Friday, 5 August 2016

3. A Vision of Thelanis

Stormreach, Xen’drik
Eyre 22, 997 YK

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 6
Scene setup: d10=10 (unchanged)

Let’s tempt fate by reporting the stats of some of our active characters. These were all rolled before session 1, but these were mostly not in the action there.

Sakhisli: Dwarf Blacksmith

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
(3 6 1)=10(6 5 3)=14(5 6 5)=16(3 3 2)=8(4 1 3)=8(3 4 4)=11
+0 +1 +2 -1 -1 +0

In Funnel World, all stats are rolled on 3d6, in order (no freedom to allocate stats). I rolled randomly for the race, using a mix similar to that given for Sharn in the Eberron Wikia. Gender is random. I made my own table of professions since Funnel World’s list takes a more traditional approach that combines race and profession, which would not be suitable for Eberron; also I balanced out rural and city jobs, since Funnel World assumes a rural village but we started in a city.

Kalina: Human Artist

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
(6 3 4)=13(5 6 3)=13(6 4 2)=12(6 3 6)=15(6 3 1)=10(3 6 5)=14
+1 +1 +0 +1 +0 +1

So many sixes; if Kalina lives, she will be more powerful than the average level 1 DungeonWorld character.

Ketazi: Half-orc Bricklayer

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
(6 4 2)=12(4 3 2)=9(2 6 2)=10(1 1 1)=3(2 6 6)=14(5 2 3)=10
+0 +0 +0 -3 +1 +0

Oh my: Int 3. Like I said, it’s all random, so it’s chance that the half-orc is dumb—half-orc and orcs are accepted as citizens by most nations in Khorvaire. It makes sense that, with an Int that low, she only speaks Orcish.

Petovar: Half-elf Guard

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
(4 1 3)=8(3 1 5)=9(4 2 2)=8(2 3 6)=11(1 4 4)=9(2 6 1)=9
-1 +0 -1 +0 +0 +0

Raenros: Dwarf Fletcher

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
(3 2 1)=6(6 5 2)=13(5 6 1)=12(2 1 3)=6(4 6 3)=13(3 2 4)=9
-1 +1 +0 -1 +1 +0

Arjen: Human Lumberjack

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
(6 1 4)=11(4 3 2)=9(3 1 2)=6(2 4 1)=7(2 2 2)=6(1 5 1)=7
+0 +0 -1 -1 -1 -1

Time to Undertake a Perilous Journey. Ketazi would actually be a good scout but, since she can’t speak Common, I think no-one has found that out yet. So I think, instead, Raenros gets that job.

Scout(Raenros): 2D6(5 5) +1 = 11 Success!
You discern a beneficial aspect of the terrain.
You get the drop on whatever lies ahead.
Navigate(Kalina): 2D6(4 2) +1 = 7 Partial success.
You encounter a Danger

The mood was sombre as they departed Stormreach. As the West gate of the city—a huge gate made by the Giants, and re-erected by the more recent human inhabitants—swung shut, the minds of many were on their lost companions. It was an ill omen for the expedition, some had whispered, and there had been several desertions in the last two days.

Kalina would have liked to stay, and help hunt down the thieves that had attacked Dornien. But Esinor had refused to delay; they must get south to Kappefesting lest other adventurers found it first, she insisted. The city guard had promised to catch the killers and should be left to do their job.

Give an Opportunity that fits a class’ abilities: Kalina is smart and charismatic, so I think she is in charge now.

The loss of Dornien had left Kalina’s troop of adventurers without a commander. Kalina had happened to be talking to Esinor, the previous evening, about the ruins that they were to visit—Kalina was curious what sort of artifacts they expected to find there—and so she was the only one of their group that Esinor knew. And so it was that, as they left the city, Kalina found herself leading the first group of adventurers, charged with scouting the way for the main group.

Kalina quickly assessed her command. She knew Sakhisli best but, though the smith was strong, she was a loudmouth and city-bred. There was a quiet half-elf called Petovar, who had worked before as a merchant caravan guard but seemed to be lazy. The half-orc, Ketazi, did not speak Common at all, or any language that Kalina or the others spoke.

That left Arjen, a lumberjack from Aundair, and Raenros, a dwarf fletcher from the Eldeen Reaches. Both came from rural communities and seemed up to walking alone in a jungle. So Kalina set them ahead to scout ahead and either side of the road; while she led the rest down the road itself.

Immediately outside of the city was farmland, but this gave way to rolling hills within a few miles. It was a clear, warm day; the coastline was out of sight over hills to their south, but there was a light breeze blowing that carried the scent of the sea to them. Flights of strange birds flew overhead.

They reached the first jungle early in the afternoon. They had seen no travellers on the road, but the road itself was well maintained and so it was easy going for the expedition. The jungle itself here was not very thick, and the scouts were also able to keep up a good pace. After travelling through the jungle for about an hour, Raenros appeared on the road ahead of them and brought them to a halt.

“Trouble?” asked Kalina. Truth be told, she was eager for something to happen; her hand strayed to the hilt of her sword.

Is the threat from a potentially hostile group of NPCs? 50:50 ().
Fate d100(98)=Exceptional No!

Okay, so it’s not a group of enemies, or creatures, or anything like that. A magical phenomenon then. Eberron’s system of planes provides a handy index to the types of effects that we might see. Random plane selected.

Spout Lore(Raenros): 2D6(5 6) -1 = 10 Success!
Useful information

“The jungle up ahead is different,” said Raenros. “I thought I should come back and warn you.”

“Different how?”

“Richer—more full of life and magic. In some places, the boundary between our world and the world of the fey, Thelanis, is very weak, and their magic appears in our world. I saw an area like it once, in the Reaches.”

Kalina’s hand fell away from her sword. “Is it dangerous?”

“Yes.” Raenros looked at them all one by one. “The fey are known to be tricky; they say that travellers may be lured away by strange magic. I think we should stick together, and stick to the road.”

“Very well. Sakhisli, Petovar, wait here for the main group; they should be only half an hour behind us. Tell them what Raenros just said. Raenros, go and find Arjen and bring him back to join us. We will go through together.”

Show a downside to their class, race, or equipment: hey, if they had rope, they could tie themselves together.

Discern Realities(Raenros): 2D6(3 4) +1 = 8 Partial success.
What happened here recently? (tracking Arjen)
Parley(Aided)(Kalina): 2D6(2 6) +1+1 = 10 Success!
They do it
Aid(Raenros): 2D6(6 1) +0 = 7 Partial success.
Expose yourself to risk or cost

“It is very important that they stay together,” repeated Raenros.

“Yes ma’am,” said Sakhisli; she and Petovar set down their packs and sat to wait at the roadside.

Raenros headed back into the jungle, while Kalina’s group continued slowly along the road. After five minutes or so, the jungle began to slowly change around them; the colours of the plants seemed brighter, the birdsong was louder and more musical, and the foliage seemed more abundant and lush.

Raenros and Arjen rejoined them. Arjen’s eyes were wide. “I have never seen a forest like it,” he said. “I never imagined that one could be so... beautiful.”

“We stick together,” said Kalina. “Do not stray from the road, whatever you see.”

Light streamed down in beams of gold and green through the canopy above, glittering on the rain-moistened leaves of tropical plants—though there had been no rain yesterday, at least in Stormreach. A deer walked out on the path ahead of them, standing proudly with streams of light falling around it, looked at the party for a moment, then walked on. The fresh salt scent of the ocean was gone, replaced with hot humid air thick with the smell of green leaves. The adventurers moved forwards slowly, awestruck.

Then the first lights appeared. Off the road to the right, several shimmering, distant points of light flickered between the trees. Kalina wondered what they were; another party of travellers, lost in the jungle? Magical creatures out of legend? Something niggled at the back of her mind, something important that she had meant to remember, but she could not place it.

Defy Danger(INT)(Kalina): 2D6(4 1) +1 = 6 Failure!
Separate them

In the absence of leadership, everyone does their own thing. Everyone gets a willpower test.

Defy Danger(WIS)(Raenros): 2D6(5 4) +1 = 10 Success!
Defy Danger(WIS)(Ketazi): 2D6(2 1) +1 = 4 Failure!
Reveal an unwelcome truth: she doesn’t speak Common, so didn’t understand the warnings given
Defy Danger(WIS)(Arjen): 2D6(5 4) -1 = 8 Partial success.
Worse outcome

Ketazi was the first to step off of the road. Muttering something in Orcish, the half-orc turned from the path and started into the jungle towards the lights.

“What are those?” asked Kalina; she had stopped and was looking in the same direction.

“It’s a trick; a will-o’-the-wisp,” said Raenros. “Ketazi, come back! Stupid orc.”

“It’s beautiful,” said Arjen; he had also stopped.

Defy Danger(WIS)(Kalina): 2D6(4 1) +0 = 5 Failure!
Put someone in a spot

Kalina stepped off of the road. The lights glimmered between the trees, beckoning. She ducked through some vines, pushing forward slowly and trying to get a clearer view.

Discern Realities(Raenros): 2D6(4 6) +1 = 11 Success!
What here is not what it appears to be? The lights are a lure, a will-o’-the-wisp.
What here is useful or valuable to me? The road is your anchor; stay with it.
What should I be on the lookout for? The party breaking up; you can only drag one of them at a time.
Defy Danger(INT)(Raenros): 2D6(4 4) -1+1 = 8 Partial success.
Worse outcome; you stop Kalina but Arjen is moving now.

There was a thud behind her, and suddenly, Kalina’s cloak seemed to be snagged on something. She turned and looked down to see Raenros right behind her; Kalina’s cloak was pinned to a tree with a dagger.

“Kalina!” shouted Raenros. The dwarf clapped her hands together under Kalina’s nose. “Focus!” Then the dwarf looked over her shoulder; Arjen was now also off of the path. “Traveller’s madness! Arjen!”

Kalina looked towards the lights again and tugged at her cloak. “We—we should see what those lights are.”

+1s for acting on her Discern information.

Parley(Raenros): 2D6(6 3) +0+1 = 10 Success!

“No, stay on the road! Arjen, get back on the road. Aureon, grant us the knowledge of our folly!” Raenros ran off towards the lights.

Kalina shook her head; her mind seemed filled with a dense fog. She pulled at her cloak, looked towards the lights again, and then back to Arjen—now standing on the road again.

“Come on Kalina, get back to the road. You heard her; it’s some dangerous magic. She said to stay on the road.”

Parley(Arjen): 2D6(5 6) -1 = 10 Success!

Kalina took one last look towards the lights, then turned back. She pulled out the dagger and rejoined Arjen on the road.

Defy Danger(DEX)(Raenros): 2D6(2 3) +1 = 6 Failure!
Reveal an unwelcome truth

After a minute, Raenros rejoined them. “We cannot stay here, Kalina; we must follow the road through this.”

They pressed on. The lights continued to flicker between the trees on their right, and the rich smells and sounds of the jungle seemed muted to Kalina now, subsumed below a desire to know the source of the light. But the lights were dangerous too, she realized, so she kept her head turned forwards, following Raenros.

Gradually, the jungle became more normal. The colours became less vivid, foliage became less thick, and the canopy overhead parted, giving way to normal daylight. The lights were gone.

They stopped, turning to one another, breathing deeply of the sea air. Kalina felt like she had been submerged, and had just broken free of the surface of some dark lake. Her mind was clear again now.

“Thank you, Raenros. We would have been lost in there without you.”

Raenros was looking back down the road, with a distant expression. “Yes.”

It took Kalina a few moments to take stock. “Where is Ketazi?”

The dwarf looked down. “Lost. I tried to catch up to her, Kalina, but she was too far ahead. The jungle was thick and...” She shook her head. “We had to stay on the road, or we were all lost.”

Savor the kindness and cruelty of fate

Last Breath(Ketazi): Lost

Kalina looked back now. “We should go back. We do not know what happened—she is lost, but she is still alive, surely?”

“No, Kalina. You know we could not find her, and come out ourselves. Maybe she lives, but she must find her own way.”

“Maybe the main group will encounter her on their way through.” Kalina hoped it would be so. She turned around, looking west along the road ahead of them.

End of Session(party): We learned something new about the world (manifest zones of the other planes are a thing), +1 XP for everyone present.

XP: Arjen 1, Kalina 3, Raenros 2, Sakhisli 1, everyone else at 0.

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