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.
We cancelled the game tonight so I’ve had a lazy day making maps. I’ve made separate pages off from the Roleplay Games section under the digital maps but just some eye candy, here they are for free download
They’re both fairly generic dungeon/tomb type layouts but are grid free so can be scaled for use on the virtual tabletop of people’s choice. If I get requests for gridded versions I can do that too.
I’ve been inspired by the earlier posts to start writing up and updating the key events page for the DDC and I think I’m basically just working backwards at this point. Still, there’s two pages done, gathering the collective dreams and the Broken Grove. The accompanying maps for those sections have been included to help visualise them.
Both maps were made by yours truly using www.inkarnate.com and I’ve also put them up in the maps section for free download.
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.
Thorin dreams of home, growing up at his father’s knee as he leads the local tribal defences against raiders and beasts. He feels the heat of the forge soften to that of the hearth – and at every turn his father is there with advice, his axe always to hand, or propped nearby. “Remember that you inspire as much at the knee as you do at the front of an army.” He says. Then he lays down his axe and the warmth of the hearth becomes the warmth of the dawning sun on Thorin’s face as he wakes.
Coal dreams of war and death. He sees the living struck down and raised again in undeath. He and his fellow soldiers march from forge to destruction in rigid locks top nonetheless. In his dream he flees and finds his own path, his own friends, his own family – but everywhere he looks he is reminded of the war. He sees elements of his fellow warforged soldiers rebuilt into new forms and with strangers’ faces. Surrounded now by his adopted family he is confronted with the serried ranks of a phalanx of rebuilt and misshapen fallen warforged. They beckon him and call out: “Come back to us. Rejoin the Triumphant Dead.”
The game returned last night and – what do you mean there was a missing week? Can’t be! Well, time does flow strangely in the Feywild, so maybe it spilled over into our world a little.
Anyway, a Midsummer’s Night’s set of dreams got underway – also known as the DM having an opportunity to throw foreshadowing, prophecy, insight, and just plain teasing into the mix. It provoked thought and controversy, but also some chuckles – and then they went on their way along the path and found themselves back in Eberron in the swamps.
The obligatory battle came courtesy of more clockwork horrors made by the artificer they’ve been pursuing – in this case spiders and a troll – and these were relatively swiftly dispatched, but not without some serious injuries along the way.
I’ll do some additional posts detailing some of the dreams, as I rather like some of the writing.
I’ve enjoyed starting to stretch my range in the Sunday games with the voices I use as the DM – my whole style has become more descriptive over the years anyway; but there’s something about the performative aspect of our game as we stream it that seems to be inspiring me to playfulness.
One of the recurring voices that I now have to keep remembering is that of Tanglefinger the Boggle. I love the reaction I get from people when he appears in a scene. While thinking about how I make his distinctive sound, I realised that there are some physical motions I do to make him come to life.
First, I hunch my shoulders and lower my head a bit. I wrinkle my nose up, and draw my upper lip back to reveal my canines, and just let his snide, shifty, nasal snark roll out but not before taking a swift breath so he sounds slightly breathless.
If there’s a character he’s based on, it would be Kreacher the house elf but with less condescension and more playful sass and misdirection. I vary his pitch between stronger presentation when responding to people, and then semi subvocalised asides as he adds things sort of under his breath to see if he can sneak amendments to instructions.
Tanglefinger’s a chaotic creature of fairy stock born from the loneliness of a child, and embodies mischief. He’s a great excuse to be utterly outrageous.