Campaign of the Month: March 2013

Forgotten Sagas of the 13th Age

Session 10: On The Hunt
Handsome Jack, grabass parades, and thralls

I (the GM) was a bit grumpy for this due to ongoing technical problems, so it’s admittedly not my best session. Fair warning.

Session 10

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Session 09: Into The Mouth Of Madness
Nobody Expects The Adventuring Inquisitives!

Session 09

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Session 08: Returning A Favor
A dawning new horror

Session 08

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Session 07: Downtime and Dangerous Dwarves
The party gets some rest before running into an unexpected obstacle

Session 07

And the song at the end…

The Bitey End

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Session 06: Minions and Murder
In which the party drives the GM to drink heavily

If you’re into the serious art of tabletop RPGs… maaaaaybe it’s better if you don’t watch this one. It’s not safe for work, delicate sensibilities, people with testicles, or livers.

Session 06

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Session 05: Petty King of the Rat's Nest
Darkness, light, and violence.

Session 05

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Session 03 Side Quest: On Bryn's Actions
Lone Dwarf In the City

This email log details what Bryn did during the events of Session 03.

GM:

It doesn’t take Bryn long to get back to the large house that Katerina Treharne called home and you can see from the lights still on that either she or her servant Isabelle must still be awake. It’s about 4 candle notches until midnight, as best as you can tell, and getting close to the time when most people in Osis are calling it a night. What would you like to do?

Bryn:

So fearing for Tormach’s grandmother’s safety, I tell the other’s I’m going to head back and check on her. Maybe before I go, I arrange with Tormach a way for me to follow where they’ve gone—probably not something as obvious as a giant red arrow painted on the ground, but some way for me to catch up.

I proceed quickly to the door to Katerina’s house and knock anxiously on the door.

GM:

You didn’t arrange a way for you to follow, but you do know where they’re going, so you are reasonably confident of your ability to find the place later. You know it’s called the Round Duchess Tavern in the Dead District. It’s possible you might spend a little while longer finding it than the rest of the group did (since they had your prisoner leading them there), but it’s unlikely you’d totally miss it entirely.

You can see, barely given your height, Isabelle open a slot in the door and peer out. Her eyes widen slightly as she looks down and recognises you there. She opens the door and gestures for you to enter. “Welcome back, sir. I will let Mistress Treharne know that you are here.” She looks a little concerned. “Is… Master Treharne coming along soon?”

Bryn:

“Tormach is looking into a few things, lass, and probably won’t be returning this evening. But fret not, he is in good company. Well, fairly good company at least.”

I enter.

“I would like to speak will your mistress promptly… and in private… if she will have me.”

GM:

She nods understanding, though still looks somewhat concerned. You can tell that she doesn’t mean to have the concern showing on her face. “Very well. Mistress Treharne has retired to the sitting room to read before bed. If you follow me, I will lead you there.” She walks through a couple of halls and arrives at a closed door, which she knocks on and calls out. “Mistress? One of Master Tormach’s companions has returned and wishes to speak with you.”

Bryn hears a faint response from inside and Isabelle turns to nod to you. “She will see you.” Isabelle opens the door and gestures for you to enter.

“Master Mawr, was it not?” Katrina says, setting her book aside on the table next to her and gesturing for you to sit down in front of the fire with her. “Welcome back. What news have you brought? What did that little wretch Gellis tell you?”

Bryn:

I take the seat offered. “Not much, I’m afraid, mum. I’m sorry to say that Gellis met the same fate as your former partner. It would seem these Fire Wasps didn’t take kindly to being denied their demands and killed your partner, then his nephew, to cover their tracks. They tried to ambush us, using Gellis as a lure, but we were able to turn the tables on them. And that is actually why I am here—I hurried back to see to your well-being. These brigands mean business, and I am concerned that they might come after you next.”

GM:

Katerina frowns. “Andoral take the lot of them. I never liked Gellis, or Merijin for that matter, all that much, but even they didn’t deserve to over this. I hadn’t considered that they might come after me next, though I can see your reasoning. What would you suggest, Master Mawr? I do have men in my employ who guard my warehouses and caravans. I think I could possibly rouse a few of the sober ones from their chambers and have them here before an hour is passed. Do you think that would be sufficient?”

Bryn:

“If these are men you can trust, then yes, for your own safety I would call them into service before the hour has passed to guard you and your household. I am a newcomer to this place, so I can’t advise you on where you’d be safest, but I’d have to assume that these Fire Wasps are not so brazen as to outright attack you in your own manor if you are under guard. But you should be wary for awhile I think—do not venture far unless you have no other choice, and by no means do so unless you are well protected and visibly so. If anyone asks you about the additional security, tell them you’ve had a falling out with your former partner, and are simply ensuring that he doesn’t try to forcibly take the business from you.

Your grandson—and the rest of us, mum—are looking into this further, and will help in any way we can."

GM:

“Some of these men have been with me for years. If any can be trusted, it would be them. If I could ask you a favor, Master Mawr, could you take a message to one of my offices nearby?” Katerina says, standing up and motioning for you to follow her as she leaves the room and heads down the hall towards what appears to be a small office. “I have a small staff who works overnight and they can arrange to wake those guards and have them sent here. Under other circumstances I would send Isabelle, but you seem far more capable of handling yourself should you be accosted by these murderers. Perhaps then you can rejoin Tormach and the rest of your compatriots. Tormach… he’s a bright boy. Lots of potential. But sometimes has about as much common sense as a dead kobold.”

She sits down, pulls out a sheet of parchment, a quill, and an inkwell and begins to write. “I’m glad he’s found some folks he can trust and who can watch his back. Reminds me of my own youth. The things we saw, you wouldn’t believe. Ancient tombs, the most glamorous of noble parties, living dungeons packed with strange creatures, and treasures of both gold and knowledge.” She finishes writing, folds over the parchment, and seals it with wax and the crest from her ring before handing it to Bryn. “There you are. You’ll find my office about three blocks from here, on Three Oak Road. You should see a sign with the name Treharne Goods & Services and inside you’ll find a man named Thrane. He is my night manager and can arrange the rest from there. Once he has this message, I suggest you hurry and find Tormach and the others. Things will be fine here, now that we have been warned and steps are being taken.”

Bryn:

“I will do this on one condition: If you will sit with me in your parlor some day and tell me more of these tales of your youth.” I flash her a warm smile.

“Does your home have a back or side entrance that I might slip out of—something less obvious than the front door?”

GM:

Katerina grins back and it makes her look 15 years younger. “Master Mawr, you have a deal. You might regret it, I warn you, because once you get me talking you might find it hard to stop me. The house does have a side entrance, mostly used for deliveries and the like. I’ll show you there myself while I have Isabelle double check the locks and windows.” She passes on the instructions to Isabelle and shows you to a stout door adjacent to the kitchen and pantry. “Thankfully, I’ve got enough… youthful experience to know how to keep most people out of my home. No average thief or burglar will get in and if these Fire Wasps do come looking for a fight, this will all slow them down. Be safe, Master Mawr. May the All-Father guide you well this evening.”

Bryn:

“Thank you, Mistress Treharne. May you continue to honor Him through your deeds.” With that, I steal out the side door and into the streets. I pull my cloak about me and move quickly and with purpose. I do my best to find my way to Three Oak Road, preferring routes with enough illumination that I won’t easily be snuck up upon, if possible.

GM:

It only takes Bryn a few minutes to get through the relatively well lit streets (oil lamps at the major intersections), with no sign of any Fire Wasps on the way. The Gold District, even at night, is well patrolled by guardsmen as well as private security hirelings. You see the sign overhanging the street next to a two story building that has light flooding from several of the windows. Looking inside, Bryn sees a couple a plain female dwarf of middle years, an elderly male halfling, and rather young looking human male, all dressed in a very basic sort of uniform (black trousers, blue button up shirt, a white crest of some kind pinned to their chest).

Bryn:

I knock at the door. If anyone comes at the window to look I lower the hood over my cloak to reveal my head and appear non threatening.

GM:

Through the window, you see the human come to the door and open the door a fraction. You can see that there’s a chain lock there. He looks down and apologizes. “I’m sorry, but our office is closed right now. If you need to see someone regarding arranging transport of goods, we are open from an hour after full sun until an hour past full sundown.”

Bryn:

I pull the parchment from my cloak, making sure the seal is visible. “I’m to deliver this to Thrane, lad,” I say.

GM:

He looks surprised, and you suspect that looking surprised is probably his natural expression to a lot of things. “Oh. Okay. Come in.” He shuts the door and undoes the chain lock before opening it wide for you. “Master Thrane, someone here for you on official company business.” he calls across the room.

The elderly halfling looks up from putting a book on a shelf and walks over to you two. He looks rather grumpy, but you can also tell that this is probably normal. “Official company business, is it? Very well then. If you’ll follow me into my office, sir dwarf.” Thrane heads into a door at the back of the room and sits at a desk piled high with papers and other accounting detritus.

Bryn:

“This is of utmost importance, Master Thrane. I ask for the sake of Mistress Treharne that you read and follow her instructions immediately.”

GM:

Thrane frowns and takes the message from you, cutting open the seal with a small knife. “This is a highly irregular occurrence. I don’t have to have it spelled out to suspect that Master Merijin has something to do with this, but that’s not my concern right now.” He looks up at you. “Thank you, sir dwarf. I will send Reginald immediately to wake some of our caravan guards and send them over to Mistress Treharne’s residence. They should be there in less than thirty minutes, I expect.”

Bryn:

“You serve your mistress well, I thank you on the behalf of her and her grandson.” I turn to leave and stop and ask “I need to make my way to a place called ‘The Round Duchess Tavern’. Any chance you could point me in the right direction?”

GM:

Thrane has a thoughtful look on his face for a few minutes, which swiftly changes to horror. “Aye, think that I do. You can’t be serious about going there, are you? Nasty place, even by Dead District standards if I recall.”

Bryn:

“Alas, I am. The less I say about it, the better, for both of us. Suffice it to say I need to get there quickly, safely, and preferably with some degree of stealth.”

GM:

“Swiftness I can assist with. The others will be difficult at this time of night. Speed and a quick hand with a weapon will be your greatest allies this eve.” Thrane quickly gives you directions that will take you to the tavern. “I hope whatever you are doing there is worth the risk.”

Bryn:

“So do I, master Thrane.” I bid him good evening and head out the door, doing my best to follow his directions to the tavern. I attempt to move quickly, hoping I’m not too late.

GM:

Despite being eyed several times by desperate and violent looking individuals, you arrive at the Rounded Duchess safely. When you enter, you are greeted with what is clearly the aftermath of a really brutal fight. Blood soaks the floor to deeply in places to mean anything short of death for at least one, and more likely several, of the combatants. Nevertheless, there are still about 10 patrons drinking ale, throwing dice, and looking surly still remaining about the place. The smell is rank and foul and you’re not sure how anybody can stand to just be in the tavern, much less drinking and gaming.

“Ah, about time you showed up. Your ol’ buddy Borane has been waiting for you. Come have a seat.” At your side is the Fire Wasp you captured and made a deal with, clapping you on the back and none to gently pushing you towards an unoccupied table.

Bryn:

I move toward the table eyeing up the place, trying to figure out where the others may have gotten to. There’s clearly been some action here, but I have no idea if the others were involved, or this is just the usual decor.

I warily take a seat, keeping one hand near my hammer at my side. “Have you delivered the message yet, Borane?”

GM:

Borane sits at the table and begins talking in low, angry tones. "Yes, I did. I can only assume that your friends are off following the messenger. They started a damned fight, killed a few people, then snuck through the back door. I guess there’s a door to the Rat’s Nest there, or something. They haven’t come out anyway, so they’re either dead or down below. Or both, for all I know it. Anyway, I did my part as asked and damned near got knifed twice for my efforts. "

Bryn:

“And yet here you are, alive and well, so what are you complaining about? Look, you’ll be on a caravan out of town soon enough, and all because you know an opportunity when you see one. You’ve got a keen eye for these things. Like this Rat’s Nest, I bet you’ve seen all sorts of interesting things down there, haven’t you?”

GM:

Borane shrugs. “I don’t know what you’d call interesting, but I’ve been down there here and there. Nobody willingly goes down there unless they have good reason for it.”

Bryn:

“But that’s where your… higher ups… like to spend there time, yes?”

GM:

“Yeah, that’s where they live as far as I know. Can’t imagine them being somewhere else.”

Bryn:

“You seem like a guy who’s smart enough to not get himself killed down there—what do I need to keep an eye out for?”

GM:

He snorts. “What’s not to keep an eye out for, dwarf? Listen, you go down there alone you’re not coming out. I’ll take you down in there, at least far enough to find your friends. Then I can find a place to hide out. If you don’t come out alive, I don’t get my reward.”

Bryn:

“Well, then, what are we wasting time here for. I need to get down there as quickly as possible.”

GM:

Borane nods, albeit reluctantly. “As you say. Wait here. Let me have a word with the barkeep and get us into the backroom. You’ll probably have to grease the wheels a bit.” Borane stands and goes to speak with the barkeep. Bryn can’t overhear what’s being said, but he can tell that there’s definitely some negotiation going on. After a couple of minutes, Borane returns. “He’s agreed to let us back there, but he wants 35 pennies for the privilege.”

Bryn:

“He has a deal. Now let’s get moving before much more time passes.”

GM:

Borane waits while you pay the barkeep then leads you back behind the bar, through the door, and down a set of stairs. “Here we are, the Rat’s Nest. Keep your weapon arm clear and your eyes open. This high up, we’ll probably be okay. But if we go lower, things are likely to get nasty.” Borane tells you, drawing a dagger that you didn’t even realise he was carrying. He pulls aside a brick in the wall and pulls out a torch. “We’ll be needing this if we’re to follow these tracks. Thankfully, seems as though your fellows weren’t too careful about making sure they weren’t able to be followed.”

Bryn:

I ready my shield and take my hammer in my other hand, taking in my new surroundings. “Aye lad. Lead the way.”

GM:

Mal in hand, Borane slowly leads you through the maze-like hallways and tunnels, following the blur of tracks that even you can readily see. The damp and frigid air chills you to the bones, but the cold distracts you from a disturbing melange of smells that seem to seep from the very walls. “Seems they got lost a time or two. Not a good thing for down here. Gods only know what they might have run into if they wandered too long.” A couple of times, ragged men gazed at you from dark tunnels with eyes full of hate, but none decided to take the risk of attacking two armed and ready people. After almost 45 minutes of slow and careful travel, you see a dim light up in the tunnel up ahead as well as some indecipherable noises. “Think we’ve finally found them, master dwarf. But I don’t think we’re the first to do so.”

And from there, Session 04 begins…

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Session 04 - Through the Rat's Nest
Rats and ratlings in the darkness

Session 04

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Session 03: Dealing With Fire Wasps
Interrogation, failure distractions, and bodily assault with a gnome

Session 03

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