- Fyadhiel, Elven Scout (386 points) (played by +Douglas Cole): An elvish warmaster sent on a quest to be more humane. It’s not working. Tagline: “Just Damn Better than you.”
- Gaffer, Gremian Artificer (428 points) (played by +Christopher D.): Boom Squirrel. Tagline: “Stop damaging your gear! I’m the one that has to repair it.”
- Galen Fallowhide, Halfling Scholar (Physick)/Cleric of Healing (385 points) (player by +Christian G.): He’s a doctor (but not a cannibal) that can heal with steel. He’s small, but deadly and a bit crazy. Tagline: “How many times have I healed you? Let me count the holes.”
- Ryeleah Lopek, Human Wizard (358 points) (played by +Merlin A.): TBA. Tagline: “TBA”
- Waraxe Mandrake, Dwarven Knight (350 points) (played by +Rob K.): A solid dwarf with miscellaneous scars and a long red beard. Usually seen in well-maintained (ahem) dwarven armor, and with Lydia, a rather large dwarven waraxe. Tagline: “Pass the beer and look out for the axe.”
- Maxion “Twerp” Lopek, Human Cultist (Wizard) (84 points) (NPC): Twerp is a human boy (about 11, he’s not sure since his mother didn’t keep track) who dreams of one day becoming an auric knight and finally making his mother proud. Son of Ryeleah. Tagline: “Gee, I don’t know if that’s a good idea, mom.”
- Moon Moon, Dire Wolf (156 points) (NPC): Not too bright, but strong. Sometimes forgets how to doge, such dignity, wowe. Tagline: “Woof.”
Previously . . .
Six weeks has elapsed since the PCs have made their way to Camaronok. They’ve spent their time training (everyone), drinking (Waraxe and Ryeleah), and performing small little errands for the people of this sleepy little town. The haul from the Grot of Terberis was extensive and required over a tenday to effectively get everything; which the PCs opted to do. The haul included some truly bizarre items (“coins” that were actually disks of obsidian, a levitating vardo of the Harra people, a magical doll that summons spirits, and other, odder things). The mine (Khaundur’s Folly) has been cleaned up and is being actively mined by some of those in town and several of Waraxe’s cousins. Metals, precious gems, and Empyrean Crystal flow like water, revitalized the small town with much more to come.
The PCs have accepted the offer of Nakuli (a shen of prosperity and wealth who had given into his darker impulses and became the angry earth shen Terberis) to convert some of the valuable items from the hoard into gold. With their newfound wealth they buy homes in the sleepy little town (population of about 150), purchase enchantments from Wylan Dakkar (the enchanter they rescued previously from a cage in the nearby mountains), and otherwise patronize the town. Feyrith Faris, the captain of the Beached Walrus airship is being cared for by one of the town’s widows while he recovers (he’s still quite weak from the crash and cannot remember many things). Ransolar “Ran” Khaban (Human-Looking Minotaur Bard) and Durith Treen (Human Wizard) left a week early on Ran’s steel horse (on which they ride).
Fyadhiel, Gaffer, Galen Fallowhide, Ryeleah Lopek, Waraxe Mandrake
Bahart (Third Month), 27th, 981 F.R., 11th Hour of the Sun (9:00 am)
Camaronok, Dancorra Bay, Abolethe (“The Span”)
The PCs are getting ready to finally go investigate the mysterious city detailed in the map they found on a dead member of the airship crew from when they crashed. Twerp has been given a suit of leather armor by Eradu the blacksmith and proudly shows his mother the shortsword he found in a garbage pile in the mine of Khaundur’s Folly (which he’s cleaned up). Despite it being barely the 11th hour of the sun, she’s blitzed and very drunk, but notices the sword seems magical. She manages to succeed on an Analyze Magic roll (-10 because of how drunk she actually is) to discern its name – Heromaker.
Gaffer has fully restored, provisioned, and outfitted his floating wagon (which can house up to 6 inside it comfortable at night and even more if some sleep outside it). Gaffer decides to create a large fan propelled by an Animate Object spell cast by Ryeleah (a roll with Engineer (Clockwork) and a success by 19 enables him to create something that doesn’t need magic to run, only minimal handcranked effort at Move 4). The trip to the coast takes 18 hours with the PCs stopping for the night after eight hours of travel. They reach the coast on the third day and see the island where the ruined city of Taskar lay off in the distance.
The Kraken Fight
Fyadhiel, Gaffer, Galen Fallowhide, Ryeleah Lopek, Waraxe Mandrake
Bahart (Third Month), 30th, 981 F.R., 8th Hour of the Sun (8:00 am)
Dancorra Bay, Abolethe (“The Span”)
Standing near a cliff, the PCs admire the ocean for a moment (but not Waraxe who has a phobia of water, though he masters it for a time taking a -2 to rolls in the process), only to be interrupted by a massive earthquake. Waraxe tumbles all the way down the cliff, while Fyadhiel, Moon Moon, and Twerp end up on a ledge. Ryeleah and Galen managed to keep their feet and stay on the cliff above.
A few seconds later a massive shape can be seen in the water and a kraken emerges from the waves with multiple tentacles grabbing Waraxe (a critical hit and a hit inflicting 45 Control Points, meaning he’s at -16 to DX, cannot perform active defenses, but can make attacks) and proceed to squeeze him (doing 7d+1 crushing and expending 24 Control Points) and pull him closer (a ST roll it easily succeeds). Fyadhiel looses an arrow into the creature’s eye, but its mass (it’s SM+5 with over 70 HP) and armored skin (Damage Resistance 12 and Nictitating Membrane 12) make it a difficult target to take down. Ryleah begins charging up a Lightning spell (18d-18 or 13d burning) through her staff. Waraxe, unable to do anything else tries to chop into the rubbery tentacles holding him (doing a massive 25 cutting damage with a single hit). Galen decides to use his shield (which is enchanted with the Dancing enchantment) to “fly” down to try and patch up Waraxe who is sustaining heavy damage. Twerp grabs a hold of the edge of the shield as it passes by to get closer to help. Gaffer expends a Gizmo to get a half dozen syringe bolts filled with Liquid Ice. Using his rope magical item he jumps off the cliff facing and fires a wild shot at the kraken (which hits thanks to an expenditure of Luck). Fyadhiel shoots for the eye again and cripples it (17 impaling to the eye). Ryeleah finally looses her Lightning bolt at the kraken and hits it squarely . . . but it begins to start glowing, isn’t stunned, and then releases all the energy into the cliff in front of it causing the earth to shake again. It then grapples Waraxe more . . . but rolls an 18, before it uses its own Luck to reroll. With two more attack rolls it gets a whopping 88 Control Points on the poor dwarf (which it expends for another two 7d+1 crushing squeezes). Waraxe in turn lops off a tentacle (though he’s still held with other limbs). Moon Moon – who followed Twerp onto the beach barks and runs into the surf to bite at the things tentacles . . . but fails to penetrate DR. Galen gets closer to Waraxe to try to heal him, while Gaffer fires another three bolts of Liquid Ice at the monster (who seems rather unaffected by it). Twerp lets go of the floating shield and charges in close to try and help Waraxe, while Fyadhiel fires another shot at the kraken’s eye and slids down the cliff-face like the elf he is.
Ryeleah switches tactics and fires a Sunbolt at the kraken while aiming at the arm holding the dwarf. The kraken then performs an All-Out Attack (Double) to garner another 24 Control Points and then tries to rip Waraxe’s arm off (11d crushing, with pitiful low damage – 16 points total). Fyadhiel shoots at the eye again, wounding it. Finally, Ryleah looses another Sunbolt and the creature dies.
The kraken sinks into the waves and as it does a black-hulled boat begins to rise up from the waves with a hooded figure at the tiller. It speaks telepathically to those assembled before it “You have been found worthy. You have defeated the guardian. Do you wish to go the Black City?” The PCs give the affirmative and it holds out its hand. Coins of cold, silver, and copper are offered but it takes none and instead asks for coins of a darker nature. Ryeleah offers it one, two, and eventually six of the obisiden coins the party found in the Grot of Terberis. The Ferryman waits while the wagon is hitched to the back of the boat via some rope and then they travel across the water at high speed (Move 10).
The boat unloads everyone onto the ancient dock (which is more or less falling apart) and Ryleah is given a small silver bell with an obsidian clapper before the boat disappears back into the mist that surrounds the island. Galen uses First Aid, Esoteric Medicine (Holy), and Major Healing to bring Waraxe back up to full HP. No one else was really damaged. The city walls can be seen about 300 yards from where the party is and since the adventurers are likely to run into undead and spirits, they opt to set up a defensivable base camp and scout the city using the Fabulous Animal magic item they found (a pair of ravens allowing the user to see over long distances through the eyes of the birds). The PCs are then able to sketch out a rough map of the city (Fyadhiel succeeds by three on a Cartography skill roll).
After Action Report (GM)
The first actual playtest of Doug’s simplified grappling rules (to my knowledge) went very well. I did a few things wrong, but I thought everything went rather well. I decided to use a kraken at the last minute, if only to keep my reputation among my players up to date (“Is there water? How much? A lot? The monster will be a kraken.”) The battle went decently, but I should have used a higher penalty to pull more people to the ground. We’ll see how everything goes in the next game.