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Author Topic: Chronicals of the West [Homebrew Campaign]  (Read 3240 times)
ArawnNox
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« on: May 08, 2010, 08:52:01 PM »

Things are gearing up for a Fantasy Craft campaign here that I'll be running. I thought I'd be getting the first adventure off the ground today, but at least I got the players together and got their characters made today.
I'll be starting with The Darkest Hour and The Cleansing of Black Spur to get everyone (myself included) used to the game, familiar with the mechanics, and happy with their character creation choices.
The game begins (hopefully) later this week. For now, I'll get a thread started and post our cast list.

Location: The West- a box shaped stretch of land walled in by large mountains and deserts to the east, a sea to the west, and harsh, cold plains to the north.

Dramatis Personae:

Jacques L' Ange - Wily Human Fencer. Captain with Pierre de Lussan, his Personal Lieutenant. A pirate from the island nation of Franklund, a feudal nation located on a large central island with smaller client states made up of the peoples from the surrounding islands. Ships and gunpowder ahoy! Played by Danny.

Roheis Acan - Saurian Nomad. Explorer with a love of books and shiny rocks. Born in the hot jungles of Mictlan to the south, a bloody tribal nation of saurians. She traveled to the Saurian people living in the islands south of Franklund, learning much from these technologically uplifted kin. Played by Shannon.

Ayleth - Strong Human Fighter. Lancer from Northumbria, a feudal human nation in the northern part of The West, which has also absorbed the major Pech settlements in The West. Rides a Raptor she managed to tame from Mictlan and makes things dead. Played by Aubry.

Abraxis (has a much longer name that I don't remember) - A Truscale (mountain) Drake Gladiator. A Sage who was raised in the great arenas of Corinth, a nation run by elected kings and has a strong military. An arrogant creature who now travels the world after escaping his bondage. Played by Bo.

I'm still building the world and I've taken a Robert Howard style approach in methodology of borrowing real-world names for locations, languages, and so on. "Franklund" is probably going to be renamed as its loosely based off a Musketeer era France.
Anyhow, stay tuned as this section updates.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 10:04:04 PM by ArawnNox » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2010, 10:07:17 AM »

Will do. I'll be interested to see where this goes.
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 11:00:54 PM »

I was starting to worry the game wasn't going to happen today. We got a late start and only had 2 hours to play, so we got through the meat of scene 1 of Darkest Hour. Note, out of character moments or comments from the author will be in (( ))
Defining moment: Before the session even started, Bo asked me if Abraxis could be sick, when I was taking a brief Q&A.

Inside the Tipsy Wyvern, in the Fells Cut region of Northumbria, a group of total strangers had completed their evening meals and were getting ready to bed down.
"Barkeep," said Jacques L'Ange, a privateer from Rouen ((formerly Franklund)), getting the Innkeeper's attention.
"Yes, sir?"
"A pair of hard ones."
"Pardon?"
((Aubry: It sounded like he said "A pair of hard-ons"))
Jacques clarified his order, which was delivered to him by the attractive barmaid. However, he seemed uninterested and conversed with his First Mate, Pierre de Lussan, in their native language; franca.
Recognizing the language so far from home, the single saurian in the inn, Roheis Acan strode up to the bar and struck up a conversation.
"Hello, may I ask, what brings you out here?" she inquired.
((Danny: What race is she?
Me: Saurian
Danny: Is she hot?
Aubry: Depends on how many drinks you've had.))
"Looking for any way to bring in coin." he responded.
"Oh? What is it you do?"
"I'm a seaman by trade. I once possessed a Letter of Marque, but that was lost with my ship."
As the three conversed, a lone knight, Ayleth, sat near the window, idly examining the magic object she had been given. It was a small stone colored purple. She had been instructed to find out why the Church of the High Heavens had sent an adventuring party out to Andra, on behalf of Fel's Cut's Baron. The odd purple stone could send a message to a receiving stone, either red for an "SOS" or blue for an "All's Clear". She occasionally glanced out the window at the odd boulder in the courtyard that just didn't seem to fit.
Suddenly, there came a great racket from outside the inn as a horse charged through the gate and keeled over in front of the inn, flinging it's rider to the ground. The "boulder" raised a wing and opened an annoyed eye at the racket. The "boulder" then promptly went back to sleep.
"Pierre, go see what that is." Jacques demanded. Pierre went to the door to find a bloody and bruised man laying on the ground. "There seems to be a dead man, here, Captain." Pierre responded.
The group found their way to the door to hear the man's gasping plea. "They're at the church in Andra! They need help!" and he passed out.
Everyone wracked their brains to think of what they knew about Andra, while Ayleth studied the man's gear, figuring out his career. Jacques begin rummaging through the man's belongings and was rewarded with his traveling journal. "Ah ha!" he declared, triumphantly.
((Bo had been admonishing Danny for trying to find identification.))
Unable to decipher the Angleish language the journal was written in, he passed it along to Pierre, who knew most of the mainland's languages.
"What does it say about him?"
"His name is Hertiger."
"What else?"
"He knows a man named Barald."
"And?"
"Something about a tomb robbing for artifacts."
"Is that all?"
"And there's a hot barmaid here."
"A hot barmaid. We know all we need!" and he tossed the journal aside, which was promptly scooped up by Ayleth.
Then the group began to dither about healing Hertiger, as they could figure out that moving him would be fatal, but none of them had the tools needed to treat him. A dark, crawling fog began to roll in towards the open gates.
((Shannon: That's not right.
Me: Yeah and neither are the things coming out of it!
Players: What?
Me: You see several fast, shambling figures come charging for the gate.
Players: Oh sh!t!))
"We're under attack!" shouted Ayleth for the benefit of the inn staff, and charged into the middle of the courtyard. Jacques, Pierre and Roheis ran over to the gate and helped the stable boys push the gate shut.
Having caught the scent of decayed flesh in the air, the "boulder" unfurled into a very large mountain drake, who then bounded through the courtyard, charging past Ayleth (nearly making her jump out of her skin) and up to the party. Roheis cried out in fright and hit the ground. The others didn't seem to notice. With the gate shutting, Abraxis, the drake, raised his head above the walls of the gate, and confermed the number of undead he saw charging the gate. Abraxis took off into the air and circled to the main building of the inn, taking a sentry position.
Once the doors were shut and barred, Ayleth and Roheis stepped back, readying their weapons, while Jacques and Pierre braced themselves against the gate. The raveners slammed into the gate and then a disconcerting scurrying sound could be heard as they began to climb. The privateers moved back next to the women, drawing their own weapons. Abraxis, sensing an opportunity, flew next to the gate and unleashed a bolt of lightning from his mouth, striking three of the raveners. A little crispy, the raveners continued their climb and leaped over the top and down into the waiting weapons of the party.
Roheis struck with her staff, but missed ((I'm not planning on letting her know that subdual damage is useless against undead until it's needed)).
Ayleth struck with her broadsword, cleaving down one of the raveners.
Jacques swung his cutlass, doing damage but not dropping the ravener.
Pierre stabbed with his halberd, striking the ravener in the gut, but not stopping it.
The raveners struck back, missing the heros, but one bit down on Pierre's arm, his armor stopping the teeth from reaching his flesh.
Abraxis flew back down into the courtyard, the other heros had formed a solid line, keeping the raveners lined up. He unleashed another bolt of lightning, frying one of the raveners and adding a layer of crispyness to the remaining two.
Ayleth struck at the one infront of Pierre and cleaved it's head from it's shoulders while Jacques split the skull of his opponent.
The raveners defeated, the party then looked at each other. It seemed introductions were in order.

((At this point, I had to end the session, since two of the players had to leave. Now we should be making Thursday our game night. This looks like it'll be an interesting campaign. I'm still getting used to how this group of players works and this session helped a lot.))
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 05:31:47 PM »

Alright, new story hour. There was a lot of laughter at the table and too much booze in one player at the begining of the session last night so I'll try to remember everything. This write up wont have the literary quality the last update had. I'll be mostly summing up events and writing down the specifics I remember.

The players stood over the corpses of four raveners, trying to figure out just what had happened. Abraxis maintained his holding pattern to try to keep an eye out on the perimeter of the coaching in. His senses only revealing fog and more fog. So, he returned to his sleeping location and curled back up.

Ayleth returned to the inn to check on the staff, while Roheis made her way back to Hertiger, who had succumbed to his wounds during the battle. They began to banter among themselves about what to do. Most of the needed translating was taken care of by Pierre. Roheis suggested they talk to the "flying rock" and convince him to come along (The "flying rock" being the mountain drake).

Ayleth was the one to parlay with the drake, while Jacques stumbled around in the fog (by taking his figure and erratically moving him around the map, for which he was awarded an action die). Abraxis was more annoyed than anything and the rest of the group gave him little reason to accompany them. Eventually, through lots of flattery (and a bit of meta-gaming on Bo's part) Abraxis agreed to follow them (for taking charge of the situation, Ayleth was awarded an action die).

The group found their way to the church (very easily, thanks to the critical success on the notice check), and quite quickly managed to get the survivors to let them in. Abaxis squeezed in through the doors and the inside was just big enough to house him. The survivors spoke with the players a bit and told them a little bit about what was going on from what they new. A knowledge check on Ayleth's part let her figure out the "moving treeline" could have been a rootwalker, Thomas approached and asked the players to look for his mother, Bastian provided them with a map and directions to the mayor's house, while Maja clued them in to her husband's stash. The players noticed Brother Severen, but their attempts to speak to him didn't seem to work out.

The group then set out for the town, getting signaled by Frida when they approached the sheriff's home. Luckily, no raveners saw the light from her lantern. They helped her and were rewarded with the sword tailored to fight undead. They escorted Frida back to the church and were attacked by a pair of raveners on the way back. The raveners were quickly put down and mother was reunited with son.

While returning to the town, three raveners attacked the party and Danny learned just how fragile NPCs are. Pierre was struck down by a ravener during the fight. The raveners were defeated and Pierre's gear was taken by Roheis and Ayleth, then his body burned (as they had not learned how raveners are made, yet). Rohies had suffered a bite and was bleeding, the group used the medical kit that Abraxis kept in his gullet (and some hilarious hacking noises to retrieve it), to patch her up ( I used a bit of GM power here because things were begining to drag and I was very put off by the fact that a treatment check (a two hour downtime check) is needed to remove the bleeding condition).

The group found their way to Maja's home and gained a healing elixir, another medical kit, and some silver (my questions of "what do you want?" was met with "A kitten!" and other such nonsense). Next stop was the Mayor's house, the group found Barald's Journal and finally got a clear picture of what was going on. The group left the home and a successful notice check let them spot the tree that wasn't there before. Then, Jacques critically succeeded on a Sense Motive check. Me: That tree is not a tree.

The battle with Wiltweevil was... unpleasant. He charged the group, screaming "They must not disrupt The Master's plans!" and missed in the first round. The players surrounded him and took small nicks out of his Vitality, while Jacques scored a critical with his cutlass. Wiltweevil attacked in return, reducing Jacques to 9 wounds in the first swing. The players continued to plink away at him and Abraxis landed next to the rootwalker, taking a swipe at him. Wiltweevil, distracted by the Drake, swung at him and took him down all of his vitality and a good chunk of wounds. At this point, Abraxis took to wing, scooped up the players and they beat a hasty retreat.
-----

That's where we ended the session and I've come to a few realizations. So, its GM commentary time!
The Darkest Hour is a terrible scenario. No, I'm serious. The NPCs are passive and uninteresting, the main villain doesn't make an appearance until the climax, it's designed far too much like a DnD game and doesn't play to FantasyCraft's strengths and its very linear, despite it's attempts to not be so during Scene Two.
I discussed much of this with my roommates, Bo and Shannon, after the game because I realized that boredom was setting in around the table. During the game, Aubry talked about how she had missed the roleplaying aspects and liked the exploring, rather than all combat. A comparison was made to a JRPG due to the chance of attracting raveners with the sneak rolls, it was too much like "travel a little, fight a random battle. Travel a little, fight a random battle."
Also, I'm very angry with Wiltweevil's design. He's a final boss in and of himself. 130xp value special npc? That's a serious threat. Not something to just blow your nose at. A frikken 22 strength? Because he's big, right? That's not FantasyCraft! That's DnD thinking!
So, for the next session, I've taken what's remaining and totally reworked things. Wiltweevil is getting a redesign, Master will make an appearance, and a fast, more epic conclusion is in the works.
Stay tuned.
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 10:49:38 PM »

Gather round, friends! Its time for another story update. Everyone had a lot more fun this session, so lets go!
-------
Abraxis flew the party back to the church, depositing Jacques in a tree, gently setting Ayleth and her raptor down and glaring at Rohies until she climbed off his back. Then he turned to Ayleth and angrily growled at her. "That was stupid. You're demoted." With that, he flew up to the top of the church to keep a lookout.

The party was brought into the church where Bastian, the de-facto mayor had talked Brother Severen out of some of his fuge and had him heal up the returning adventurers. ( giving 10 vitality back to Rohies, Jacques, and Abraxis.) He questioned Ayleth about what happened. She began to explain the rootwalker attack when, from above, Abraxis shouted "You might want to start barricading! We've got company!" Which Ayleth quickly translated for the party.

Pews were piled up in front of the Church's doors and Rohies and Jacques searched for lantern oil. (Rohies got an action point for good thinking) They found three pints and prepared burning grenades.

From Abraxis' vantage point, he watched as Wiltweevil and a horde of over a dozen raveners approached the Church. As the raveners lined up, a man in black armor with a silver circlet around his head walked out of the fog and up to the sadistic rootwalker.
"Wiltweevil! What is going on here?"
"Master! Another group of foolish adventurers has come! They've holed up inside the church with the survivors."
"That is all? Surely you can handle this."
"Of course, Master."
"Very good. When you are done, join me at the graveyard, I will be gathering the army."

With that, the Master walked off into the mist, leaving the party to endure Wiltweevil's siege.

(Bo had me a bit worried as he postulated flying off and eating Master before he could return to the graveyard. I think he saw the look on my face and decided against it. He could have tore Master up. It also is worth noting, at this point, that I had significantly toned back all the NPCs and fixed some things that were missing or redundant. One of the condition immunities on the Grave Wurm was redundant with the Undead traits, for example.)

A group of the raveners charged the chruch doors and began clawing at the barricade. Rohies threw one of the pints of oil at the pack of Raveners, catching one on fire, killing it and the fire began to slowly spread. Abraxis took off from the Church roof and engaged Wiltweevil, pelting the rootwalker with lightning fire while it picked up large rocks from the landscape and threw them at the mountain drake.
The group took what potshots it could at the raveners outside while the fire spread and the raveners continued to beat on the barricade. Amazingly, it held and the fire didn't spread into the church doors. Abraxis then landed and put his powerful limbs to work and grappled the rootwalker. The two continued to struggle until Abraxis got the leverage he needed and tossed the rootwalker into the fire. Wiltweevil was quickly consumed by the flames (which had gotten extremly damaging by this point).
Abraxis then turned his lightening on the raveners as a dozen mounted men-at-arms arrived. The knights drove off the raveners and put out the flames. Seeing armored men, Abraxis returned to the roof.

The captain of the mounted soldiers sought out Ayleth, who had sent the SOS. He explained they were the advance troops the Baron sent, and asked to be informed on what was going on. He was handed Barald's journal and after checking it over, he asked if the party had any plans. After a bit of arguing between Ayleth and Abraxis, who was sticking his head through the doorway upside-down, the party left some of the troops to guard the survivors while the rest followed the party through the game trail, letting them get a good, unguarded approach to the graveyard.

The party approached the main part of the graveyard from all sides and then the remaining cavalry charged and engaged the raveners, keeping them distracted. As the party entered the area, roused by the activity, the Grave Wurm burst through the ground. (As I prepared, Bo was saying "Oh sh*t! I remember this!" since they knew about it from the journal.) The party engaged the wurm, dealing some damage to it.

"Enough!" the shout echoed across the battlefield (and for hilarity, the music playing on Bo's laptop also paused as I said that). Master had stepped from the tomb, he regarded the party as the Grave Wurm and the raveners stopped moving. He began to applaud, "Impressive!" (I got to use my booming-over the top voice) "You show promise for defeating Wiltweevil. Join me! And together, we shall conquer the world!"

The party all looked at each other and Abraxis opened his mouth really wide and lolled his tongue out. Then Jacques mimiced him. Master grew irritated, "You're insolence does not amuse me! Now you die!"

Jacques charged Master, attempting to Bull Rush him off his feet to claim the Soul Star from his armor. However, Jacques ran into a wall of steel, which only got a laugh from Master. The party quickly dealt with the Grave Wurm, spliting open the beast in a shower of gore. Master was also taken care of fairly quickly, with Abraxis pinning the human down while Ayleth and Jacques pried the soul star from his chest.

Master was arrested by the Baron's troops, and reconstruction of Andra began.
-----
Post script:
A member of the Church arrived and questioned the party about the events, taking Barald and Hertiger's journals and the Soul Star. Upon being asked what was being done about the artifact, the church man responded, "It's being examined by top men." "What sort of top men?" "Top. Men."
Cut Scene:
The Soul Star sits on a pedistal, in a room made totally out of stone. The camera pulls back and a large iron door slams shut and several mundane and magical locks are put in place. A couple of guards are posted and the camera continues to pull back through a labyrinth of similar tunnels and rooms, out into a grand cathedral and out to reveal the capital city (and I improv'ed most of that while the ending music to Raiders of the Lost Ark played)

So, everyone leveled up and had much more fun than they had the last time, which made me happy. I hope you all enjoyed this adventure and the adjustments I made to Darkest Hour.

I won't be running Cleansing of Black Spur like I thought since it's very similar to Darkest Hour: A dungeon crawl without the dungeon. So, next week, it'll be all me. If you like, feel free to post feedback or questions. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 02:50:20 PM »

No update this week. Danny and Aubry can't make it because of the bad weather. We're all going to see if we can get in two sessions next week. Stay tuned.

---End Transmission---
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 08:25:13 PM »

Makeup game tonight for having missed last thursday.
I went mostly off the cuff but we had a lot of fun.
Last session, everyone leveled up (I'm using Fast Levels) and got their new abilities.
-----

A few weeks after the events in Andra, the party has made their way west, heading towards the massive rivers that cut through Northumbria. They stopped in a walled city named Brighton, a growing trading hub located an hours journey from the riverside. The players sold off their goods gained from Andra, and purchased new equipment. (At my insistence, Danny got a bandoleer for Jacques).
Abraxis found himself an inn sized for giants that he could rest in if needed and then found his way to a small stand that sold books and broadsheets.
Ayleth and Rohies did their own things, specifically got Ayleth's raptor stowed, then went to an inn and had some friendly drinks. (I should say that everyone picked up the Trader's Cant language, as I decided to use Fast Interests).
Jacques picked up a new PL, a man from the East named Hung Lo (Danny named him, not me), and the two did some gambling at the back of the inn. It was not a good day for him as he only made a net of 2 silver.

A group of armed men entered the Inn, all dressed in Northumbrian Naval Military uniforms. Their leader, a well trimmed and handsome fellow surveyed the inn and spoke to the four men with him. They glanced in Jacques' direction then strode towards him.
Hoping to talk his way out of it, Jacques approached the men and stated, "Meet me at that booth in ten minutes."
They stopped Jaques and their leader responded, ignoring Jacques' attempt at subterfuge. "You are Jacques L'Ange, yes?"
"Yes I am, and I'd prefer to keep that quiet?" the confused mariners looked at each other. "What are you here to do? Blow my cover?" he continued.
"Is that what they call it when a pirate hides from the law?" the leader responded.
"I'm with the federal agency here undercover, don't you know that?"
"What?"
"Obviously you don't have the right clearance."
(Danny then fails at his bluff check thanks to the hefty penalty I put on it. We got a good laugh.)
"Sir, I think I would need several... large... tankards of ale for me to believe that."
"We can fix that, do you plan on staying a while?"
"Sir, you are Jacques L'Ange and you are under arrest."
"Under what charges?"
"Piracy, I chased you in to port about a month ago."
"Ah! Yes! Scotty, ole boy, how are things."
"I, sir, am Captain Gregor Eagleheart and you'd do well to remember that. Stand down, turn over your weapons and come quietly."
Realizing he's out manned, Jacques gave up without a fight. Ayleth and Rohies went up to the confused easterner.
"What jest happen!?"
"He did something stupid." Ayleth explained. "Come on, we're going to get our drake friend."
"There's a drake! OOOHHHH SHIIIIIITT!" (I'm flailing about doing my best "flee from godzilla" impression.

They managed to calm him down and found Abraxis in the market, having purchased a few broadsheets on fairytales.
They explained the problem and Abraxis was more than willing to leave Jacques to his fate, saying "Good riddance."
As they discussed things, a pair of individuals approached them, one short and broad, the other taller and more slight.
(I'm going to paraphrase here and come back to the post later)
The pair introduced themselves as agents of a monster hunting organization called The Order of the Second Flame. They wanted to recruit the party, having heard about their actions in Andra. After hearing the perks and drawbacks, the group accepted. Jacques was visited by a third agent, and got an acceptance out of him. The three agents met the party at the Giant's Inn and discussed plans for rescuing Jacques as the Captain was unaccepting of bribes.

(And thats where we ended for the night. I'll fill out the ending with the banter later on and there'll be a short session on thursday.)
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 12:20:47 AM »


While returning to the town, three raveners attacked the party and Danny learned just how fragile NPCs are. Pierre was struck down by a ravener during the fight.


I've been wanting to start a Fantasy Craft campaign, and I'm having a lot of fun reading the story of your campaign.  I'm new to Fantasy Craft myself, and I had a question about Personal Lieutenants, as I think one of my players might go the same route (but with a more military style Captain).  How is a special NPC particularly more fragile than normal characters?  If the personal lieutenant starts with an XP value of at least 55, and the player's lieutenant has at least some levels in Health, say Health II, then the lieutenant's vitality is 10, and it's wounds are based on size and constitution.  So, unless the lieutenant is tricked out with a lot of complex gear...it should have about as much starting vitality and wounds as the PCs do.
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 10:12:40 PM »


While returning to the town, three raveners attacked the party and Danny learned just how fragile NPCs are. Pierre was struck down by a ravener during the fight.


I've been wanting to start a Fantasy Craft campaign, and I'm having a lot of fun reading the story of your campaign.  I'm new to Fantasy Craft myself, and I had a question about Personal Lieutenants, as I think one of my players might go the same route (but with a more military style Captain).  How is a special NPC particularly more fragile than normal characters?  If the personal lieutenant starts with an XP value of at least 55, and the player's lieutenant has at least some levels in Health, say Health II, then the lieutenant's vitality is 10, and it's wounds are based on size and constitution.  So, unless the lieutenant is tricked out with a lot of complex gear...it should have about as much starting vitality and wounds as the PCs do.


I...... *FACEPALM*
This is where my n00bishness with the system and as a GM shows. I was treating PLs as standard NPCs. I missed that part. >.< Yeesh, hopefully Danny won't kill me over it.
And sorry I haven't posted this week's events yet, been busy with other things. I'll get to it after my errands tomorrow.
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 01:29:42 AM »

Okay, I got two weeks of sessions to catch up on so this'll probably be brief as my memory is a bit fuzzy.

-----
In the early morning, Jacques L'Ange was marched down to the gallows in the center of town, where a large group had gathered. The noose was placed around his neck and a list of charges were read off. The party, save for the drake, Abraxis, mingled amongst the crowd, getting close to the raised platform Jacques was standing upon. The three Second Flame agents hung back near the edge of the crowd, watching the situation. The reading of the charges finished, the leaver was pulled and Jacques fell to his death.
Or, he would have, if Abraxis had waited any longer. The massive drake flew into the square and pounced upon the gallows and snapped off the wooden pole Jacques was suspended from. Captain Eagleheart was prepared for a rescue attempt (due to the botched bribery attempt and Danny's proclamations of traveling with a drake when he was arrested) and his men, who had been standing guard, fired their muskets on Abraxis, and managed to annoy the large beast.
The crowd panicked and dispersed, leaving three very surprised adventurers exposed to, not only Eagleheart's men, but a team of town guards, armed with clubs. A short battle ensued with Rohies knocking a guard out with her staff (fear the character with the Staff feats and a longstaff) and Abraxis knocking the city guard for a loop with a well placed Wing Buffet (Huge Drake + Wing Buffet = paper dolls in a fan).
The group met up south of town and proceeded to the river, boarding a raft and heading upstream.

(That was the end of that session, it was really short since Danny and Aubrey had to head out early)
-----

While traveling down the river, the party got to know their companions a bit. The three agents were Cailan Cavain, a former scion of a Northumbrian noble house who wanted to directly protect the serfs; Kell Stormhammer, a boisterous dwarf from the Baelheim mountains who is descended from a long line of renowned warriors; then there was Seresar the Blade Hero, a wood elf from the mysterious realm of Auberdeen. He wouldn't say much about his homeland.

The group was given cloaks emblazoned with the symbol of the Second Flame (a flame within a flame) and leather bound booklets containing their credentials. These and a message were delivered via a large eagle in response to a messenger bird that Cailan had sent out during one of their stops. The message contained information about an incident cropping up not too far from the group, but also an agent requested backup on a different matter elsewhere, further downriver. The group split, the senior agents investigating the unknown matter, and the party being sent to back up the other agent.

Another day's travel downriver and the group entered the land of Eire, the land of the pech who's agrarian society had been absorbed by Northumbria. They pulled up to the docks of the farming village of Eastvick and were greeted by the Sheriff. Recognizing the symbols on their cloaks, the sheriff led them out into the fields where the senior agent was waiting for them. (I got to use my irish accent for the pech ^^)

The agent, identifying himself as Zakia Al-Habash, was a tall man, strongly built, with dark skin and black hair. He never told the party where he was from (because they didn't ask), which made Abraxis very suspicious of him (But Bo was just being suspicious of everything that night). Zakia told them that he sent for aid because he's without his partner, who's an experienced tracker. She was injured during their last hunt and was still recovering, several towns away. Despite the distance, Abraxis tried to insist that they go retrieve her, which only served to annoy Zakia, who was pointedly un-intimidated by the large drake.

Tense pleasantries concluded, Zakia got around to telling the players what was going on: He had only been there a couple of days and that villagers working the fields were going missing in the late evenings. The group set out to find what they could, and were rewarded with discovering large wolf-like tracks on the edge of the fields, where they ended and a massive swamp began.

First, the group began asking around town about those that had disappeared, looking for commonalities. All that they were able to figure out is that all those who went missing had done so while working the fields until there was almost no light to work by.

The party decided to stake out the fields that night, and as the sun dipped below the horizon, Ayleth, sitting atop her raptor, heard something scurrying through the corn fields near her. Setting off on her raptor, the beast bounded through the rows of corn until she forced the thing to run down one of the straightaways... and it was a child, having been scared off by Ayleth's mount. (When being asked why a kid would be out there, I responded "Well, there are some very interesting folk out there tonight.")

Their vigil a near bust, Abraxis decided to take a closer look at the swamp. He took off over the tops of the trees then swooped down into a clearing where the ground was firm and above water. Right away his nose picked up the unfortunatly familiar scent of death and decay. He followed it down to the water's edge, and after poking with a claw, produced the body of a pech. Scooping it up, he returned to the group who examined the corpse. Rohies managed to identify that the pech had been drained dry of blood and found it covered in small, irregular pairs of puncture wounds.

The party then decided to wait until morning to explore the swamp further... after taking the body to the sheriff and asking if the victim had any enemies or anything like that, which got a queer look from the sheriff and the comment "Ye big-folk are always so suspicious of each other, aren't ye?"

The next morning, the group set out into the swamp, slowly making their way to the clearing where Abraxis had found the body. As the group poked around, they discovered more large wolf tracks, that just disappeared. Rohies went poking into the muck of the swamp and hoisting up the corpse of a warg, also drained of blood. Then, six creatures, their bodies composed of leeches, lurched from the water and charged at the group. They were easily dispatched, only Rohies taking some damage, while Zakia easily dispatched a beast himself. Each creature (a leechwalker I adapted and customized) left behind a small stone box, glowing with arcane runes, which soon faded.

The group decided to break one and see what was inside. Abraxis busted one open and was rewarded with a stinging sensation on his finger and a wisp of red light shot out of the box and quickly disipated into the air. The group turned to Zakia, so see if he knew anything, which he shrugged. He suggested the players head back to town and he'd send a message to the nearest guild hall, asking for a mage to come and decipher the boxes so they could uncover the source of the creatures.
-----

That's where that session ended. This week should be interesting. Danny and Aubrey are going to have to move away soon because Danny is being reassigned by the Coast Guard, so this week may be our last session, so I'm going to make it as fun and fast-paced as I can. An old enemy is going to make his return.
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Wizard's First Rule: People are stupid.
"A great GM knows how to make sure everyone has fun, and great players know the same." --Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 05:22:37 PM »

No session this week. Sad
Danny got his move orders and has to report for duty at his new location by August 10th, which means he and Aubrey have to prep the house for sale, pack, find a place, and move in one month.
The game may be done for a while, which will give me some time to refine the setting while we hunt for new players.
If we manage to get another session in before Danny and Aubrey move, I'll be sure to post the results of that session.
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Wizard's First Rule: People are stupid.
"A great GM knows how to make sure everyone has fun, and great players know the same." --Patrick Kapera
Arawn's Art: http://arawnnox.deviantart.com
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