Monday 29 November 2010

Ephemera's Report

[This account of last week's game is penned by my wife, also known as the magic-user Ephemera. Notes from me, as GM, are in brackets.]

As every student of the arcane knows, there is a time for all things.. a time to press the attack, and a time to regroup.  The adventuring band retired to Trossley, rested a night but soon stepped up to fight once again - the horrifying not-plant, not-animal creature glimpsed beneath the millhouse was still at large. 

Fortified by a few supplies and stalwart city guards, mostly healed, but once again recklessly advancing with their divine spells expended, the party returned to the mill.  (Minus the faithless oathbreaker Lessig the Elf, who left in the night taking Ephemera's generous pay advance with him. [1])  They brought the  "lump monster" to bay and dispatched it along with a few other similarly slimy denizens; the group left full exploration of the tunnels for another day.

The party and allies took heart from this success, but all was not yet set to rights. The foul millstones remained.  After Ric son of Nic had been executed by the townspeople in the earlier incident, Trossley went to considerable effort to remove and bury the stones.. but a short while later, they had vanished from the burial site leaving only an empty hole. 

Next order of business:  resupply and continued investigation.  The party set out for the nearby city of Utherton, a very different community from Trossley - as evinced by its 3cp entry toll and thriving commerce.  The party visited Utherton's famous Street of Ranged Weapons, adding Cordoon's brother Callow to their ranks as a henchman.

Utherton's religious authorities also differed sharply from the down-home priest of Trossley.  Despite the urgency of the stones' sorcerous threat, little succor came from an interview with the sub-sub-hierarch of the Church. After some remonstration, he spoke of inquisitors of St. Damien [2] to arrive in Trossley in a matter of weeks.  The party also consulted Ephemera's arcane mentor Joia, who gave some hope of a means to investigate the party's possibly evil, possibly magical loot.  She also shared knowledge of the Dark Mother, a dark, sorcerous, chthonic being invoked by the spectacled sorcerer in his last fight and revered by earthly evildoers.

Finally, returning to Trossley the adventurers fell in with a strange traveling vendor of exotic magical wares - Motley Tom by name, looking to purvey his expensive goods in the village, little realizing how far the adventuring spirit had fallen off in recent years.  And back at the inn Lessig had returned his pay with a note of apology.. apparently his oath of loyalty sworn before St. Hermas was more than empty words in the Saint's eyes...

[1] I judged her generous offer of two weeks' pay in advance would incur a loyalty check; hirelings must be kept content but hungry .... Even with the bonuses from the Oath of St. Hermas, not much you can do against boxcars. The loyalty, reaction and morale rules are definitely earning their keep in this game.

[2] St. Damien is the patron of a secretive and itinerant group of Church exorcists, dispatched to purify people, places and things from unholy influence. Trained in White and Gray magics, they gain access to all spells of dispelling at one spell level lower. They wear black soutanes and skullcaps, and are well equipped with blessed waters, crosses, weapons and parchments. Due to their infrequent appearance and grim legendry, they are held in awe and trembling by most common folk.

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