Here, as promised, finally is the gaming report from my Friday night campaign. The Friday night gaming group is currently playing Savage Mars, but they have not gamed since the 7th of May, what with some illness, CanGames, and so forth. You can read the game session notes for the last session by following the link.
The second session of the Savage Mars game continued right on from the first one. The player characters decided that it was somewhat pointless trying to hide from whoever was aboard the airship, as they had already been seen, but Sab Thados and Mors Ravus advised Dana Kovas to be cautious. They also realised they couldn't conceal the Earthman, Eric Hunter's, appearance, but they would have to make up a story about a pale Red Martian tribe, which they did at a rapid pace. It was decided that Faina and Sola Breen would be said to be Dana Kovas' two servants, much to the annoyance of Faina.
The airship landed, and a Red Martian (obviously their leader) and a group of ten combat types approached the characters somewhat cautiously. Their leader introduced himself as Corax, of the independent city of Jajoras, and claimed to be on a research expedition when his spotter had seen them. He told the characters that he has come to rescue them, and invites them aboard his ship, the Hondarr. The characters were leery of his assistance, and both Mors and Faina had a feeling that something was wrong, but Dana and the others realised that they needed to get out of the ruined city, since there is the chance that more Green Martians may come upon them at any time, and so graciously accepted their offer of assistance. The player characters were led by Corax and his men over to the Hondarr.
Once the player characters are aboard, the Hondarr lifts off into the air, Dana, Sab, Mors, and the others were escorted to their berths aboard ship - which turns out to be a less than friendly brig! Captain Corax told the characters that it is quite some distance to Jajoras, and that they will fetch an excellent price on the slave market. When Dana Kovas tries to tell him that she is a daughter of Sevakkor, he informed her that her news makes him happy - he will be able to sell her for an even higher profit! The player characters weree stripped of their equipment and weapons, and tossed unceremoniously into the brig.
The cells were pretty filthy, and not well maintained, but there was a small secluded area for going about one's business (after all, this is a game of being civilized!), and there were several pitchers of clean water. They found that they were sharing their cells with three others, all Red Martians, who were very suspicious of the player characters. The three characters introduced themselves, and Dana and the others learned that the Red Martians are called Altra, Jessak, and Klia, and that they are part of the Sellians, a
nomadic Red Martian tribe. While the player characters cleaned themselves up, the three Red Martians explained that they were captured when the Sellians stopped at an oasis, and were attacked by Corax and his men. As far as they know, the rest of the Sellians were killed, and they are the only survivors. While the Sellians expressed the thought that their situation was hopeless, Sab told them that there is always hope, and that an opportunity would present itself for their escape. They just had to take advantage of it. Confronted by Dana about his optimism, Sab said that he *would* get her out of this mess.
The journey to Jajoras proceeded slowly, and the player characters had much time to learn more of their fellow prisoners. They also learned a good deal of what their fellow prisoners knew of Corax, his crew, and Jajoras. They weren't consoled by these facts. After a day went by, they were visited at one point by Captain Corax, escorted by a ruddy coloured Red martian, his first lieutenant, Xoran, who had taken a shine to Faina, much to her disgust and fear. Dana tried to convince the slaver captain that she was worth more to him as a ransom to Sevakkor than as a slave, but he laughed disdainfully and told her that he'd take his chances netting a good price for her in the Jajorasian market.
The second day of their captivity started with no changes in their situation, but the characters were awoken
later out of a restless slumber by the sounds of missile fire, the retort of a radium cannon, and the Hondarr shuddering violently as she came under attack from outside forces. The characters watched as the guards at the brig suddenly dispersed, as they were called upon to deal with the attack on the Hondarr. Sab and Mors told the others that this was the opportunity that they were seeking, but the
Sellians were somewhat concerned about their possible deaths in the air. Sab told them that there is no reward without risk of death, but that he would try to help them as best he can. Dana reinforced this message by reassuring them that she woud help them to the best of her abilities. Using hand signs and some pidgin Martian that Faina and Sola had taught the human during their captivity, Sab was able to explain to Eric Hunter what they intended to do, and the three men were able to force the somewhat damaged lock on the door of the brig by force. The player characters and their fellow prisoners were free!
The characters cautiously made their way through the airship, the Jajorasian pirates occupied by the attack from the outside, and while forced to kill several Jajoras pirates, continued on their way to the stores aboard the ship, and found their equipment and weapons. They learned that the airship was under attack by a
Sevakkor ship, and the player characters decided to head for the main deck, and seek to help out the Sevakkor ship through stealth and sabotage, as Dana pointed out to Sab that they had the other prisoners as well as Faina and Sola to take care of. Sab agreed reluctantly, but vowed that Corax was going to pay for his actions these past few days.
With the resistance getting thicker and thicker as they made their way to the main deck of the Hondarr, the characters arrived in time to discover that most of the crew of the airship had perished, with only Corax, Xoran, and two other crewmen left alive, trying to maintain the ship. The Hondarr had begun to list, and started to plunge toward the surface, her systems damaged, as the Sevakkor vessel, the Calufrax, edged her way closer to observe the enemy vessel and potentially board her. Sab told Dana, Faina, and young Sola to take cover, while he along Mors and Eric engaged the three surviving pirates.
The battle against the pirates was one that saw glorious moments and reversals of fortune, as Corax and Xoran proved to be more than adequate swordsmen. Corax taunted Sab with his plans for Dana Kovas, having divined the Sevakkor scout's love for the Red Martian woman, and attempted several times to manoeuver the fight to a position where he could take the Red Martian woman hostage, and Sab was hard pressed to defeat the Jajorasian pirate leader, but triumphed in the end. Mors Ravus' skill with his sword was more than a match for the heavy-handed Xoran, but he took several wounds before he was able to kill the brute. Meanwhile, Eric David Hunter's exuberance for his experience on Mars allowed him to take advantage of his two Martian foes' weaknesses, and he turned the tables on them, finally killing them both with a broadsword that he picked up half-way through the battle. The whole time, the three female characters tried to keep themselves out of the Jajorasians' clutches, and attempt to stabilize the airship's flight, but they were only marginally successful.
Victorious over their foes, the player characters awaited the arrival and docking alongside of the Calufrax, as they were eager to escape the untimely death of the Hondarr that approached ever closer, the ship continuing its plunge to the Martian surface. The player characters were safely taken aboard the Calufrax, and it was a reluctant Captain Jorel Karas who decided that he did not have the time to plunder the Hondarr. The Calufrax remained in the area, watching as the Hondarr took its final plunge to the surface.
Captain Karas was pleased to see that Lady Dana and her retinue were alive and well, as he confirmed that they did indeed receive the signal sent by Sab and Mors. He told them that he has been ordered to return them to Sevakkor immediately, but that the Calufrax has taken damage, so they must find a safe haven for the ship while his crews make a few minor repairs. Dana told him that she was content with that, but that she needed to look after the three Sellians that came aboard with her, and that she had concerns about Faina and the young girl, Sola. Karas said that he was not sure what to do about Eric Hunter, but Dana tolds him that she has plans for him... Later, she talked to both Faina and Sola, and told them that she would take them back to the city of Sevakkor with her, and offered them a place in her household. Faina was somewhat annoyed at this, thinking that Dana meant as a slave or menial labourer, but Dana told her that she could find good use for her on her continuing explorations of the Martian ruins. Dana also had a long chat with Sab, Mors, and Eric Hunter, and expressed her displeasure at Sab's giving her orders while fighting for their lives aboard the Hondarr. She said that she intends to get the captain to return to the ship for the bounty it might be carrying, but Sab and Mors expressed concerns over this and her safety.
That's essentially where I wrapped up the intro scenario of the game, with the player characters aboard the Calufrax looking for a place to make repairs, with some other, personal issues to deal with, and the Sellians aboard.
The players told me that they had a terrific time, really enjoyed the game, and felt that Savage Mars could be one of their favourite games we've ever played! SteveB said that he much preferred it to Hollow Earth Expedition, but added that the game had a very Pulp-like feel to it, and we all talked about the differences between pulp, pulp sci-fi, and planetary romance/sword & planet. I managed to get in some pretty decent stuff into the intro adventure, had an airship combat (though I focused more on the player characters than the ship-to-ship fight itself), and did a very Mars-y game. Great stuff.
I've discovered that I'm really liking the Savage Worlds system more than I expected to, but that I still need to get used to the game and its mechanics. That's going to take time and practice, of course, so I'm not overly concerned about that. The players will likely continue the Savage Mars game next week, and to be honest, if they do, I'm really looking forward to it!