Session Recap – 17 Nov 2022/12 Sacha 574

Session Recap – 17 Nov 2022/12 Sacha 574

Skull Pile illustration by Alex Damaceno @gnarledmonster "The World of Weirth is a setting much like a Hyborian Age, with danger at every turn, Swords & Sorcery magic, demons and mad prophets.
Tribes Of Mipokop And Nomads roam the savanna, while peasants and hedge wizards hide behind the walls of even the meanest thorp. A powerful Ley Line crosses the land, creating transient Gateways to the Faerie Realm.

Meanwhile the influence of Demons And the Belowdark waxes, threatening to cover the world in darkness, a suffocating nightmare that wells up from horror-filled dungeons underground.

Check the World of Weirth (TM) tab above for more info, including a draft of the Player’s Guide. To learn more about the rules and mechanics of this Campaign, be sure to subscribe to the free Substack: Memorium. In today’s episode, the Actions of the Patrons from the past few months will come to light!

Noises in the Dark

No sooner is her project completed than the rain begins to fall in earnest.

The party sets a watch:

Evening – Roinseach, Goloxir

No encounters, but the rain and wind get worse, stronger, for hours. Near the end of the Watch the wind dies down and rain becomes a steady drizzle.

Midnight – Rook, Finnean

The rain tapers off. The clouds slowly disperse and the angry-looking, blood-red moon Solotha is nearly full & shines down upon the Weirth. The wet land looks as though it has been drenched in blood. Quite unnerving.

13 Sacha

Pre-dawn – Alda, Linos

The moons move across the sky, getting lower. The smaller one sets first, but Solotha seems to hand in the sky like a wound. Alda sees the priest Xolaval moving about in the middle of the watch, talking to a couple of the guards, then he moves a little away from camp to relieve himself. He returns to his place, snoring now. Half an hour later, the horses begin to whinney and blow, and the Blurrgg start to pull away on their lines, toward the south. You hear the Sound of something large moving in the darkness, crashing in the underbrush in the woods, only 100 feet away. It seems to be moving along the edge of the woods, from left to right, to the northeast.

 

Alda and Linos pay extra close attention to the area of the forest where the noises are coming from

Morning – Guard A & B

Alda goes to wake up the guards for their shift and discovers that they have been murdered in their sleep! They rouse the camp and discover the Teamster has been killed as well. They fan out to look for clues, and realize the priest, Xolaval, is missing. His bedroll and bag of gear gone as well.

The Porters decide to get to work on heating some porridge before the hunt starts in earnest, and discover the firewood gathered last night is all dry rotted.

Now the party is angry.

Rook and Linos go into the woods to see if there is any trace of the creature that crashed through last night. They find a trail of knocked-down saplings, broken branches, and foot-wide “hoof prints” six inches deep. The only creatures they know of that could make tracks like this are the half-dragons, but they stay to the swamps and marshes. They can see that there is an obvious directionality to the path of the creature and return to the camp when they hear the Porters shouting about the dry-rotted wood.

Shortly after the Porters announce breakfast will be cold, Alda (who is extremely paranoid at this point) spots some motion out in the tall grass. Finnean realizes they are upwind of whatever it is.

The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

Linos sneaks into the tall grass, his Marvana stature perfect for concealment, and creeps toward whatever it is. Rook orders the hunting dogs to be released, and they run out into the grass. Almost immediately they start barking, then there are whimpers and cries! One of the dogs comes running back, its shoulder gashed by two long, parallel cuts.

Alda moves to assist the houndmaster in aiding the dog, while Roinseach directs everyone to gear up for a charge. Moments slip slowly by the wind in the wet grass is the only sound.

Linos arrives within distance of being able to see what it is, an enormous cat with dagger-like front fangs. It is devouring the body of the dog with disgusting tearing noises. Linos carefully pulls a quarrel from his belt and smears it with the last of the poison in his jar. As he is cocking his crossbow, a gust of wind betrays him, and the cat stares him right in the eye. Linos fires, the quarrel sinks deep into the shoulder of the great cat, which charges him, roaring its defiance. As the cat draws near, Linos flings a net at it, which does not quite cover the cat as intended. It does catch on the quarrel, and one of the great cat’s paws is fouled in the net as it tries to swipe at Linos. The other paw catches Linos in the lower leg as he leaps to the side.

When the beast roared, Roinseach and Finnean charged, plunging their pole arm and spear deep into the creature’s exposed flank, splitting open its belly. Rook and Linos follow up with additional attacks as the monster lies bleeding on the ground.

When it is good and dead, Alda prepares stitching for Linos, while Finnean and Goloxir attempt to harvest the fangs and claws. They can successfully remove one fang and 11 claws.

Returning to the camp they discover that when the Porters were hitching up the load beasts to the wagon, it collapsed to the ground. The wagon wheels were completely dry-rotted and ruined. Rook was beside himself. While he was cursing a blue streak, Roinseach and the others went to the edge of the woods to get branches and such to camouflage the body of the wagon as best they could. As it would not be moving…

Alda performs the Ritual of Departure on the dead, Finnean tracks Xolaval, finds that his tracks go through the grass to eth SW about 100 yards, then turn west.

Betrayal!

While all of this is going on the party has no idea they are being watched. The saboteur Xolaval has encountered a patrol of Skarn, and given the password. He tells them of the plight of the stranded wagon and the group of fools guarding the woman who is carrying the object The Master seeks. The patrol makes its way to the edge of the forest, choosing an ambush site between the party and the solitary black cloud in the sky above the Master’s ritual site.

Roinseach leads the party into the forest, guided by the beacon of unholy light only she can see.

When the party is crossing the path of broken branches, four Skarn step into the path on their left, and four more on the right, bracketing the party with crossbows at a range of about 15 yards. These Skarn are unusual, in that they are armored in bronze chain, with greaves, vambraces and shoulder pauldrons of bronze plate. The party have never seen metal-armored Skarn, they generally wear ratty skins and breastplates of bones & carry primitive weapons of wood and stone.

From behind the Skarn on the right comes a familiar voice, the traitorous priest! He calls out for Roinseach to give him what she carries, and he will deliver it to the Master. There is a brief parley, while Roinseach asserts her will to carry the jewel to the Master herself, as commanded by Slid herself! The other members of the party are uneasy, Rook calls out to negotiate. Roinseach and the villainous priest begin to walk toward each other, to discuss this matter without shouting, and Linos whips a knife out and flings it at the priest. Two of the Skarn respond immediately by firing off their crossbows! Both strike Linos in the front and he collapses to the ground, wheezing and burbling.

Rook cries out again for parley, and Roinseach taunts the priest for un-manliness, hiding behind the giant-ish Skarn. The priest loses his temper and draws forth his red-lacquered, flanged mace. He raises it above his head as he strides toward Roinseach. He is a full head taller, but she is faster. She had her own Ebon Blade in one hand and drew her own black mace with the other. She swings the mace and crushes the priest’s forearm, then stabs him in the belly with the Ebon Blade, driving it deep into his thorax. The priest’s eyes glaze over, he slumps to his knees, then topples over onto the loam. His wickedly barbed mace falls to the ground beside him.

After the blitz of movement Alda rushes to Linos, to tend to his wounds. Rook runs up to Roinseach’s side and begins to parley with the Skarn. The leader of the patrol steps out of the trees nearby, wearing bronze chain with iron plates and a dark purple strip of cloth tied around each bicep. He agrees to bargain with Rook and offers to convey the Heart-bearer to the Master. “Any of you are welcome to follow along, provided you are prepared to submit to the majesty of Slid and join Her service.”

The party’s silence is deafening. They are concerned for Roinseach, but much more concerned for their souls!

The Skarn move forward to form an honor guard around Roionseach, while Rook “reminds” Roinseach that she needs to “return that item you borrowed”. Roinseach looks a bit confused, then hands the Ebon Blade to Rook, who winces a bit at its touch.

The Skarn lead Roinseach off into the forest, while the rest of the party attend to Linos and Rook stares at the knife in his hand. It is a dagger made of ebon crystal. It is four-sided with an odd, organic “waviness” to the blade. It has a bone handle that looks very much like a pair of human rib-bones, bound together with gold wire. On the pommel is a cabochon-cut flame sapphire the size of a quail’s egg.

Rook: When you grasp the handle of the knife you feel a surge of power, an electric feeling of giddiness and vitality. You feel the cold, cold chill of Chaos!

Do you drop the knife immediately?

Or do you make a conscious choice to keep this knife for yourself?

The knife wants to be YOURS!

Rook drops the knife. He shakes his head, as if to clear his thoughts, and sees the Skarn left the red-lacquered mace behind when they took the body of the dead priest. He picks it up and can feel the filthy corruption of Chaos in the weapon. With a grim look he puts it in a bag.

Rook calls Alda, after she is done stitching Linos’ wounds. He is conscious but looks very pale. It is obvious he has lost blood and is in shock. Rook asks Alda to take the Ebon Blade and make a Finding, so they can track Roinseach. When Alda takes up the dagger, she, too, winces at the touch. “It’s cold,” she says.

Alda: When you grasp the handle of the knife you feel a surge of power, an electric feeling of giddiness and vitality. You feel the cold, cold chill of Chaos!

Do you drop the knife immediately?

Or do you make a conscious choice to keep this knife for yourself?

The knife wants to be YOURS!

Alda gasps audibly and drops the blade to the ground. “I do not think I can make a Finding of this,” she states rather flatly.

Guests of Lord Dru’un

The party return to the camp, saddle up the horses and blurgg, and return to Nulub’s Quarry. It only takes about two and a half hours, without the wagon. They arrive just before dark and Rook avails himself of his “cousin’s” courtesy, for bread and board.

Downtime thru 23 November/19 Sacha 574

Alda will buy more brandy and healing supplies for her kit.

Rook will send a raven to Gaztelu, regarding a commission of Fine Quality Heavy Armor

Linos will need five uninterrupted days of bed rest to heal his vicious torso wounds. He is at -1 TR and ½ Move until healed.

1:1 Timekeeping is in effect, and the next session will be Wednesday, 23 November/19 Sacha 574.

Roinseach will be experiencing her travel to the Master, and any encounters, via discord chat over the course of the week.

Playing the Game

This session brings us to the culmination of a months-long effort to determine what has been happening in and around Gaztelu Mugatik for the past few months. It was my intention, over two years ago in real time – about a year in Game Time – to have the Gaztelu be the starting point for the Campaign. This isolated, fortified town in the wild border land between County Laralla and County Vorxiya seemed like a perfect place to have the PCs go and use as a home base while they explored the wilderness around the town.

As the saying goes, No plan survives contact with the enemy! the Players are not the enemy, of course, but they did have other ideas. The initial play lingered around the more civilized town of Portasbol. The PCs got caught up in some political machinations between two rival Factions, and took off in an almost completely unexpected direction.

When the Players decided to start another group to facilitate their new 1:1 Timekeeping schedule, that second group started to head toward the Mugatik, In Search of Adventure…

When this happened it occurred to me that events should have been rolling along, despite the absence of any PC parties. I recruited a couple of Patron players to run the major NPCs of the area and develop the campaign in this region, based on the established starting conditions I had laid out over a year before. We played at an accelerated rate, about three weeks of Game Time per IRL week. It was a lot of fun finding out what “had already happened” in the Campaign while I was busy developing other areas.

Pretty much everything that happened was unexpected!

This week will be the Grand Finale of this part of the campaign’s narrative arc. A “story” that has emerged from play organically, with almost no help from me at all. I am really looking forward to the next session!
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LFG Playtest Campaign 1 - The Shadow of Evil Chaos is an experiment with a new (to me) game system, Low Fantasy Gaming, and a new magic hack designed to bring the atmosphere of danger from the pulp novels of Swords & Sorcery. We are playing fully online over a Discord Voice server, using some home-brew maps, art and characters designed on the HeroForge 3D printing site.
Follow all of the posts here: LFG Playtest Campaign 1.

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