We didn’t stream, but we did play this evening, and ran video through Discord so we could see most of our faces as video and mental states allowed. It was a gentle enough session – rounding things up from the last one as they searched the huts belonging to the Blinded Eye hags.
I dropped some plot hooks in there about Kerne’s sister, introduced them to the Winter Knight who serves Queen Mab and got them swiftly home for well deserved humour, welcome, and a thorough telling off by Tanglefinger.
So, that’s the stage set for what I’m calling Year Two of the DEC’S adventures.
Tonight’s game was a blast, I don’t often have an excuse or a chance to bring dragons into play. Given they’re in the name of the game they’re relatively rare, and in Eberron they have a more narrative important role too, but this week was fun.
The DDC characters aren’t quite at a level of power and expertise where they can comfortably tackle an adult dragon, so talking and negotiations were the name of the game this evening. Kerne as a dragonborn sorcerer was thrown into the spotlight as effectively the only person Fellestri the Green would deign to talk to, and Lady M rose to the challenge.
It also gave me an opportunity to bring out what myr s calls “the Dom voice” and really impress on the DDC who was in charge.
We are three hours from the return of the DDC – and I’ve just spent an afternoon crafting fun things for them to encounter if all goes well, or things go sideways. I’ve also just sent them a voice recording of Tanglefinger wondering where they are on our group chat. What’s the worst that could happen?
Meanwhile I’ve also been making some new design to go on tshirts – while they rework how they handle accepting new items and advertise them in different markets Amazon have throttled the number of new designs I can submit – but the link at the top of the page should show you the ever expanding collection of designs and items – go have a look, maybe you’ll see something you like the look of.
Oh, the message Tanglefinger sent? “They’re still not home, they’re still not home, where are they? They were only going down the pub! Hmm, well they’d better bring me some beer back is all I have to say.”
Come join us this evening on www.twitch.tv/jedileah at about 7.30pm to find out what happens next – at about the same time that I do.
Valenia dreams of the hunt. She dreams of tracking her prey with Raine at her side, and her pack close by. It is a simple dream. It is a comfort dream, and it is a dream she shares with Raine. Their dreams are one, with visions overlapping and complementing as they close in on their quarry. They sidestep traps and treacherous terrain. They leap across rivers and weave through trees until they see their target. They are with someone, someone who is bent with teeth at their prey’s throat and who locks eyes with them as they approach.
Odif dreams in shades of grey and flashes of colour. The kindly dragon, the furry man, the wolf woman, the horned cuddles are all there. He is happy.
Caeluma sees their infernal father reaching for them and the holy symbol on their chest. His presence fills their lungs with brimstone, and leaches the strength from their limbs. In a cage at his belt Caeluma sees their mother. Beside it is an empty one with their name on it. As the demonic claw reaches for them, a bright hand intercepts, pushing the infernal one away. Gerlon the Morrowheart, Caeluma’s celestial patron, moves between them and forces the demonic presence back. The Morrowheart’s feathered wings spread to match Caeluma’s father’s leathern ones and the stench of brimstone is replaced with clean summer breezes and the promise of rest. Caeluma wakes, Shriken nestled against them in the shade of a tree, and a single enormous golden feather as long as his forearm resting on their chest.
Kerne dreams of sisters – the Unburned Child and the Feytouched Warlock – and of her own flight from angry and scared villagers. She sees her younger sister learn to fade from sight and move unchallenged, aiding those in need. Her older sister walks in living landscapes and eternal dusk where time flows strangely in all directions. In a hut covered by snow, Kerne sees her brewing potions under the watchful eyes of hunched and dark eyed women. Kerne looks down at her own scaled hands and sees coiling serpentine energies running through her flesh, remaking her from moment to moment. A butterfly lands on her claw, and is still there when she opens her eyes.
Shriken dreams of flying. He dreams of catching up eating butterflies that have prettier wings than his. He dreams of breathing his breath of happiness in everyone’s faces while they sleep to bring them pleasant dreams. He dreams of sleeping curled round his master’s shoulders on a cold night beneath the trees. Shriken thinks he’s dreaming – but he’s never really been able to tell the difference.
Another great session with the DDC this evening that started with sky pirates and ended with lamenting fey at a crash site. I’ve always tried to keep player agency to the fore when running games, not always successfully I’ll admit, but this week is one that rewarded the approach.
The DDC is at a level now where they are starting to be established adventurers, and are facing bigger adventures. Encounters that might have overwhelmed them now tend to merely raise pulse rates rather than induce cardiac arrests. What is especially rewarding though is that the characters are learning and evolving, and demonstrating empathy with events and creatures encountered.
As an example, they found the burned out crash site of the skyship they’ve been searching for: a blasted crater where once a proud copse of trees had stood deep in the forest.
Investigating it brought out the maddened dryads whose trees had been destroyed in the crash. A traditional adventuring encounter would have led to a pitched battle with the grieving fey. In this instance though the group refused to fight and with words and some lucky persuasion rolls were able to talk the dryads into pausing at least.
Which is when sprites appeared, and offered a deal, and we ended the session.
When the dwarven Barbarian puts his axe down and refuses to fight because “they’ve every right to be angry” you know there’s something going right with your game.
Sunday’s game was a quiet contrast to the previous session’s conflict. The group had boarded a skyship as it was leaving, and this week found that the owner was going in search of the ship that had been carrying Kemsler when it apparently crashed. If the group agreed to defend the ship, the passage cost would be waived and they could join the search.
Most of the session was spent meeting the crew, adjusting to flying on a ship, taking watches, and getting to grips with the practicalities of raising a baby kobold.
Tiefling horns were teethed upon, a papoose rig designed, wild pegasi seen flying through the clouds, and the peace of the journey remarked upon when the baby settled.
And then, as we ended the session, large flying dinosaurs carrying halfling bandits flanked the ship, and prepared to attack…
A good game this week, less roleplay and more rollplay in as much as it was dominated by a fight scene on the platform of a sky dock some sixty foot up in the air.
Sometimes you just need a simple combat session to contrast with the soul searching and verbosity of the story, and if nothing else this evening was a good illustration of how time slows down. The whole three hour game covered about thirty seconds of an extended brawl and a rapid flight up into the clouds to escape incoming reinforcements.
And that’s where we’ll pick up next week, on a flying ship powered by an elemental, up in the clouds.
The D&D session on Sunday went really well – albeit not in any direction planned by myself. It was set the morning after a long night of carousing and started simply enough with Thorin’s hangover.
During the afternoon I’d messaged the players of every other character and asked them to nominate random items that he would find to give clues to the previous evening – with the hope this would lead to their comparing tall tales during the session.
What actually happened was that Thorin woke up and saw something moving under his discarded cloak. As he approached, it began to cry.
After a few moments of confusion the group was gathered round the swaddled baby kobold, and wondering why there were poker chips, a lone ace of spades card, and a broken monocle falling out of Thorin’s pockets.
There then followed an ethical debate between keeping the baby and trying to find the baby’s mother which was an emotional rollercoaster for several players.
A combination of retracing their steps and asking questions in low places (like the Floating Market) turned up memories and stories of betting against a powerfully built Shifter at the casino – putting up their house against the baby as a wager. While being unable to identify the Shifter (and suspected slaver), promises were secured from various people to either identify the Shifter, or the tribe from which the baby had been taken.
The baby, by now being called Odif, was being firmly taken care of by Caeluma and they refused to put Odif into anyone else’s hands – which is why they still had Odif in their arms when they walked into the middle of an armed industrial dispute at the Sky Docks…