Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Scabbard and the Sword: Session 2

STARRING:

Bill as Brutus "Sten" Stentor, Lithium's Sound Technician

Daisy as Zero, Reclusive Alchemist

Jack as Joseph, the Hobo-Rat

Lisa as Seven (now known as Five), Creepy Death Obsessed Darkling

Stella as Lithium-Morphian, Famous Singer

Game Mastered by Krzyś

Release Date:
5th June 2010



Before the day had a chance to end, the group went to the alley that Fiddler told them about. In front of the passage to the Hedge they were met by a very dirty rat changeling. He tried to sell them the latest Big Issue. Five came closer to him and started to inhale the smell of sewers that emanated from him. He told them his name was Joseph and that he can't let anyone pass. Sten managed to convince him that they have a pass but first they need to enter the Hedge before he can see it.

The Trod was opened through a door leading to a unused pub. Whilst opening, Sten made appropriate door-opening noises. He then showed a piece of paper to Joseph which he accepted as a confirmation of them being allowed to go look at the Trod and where it led. The part of the Hedge closest to the real world looked like the empty pub with a serious overgrowth problem. The more they went through the layer of mud, beer cans and broken bottles the more the Hedge looked like something between a swamp and a jungle. Sten continued making noises of wild animals. At some point Five decided to pitch her own finger on a thorn. When she was done enjoying the sensation of flowing blood, she told the rest she feels there's a Goblin Tree nearby. They all decided to leave the path and look for it.

After nearly an hour of going through the Hedge and getting themselves cut on the many thorns, they came to the conclusion they have no idea where the Goblin Tree could be. They tried going back onto the Trod but even though Joseph was extremely sure they arrived at the exact same spot where they left, the Trod was gone.

"RUN!" Joseph shouted. They all followed his lead until they hear Lithium's scream. A Briarwolf has pinned the Fairest to the ground and was about to bite her head off. They all stopped running and ganged up on the hobgoblin. Joseph kicked it in the groin. Zero pierced its side with her sword cane. Sten covered himself in Lithium's screams. Five tried to poke the beast and managed to stick her finger in its nose on the second try. Under the onslaught of this many changelings, the Briarwolf changed its strategy and threw Five into the air. Her arm landed between the beast's fangs. Joseph jumped and tried to gauge its eyes out but only managed to scratch the back of its neck open. The final blow came from Zero's sword-cane. She hit it in the chest and pulled its heart out.

Ignoring the fact she nearly lost an arm. Five suggested they leave this place before the rest of the pack gets here. They started running, following Joseph, the fastest of the group. Their run was stopped by the sight of a cottage in the middle of the Hedge. A blue flame cast shadows from inside. Joseph went to knock on the front door but before his fingers could touch the wooden door, a net sprang up from under his feet. Next thing he knew he was up in the air. A large man with patches of white fur over his body came out of the cottage. Lithium quickly changed herself to look more like the Ogre. She told him she was his long lost brother. The family reunion went extremely well.

The Ogre was happy to see the brother he didn't know he had. He asked if the changelings who were with him were for the lady-boss but Lithium said they were here to help him find his way through the Hedge. "Joseph, Joseph" Five stood right under the caught Beast. While he plainly started to bite his way through the net. The Ogre offered his brother some stew that he's been cooking for the rest of his Motley but Lithium declined. Five on the other hand was very interested in it so the Ogre went back to get her a takeaway. When he returned with a bowl of warm stew, Joseph was already out of the net. The Ogre was friendly enough to show them the way to the nearest Trod. When they were once again on the path, Five cut her finger on a thorn again to check if they should go left or right. On the left she sensed a crossroads with other Trods while the right led out of the Hedge.

On their way there, Sten was eerily silent while Zero tried to make Five give her the stew. She managed to barter a piece of meat from the Darkling before they reached the same alleyway they used to enter the Hedge. Zero quickly ran of to her laboratory to analyse the meat slice while the rest tried to agree on what to do next.

After a short discussion, they decided to report their findings to the Winter Queen.



Bonus Material: Storyteller's Commentary

This session went a lot better than the last one. I did plan on having a combat session but I didn't think it would be with a Hobgoblin. When Lisa said they would go look for the Goblin Tree, I allowed them to make a team effort roll of finding it and they failed. Then they failed the roll to find their way back onto the Trod so to speed things up I had a Briarwolf try eating them. The combat I planned for when they'd arrive at the cottage but since it already happened, I didn't make that be the default. I was very impressed with Stella's idea of turning into the long lost brother of the Ogre and fooling him into being friendly. Fortunately, Ogre's aren't that good when it comes to Composure rolls so at least that attempt succeeded.

I don't think I've ever saw this many failed rolls during a game. How can you not roll an 8-10 on ONE DIE when you're rolling EIGHT is beyond me but it happens. It will be interesting to see what happens next since technically, the players are running blind right now.

Five and Sten were the most exciting characters this session. I hope I did manage to mention their weirdness and odd behaviour in the write-up. That's pretty much what changelings are like. Spending time in Arcadia really screws your mind, body and soul. I should give them some extra experience points just for that.

And now a little bit about the terms used here. The Hedge is place where time and space don't follow the same rules as the real world. That's why Trods are so useful since they do connect two of the same points between the Hedge. It's also good to know where you're going when the Hedge is home to many strange creatures, known as Hobgoblins, whose motivation to catch changelings ranges from eating them to being their best friend for ever and ever! In the Hedge you can also find Goblin Trees. These are special plants that give Goblin Fruits. A Goblin Fruit can be pretty much anything. From an apple that has bullets in it to a cranberry that makes you hallucinate like you were on LSD... but the hallucinations are real. Some Goblin Fruits are benevolent, they can give you Glamour or cause your wounds to melt away. Unfortunately, you won't know what they do until you bite into them.

I also started to use synonyms for character names. Every changeling has a Seeming, it describes the type of changeling that they are. The Seemings: Beast (Joseph, Sophie), Darkling (Five), Elemental (Sten), Fairest (Lithium), Ogre and Wizened (Zero). I'll probably mention Courts in the next session summary.

2 comments:

  1. This is a really interesting setting. I never liked the old Changeling, but this one seems as if it's much more open and evocative.

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  2. I'm glad you enjoy it and aren't lost in my description of the various terms...

    also: the first symbols you see next to the character's names are the Seeming symbols...

    I'll try and explain some of them at some point... there's still a lot I haven't covered about the setting yet...

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