaz troops were not able to resist the remaining Sindri forces in the area.

The Battle at Irkalla was largely a stalemate with neither side being able to gain advantage, while at Bakallis in the west Lucille Kovaks outnumbered forces were slowly being pushed back.
The players then sneakily created a new asset of ‘the Complicated’ (think a semi-autonomous CIA) behind them and targeted the troop transports they had come in on, successfully storming one and taking it over. Several Move rolls later they had loaded it with much of the explosives they had taken the previous session and it was headed for orbit ‘evacuating Ecaz wounded’…

While this had been going on the Ecaz Frigate had been making passes and bombarding the Sindri troops on the ground. A task made more difficult by the presence of the ash cloud over much of the territory. Secure in it’s dominance of orbit the players were able to sneak their unknown Frigate onto a ballistic intercept course.
The sudden close detonation of one of their own troop transports and the ambush from the Sindri Frigate was sufficient to bring the Ecaz Frigate down in one blow (Seriously, they rolled 6 successes!).
Now they had the High ground they could return the bombardment favour.
It came too late for Lucille Kovaks forces at Bakallis however, as the Ecaz forces secured the Western regions.

As the turns had ticked along I had being added the occasional spice bloom explosion counter onto other Houses territories. Demonstrating that Ecaz forces were slowly succeeding at their battles there.

Focus now turned to the battle around Irkalla. Iago suddenly returned to his Regiment, leading them against Ecaz troops attempting to breach the city. The bloody fight wiped out most of the forces, but Iago’s newly formed troops successfully prevented the city from being stormed. Living up to the Kinnard reputation of Holding the Line at all costs.

An attempt to reinforce the Ecaz forces at Irkalla from Bakallis was foiled by the Rapid Response Force that Natha had held in reserve. A running joke that she had been training her husbands troops in ash waste survival suddenly came into play with my allowing her use her Waste Walker (Desert Walker, but for Cheruf ash wastes) talent on them.

Cut off and under bombardment the remaining Ecaz forces in Sindri territory agreed to Kirsten’s demand to surrender. Captain Del Rio was found badly wounded near Alnor Bay, having been amongst the first casualties of the invasion.
With the only Frigate in orbit ,House Sindri was able to support the other Houses in defeating their invaders.

  • House Hallas had suffered the most in the invasion with much of the ruling House wiped out.
  • Houses Karasu & Tethys were both badly damaged, but had been able to receive reinforcements before matters got too bad.
  • House Dahl had simply been ignored, due it being too small for anyone to particularly care about it.

Final position

Now that they had secured their Homeworld and were the undisputed leaders of the forces present, their attention turned to what was happening on Erif IV. This had clearly been only a small detached force meaning the bulk of the Ecaz forces must be elsewhere…


Next time on the Sindri Chronicles: Can the Complicated rescue Jin-Mei & Antonio Sindri during the chaos of major invasion?

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Another long gap between sessions. Easter and illnesses in the group delayed us (Oh for our university days when 4 sessions a week was the norm… Though as one of my players pointed out we were also skint).

This session occurred simultaneously with the prior one. A unit of the Complicated (Last seen hijacking a Solis Frigate) were on the Ezharian homeworld of Erif IV making preparations for a mission when suddenly comms chatter goes through the roof, sirens sounds and a lockdown of the capital city is announced.
I handed out a selection of cards from the Agents & Architects pack to represent some additional equipment they had prepared for their original mission. Chosen almost at random, I was mainly curious to see what plans they came up with.
Listening in the local military comms it becomes clear that House Ecaz has launched a major invasion of the planet. Battles in space are ongoing and troop transports are dropping into the atmosphere.
Just before the comms start being jammed the local defence forces start warning of surprise attacks by traitors in the uniforms of *&!()%"—, and static descends across the bands.

The groups handler gets in touch: Lady Jin-Mei & Antonio Sindri are in the Ezharian Palace, which is under attack by Ecaz forces. They are to extract them by any means necessary.
Deciding to disguise themselves as medical members of the Local Defence Forces (LDF) to try and get past some of the barricades that were going up around the city (No such thing as Article 38(I) of the Geneva Convention in Dune…)
Racing through the city they bluff their way through several checkpoints until they come across one held by House Griffon troops (Minor House of Ezharian that the players were already suspicious of). They offered an escort, which the players cautiously accepted. At the next LDF checkpoint, while the troops were distracted by the players, the House Griffon troops launched a surprise attack. Revealing themselves as the traitors (to no-ones great surprise).
In the confusion the players high-tailed it out of there to the House Ezharian palace.

I had marked up a copy of this map (The Imperial Palace, Tokyo) with who was where and what was happening. To my players though they could only see which gates were being attacked and where was quiet. To their relief the House shield was still up.
Slipping in through the lower East gate under pretence of setting up a medical field hospital they gained access to the communications base next to it. Princep Karasu was trying to organise a defence of the troops elsewhere on the planet. While the players considered trying to take him with them, he wasn’t their primary target and he seemed to be more useful where he was.
Infiltrating the comms system they identified where several of the other nobles were including, eventually, Lady Jing-Mei & Antonio Sindri. Hunkered down at the airfield in the South West corner.
However heavy fighting had broken out inside the compound at the main Palace which lay on the most direct route there.

They swung North to grab Chevalier Dahl as a target of opportunity before Ecaz troops broke through the gate next to her. With the Palace well and truly breached it was a matter of time before the whole facility would be overrun. Ignoring other Nobles as they raced down they reached the Sindri twins as signs of fighting came up from the South. Some initial confusion ensued as they tried to subtly hint they were with the Complicated and not the LDF. With the Sindri twins failing their checks the players eventually resorted to just telling them that they came from Peuchen, a name the Sindri’s instantly recognised.
Lady Varrick and her husband arrived at the airfield where they sought the players assistance in treating the husbands wounds. As the players didn’t actually have any medical knowledge they resorted to drugging him and advising that he needed to be taken to a field hospital to the East. Essentially getting them out of the way. They weren’t Cheruf nobles, they didn’t care if they survived.

As their priority was getting their Nobles out they decided that radioing in a fake report of their deaths would help in covering their tracks. First they had them change into some mechanics clothing, then Helga ‘acquired’ some bodies to dress them in and set fire to the building. After all, it’s not like this was Sindri personnel and facilities…

Switching from their car to a Ezharian 'thopter the players manoeuvred it between the buildings to the West gate, where the defenders had blown the bridge to protect it.
A powerful intimidation roll persuaded the remaining guards that this evacuation flight was authorised and with the gates open they lit up the engines and roared out into the city.
Flying low to avoid the aerial dogfights they tried to work out the next stage in their plan. Not helped by a badly wounded Helga, who dosed up on powerful painkillers, was making less than useful suggestions.
Attempts to raise their black market contacts failed and the Spacing Guild turned them away point blank. (Appeals to their Humanity really fell flat) With complications starting to appear they decided to flee the city and head for the Ezharian Winter Estate as a stop gap, it being almost shut down at the moment.

We called it at this point as I wanted to get an epilogue with the main characters done as well that night and the players had gotten their charges out, even if it would be another couple of weeks before they could smuggle them off planet.

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