Intrigues Recap 23: Death from Above
Renegar Subitai: Pete
Jek Kemetou: Steve
Taefala of Vamana: Mike
Introducing Cirian: Bob
And introducing for one night only, Zamil, wandering swordsman: Ed
GM: lil’ ol me, Storn
[i]Mike’s friend Ed was in town from Ecuador for a couple of weeks. Ed hasn’t found a gaming group down in Ecuador, so he was jonesin’ for a game and asked if he could sit in on ours. Sure. More the merrier. I’ve run 5 before, fantasy hero, gurps, savage worlds, but haven’t done it with Dungeon World. Running 5 tends to be a bit tough on me, I find it really hard to spread spotlight time and love around with a lot of players. 3 or 4 is really my comfort zone. But I oddly, I wasn’t nervous. Last night, our experience bore that out. Dungeon World, by its structure, actually help keep everyone engaged and I think we all had a lot of fun. I know I did.
Beginning of the night, after explaining all the characters to Ed, what the situation was, he decided on the Dashing Hero (one of the RPGnow playbooks we have found). His “in” was that he escaped from a pirate ship on a dinghy and managed to make it to Windward Island where Cirian and Lillastra were waiting for the others to come back with the control crystal. [/i]
Zamil, the itinerant swashbuckler, overhears Lillastra and Cirian talking about Lillastra’s realm/worlds. Lillastra is excited by this fresh, young world. Being an elf from a high technological (Spelljammer-like universe), she is fairly old. The Illithid War was some 200 years ago and life has been pretty quiet since. She loves the rawness and excitement she has found within this diverse cast of misfits. Zamil comes over and makes a grand entrance, telling of his tale of escaping a pirate ship called Hel and making his way here. But Windward Island is boring and confining. He desperately wishes to get off the island and it sounds like our heroes might have a way.
Indeed, they do. Renegar, Jek, Taefala and Jarita return from Dydae’s Cove successfully recovering the Control Crystal to Bartholomew’s airship (see last ep, natch). Meeting them on the beach, with curious Zamil trailing, talk springs up on Jek’s botched casting of summoning the ghost ancestors to scare away the pirate ship, Black Spiral. Instead, the Black Spiral crew was possessed and mutated by the insane, angry, Ashanti and Illithid ghosts from a conflict eons ago.
Unfortunately, the airship is going to need 2 weeks of repairs before it is airworthy. Who knows where the Black Spiral will get to in that time. Jek is very worried about what has been unleashed on the seas. Talk on can Windward Island be evacuated? (no) Was Zamil on the Black Spiral? (he was not, he was on the Hel). Pirates have not been a big problem in these waters in quite some time. Sure, the occasional ship, but not like the loose confederation of just a few years ago. The islanders unified and smashed the pirates power in a couple of sea battles. [i]We also discussed black powder and if it was “in the world”. The table decided it was not. Sea battles are about ramming, ballistas and catapults. [/i]
Cirian shows Zamil the ancient Ashanti control room in the cliff of Windward Island. Cirian tries to use the psychometric observer abilities of the early warning system and see if he can locate the Black Spiral. While he has a definite bearing, he isn’t sure how far away the Black Spiral is. But the chaotic, psycho-black sorcery vibe is palpable.
2 weeks pass quickly as the team repairs the airship. It works and they are soon flying off of Windward Island. Zenegar, with Bartholomew’s spirit, Jarita, Bartholomew’s daughter, Lillastra, Jek, Cirian, Taefala and Zamil are on board. It takes 2 days to find the Black Spiral. When they catch up to the possessed vessel, it is a bad situation.
The Black Spiral and the Hel are anchored in the harbor of a fairly large city/village of about a 1000 souls. The two ships are launching burning pitch into the city, covering an invasion force of possessed sailors from both ships. Cirian telepathically surface scans the two ships, each one has a skeleton crew of gunners and command. Despite the overwhelming numbers (each ship has approx 50 crew), the time to strike is now.
Renegar/Bartholomew pilots the airship right next to the masts of the Black Spiral. Jek, Zamil, and Taefala jump out, Zamil cutting the sail as he slides down to the deck. Jek takes the rigging path, stopping occasionally to fire arrows at the ballista crew that is trying to swing around to shoot at the airship. Taefala also goes down another mast’s rigging trying to intercept a catapult crew.
Zamil is first, using his superlative fencing to disarm his opponents [i]Ed’s dice were on fire tonight[/i], pinking them for good stead. Jek, dropping his bow, starts to slice and dice his way through opponents. Cirian uses his psychokinetics to toss one of the ballista gunners into a bulwark. Taefala engages the catapult crew from the railing and looses her balance, falling overboard. She manages to snag a spar with one hand, desparately holding onto Truthbringer and trying to lift herself to the deck. [i]And so begins Mike’s worst night of dice, I think he got 5 xp as he failed 5 rolls. Poor guy. [/i]
The possessed sailors are incredibly tough. Ignoring mortal wounds, like when one slid up Zamil’s rapier and tried to box his head. Zamil managed to leverage his rapier and push the bastard overboard. They are not going down easily. But Zamil and Jek are starting to win through, Jek aided by his ashanti scimitar which is enchanted to eviscerate Illithid. But Taefala cannot keep her grip while the two of the catapult crew pound on her head with their loading poles. She falls into the water wearing chain armor. It is not looking good. [i]My evil moment as a GM, instead of damaging Taefala more I gave Pete a hard choice… let go of Truthbringer or fall into the water. The room groaned with such an evil choice. He chose the harbor. fun![/i]
Renegar tries to help by throwing killing enchantments at the command staff of the Black Spiral, a Captain, flanked by two lieutenants. But the ship seems to have defenses of its own. The Captain channels the black magic that Renegar is using and summons several psionic tentacles/pseudopods, oozing out of the mast to latch onto the airship. Renegar, really Bartholomew, panics and jams as much flight power as possible, and manages to break free with Cirian psychokinetically prying a couple of the tentacles away from the ship. They swing the ship around to see Taefala is underneath the waves. While Jarita drops a rope, Cirian telekinetically lifts Taefala out of the water enough that she can clamber back onto the deck, avoiding more attacks from the Cat crew. Finally, Jek has subdued his foes and races to her help. Zamil, finding the ballista armed and primed, spins it around towards poop deck and sends a bolt through the captain, who amazingly does not drop, but is seriously hurt. Cirian, taking advantage of the captain’s pain, overloads the bastard’s mind and kills him.
Taefala spins her Truthbringer’s spear through the knees of one assailant as Jek wounds another. Together, they finish off the catapult crew. All that is left is the 2 lieutenants. Zamil uses an entire arrow cart on one, pincushioning him to the poop deck. Ranged attacks from Cirian and Renegar finish off the last one. Then the bad news is that the Hel has open fire on the Black Spire.
Reload times are slow, as Zamil tries to bring the Black Spire about to use the ship’s unused armaments, Renegar summons a giant wave and washes the deck [i]I think the modified roll was like a 13![/i] of the crew. They had one.
Yes. There was the mop up of the city and those sailors in the water… but with arrow fire from the airship, there wasn’t much doubt that rallying the citizens of the island would end with the demise of the Black Spire and Hel’s crews.
[i]It was late and I thought the battle was harrowing and great. I wasn’t really interested in some long slog of tracking all these bastards down and kill them all. The table seemed to agree. Zamil gets the Black Spire and the loot in the hold as a chance to start his own ship. A great way to end a one shot character.
Steve has wanted to run a call of cthulhu game and this seemed like a really good halfway point for the game. He had run one session with Bob, Pete and Mike when I couldn’t make it one week. So, we are going to take a break from Intrigues of Parsantium for awhile. I think that next adventures will be getting back to Parsantium with the airship…. But who knows… the dice rolls might take the game in a different direction. I will revisit this thread when we get the game up and running again. [/i]