(9th day of the first Ten-day of the 4th Month of the year 5997)
The players begin with an introduction to the world of the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked Roleplaying Game, learn some of the basic mechanics of the game, proceed through the Capharnaüm world Glossary (Capharnaüm RPG pp. 266-368), and partake in several samples of combat that teach them the basic mechanics of the Arabian Nights inspired game. And just how deadly the combat system can be…
“Know, oh wise and respected Caliph, that on AlHubal of the first ten-day of the fourth month of the year 5997 did a small group of the Dragon-Marked meet in the small village of Halifah on the southern edge of the Aramla El-Nar, the Desert of Fire, and there began what would be the first in their series of adventures and tales told around desert campfires...”
The Orkadian mercenary and adventurer, Edrick Olafsson, entered Halifah to the stares of the local men, and the admiring gazes of the local women. Knowing what they saw, he paid them no attention, but looked around and found the local watering hole at which to quench his thirst, The Black Dabbat [a type of terrible desert serpent]. Entering the establishment, he ordered a mug of their freshest, coldest beer, and sat back and watched the locals, and listened to what was being said. There was the usual gossip that one expected to hear in such places, but he caught a snippet of conversation about a recent caravan that never arrived in Halifah. The Orkadian continued to listen in, much to the admonishment of several nearby villagers, but he ignored them, though he noted that one of them had a rather large suyuf [long scimitar].
Elsewhere in the village, Chanda Bint Aziz Abd-Al-Salif, known as Chanda the Dark-Haired, walked through the souk, eyeing the various goods on display. She noted that the quality of the goods was not the best, but that there were several shiny trinkets that could be worth her while, if she were willing. She feigned ignorance of these items, searching the merchant’s other wares, and purchased a small ring with an amber jewel set in it [it was worth 4 Silver Talents, but she paid 8 ST for it!]. Chanda moved on, filching a money purse from a well-to-do gentleman on her way through the crowds. Stopping to assess her “earnings”, Chanda discovered she’d acquired 10 Silver Talents, a Gold Talent, and 10 ozs. of cumin; not a bad haul for the day. At least, until she noticed that she was being followed by a burly man, possibly an Al-Fariqani, bearing a large sword and with a scowl on his face.
Menachim Bar Vidal, a skilled physician, emerged from a local apothecary shoppe, his expression grim. He had hoped to replenish some of his healing supplies that had been used during his caravan trip to the village several days ago. The fact that he was Shiradi attracted some scowls and nasty leers from several people that he passed in Halifah, but he ignored them as he was quite used to those looks in Saabi lands. He was approached by a small girl, her Saabi heritage evident in her facial structure and garb, who asked if he was Menachim Bar Vidal. The girl seemed innocent enough, so he acknowledged that he was, and the girl (Mirami) asked if he would accompany her. One of the dancing girls at the Black Dabbat had been injured during a new routine, and Samar, an agent of Telev Ibn Yussef Abd-Al Salif, a courtier that he knows from Jergath the Great, suggested his assistance, knowing that he in Halifah. The girl didn’t appear to be deceiving him, so Menachim agreed to her request, and followed her after absently depositing a small coin in her hands. They set off for the Black Dabbat.
Derori Bat Natanyu, a storyteller of renown, departed the souk of Halifah, her purse somewhat lighter, but pleased with the purchase of the new light green silk scarf that matched her eyes. She decided she needed a drink, and that perhaps some storytelling opportunities would come her way as well, and asking where the local tavern was, found herself at the door to the Black Dabbat. She had heard tales of the horribly large, deadly serpents of the desert, but had never seen one herself. She strode into the what to her was a gloomy interior of the tavern, and sat at one of the tables. An attractive serving girl came over and took her order for a drink and some bread and hummus (she was suddenly hungry). She asked to speak to the tavern’s proprietor, and the serving girl said she would fetch her. Derori passed the girl a Silver Talent, much to the girl’s surprise. Scanning the room, she was surprised to see an Orkadian male, attractive except for the scar on his left cheek, and noted his Orkadian axe. The proprietress, Mummsa, approached and was pleased to take up Derori’s offer of some storytelling, the proceeds to be split among them in Derori’s favour, 60-40. Bringing the patrons’ attention to herself, Derori launched into her first tale of the day to the patrons, about a princess and a djinn.
The wandering sage and minor sorceress, Meheka Bint Yazid Abd-Al-Tarek, also known as Meheka the Wise, entered the village of Halifah hobbled by her walk from where the caravan of Araam Ibn Yussef Abd-Al-Salif had dropped her off some three miles from the village under the hot, blazing sun. She decided there and then that she would travel much lighter from that point on. Entering the village souk, she immediately purchased two pairs of new sandals (at an outrageous cost of 2.5 ozs. of cumin), and then sought the local tavern for some refreshment. She entered the Black Dabbat just as a storyteller was launching into a tale that she’d heard before about a princess and a dinn. Sitting at a table near the storyteller, she could smell the cinnamon perfume the woman exuded, and became enraptured in the story quite deeply, all the time nursing some hot tea and munching on a few biscuits.
The first session of the Friday night Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG campaign went very well. The large part of the session was the introduction of the group to the game rules and mechanics, as well as several sample combats; once those were done, the players proceeded to the first scenario, its start in the small village of Halifah. The players had a terrific time of it, but struggled early on with the concept of the Result/Magnitude aspect of the Skill rolls and the like. Once we started actual play, after the sample combats, they found it more easy to accustom to and work with. All the players had a good time, and both Kathy and Peter admitted that they enjoyed themselves much more than they thought they would.
Overall, a good session of the game, and I'm looking forward to the next session in a couple of weeks, winter weather willing.