Renna Tilawan (Donna) - Gontish Sailor
Savar Breikal (DavidW) - Man-at-Arms
Kavra Devaris (Kendall) - Adventurous Cartographer
Arabela of Semulia (Crystal) - Travelling Adept
Kedwath 16th, 2556 GA (Galenian Age)
Approximately a week and a half later, the player characters find themselves in Crystal Spring, a small town of 1,200 people near the edge of the Fastness of Girwyllan. They are making their way slowly north through Carzala, heading for Seagate, where Renna Tilawan hopes to find passage back to the Archipelago, Kavra Devaris having also said that she'd accompany her new friend "home". The characters are spending the evening at one of the two inns in the town, The Windy Tree. It's a busy work week in Crystal Spring, and so the place is full of people drinking.
Both Savar Breikal and Arabela of Semulia have heard several disturbing reports the last two days of children disappearing in the town, with no clues as to what happened to them. Kavra, never one to stand by while innocents ("especially children!") are being harmed, is determined to find the missing children, and convinces the rest of the player characters to help her in this cause. One of the local farmers, Orgev, overhears the characters talking and interrupts them, asking they're serious about finding the missing children. Kavra tells him that they are.
Orgev tells the characters that one of his friends, Harry Timlins's, daughter, Rina, age 8, has gone missing, having disappeared only yesterday. Kavra jumps at this, and says that they'll help find the girl (and the others who've been taken, five in all over the last two weeks). Orgev tells them they should talk to Harry, and agrees to take them to see him. As they leave the inn, Savar collides with a man entering the Windy Tree, and he takes offence at Savar's actions. Seeming to be a soldier or perhaps a man-at-arms, the two engage in a relatively quick fight in the street, Savar's weapon skill more than adequate to wound the man, Harspex Mellorian, who vows that he will get even with Savar at some point. Both Savar and Harspex are confronted by some Carzalan town guards, but both are let off with a warning after the incident.
Renna, Savar, Kavra, and Arabela arrive at Harry Timlins's home with Orgev, who introduces Harry to the charaters, and explains why they've come. Harry is grateful and invites the characters into his humble home. They learn he is a merchant, and meet his wife, Helga, and young daughter, Felia. Harry and Helga explain that their daughter, Rina, disappeared the day before while near the stream that serves the town as an extra water source, as Rina liked to fish there. When she didn't return home before the evening meal, the Timlins realised she was missing, but a quick search of the area by the town guards found no trace of her, and no one at that end of the town could remember seeing her. Helga is convinced that Rina is not dead (as the girl has a good head on her shoulders, and knows something about survival in the small, hilly region near the stream; she's spent much time there with Harry fishing and learning about the wilderness around Crystal Spring). The players agree to look into the matter, though Harry and Helga tell them they've got nothing to pay them with, Kavra being adamant about their undertaking this regardless of payment. While it's too late to investigate in the evening, Kavra tells the Timlins they will begin the search in the morning.
The next morning dawns cool and bright, but with a promise of a beautiful spring day in the air. After breaking their fast, the player characters decide to split their efforts this morning, with Renna and Savar going to the site where the girl, Rina, disappeared, while Kavra and Arabela staying in the town proper to see what they can learn. The two women decide to start at the local constabulary, and see what they can find out. The guard commander, Korvis Halend, is not all that cooperative with the characters, but Kavra is able to convince him to tell them what he and his guards have learned. The characters learn that they don't know that much - all of the disappearances have been young boys and girls, two lads and three lasses respectively, all over the course of the last two weeks, at no particular times of the day (as far as can be told), and all on the western edges of the town. The guards have not found much evidence of wrongdoing at the western edge of Crystal Spring, but his men are not experts at this sort of thing. He tells Kavra and Arabela they are more than welcome to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, Renna and Savar make their way to the western edge of Crystal Spring, though they don't learn a lot from questioning people along the way. While several people know and remember the three girls and two boys who have disappeared, they don't have any clear recollections of them in the area around the time of the disappearances. Having learned the night before where Rina liked to fish, the two head there, feeling that offers the best chance for them to perhaps find some clues. Arriving near the watering hole, the two search the area, and it is Renna who comes upon a curious set of deep tracks that lead away from the stream, heading roughly towards the west. She doesn't know if the tracks are animal or whether they've been made by a person, but she did spot several sets of tracks that were likely those of Rina. Renna complains that the area is so muddy, and that there are so many different sets of tracks, that it's impossible to be sure... As they follow the tracks, it is Savar who comes across some 10 feet of fishing line lying in some bushes.
While the two characters distractedly debate what they've just found and whether it belongs to Rina, four wild dogs leap to the attack! The two player characters are hard pressed by the wild dogs that attack them, but prevail relatively easily, as the dogs seem "off their game" as Renna comments when it is over, though neither of them are uninjured [Renna takes 5 FT and 2 EN, while Savar suffers 6 FT and 1 EN damage]. As the player characters finish taking stock of themselves, they wonder if the girl has become a victim of an animal attack. Renna taps Savar on the shoulder and points... to what appears to be a body lying among the shrubs of the hilly area...
Wednesday night's game session of the DragonQuest campaign went very well, and I was pleased with how things turned out. The players had a good time, enjoying the splitting up of the party (they knew they shouldn't have, but it was the best way to cover more ground), and liked how the plot started to unfold in this first session. Donna and Crystal both mentioned that they're enjoying the game system and its mechanics, finding it not as complicated/complex as they had feared because of its "old school" nature and feel. David did mention that he's tired of taking these "annoying little wounds" here and there, but the others pointed out he's the soldier - that's what he's expected to do! :)
Overall, a fun session of the DragonQuest campaign with the Wednesday group, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next session brings.