Kandaja (Donna Winston) - Balam Galacean Thief
Pekkar the Strong (David Winston) - Cimmerian Pirate
Salali (Kendall Scott) - Tamarac Adventurer
11th Simanu, Year 506 Meta Kataklysmos (M.K.)
The three player Heroes depart the village of Shulak, and head northwest towards the Otesium border with Draconea. Kandaja the Lean tells the others that she recognises they're going into danger, but that she's got a passing familiarity with Draconea. Pekkar the Strong and Salali learn of some of the hazards of Draconea, and Pekkar notes that the trip to the ruined temple will be somewhat arduous. He vows that he will protect both women with his strong sword arm, but the Balam thief says she can protect herself, and Salali adds that he's not the only one who can deal with whatever comes their way.
Several hours go by, and the Heroes have an uneventful time of it. Kandaja tells Pekkar she's concerned they have not encountered any really hazardous animal life since they left the village, and Pekkar wonders if perhaps the presence of the Acor-Domaras is responsible. Their concerns are muted when they come face-to-fang with two large forest cats. The cats are starving, as even Pekkar can tell, and the Heroes are forced to defend themselves from the ravenous animals. Salali takes a wound from one of the cats, but the Heroes are able to deal with them easily enough.
The rest of the day goes uneventfully, though Salali draws the Heroes' attention to the forest apes that are watching them from the trees. They are attacked by a boar once more, but Pekkar makes fast work of it, and the Heroes dine well before camping for the night. The Heroes partake of some revelry, and wake refreshed. Morning dawns brightly, and the Heroes set off once more. As the mid-morning looms, the Heroes hear a savage roaring that sends a tremor of fear through them. Regardless, Kandaja, Pekkar, and Salali continue on.
Entering the jungles as they continue on their way, Kandaja tells the others to be alert. There are hazards in Draconea that no one even knows about, so they must be wary as they travel and cautious to a degree. Her warning and the Heroes' caution is all that prevents them from being taken by surprise by a series of very large wolves, their fangs dripping some sort of pale ichor. Pekkar's fear and strength allows him to kill two of the wolves within seconds [and a few Hero Points doesn't hurt, either!]. Kandaja and Salali are able to take down the third wolf themselves, and Pekkar tells them that perhaps he was wrong about them. The Heroes treat their wounds, and travel onwards.
By mid-afternoon, the Heroes arrive in an area where the vegetation seems somewhat withered. Salali tells them there is some sort of contamination in the water of the area, as it is undrinkable. Soon, the Heroes come upon a set of ancient ruins that Kandaja recognises as devoted to one of the First Age Atlantean gods (though she can't remember or doesn't know the deity's name). The temple lies in ruins, though from what the Heroes can tell it was devoted to a deity involving water. Salali, having spent some time in Atlantis, believes it may be a temple once devoted to Oshun; she points out a large depression that might have once been a river bed as her proof.
The Heroes are distracted as a massive, white ape emerges from the deeper ruins, unfurling its wings, and baring its huge canines at them! Pekkar steps forward to take on the creature, but Salali steps between him and the massive ape. She says it is a guardian, and that if they try to enter the ruins proper it will attack them. The Cimmerian doubts its intelligence, but the ape speaks, warning the Heroes not to enter the "holy shrine" on pain of death. Salali speaks with the white ape, and learns that there is only one stand of the Weldberry bushes in the area, located near the ancient entrance to the shrine. Kandaja attempts to sneak past the creature during its talk with Salali, but the white ape isn't fooled. Taking Kandaja by surprise, it strikes her a vicious blow that nearly takes the Balam's arm off. Pekkar attacks the creature, his Cimmerian combat instincts taking hold, but before the man and ape creature can strike each other, Salali throws herself between them, putting her life in her hands. Kandaja, acknowledging that it was her fault, begs the ape creature's forgiveness and is surprised by her own behaviour.
After some consideration, the white ape gives the Heroes directions to the stand of Weldberry, but warns them that they will have to deal with the "guardian". A short time later, Kandaja, Pekkar, and Salali approach the stand of weldberries - only to suddenly find themselves confronted by a plant guardian. It attacks Pekkar, and the Cimmerian is hard pressed to defend himself from the plant tendrils. Not knowing how to appease the guardian spirit the scared Salali joins her brawny companion in the attack. Kandaja, using her basic herbal lore and instincts, strikes at a seemingly innocuous large red flower - and the plant guardian instantly ceases its attack, becoming almost somnolescent. The Heroes manage to acquire the weldberries that they need to take back with them to Shulak.
Two days later, the player Heroes return to Shulak bearing the precious weldberry plants. Kolete is able to fashion the weldberries into the curative potion for the victims of the half-snake, half-cat creature. This includes Pekkar, who was suffering a mild case of the poisoning due to his "barbarian constitution". The three Heroes are feted by the villagers, with all kinds of honours bestowed upon them, and the player Heroes revel in the celebrations, taking the well-earned accolades in stride.
Last night's game session of Atlantis: The Second Age went rather well, the Wednesday night players and their characters wrapping up a short scenario, variants of which I've run in every game system that I've ever played. The three players told me they rather enjoyed the scenario, and Donna commented that she surprised herself with some of her own actions. David said that he really likes the game, enjoying the sword & sorcery elements very much, though he said he had some trouble remembering Hero Point mechanics at times. Kendall said the game play reminded her of what she liked about face-to-face roleplaying, and that she wants to continue playing on Wednesday nights with the other two.
For those who have read the blog entry, this will be the last Atlantis: The Second Age session that the Wednesday night players play for a bit. We'll be creating characters for the Abney Park's Airship Pirates in two weeks in preparation for playing that game, as Donna and the others want to give the game a try. So I'm looking forward to that.
The fact that all three players have said they want to play Atlantis: The Second Age again is also good, so I have no doubts that we'll come back to the game sooner rather than later.