Last time we created a retired soldier, Garret, and watched as he escorted a group of wounded companions into a small village. A confrontation in the village square woke him up, and he stepped out to see a man held at spear-point.
Hit the jump for my second session, in which Garret gets a job and may soon find himself in some trouble!
Session Chaos: 4
Is the held man a thief who was caught? +2: yes + event
The townsfolk hold the caught thief down until the others have all gathered. One recounts catching the man lurking in his fields, one of his chickens in the man’s hands. Then, one man steps forward and declares that the man must stand trial before the Balance.
Will the man need to be taken somewhere? +0: yes
The roving Justice passed recently. It will be too hard for the village to hold the man for the Justice to pass again; someone will need to escort him to the lord’s keep to stand before the Balance there.
Will they accept his offer? +2: yes
[+NPC: Thief prisoner]
“We don’t mean to be a burden for you, stranger,” the village elder says, “but I think we have few other options.” The men disperse, and the witnesses went with the elder to record their statements.
Is there a party waiting for Garret when he awakens? -2: yes
Are they planning to go with him? -4: no
The elder and several of the more prominent freeholders are standing in the village square when Garret awakens. The thief is with them as well; his wrists are bound with rope behind his back.
Has he been ill-treated? +0: yes + event
Event: eliminate deity
The thief is clearly the worse for the wear; the man was bone-skinny already, and now is bruised and battered. The elder seems to want him gone as quickly as possible.
[Does he try to pay Garret to leave? +2: x-yes]
The elder pulls a jingling bag of coins from his belt and shoves them into Garret’s hand, speaking quickly to prevent any protests Garret may have had about the situation. He hands over, too, a bundle of parchments wrapped in oilcloth and bound with twine.
“The prisoner and testimonies must reach the Justice in Eradoc,” the elder says. He and the other elders begin walking toward the edge of town, making a close cluster around the prisoner and Garret as they go. They don’t quite reach the edge of the village, though, before an old woman emerges from her cottage and sees the prisoner.
Shouting, she runs up to the elder, protesting that they would bring a curse upon the entire village! “We cannot punish before the accused has been weighed on the Balance!” the woman cries.
Garret is neutral, and cares no more about the rituals of the Balance than he does about the inscrutable movements of the Holy Stars, but he has no desire to become a point of contention in the village by remaining as the centerpoint of a debate.
With the elder’s encouragement, he grabs the prisoner’s arm and hurries toward the road, telling the woman that the man will be fairly treated on their journey.
Does he make the road without further commotion? +2: yes
The elder and the others speak to the woman as Garret and the prisoner hurry down the road. The prisoner seems as happy to leave as the elder does to see him go. They travel on until they’re out of sight of town before Garret decides to investigate the packages he was given.
Is there a law/tradition about delivering sealed testimonies to a Justice? +6: yes
Are there coins in the purse? +7: yes + event
Garret hefts the tied package of written testimony and decides to place it back in his pack–he gives little heed to the Balance, but he isn’t one to flaunt it, either. He is just about to shake loose the bag of coins that the elder had given him as payment for the journey–and discretion, Garret understood–when he hears a great crashing sound through the trees.
He draws his sword.
Overall, I’d say this was a fairly interesting, quick session. It took about a half hour/45 minutes to play, over a few 15-minute segments. I’m still really enjoying the random events that are getting thrown out and how it creates a relatively cohesive story.
I hadn’t expected Garret to be drawn into a mission essentially smuggling a man out of the village, but with the surprise assault on the thief and the woman’s surprise appearance to protest their “eliminate deity” behavior, it made sense–and it fleshed out the religious background of the Law/Chaos morality system, as well–this, indeed, isn’t about good and evil, but about order vs anarchy, and the vast swatch of human behavior that lies between those two extremes.
Who’s crashing through the trees?