Anan the Wanderer (SteveR) - Ophirite Adventurer
Alethea (Tammy) - Saturnian Mercenary
Dubaku of Ophir (NPC) - Ophirite Sorcerer
Orabela the Silent (NPC) - Balam Tharshi Thief
Gunnarr of Haloga (Dan) - Halogan Scout
25th Du'uzu, Year 506 Meta Kataklysmos (M.K.)
[With the introduction of Dan Spooner's new player Hero, Gunnar of Haloga, I started the session going over the rules of the game for Dan's benefit, and then answered any questions he might have had, before starting in on the session.]
In the aftermath of the grasht attack, the player Heroes replace the weapons that were damaged, and make plans to depart the city of Cadaza. Some three days later, Alethea, Anan the Wanderer, Dubaku of Ophir, and Orabela the Silent are travelling through the plains of Toreth, between the cities of Cadaza and Tartessos. As the player Heroes talk of various matters and their trip north, Anan mentions the Orrery of the Gods, located to the north of the mountains of Aragana.
Before they can discuss its relevance to their travels, Dubaku senses something wrong up ahead, and using a Sensory spell determines that a wrecked and burned caravan has been destroyed, that there may be a survivor, and there are at least 15 brigands, 8 wagons, and many dead animals. He warns the other Heroes of these details, and the Heroes prepare themselves for combat. A shadow of a large bird of some sort passes by overhead, and while several of the Heroes try to identify it, it is Alethea who tells the others that it's a gryphon... Shrugging, Alethea gleefully leads the Heroes in the direction of the burning and smoke rising into the sky ahead of them.
Some hundred metres ahead of them, at the site of the caravan conflagration, Gunnarr of Haloga conceals himself behind the nearest wagon, panting and out of breath after the sudden attack. The leader of the brigands, the diabolist Mehazi the Vengeful, threatens Gunnarr, telling him to give himself up and he'll make his demise quick. Gunnarr is brave enough to stand up to him, and refuses, and a barbed arrow is fired with enough force to pierce the weakened wooden wall of the wagon, punching through it and missing the Hero by mere centimeters. Looking around for a way out, Gunnarr sees the approach of several figures on horseback coming from the east. He thinks they're Mehazi's reinforcements.
The other player Heroes dismount their horses some fifty metres distant, as they realise that the horses will panic in the presence of sorcery. Dubaku casts a protective spell on himself (PR 20), and then does the same for Alethea before she moves off towards the scene of destruction. At that moment, Mehazi throws a ball of dark fire at the wagon behind which Gunnarr is concealed; the wagon explodes, throwing the Halogan backwards and injuring him [he takes 5 points of damage].
Anan, Alethea, Orabela, and Dubaku come up to the somewhat hurt Gunnarr, and after introductions are made the Halogan tells them of Mehazi the Vengeful and his mercenaries, while Anan tries to get closer near the flames and see who their foes are. He recognises the heraldic symbol on the armour of the brigands as that of Mehazi the Vengeful. Dubaku believes that Anan has lied to them about Mehazi and several of the other events surrounding the diabolist's presence both here and in Cadaza, but Anan denies this knowledge. The diabolist sends a sorcerous dark eye at the Heroes, and seeing Anan there, says that he can kill two birds with one stone. Anan stands up to the magical eye, and Mehazi launches a bolt of lightning through it. Anan suffers a bad wound [5 points of electrical damage, after using Hero Points and Zeal], while the rest of the player Heroes dodge the bolt of black light.
Gunnarr tells the other Heroes of the fact that two of the wagons carried exotic animals for the governor of Cadaza. Alethea says that explains the presence of the gryphon, even as the creature's shadow passes overhead, but they don't know what was in the other wagon. The frustrated Mehazi sends his brigands against the player Heroes, even as the characters learn the hard way what was in the other animal wagon - skull spiders! While some are merely rat-sized, some are the size of small dogs!
Gunnarr sees the brigands of Mehazi moving towards the Heroes, and he focuses on them. He realises they are too far out of short bow range for him, but their longbows could find him easily, so he keeps to some opportunistic cover. A Lemurian soldier shoots Gunnarr with a "rifle" and inflicts 3 points of damage [after his 5-point armour and a Hero Point to absorb 4 points], and he is somewhat surprised and shocked by the strange weapon attack. Realising that his soldiers are no match for the Heroes, Mehazi opens a black, viscous portal, and the brigands flee through it, though Gunnarr manages to shoot three of the brigands with his arrows as they flee, doing minimal damage.
Dubaku destroys one of the creatures, which explodes into vile purple goo with a bolt of arcane energy. Two of the skull spiders attempt to catch Dubaku and Alethea in their webs, attracted by the magics established by the Ophirite sorcerer, but cannot penetrate through the protective shields he established earlier. Orabela charges at the skull spiders that seem to be guarding *something*, and manages to kill one, which explodes releasing foul smelling purplish goo all over the Balam thief and surrounding area. Orabela manages to kill another of the spiders, but is then struck by one with its vicious fangs - and she is paralysed by the venom the creatures secrete. Ignoring the brigands, Anan rushes in and tries to sweep the spiders away from Orabela, but fails in the task, leaving himself open to attack. However, he is spared this fate as Alethea rushes in and kills off three more of the creatures in rapid succession, covering both herself, Anan, and Orabela in more of the purple goo. The final skull spider retreats back into the skull of the body it's been protecting and vanishes.
[To wrap up the game session, Tammy suggested that I do a couple of samples of combat for Dan's benefit, and so that's what we did.]
Yesterday's session of Atlantis: The Second Age was one of the more interesting ones I've had in a while with the Sunday players, as it introduced a new player to the group, Dan (who I hope will be sticking around with the group for a long time to come). The session had a lot of stuff going on in it, as the introduction of Dan's character was topmost in my mind, but the whole situation in which the player Heroes found themselves worked pretty well, I thought. The session was marred by a 15-minute sequence of spross figuring out what he wanted to do mechanically in order to avoid being struck by a nasty dark bolt of arcane energy, and it looked to me like Dan was seriously bored at that point (and I actually thought we might have lost him). I worried needlessly on that score, as he told me that he'd had a good afternoon, had a lot of fun, and liked the game system (and hopefully my GMing of it!), so I was pretty relieved about that. The set-up for this session worked well, and there are a few surprises in store for the players and their characters before this adventure is a wrap.
Overall, it was pretty successful game session of Atlantis: The Second Age, but I do have to admit that I was pretty tired when we wrapped up the session just after 6:00 pm. (There was an overly long break for cake and tea (see this blog post for more about the cake.) In any event, I'm quite looking forward to continuing this new scenario next week.