The Friday evening gaming group continued on with their Living Land campaign of the Torg Eternity RPG yesterday evening (Friday the 6th). You can read about the previous session of the game by following the link. This post is somewhat long, so I've put it behind a cut for those who don't want to read about my roleplaying game campaigns.
Melanie Franconi (KathyB) - Cat Burglar/Thief
Wendy Saltman (Angela) - Courier
Sandra Mitchell (Ellie) - Librarian/Dabbler
Lucas Wells (Mark) - Realm Runner
Andar/Andrew Quilling (Peter) - Transformed (Living Land) Athlete
April 4th, 2017
The Storm Knights and their travelling companions wake the morning after the Maelstrom bridge dropped in New York City. They took refuge overnight in Newport Centre, a shopping mall close to the exit of the Holland Tunnel. While it was clear that the edeinos had been through there, there were no other signs of habitation. The dawn light has the group feeling somewhat better, and Lucas Wells and Melanie Franconi take a couple of the survivors of NYC with them, and go and scavenge for food. The player characters are somewhat alarmed by the fact that the jungle seems to have grown up within the mall overnight. Forcing a path through the undergrowth is difficult; fortunately the group was able to scavenge a trio of machetes in an Outfitters shoppe in the mall. Once everyone is fed, and supplies are gathered up for the long trek ahead, the player characters consult a couple of the other survivors. Wendy Saltman and Sandra Mitchell are concerned about the quick growth of the vegetation and how it will hinder them, but Andar says this is expected in the “land of Lanala”. The Storm Knights wonder how he seems to know some stuff about the land they find themselves in, but Andar merely shrugs and says that “the ways of Lanala are known to those who love her, and She will protect those who follow Her path in the Living Land.” The other four Storm Knights regard one another with looks ranging from surprise to fear and concern over Andrew/Andar’s words and behaviour. Steve Hardiman tells them that some of the other survivors are “concerned” about the savage among them, and his words have scared many of them. As they go about preparations for departure, Sandra whispers to the others and points towards Andar. Sophie Kang, an eleven-year-old Korean-American girl who has lost her parents, has gravitated over to Andar, and is talking to him, her face calm and smiling. Sandra says that Andar isn’t all that bad at all, despite appearances to the contrary. Hardiman isn’t convinced.
With a great deal of effort, the use of the machetes, and Andar leading the way, the Storm Knights and their group of survivors quickly make their way out of the Newport Centre. New Jersey is overrun with vegetation, but there are street signs still visible and several of the survivors come from this part of the area, so making their way in the right direction so as to head for Philadelphia is not difficult. Travel is slow, due to the need for the survivors to rest at times in the oppressive heat of the jungle and the need to search for additional foodstuffs and water. At one point, Lucas and Melanie (along with two survivors, Jake Wilson and Emma Johnson) come back from a successful hunting trip, and tell the others that they barely avoided a couple of edeinos patrols. They’ll need to be very careful from this point on. The Storm Knights notice that the morale of the survivors is very low, and Sandra and Lucas make a rousing speech [they each spend a Possibility for their rolls, and the Willpower card] that rallies the survivors. And then, several hours later, May Armitage, an elderly woman in her 70s suffering from cognitive impairment, leads the group straight into a patrol of edeinos!
The Storm Knights, along with two of the survivors who have shown an ability for weaponry (David Harrington, an ex-cop, and William Freeman, who worked in a survival surplus shoppe), herd the other survivors behind them, while engaging with the edeinos warriors. Andar makes short work of his edeinos foe, who seems surprised to see a transformed human, and quickly goes to Wendy’s assistance, her staff work not being up to fighting a skilled edeinos warrior. Lucas uses his Glock against his edeinos attacker, and… Disconnects. Sandra comes to his rescue after taking down her attacker, and Lucas manages to re-establish his Reality. Thinking the better of it, he grabs a large tree limb and uses that as a weapon, instead. The two survivors, David and William, find themselves outmatched by the sheer combat abilities of the edeinos, and Harrington is sorely injured coming to Freeman’s rescue. The fight comes to an end, with all of the edeinos dead (or dying). Two of the doctors from the hospital frantically work to save Harrington, but his injuries are too severe - he dies. The Storm Knights and the survivors want to give Harrington a decent burial, but Andar points out that the land itself will take care of him. Even as they watch, the body starts to decay at a rapid rate. As they grieve and set out once again, several of the Storm Knights having had their wounds treated, animals and other scavengers move in on Harrington’s body. May Armitage is inconsolable, blaming herself for what happened. Wendy tries to comfort her, but to no avail.
Once the sun begins to set, Andar searches for a suitable place for shelter with some cover for the group. The Storm Knights and the survivors take shelter in what used to be an apartment block, two enormous trees having broken the walls of the building and shattered the windows. While the characters and the survivors start to make camp under Andar’s guidance, Lucas, Melanie and an eager to prove himself William Freeman go searching for food and water, and possibly other supplies. Andar sets up the camp near the base of the huge trees and their canopy, rather than enter the building itself (since he wants to avoid all “dead things”) [he rolled a 32 total on the Survival check!]. The area for the camp has fresh water bubbling out of the trees’ bases, and lots of colourful flowers, and there are also vines that provide shelter and cover from insects and prying eyes. The scavenging Storm Knights and Freeman return with FEMA emergency supplies (four large meals in distribution packs). [Mark played Lucas’s Lost Treasure Cosm card for this.]
During the course of the night, Andar catches Sophie trying to sneak out of the camp, and head back in the direction they have travelled. She tells Andar that she’s going to find her mother. Her mom worked at 30 Hudson Street, the Goldman Sachs Tower, and that it wasn’t far from the Holland Tunnel. She has to go back there, to see if her mother took shelter there. Andar tells the young girl that he can’t let her go, as he is sworn to protect her and the rest of the “tribe”, but she insists that she’ll sneak off at the earliest opportunity. Andar convinces her, based on everything that’s happened during their trip so far that this would not be a good idea - it’s too dangerous - and he seems to have convinced her. [He rolled a total of 35 for the Persuade roll, though he also spent a Possibility as well.] Sophie goes back to her sleeping space, and Andar keeps an eye on her for the rest of her watch.
The next morning dawns brightly and the Storm Knights find that several of the survivors, including Steve Hardiman, are in a panic. There is no sign of Sophie Kang (or Andar). Wendy and Sandra calm the survivors down, and Melanie and Lucas scout around the campsite for any signs of foul play. Lucas spots what he thinks are recent tracks, but it is Melanie who finds the definite evidence - an arrow carved into the earth near the edge of the building, pointing into the jungle. Lucas decides he will take Melanie and see if they can quickly find Andar and the young girl. They head off into the jungle.
At the small campsite in the jungle nearby, Andar rouses the young girl, Sophie, from her deep sleep. He had managed to convince her not to go too far into the jungle after they encountered a cat of some kind the night before. As they rise, they see they are surrounded by several primitive humans, wearing tattered clothing and bearing improvised clubs. Andar recognizes one of the primitive humans as having been Les Wilson, one of his coaches from the Cincinnati Reds “tribe” [he played a Connection card!], and the natives agree to let them pass, in exchange for the spear that Andar has. Andar tells Sophie that they were lucky, and the two head back for the campsite, but encounter Lucas and Melanie before they have gone too far. They stumble upon a group of edeinos scouts, and things would go badly for the Storm Knights and Sophie were it not for the timely arrival of the primitives led by Les. Between them, they kill or drive off the edeinos. [There was a flurry of Destiny cards and Possibilities played, and Melanie used a Leadership card to help out Andar at one point.] Les tells the Storm Knights that their debt is paid, and the primitive humans move off into the brush. The Storm Knights and Sophie return to the camp.
Back at the camp, a dispute occurs between two of the survivors, and Wendy is forced to mediate between the two sides. Jose Vasquez, a computer programmer in his early 40s, tells the Storm Knights that if they don’t manage to leave the area of Jersey City within the next few days, he will lead a group of same-minded others travelling with them as a separate party to escape the edeinos roaming around here. Wendy attempts to calm him down, but he rants at her for several minutes before finally moving back to the other group of survivors. Sandra tells the group that they must make breakfast and prepare to break camp, as they need to leave the area when the others return. There’s a lot of grumbling, but eventually the survivors acquiesce as a whole and go about their “morning routine”.
As the group is finishing breakfast, Andar emerges from the jungle along with Lucas, Melanie and Sophie. Sandra hurries over to them, seeing that they look a bit worse for wear, and Lucas quickly tells her of what happened and the edeinos attack. Other survivors friendly to the Storm Knights come up to them, and greet them. One of the doctors looks over the player character wounds, and says that most of them are superficial though he does bind up one of Melanie’s wounds the best he can. Steve Hardiman comes over and scolds Sophie for running off like that, and escorts her back to the survivors where she can be washed up and fed. Sandra and Wendy brief the characters on what happened while they were gone, and Wendy tells them that Vasquez is going to be a problem. Andar tells her that Lanala will weigh the man’s “sensations” and his life will run its course as is necessary. The others shake their head at his primitive “wisdom”. They go over to the survivors, and prepare to set out for the day.
Friday night's game session of Torg Eternity went pretty well, I thought, though I wasn't expecting the players to get so involved with the survivors in the session. I had thought the players would be more concerned with the dangers of the Living Land, so it was interesting to see the character interactions that were going on. The players are all having a good time with the characters, and Peter seems to be really enjoying playing Andar to the hilt, and Mark's character, Lucas, seems to be emerging as the Storm Knight group leader and is making some of the tough decisions. All in all, a lot of fun.
I'm rather looking forward to Friday night's game session (Gods, it's only three days away!) and seeing what the player characters get up to and all. :)