1842: Captives of the Skylords

They travelled by night and slept under tarps in the daytime to hide from the screw galley. When the party reached Gorovaan, they freshened their food supplies and purchased Barsoomian digging tools that would not interfere with the magic of James and Reginald. Unfortunately, they were ambushed during the day by Skylords, who took them to their village. When called before the chief, Hester headbutted him and gained his respect. James called for him to kill him, and was sent to the Ordeal, where he refused to cry out and kept spitting on his attackers. This won him their admiration. Reginald and Kabdab were both sent to the battle circle. Kabdab emerged victorious against his foe, while Reginald was defeated but then put his foe to sleep. Reginald was immediately declared an evil sorceror and tied up for the next six months, while the others helped gather liftwood for the village. All were released at the end, having learned 4 points of Barsoomian language. Reginald was told he would be burned alive if he was ever seen again by them, while the other three were rewarded with liftwood spears.

They walked from there to Sabal, an ancient holy city and therefore known as a place of great evil. Kabdab remembered the part about it being holy but not that the gods to which it was holy were ancient evils whom his people no longer followed.

The party was captured outside Kraag Barrovaar and taken before King Hattabranx, who sentenced them to be sacrificed to the Worm God. When they were about to be sacrificed, the god spoke and called for them to be cast down alive into the Hell Maw. The Worm Priests complied.

They survived the fall and found themselves in an ancient settlement filled with advanced technology. They explored and found several dead bodies that had not decayed and still bled when cut. They were four feet high, furry, and had faces like apes, but wore silvery clothing of unknown design. The party found a strange food machine, a projector, an ancient flier, and many emeralds, of which they took as many as they could hold. Believing they would be stolen, Reginald swallowed a large emerald.

They then met Kleuht na Vriss, a tiny hairy man with a beast’s face who told them of a people who became immortal only to tire of it and commit suicide, all but himself. He agreed to train the party in his science and to repair the flier with them, and left them to get some sleep. They would start on the morrow.

The next day, Kleuht na Vriss confessed over the loudspeakers that:

“I sent that foolish antique dealer the map to Djor Xabshang III’s tomb, and I had him killed”
“I had you chased by screw Galley by my servants”
“The Skylords stymied for me for a time but then my servants found you once more and took you to Kraag Barrovaar and King Hattabranx”
“Finally I had my Worm Priests cast you down because I wanted to meet you. I knew you were from Jasoom and had come through a dream gate, as my people did.”

“But now you must die. You know too much.”

He gave them five minutes to hide and then he would begin hunting them. Instead, they jumped into the ancient flier and lifted off. None knew how to fly it, but James threw Kabdab out of the console and smashed it upwards, tearing bits off of it as he rose. They escaped but the flier crashed soon after.

They then walked to the location of the Tomb. Their pockets were full of emeralds, but the only weapons they had were broken femurs from ancient sacrifices.

We’ll pick it up there next week.

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Navah: The White Tower

The party sold the paintings for relatively little money, but Darian kept the mithral ring to enchant in the future. The painting of the succubus was bought by Ian, who was angered by it as she had been the mother of his children some years ago. Ian destroyed the painting then went off to the gully to find any other information he could find. The party burned the demonic Christmas painting.

Two days later, Allyn Hardestye brought a scroll case he found in the wash under the gully to Josette. She opened it carefully and found that the mage Murshurtin Sur left his Tower to those who found the scroll. it read:

“To whom it may concern. If you are reading this, I am dead. Know that I, Midshurtin Sur, do leave my tower and all it contains to any who can find it. It lays forty kilometers north of Tellamor, but is most easily reached on foot by heading east from Old Bluff.”

Knowing that Sur was an evil devil worshipper, Josette gave the instructions to Darian, warning him that the Tower would be dangerous. Darian told his colleagues and they decided to travel to the Tower and investigate.

There followed a 30 day journey west through Malost, thence to Martubus. At Braedly, Leah enjoyed a royal meal and ate all twenty-one courses while William waited, expecting to pick up a free meal from her remains. In the end, Leah went to bed bloated and pleased, while William had to be satisfied with a sandwich since the kitchen was closed by the time Leah was done. At Dunatil all were less pleased, as the bedbugs gave them pause until Darian had Gilda freeze the little beasts off.

Scrabton was the first town in Martabus, and they could find no shelter. Scrabton knew well the unsavory nature of visitors from the Pass, and all was locked up tight. At Horedge, they stayed at the Dead Meerkat and enjoyed a Minty Tonic, the house speciality. They also noticed two men whom they had seem in Malost and Dunatil. That night they heard footsteps outside their room, but no-one bothered them. The next day, the party rode out, with Gilda keeping watch a mile behind them. The two men showed up at Tellamor as well, but did not follow when they left.

They didn’t stop in Rutherglen, but continued to Hestern, which proved a rough spot. While camping outside town, a young thief named Andrew tried to steal Annara’s Rouncy. Put to sleep by Darian, he was questioned. He was in love with Salaron, he explained, and she would only marry him if he had a horse. They discussed letting him have the rouncy but decided no. Along the way, William kicked their prone prisoner in the nards several times.

Bassemel had a temple of Fyrsunu as well as a spiritologist named Yoen Bradelay. They stayed at the Priest-Mage and then moved on through Groomfang to Donnan City. They were amazed at its size (over eight thousand people), and were treated as rubes from the moment they arrived. They stayed at the Three Sharkbirds in the city Outside the Wall, which was fine.

Entering the realm of Zaensaeler, they passed through Cemmark, Peakall (another sketchy town with a lot of thugs), and then Mett, where they stayed at the Copperhead, the finest inn in the Duchy of Rodes. All enjoyed their stay immensely and then proceeded to the tiny hamlet of Old Bluff.

There they hired an aged miner named Kamalika Cammus as a guide. After warning her husband not to run off with her guide price of 1000 gp, they travelled 13 days through the mountains to the valley of the Tower.

The valley was filled with blue Lupins and at the center was a tower of white granite. The tower was about 42 m. high, uneven, and obviously wizard-shaped. At the bottom was a series of holes around the base of the tower, which later proved to be bee hives. Near the top of the tower were large round sections of glass embedded in the tower and on top was a small flame. The party reconnoitered and began to plan their assault.

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Labyrinth Lord: Crow attacks an Army of 100 Orcs

An elvish legion halted the caravan and reported that they pursued an orcish army, which lay in the path of the caravan. Undaunted, the caravan progressed west to the thorp of Dolos. Finding it under attack and realizing that the elves were a day behind, Crow and Cornelius sneaked closer to scout the situation. Crow was a doughty warrior from Barovia while Cornelius was a mage-thief (“Sh! It’s a secret!”) from Traladara. Peeping over a hill, they saw a hundred orcs attacking the three houses that made up the settlement. The villagers were shooting bows from the top of a house, but the orcs were about to overrun them.

Crow drew his bow and set 10 fire arrows next to him. Then he turned to Cornelius and said, “Send your magic missiles down there and do what you can. My arrows will reveal our position but your magic will not.” Cornelius agreed and slew thirty orcs over the next few minutes. Then he gave Crow a potion of gaseous form in case he needed an escape. Crow thanked him and then sent the mage back to the others to get reinforcements.

Crow then began shooting the orcs, killing five as they charged him. He took a glancing blow from the hail of arrows that preceded them. He backed down out of their sight and awaited the charging orcs with Slaga drawn. As they rushed over the lip of the hill, he drank a potion of humanoid control and instantly twenty-eight of them fell under his control. He ordered them to protect him, and they surrounded him but began fighting over what to do next.

The Orc Commander then challenged Crow to single combat for control of his army. Crow agreed and they were surrounded by the others, cheering wildly. The Commander held his own for a time, surprising Crow, but ultimately he fell. Crow claimed his helm, platemail, and great axe and all cheered his victory. On the next hill over, the party watched in amazement. “That madman,” whispered Mirella.

“And now,” said Crow the Orc Commander, “let’s finish off that village!” The orcs cheered and ran to the attack. “What?!” shouted his comrades, and Cornelius ran down to stop him. But Crow began cutting down the orcs from behind with his two-handed blade Slaga, and his comrades understood. It was just another one of Crow’s strategems. Mirella was shocked once more and shouted, “He has no honor!” But Cornelius used the opportunity to launch a burning oil at the orcish backs. They had not yet realized the betrayal and nine of them died.

Crow gave another swipe with Slaga but he realized Cornelius had the right of it, and so he followed suit. Crow’s oil killed another three. Meanwhile, the closest orcs had turned and charged mage and fighter. Harkon had drawn his bow and began lessening their numbers and even Mirella ran to the attack when she saw her comrades under fire. All did well but Cornelius was surrounded by five orcs. He drew Sammy the Scimitar and his Continual Darkness dagger. He dropped the dagger, then slipped away from his attackers using his Blind Fighting skill. When he got clear, he pitched another oil into the darkness, killing all of the orcs within.

By this time the village archers were firing into the few remaining orcs, who broke and ran. All were slain before they made it to safety.

After the dead were stripped and Mirella recovered Cornelius’s dagger, there was a great celebration in the village. Except for Crow, who calculated he had lost 1,500 gp on this mission, as the loot had been little and his potion had been very expensive. He hoped some of the loot was magical. Besides the commander’s gear, they had recovered two rings and a sword that looked promising.

He would learn that the next time we played.

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1841: Travails on the Way to the Tomb

Kabdab read the treasure map to the others. A map of ancient times, it showed the ancient shorelines of Barsoom. It also pinpointed the location of the final resting place of Djor Xabshang III, Jeddak of Jeddaks. It lay on the Sabal Ridge, between the ruined city of Sabal and the city of Hastor. To get there would require at least 600 km. of travel through the desert, so they resolved to travel by thoat. Tersan Uthurang, the scholar who had sent the map to Nahoon, asked for 25% of the treasure found. Kabdab was inclined to give it to him, but they did not know where Tersan was, which would make that more difficult.

Reginald first went to the Native House to find a guide. A group of Ulaan were whooping it up, and the party joined them, except for Hestor who stayed outside. A special keg of wine was called for and all had a merry time until the poison kicked in. All of the Ulaan in the inn died except for Kabdab, who was in a bad way. The British were all ill, except for Reginald, who didn’t drink. James cast Slow Poison on himself, which merely made the agony last longer.

Reginald then went to get supplies at Victoria Plaza, where he purchased camping supplies, dynamite, carbide, kerosene, food, and water. He then hired a wagon and porters and began back to his comrades, but a hooded figure in a brown cloak began to snipe at them with a Muidar gun from a balcony. He first shot one of the wheels, spilling much of the contents, but Reginald rallied the porters and they lifted that side of the wagon and tried to move on. Then he shot the wagon, igniting the dynamite and injuring all near it. Fortunately Reginald received only a minor wound, but the thoat drawing the wagon was next and took off at a gallop, leaving Reginald far behind.

When what was left arrived near Hestor, she jumped on the beast and calmed it. Then they loaded the goods hurriedly on the thoats and began south, following the canal towards the haunted city of Parul.

Camping near Parul they heard voices approaching but saw no-one, so they loaded the thoats again and travelled half the night towards Gorovaan. The next night, a screw galley approached and bombarded them with a Muidar cannon, killing the thoats and destroying their gear. The party escaped to the canal and used it for cover in the darkness. Hestor was wounded, but once they escaped, James closed the wound and Reginald used Sorcery to heal her.

The party considered returning to the campsite to recover what they could, but on approach they saw searchlights from the galley and heard the continued bombardment. So they began the long walk to Garovaan, hiding by day and walking by night. Tadhg was injured by the galley as it followed them, but managed to find safety under a rocky outcropping.

In Garovaan they found their British money useless and what was left of their gear much of the same. After considering a stint in the Garovaan Navy, they decided against it as they didn’t trust the recruiter, and besides, they would have had to war against Dusar, which now had their allegiance. They also learned that the city of Helium was to their southeast and that it too was at war with Dusar. Rather than risk being taken as Dusar spies, James traded his gold watch for enough food to get them to the British outpost at Isidis, and off they went.

Another horrible creature assaulted them that night, a leonid with a plate-hard exoskeleton and an enormous red gem for an eye. They caused various minor wounds with the Muidar guns while James dodged and ducked the creature’s attack. Finally Kabdab shot it in the gem and blinded it. After that, it was much easier to kill, after which it dissolved into smoke. Reginald suspected the Hakan at Dusar of sending monsters and galley after them, calculating that the Hakan was protecting the tomb.

At Isidis, they again purchased supplies, though this time only food and water. They exchanged much of their British Pounds for Barsoomian Pi, and bought thoats with that. They also first heard the British anthem, Rise to Mars, which Kabdab did not appreciate as he apprehended the British would be coming in greater numbers to a world that could not sustain many. Kabdab’s own people selectively killed their newborns to keep their numbers low, which heightened his anger.

They then mounted up and headed once more for Garovaan and the tomb beyond.

NOTE: We also went Pro with Roll20 tonight, and rolled out the Journeyman character sheets designed by David, with a bit of help by my brother Matt on Github. The sheets still need a little tweaking, but look very professional, and the dice rollers work with them as well. Excellent!

Posted in 1840, Barsoom, Call of Cthulhu, Journeyman, Session Summaries | Leave a comment

Navah: The Lost Children

A year has passed since their last adventure. During that time, Darian has summoned and bound two more spirits, a M:6 earth elemental he calls Stone and a living kite shield who goes by the name of Mr. Kite.

The party is gathered together by a commotion in the center of town. A group of children explored an old bridge in a gully west of town [using a revised map of Karaczun’s Hollow by Dyson] and several were killed by a huge dog as big as a small horse. The two girls who survived tell their tale and the grandmother of one of them gathers a group to slay the beast. Grandma is the leading archer in town, and several of her adult children are also skilled and accompany her, along with the party. The father of one of the slain girls offers a reward of 1,000 s. for the death of the beast.

Gilda the Ghost locates the beast in one of two caves leading from the bridge. William does not understand that the slain children are dead, so bravely he descends the gully and lures the beast onto the bridge, hoping to save the children. When beast attacks from the rear (because William is facing the wrong way), the archers pepper it with arrows to little effect. William begins to withdraw and gets in a good hit that cripples the demon dog’s left foreleg. At the same time, the dog bites down on William’s head, crushing his helmet and knocking him unconscious.

Darian failed to banish the creature so Anarra dropped down to protect William. The dog swatted William’s body off the cliff edge, sending it sliding fifty feet down to the valley floor. Surprisingly, William took no further damage. The dog then withdrew from the hail of arrows into its cave. Stone was sent to harry the beast in its lair, where they proved to be equally matched. Annara dropped down again and joined Stone in the assault. Attacking it from both sides, they found more openings, and Annara finished it with a blow to the head. Annara then pulled William to safety, where Darian was able to cure his wounds.

Together they all descended and explored the cave. They found a skeletal man with sword, golden neckchain, and mithril ring leaning against the back wall. The dog had apparently swept a great deal of the leaf litter out of the cave and over the bridge. William was saddened when he discovered there were no children to save, and spent several hours moping through the rest of the adventure.

Learning that the dog was dead, the villagers returned home. The party almost went back with them, but then decided to explore the other side of the bridge. There they found two additional rooms and a path to the bottom of the valley. In one room they found several oil paintings. William and Gilda were drawn into one, where William fought a Nutchinker while Gilda began killing William with her cold embrace. She loves him so! William managed to kill the demon just as Annara entered the painting. Annara found the exit and William and Gilda joined her. Darian then called Gilda off of William, who insisted that Darian banish her. He did not.

[During the painting battle, David used OpenAi to compose a love story between William and Gilda. It read like a bad romance novel.]

The next room held a Blue Goo, which William killed easily with his flameblade. The party peaked out into the valley but then returned to town with four paintings and the other loot. The Succubus and Christmas paintings were covered by a cloak.

And there we ended for the night.

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1841: Panthans of Dusar

The Eumenides Club obtained a brief respite in the empty Dusar house that Garret had found. The next day, however, they were discovered and taken to the throne room of LorkZatis, the Jeddak of Dusar. Garret’s disguise as an Ulan child did not work, which they would later learn from Kabdab (Garret’s replacement; see below) was because all Ulan are mildly telepathic.

They learned that Terias and JunJunal, LorkZatis’s sisters, also served as his advisors. Terias seemed favorable to the British, while JunJunal wished them tossed into the sandpit or expelled into the desert. The party helped make that choice, as Garrett tried sneaking away and James labeled himself a coward by abasing himself in front of the Jeddak (no Barsoomian would act in such a way). Reginald tried to demonstrate magic and got his hat to float up, but all regarded this as a mere trick, and the party was sent to the 40 m. deep sandpit below the palace in their underwear (appalling to the Victorians!).

The next day, Reginald was brought alone to the throne room and demonstrated his ability to put Kandun (the Hakkan) and Kanmors (the guard) asleep. LorkZatis and his sisters became his students. LorkZatis and JunJunal studied Body Control, while Terias studied Domination. All were released from the sandpit and during the next six months, gained some trust from the Ulan. All became panthans in the service of LorkZatis, and received body harness, Chinjaal (Fighting knife), Gogino selem (Shortsword), Kaichilbar (Cutlass), and Thoats. James was able to purchase Muitar pistols for all five club members, along with 20 bullets for each.

At the end of six months, the club headed south for Syrtis Major, hoping to find Nahoon and the artifact he had mentioned to Reginald. It would be a seven day ride, and at the end of the first day they made camp. During the night they were attacked by a gigantic black caterpillar covered in plate armor with golden highlights. Its mouth was filled with rows of razor-sharp teeth that seemed to extend deep into its gullet and sawed back and forth rhythmically. It roared forward on hundreds of armored cilia while its black mane twitched horribly in anticipation. Garrett was on guard duty, and leapt the fire hoping to slow it down. He shot it, but the explosive round did little against the plate armor. It began eating him, stunning him with a headshot in the first round. The second round his body began to disappear in its gullet, the head pulped and the body nearly bitten in half at the waist. The rest of the club woke up and fired as well, doing little damage until Hester scored a critical hit on its head. The rest then blasted the creature in the mouth, its only weak point. Afterwards, all that was found of Garrett was his shoes, with his feet still in them. They were buried appropriately. When all of this was explained to Kabdab (later), he expressed bewilderment, as such creatures were not found on Barsoom. To him it sounded like an ancient horror, but as he was a warrior first and a scholar never, he could not explain further.

Panthan leaps on Thoat and tosses off the rider

The rest of the trip was uneventful except for a single Ulsio that tried to attack a thoat and was maimed by Hester. Reaching Syrtis Major, Reginald purchased a half-decimeter tall statue of an octopoid, rendered in black basalt. Nahoon explained that it was an ancient god named Zovjok from the days of Barsoom’s oceans, a million years before. The party then went to stay at the Native House, where they met Kabdab Jadis, a panthan without master.

The next day, they received a message from Nahoon that he had found something quite valuable, but that he felt he was in danger and must leave soon. Travelling to the market, they saw him knifed down. James and Reginald tried to aid him, but he had died from the poison on the knife. Kabdab and Hester pursued the Ulan assassin through the city and eventually caught him but he ate a poison pellet before he could be questioned. A treasure map was found on him, along with a letter to Nahoon from a fellow antiquarian, explaining what it was.

And there we ended for the night.

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Navah: Chasing the Spies to Lorathiel

Anarra and Darian went south to wait for their comrades, who insisted on telling the townsfolk of the death of the Flaming Rand. William even left his air dagger on Rand’s body while they went to town. Fortunately, the town respected Rand’s last wishes, despite their sorrow at the loss to the town of not only Rand’s bravery, but also his magic items. William and Leah rejoined their comrades, but then all returned to the town as they realized they needed to rent a boat to take them downriver to Lorathiel in pursuit of the remaining spies: the burglar Xiulan Bouchamai and the conman Abhijaya Ashaku. Leah gave Rand’s flameblade to William, and received both of the Air Daggers in return.

They reached Lorathiel, which is a sizeable walled city, and explored it looking for the spies. Josette sent them a telepathic message describing their quarry. Anarra and Leah investigated the river, where they were robbed and pestered by the inhabitants of the shantytown along its banks. Eventually they joined William and Darian, who had gone to the eastern gate that led to the road south to Ruthven. Their quarry had not yet left, and one of the gate guards (Mehbooba Ferulay, a plain woman with enormous thews) became attracted to Darian and offered to help search for the spies. Mehbooba met them after work at the Sign of the Improper Blacksmith, where she cuddled up to Darian and plied him with drink. He did not resist. Afterwards, she took them on a tour of the city’s inns in search of the two spies.

They started at the Square Skeleton, the finest inn in town, and there they spotted the spies. Mehbooba and Darian set out for Mehbooba’s place for the night, and the rest of the party returned to the Improper Blacksmith. Early in the morning, Annara and Leah went to the shantytown and arranged for the abduction of the spies with a local crimelord. They returned to the Improper Blacksmith where the crimelord demanded payment in full, after discovering that the party did not have the funds that Leah had promised. After cleaning out the party’s remaining monies, he left to arrange the job. He would have just run with the cash, but William and Annara accompanied him. William was eager to gut him if the man tried to stiff them.

So the spies were greeted with a coach at the inn, which was said to have been sent by the Lord of Ruthven. When they entered, four burly bravos accompanied them and escorted them four miles east of the city. The spies were delivered to the party bound and gagged (and minus the various items of power they had possessed).

The party took them into the hills, but they broke free that night and started to run. Darian’s Sleep spell failed, but William ran down Abhijaya and cut his leg off with the Flaming Rand. Annara then ran on and caught Xiulan after a bit of wrestling. Abhijaya died of shock, but they took Xiulan back to the river and paid for a trip north to Tam o’ the Mist. There they went back through the tunnels and found that Sir Alexios had men installing a gate on the north end and repairing the hunting lodge as a watch station. They lowered the party down, and after delivering Xiulan, Alexios rewarded them with 1,000 pence each.

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1841: Through the Oak to Barsoom

Tadhg Bradach & James Fletcher were the only party members to survive the Carncarrago. They prepared to journey into Dream through the Oak, and were joined by Hester Campbell (Forester), Garret Woodgrove (Fisherman and Thief), and Reginald Greaves (a Mage specializing in Shaping). After another three months of training, Lord Graham ushered them into Dream, where we discovered that none of them had Perception skills. Instead, they followed a spicy scent that led them not to the sausages they hoped, but to a Thoat corral in Syrtis Major, Barsoom. A few of the players recognized the setting, but they had little understanding of why the Oak had sent them here or their goals once here.

They spotted some British soldiers in redcoats further down the street, and asked for directions to an inn. The inebriated soldier pointed to Hugh’s Pub just down the way, and so there they went. They found that Hugh took British Pounds, which was good since James had a roll of them. Unfortunately, their questions piqued Hugh’s interest and he turned them over to the soldiers for interrogation by Commander Benbridge at Syrtis Major HQ. Reginald and Garret snuck away, using their Fortuna (a one-time 8 point modifier for any roll, awarded once per night with a limit of 3 total for any character at any particular time).

James, Tadhg, and Hester were taken to Benbridge, to whom they told a tale of the fall of Great Britain to the Tripods. Benbridge was alarmed but highly skeptical, and had them put into Syrtis Prison for the time. When he got a reply by heliograph, it was clear that there were no Tripods and that the three were merely raving madmen who had probably stowed away on an Ether Flier to reach Barsoom. Their use of percussion weapons supported that interpretation, since all of the British troops were armed with bolt-action rifles with modern magazines. It seemed that the British here were more highly advanced technologically, although the year of Queen Victoria’s rule seemed to be the same, 1841.

The three mad folk were stripped of their guns and sent to the Murder Mines. The three found the mines actually a nice rest after the Tripods and their other adventures, and they received room and board as well as monthly pay, though they were exiled to the desert and could not return to the town. They even got pudding, which kept them happy.

Garret and Reginald hid in town and met Nahoon at the native market. Nahoon was a dealer in ancient artifacts, and told them of the ruined cities, the canals, and the coming of the British ten years before. He also directed them to the Native House, a flophouse for Red Martians on the bum, and the two stayed there for a few days. He showed Reginald a small statue of a fish deity from the ancient days of Barsoom, but Reginald was not interested. Nahoon also explained that if their friends had not been executed, they probably had been sent to the Muidar Mines. Reginald and Garret resolved to visit their friends, but Reginald was dismayed to find his magic did not work in town. He was soon captured by the soldiers and sent to the Mines earlier than he expected. Once there, the four adventurers resolved to steal Muidar and sell it themselves, until another prisoner stopped them. Muidar, it turns out, burned its handlers, and the four decided not to risk it (Muidar backwards is Radium, though the party didn’t figure that out themselves). Reginald was pleased to find that his magic worked in the desert.

Back in town, Garret got a job as a dish washer at the Grenadier Pub & Inn. Scouting out the place, he hoped to rob it, but before that happened, he took a day off and visited the Mines. Once there, an escape plan was hatched. Garret was sent back to town with 50 Pounds to purchase a Thoat and meet the rest of the party at Dusar, a Red city to the north. Garret bought some supplies and the Thoat, but attacked Ulsios (Barsoomian rats) on his way to the city and fell out of the saddle. Luckily, he made his Climb roll and was able to hang on until reaching Dusar. There, he disguised himself as a Red child (a difficult task, but he rolled very well despite the -8 modifier) and then found an empty house with running water and enough room to house the Thoat as well (another incredibly good roll). Then he waited for his comrades.

Back at the Mines, Reginald put a soldier to sleep when he visited the latrine, and relieved him of his gun and uniform. The man began to rouse halfway through this procedure when Reginald slammed his head by mistake, but the mage put him back to sleep and the party headed into the desert, aiming to reach the canal north of them and then follow it to Dusar. Unfortunately, James was the best at Navigation and he was extraordinarily untalented at it. After five days wandering the desert, he remembered he had a magnet and used it to guide them to the canal, where they were lucky enough to catch a ride on a passing canal boat. While in the desert, they fought off a pack of Ulsios. When they arrived at Dusar, Reginald expected his magic would not work, but he was pleased to find it did.

They arrived at Dusar and rejoined Garret. And there we ended for the night.

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1840: Carncarrago

As they progressed westward, the party realized their cause was lost and becoming more desperate with each mile. They turned around and began to walk for Grahamthorpe, reasoning that the great oak was the only power that could stand against the Walkers. James voted to continue westward, but his only plan was to check on his family there, and if they had been killed or changed by the Walkers, he was resolved to blow his brains out.

Instead, he joined the others on their southeastern trek, sticking to the old woods in hopes of avoiding encounters. Four other refugees approached their campsite one night, but fled when they saw that all of the party had shaved heads, despite Charlotte calling for them to return. Next day, Hans was chased by two great mastiffs as he, Rudiger, and James attempted to steal from a farm. Charlotte and Tavish killed one mastiff, while James shot the other with his .54 rifle. Unfortunately, the bullet passed through the dog and into Tadhg’s abdomen, as Tadhg had been on the other side. It proved to be only a minor wound to Tadhg, but James was somewhat apprehensive about sleeping that night while Tadhg stood guard. Tadhg’s disposition was never clear. After killing the dogs, Tavish field cleaned them and took the hind section of one, but they could not use a fire at night and no one, not even Tavish, was willing to eat raw dog. So he fell asleep covered with gore and stinking to high heaven. Rudiger, James, and Hans returned to the farmhouse and found a variety of food and supplies, including fresh baked bread. The residents were thankfully still not at home, and the party headed south to just outside Fawley.

The next morning they went to Calshot and stole a dory, but were spotted as they pushed off in to the bay. A hue and cry was raised and they paddled madly for the eastern shore, while Tavish hung off the boat’s edge and tried to clean himself. A buzzing told them that the Walker in the bay was approaching. Charlotte and James jumped for it, and managed to swim ashore with most of their weapons (but not James’ rifle) and even James’ medical bag. The boat was then hit by the heat ray and filled with water. The other four clung to the remnants and kicked for shore, somehow evading the Walker but losing most of their equipment as they strove to stay afloat. When they landed, they dragged themselves into the forest to relative safety.

Sitting around a small fire that night, drying their clothes, Reggie, a ragged twelve-year-old boy, approached them and made a deal with James to get them food in exchange for 60 Pounds. He returned a few hours later with a sausage and a cheese round. After Tadhg gave him the 60 Pounds and tossed him a knife as well, Reggie decided to go with them. As they traveled towards Wickham the next day, Reggie again tried to steal some food but this time he was caught and turned over to the Walkers for modification. The party left him to his fate as they heard the Walkers approach.

Travelling through the woods was safer, James was able to find a few edible plants as they again headed southeast. They finally reached Grahamthorpe, where the locals removed their weapons and took them to Lord Graham. He fed and clothed them and then took them to the Oak to swear fealty to it. The Oak had already defeated one Walker and pulled it under ground. In return, the heat rays of the Walkers had burned two miles into the thorpe, including along the beach. The Oak had cast up a chalk firewall that preserved most of the town, but the fishermen could not longer ply their trade and Grahamthorpe was effectively under siege.

After that, the party worked on the farms and waited six months for the testing of carncarrago (Dec. 21). In the meantime, they trained and those who were allowed to (Tavish, James, Rudiger, and Charlotte) read Graham’s library, which included two occult books of importance and one book that gave clues on how to survive the carncarrago.

When the day came, Tavish failed at the first gate and fell to his death in a pit after using the doorknocker. Charlotte stepped up and did exactly the same thing, even as the rest of the party screamed for her not to. She had quick reflexes though, and managed to catch the lip as she fell. James failed to aid her in time and the iron lid slid back in place, chopping off her fingers, and she also fell to her death. Finally, Rudiger managed to get through the first two gates.

As they descended the Plain of Despair, James faltered and had to be encouraged by the others to continue (successful Speak roll). In the feasting hall, James used his Chemistry to solve the riddle of which foods to eat, and they passed on to the Storytellers. There Hans was assaulted by a giant ladybug that tried to eat through his spine but was knocked unconscious by James with the last of the alcoholic spirits from his medical bag.

Then it was time to leave, and each had to go separately. Hans and Tadhg both survived the room of blades, while James evaded the poisonous gas. Rudiger, however, was washed away and drowned.

As three of the players rolled new characters, the others climbed the spiral stairs to the surface, confirmed by the Carncarrago as being worthy to serve the Oak. As they planned their next move, it was clear they couldn’t leave Grahamthorpe because the Walkers were guarding it by land and sea. Lord Graham explained that Faerie itself had closed with the arrival of the Walkers, but that there was still a route to Dream through the Oak, and suggested that the party might find help that way. The group resolved to try it on the next session.

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Navah: The Spies of Ruthven

The agents of Lord Alexios have uncovered a spy ring from Ruthven in Restwell. The three younger spies were taken at Barthold’s Rest and, after less than gentle persuasion, revealed the names of their two compatriots, Xiulan Bouchami and Abhijaya Ashaku, who had already fled and now had six hours lead.

Sir Alexios summoned our four young heroes along with the rest of the warriors of the town. Teams were sent north, east, and south to block the exit of the two spies from the valley. William, Darian, Annara, and Leah were sent to the southeast, where there was no exit from the valley, in the small chance that they had taken an indirect route to safety.

Directed by their Lord, the four headed southeast through the willow copse and into the bog. William took the lead and spotted traces of the passage of two people headed southeast. The group hurried after and came finally to the base of a 440 meter cliff. The tracks led to the cliff itself, but there was no path upwards. They cast about and Darian spotted a set of handholds cut into the stone and hidden inside a narrow crack.

William feared an ambush from treetop, but the rest of them began the ascent. They did not even rope themselves together, for none had skill in climbing. Some hours later, they reached the summit and rested. Travelling inward, they discovered an ancient hunting lodge hidden among the bushes and trees. In the dark, they decided to camp in the lodge. William checked the door and discovered a trap, a crossbow aimed at whomever opened it. He tried to disarm the trap but the crossbow linked to the door fired into his leg. Annara rushed in to smight the spies, but instead ran straight into an enormous log that swung down from the ceiling. Fortunately, she only bruised her arm. There were no spies inside.

They camped in the lodge and in the morn, went further inland, where Darian spotted a cavern leading into the mountain. The four entered the cavern, where led the tracks of the spies. The tunnels were long and difficult. Several times the largest of them (William and Annara) were forced to remove their packs and armor in order to squeeze through narrow tunnels. Thrice William became stuck and Leah’s attraction to him was lessened each time. In passing through a room with a great chasm, they were attacked by several Spinners of medium size. William was bitten in the abdomen and poisoned. Annara cut open the wound and was able to remove most of the poison and sealed it again.

After encountering a drunken miner who told of seeing a blue cap only a few minutes before. Venturing in that direction, they found a well-travelled path (just a short distance from the exit) and then inexplicantly turned about and explored the caverns for hours more. Eventually they came again to near the spot and exited, but not until an infection had begun to fester in William’s gut.

Outside they came a river and followed it to the village Tam o’ the Mist. A sleepy guard greeted them from the wooden tower near a rotted gate. They asked her where they might find a healer for William, and she directed them to Nyarai Rand, an ancient woodsman with some skill at healing. What they did not know was that Rand was once a famous adventurer himself known as the Flaming Rand.

Rand proved to be nearly deaf, and he alternated between being unable to hear them and telling them that they needn’t shout. When presented with William, Rand drew his saber and it burst into flame. He jabbed the end instantly into William’s wound, and the young man crumpled unconscious to the ground with the pain. Leah was delighted by the quick action of the old man, but Darian began a spell of Sleep to put the old man down. Instantly, two air daggers flew into Darian, one to the abdomen and one to his left upper leg. His spell was spoiled, but Annara and Leah interceded to save him from Rand’s wrath. Darian attempted to explain that he welcomed the new scars he would have, but in doing so he pointed at his groin in one of those moments when Rand failed to hear. Rand assumed an insult and was about to slay him when Leah interceded and explained.

When Rand calmed down, they questioned him about the two spies, and he remembered them. He guessed they had taken a boat downstream, the fastest route to Ruthven. He then began to reminisce on his youth and remember the difficulties faced by the beginning adventurers. In a burst of affection, he gifted the youths with his magical gear. First he gave his flaming saber to Leah, who recalled a story about the Flaming Rand, and which entranced her further with ancient gentleman. Next he gave an air dagger each to Annara and William, and finally, somewhat reluctantly, he gave his Earth Shield to Darian to be fair to each of them.

He then took a deep draught of spirits and, unexpectedly, expired. “Oh no,” they shouted, “they’ll think we did it!”

There we ended for the night.

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