Earr 5th, 907
The players begin with a rehash introduction to the world of Shadows of Esteren, and learn the basics of combat, and then experience some samples of combat to see what it's like in a non-harmful fashion.
The place: the peninsula of Tri-Kazel. The time: Earr (equivalent to March) 5th, 907 after the founding of Tri-Kazel. The player characters are Mylofa Kranet (Kathy Bauer), Guirec (Nick Roberts), Corentin Syanaf (Tom Robinson), Nolwenn (Joanne Clarke), Morvena (Angela Marsh), and Mazeo Balcaren (David Matchuk). The fragile peace among the various nations of Tri-Kazel holds steady, but it has started to fray and weaken as a darkness is coming, manifesting itself first in the shadows...
In the village of Tálesh, a community of close to 300 souls in Taol-Kaer on a major trade route, Mylofa Kranet (Kathy) is just finishing up an early morning shift at the Farigal Ale House. The talk of the day has been grumbling about the overdue caravan of Faroe Mac Toran, and the fact that the villagers need the goods and materials that he is bringing them. The inn owner, Harelta (related to her father), says that business has been good since
the winter thaw began, but that things will get busy as spring comes into effect. She collects her days' wages, and goes in search of Guirec or Morvena.
Elsewhere, Guirec (Nick) is taking a break at his forge, having been working since sun-up on various projects for the townsfolk. Two farmers, Hamec and Shelwind, come into the forge, and ask him about making several tools for their trade before the spring is begins in earnest. He says he will see what he can do. As the two farmers leave, Mylofa enters the forge. He smiles.
Corentin Syanaf (Tom) and his betrothed, Parmiga, are looking at various materials and foodstuffs in the Tálesh market when they spot Nolwenn (Joanne). The Ionnthèn comes over to them, a basket of herbs and various food items over one arm, and inquires how they are. Corentin tells her that he's fine, but that Parmiga is getting worried about their wedding at Earrach Feis, but Nolwenn tells them that she is sure that there will be no difficulties with the marriage. Before they can talk more, the Demorthèn, Keogan, summons her back to his side.
The varigal, Morvena (Angela), and the merchant, Mazeo Balcaran (David), come riding back into Tálesh after passing through the gates, his wagon brimming over with several new goods. Several of the villagers come running over to see what the merchant's carrying in wares, but Mazeo waves them off with a laugh, telling them they'll have to be patient. As Morvena moves off, bidding the merchant adieu as she goes to report their news to the Ansailéir, Mazeo guides the wagon to the shoppe, where he finds his wife and daughter, Angarre and Liss, waiting for him. The merchant is glad to be home, even though the trip was not that far.
As the characters continue to go about their morning business, the Call to Moot bell sounds from near the communal hall. Most of the villagers who do not have important business to attend to go to the communal hall, where the characters find that Keogan, the village Demorthèn, Sigelle Darragh, the Dàmàthair, Edwart Mac Fhiorran, the Ansailéir, and Heald of Dearg, the Bard, are all present. They see Morvena off to the side. She beckons Mazeo over and tells him that the Ansailéir will want him to tell what he knows as well.
The Ansailéir explains to those assembled that everyone knows that the first caravan of the spring was expected three days ago, but that there has been no sign of it. With certain supplies running short and grumbling arising in the village, he now has more bad news to resport. While on a first trading expedition of the season, Mazeo Balcaran and his team have heard rumours that caravans and traders in the area have disappeared or been found utterly destroyed, all their goods taken and removed. Edwart explains that he believes it is the work of brigands, but they can't be sure. He asks for a group of volunteers to go in search of Faroe Mac Toran's caravan, and to either bring it and the goods destined for Tálesh back, or to find out what happened to Faroe and his men, not to mention the goods. Corentin volunteers to find out what happened to the caravan, and Mazeo is right behind him in joining the team to find out what's going on, as his being a merchant may be at stake. Guirec, Mylofa, and Nolwenn agree to join the group, and Morvena volunteers to assist them as well, giving the village a group of six characters to head up the search.
The Ansailéir tells the characters that they have until the next morning to prepare for their journey, and that they should avail themselves of the time to make the necessary preparations. The player characters go about their business for the day, make alternate plans for their businesses, and then prepare for the trip. After getting as much information as they can, the characters decide they will head for the most likely place the caravan of Faroe Mac Toran would have visited last - the tiny community of Blas.
And there you have the first session of the game actually run. Because of the quick rehash of the rules, game mechanics, and the samples of combat, the first session of actual play was relatively short, only a few hours of the total session. The players told me that they had a pretty good time with the game, and rather liked the Shadows of Esteren game world, and got a good taste of it. This opening to the adventure was designed to give them a bit of a feel for Tálesh and its people as well as the rest of the game world, and then to bring them right into the plot. That worked pretty well, I thought, and the players told me that they're curious about what's actually going on.
Looking forward to the next game session. :)