Note: If you are a member of my Friday night gaming group, please do not read the game session report below, as you've not played this scenario as yet. Thanks! :)
Earr 17th, 907
It is a relatively cool spring day in the village of Tálesh as the player characters go about their business. At the Blue Boar Inn, Dogmael (Doug) is going about cleaning out the yard when Korase and Meallean arrive to visit him. They tell him that it is such a beautiful spring day that they and several others are going outside the village for a long walk and other things. Dogmael is all right with this, and Korase tells him that they'll be back in time for supper.
While walking through the village, Tifenn (Tammy) is hailed by Sulima and her daughter, Dunyasha. The mother and daughter tell the ionnthén that they're going out of the town for a walk with Korase and Meallean, though they are taking one of the town men-at-arms, Fingar, with them for protection. It's a fine day, and a walk in the surrounding foliage will do them all good. She invites Tifenn to go with them, but they are interrupted as the Demorthèn, Keogan, bids Tifenn to attend on him at once. Sadly and apologetically, Tifenn parts from the two women to go and see the Demorthèn.
Tifenn runs up to Keogan, whose mood shifts immediately from cranky and upset to a relaxed bearing. He tells her that he has news for her. There is a Demorthèn conclave occurring in a couple of days, and he is taking Nolwenn, his other apprentice, with him. Tifenn is crushed at the news, but puts on a brave face. However, Keogan tells her that she is to take his place as Demorthèn in the town while he is gone. She is to assume his duties, and he gives her his permission to act as his proxy at votes in Council, though with the Bard, Heald of Dearg, out of the village, there will not be a full Council, of course. In the meantime, Keogan asks her to help him pack for the trip, since she knows what he will need and he is getting forgetful. Keogan gives her a look, and then says, "We must keep such things secret, right?" She merely acknowledges the statement. They head back to the demorthèn's small home to pack.
At Lorn's Woolens and Sundries, Urien Lorn (SteveR) is debating some bunting for the shoppe when his assistant, Líona, asks if they can have some suffar meat for supper. She saw some on sale, and hopes that he'll give her a bit of money to purchase the treat, as a reward for her work in keeping the shoppe going while he was out looking for merchant caravans. Before Urien can answer her, they are interrupted by a village woman shopping for saddles. He sadly tells her that he doesn't carry caernide saddles. As he turns back to Líona, Urien is shocked by the arrival in the store of his elder brother, Kongar, who tells him that he's got four wagons full of merchandise outside. Kongar tells his younger brother that their father has sent him to keep an eye on Urien and the business. Kongar treats Líona as a servant, and when Urien mentions his Gwidrite friend can help unload the wagons, Kongar dispatches Líona to fetch this Gwidrite. He asks Urien where his porters are, and what sort of business he's running here in Tálesh. Then Kongar drops a bombshell on Urien: "Your bride-to-be is waiting outside." Urien is shocked, but Kongar tells him he shouldn't be, as he's old enough at 24 and should have been married when he was 16. However, the Lorns need some family legitimacy back in Reizh, and it has been a year since Urien was sent to make a business arrangement with the Mac Fhiorrans and this has not happened yet. Kongar leads Urien outside the shoppe to meet his bride-to-be.
Liona arrives breathless at the Blue Boar Inn, and manages to find Dogmael working out back. He sort of recognises her, and she tells him she needs him to quickly come with her back to Lorn's shoppe. A caravan has arrived, and he needs the Gwidrite's help. Dogmael tells Jonas, the owner of the inn, that he will be back by noon. He heads off, and follows Liona somewhat bemusedly.
Dogmael arrives at Lorn's Woolens and Sundries. He sees that there are eight caernides and four wagons, as well as a black carriage with a pair of horses attached. There is a heraldic symbol on the side of the coach, and he is barely able to identify it as belonging to the Mac Morvane family of Kalvernach in Reizh. The Lady in the carriage asks him for a hand down, and as he helps her, he sees several strange items and tools (Flux devices) on her person. As she comes to rest on the ground, Dogmael says something to her, and the Lady reacts by spinning in his direction, pulling out a Flux pistol, and sneering venomously that he's a Gwidrite!
Urien and Kongar emerge from the shoppe, and see the scene with Urien's bride-to-be and Dogmael. Kongar introduces Urien to the Lady Suziga, his bride-to-be, and Urien clears the situation with Dogmael up, explaining to Suziga that Dogmael is a Gwidrite "deserter". This seems to mollify the lady, but Dogmael is not amused and gives Urien a baleful look. Suziga looks Urien up and down; she's pompous, arrogant, and finds him and the village quaint. She absent-mindedly puts the Flux pistol away. Dogmael warns her that there is a Demorthèn in the town and people might not take to her Magience stuff being waved around. She laughs. "I've never killed a demorthén before," she says to him, and then has him continue about his unloading of the cargo from the wagons. She informs Urien that they can't be married in Tálesh, and that she intends them to be wed in Kalvernach. At Urien's horrified look, Kongar tells his brother that he doesn't have to worry about anything, and can invite whoever he likes to the wedding; the family is paying for it, after all. Urien suddenly notices that Kongar is actually carrying several magience devices. Suziga interrupts his thoughts by saying that she wants to be taken to her rooms. She tells Hjalmar, her Osag porter, and the other porter with her to take her bags and luggage to Kast's House, the inn where she'll be staying. None of the characters notice at this point that the villagers who have observed these events are somewhat angry.
At his small house, Tifenn helps Keogan pack for the trip to the Demorthèn conclave. The Tálesh military commander, Gevrog Mac Llornach, arrives asking for Keogan. He tells Keogan and Tifenn that a caravan has arrived for the new Reizhite merchant, and that there's some trouble there, but Keogan says that Tifenn is in charge until he returns from the conclave, much to her surprise. As Tifenn and Gevrog head for Urien's shoppe, Gevrog tells her what he has heard through the hearsay of villagers who were present - that those who came with the caravan have several devices that work through Magience. Furthermore, a Reizhite woman had pulled a magience weapon on one of the villagers and stated, "I haven’t killed a Demorthèn before!" The villagers is unrest, as the Reizhite woman disparaged the town and pulled a Flux weapon on one of their own. It also seems that she's got three Osags with her, as well as two other women. Tifenn and Gevrog warily approach the wagons resting outside Urien Lorn's shoppe, where an angry crowd is gathered.
I ran a somewhat shorter session of Shadows of Esteren due to the various situations and stuff that had to be discussed by the players with me prior to the session starting. Promises were made about group dynamics, and some other elements, but we'll see how that goes in future. Once the adventure got under way, there was a lot of stuff happening and some definite surprises that will likely change the paths of a character or two down the road. The players all seemed to
have a pretty good time once play began, and while there was no actual physical conflict, there certainly was a good deal of tension between the characters and with some of the NPCs.
All in all, a rather good game session once we got past some of the gaming group hurdles that needed to be discussed and sorted out. Looking forward to running the next session of the game.