ACTUAL PLAY: Intrigues of Parsantium. Episode 2: Plots thicken
Mike (Zehara aka Red Vela)
Pete (Roh Nazarian)
Storn (game master)
We picked up this session right where episode 1 left off, the dinner party announcing Rash’s nuptials to Allison Istakar. After an uneventful dinner, Dominic Istakar, a young land owner in the Istakar family approached Zehara and while they danced, quizzed her on the scion of Al-Azir, Kavoos. Kavoos, it turns out, had approached Dominic, to do a co-venture in growing certain medicinal herbs that are fairly rare and difficult to manage. A way of doing business and mending fences between the two mercantile houses. Was Kavoos on the up and up? (A Spout Lore roll later) Zehara confirmed that unlike his mother, Kavoos did seem to be genuine.
Hetharu, the father of Allison and the leader of House Istakar took Roh aside. He has a mission. “I assume that you are hitching your star to Rash and that you have his back.” In order for Rash to have some legitimacy, Rash needs to have a win in front of the 7 Houses. If Rash is seen taking care of a great issue, it could make things easier for him down the line. Seems that docks have a new criminal player, stealing off the docks, intimidating, taking out House people and cutting into several of the House’s bottom line. It is so bad, there has been talk about bringing the Golden Cloaks into the city, which is always an iffy thing, Golden Cloaks are military elite, not sherriffs. There has been whispers about the “Felonius Larcinists” being a new player on the docks. Where have they suddenly gotten the muscle and leverage to be making such inroads?
After some discussion, the trio decide to visit the docks and see what is brewing. They make their way through the streets, about 1 in the morning, after the dinner guests have retired. That sinking feeling of being watched comes creeping in. 4 figures, coming from various directions in the piazza that the trio are crossing, hem them in. One with sickle and chain held menacingly, gives the lowdown: “Back out the marriage, get some bruises. Don’t back out of the marriage, forfeit your lives.”
Naturally, the trio are not inclined to be bruised or killed. Rash sidles up to the piazza’s fountain, both as cover and as a distraction. Roh notes that behind them on a roof is a bowman with one of those horseclan composite bows.. Nasty work. Violence is touched off by Zehara pulling out her oud and playing the secret notes that cause brother to fight brother. One of the swordsmen assailants attacks his brethren (7-9, Zehara has exposed herself, but the charm works). Chain guy realizes that magic is afoot and throws his chain at the oud. (Again 7-9, on Defy Danger, Zehara could take damage or get pulled into the fountain face first, but the oud will be missed). Her clothing snagged, she is dragged into the fountain, face planting, while holding her precious instrument out of the water.
Rash snaps a dagger at Chain guy, a substantial but not debilitating hit. Roh had snagged one of Rash’s daggers before the confrontation and purposely ignores the bowman to take on Chain and Sickle. The bowman puts an arrow into Roh’s back, but doesn’t hit anything too vital. Roh grabs the chain and tries to close on it’s wielder. (Pete was rolling pretty crappy, not out and out successes and more than one 6 or less.) That fight quickly becomes one of who is quicker, stronger, rolling around, trying to close, not really succeeding, and getting nicked. Meanwhile Zehara stands up and strikes that perfect note and the chain quivers and the last few ends shiver and shatter like grape-shot shrapnel, perforating the Chain and Sickle wielder (10+, 8 on damage on a guy who was already wounded)
A scimitar and buckler guy was advancing while his two comrades are fighting between themselves due to Zehara’s spell. The bowman fires arrow after arrow, but Zehara and Rash take cover behind the statue. Scimitar Buckler takes on Roh, who is now throwing around the remnant of the chain weapon. But the Buckler traps the chain and it is Roh who is diving around trying to prolong his life. Rash snaps out Magic Missile, a green shard of energy towards the bowman and at first their is no noticeable effect. Then the bow slides off the roof and the bowman crumbles.
Zehara casts her discordant spell again at Scimitar Buckler and blood boils out of his skull, he drops. Unfortunately, the spell targets another, shattering the 400 year old statue and dropping Rash who was climbing it to get a vantage, into the water. The two who were fighting finally shake off the spell, realize that their comrades are toast and split. Rash, who is a street rat and has parkour like abilities, takes off, tackles one of them, breaking the thug’s leg in the process. The other manages to get away before Roh can bring the bow to bear.
A quick interrogation reveals that the thugs were hired by Gabert, a possible friend, contact (not quite sure) of Fwar Istakar. Gabert was supposed to meet the assailants after the job was done at the Royal Exchequer. Our trio decide to go there after stopping at their homes to change out of their nice, dinner clothes…now some are bloody and some are wet.
(This was two players first brush with combat in Dungeon World, Pete had played before. The consensus seemed that it was dynamic, fun and they seemed to really enjoy it. They liked how the fiction drove the dice rolls. I was pretty happy with it too. Zehara the bard seems to be very powerful, although, Mike was rolling very well all night)
Later, now about 3ish, at the Royal Exchequer, which is a bar/gambling den of significant size, Rash asks for Gabert from the bored croupier. The croupier relates that Gabert was here, but took off with another fellow, looking quite startled/scared. The other fellow was the one assailant who got away from the ambush. Rash picks a fight with a giant of man named Melvo after Melvo suspects Rash of cheating. Rash was cheating. Roh diffuses the situation and Zehara reminds them all that the task at hand is really looking into the Felonius Larcinists on the docks.
At which point, I say that the dock investigation is going to take a week and then some die rolls can happen to see what happens. But assuming that they are investigating, asking questions and canvassing, they still have some time to do other things.
Rash decides that he needs to break up with Pramanda in the most dramatic way possible, clearing his way to Allison. Pramanda is an opera singer of some note and Zehara’s greatest rival. So, Rash works it out that Zehara will be playing while he breaks up with Pramanda. To really rub salt in the wound. I make up a custom move using Rash’s CHA.
-6: Bad Things
7-9: -Some social backlash towards Rash automatically.
Pick 1: Break Pramanda’s heart
The shame and her reaction gets her fired from her current opera gig
Everyone knows that Zehara’s “street opera” is really about Pramanda’s disolving love life
10+: Pick 2, no social backlash.
(Zehara tries to Aid, rolls 7-9 and gives a +1 to Rash, but there will be backlash. Rash rolls a 10+, much chortling and laughter around the table). So, her heart is broken and everyone knows that Zehara’s street opera is a pointed dagger aimed at Pramanda. A few days later, we learn that Pramanda has hired the best playwright in the city to write “The spreading legs of Red Velvet” (Red Vela is Zehara’s stage persona) and that is the backlash.
We then switch to dealing with Velantius Kol and his street rats of the Felonius Larcinists. (This was taken verbatim from the Parsantium text, Kol is a were-rat and infects some of the more promising children). We go very meta-game at this point. Roh has a move called “the perfect plan” and basically, you can meet goals as long as there are prices to be paid. Rash tries to help with his “through the grapevine” move, but rolls -6. So, instead of assigning a -2 to the roll (bad info), because the Perfect Plan has no die rolling, I assign to additional costs.
Take control of the Felonius Larcinists
Make it look like it was destroyed so Rash can get his “win”.
The temple of Vamana works with the trio to take care of this lycanthropy problem. Vemana is the protector goddess of Parsantium. Now the trio owe the temple big time.
House Deviir learns of the were-rat problem and might do something on their own.
Kol and the kids are imprisoned by the Temple of Vamana, they will have to be killed by the next full moon when they change against their will. This will be public and the trio will lose a lot of street cred killing children, especially children from the street.
The Song of Change could reverse lycanthropy, but it has been lost. In order to prevent price 3, it will have to be found.
We determine that the Song of Change is actually an artifact, ancient. Will cure lycanthropy, but then changes shape itself, it’s wielder then forgets how to play the song. The last time it was used, it changed into the first “modern” guitar and it was in the palace of the Royal Family of Parsantium. It became the blueprint for guitars as many craftsman studied it and Parsantium actually became the guitar capitol of the world. But 50 years ago, the current elven ruler, Corvallius, sold it in a fit of rage (his mother was a lycanthrope and was never a smooth relationship even after she was cured).
The Song of Change was sent out of the city on a caravan, but the caravan was lost in the desert, never made it to it’s destination.
So, next session, our scheming trio will venture out into the desert to find the Song of Change before the full moon in 3 weeks. Or as Mike put it; “road trip!”.