In Session 0 of this campaign I created Alandra, a young bard on the run from some unknown past with nothing but the gear on her back and a pair of gold coins in her purse.
Alandra, Magician 1 (0/250 xp); HP 5/5; SP 2/2; Dexterity/Performer; Atk +0 (Daggers); MV 50′; Purse: 2 gp; Inventory (8): bedroll, rations (7), dagger (2), flint, torch (1), waterskin, 10′ pole; Spells: Hide, Link, Song
Threads: Escape the control of the Great Houses, find employment
NPCs: Tarek, Sorcerer of the House of the Silver Star
Beginning the Game
Scene 1 — Arrival
The road behind her has been long, but Alandra has finally crossed the hot plains. Road-weary and footsore, she crosses over a low hill and looks down at the wooded valley below.
Is there a large village in the valley? +0: yes
More than a hundred buildings lay spread out below her, dotting the clearing and extending into the light forest. A few trails of smoke rise from chimneys, and she can see small boats on the narrow river that wends through the valley.
She is grateful for the sight; the village is large enough that there is a chance she can go unnoticed, but small enough that it’s doubtful the Silver Star sent anyone here in pursuit of her. She heads down toward the village.
Does she make the village without incident? +0: yes, but…
A pair of leather-armor clad militiamen stand watch on either side of the path as Alandra descends toward the village. They wave her down as she approaches and demand that she state her business.
“I’m a bard, traveling for adventure and work,” she explains.
Do the men seem excited? +2: x-yes
Their serious expressions turn to boyish glee when they hear that Alandra is a bard. They point the way to the village’s tavern, a sprawling, two-story building with a placard out front reading “The Lady and Bear” and a poorly done painting depicting the same. One of the guards escorts her in and pushes through to the bar.
Does it look successful? +0: yes
Even this early, more than a dozen patrons are drinking and laughing inside. The guard flags down the tavernkeeper and calls him by name. Endbru Boult comes over and greets the soldier, then notices Alandra.
Does he recognize her as a performer? +0: yes + event
Event: punish magic (quite the event, given the backstory!)
His eyes light up. “A performer?” he asks, grinning. “We haven’t had a bard through in nearly two weeks.”
Does he offer her a job? +4: yes
“You’ll stay, of course?” he asks. Alandra asks if he’ll pay. Endbru agrees, of course–room and board, and whatever coin the patrons will toss her way.
After the deal is made, the soldier loiters a few minutes longer before excusing himself. “Can’t keep too close a watch, these days,” he says, and he returns to his post after promising to watch Alandra sing that night.
“What did that mean?” Alandra asked the tavernkeeper.
Endbru frowned. “An attack, a few nights ago. One of the outer farms. Lydee survived, but her husband and son… she said it was the dead, walking. The Council and Mother Calliope have insisted on raising the militia until the problem is solved.”
New thread: Attacks in the night
Alandra is grateful she didn’t run into trouble on the road in. She asks Endbru to show her to the small servant’s room where she can stay, and she prepares herself for the evening’s show.
Scene 2 — Evening
Setup: Alandra performs gains info about the attack
Chaos roll: 5 — no chaos
Evening falls and the Lady and Bear fills up quickly. It’s clear that word has spread that the tavern has a singer for the night, and anybody with enough copper for a drink has shown up.
Alandra sets up for her performance, and Endbru has some of his servants move a pair of tables together near one wall to give her a platform to stand on. Once everything is ready, she begins to sing. She puts just a hint of magic in it, like she always does.
Alandra casts SONG to gain +2 reaction, -1 Spell Point
+2 Performance skill check: 9 vs 7, success
What does she sing about? widespread/conflict
The crowd listens with rapt attention as she sings the legend of the Everwar, the time of eternal chaos before the gods sundered the void and created the earth.
How many coins does she earn? 2d10: 5 sp, 2 cp
Purse: 2 gp, 5 sp, 2 cp
The patrons end up tipping her a handful of coins, and she’s grateful for the generosity. Endbru’s work is worth a gold piece a night in room and board–and it’s welcome when she’s got barely twice that to her name–but a few extra coins won’t hurt, especially when it’s time to move on.
The night is getting late when her performance ends.
Is the room still crowded? -2: yes + event
Event: join/foe (someone was taken)
Even though darkness has settled around the Lady, the room is still packed with farmers and tradesmen listening to her music. As the room slowly empties, the door bursts open an a woman enters, crying that, “Georgia’s been taken!”
NPC Creator: Georgia is a Logical Cleric who is level 1.
Alandra can sense the woman’s fear. The patrons cry out in dismay. The young priestess was popular in town, and the anger of the relatively placid people is quickly stirred.
Does the woman know where she was taken? +0: yes
Into the woods? +2: yes
Alandra steps forward–she was closest to the door, anyway–and asks what happened.
She hurriedly explains that the two of them had been walking the old logger’s trail along the river bank when attackers had lunged from the woods and grabbed Georgia, dragging her into the woods.
Skill check–WIS to detect motive: 6 vs 7, fail (I will have no clue if anything untoward is going on)
A few of the patrons around Alandra whisper, and she hears the word “pits” mentioned more than once. The sense of misgiving becomes palpable.
New thread: Rescue priestess
Does anyone suggest going after her? +4: yes
After speaking with the other woman–Nell, another young priestess at the abbey–the townsfolk decide that Georgia may still be alive. They’re anxious to pursue her. Alandra volunteers.
Do they accept her offer? +2: yes
They’re grateful for the help, though it’s clear that several doubt that a tavern singer–especially an outsider–will be able to contribute much to the cause. A barmaid runs to alert the rest of the town while a few of the patrons return home to gather their gear.
Alandra herself returns to her room and changes quickly back into her traveling clothes, then dons her pack and sheathes her knives at her hip. Taking a deep breath, she heads out into the night to meet with the others.
A fairly fast-moving first adventure. I liked that the join/foe event happened just as Alandra’s show was ending. I had been thinking that I would have her ask around for more information, but the sudden kidnapping kicked things into high gear and will give her a chance to prove her worth to the townsfolk.
I’m hoping for a light dungeon crawl or something next cycle.
Here’s my final character sheet:
Alandra, Magician 1 (0/250 xp); HP 5/5; SP 1/2; Dexterity/Performer; Atk +0 (Daggers); MV 50′; Purse: 2 gp 5 sp 2 cp; Inventory (8): bedroll, rations (7), dagger (2), flint, torch (1), waterskin, 10′ pole; Spells: Hide, Link, Song
Threads: Escape the control of the Great Houses; find employment; rescue priestess; attacks in the night
NPCs: Tarek, Sorcerer of the House of the Silver Star; Georgia, missing cleric
Reminder: You can find a list of all of my plays on the Campaign Logs page.