Friday, 29 April 2016

A Tale of Herbs and Heroism

Mick Vayne Lvl 2 Bard
Rachael Ottsa level 1 Mystic
   Arthur, 0-level manservant and Ottsa's           sworn man
Kat Rowena lvl1 Mage
Brian Roc lvl1 fighter (recently level drained)

It being dark and smoky in the House if Mercenaries, Sellspears and Blades for Hire our heroes elected to participate in the smuggling of an illegal shipment of herbs (sage, oregano, that sort of thing) into the city. Taking into account the extremely adverse growing conditions that exist for all crops the price of condiments is high and very heavily taxed. The herb cartel smuggle large quantities of the stuff into the city avoiding the duty and therefore making a mint (ha) in the process. However recent retirements within the Day Watch mean that their usual corrupt contacts on the city gars have been replaced with actual honest watchmen. What is the world coming to!?

On the way to rendez vous with their contact they encountered a strangely dirty day flying owl. Vayne attempted to bag it with a small sack and, rolling a natural 20, instead found himself with a friend for life, who he named Peawhislte.

The PCs met with Lunk the agent of the cartel in the Scorned Woman public house, in the Canal District. He explained the situation vis a vis bribes and that they had a wagon load of herb stashed at a farm outside the city. They would cut the PCs a share of it they could get it into the city.

Ottsa kitted Arthur out in some mail and bought him a sword. Vayne upgraded his armour to mail as well.

They set off, outside city for the first time, for the farm. On the way they chatted to some peasants who were especially interested in Peawhistle. They it turns out had previously also had a pet Owl, named Dave, who they were forced by starvation to bake into a pie and eat. 

Encountering the smoke of campfires they investigated only to nearly get robbed by a large group of bandits. Rowena's sleep spell took most of them out and the PCs heroically robbed the bandits of all their silver after the remainder surrendered.

The farm was occupied only by a slightly strange old woman who they began to suspect had murdered her husband at some point through her inconsistent ramblings. However it turned out that the herb shipment was not there. It had been stolen by bandits a few nights previously.

Cursing their luck and swearing that if these bandits turned out to be the same ones they encountered earlier then they were going to go berserk. Vayne had to go out and sit on the doorstep to calm down.

Rowena bought a pig, named Ralph.

Using Peawhistle's uncanny ability to track herbs (!) they found themselves approaching a cave used by bandits as a hideout. Posing as lost swineherds Vayne and Roc investigated before heroically attacking the bandits by surprise. Slaying them but not before the alarm was raised. A big fight was joined by all until the final bandit surrendered. They heroically forced him into the cave to kill the bandits' vicious guard dogs. That did not work out too well for el bandito. Finishing the dogs off themselves they recovered the herbs and went back to the farm. Much planning took place as they decided how to smuggle the shipment into the city. They decided on fashioning a false bottom for the cart from spare wood and then heaping pig dung on top to deter careful searching. They had while leaving he city observed the Watch performing cart inspections and levying taxes on various goods. 

Returning to the city they shared camp with some Rekkar barbarians. They traded news, the barbarians telling of some ruins in the Grimwood that seemed to have been recently re-occupied.

The entry into the city was pretty nervy but Vayne used his power of suggestion to convince the Watch captain that they did in fact have a license for Ralph the pig.

Upon returning to the yard of the Scorned Woman it appeared Lunk was having a bit of difficulty with some sort of magician and his armoured bodyguard. Negotiations did not go well and the PCs heroically attacked while the newcomers were off guard. Rowena put them to sleep and then they heroically cut their throats. Lunk protested that these were his contacts within the Herb Cartel and now they couldn't sell the herbs. 

So, heroically, they beat him unconscious bad left him in the alley while taking the herb wagon for themselves, resolving to sell the produce at a later date.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Warriors Of the Black Planet [Actual Play]

It's all a bit grim actually

The Black Planet of Acheron, where the only God is Death...

The player characters were Bronze kin, natives of the Acherontic city of Charron, on a mission to locate an abandoned atmosphere station somewhere in the wilderness outside their city. Their flier was forced to crash land after the anti-grav tanks were pierced by a sniper's bullet. 

The crash site was attacked by a group of the Unliving; a shambling, moaning affront to Death Herself. They were returned to the embrace of the goddess by accurate fire from the PCs' radium rifles followed by lethal sword work up close.

Reasoning that as atmosphere stations they knew existed were concealed to protect them from the destructive impulses of the Jade Kin, the place they sought would be most likely hidden somewhere in the mountains to the North of the crash site. 

As best they could determine, the sniper's bullet had originated from the strange forest of thorns to the West so they avoided that and headed toward the mountains. They ignored a ruined city to the South and an open plain to the East.

They discovered some copper tablets engraved with strange hieroglyphs that they identified as the written language of the Golden Kin, who claim to be beloved of Death and hold themselves above all others. They could not however read the ancient, pictorial script.

Upon discovering the partially buried towers of a ruined structure, the threat of a storm drove the party underground. They explored a subterranean complex, uncovering devices of weird science, before tampering with the control panel of some shaft based mechanism that seemingly activated a destructive process. Now. trying to escape from the facility, they entered a room that contained two pods. One of these housed a male Silver Kin in apparent suspended animation.

This planet is similar but redder

They got themselves safely on the other side of a set of blast doors, the party's warrior rescuing the Silver Kin from his pod, should the place be about to explode. Now in a cave they discovered a strange statue, believing it to be a blasphemous image they destroyed the idol. This however drew the attention of an eyeless, white horror with sinuous limbs and a mouthful of needle like teeth. They closed in it and cut it to pieces in short order despite the warrior's shield being smashed into a thousand fragments.

They looted equipment from the bodies of the creature's Jade Kin victims and made their way back to the surface. 

There they encountered a large group of Jade Kin apparently arguing amongst themselves at the base of the towers. Deciding discretion was the better part of valour, they skirted around them and made their way to the foot of the mountains of black glass. 

They chose to explore a canyon that led them to some form of temple entrance carved into the very rock itself. It was guarded by two large stainless steel statues. Inside they discovered an arena of sorts, their Silver Kin companion explained the altar they found there was where the losers of duels sacrificed themselves to the Goddess....

Run using, not powered by, The Black Hack

And there we ran out of time. I'm planning to discuss the mechanics of running the game in a second post but given it was my first time out with The Black Hack, and was for many of the players, it all ran very smoothly indeed.