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09 August 2016 @ 11:43 am
[WotMK: Hexcrawl] Session Eleven  
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.
Woken up early by the river dragon and under a cloudy sky with a steady rain, the group decided to set out early rather than try to get more sleep, so they saddled their mounts, ate a quick breakfast, and set out on the road. They spent hours on the road with sparse mushroom trees on either side, seeing no one, though Amos did see a few camome dancing among the rainclouds. The Green Knight does pause and use his sorcery to contact a tree and ask it if it saw their quarry pass by, and it confirms that it saw them "recently," but is unable to provide further details and the party moved on. It wasn't until almost lunch that they saw two amanita on horses heavily laden with baggage, riding slowly through the rain.

Bonnie hailed them as they drew near and asked them where they were going. With much glancing at each other, the amanita explained that they came from Greenwall, the village in the middle of the mushroom forest that the hollow one's serpent of smoke and fire seems to be directing the party toward, and left because a kappa warlock arrived and corrupted the town council to his will. Shining Star perked up at that and asked if the warlock has any distinguishing marks, and the amanita said that he was missing an eye--as is Kurome, one of the Dragon Emperor's former generals, since disgraced and fled into exile. They added that they hadn't seen him up close, since they had avoided him as much as they could and got out of town as quickly as possible.

This starts a brief argument among the group over way to do. Shining Star has heard of Kurome and pointed out that he's a former general of the Dragon Empire, not some two-bit hedge cultist. Bonnie was a bit star-struck by the knowledge she could gain from a master warlock, but kept it under wraps in the face of Shining Star's vehemence. Shining Star wavered, but Nyahré's dictates to destroy the unholy win out over her caution against facing a warlock, and the group decided to continue on to the village.

The amanita also confirmed that they saw Summer Rain's murderers staying at a tea house near the western gate, but didn't speak to them. With no further information, the party bids the amanita fairwell and Elaphe spurs his claw strider to a trot.

As they rode down the road and the mushroom forest gets less and less sparse, Amos noticed that there were many more forest spirits watching them silently, and when he mentioned this, Bonnie stopped and brewed up a dose of spirit-flower tea for her and Shining Star. Both of them drank the hallucinogenic tea and their vision swirled with colors, but also revealed the shapes of fushigibana perched on the caps of mushroom trees, watching with them brilliant green eyes. The Green Knight consulted the voices of the forest and received a strong sense that the spirits wanted him in Greenwall to confront the warlock.

Just around a bend in the road were several vines hanging from the caps of the mushroom trees that Elaphe managed to see in time and rear his claw strider to avoid. The rest of the group followed his example, and the Green Knight grabbed a stick and threw it at one of the vines, which wrapped around it and whipped up into the forest canopy. When it didn't immediately come back down, the party started throwing more things, including Elaphe hurling his bob-omb, which sadly went wide and exploded harmlessly in the road. Eventually they were able to trigger enough of the stranglevines that they cleared a path for them to take that won't pass too close to any of them, and Elaphe led them through in single file.

Close to dinnertime they found a path leading north off the road that had been deliberately obscured, but merely marked it on their map and continued going. They settled in for the night at a somewhat secluded campsite under a cluster of mushroom trees, the rain having not let up for the entire day, and went to sleep.

That night, Shining Star prayed for guidance, but felt no answer from Nyahré.

Close to morning on Shining Star's watch, she heard the distant crashing sound that every child in Agarica has drilled into them from childhood--a walking tree. She woke the Green Knight and asked his opinion. The Green Knight said that walking trees do not hunt by sight or sound, and as long as they remain in their camp and do not bleed they should be safe, but he opened himself to the voices of the forest to be sure. He received a strong message to stay where they were, and conveyed it to Shining Star before he went back to sleep.

The next morning it was raining even harder than it previous day, something the party hadn't thought possible, but without any option than to go forward they saddled their mounts, ate some cold rations, and set out on the road. They were soaked almost the instant they left the cover of the mushroom trees.

Around mid-morning, Amos's attention was caught by a small pond on the side of the road that sparkled alluringly. Bonnie took a sample of the water and drank it, and it was some of the most refreshing water she had ever tasted. As she drank, she heard the faint sound of musical laughter. A few winged motes of light appeared, dancing over the water, and they whirled round and round until they coalesced into a woman in diaphanous garments with flowing hair and great wings beating in the air behind her. A great faerie!

Shining Star took the lead her as the faerie asked them if they were willing to stay a while and listen. The faerie waved a hand and the rain stopped a few inches above their heads, as a sign of her good will, but Shining Star said that they were on a quest that could not be delayed, but when it was finished they would come back to her. The faerie asked if she promised, and Shining Star did not do so, but she did offer up a ring with the seal of Nyahré as sureity. The faerie took it and spun it around her fingers, and it vanished in a flash of light. And moments later the faerie did as well, falling apart into winged motes and leaving soft laughter ringing in the party's ears.

As they moved back onto the road, the party noticed that the rain was still stopping above their heads, and gratefully they continued eastward.

Somewhat shorter session this time, but we still managed to fit some stuff in! This is all from random tables and provided a bunch of hooks that they'll get to...later. Elaphe's player pointed out that there's a good half-dozen things the party can investigate when they've finished their current goal, though who knows in what condition some of them will be in by the time they get back there.

This is the first session where I really started to keep track of time with the aid of an in-game calendar. I consulted the players about how esoteric they wanted the calendar to be and the answer was "not," so it has the standard seven-day weeks and twelve months. I changed the names with some inspiration from Japanese naming, though, so in-game we ended on Fireday, the ninth day of the Month of Falling Leaves. The 15th and 30th of each month (Silverday and Spiritday) aren't part of a week, but otherwise it's easily trackable. I even populated it with weather and celestial events like moon phases and comets, so I don't have to roll for any of that and can plan for it in-game! It allows some events that I couldn't otherwise track or would have to leave up to randomness, like other groups' plans being based around certain days or certain astronomical events. I did that in my WFRP game where there's a detailed calendar as well, and I like how it worked out.
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