Daniel Bar Jeremiah (SteveR) - Shiradi Sage and Sorcerer
Debora Bat Solomon (Tammy) - Shiradi Red Lion
Faqid the Witless (GM/NPC) - Amnesiac Merchant Prince
(9th day of the first Ten-day of the 4th Month of the year 5997)
[Placemarker for the start of the epic that is to follow. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read the one for the Friday night group in their first session. -jk]
[GM's Note: This game session would have been a full-length session, except for one thing. spross was playing a Shiradi sage and sephir (sorcerer) and thus I had to go over his magic with him at the start of the session and show him how to use his magic abilities and spells. I had figured on this taking about 20 minutes to 45 minutes or so, hoping for the low end of the scale, but things became...protracted. SteveR decided half-way through the process which was already into its late first hour, that he would completely revise his Elements for magic use, and after some 2-1/2 hours of “work” had a new list. The game session started at that point. Since that time, SteveR has decided to not play a sephir at all, revising the character to make him a pure Sage, and so a large part of the game session on Sunday was wasted on that for nothing. Though Tammy did get a good idea of how her limited magical abilities work. -jk]
The Red Lion of Shirad, Debora Bat Solomon, is somewhat surprised when the caravan she is working on [as a guard] stops somewhere along the route to Kh’saaba just north of the stench-filled area of the forges of Ishankti. She’s been travelling with the caravan of Hamoun Ibn Yussef Abd-Al-Salif from Carrassine, and after three TenDays plus, is glad that the trip will (relatively) soon be over. Hamoun’s assistant, Hafik, tells her the caravan has stopped so that some of the passengers may join another, small caravan that will be joining them shortly, heading into the desert toward the Nabiy Oasis. She learns from Hafik that the caravan in question will pass through Ma’Kulum, which she knows is supposedly haunted by djinn, on its way to Nabiy. He asks if she’s wanting to go with the other caravan, and she ponders the question for a moment. She feels a pull from her Dragon Mark towards the east, and tells him that she will indeed be joining the new caravan. Hafik tells her the the other caravan should be along in about an hour. She should start packing during that time.
The Sage Daniel Bar Jeremiah is on the same caravan as Debora, but he’s only nodded to her in passing for the most part during the trip from Carrassine. He has spent most of the time with the caravan working as a handyman and has been quite happy to do the work while still passing some time attempting to learn what he can in his sagely pursuits, though he doesn’t learn that much. He hears rumours throughout the day that the caravan is meeting up with another caravan to transfer passengers who are heading inland. This is confirmed some time later, when Hafik, Hamoun’s assistant, tells him that the caravan will be stopping so that several passengers can travel into the desert to the Nabiy Oasis with another caravan. He tells Hafik that he will be one of these, though he doesn’t tell him why when he asks. Hafik says that he needs to start packing, as the caravan in question will arrive within the hour.
Another seeming passenger with the caravan is one Faqid the Witless, so named as he seems to have amnesia. He has been working as a cook and general handyman on the caravan and it shows in his shabby dress. He makes the acquaintance of one Armin, one of the Saabi guards for the caravan from a lesser tribe, and learns that they have stopped because a new caravan is picking up passengers for a trip eastward towards the oasis of Nabiy. At that mention, the Dragon Mark on Faqid’s back signals him that he must go east, and he asks Armin for more information. Armin realizes he means to go with the caravan, and says he will be sad to see him go as he really enjoyed his Al-Ragon cooking. He promises to send Hafik to him with more details, and proceeds back to his guard rounds. Hafik comes up to him some time later, as he contemplates what he needs to take with him, and gives him the details. Faqid heads back to the wagon where he’s been making his home during the trip, and starts packing his goods.
As she finishes packing and takes her belongings to the spot where Hafik told her to wait for the caravan, Debora sees another would-be passenger, a relatively attractive man with dark hair and dark eyes wearing peasant clothing, but whose bearing is somewhat more elegant and noble. She sees that the Saabi also has a khanjar, a rumh (spear), and a sayf (short scimitar), definitely not a peasant. She also notes that he has a red sash around his waist, which seems to be the mark of a caravan master. Since he’s not a merchant, she suspects that perhaps it’s a symbol of rank of some sort. She catches a glint of gold in the sun from his hand, and thinks he might have a ring on his finger. She also notices what might be a set of light armour lying with his belongings, but she can’t recall seeing him do anything special or unique with the caravan during the trip from Carrassine. Watching him for a bit, she notices his moves aren’t dancer-like, but they are smooth and compact. However, his hand gestures remind her of a merchant.
As the hour comes near, Debora notices there are five other people departing the caravan, as well as herself. There is a [male] adventurer, who has his own camel. There is a female Saabi, who has a large bow and bears a quiver, who has the bearing of a hunter. There is another male Saabi, who has a pack, a camel, and a staff with a snake head. At one point, she thinks she’s losing her mind, as the snake on the staff appears to move! She makes the acquaintance of the staff’s owner, Old Aram, who despite his moniker doesn’t seem that old, and he successfully attempts to disorient her for no other reason seemingly other than he enjoys doing so. Finally, there is another Shiradi male, with no camel, good quality travelling clothes, and partial armour, who is armed with a sayf. [This is Daniel, of course.]
The second caravan shows up around the time that it is due, and Debora is somewhat disappointed to see that it’s a very small one, consisting of three wagons and has only six camels. This means only 2 camels are free to be ridden. Two guards emerge from one of the wagons, and size up the group of passengers awaiting them. The caravan master is introduced by one of the guards, and Afab Ibn Yazid Abd-Al Tarek greets the new passengers and says that they will leave as soon as they can. Debora is somewhat alarmed to realize that the caravan master, Afab, is one of the famed Mad Mystics of the Saabi. She watches as Hamoun speaks to Afab for a short time, and then the two caravans prepare to continue their travels.
As Master Afab’s caravan leaves the road, the group descends into a large, old wadi. The other passengers introduce themselves. The adventurer is Solom Bar Davidson; the female Saabi huntress is Sakala Bint Yazid Abd-Al-Tarek; the al-kimyat is Old Aram; and the two player characters and Faqid the Witless. The group continues its travels, Sakala occasionally hunting down a wild animal or two to add to the cook pot, and spot what appear to be several groupings of shimmering sands during their travel along the wadi. When Debora inquires what the shimmers are, Old Aram tells her they are “places where reality breaks down”. However, Master Afab concedes to her that they are “places the djinn are said to inhabit”. Old Aram tells her to avoid them, and that the caravan master will likely steer clear of them and go around.
Sunday afternoon's game session of the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG went pretty well, I thought, though I was put out and off by SteveR's change of mind about playing the sephir after spending around 2 hours going over magic with him and the matter of Elements and the key role they play in the freeform magic system that is used in Capharnaüm. I was pretty pleased with the session after that, though as Tammy commented "nothing happened" and I could tell she was also pretty annoyed with our SteveR. I've laid the basic pipe for the actual adventure that I want them to have during the course of the next session or two, but we'll see how that goes and whether the player group derails at all with SteveR's "new look/feel" character, once he makes the revisions at the end of the week with me.
For now, I'm pretty content with how the afternoon ended up, and can't wait to run the session of Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked next week, health and weather permitting.