To give a bit of a refresher on the player characters in question... spross is playing Phedrin Mor, a Verelanar hunter who has a problem with authority and actually hunting. Tammy is playing Krenai "Blueeyes" Denshawni, a Warlander Primalist, who found herself stranded on the wrong side of the Primea Mountains when things went kablooey, but on the good news side, is no longer a slave or plaything for her former master. There was also hub_, who was playing Keran Lorenir, an ex-Legionnaire (as in the Legions of the former Ascondean Empire); however the player moved to Vancouver late last year, so the character of Keran has been redesigned slightly, and is now an NPC in the game setting that I'm using.
I've set the game in the village of Keveli, a a small community near Cushulain that survived the Night of Fire thanks to sheer luck, and with some interesting secrets around the place.
What I've decided to present here is the last scenario the characters did, the most recent session being a week ago Sunday. The game sessions are behind the cuts.
Day 16, Month 7, 2 After the Night of Fire (ANoF)
After the players' prolonged absence from the Desolation game system, I started the players off with several samples of combat. The first sample pitted Steve's Phedrin Mor against Tammy's Krenai Denshawni. The second sample of combat pitted the two player characters against a pair of orcs. They did not fare well against the orcs at all.
Then back to the actual game campaign...
The scenario stsarted off in the After community of Keveli on a gloomy rainy day. In the common dining room structure, Gevny informs Phedrin Mor and Krenai Denshawni that they're up for their weekly stint on patrol duty. He asks if they feel they need an extra for their patrol duty, and when they inform him that they do, Gevny agrees, and summons over to them Malathona Solnuaran (Mala for short), a 6-1/2 feet tall female Elf musician and scout. Mala is armed with a small hand harp and a longsword. She and Phedrin Mor instantly do not get along, and Krenai quickly realises the elf is pregnant, and she is the one who breaks this to Phedrin. Gevny tells them that their patrol will take them south along the edge of the village ruins, to the edge of the Spur. Krenai is reluctant to do so, because of the wolves that dwell in the hills to the south and east of the village, but Gevny tells them to gear up and get themselves sorted. The three go down to the armoury and collect three short wooden spears (that do 2L each).
As the characters prepare to set off on their perimeter patrol, Phedrin and Mala argue about whether she should be travelling with them and doing her guard duty with them in her condition. Mala says that she *will* be a productive member in the community, both despite her condition and her race. The two clearly do not get along at all, although Krenai and the female elf seem to get along rather well together.
As the three characters enter the ruins of the old village of Keveli, Phedrin Mor hears Mala Solnuaran tell Krenai Denshawni something of the history of the Verelanars and and their relations with the Empire. He is so distracted by her telling the stories, that he feels himself step into something - what he takes at first to be mud is actually steaming fecal matter. He looks up barely in time to avoid serious damage, as he is attacked by a carrion reaper (which does 2L, a love tap). The three characters duck for cover, finding it in the ruins, and while the carrion reapers attempt to get at them, the characters have fortunately found good cover. After several minutes of playing hide and seek, Krenai eventually gets bored and tries to get herself a better vantage point, and moves off. As she moves, she spots a splash of red out of the corner of her eye. She wants to go see what it is, but is afraid of the carrion reapers. The scavenger birds eventually fly off to other parts of the ruins. Mala and Phedrin eventually catch up to Krenai, and she tells them what she saw. Mala tells her that whatever it is, it's not blood.
The rainfall begins to reduce itself to a drizzle, and then comes to a halt. Krenai goes up to the red colour that she spotted. She discovers it is part of a wrecked and rotted wagon, with a tattered, mouldy bale of red cloth. Phedrin examines the wagon closely as well as the red bale, and a fire spider crawls up his arm, under his sleeve. He is bitten and poisoned, but Krenai uses her knife to cut open the wound and then uses a Primalist spell to draw out the highly venomous toxin. She bandages the would up with some of Phedrin's shirt sleeve. The characters then debate what to do about the bale of cloth. They determine that they can salvage about 15 yards of the cloth, and stash it in a dry, safe place in one of the ruined structures that are nearby.
Day 16, Month 7, 2 After the Night of Fire (ANoF)
Seeing that Phedrin Mor is in poor condition, Mala Solnuaran offers to heal him of his wounds, but he refuses her treatment due to his attitude towards elves. Krenai Denshawni and the other two decide to continue their patrol, despite their poor health. As the characters move off once more, a light drizzle begins to fall again.
As the player characters move cautiously through the ruins, both Phedrin and Krenai observe their surroundings carefully. They see that there are carrion reapers, some four or five, gathering in the area. They wonder if these are the previous carrion reapers they dealt with, returning to the area, or another group. Phedrin catches sight of an odd tree, some 60 feet off to the right of the party, and points it out to them. Between the rough terrain of the ruins and the slippery nature of the ground due to the rain, the characters make their way to the tree after some trials and slips, to find a dark, dessicated tree with a bud of some sort. Phedrin is startled when a razorwing takes flight from the tree, and falls to the ground. Mala convinces both Phedrin and Krenai that they need to get back to their patrol.
The characters make their way back to their patrol route, but decide to take momentary shelter. The group settles down to a mid-morning snack, and Krenai attempts to work some first aid on Phedrin. As they eat, the player characters notice there are now some seven carrion reapers in the area. The group decides not to stay any longer, and continue their patrol, heading towards the Spur. After another hour's travel, they come upon an area that is very much covered in vegetation. Krenai notices that several of the ruined buildings in the area are covered in plant growth, and there are no carrion reapers on these buildings. Mala Solnuaran notices that there are several skeletons, primarily of animals, in the area but says nothing, as she's feeling somewhat annoyed at the other two.
While Phedrin and Krenai look around, they fail to see that some of the plant life in the area is Elven chokers, a fact brought to their attention when Mala screams. Mala has two of the blood sucking plants attacking her, and she has already been badly wounded by the first one. Krenai moves to help her, but Phedrin is hesitant about doing so, and it is only Krenai's shove and shouted "Move!" that spurs him into action. While Krenai goes to free Mala, Phedrin chooses instead to attack the plant at its roots. Krenai attacks the wrapping brambles on Mala, taking some bad wounds herself in the process, and finds the plants are difficult to kill, while Phedrin discovers he is in over his head attacking the roots, and also takes some severe damage. With a great deal of effort, Krenai frees Mala, and then orders Phedrin to help her drag the unconscious elf out of the range of the plants. With a look of disgust and absolute repulsion on his face, Phedrin picks up the elf, and carries her off as he and Krenai retreat back the way they came and find some shelter in a partially ruined, plant-covered building.
Once in the shelter of the ruins, Krenai and Phedrin decide what to do about Mala. Krenai finally attempts to treat her injuries, and is able to stabilise her wounds and bring her back from the brink of death. The elf lies unconscious, and the other two don't know how long she will be out. Krenai is angry with Phedrin for his unwillingness to help the elf, though she understands his reasons, and treats his injuries as best she can as well. Mala eventually wakes up, and the group decides that while they are somewhat battered, they will continue on the patrol, and then return to the village proper around sunset.
The player characters and Mala move off into the ruins, continuing to head towards the edge of the Spur. Krenai and Phedrin notice that there are more of the carrion reapers as the proceed. As they pass near a series of ruined structures they have not paid much attention to, Phedrin catches the scent of wood smoke. The group decides to investigate, thinking that some of the villagers might have survived here. The building itself is in pretty bad condition with several gaping holes torn in the walls and ceiling. As Krenai pokes her head in through one of the openings, a thrown dagger strikes her for a gash-like wound across the arm, and she sees a shadowy figure move inside the ground floor room. She pulls back, and warns the others.
Eventually, the group decides to cautiously enter the ruined structure, as they note that several more of the carrion reapers are gathering. Krenai dives and rolls into the structure, but there is no other attack. She spots a figure move out one of the openings in the rubble. She sees that there is the remains of a small, ringed firepit with wisps of smoke rising from it. Phedrin enters the structure, and finds it to be the remains of a shop of some sort. His hunting abilities tell him that there were two people camped there. There is no evidence of belongings. At first, he mistakes the female footprints for those of Krenai, since their footgear appears to be similar. The characters can't see much in the shadowy light coming from the various cracks and holes in the structure, so Krenai fashions a torch out of a piece of wood and an ember from the fire.
Phedrin continued to search for tracks, but when Krenai asks about the tossed dagger, he says he didn't take it, so she goes in search of it. The dagger is not where she thinks it fell, but there are fresh tracks from the spot leading back around the ruined shop. Mala, still wounded, decides to remain in ruined shop and looks around, as does Krenai, while Phedrin follows tracks out of the back of the shop. He loses the tracks when he steps outside (as they have been wiped clean by the others). In the shop, Krenai comes across a pile of rubble with finger sticking out, and she frantically digs the rubble away - only to find a tattered, still intact, female doll with stringy blonde hair. Krenai keeps the doll.
Phedrin returns, saying that he lost the tracks. The group argue, but Mala says they have to find out who it is. It is Mala, once the group exits the ruined shop, who hears them (elf hearing, you see!) and the group goes in pursuit. They hear the "caw, caw!" of the carrion reapers as they go. Catching sight of one of the interlopers moving around a building nearby, the characters race in frantic pursuit, rounding the building to confront two Warlanders, a male and female, there!
When Krenai inquires as to whether they are refugees or scouts, the two Warlanders attack. The fight is pretty brutal, the characters hampered by their previous wounds, with Krenai and Mala trying to take the interlopers prisoner, but Phedrin is mildly wounded. Phedrin kills the male Warlander, but Krenai merely wounds the female enough to knock her unconscious, and then heals her sufficiently. She finds the tribal tattoo of the Fiery Stars tribe (stars on fire in red motif) on the female Warlander, and finds similar tattoos on her companion. She also spots a necklace of some sort of teeth on him as well, but it is not a totem. Krenai and Mala proceed to bind the girl up, while Phedrin loots the body of the male Warlander. Phedrin finds a small pouch with well worn, different coloured stones in it on him, and they come to believe that they are fortune telling stones of some sort.
Once the female Warlander awakes, Krenai tries to question her. The two are scouts for the Fiery Stars band, and there are two others out there scouting as well. They have a Hawk-based shaman who can see through the eyes of the carrion reapers. And, as they surmised, the male was a fortune teller. When Krenai empties the bag of seeing stones on the ground to get a reaction out of the girl, the stones fall in the pattern of a spear pointed up. The girl reacts with a wicked smile, saying that it was an omen for the player characters, a bad omen, and a sign of the coming war. Since Krenai laments that she doesn't have the interrogation skills, they decide to try and take her back to the rest of the villagers of Keveli. Before they can set out, the Warlander girl lashes out with her leg, crippling Phedrin's right knee (for 6N damage!), but before she can escape, a regretful Krenai kills her with a spear.
Eventually, given Phedrin's unconscious condition, Mala and Krenai are forced to take him back to Keveli proper on a travois, with very little other goods. They do take the necklace, the seeing stones, and the weapons and leather armour, but are forced to leave the bale of cloth where it is hidden. It is a scraggly, tired, worn, group of characters that are met by the villagers. And they want to know all about what
happened and what's going on...
The short scenario ended at that point, with the players poised on the brink of what might be a conflict between the fledgling community of Keveli and a Warband that is in the area and obviously scouting the area and situation out. I think of this as the prelude to what's to come with this plot, since it won't become full-blown yet for some time, and the players seem to have had a pretty good time. Both spross and Tammy deal with situations as best they can, as they really need a couple of more players to flesh out the Sunday group, so I think that things went pretty well as far as they went, although the two players made some interesting choices during the course of the adventure.
And now it's off to do a bit of final preparation for today's Desolation game session. :)