Play Report: Drought in Sulindal – Session 1

Jack – Level 2 Changeling Rogue
Lucius – Level 2 Human Mage

The first 15 minutes of the first session were spent making the characters, choosing backgrounds, and defining bonds. Tibaldo (Jack) —who is known in our group for his changeling thief called Dox — decided to make yet another burglar, this time it was done using Awful Good Game’s rogue. He went for the mean streets background and explained how rough it was living on the streets being a changeling child and by himself. We jokingly suggested that Jack is the long lost brother of Dox and that some day they should be reunited. Next was Martin (Lucius) who chose the Apprentice mage background. Before he made his choice we discussed the Arcane Power move which allows the player to choose which stat to use to cast his spells. He mentioned that it was easy for him to understand all the choices except for one, “Magic flows through your body—Your MAGIC stat is Con.” I proceeded to give him a few examples such as perhaps his family has dragon blood in their veins due to an ancestor coupling with a dragon polymorphed as a human or that maybe his family performed a blood pact with a demon and thats why he is able to use magic. He decided to take the dragon example I gave him and built his background around that. Since we started at level two, he chose the implement mastery move which allows his character to do extra stuff as long as he casts a spell using an orb,rod, runestaff, or wand. He chose a wand. After making a few cheesy jokes using harry potter references, we decided it was time to start the session.
I decided to use the adventure hooks provided by the adventure based on their characters. The “Special delivery” hook was used for Jack and “Prophetic Dreams” for Lucius since Martin had chosen a few ranks in divination when he created his character. The “Prophetic Dreams” hook proved the most useful, with it Lucius had vivid dreams of Jenrekka, Runea, Vidigern, and their fates if they did not do something about it. Since Jack had a package to deliver they first arrived at Halkorn, a village consisting mainly of farmers. Though located on beautiful, fertile lands the edifice found within look quite dreadful with mossy rotting rooftops and walls. Since we were short on time, I decided to through all the impressions of the steading at once and let them choose what caught their attention first. Runea’s screams coming from an abandoned house proved to be what caught their attention the most.

The characters decided to do the delivery later and proceeded to follow the screams. They arrived at Old Gnam’s House, an abandoned residence that belonged to an old lady only know as Old Gnam. She used to use her house as an orphanage but one day she mysteriously disappeared and the children had no other option but to leave. Some folk say that if you visited the old house by night you can sometimes hear the screams of an old lady and the mischievous laughter of children. When Runea made her way to Halkorn she sought refuge here. The characters proceeded with caution, Lucius using his spells to detect magic and Jack by searching for traps and hidden enemies. They climbed a set of stairs only to find Runea (confirmed by Lucius’ dreams) screaming, tossing, and turning on a dusty bed. It was apparent that someone had been taking care of her despite being alone in an abandoned house. Lucius used an abjuration spell to try and dispel the effect that was affecting Runea and although it failed to do so, it did help to stop her screams and her uncontrollable seizures. Lucius figured Runea was not safe there and decided to carry her outside Old Gnam’s House.
Once outside, the encountered Kolbert who decided to go check on Runea once he stopped hearing her screams. There they discussed a bit about their intentions with Runea, Lucius’ prophetic dreams, and the recent drought that had befallen the region. Lucius mentioned seeing a giant oak tree with the shape of a woman in his dreams, Kolbert directed him to the Green Tavern where there was an elf from Vidreng village waiting for someone there. Jack took this opportunity to make the delivery and earn a few coins before parting ways. Surprisingly enough, it was Jack, not Lucius who went to speak with the elf despite him being the one with the dreams. For some reason Lucius felt curious about the cemetery  and one of the impressions which was “A horse driven wagon coming from far away with caskets accompanied by people in mourning.”

Lucius spoke with Minerva, the attendant at the cemetery while Jack went and did the same with Dulin, the elf hunter from Vidreng Village. Dulin informed the characters that Inuben, the elder of his village saw their arrival in a dream and sent him to take them to him. The characters agreed to go with him but before that, they needed to take care of a rat problem for Kolbert. Lucius was concerned about the rumored wererats near Abbaz tower and wanted to help the farmers before living. Jack agreed with Lucius but in reality he was more interested on the rumored treasure locked in the tower. Dulin decided to accompany them to expedite their quest, at this point the players were afraid that Dulin would die if he did accompany them when they did something stupid, and boy! Were the right!
The characters approached the tower with precaution as they noticed more, and more rats gathered around the tower. Abbaz tower was abandoned centuries ago by a wizard of the same name. It is rumored that the tower is full of treasure that are protected by powerful spells but it seems that this has not stopped the wererats from trying to make the tower their new home. Outside the tower they encountered a wooden door with 4 rune symbols, the rogue quickly identified that a magical trap protected the door and decided to disarm it. Jack succeeded to do so but a sudden zap from trap before it was deactivated alerted the rats which formed into a massive swarm. Lucius bombarded the rats with spells while Jax used up dungeon gear to create molotov cocktails in order to attack the rats. Seeing as the rats were about to overrun them, Lucius used a spell to create a barrier of stone in order to contain the rats. Jack climbed on top of the stones in order to get a better view of the rats and start throwing his cocktails but a bad roll resulted in Jack falling down in the middle of the swarm. Before the rats could harm his companion, Lucius used another spell to left Jack using stones again. From there Jack lit another cocktail, jumped, and attempted to throw it in mid air, his roll resulted on a partial success and now he found himself hanging from the edge of the stone barrier, he tried to quickly climb out before the rats would reach him but unfortunately another bad roll came and now Lucius was just staring in horror as he saw Jack lifted half of his body up and then how the swam engulfed him, dragging him down to their level. Lucius then proceeded to also climb the rocks and from there kept hitting the swarm with spells until it dispersed.

The heroes wasted no time to lick their wounds and went inside the tower. Once inside the smell of sulfur and other chemicals impregnated their noses but not before they noticed the thick cobwebs and the bones of previous adventurers on the floor. Lucius used his magic to detect magic and noticed how the paintings hanging on each side of the hallway, the candles, and some doors glowed with magic. He took the time to look around without touching anything and noticed that all the paintings had the portrait that looked very similar to his mentor, as he moved along the hallway both Jack and Lucius noticed how the eyes of the portraits were all following them very closely.

They decided to open the only door in the hallway that was not glowing with magic, Jack proceeded to check the door for traps and noticed that the door had one, but it was recently triggered. Lucius opened the door with caution only to reveal a pitch black room. Lucius tried to warn Jack about touching the candles on the hallway but it was too late. As soon as Jack touched the candle, the flames from all the candles gathered in the middle of the hallway and formed a monstrous creature of roaring fire, the heroes were now facing a living fireball spell. Jack frantically tried to find ways to harm the fireball while Lucius began to hit the creature with water spells and it was at this point that Lucius gave his back to the door they just had opened. As he dealt the last blow to the fireball, he felt the cold sting of a crossbow bolt dig into his back. he quickly turned to face the attacker but saw no one. Furious, Lucius released a ball of fire into the room hoping to hit the attacker but only managed to set a drawer on fire. Martin had a partial success on his roll and chose to put himself on the spot (my guess was that he thought there was no other danger leftthan the attacker) before entering the dim lighted room. He saw that it was a wererat that attacked him but before he could cast another spell, a second wererat jumped on top of him from the cealing and they stumbled outside to the hallway.

There, Jack, Lucius, and Dulin fought the wererats to their best of their abilities. The first one to fall was Lucius and  seconds later Jack followed. With his last breathes of consciousness, Jack saw how Dulin jumped into the dark room where Lucius had first fallen. The first one to regain consciousness was Lucius who found one of his healing potions empty right next to him and a bit further was Dulin’s corpse being gnawed and sacked by the remaining wererat. Lucius quickly dispatched the rat and attempt to save Dulin and Jack, but it was already too late for Dulin who gave his life to save Lucius. Dulin knew that his life meant very little if the heroes did not survive this encounter for the fate of his people rested on their sorry shoulders.

Overall it was a short session. The players like their respective classes; Martin liked the openness of the mage when it came to spells without feeling overpowered and Tibaldo liked how he could choose what to specialize on as a Rogue instead of just being good at everything rogue related. He also enjoyed the new sneak attack move as opposed to the Thief’s backstab which made no sense and contradicted the DW book.
Both Lucius and Jack missed a few rolls while fighting the wererats, resulting in me using one of the wererat’s moves “Transmit diseases through their bites.”. I plan to create minor rules for magical diseases by dividing the disease of “Rat Fever” into 3 stages. Ill make sure to post the rules on my next play report.