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21 June 2016 @ 11:49 am
[WotMK: Hexcrawl] Session Nine  
Dramatis Personae:
  • Shining Star, mandragora sorcerer-priestess of Nyarhé.
  • The Green Knight, mandragora briarwitch.
  • Bonnie, kong Auspicious Orator.
  • Amos Burnham, a human from Earth.
  • Elaphe, a chuzan junior member of the Black Rose.
While Onyx the "Void Witch" (as the players called her) bonded Elaphe's claw strider to him, Bonnie haggled over the formulae for two new recipes for the Lesser Path of Alchemy, and the Green Knight communed with the spirits of the forest and learns the remaining first circle spells of the Briarwitches, Amos Burnham wandered the streets of Blueash. The alleyways were packed with refugees, children in tow, chuzan and mycon and amanita all walking around aimlessly or sitting wherever they could find a free space. An occasional patrol of guards with the cow's head of the Kingdom of Fontina on it moved through the crowds.

Amos bumped into someone as walked and apologized in Floral, and when he looked he realized it was a Silent One. The Silent One's body wasstrangely rubbery, and for a moment it felt almost like Amos sunk into it before rebounding back. The Silent One apologized as well, and Amos was drawn into conversation, asking it about the plague of walking dead and how things were in the surrounding villages. The Silent One told him it was down from tower town on business, but that it hadn't realized things were getting this bad, and that it had heard that the king had sent for a group of witchhunters from the Temple of the Holy Flame to deal with the problem. And with all the refugees in the cities and abandoned farms, the crops are rotting in the fields without hands to harvest them and winter will not be kind. Amos listened to all of this and agreed, and then bid farewell to the Silent One and continued on his way. He took the few coins he had on him out of his pocket and gave them to a family of mycon he saw by the side of the road--not much, but enough to pay for a couple days of food--and the mycon profusely thanked him. At least, he assumed that's what they did since Amos doesn't speak Muskalan, but when he walked away, he saw one of the mycon head toward the market and smiled that at least one good deed was done here.

When the rest of the group arrived at the south gate looking for Snow, they found Amos sitting there watching people come in and out of the gate. Elaphe learned that Snow's shift started in an hour (he rolled a 10 on zero dice, bumped up to 1 die with a 10 required. Don't ask a murderhobo assassin to gather information for you...), most of the group waited, Shining Star and Amos discussing moral philosophy, while Bonnie headed back to a plaza they passed with a pipe in the center of it and a scaffolding of stairs leading up to it as well as a sign saying that the pipe has stable transit to B'rabt but there's a toll collected at the other end. Bonnie sees a few people going in and out, and when a chuzan with sandy-brown fur and longer legs than the Muskalan chuzen, she runs over and interrogates her. Through gestures she manages to convince the chuzan, named White Lotus, to tell her about B'rabt in accented Muskalan and talk with her in B'rabti long enough that Bonnie was able to surreptitiously cast the Language-Learning Ritual and imprint the knowledge of B'rabti in her mind. Currently, she has 20 motes of Essence out of 24 committed to maintaining language knowledge. She also revealed her full name when introducing herself--"Bonnibel."

Also, this is the point where we learned that Bonnie's player had written down Muskalan on her sheet as "Ratspeak." Rude.  photo emot-argh.gif

Speaking to Snow, they learned that the bandits had gone through the south gate, a little over a week ago, and they decided that it wouldn't be prudent to pursue them at night. They rented floor space in the common room of a tea house at grossly inflated prices and settled down for the night, Elaphe considering and then rejecting robbing the other patrons while the Green Knight meditated on the rooftop, and in the morning they set out for Rockfort, the capital of Fontina.

They made good time on the road, passing a lot of refugees and a few farms here and there. At one point they passed a group of amanita merchants bringing bread and food to Rockfort, but decided not to buy anything and kept going. Just after lunchtime, they arrived in Rockfort. True to its name, it's built on a small mesa overlooking a large lake, with dirt ramps leading up to the walls. Unlike Blueash, here the gates were open and the party went in without much incident, though they were unable to ask the guards more than if they're seen the bandits because of the line of refugees waiting. The guards had seen them--they arrived four days ago. But Blueash was only half a day's ride away. What were they doing in that time? Hmm...

Bonnie immediately scoured the streets looking for any sorcerers in residence, and after a relatively short search, she found a familiar shingle that says "Onyx, Disciple of the Abyss." When she looked inside, it was the exact same room, with the exact same tea table in the center, and the exact same curtains on the windows. Bonnie talked with the hollow one for a moment and Onyx seemed surprised until she realized that oh, they came from Rockfort this time. Bonnie asked if the hollow one can track down anyone who is lost, and she replied that she could if she had something more than just "A mandragora, a raptok, and two amanita," so Bonnie went off to find her companions and get the shield that Summer Rain is currently possessing.
Me: "You step across the threshold-"
Player: "Deliberate word choice there."
Everyone except Elaphe refused to enter the witch-haunted house, but Bonnie and Elaphe went in with the shield and Bonnie relayed the information from Summer Rain. When it is done, Onyx spins her arms behind her, opening a hole into a void darker than that which lies between the stars. She turns around--Elaphe's player was surprised she turned her back on them--and pulls something out, and a twenty-foot-long serpent of heatless flame and roiling shadows explodes out of the hole in realities and exits through the front door. "Follow it!" Onyx shouts, and Elaphe and Bonnie hasten to do so.

The group all mounts off and gallops through the streets of Rockfort, not encountering much difficulty as the people all scatter out of the way of a party of galloping murderhobos pursuing a flying, sorcerous thing. They ride hard for several hours until Bonnie is nearly falling off her horse and the horses themselves, and Elaphe's claw strider, are panting and obviously exhausted, and then they make camp. As they sleep, the serpent of fire and shadow circles over them in endless loops and spirals, casting the camp into alternate light and dark.

When it's almost morning, on Elaphe's watch, he hears something faint with his keen chuzan hearing and feels the ground rumbling slightly. Something is coming nearer.


Yes, everything in the petty kingdom they're in is named after cheese. One of the players suggested Fontina and I ran with it. This is  photo emot-black101.gifserious sword and sorcery photo emot-black101.gif, but it's also based on Mario, which has places like "Vanilla Dome" and "Donut Plains" and "Beanbean Kingdom." A small kingdom with names like cheese is nothing.

I'm a bit surprised that everyone really wants to track down these murderers, but if that's what they're going to do, then that's what the game is about. Elaphe's player mentioned wanting to go through the pipe to B'rabt and change the whole plot, and I replied that the plot is whatever the characters do, so I'd have to scrap some of my notes and work on desert-based random encounters, but it wouldn't derail anything.

I would drop some rumors about the plague of walking dead happening out east, though. And if they treat that as background danger, that'll still be what happens.
 
 
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