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The Sundered Skies Serial! (contains some serious SPOILERS)
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derfinsterling

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:27 pm    Post subject: The Sundered Skies Serial! (contains some serious SPOILERS) Reply with quote

I gathered my old group back from the days of the first Evernight campaign for the third time now - I figure it's time to start a new serial that goes with the campaign as well. No fotos for now, we'll see about that in the future.

As previously, there will be spoilers-a-plenty. So if you're a player Shoo! Shoo! Or the Bright Cabal will get you....

The campaign features a new player as well, you'll get to meet her in a second. The first game night was actually only two hours long since the game host was late in coming home... I had brought a bunch of settings for this one after a pretty long hiatus.
The question I asked was: "What you guys wanna play? Want to continue with Rippers (had an almost TPK there the last time), switch over to the Savage World of Solomon Kane, Pirates of the Spanish Main, Deadlands Reloaded, Necropolis or Sundered Skies?"
I gave them the lowdown, pretty much a two, three sentence intro about the settings they didn't know.
They've kept pestering me about Evernight 2 ever since, well, pretty much the spike had been blown up, Glod lost all his money and Hildebrandt was crowned king. So they were kinda in the mood for fantasy, but Deadlands, or Kane was intriguing as well. Pirates prompted: "Are we ever going to continue our 50F campaign?"
After some discussion, Erika glanced at the covers and pointed.
"Why is there a small dragon on the cover of that one?"
"Because you can play one."
Her eyes started to glow almost as brightly as the blue ball of energy handled by the drakin on the cover and she was sold.
Then I told them about flying skyships. And about Wildlings. And we pushed the other books to the side and made characters.

Over the next few days and weeks there were some emails about their characters, "can I have that, can I do this", the usual - but something that is rarely *that* important that it couldn't wait till the next game session. Well, not this time.

We started the first plot point and the gang introduced themselves:
Laña Raa, Spider-Wildling, played by Giovanna (our new member). She learned her trade as a sky sailor and scavenger from the elf that originally helped her to escape - and she picked up some of his quirks as well. More curious than a cat, she loves to find new and forgotten islands to dig around the ruins, hoping for the mother lode. Terribly afraid of the going glowmad, she convinced herself that the only thing keeping her sane is a regular drink of purified water, carefully boiled and cooled again in her well-used pothelm.

Conrad Blunt, played by Harald (used to play the Red Knight and later an Elven archer). A human sailor and mercenary, with a demeanor fitting to his last name. Konrad's turned out to be the voice of reason in the first two sessions, but also does little to hide his contempt for the elf who is among the crew and he has a hard time taking the Alpha priest seriously. He was the one who insisted on Lana to become the sole captain of their vessel though. A reliable fighter, who keeps his cool.

Niador, the Chosen Drakin sorcerer, played by Erika of Glod fame. Niador's willing to learn, but is careful in taking risks. His great goal of becoming a Great Dragon is much more important than to "win every fight" and to "always be right". He also took his first steps to have his very own hoard, however meager it might be right now. He's got all the time in the world, after all.

Hope, the second Wildling in the group, played by Josef (who used to play Kela Maracus who first gave up her weapons against the highwaymen, then tried to get it back armed with nothing but a knife, but later achieved greatness when his one-handed, scarred old barbarian Hildebrandt was crowned King of Valusia). Hope is a priest of Alpha and she's Untamed - meaning that there is no set fleshforged form for her, but most of the time, she sticks to her original cat form. Terrified of all elves, she had a hard time starting to trust Michaela's character and still doesn't fully trust him.

Henley Lightfoot, dwarf, played by Stephen (the second survivor of the original Evernight characters, Meridor). Some frown upon his profession, considering him a lowlife thug who lives off the hapless victims who have more honest work. Henley himself considers himself to be more of an "investment counsellor" and it's hardly his fault that people are - willingly or unwillingly - investing their possesions with him.
Aboard a ship, Henley is usually quiet, since there's little to do for him and he'd rather not be noticed than charged with some menial tasks. He thrives more among the communities on the various islands, were his talents can really make a difference.

Kazzag, played by Michaela, her of the scantily-clad heroines of Evernight fame. Hrm. Kazzag is an Ex-Oakthorn Elf, or, to be more precise, *the* Ex-Oakthorn from the Player's Guide. Michaela saw the picture in the book and declared: "I'll play that guy." Reclusice and quiet, nobody's too sure about where his loyalties lie, leaving especially, but not only, the wildlings on the edge. Cold and efficient in combat, his intimidating air has an influence over friends and foes alike. His Willow Shadow heritage comes in handy, though.
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The Sundered Skies Serial - full of spoilers!


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TAG Dave

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!

Thanks Marcus!

Nice characters your players have put together there!
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derfinsterling

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: The first session, the first Plot Point Reply with quote

The group, after some chit-chat aboard the Chance finally approached the island they were looking for.
They boarded the small boat and started rowing.
When the damn barnacle apes started throwing rocks, at first they were only annoyed. Then the drakin was hit on the head (28 points of damage with a frickin' thrown rock) and they got concerned... All the more since the drakin, right now, was their only ranged fighter they had.
Under the constant barrage of rocks, most of them plunging harmlessly into the void or pebbling off the hull of their boat, Hope used her Heal power to get the Drakin back up. Konrad and Michaela's elf were busy throwing the rocks back, they few that landed in the boat at least.

Then the drakin sorcerer rose and with a mighty roar (or it would have been if he'd been a *lot* taller) he let go of two salvos of bolts, taking out all the apes, clearing their approach.

Carefully, they landed and towed the boat, then started to explore the fallen ship. Inside, more apes waited for them, but this time it was in close quarters and although they had to take some wounds, they prevailed.
But they were almost out of power points... And then there was that frightful wailing coming from below.

They found the stairs down and for a second they were happy that they finally found what they were looking for, but when they saw the source of the wailing and moaning, they weren't so happy anymore!
Two of them went to the KO table pretty quickly and when they finally managed to push the puppeteer out through the hole into the void, they almost lost one of their own as the desperate creatures wrapped a tentacle around the foot of one of them!

(Sorry for being so vague here, but i't s been a while and I didn't take notes... had the idea for this serial only a little later...)

Almost beaten, they found the talisman and the glove, gathered the remains and what loot they could find and made their way back to the Chance.
I was delighted that they came up with the idea if offering Karr the talisman as his share and keep the rest for themselves - isn't it great when players don't need to be cajouled into anything?
The transformation was dramatic, the ensuing battle was brutal - being out of power points and all of them sporting wounds didn't help either, but thanks to an adventure card or two the ogre was killed and thrown into the void.

Now they had a boat. And a mission. And an appointment with a grieving father they intended to keep.
But before we continued on the plot points, I needed to get them some more xp under their belts.

That first plot point was... brutal. It was tense. But it demands a GM that knows what his players can handle, when to pull back, when to give them a break. Otherwise this could easily be the end of the first group and the Hawkes would need to hire a second group to find out more about his son (and the group he sent after them the first time as well).
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derfinsterling

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:15 pm    Post subject: The second session... where are my notes? Reply with quote

The second session was rushed.

I knew that I didn't want them to get back to Gateway immediately, I knew I wanted to get them more experience and I knew I had a handy adventure generator to handle this.

But then I forgot about it until, like, 30 minutes before I had to leave to get to the game.
Always looking on the bright side, I viewed it as an excellent test of the adventure generator.
Here's basically what I got:
- The Group was supposed to bring something from A to B.
- There would be some encounters along the way. (which I rolled up)
- At the end, there'd be a double-cross.

This is how it turned out.

The Chance was flying through the void when they came across a small island, with council ships circling it. They weren't approached though, so they docked and rowed their boat to the harbor, selling their loot.
They quickly learned that there was some sort of blockade banning all outgoing trade from the island of Blue Haven since it wouldn't adhere to the Trade Council's rulings.

They also learned about a Trader called Trabian who desperately needed a transport for two large chests to Gateway. He was willing to pay good money (even though not quite as good as Hope would've hoped... she asked for a daily rate that would've turned out to be 2000 cogs more than the ship was worth - when it was new!), the heroes were going to Gateway anyway.
So they agreed to keep the chests hidden and to deliver them to an ork who works in a tavern on Gateway - the Lucky Charm. Under no circumstance were they to look into the chests themselves.

They went a little shopping and broke port. When they were hailed by one of the council ships, their first impulse was to flee, their second to fight.
I asked: "Come again?"
Josef said: "We could charge them, I mean how big can it be? We can't really outrun them anyway, our ship isn't that fast."
"A council ship is pretty big, with 30+ cannons."
Harald: "How many do we have?" - "2" - "Ok, I lower the sail and hail them that we comply with the inspection."

Meanwhile, Henley, the greedy little bugger, had opened the chests and hidden what he found inside - or what he considered interesting, anyway.
There was:
A skull of an elf or human, badly rotten, the leftover flesh mumified.
A long, thing vial, with a bright blue liquid.
An old book with a lock.

He hid those items, not knowing what they were or what they were supposed to do with it and awaited the inspection.

The Traders searched the ship, found the chests, but only half-believed that they were carrying loot *away* from an island. Why didn't they sell it in Blue Haven?
In the end, a hefty bribe answered all the questions the Council's man might have had and they continued on their way.

They had two more encounters, one with a group of behemoths they chose to watch rather then hunt and a group of pilgrims, who they helped after they had a run-in with some pirates.
The pilgrims told of a rumor that some guy had found a vast cache on Star Crater isle, as far as they heard, he was in Bridgeways looking for a crew to salvage this find.

We wrapped it up with the Chance safely arriving at Gateway a few days later, making port.
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derfinsterling

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: The third session - Deja vu! Reply with quote

Those once-per-month-sessions have been a real problem. I had the same kind of thing happening twice to me:
In Evernight (the second serial), I started the last session with "You come across an overturned cart..."
And whas interrupted with "Again? Ok, I'll fire at those trees *before* the bandits come out."

This time, it played out a little better, because the players heard the same rumor *again*, but from another source - apparently the guy who actually came from Star Crater Isle.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The last night had left me a little in a pickle. The chests were supposed to be McGuffins, I didn't spend a second on what might be in there. I though the players would run from the Trade Council ship and I was looking forward to another try of the chase rules.
I clearly misjudged them.

So now I had a skull, a blue liquid and a book - three things I randomly pulled out of my head.
After thinking it over and telling Dave about it, I finally decided...
SPOILERS FOR MY PLAYERS!!! wrote:
That the vial was supposed to be spilt over the head, to reanimate the spirit/soul/demon within, who would then be able to translate the book which would contain information about something. What exactly, I'd have to decide later.


But, first things first.

The group wanted to get a paint job on the Chance and do some minor repairs. Since none of them had the repair skill, they hired someone, Piot, to do it for them.
While the Wildlings (too afraid of sheperds) at first stayed behind, the rest of the group made their way into town.
First to pay their respects to Hawke and tell him about his son, second to find the ork and deliver the chest.
Anf then there was of course the business with finding Joeseth Truthbearer and find out more about the riddle that Lightbringer/Oceanus gave them.

They found the Lucky Charm easily enough - a hustling place that somehow came across as the Star Wars Cantina in my player's imagination. At least in one or two's...
The Wildling joined the rest of the crew once they were convinced by the other characters that the "streets are safe".
Henley immediately made his way to the bar, planning on asking the dwarf bartender, if there was an ork working here as well - but then the beer tasted that well, that he forgot all about his plans, rather he kept drinking and chatting with Grudax, the bartender.

Meanwhile, at the other pc's table, they enjoyed a hearty meal of meat, bread, honey and ale, when they listed to a human trying to get an elf and a glowborn to take him to Star Crater Isle.
They eventually refused and the players took over their conversation. Zachary, as the human introduced himself promised them wealth if they'd just take him there.
Eventually, they agreed to meet tomorrow at the docks, where Zachary would provide proof for his find.

They also found the Ork, Garol, working in the kitchen, who asked them to return with the chests after hours.

This gave them time to find Joeseth. They asked for him and where told to follow "the manic sermon in the God's Parade" - which turned out to be harder than they thought. Which manic sermon, exactly?

With patience and after some run-ins with preachers, they came across him, telling and re-telling on how the Goddess of Love had sacrificed herself and was now the Rotting One. Few paid attention, most stopped only for a moment, then moved on.
Not so the player characters.
Lana interrupted him by reciting the poem from Lightbringer and Joeseth was stopped dead in his tracks. He stopped his preaching and got down from his stone (I described it a little like "Speaker's corner in Hydepark") and talked to the characters.
He told them about Soulflame, the Bone Queen, his plan to take them aboard the ship - and my players balked.
"You mean we should go aboard a ship full of zombies, vampires, ghouls and whatnot and blow it up or something??"
Joeseth understood that they would need more time to train, to grow in their ability -"But don't take too much time! You were chosen to do this, do not ignore the Gods' calling!"

He would wait for them when they were ready to continue.

That left one thing to resolve: the chests.
Again, I misjudged my players. Garol, the ork, took the chests, but refused to pay. Instead of taking the chests back, they started arguing, until finally they accepted to leave the chests with him, to allow him to check the contents alone and then give them the money in two hours.

Only Lana, wasn't satisfied. Owing it to her Curiousity, she climbed up the roof, and set next to the chimney, listening.
She heard heavy lifting, pages flipping, the spilling of liquid... I also threw in some more noises to confuse her, like: First she heard a liquid being spilt, then somebody swallowing, then another, lighter "pop" as another bottle was opened, then empty glass being put down on a stone plate.

Then were was the ruffling of pages, a new voice "Why did you wake me?" and the question if he, the second guy was able to read what was written there - "Of course I am."

Then Lana dropped something in the chimney and had to flee.

We wrapped it up shortly after this point when she was re-united with the rest of the group, giving her interpretation of what she heard and remembered. Which was fun to hear. I advice you to try that with your players as well one time.

But I'm not sure that the players will go after the skull anymore. A pity, really. Mabye it'll make a comeback later in the campaign.
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derfinsterling

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: The fourth session - Smoke and Gunpowder Reply with quote

We had a great, great session tonight.

The group went back to talk to Garol after a few hours. He invited everyone in and they had a drink on the house. Well, most had one, the dwarf had three since the liquor turned out to be too strong for the "weaklings" in the little group.
Garol decleared the contents of the boxes for genuine and offered payment. But - he doesn't have the money. He offers part in cogs, offers them the empty chest and one of his rings.
If they ever need help in The Meeting Place, they should go see Kurosh at the Broken Mast and show him the ring. After he also added a bottle of liquor, the deal was sealed.

Next - they were slowly getting tired - they met up with Zacharias. They quickly believed him when he produced two coats of chain mail theat he found in this cave on Star Crater isle - one of them even appeared to be magic!
He asked for three shares, which was more than they were originally willing to pay, but they finally relented.
By the time the meeting was over, Henley had already emptied the bottle and wasn't quite lucid anymore. His player kept us cracking up about his inappropriate, though strangely fitting, comments.

After a couple of hours sleep (they finally suffered the first cases of Glowmadness, at least the first steps and took it more serious now), they took off. They also hired Piot, the guy who had been seeing to the repairs of their ship.

The first few weeks - nothing happened. But then they encountered a rock field! Tense moments there, but Lana safely navigated the Chance through it.

But when they arrived at Star Crater Isle, a pirate ship was apporaching them fast. And Zacharias produced two pistols, telling them to hand over their ship and belongings "and they'd be save."

Conrad charged him, not fearing the Drop, but it took him all his bennies to beat Zach in the Agility roll. He quickly grappled him, rendering the pistols useless.
Hope was below decks, meditating and the rest of the crew was busy to subdue Zach, who got his hands free after two rounds thanks to a Joker. (This was mostly due thanks to Harald, who drew no less then four cards until Conrad's Quick edge was satisfied. The whole table went "Thanks Harald".)

Finally, shots rang out and Kana shouted below decks to load the damn cannons! The pirates were closing in!
Hope hurried to the cannons, then stood there, confused. How exactly do you load a cannon??? (No boating skill, no shooting skill.)

Kazzag shot his thorns at Zacharias, Conrad delivered a massive blow to his face, causing 41 points of damage and breaking Zach's jaw!
He dropped his pistols and surrendered. Henley and Kazzag proceeded to tie him up.
Meanwhile, Lana and the pirate captain had a little dance with their ships, maneuvering about. The pirates fired a shot, but at much too long distance and for a second it seemed that they'd get away.

Then their adversaries caught a gust of wind and were able to close in on medium distance. From there, they blasted with their cannons, resulting in 5 critical hits, wrecking the chance!
One of the hits was particularly nasty: Henley and Kazzag were escorting Zacharias downstairs into the cargo hold when the hull exploded inwards and a cannonball tore the traitorous human appart.

Being wrecked, the chance started sinking and they have only minutes remaining before the pirates board them...

To be continued.
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derfinsterling

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:24 am    Post subject: The fifth session - The Skies are Falling Reply with quote

I love cliffhangers. They take the players right back into the action, even after a break of four weeks. Just start to recap the last few minutes of the last session, and their already getting nervous by me handing out a bonus bennie for showing up on time. Wink

They're drifting, falling, panicking, while the pirate frigate looms ever closer. Desperately, Hope started to prepare the island hopper, even though they are 6 people and only 4 fit in it. (Good thing their prisoner was blasted last time, too!)
Lana tried her best to straighten the ship, but the damage was just too severe. Finally, she got the crew to work together, taking down the sail and creating a make-shift parachute - which worked!
But the sudden stop in the descent (they had picked up considerable speed in the meantime) meant they had to hold on to something or fall overboard. Which was exactly what Kazzag did - holding on to a rope thant hung from their parachute, he flew over board and was dangling over the abyss!

Which gave the elf a good view at the hull, where a gaping hole slowly tore up wider and wider.

Henley threw a lasso and managed to catch Kazzag's feet, slowly pulling him back onto the ship - but since Kazzag was still holding on to a rope attached to the parachute, this put additional strain on the ship (not to speak on the elf!).

Finally, Hope persuaded the captain that all hope was lost (no pun intended and that they should abandon ship.
At that point, the pirates fired a warning shot. They were getting closer again, greedy for the price offered by the sinking wreck (plus, they didn't want to abandon a fellow crewmate).

The Chance's crew manned the lifeboat and Lana was the last to leave her ship - not after setting up a fuse in the hold, leading to the magazine. She tried to time it to go off as soon as the frigate was close enough and managed this by pure luck.

They cut the ropes and pushed themselves away from their dying ship - and immediately started to fall. Six people in a boat for 4 was just too much.

Above, they could see the frigate catching the Chance - and then the ship exploded in a tremendous ball of fire - setting the frigate ablaze, resulting in a second detonation even larger.
Now their quick descent payed off since they were save from the damage.

They started to throw off stuff they didn't need. Money flew first, two folks pulled off their armor, waterskins... the dwarf was the only one to keep tight to his possessions.
Finally they ripped out the banks from the boat, but not to lighten the boat, but to have more makeshift oars.

By this they managed to slow the descent to a manageable level.

For hours they rowed (and it really payed off to have the elf with the Willow Shadow plant heritage) until they made out a speck of an island.

This island, unnamed, took them to the Savage Tale "Landfall".

Lana set the boat softly down on a patch of grass and they found shelter to rest up.
Next morning they met Meajor, who had come "to look for the thing that fell from the skies." They approached the girl nice and politely and she agreed to take them to Seargent.

The first meeting was one of genuine admiration for the messengers of the Gods - of which there were three: The Goddess of Life, the God of Death and the Goddess of Sleep. The heroes, or "messengers", where put up with a family, each in a seperate house and they spent some time talking to their hosts.
Henley immediately bought into the "messenger of the gods" thing and demanded an extra blanket for the bed and complained about the quality of the food.
Hope was trying to find out more about the village and the island, but her hosts weren't the brightest and couldn't really remember anything that happened before Saergent took power. They were kind enough to point out "Old Soljer", the oldest inhabitant of the town.
Hope and Kazzag searched for him, finding him on a sitting on a rock, staring into the void. He only mumbled some stuff with his toothless mouth and shared a bit of bread with Kazzag, but Hope quickly got frustrated that they had been sent to the village idot.

They had a little get-together in the group. Hope declared that something was going on - nobody remembered the time before Saergent, after all! Henley pointed out that he had only talked with two people, but Hope was unphased.

At this point they were summoned to the town hall, a windowless structure lighted by candles and torches. Saergent was sitting on a throne-like wooden chair and humbly asked for the message of the gods.
The villagers - standing and sitting in the back - leaned forward, listening.

Hope held a sermon, telling of freedom and a chance to leave the island. But her choice of words were poor.
"You can leave the island!" - "You hear that? We can walk beyond the edges!"
"Well, no, don't get me wrong, only the chosen ones can leave the island." - "We're the chosen ones!"
"Ah, no, wait, the gods will choose by giving you a sign." - "They sent YOU! You are the sign!"

And so on.
To be fair, I did my best to twist the meaning of Hope's player's words, but then again, he made it pretty easy for me.
Finally, Saergent put an end to this, and he was getting pretty angry.
He told them to leave, immediately, for he declared them to be spawn of the demons! At this point, the ground trembled, which Saergent took as a sign of the gods that he was right.

Hope answered that by using her untamed power to change from a twisted cat/human hybrid to a twisted songbird/human hybrid.
Then Hope cast Stun on Saergent, but the leader weathered the spell and picked up a blunderbuss instead.

The ensuing fight was... interesting. The guards attacked with their bone spears, but the heroes didn't draw guns. Kazzag pulled the blunderbuss from Saergents grip and engaged in a fist-fight with the village leader. Hope was stabbed and nearly killed by a skewering spear hit, but Lana intervened quickly enough and stabilized her.
Henley at first hung back, but then started to engage the guards, using his agilty and tricks to finally get one of the guards killed (he had used him as cover.
In the end, Hope was barely alive, one of the guards was dead, Kazzag was knocked out and Saergent had pulled his pistol on them.

Another cliffhanger. I wonder how the players are planning on getting out of this mess.
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TAG Dave

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is great stuff!

Thanks Marcus!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: The fifth session - The Skies are Falling Reply with quote

derfinsterling wrote:
Hope was stabbed and nearly killed by a skewering spear hit, but Hope intervened quickly enough and stabilized him.


huh?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: The fifth session - The Skies are Falling Reply with quote

Wickedroland wrote:
derfinsterling wrote:
Hope was stabbed and nearly killed by a skewering spear hit, but Hope intervened quickly enough and stabilized him.


huh?


Yeah, well, too many damn wildlings at my table! Fixed the text.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject: The 6th session - They get out of jail to end up in jail Reply with quote

The heroes were escorted (carrying the unconscious ones) to the edge of the island. There was a man-made wall, maybe 8 feet high, with a ladder going up. They were taken up the ladder and on the other side lowered to a little plateau that was exposed to the void.
Imagine a wide pit, being open on one side.

Sergeant's plan, of course, was to let them succumb to glow madness (or "the fever") one by one. Apparently their ultimate punishment of choice.

One guard was left behind, to make sure they wouldn't try to escape up the wall again.
Hours passed.
Lana tried to climb across the underside of the island (with her wall-walker abiltiy), but found it hard to grab on to the island, almost as if the island was pushing her away.
She crawled back up, rather dissappointed that she couldn't offer them an easy route away.

A few Fatigue (Thirst) and Glowmadness rolls later, the characters finally were anxious to get out of there.
Hope stunned the hapless guard from the wall, they scaled it, bound and gagged the guard and put him in the shade (as little as there was) and made off.

Now, the group did what every group does when they can't agree on a course of action: They split up.
Lana went back to check out the boat they arrived in and met another of the islanders. He was willing to talk, but not too friendly. They did get one of his friends killed, after all...
Lana agreed to take him back to the pit where they left the other guard, just to make sure he was unharmed.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group snuck back into the village. Why? Because they wanted their equipment back, of course!
A few stealth rolls later, their cover was blown.

Henley hid in a barrel. Hope changed into a chamelon and all gilly-suited-up-like hid in the tall grasse.
Kazzag and Niador, however, were taken back into custody.

This is were we wrapped it up. I guess, they're gonna stay on that island forever. Well, maybe not forever, but until it breaks apart. Wink

Good sign though: We play roughly once a month to give everybody enough time to plan their spare time around gaming night.
Still, not everybody makes it every time. But the campaign has my players interested enough that they asked for an *increase* in the number of game sessions. Maybe once a fortnight?

We'll just have to wait and see what our busy schedules allow.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:35 pm    Post subject: The 7th session - Finally off the damned island! Reply with quote

The subject line pretty much sums it up. For a while though, it did look like they'd stay on the island till it was finally going to break apart. Not really the kind of campaign I had in mind, though.

Conrad's player has been missing out a lot of fun, lately. I hope Harald will be able to join us at the next session. This time, though, he was pushed into a cellar doubling as a jail cell together with the groups NPC, Piot, since nobody could remember where he was in all the fray, and of course with Niador.
Michaela was lucky that I didn't check my notes too carefully, so instead of her ending up in the cellar with Niador, she remained free. Well, didn't make too much of a difference anyway.

Laña took the human she met near their boat (whose name turned out to be Young Soljer) to the guard they had previously unconscious near the wall.

The rest of the group - Henley, Kazzag & Niador - regrouped outside the village, walked back to the boat, then followed Laña's tracks (and those of a human) back to their "outdoor-cell".
Much pondering was done about the tracks, after all there were no traces of a fight... probably the human hat a gun trained on her.

At the wall, they saw Laña engaged in talks with the two humans. This time theyplayed it cooler. Soljer wasn't too much of a fan of Sergant's rule, that surely helped. Plus they refrained from, you know, killing people.
He took the group to the house of his grandfather - Old Soljer, the village idiot.
This was fine by them, because as Henley put it: "We still need to get back our money, weapons, equipment and stuff."
Kazzag asked: "What about our friends?"
Henley: "Uhm, well, yeah, them too."

Young Soljer informed them that Sergant wasn't willing to risk another flight of the group. Instead the demons should be executed on the town square. A further demonstration of Sergant's power. They had a couple of hours to make plans for the rescue.
During their discussions Old Soljer would show a reaction every time they mentioned "ship" or "boat". With his spoon and bowl he acted something out that they deduced as a ship crashing on the island. They couldn't know what he was refering to - could have been their own crash, after all - and Old Soljer wasn't exactly easy to talk to. So they left hope back with him, taskes to get him "to talk".

The rest of the group was going to free their friends by challenging Sergant to a duel. Demon against man, so to speak. They didn't know if this would work, but figured it was worth a shot.

The planning took the better part of 90 minutes discussion among the group. Henley suggested right at the beginning to go in there and kill Sergant. Which the rest refused, saying they weren't barbarians!
So after 90 minutes, they settled on a duel.
Henley: "Wait a moment - *I* suggest we kill him and you call it barbaric. *You* suggest we kill him in a duel and suddenly it's civilzed?!"
Laña (dead serious): "You need rules for this sort of thing."

There were only two candidates for the duel. I expected Kazzag to volunteer, but he left it to Henley, who proclaimed: "I never shy away from a dishonorable fight!"

So while Hope stayed behind with Old Soljer, the rest of the group was lead back to the center of the village, where a hastily erected executioner's block was already in place. Niador, Piot and Conrad were led up there, hands and feet bound (the feet with a long enough rope to allow them small, awkward steps) as well as gagged.
Piot was led to the block, his head rested on it, the executioner raised his axe... and which point I asked the group: "Well, are you going to do something?"
They were for a moment too captivated to actually say anything, but quickly gathered their wits.
Henley shouted the challenge, then Kazzag asked: "Wait - what's our plan again?"

Sergant accepted Henley's challenge and threw him a sword. A vicious fight ensued, with neither side gaining much of an edge. Henley profitted by his Last Stand adventure card, but he also entered the fight with one wound and unarmored. ("I'm a dwarf - you think I care about one lousy wound?")
Kazzag used the distraction to free their friends on the platform. When the executioner noticed something, he turned around, his axe raised to strike down the elf. Niador let loose with a bolt, killing the executioner. But still the crowd was focused on Sergant battering away at Henley. The little dwarf tried everything with Tricks and Test of Wills, but Sergant was just too strong - finally, the dwarf fell unconscious to the ground.
Kazzag charged through the ground while Sergant raised the sword for a finishing move. Kazzag tackled him at the last moment, saving Henley's life.
The crowd began to move in, but Sergant shouted them back: "I shall defeat the demons alone!"
Niador charged in as well, followed by Piot. But Niador tried to sink his teeth into Sergant unarmed legs - but rolled snake eyes! Erika followed this up with a great description which basically amounted to Niador forgetting to get rid of the rope that bound his snout together. That netted her a Benny.

Sergant proceeded to deal a hefty blow to Niador's neck, almost severing the head from the unarmed Drakin's shoulders.
Laña kept watching the fight, torn apart by her code of honor and wanting to help her friends. She finally declared to shoot at the human's back. Stephen asked her: "Isn't that totally against your principles?"
Giovanna: "Yes, but who cares?!" - "Well, you, actually."
At this point Laña decided to tuck tail and run for Hope. She didn't return till the fight was over.

Kazzag was finally able to beat Sergant to the INC table, where he wound up unconscious. The wildlings returned and proceeded to heal everybody - including Sergant. Despite Henley's pleas to just finish him off, or "What the heck was I getting my butt kicked for?!?"

I was already wondering how they would ever get off the island, when Hope finally played the Tale Teller adventure card and pulled off a nice enough speech to convince the islanders to help them get off the island.

What was Hope doing all that while during the fights?
She tried to get Old Soljer play a game of Go (or something like that). But Soljer kept swiping the stones on the table, building something. Hope couldn't figure out what it was - a tower, a house?
After the fight was resolved Hope tried to re-create whatever Old Soljer was building. They all kept guessing what it could be, until Henley had an idea: A hill.

They took Old Soljer for a walk and, after letting him roam for a while, they found an artificial hill. Below it the badly damaged remains of a sloop - badly damaged, yes, but still in a condition to be repaired with the wood from the rowboat. At least it should be serviceable to the next harbor. The most important thing: It had a waysphere. And it had one bag of unlabeled dirt.
Next time, they'll find out where the ship will take them. Then they'll have the option to organize a few trips to the island to take care of whoever wants to leave.

Everything after the fight was done by paraphrasing it. It was getting late and we were all looking forward to something new - and not spending half another session to get off the island.

Next, I plan for them either the Ice Tower... or something else. We'll see about that.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:59 pm    Post subject: The 8th session - Where they show mercy out of greed Reply with quote

I gave my players prior to the session a choice of what they wanted to do next - but I limited to "Are you ready to continue on the plot point campaign or would you like to have one more adventure first?"
Yes, they wanted another adventure first. I think they're just scared about having to go into the very heart of evil - a death barge filled with undead to the brim!

They had made off from that unnamed Island a few weeks ago, slowly drifting through the void towards an uncertain goal. I could've thrown a few encounters in along the way, but why bother? I wanted to get them to the real action quickly, no point in delaying that.
As it turned out, the dirt from the unlabeled bag took them to Gateway. Carefully Laña navigated the as-of-yet-unnamed vessel through the rockfields around the island and finally docked. After they found out what the costs for the repairs would be - around 600 cogs, with the repairs taken more than a week - they were set to raise the money somehow.
Kazzag was determined to find honest work on the docks, but strangely, nobody was interested in hiring a rather mean-looking elf in thorn armor.

Conrad Blunt, Harald's character, took his leave from the rest of the group. Harald wasn't able to join us in a while now and I'd rather have his character wait on an island than him be "guarding the ship" all the while.
The one extra they had hired also took the opportunity to leave. As Pjotr put it - they had promised him riches and all he got was almost getting killed. Repeatedly. Plus, they never really were interested in him unless something needed repairin'. He had, quite frankly, enough of that!

The rest of the group paid a visit to Thomas Hawke, asking him to save the people of the island they found. They pointed out that the island had few to offer, but the people were hard workers and could easily find employment here or on Plenty.
During the talk they also mentioned that they were looking for work. Hawke mentioned Skiller's mission from the Ice Tower adventure. In exchange for the heroes' share of whatever they'd find, he'd not only rescue the people from the crumbling island, he'd also repair their ship. (Which they've decided on naming "The Blessing", based on it being a blessing from Alpha that they escaped from said island. At least according to Hope.)
Henley didn't really follow the conversation, he was busy emptying the bottle of excellent portwine Hawke had offered. While Hope found the offer a little meager, Laña and Kazzag happily agreed.

The found the Mirabelle and Skiller near the docks as promised and where hired on. Laña even got the position of navigator! The two wildling were also delighted to find another of their species aboard the ship.

They met Eldeer the elf in the bar, when the brawl ensued. Henley had been kinda in the mood for a bar fight anyway when they got there and was looking for a way to start one when Eldeer was practically thrown onto Henley's and Kazzag's table. The dwarf rejoiced and jumped at the four dockworkers closing in! One he felled pretty quickly, but when he was almost overwhelmed by the other three, who had pressed him against the table, Henley finally muttered: "Uhm, Kazzag - a little help, maybe?"
So the elf was dealt an initiative card and got - a Joker.
When I asked Michaela what her action was she pondered it a little and said: "I'll stand up."
After we asked if that was wall, she said: "Well, I'll clear my throat as well."
Stephen convinced her that *maybe* she'd like to make at least an intimidation roll, since she did have a Joker. She shrugged and said "Ok."
One roll later, two of the three dock workers retreated. A round later, the last of the four wa knocked down and gave up as well.
Eldeer was ever-greatful and ordered a few rounds for his heroes.

The rest of the week was spent leisurely. Laña asked Skiller if she could bring her own barrel of water and Henley immediately asked to bring his personal barrel of rum. While Laña made sure to pay for it, Henley just strolled around for an eventual opportunity and, uhm, "liberated" a barrel of rum.
"No sense in paying for something you can get for free!" As he put it...

Hope visited Joseth Truthbearer, who was delighted to see the heroes were ready to take on the Bone Queen. There was a little awkward moment when Hope responded: "Well, not quite, but, we're definitely gonna do it. Soon. Like, we're only off on a short trip and then we'll do it next, I swear! Shouldn't be more than 18, 19 weeks. Uhm, do you know something about the Battlelord?"
Joeseth wasn't very amused. Instead of telling her something about the Battlelord, he tried to reinforce the importance of this quest and that they were the chosen ones for it! No sense in angering the gods by delaying!

At last, they were off into the void, befriending the crew a little, climbing ever higher through the void.
The last event this session was the attack of the pirates. They started about 100" apart, but better maneuvering and better marksmanship resulted in the Mirabelle's masts being blown to pieces, the ship at 3 wounds and the pirates slowly coming longside.
A fight ensued!
Here, I made a huge tactical error. The players lined up all their characters and NPC along the side of their ship. The pirates did as well. Originally, I was planning to have every pirate fire his pistol once, then swing over to the Mirabelle. But when the moment came, I forgot about that, letting them just jump across the void. Well, they were desperate after all.

The fight was pretty brutal, especially when the Pirate captain fired his bowchaser across the Mirabelle, taking out not only half the sailors but also one of his own! In retribution, Kazzag and Laña jumped to the Pirates' cloudskiff and fought the captain. Laña cut open his belt (Agility Trick) and a round later knocked him out.

After the fight was over, none of the wounded extras was dead. (Also thanks to Hope's interventions.)
Of the pirates, three were dead, leaving four alive plus the captain.
Interestingly, the players decided to take them prisoner. Not out of mercy, but because for the reward money!
We wrapped it up there, but next time they'll have to decide if they really want to keep on more mouths to feed or if they want them to throw overboard or whatever.
Also, they have three wounds in their ship, so they need some repairing. The Cloudskiff should come in handy for spare parts, but then they're stuck with the pirates for sure...
Ah, we'll see what happens.
Great session again. We're planning one more before christmas, I hope we can make it!
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:30 pm    Post subject: The 9th session - Where it starts getting cold Reply with quote

Wow, almost two months have passes since we last met for a trip to the Sundered Skies...

Yesterday, we finally reconvened. The Mirabelle kept climbing up the void, coming ever closer to the Draining Sea. Winter gear was issued, but for now an extra jacket would suffice.
They saw the white sklyers and as luck would have it, Henley was below decks when the sailors through their cogs overboard. Otherwise there might have been the chance of him jumping after them!

Eldeer's mishap was met with much good-natured laughter and sympathy, lightening the mood on this already weeks-long journey.

The Spirit of Knowledge... that was a nice encounter. They carefully crossed over to the ship and stayed together. They heard the "rats in the wall", but never saw them, never having them come close.

When they found Galken (well, what was left of him), they fought against him, hard. Lana even jumped on his shoulders, trying to get a the bottle clasped to his chest, but then someone felled the revenant, almost crushing little Lana. It didn't help that Henley took the opportunity to "pin" the undead on the floor, resulting in the last of Galken's fetid breath being pushed out of his rotten lungs into Lana's face!

The revenant rose once more, but was quickly subdued again. This time, Kazzag made sure that he wouldn't stand up again with a quick Finishing blow.
They got the journal (well, what was left of it) gathered up what few valuables they found - especially the much-welcome food - and left the ship. Not before setting it ablaze to serve as a grave for the dead crew.

To their horror they heard the painful screeches of the last living beings on the ship as they caught fire as well, and wildling-sized fireballs started jumping over board, disappearing into the void....

Lana had had no problem with navigating the frigate - but then she was supposed to dock at the Draining sea. This resulted in a broken jetty and a few scratches in the Mirabelle's paint job. In the end, they had to through ropes and pull the Mirabelle close enough to get unloaded.

Now they've been on the ice for seven days now. Some mishaps has already befallen the group... but of this I'll write a little later.
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