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ZedAlpha

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ZedAlpha last won the day on February 6

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  • Illuminated Eurmali, But, Like, Not A Jerk About It

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  • RPG Biography
    Mostly D&D, FATE, World of Darkness, and (recently), HeroQuest Glorantha
  • Current games
    Mage: The Ascension, FATE: The Secret of Cats, and HeroQuest Glorantha
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    Florida
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    Bi, nonbinary, nerdy.

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  1. My partner and I are playing Six Ages, and you can steal one of our chiefs, if you want: An Elmal/Yelmalio-worshipping warrior with truly heroic martial skill and solar magic, who is now about 87 years old. Everyone's waiting for the old bastard to die, but while he's alive he's a steadfast ally if you can convince him that you're one of his friends. 70 years of inter-clan warfare and war against Lunars and Trolls have made him a stab first ask questions never kind of chief. Honorable, though.
  2. probably dinosaurs everywhere, too.
  3. hm. Maran Gor is the grim mother of dinosaurs and the bloody, thirsting earth. She’s the goddess of earthquakes, the harsh sides of nature, and “Blood makes the grass grow! KILL1 KILL! KILL!” I’m imagining that they’d be fine with rando male Sartarites showing up if: Said rando male Sartarites don’t show up in the middle of one of their secret rites and try to barge into the temple. They show up with a decent sacrifice or gift to the temple The rando male Sartarites know their place and are highly respectful to the earthquake priestesses Maran Gor strikes me as one of the few Orlanthi gods who occasionally demands human sacrifice and can get away with it. Remind the heroes of this when they show up asking questions. Mention that the priestesses don’t have any armed guards here, but they do have, oh, I don’t know, a pack of pet velociraptors or maybe a juvenile T-Rex as a “guard dog.” It hisses and chirps (theropod dinosaurs are birds, so they wouldn’t roar, they’d make angry bird noises, just bigger) at the PCs territorially, and maybe makes a bluff charge or two to scare them off before a priestess grants them entrance. Even then.... Mention that the public area of the temple is maybe just a courtyard, an animal pen to keep sacrifices, and a hall underground with the sacrificial altar. Lots of secret spaces. Think of it like an Ernaldan temple, only darker, bloodthirsty, and more aggressive about keeping the Earth’s secrets from non-worshippers. Maybe they’d be willing to talk, but some topics will be forbidden and might get them either tossed out of the temple or fed to Fido out by the front gates. I’m babbling, but I hope some of this helps.
  4. Another few ideas: Gimme My Treasure Back: Two (or more) clans both arguably have a decent claim to a magical treasure of great importance to local agriculture/war/spirit magic/amusing people stuck at home in Dark season. Records dating back generations show that the clans have been stealing it back and forth from each other in raids from long before the tribe was even a thing, and now the treasure-theft is threatening to start a feud that might lead to civil war within the tribe. Records are unclear on where the treasure even came from, or who claimed it first (or how, for that matter), and cooler heads are hoping for an equitable legal solution before things get even more out of hand. I’ll Make My Own Clan, with Blackjack, and Uleria Priestesses!: The most discontented stickpickers and hotheaded malcontents from many of the tribe’s clans have gathered together at the moot and declared that they’re a brand new clan. Somehow, they’ve managed to form a wyter (and an unusually strong one, at that!) and gathered the blessings of enough gods and spirits for it to be legitimate. Now, they’re threatening to leave and join a rival tribe if they aren’t placated by the King and the royal council. If they leave, they’ll take all their former clans’ secrets with them, too. But can anyone really trust these jerks? You’re In My Chair: A former beloved tribal King has returned from the dead as a sentient zombie and doesn’t seem to believe he died a generation ago. He won’t let go of the tribal regalia, he won’t get out of the throne, he won’t stop calling the current King (or Queen) a usurper, and for some weird reason the tribal spirits/gods are backing him up, and seem to think that he’s the current legitimate King. If the tribe’s Humakti do their job, they risk stripping the Tribe of a majority of its blessings (and possibly sparking a civil war among some clans that might prefer Old King Deadguy to the current monarch) when the “rightful” king is murdered. Can anyone solve this peacefully? A Moot Point: A full moot of the tribe is called to adjudicate a titilatingly grotesque inter-clan murder case: a young cotter has turned into a serial murderer, stating that the gods themselves have told him to ritually slay his family—according to him, a bloodline cursed to attract some sort of nasty Chaos monster—to ward off a disaster. He’s definitely guilty of kinstrife (and in fact is willing to accept the consequences of his actions), but some of the omens around the case suggest that there might be some truth to the story that his extended family (which is spread across three or four clans at this point) actually is cursed, and might be dangerous to keep around. Some priests argue that the risk of “passive” chaos corruption from kinstrife is lesser than the risk of being ravaged by Godzilla next Tuesday if these farmers remain alive, others are demanding for his blood (and massive compensation from his clan), while his own clan are arguing that they’ve had a lean year, and can’t possibly afford all that weregild. The kid himself is alright with being outlawed and executed, as long as someone finishes off the rest of his family before the monster comes. Can somebody get to the bottom of this before something bad happens? And can someone please get that merchant to stop selling popcorn to the gawkers at the trial moot?
  5. And the classic: The Ducks want to join the tribe. No, really. They do. They’re offering a hell of a lot of food and worked goods as a gift to each clan to join the tribe’s bounty, as well as knowledge of a number of myths that they say that you’ve messed up with your weird mammal distortions. The other tribes will laugh at you—hell, a lot of the other clans will laugh at you, to say nothing of what the Lunars will do—but the little feathery bastards are wily, and surprisingly powerful warriors. Dare you risk the mockery and wrath of the Beastfolk haters to try something utterly unheard of and potentially REALLY rewarding?
  6. Hm. You could have a good old-fashioned love dodecahedron: some young lad, lass, or lenby is sought after for marriage by seemingly every other young, marriage-aged person in the tribe due to their preternatural beauty/skill at something important/magical abilities/wealth/knack for being able to understand what sheep really mean by ‘Baa!’/all of the above. The constant woo-ing and singing and contests for his/her/their affection are threatening to break out into impromptu feuds between clans (and WITHIN clans!). Then that oh-so-eligible person catches the eye of a PC, and is smitten with that PC, and now a few hundred hotheaded young men/women/nonbinary folks are all trying to off the PC before they get married to the object of their desires. Whether or not that’ll actually happen, or any of the clans involved want it to.
  7. And then during the tumultuous events of the Battle of Cragspider Takes A Bath, trolls rise from their hollows to wreak bloody vengeance on every water-worshipper they can find.
  8. I could see all sorts of minor religious/magical things happening from the confluence of so many clan cults and spirits. Two priests of the same god from rival clans getting into a fistfight over which clan their god REALLY favors, an impromptu Heroquest done by a few drunken storytellers from a couple of allied clans retelling their favorite myths for an audience, but far better than they should have been able to. The inevitable small stampede when herders lose control of their flocks.
  9. Hm. Side note of no possible interest to anyone but me, but I’m planning on turning the Hero Wars into a big ol’ kaiju fight, and my PCs have more-or-less removed the Wolf Pirates as a threat to anyone. Having a big fleet of dragon ships rampaging around could be a fun wrinkle to throw in.
  10. (Note: Bold text refers to a Trait, Ability, or Rune that a character in question has). (Another note: we didn’t have another session this last weekend because I was sick and Androgenus’s player’s partner had a death in the family, so I’m posting the rest of our last session now--sorry for the delay!) DRAMATIS PERSONAE Iris, an Esrolian Earth Priestess in service to Takakia, the Goddess of Moss. She holds the Earth, Movement, and Spirit runes. Iris is the supposed leader of the party, but finds that bossing around a bloodthirsty Duck, an erratically insane Trickster, and a somewhat gormless volcano priest to be a tad more difficult than nailing Jell-O to the wall with an office stapler. Right now, she’s also finding that staying conscious is just as hard, but more on that later. Waddlestomp the Bloodybeaked, a Hueymakti Duck thane with the Water, Death, and Truth runes. Creator of Waddlestomp’s Big Ol’ List Of Humans That Need Killin’™, and now seriously considering adding his fellow adventurers to the list after being captured by mythic Sun Empire soldiers. In fact, the party got their butts handed to them so badly by the onrushing troopers that he did the previously unthinkable and surrendered! Androgenus, a genderfluid Esrolian Eurmali trickster with the Illuminated Illusion, Earth, and Luck runes. They’ve found themselves trapped in Myth with the rest of their companions, and capture by Sun Empire soldiers who sense a strange, unknown (to them) power in the weird little Trickster. They’re utterly convinced that their “best friend Waddlestomp” (their own words) will come save them--despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary. And, of course: K'dud (pronounced Ka-Dude). A warrior priest of Vestkarthan and the Lowfires, K'dud holds the Fire, Truth, and Mastery runes. Though and through them has mastered the Bronze Arms and Sharp Soul styles of unarmed combat. His player, after two weeks struggling to define a personality trait for K’dud beyond “Vaguely helpful and a bit dumb,” has decided to embrace it, renaming his core trait Volcano Himbo. And he’s going to make good use of that trait in the second part of this session… ...because we came back to the action (after the first half of the session’s argument over whether or not a Hueymakti warrior would ever surrender) with Iris drowning in a sacred pool beneath an enslaved river-dragon, and K’dud (barely) fighting off fish spirits under the command of, to his astonishment, the same Merfolk hero that the PCs had thought they’d slain in the last session! Stunned by this revelation, K’dud failed in a contest against the hero (using his Fire rune versus the hero’s Water rune) and was trapped in a bubble of crushing, ice-cold water. The Merfolk introduced himself...and I realized with horror that I forgot to name a critical NPC. Immediately, Androgenus’s player suggested “Fssh,” after a fish-man barbarian hero from a Dungeon World livestream performed by the Canadian comedy group LoadingReadyRun. Everyone groaned. They then suggested “Bruce,” after the shark from Finding Nemo, and decided to try a supposedly Australian accent that sounded more vaguely South African than anything else. Everyone groaned louder. Then Iris’s player suggested “Sashimi,” and weirdly enough, everyone agreed. Thus, the Merfolk hero was named S’shiim, holder of the Water, Storm, Death, and Mastery runes, hero of the vile, slimy, fangly-jawed Ysabbau, Breaker of Ships, Drowner of Cities, and current questor for Magasta. Well, to put more of a fine point on it, questor for Brastalos, Goddess of Waterspouts and spouse of Magasta. I gave Iris a Hero Point for coming up with the name, which she promptly used to barely regain consciousness and struggle to shore while S’shiim was distracted with the fire priest. “What do you want from us?! Why harry us like this, fishman?!” exclaimed K’dud. “Me?!” burbled S’shiim, “You worthless dirt-crawlers are hunting me through my people’s most sacred story! Your interference will ruin everything!” “Huh?” asked K’dud, rolling (and getting a decent success with) his Volcano Himbo Trait to convince S’shiim to monologue about what’s going on and give the heroes an exposition dump. Meanwhile, (as I cut back to Androgenus and Waddlestomp and made the other two players groan with anticipation), Waddlestomp and Androgenus were being brought to the island’s governor, Iramat. Androgenus was in fiery chains, Waddlestomp was being warily surrounded by soldiers, but otherwise unmolested. The bickering twosome were dragged before Iramat’s marble throne in the center of a garishly-painted, palatial villa overlooking the waterfall (which, close up, could be seen to be a captured Water Dragon!). I described the throne “room” as an opulent, gold-and-jewel-set pavilion of sorts, with two sides open to the courtyard, one to the cliffside, and one leading deeper into the palace. It was the governor’s meditation garden as well as seat of governance, with a rock garden, reflecting pool (in fact a spring, with a small stream flowing out from it that left the throne room and rushed forth to join the raging cataract beyond), and elegant mural depicting Yelm’s Celestial Court and the birth of a solar deity. “Barbarian filth,” drawled the governor, barely able to look up from the sand painting he was working on, “You stand accused of violating the sanctity of Secret Cradle Island. Before executing you, have you anything to say?” “Secret what nrrfghg--” began Androgenus, before being gagged by the nearest guard. They glared at the guard, struggling against the chains. “We apologize, O mighty lord,” quacked Waddlestomp, to Iramat’s evident amusement, “But we had no idea where we were. Our ship was run aground of the reef during a storm, and we came ashore to gather supplies and repair our vessel before continuing on. We meant no trespass.” I had Waddlestomp roll his Truth rune’s breakout ability Zone of Truth versus Iramat’s Arrogant Sun Empire Bureaucrat ability, and Waddlestomp scored a respectable success. Showing his Truth rune shining forth, Iramat scratched at his beard and considered this. “You speak truly….obviously, but still, I know not why a….mutated Keet? Whatever you are, you and your….” Iramat stared quizically at Androgenus. “Pleasure slave?” Waddlestomp managed to choke back a violent response (with a bare success against his Humakti Geas: Suffer No Insult Without Violence Flaw, as Waddlestomp would see any intimation that he would be intimate with any human, much less this human, as a deadly insult) and Androgenus went from grumbling to laughing uproariously behind their gag. “...or whatever they are, you have no right to come here. By decree from the Sun Himself, any but those without his personal authorization on this island must die. It has ever been thus since the creation of this island. I see no harm in telling you, for you will die anyway, I suppose: in ancient days, Yelm once favored a concubine called Tihs, a minor goddess no people pray to in these times. Yelm’s affection sparked vicious jealousy among his Court, who sought to hurt the object of his affection since they could not hurt Him. When Tihs was with child, she was hidden away—here—and though she died bringing the Forgotten Sun into the world, neither she nor the holy child were ever found by their enemies. To this day, the most important treasures of the Golden Empire have been hidden here. Any outsiders must be slain, by order of the Sun Himself.” Waddlestomp considered this. It certainly explained all the finery around the place, and the heavy guard. ...meanwhile, at the bottom of the cliff… Exasperated (and somewhat entranced by) K’dud’s handsome cluelessness, S’shiim launched into the story of How Magasta Won the Hand of Brastalos. Before the Sea claimed the world, Magasta was alone, and sought companionship. No lord or lady of His domain would join with him as his spouse, or even his mate. Magasta loved many, but few loved him in return. Then he met Brastalos. (“Who?” “Shut up and the merperson will tell us, K’dud.” “Oh.”) Lady of the No-Wind, Queen of the Cyclone, Daughter of the First Storm, Spray-Twinkling, Still-And-Moving, Umath’s paradox daughter. Magasta saw her frolicking in the clouds above his domain and knew he had to have her. Singing a song of roaring beauty that reminded her of her own lusty brothers’ cries, Brastalos came to the edge of Magasta’s waters and sang back. The two loved one another from their first glance. Magasta desired her for his spouse, not merely a mate of convenience. Brastalos desired this, too, but knew that proud Umath would not consent to give his daughter to an upstart Water Lord. “But there is another way,” said fair Brastalos. (“Wait, I thought ‘there is always another way’ is an Earth Goddess thing?” “That’s a lot of gods’ thing, K’dud. Shut up.”) Magasta whistled in confusion. “The Bad Emperor seeks stillness in all things, and punishes my father by stripping his greatest treasures from him. He refuses to allow the Air People to have a place in the way of things. To cow my father and my brothers, he took our peoples’ regalia to a secret place. Find the treasure stolen by the Sky People. With it, my bride price will be paid, and my father shall have no choice but to let us claim one another. Brastalos accepted this, and with a kiss soft as a breeze set off to reclaim his love’s treasure from the Sky People. Foolishly, they set their dirt-loving hovels at the edge of His domain to taunt him. With crashing waves and rushing torrent, he drowned them, swept their huts into the sea, and picked through the remains. He found a few baubles, but not a treasure worthy of the Storm. Magasta went to the Gull People and demanded they repay the favor he had done by saving them from famine. Eagerly, they told of the Sky People sending boats of all things-- (“Wait, I thought Merfolk’d like boats, ‘cause, well, they’re water things, right? Both of them are water things?” “...Neither of us have time to explain how wrong that is right now. Shut up..” “But--” “Shut Up!” “Thank you, S’shiim.” “Don’t mention it. Now where was I? Ah, yes…”) Magasta went to the Gull People and demanded they repay the favor he had done by saving them from famine. Eagerly, they told of the Sky People sending boats of all things across Magasta’s realm, furtively sneaking treasure stolen from other peoples they had oppressed for too long. Magasta went in search of the boats, led by the young scouts of the Gull People. He called Six-Mouthed-Deep to devour the boats of Admiral Savatilan and spit the treasure out into Magasta’s grotto, but no Air treasures were to be found. He chased the flagship helmed by Captain Never-Runs-From-Battle into the Dragon Eye Atoll and sucked it down to the seabed, but although the cargo was rich with strange spices and pelts, it had no Air treasures. Finally, Keehar, youngest scout of the Gull People, found a ship hidden by powerful magic. It was found by looking at where a ship should have been, but wasn’t. Magasta called his kinsman Charax, he of the many rows of teeth, and bade him chase the ship to its destination. Charax did so, but the captain was too wily, and sailed in a wide circle around the port they sought until Charax got tired and swam away to seek prey. Magasta howled in frustration--if the Gull People could only barely find the ship, if his fearsome cousin couldn’t track it, and if they wouldn’t stay still to meet him in battle, then how could he find the bride price? He wept, and hearing his sobs, Brastalos stood at the edge of his realm and sang. She sang of lost hope, of a happy life with Magasta that may not be, of her rage at how she was kept from having a place in the cosmos--not only by Yelm the Bad Emperor, but by her father, Umath. The rage in her song became a storm, and the storm trapped the treasure ship on a reef just before it reached its destination. Magasta and his warriors stormed the ship and found one of the treasures, Umath’s favorite arm-ring. The others had already been hidden away, but Magasta learned from the captain where they had gone: Secret Cradle Island, where a forgotten solar god was hidden as he was born. No island was hidden from Magasta. He went to Secret Cradle Island, and befriended the dragon-- (“Wait, this dragon?” “Yes, that dragon, now shut the hell up!”) He went to Secret Cradle Island, and befriended the dragon that was enslaved to guard the place-- (“I’m sorry, but how in Magasta’s holy name can you stand travelling with this man?” “He’s handsome, and he punched a hole all the way through your chest like it was nothing.” “....Fair point. Where was I?” “The dragon?” “What dragon? Oh, that dragon. The dragon. Yes. A-hem:”) He befriended the dragon that was enslaved to guard the place. Its name was Oraka, and it was the dragon of a secret spring deep under the Earth. A creature of great Darkness and Water, the island’s governor cruelly forced it out into the light to serve as would a hermit crab use an anemone growing on its shell. Magasta took pity on the great beast, and with a mighty pull snapped the chains binding to dragon to the cliff side. In gratitude, Oraka swore a life debt to the lord of the deeps. He let Magasta swim up him to his source, where the governor had reshaped a holy spring to a reflecting pool for his own vanity. The greedy governor, puffed up with his own self-importance, was set to guard Yelm’s most coveted treasures, here on an island that nobody knew of. He saw himself as Yelm’s most trusted servant, and his arrogance knew no bounds. But yet, he was bored. Guarding a treasure hoard that was not sought after led to no challenges save wringing recognition from a distant Emperor, and he always craved distraction. Wily Magasta, hidden in the spring, took on the form of a beautiful water nymph. He sung a song that inflamed the governor’s lust, and, beguilingly, called the governor to tryst with him in the spring. The jaded man leapt into the water, where Magasta drowned him and stepped out from the spring, wearing his shape. Magasta then had the governor’s guards lead him to the vault. There, he found astounding wealth! Treasures robbed or extorted as tribute from all manner of the world’s peoples and gods. There was Lodril’s first Spear, still smoldering with heat. There was the Crown of Mastery, surging with such power that even Emperor Yelm could not wear it without risk. There were Rastalos’s Rings, used by the primeval trickster to amuse the Celestial Court. And, of course, in pride of place, was Umath’s tribal regalia, as cold as the wind, as bright as lightning. Magasta took the treasures he sought and fled the palace, leaping atop Oraka as the palace guards found the drowned corpse of their lord. Magasta’s laughter and Oraka’s roars of rage sunk the island beneath the sea, drowning the Sky People and their stolen treasures forevermore. Magasta rode Oraka across the sky to Umath’s grotto, where he was greeted coldly by his son Storm-Thane and belligerently by his other son Hurt-Everything. “I have come for the hand of Brastalos!” He called, and when the Air gods laughed, he threw Umath’s stolen treasures at their feet. “I offer a bride price: your honor, so long ago taken from you by the Bad Emperor.” Umath scowled, for he was loathe to let his daughter marry such a lowly Water lord, for such was Magasta at this time. “Trinkets cannot buy the heart of my daughter,” he growled, and made to turn his back. Storm-Thane saw his sister’s dismay, and said, “I guess we won’t be getting the Bag of Winds back, father. Oh, or the Widebrew Cauldron, too, we’ll miss that at feasts. And oh, look! You’re rather generously allowing Magasta to keep your favorite arm-ring, the one that duplicates itself every season?” Umath made a strangled noise in the back of his throat and looked at Brastalos, who was beaming at Magasta with loving pride. “They are beneath you,” he rumbled, like a thunderclap. “And they always will be,” whispered Brastalos, taking Magasta’s hand, “But they will ever be my equal. The fates of Sea and Storm will forevermore be joined, for good or ill.” Umath saw that he could not disobey his daughter’s heart-wish, and allowed the match. Magasta took Brastalos to their grotto. Although she could not stand to live beneath the Water, she ever stayed near her spouse, circling around him as currents encircle the whirlpool. And there she remains to this day. “That was...beautiful…” breathed K’dud, after a while. Then he looked confused. “But what does it have to do with—“ Iris groaned and slapped her forehead. “The myth, you, you—rragrh! We’re stuck in the myth! S’Shiim was—is—heroquesting to re-enact the myth, this myth, the story of Brastalos’s Bride Price, yes?” “Yes,” Burbled S’shiim, still staring at K’dud incredulously. “The attack on your ship was when my lord Magasta attacked the hidden ship in a storm, and found the location of Secret Cradle Island. Though you fended us off and wounded me terribly, I still learned of the island. And now, I must navigate the rest of this sacred story with you dirtcrawlers in the flotsam, messing everything up.” “Oh. Oh,” said K’dud, realization dawning. “Oh, my. I’m so sorry! How can we help?” S’shiim and Iris looked at him, dumbfounded. I had K’dud roll for his Volcano Himbo Trait again, opposed by S’shiim’s Haughty Merfolk Hero Trait, and he got a critical success against a critical failure! Despite himself, S’shiim began laughing. He couldn’t help but like the empty-headed firehunk, and said, “I...I don’t know. But any assistance you can grant in freeing the dragon so I may resume the story would be gratefully accepted. I admit, the wounds you dealt me almost threw me from the storypath. And now—“ All of a sudden, there was an almighty roar, and the water dragon thrashed above— —as the governor of the island called Oraka to heel. I moved the action back a few minutes, and gave the PCs a chance to explain themselves. Waddlestomp had decided that blunt honesty was the best way of things. “We were traveling by ship to a distant land,” he said, “And were attacked by merfolk. Water people,” he continued, looking at the governor’s incredulous expression. “They stranded us on the reef out there—“ he pointed a wing to the She’s One Of Ours, Sir!, now surrounded by Golden Empire longboats bearing warriors, “—And we came ashore only to gather supplies before heading on.” “Ah, the cargo ship,” said Iramat, the myth easily slotting the She’s One Of Ours, Sir into the role of the treasure ship. “Bearing the latest addition to the vault. Why didn’t you say?” “Cargo...ship?” Asked Waddlestomp, looking at Androgenus, who wordlessly gestured for the Duck to play along. “Right. Yes. Cargo ship. The ship indeed carries cargo, and we are here,” finished Waddlestomp, lamely. “Yes. If you had but sent word, you would have received aid, not spears. Now...water people, you say? They attacked you?” Waddlestomp nodded. “Ah. In that case, there is a risk, however slight, that they have tracked you here. No matter, however. Let me call the guard—“ and with a wave of his hand, the waterfall started falling upwards, spraying ice-cold water over the palace. Oraka’s chains tightened, the dragon RRROOOOAAARRED, and reared above the palace, circling it in midair, sniffing and snuffling for signs of intruders. “Oraka, the dragon of this place. He serves Yelm now, as do we all. He shall find these water people, and devour them! Have no fear, little Keet. Your diligence does you credit.” Below, S’shiim started screaming in anguish. We ended the session there, on a cliffhanger, and me desperately trying to figure out where to take the game from here.
  11. hey, for those of you that read this: sorry for not posting, I got sick and work was hell. Posting the other half of this session today, I promise!
  12. (Note: Bold text refers to a Trait, Ability, or Rune that a character in question has). DRAMATIS PERSONAE Androgenus, a genderfluid Esrolian Eurmali trickster with the Illuminated Illusion, Earth, and Luck runes. They are attempting to explore the mysteries of Illumination without a teacher—without any type of teacher—and are beginning to wonder whether or not existence is worth all the trouble. They’re also being watched very closely by... Waddlestomp the Bloodybeaked, a Hueymakti Duck thane with the Water, Death, and Truth runes. His quest to avenge his people has hit a small speed bump while he’s been pressganged into helping Iris conquer the Three Step Isles (see below). In the meantime, his patented Waddlestomp’s Big Ol’ List Of Humans That Need Killin’™ has just gained a new member: Androgenus, after the cowardly Trickster abandoned him in the middle of a merfolk fight last session. Currently mourning the loss of his enchanted shield in that same fight, and nursing some serious wounds. K'dud (pronounced Ka-Dude, named after the persona of a Knight in our local chapter of the SCA). K'dud is a Caladralander priest of Vestkarthan, God of Volcanoes, and also his sons Gustbran and Kalvan. He holds the Fire, Truth, and Mastery runes, and through them has mastered the Bronze Arms and Sharp Soul styles of unarmed combat. His player, after two weeks struggling to define a personality trait for K’dud beyond “Vaguely helpful and a bit dumb,” has decided to embrace it—and renamed his core Trait in the process. More on that later. And last but certainly not least: Iris, an Esrolian Earth Priestess in service to Takakia, the Goddess of Moss, who holds the Earth, Movement, and Spirit runes. Iris is the supposed leader of the party, but finds that bossing around a bloodthirsty Duck, an erratically insane Trickster, and a somewhat gormless volcano priest to be a tad more difficult than nailing Jell-O to the wall with an office stapler. Plus, she’s also having to deal with a smuggler captain who blames her and her alone for getting their ship stranded in the middle of someone else’s mythos... That’s right, this session opened in the God Time. I revealed that right at the start by calling for everyone to roll against their strongest Runes, with the possible consequences for failure being that they’d be even more confused by what was about to happen than normal. Everyone passed—except K’dud, which became a running theme. Therefore, everyone except K’dud twigged onto what was going on and where they were immediately. As the red sun dawned over multicolored, shimmering waves, wind spirits and fish spirits visibly dancing about them, everyone (including most of the NPCs present on their ship, the She’s One Of Ours, Sir), except K’dud, realized they were not in the material world, but in the Godplane! Iris got it first: they were probably sucked into the God Time during the storm, which did seem even more violent and magical than usual. Her Spirit Rune glowed brightly, showing that they were closer to the spirits, clueing her into the magic all around her. Then Androgenus understood another nugget of what was going on with his Beggar background Trait, he recognized snippets of a story he’d heard from Triolini dock workers in his youth. He recalled the tale of Magasta, God of the Seas, fighting the Fire Tribe, plundering treasure ships and coastal settlements for the bride-price of Brastalos, Goddess of Waterspouts and Sea Storms. The last session’s fight against the merfolk during the storm, and the island they were marooned in front of, both seemed familiar to them somehow, but they couldn’t recall any more details other than that they were definitely trapped somewhere in a merfolk myth. Then Waddlestomp, with his Death Rune affinity, sensed the presence of another great dealer of Death—the Merfolk Hero from the battle, still somehow alive, despite the grievous wounds that K’dud had inflicted on him! He advised the rest of the party to be wary-that kind of Hero seldom leaves a task unfinished, particularly if they got swept up into a Heroquest. Meanwhile, K’dud stared overboard and gawked at the brilliantly-colored fish flitting around the oyster-covered reef below. He was interrupted by the ship’s captain. The damage to the She’s One Of Ours, Sir had been repaired in such a way that the boat was literally pinned in place by a chunk of oystery coral; more extensive repairs were required to actually move the ship, which would take materials that just weren’t on hand. The mythical tropical island laid out before them, however, looked like it had plenty of wood, fresh water, and perhaps food. Everyone knew the risks inherent in foraging—for supplies in the God World—travel is dangerous even if you knew the story you are traveling through. Going blind through another culture’s myths? That was tantamount to very incompetent suicide. But they needed to do it. The adventurers set out in a longboat for shore with a work party of sailors; they were looking for fresh water, some food, and enough timber to repair the ship. Waddlestomp made sure that he was sitting riiiiiight next to Androgenus, so the Trickster didn’t start any funny business. “I don’t know what’s on that island, but I swear by Hueymakt’s cloaca that when shit goes down, if you so much as twitch wrong, Androgenus,” muttered Waddlestomp out of the corner of his beak, “You die first. Get me?” Androgenus nodded and smiled, apparently happy to hear it. “Glad to know you’re back to normal. How’s the arm?” They responded. Waddlestomp’s arm had been impaled by the merfolk Hero the previous session. “All the better for you to mind your own business, mammal,” grunted the thane, giving Androgenus the world’s biggest stink-eye. (The players cracked up at this: Waddlestomp’s player acted this out through his webcam and everyone started making jokes about The Rock that went on for about thirty minutes.) The boat made landfall with nary a sound on an isolated, picturesque beach. Iris Called Up Local Spirits (swiftly becoming her favorite stunt), secretly opposed by the watchful eyes of the island’s mythic guardians. With a marginal failure, she learned where a good supply of fresh water would be—the base of the waterfall that could be seen from the She’s One Of Ours, Sir, and furthermore that the pool had a decent population of fish for the ship’s larder. Iris led the way, tailed by K’dud (who kept gawping at everything with a slack jawed “Gosh!” Every few minutes). Androgenus and Waddlestomp stayed behind to help out the smugglers and hoplites that were busy chopping down a decent-sized tree that stood a few yards back from the beach’s treeline. Androgenus managed a critical success against their Paranoid flaw, so we ruled that they were jumpy, but justifiably so—they could tell that they were being watched by something, and not just the local spirits. They alerted Waddlestomp, who grudgingly stood on guard as well, contemptuous as he was of the Trickster’s flighty antics. As the crew got to work knocking down the tree, they were proven right! Out of the trees, a band of gold-armored, flame-armed warriors sprang, instantly cutting down a handful of the workmen and putting the others to rout. As the crew fled down the beach and Waddlestomp met burning bronze with killing Truesword, we “cut” to Iris, K’dud, and their crew contingent. Iris led them to an eerily tranquil pool underneath a roaring waterfall. Roaring, as it so happened, because it was actually an enormous Water Dragon, chained to the cliff with ropes of pure dancing sunlight! Immediately, they were set upon by a trio of fish spirits that leapt up from the pool. K’dud’s Bronze Arms Style (tied to his Fire rune) burned away two of the fish, but not before the third savaged Iris with snapping jaws and razor-edged fins. The moss priestess was knocked into the pool, barely conscious and no doubt doomed to drown... ...And we cut back to Waddlestomp and Androgenus. Androgenus got a solid success with their Luck rune's breakout ability Clumsy Curse against the onrushing soldiers, making many of them drop their weapons and shields in their charge down the beach. Waddlestomp used Vengeance-Seeking Swordsduck to great effect, laying many of the soldiers low and holding their attention long enough for the She's One Of Ours, Sir's crew to escape back to the longboats and row hard for the reef. But it wasn't quite enough--Androgenus found themself swiftly found by soldiery searching the trees, surrounded with a flaming spearheads, then wrapped in scintillating chains of fiery light. Waddlestomp merely took a good luck at the wave after wave of fire-clad, weirdly identical warriors that were streaming down the beach towards him, and did the unthinkable for a Hueymakti warrior: He laid down his sword and surrendered. This started a bit of an out-of-character argument, and also was the midpoint of our session. I'll recap the other half of the session soon! We took a mid-session break with Iris struggling for consciousness in a deep, dark pool, K'dud barely fending off fish spirits, Androgenus and Waddlestomp captured, and four players arguing vehemently about whether or not Waddlestomp's god would let him surrender.
  13. Nah, see, these are just very confused dwarves under a curse.
  14. Woo! I’d rather buy straight from the source if possible, so I’ll make sure to check back.
  15. Right, and those physical copies are (per the website's checkout pages) currently unavailable to ship to the US right now. I checked the Chaosium site first chance I got and saw that, that's why I'm asking in here.
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