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.
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.
The game last night went really well, keeping a pace and direction that many, I suspect, would see as traditional adventuring. We completed the fight that we’d had to leave halfway through last week against spider and spider-themed opponents and then as they pressed on, the DDC found their way barred by a manticore and a wyvern.
Under other circumstances this might have felt like a random set of monsters, but a bit of flavour (branded sigils relating to the current BBEG) led to a feeling among the players that these were deliberate attempts to block their path
Just As Planned
The last few weeks has generally been a series of medium difficulty encounters in quick succession to both use up limited resources and spells, and to reinforce that the adventurers are now pretty experienced and competent.
It seemed only right, with the timing of the session, to therefore allow them to rest in a quiet bower in the Feywild before closing in on The Coven of the Blinded Eye. They’ve just been warned that approaching the hags will take them through the territory of a wicked dragon, so there’s that to look forward to.
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.