LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 236 is up

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Mister_Bruce
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 218 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:47 am

Session 218 – In the Land of Giants – 19th May 2020

- GM’s note: Ethan is still on the run but this time he’s in the company of Isabelle. She needs his help with a job.

- Ethan and Isabelle are crouched in a massive chamber with huge granite pedestals everywhere. An enormous guardian resembling a metal minotaur is hunting for them. Every footstep can be felt through the stone floor.
- Isabelle is on a mission to retrieve one of her inventions which was stolen from her. The ‘dimensional stabiliser’ has been de-calibrated by the owner of the collection because it makes prettier lights this way, but it is only a matter of time before the football sized device warps the reality around it and triggers some sort of… explosion.
- The guards here are scary. Ethan has already received a glancing blow from one and they know someone is here. Ethan’s favourite spell (Mental Invisibility) is ineffective against the guards here and Icons don’t work in this place (probably due to proximity to Isabelle’s invention). There is no way of doing a remote snatch-and-grab.
- Using a short-range scrying spell, Ethan works out a pattern that the creatures are using to search the place and then works to avoid them. Isabelle follows. They move to the next room. The device is not there. They move onto another room, and then another. Their luck holds.
- Spotting the device in a case high atop a granite pillar, Ethan and Isabelle decide to perform a piece of cat-burglary to retrieve the item. Ethan uses sorcery to levitate Isabelle into place. Isabelle cuts through the glass. There is a tense moment as a guard robot enters the room but it marches on and doesn’t see them. She swaps out the device with a fake. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work and the alarm sounds.
- Quickly lowering Isabelle to the ground, they slip out of the room as the guardians rush in. Ethan and Isabelle get as far as the giftshop before their luck runs out. Lights come on and a holographic image of a shop attendant appears. Given how small Ethan and Isabelle are in relation to the normal people here, they are mistaken by the machine for children who have lost their parents. Ethan takes a moment to grab a postcard of Isabelle’s device (which is in the giftshop) and they head for the exit, using their Warden powers to open the door.
- At that point one of the minotaur guardians rushes into gift shop and begins smashing through the place looking for intruders. It is designed to be cautious around the antiquities but there are no precious items in the giftshop. By this point, Ethan and Isabelle have reached the door and are sprinting down the large steps. With police sirens drawing nearer, Ethan uses a Flight spell to take to the air and he carries Isabelle aloft while security vehicles converge on the museum. They are spotted by an ornithopter but they quickly lose their pursuit.
- Ethan and Isabelle relax for a few minutes on the top of a tall building before deciding that the coast is clear. They head to a distant skyscraper which has a Door that leads to the Grand Stair. Going through the ventilation system, they find that they are being guided to a particular destination. It feels like a trap. Someone knows that they are trying to reach the Door. Someone knows that they are dealing with a Lord of Gossamer.
- Taking their time, Ethan scries the way ahead and identifies that there is a ramp leading from the ceiling vent to a table. A giant-sized middle aged woman with a severe haircut and wearing a business suit is waiting nervously for them. Child-sized refreshments on the table are waiting for Ethan and Isabelle.
- Ethan and Isabelle don’t use the ceiling vent. They find another way into the room. Upon opening the door, the giant lady gets to her feet and gives a humble bow. She asks if Ethan and Isabelle can find her son. Her son has been missing for three years. He stepped onto the Stair and hasn’t been seen since. She desperately needs their help to find out what happened and has been waiting three long years for the Door to open again. She missed them when they entered and has been waiting patiently for them to return.
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 219 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:11 am

Session 219 – The Giant Warden – 21st May 2020

- GM’s note: This session follows Ethan and Isabelle as they try to find the missing giant who has become a Warden of the Stair.

Part 1 – Giant Competition
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* Image sourced from Google Images
- It is a bright sunny day. Competitors are lined up to race across the tawny brown grass. Most of the competitors are gigantic. Two are not – they are Ethan and Isabelle. In this place magic does not work. There is a way out of this realm – a Door in a temple, but one needs magic to reach the Door. The winner of these trials will be awarded the gift of magic (magic that works in this realm). If they cannot win these competitions, they will have to find another way to reach the missing giant who has become a Lord of Gossamer.
- In this section of the Stair almost everything is huge compared to Ethan and Isabelle. The Doors. The people. However, these people are sticklers for being fair. The race obstacles for the giants are giant-sized. The race obstacles for Ethan and Isabelle are a more appropriate size. There are three giants who are competing against them. Fafnir, a bearded ‘teenager’ has been friendly since they arrived and has been helping them to find suitable food.
- The race is started. Ethan has a good run and finishes his race first. Fafnir finishes second. Isabelle finishes fourth. The fifth competitor is eliminated, leaving only four remaining competitors.
- There is a short break. Ethan and Isabelle are enjoying themselves. Ethan is wearing one of Isabelle’s ribbons around his arm, and Isabelle is wearing one of Ethan’s. It is a Marindan tradition – and often a symbol of friendship or romantic interest. While Fafnir talks with his relatives (and they offer him encouragement), Ethan and Isabelle chat away happily. In this place where magic doesn’t work, Ethan can’t mask his presence with invisibility or use divination to tell if he is in danger, but he thinks that the magic of the Dragon Mark is itself suppressed.
- The next event is a javelin throw. There is a lot of discussion amongst the giant elders as to how to make the event fair. How big should the javelin be? How far away should the target be? At last they decide something that is ‘fair’ and each of the four remaining competitors line up. Each will throw three javelins.
- Ethan’s first shot goes wild. Isabelle hits the target in the blue (the outer ring). Fafnir misses the target. The other giant also hits the blue circle.
- Ethan’s second shot lands on the edge of yellow and red. Isabelle hits the red (bullseye). Fafnir lands in the yellow. The other giant throws his spear too hard, hits the bullseye but knocks the target over and is disqualified for lack of control. (they are sticklers for ‘fair’)
- Realising that there is no value in Ethan and Isabelle winning overall (as the awarded magic will enable Isabelle to use magic so that they can both reach the Door), Ethan decides to aim for the blue outer circle and successfully lands there, which will likely put him in third place. Isabelle hits the bullseye again. Fafnir hits the red on his final shot.
- The crowd goes wild. Fafnir’s family is ecstatic. It then takes the giants two hours to set up an appropriate podium and award Isabelle with a gemstone bigger than she is. She recites an oath and the power from the gemstone transfers to her – she has won the gift of magic and she glows with the same light as the gemstone. Fafnir also accepts the gift of magic and glows. Ethan misses out as he is in third place.
- The giants celebrate. Small meals are prepared for Ethan and Isabelle. They take care preparing the delicate servings. After the meal, the giants sing and dance. Ethan and Isabelle join in. Isabelle remarks that Ethan seems to be in good spirits, and he says that it’s been a long time since he felt safe somewhere. He feels safe in this place. He thinks the Dragon Mark itself is suppressed in this place such that the hunters can’t find him here.
- In the cool of the evening, Ethan admits to Isabelle that he found a way to remove the Dragon Mark, but it won’t work for him. Weeks back, he found the city of Gau-Mang, a polluted heavy-industry world where life is cheap. He had a really bad feeling about this world, but he journeyed there because his Wayfinding told him that an answer could be found in that place. Ethan explains that there was an entity in control of the city. He never knew its name but he sought and was granted an audience with it. In return for knowledge, he agreed to do a service for the nameless entity once the Mark had been removed. The entity laughed and suggested that Umbra could be used to recreate him without the Mark….. something that Ethan knew to be true, but it would surely permanently destroy his mastery of Eidolon. Ethan admits that he has considered this solution but he thinks there would be a considerable cost – he doesn’t think he would be Ethan Powell anymore if he tried this.
- Isabelle reassures Ethan that they will find another way. She promises that many of the other Lords of Gossamer are trying to help even if he doesn’t see it. She tells him that he isn’t alone.
- The next morning as they make preparation to depart, Fafnir gives them a souvenir – a tiny sliver of wood which will serve as a bookmark. There are delicately engraved markings in the wood. Fafnir tells Ethan that it will bring him luck. He also tells Ethan and Isabelle to seek him out should they pass through again.
- Ethan and Isabelle leave the warded realm of the giants and enter a new section of Stair. There are many large Doors and many small Doors here. They know that the missing Warden is at least 2 years ahead of them. The next Door that they are trying to reach is about half a day away. Ethan re-establishes his Mental Invisibility spell and uses Divination to confirm that there is no pursuit for the time being.
- They resupply at a nearby realm. Isabelle comments that Lucien always found it rather convenient that so many Doors lead to a market or convenient resupply point. He never quite worked out why. They gather supplies in this pre-modern world, mostly fresh food but also some dried food from street vendors as well – and then continue their way.

Part 2 – Back on the Stair
- Two weeks pass. Ethan and Isabelle pass through many many worlds together. In each world Ethan must recast his Mental Invisibility spell and check for pursuit. There are some glimmers of danger from time to time, but they do not stay in any one place long enough to run into serious trouble. In one realm they encounter a military regime that seems intent on harvesting the vital organs of ‘undesirables’. In another they are waylaid by the corporate minions of the Akaromi Biotech company who take offense to their trespassing on Eridu. But the realms are not always unpleasant. After a four-day journey on the Stair, they are welcomed to ‘Starbase 114’ and given a place to rest and recover. The view from the windows of the nearby nebula are spectacular. During their stay, Isabelle asks Ethan how long he will keep ‘running’ like this. Ethan doesn’t answer her question, changing the topic and saying how much he enjoys her company. This pleases her and she drops the question for the time being.
- Two days later, they reach a mountainous world with lush greenery. It rains a lot here and the next Door will take days to reach. Isabelle decides that she needs a break and decides to depart. She promises to keep in touch, kissing Ethan goodbye and departing via an Icon. Ethan continues on alone.
- It doesn’t stop raining the entire time that Ethan is in this world. The destination Door is underground. Deep underground. It is cold and miserable in the tunnels and there is no food. After three wearing days Ethan finds the Door to exit the realm.
- Ethan cleans himself up and moves on. He reaches a realm which consists of a megastructure, built around a star. A race called the Kish, who are descendants of the advanced civilization that built the megastructure, now live in tribes within the structure. The Kish have never met an alien before and they welcome him. In fact, they are so pleased to see him that they really would prefer that he stay with them for some duration.
- It is during this stay that Ethan receives an Icon contact from Abigail (Abbie). It has been a long time since he’s spoken to her. She asked him previously to stay away. He’s pleased to hear from her but also wary. He knows he has a blind spot with regards to Abbie. He doesn’t think the Dragons have figured out to get to him via Abbie, but things may have changed.
- Abbie is pleased to talk to Ethan. She explains that she has found a place where she can talk to him without being overheard. Both Abbie and Ethan are concerned for each other. Abbie says that she is fine, but it has been very difficult. She explains that not all hope is lost. Some of the Lords of Gossamer have been making pointed comments about Ethan being singled out, expressing concern about the precedent that has been set. Even Lofwyr has listened and has conceded some points. She hopes that they can find a resolution.
- Abbie seems sad that they cannot talk more often. It’s obvious that she cares for Ethan but it’s also clear that she’s in a position where those feelings would put her in jeopardy if they were known. Lofwyr probably knows but for now, he isn’t saying anything. He’s probably the only one. Changing topic, Abbie says that Isabelle will be coming back to meet Ethan soon. She says that she and Isabelle talk a lot – and she promises that neither of them has forgotten about Ethan. They’re doing everything they can even if Ethan can’t see it. Ethan thanks Abbie and the contact ends.
- Ethan decides to leave the Kish and carry on. He doesn’t believe that it is possible to trace an Icon contact, but he doesn’t know what Dragons are capable of. He decides not to risk it.
- Continuing on with Mental Invisibility and heavy use of Divination to detect pursuit, Ethan continues to stay off-the-grid and remain undetected. He passes through goblin-controlled lands where the goblins have modern projectile weapons and body armour. Returning to the Stair, he travels onward to the land of Kesan, a desert kingdom of numerous sorcerous lords, each controlling a city or region near a water source. He is welcomed by Taira, one of the noble lords and invited to stay and rest. Ethan finds Taira a most gracious and eloquent host. It is during this time that he receives an Icon contact from Isabelle and is reunited with her. Isabelle is in a good mood. She also finds Taira to be very charming and is convinced to stay a few more days before they depart.

Part 3 – Finding the missing Warden
- Returning to the Stair, it is only a few more hours before they reach the destination Door. A simple rough wooden Door, but it is giant-sized. The door opens into a village with stone huts. There is magic here, but it is weak. There is nothing living in this village. Here and there lie giant skeletons, all that is left of the villagers. Exploring the village, they find an abandoned journal that indicates that there has been a plague here. Wayfinding suggests that the missing Warden of the Stair is not here.
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* Image by aw-landscapes on DeviantART
- For the next two days Ethan and Isabelle explore this world. They see wild animals, some of them of very large size, but no people. At least, no people alive. They do find many dead bodies in various states of decay. Some giants. Some ‘little people’ the same size as Ethan and Isabelle. This place also has a great deal of ‘magical turbulence’ – there are natural crystals here that leech ambient magical energy from the surrounding area. The Dragon Mark is dimmed here but he is still not completely safe. He uses Mental Invisibility here too. They enjoy the walk over the green-grassed hills, chatting away as they go.
- After some time, they find a township that still has people. They make contact and find that the missing Warden came through this place two years ago. He had the plague and was banished down-river to a ravine which is used as a quarantine. Sick people are sent down-river, but none come back. The locals know that people are still alive in the ravine (they can see them at a distance) and they send food and supplies down-river.
- In this place, Ethan and Isabelle find out more about the plague. It has ravaged these ‘Borderlands’ for many years. Few survive it, but those who do have trouble with their memories afterwards.
- Ethan agrees to go downriver to see if he can find the missing giant Warden. Isabelle stays behind because if the giant Warden was sick with the plague, then Isabelle might also get sick too. (it’s less likely for Ethan to get ill). Ethan goes downstream in a small boat and ends up in a ravine surrounded by crystals which suppress magic. Here, even Ethan’s defensive spells fail, and the Dragon Mark is likewise silent.
- The giants in the ravine are surprised to see him. They have a small settlement, multiple vegetable gardens and a stockpile of barrels from the village upstream. The first giant is almost totally blind and has multiple deformities as a result of surviving the plague. Ethan introduces himself as a healer and proceeds to cure the giants of the plague and their injuries, one by one. It takes time.
- At last Ethan finds the Son, the missing giant Warden. He can sense that the Son is a Warden but unfortunately the Son is disoriented and has lost his long-term memory. Ethan works to restore him, but this also takes time as the damage was done years ago. Ethan works a miracle (GM’s note – I got a +4 on the FATE Card draw) and before the next morning, the Son has remembered who he is. His name is Tarquin and he remembers everything. He wants to go home.
- Ethan contacts Isabelle via Icon and tells her the good news. He then leads the cured giants back to the nearby township to the jubilation of the people.

Part 4 – Tarquin’s Return
- It takes Ethan, Isabelle and Tarquin two weeks to leave the realm and to traverse the Stair back to the Door which leads to Fafnir’s world. Tarquin is very talkative, and he seems to have a great deal to say. He is like a chatty child. Ethan talks away and answers Tarquin’s many questions.
- They stop occasionally along the way. When they need a rest stop, Tarquin finds a world that suits him to rest in, and Ethan and Isabelle choose another. Then they resume their travels the next day.
- Returning to Fafnir’s world, the giants celebrate the quest and have a big party. Tarquin is encouraged to tell his story. Ethan and Isabelle dance as the giants sing and play oversized instruments. The party continues well into the evening.
- The next day, Isabelle says goodbye to Ethan (at least for the time being). Tarquin and Ethan carry on. Along the way Ethan explains to Tarquin about Icons and he makes one for his giant friend along the way and shows him how to use it.
- One notable stop on the way back to Tarquin’s homeworld is the realm of Imhotep, a world of red deserts and thin atmosphere. Ethan and Tarquin arrive in Outpost 2, a small settlement which is having trouble keeping the habitat systems operating. At first, they are not received well but Ethan makes a friend in the local sheriff (a man named Arain). Ethan offers to help with some of the failing systems in return for food and lodgings. Arain correctly assesses Ethan as a man ‘on the run’ and gives him the kind advice that he should not keep running forever or else he will always be looking over his shoulder. He suggests that sometimes it is best to face the music.
- Continuing on, Ethan contacts Grant via Icon. The conversation is amicable, and Grant reminds Ethan about the poker game.
- Arriving back at Tarquin’s realm, Isabelle re-joins them, and Tarquin is reunited with his mother. They do not stay long, however. Tarquin is keen to go and see more of the Stair – he, Ethan and Isabelle find another realm with lush gardens and flying ships overhead. After a while, Tarquin decides that he should return home before venturing out again. They part in friendship.
- Ethan and Isabelle talk about what to do next. They have recovered Isabelle’s missing device and there are no pressing issues (except for the fact that Ethan is still being hunted). Ethan remarks that he will remember Fafnir’s realm as that could be a useful place to rest and recharge. With the Dragon Mark suppressed there, it is truly a ‘safe place’ to rest.
- Isabelle suggests visiting a realm called Jolvir to watch some high-diving. The world is a low gravity moon where entertainers dive slowly into large bubbles of water for the enjoyment of the crowds.
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 220 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:34 am

Session 220 – Shadows over Ekul – Part 1 – 26th May 2020

- GM’s note: I’m rather fond of Gramel’s “Beasts and Barbarians” setting for Savage Worlds. It has a Conan feel to it. In fact I was so impressed by the setting that I wrote to the writer and asked them to send everything they had in print, and I have been steadily acquiring printed supplements via Noble Knight, Amazon etc. I have them all electronically but I wanted the printed materials. There are many great adventures available and there are two that are perfect for Grant and Ethan.

Hence this adventure is a flashback to an earlier stage where Ethan is not being hunted by Dragons.


Part 1 – A Prince’s Life

- This adventure finds Grant and Ethan in a realm where sorcery and magic is certainly possible, but it is typically only used by evil warlocks and demons – and hence is not something that Grant and Ethan would choose to do openly. They are in the city of Shan’Ammar, built by the mouth of the Ironshadow River in the southwestern part of Ekul. They find themselves carousing in the Repentant Blacksmith, one of the most ill-reputed taverns in Shan’Ammar, full of foreign mariners, scoundrels and assorted lowlifes.
- While Ethan relaxes at a booth along with a few trollops who are interested in fleecing him of the coin in his purse, Grant has earned the ire of a number of Lhoban sailors. Their champion, a tough guy named Dragon, is keen to crush Grant’s arm in an arm-wrestling competition and take the fat prize wallet on the table.
- People and cheer as Dragon and Grant lock arms. The Dragon is very tough, and in this realm, the difference between Grant and the natives is not as great as might be found in other realms – but after a few minutes (to make it look good), Grant slowly pushes the Dragon’s arm to the table. Grant is victorious.
- But the victory doesn’t last long. Someone shouts that Grant has cheated and pandemonium breaks out as everyone takes a side and multiple parties try to grab the prize wallet on the table. Grant is tackled by two of them and he throws them using a judo throw. One of them tries to break a chair over Grant’s head but he is kicked hard enough to put him out on the street. Ethan tries to flip over the table, only to have the women leap on him and try to steal his wallet in the confusion.
- Bang. Crash. Smash. One by one, Grant and Ethan proceed to lay waste to the tavern with fists, feet and anything handy. A heavy stool goes flying across the room, knocking Ethan down. One of the trollops leaps on him and cuts his purse-strings whilst another tries to sit on him to keep him busy. Ethan easily throws them off and grabs his purse before the girl can get away with it. Dragon tries to bearhug Grant but is thrown through the window out onto the street.
- Utter mayhem. And then there is suddenly silence. No one is left standing except for Grant and Ethan.
- The silence doesn’t last long as the town guard arrive. Or perhaps not the town guard. These soldiers are Ascaian Amazons – proud, athletic and totally bad-ass. Their leader, a raven-haired woman, stares at Grant and Ethan with cold eyes and decides to arrest them both. Ethan seems to be positively cheerful to be arrested but the Amazons do not share his enthusiasm.
- Figuring that it’s better to be arrested and escape later, Grant assents and the duo is led away. He is pretty sure that if they stick around that the lowlifes from the Repentant Blacksmith will have another crack at them.
- Instead of being taken to prison, Grant and Ethan are escorted to the palace, the residence of the Shah. The palace is very luxurious and heavily guarded. The guards are all Amazons. The Shah must be very rich to afford all of these mercenaries. The raven-haired Amazon leader tells them to wait in the antechamber and then they are introduced to the Shah’s right hand man, a fat fellow called Marduk.
- Marduk can hardly believe his eyes, and the two are quickly ushered into the presence of the Shah. There, Marduk makes it plain to Grant and Ethan that they have disturbed the peace of Shan’Ammar and should suffer months of hard labour for this crime. However, his Lordship, Ulesir Shah, Lord of Shan’Ammar is willing to pardon them should they accept a task.
- The task is simple. Grant is the spitting image of the Ulesir and he is tasked to impersonate the Shah. Marduk explains that the Shah has many enemies (including his half-brother Korras) and his father has organized for him to marry Karmella, the daughter of Tokarim, Lord of the city of Teluk’Ammar to the north. The marriage has been delayed because of unrest in the country and threats made to Ulesir’ life. But Tokarim has many soldiers and will send many once Ulesir is married to his daughter. Grant must head north, marry Karmella and bring back bride and soldiers.
- Ethan thinks better of laughing at the request and wonders how many Amazons will be travelling with them. Grant thinks for a moment and then accepts. Marduk looks relieved and promises that they will be well rewarded. He explains that Lord Ulesir is a very particular man and Marduk will come with them to instruct Grant on his lordship’s particular behaviours. When asked what role Ethan should play, Ethan decides that his ‘lordship’ will need a bodyguard.
- The next morning, they board an Amazon Hawkship called the Blue Arrow. To Ethan’s delight, all of the crew are Amazons, led by Anaea, the raven-haired leader who arrested them the previous night. They travel with Marduk, two servant boys (Tallo and Vallo) and Ulesir’s personal cook, Guatu. The ship is loaded with wedding presents for the bride.
- The first day at sea passes quietly. The ship is fast and the river placid. The Amazons are excellent oarswomen and they keep a very constant pace. Ethan gets the impression that the Amazons have absolutely no interest in him. The landscapes are pretty and dotted with thriving farming villages and it is a relaxing time for him.
- Meanwhile, Grant is learning from Lord Marduk all about Lord Ulesir. He has impeccable manners, behaves elegantly, speaks with a lordly tone and is very vain (he is proud of the fairness of his skin and normally sits under a parasol to avoid tanning). He likes poetry and arts, has little tolerance for alcohol and is a truly inept fighter. He is very chaste and would not know the first thing about girls.
- That evening as they leave the realm of Shan’Ammar, Marduk warns them that there may be trouble in the days to come. That evening, Lady Sophia contacts Grant via an Icon contact and he reassures her that all is well. Grant is in a perfumed bath and he casually explains that he’s impersonating a prince and is off to get married. She is momentarily off-balance but quickly recovers. (Sophia is unflappable) He explains the situation and she tells him to be careful.
- Moored mid-river to allow the Amazons to sleep overnight, Ethan relaxes on deck. He is curious by these militant women and goes to talk to Eurybia, the sentinel that is standing guard over them while they sleep. The conversation is short as she does not like being distracted. A few hours later, he finds her dead. Someone has slain her and he goes to raise the alarm.
- Meanwhile, Grant has been relaxing in his beautiful cabin enjoying one of Ulesir’s favoured liqueurs whilst resting on silken sheets and lush pillows. A dark figure arrives – the figure concentrates and Grant finds his limbs stiffening as if a spell is affecting him. He decides to bluff that it has him and the assassin climbs through the window and tries to stab him.
- At that moment the alarm goes off and Ethan is heard running for the door to his lordship’s cabin. Grant simply disarms the assassin with a judo-throw and subdues him. Ethan bursts in but the matter is in hand. The assassin has a tattoo on his body that marks him as a Keeper of the Black Flame, a group of monks who live in the Iron Mountains where they rule the Mountaineers (the local villagers). Marduk believes they support Korras who has threatened to kill Ulesir.
- The Amazons kill the assassin and throw his body overbought. Mourning their dead sister, Grant (as Ulesir) gives a stirring oration to mark Eurybia’s service and passing.
- The Blue Arrow carries on. The third day of travelling on the Ironshadow River, they are attacked from the nearby clifftops. Boulders are hurled from above, striking down Helene who was steering the ship. Ethan takes the helm whilst Anaea rallies the Amazons to row for safety. They escape the gorge but find themselves ambushed by two groups of Mountaineers in boats.
- The crew of the Blue Arrow attempt to fire the ship’s catapult but they find it too badly damaged from boulders overhead. Hence, they move to stand and fight. Concentrating, Grant uses Umbra in a subtle way on the approaching boat, causing it to capsize. The other boat reaches the Blue Arrow and there is a hand-to-hand fight. Ethan and the Amazons fight bravely and they quickly deal with the Mountaineers, capturing their leader, Gray Fox.
- Gray Fox confirms that Korras is now chief of all of the Mountain Tribes and there is a bounty to bring Ulesir to him alive. This is strange as Korras normally wants his brother dead, not alive.
- Of the Amazons, only Lybia has been badly hurt. Clete and Otrera have suffered minor wounds. Ethan explains that he is a healer and he tends to Lybia, much to the Amazons’ surprise. They are suspicious at first but he carefully bandages her wounds (and uses Eidolon very gently to speed her recovery).

Part 2 – A Troubled Wedding

- The Blue Arrow approaches the port of Teluk’Ammar on the fourth day. It is a walled city of average size surrounded by hills. There is a crowd of people waiting to welcome Ulesir on the docks.
- Grant is behaving more and more like Ulesir all of the time. Marduk is very impressed as he thought Grant and Ethan to be barbarians. However, Grant is very practiced at disguise and deception. He is rather enjoying this.
- A man named Jirro offers welcome and an escort to the palace – however the welcome doesn’t seem very friendly. Jirro offers horses to ride and Grant (as Ulesir) accepts. The men of Valk prize riding ability very highly and it is clearly a test of Lord Ulesir. A one-eyed servant of Jirro offers a horse named Cloud and he claims that it the ‘best in the stables’.
- However, the horse is quite deranged. At an inopportune moment when passing through the city streets, the barking of a dog causes the horse to bolt. The horse is clearly distressed, foaming at the mouth as it runs. Grant stays on the horse and tries to calm it. At last he does, and Ethan also catches up with Grant. It is obvious that the horse has been deliberately drugged. Ethan uses Eidolon to restore its health and Grant rides the noble animal to the palace without further incident. Grant thinks that Jirro is disappointed when he arrives.
- As Grant arrives at the palace, he gets a glimpse of the princess from the balcony. She turns away and does not want to meet him.
- Over the next four days, Marduk and Tokarim discuss details of the wedding. Grant meets the princess and she makes it clear that she is doing this because of loyalty to her father but this is not what she wants. Ulesir, Karmella and Tokarim go on a hunt together (with hawks). Ethan takes his bodyguard duty seriously – and he gets along well with Anaea as a result.
- At last there is the wedding feast. It is a great event with dancers, acrobats and storytellers. There is wine and food aplenty. However, Jirro decides to use the opportunity to insult Ulesir, mocking that he has women guarding him. There is laughter from the wedding party members. Ethan takes a stand and uses Jirro’s own words against him, joking that it is more prudent to have women guarding him than no women at all. Jirro then changes tact and praises Princess Karmella who can ride ‘like a man’, then toasts a man who will ‘never be able to ride like a woman’. It’s a clear insult meant for Ulesir.
- Again, Ethan intercedes and mocks Jirro for suggesting that his lordship could be such a man. But then he offers to match Jirro insult-for-insult, thus protecting Ulesir’s honour by deflecting him again. Jirro gets annoyed by this and challenges Ulesir’s courage directly to ‘play the Dance of Snakes’.
- This offends both Ulesir (Grant) and Ethan sufficiently that they have to accept. Jirro and some his men strip down to their waists and arm themselves. Baskets of snakes are brought in. A snake charmer will keep the snakes happy but when the charmer stops playing, the snakes will be freed from the baskets and attack the fighters.
- Jirro continues to insult Grant and Ethan as the formal duel is set up. As soon as the fight begins, Ethan throws his knife at Jirro’s comrade – killing him instantly. Jirro tries to knife Ulesir (Grant) but finds that this man can confidently handle a blade. Some of the snakes try to bite Ethan but he kicks any away that get too close and prevents anyone else from coming to Jirro’s aid.
- Grant scores a number of superficial wounds on Jirro before Lord Tokarim finds out about what is happening. He orders a halt to the fight and chastises Jirro, believing that Jirro has disgraced him. He tells Jirro to go to the Tenebar fort and begin renovations there with his men, effectively banishing him for the time being.
- Tokarim then looks after Ulesir (Grant) and makes sure that there is no other nonsense that would interrupt his daughter’s wedding. He explains that a man has arrived who is the personal envoy of King Eku of Ekul. This man is a holy man named Jimpah.
- The rest of the evening’s festivities go well. Some of the court ladies show interest in Ethan but he is still busy being a bodyguard and he doesn’t allow himself to be distracted. Late at night when everyone is asleep, Isabelle contacts him via Icon and he explains that Grant is going to get married. Isabelle laughs hard and asks if she can come and watch. They talk for a while and she promises to get dressed for the occasion.
- The next day the wedding ceremony begins at dawn. Grant (as Ulesir) and the Princess go through their separate preparation rituals. Finally, everything is ready and a solemn wedding is held at midday in the main hall of Tokarim’s Palace in front of the whole court.
- Ethan is dressed in finery. The Amazons’ armour is gleaming brightly. Isabelle attends in a dark blue dress but her face is concealed by a veil in keeping with the local traditions.
- Finally, the bride arrives. She is dressed and veiled in the most beautiful garments. However, Grant realises that this woman is not Karmella – she has the wrong colour eyes. He politely points this out to Karmella’s father, Lord Tokarim.
- Tokarim explodes with rage and draws his sword, intending to cut off the poor girl’s head right there and then. Grant (as Ulesir) stops him from doing this and the girl crumples, confessing immediately. The girl says that Princess Karmella fled last night. Ruman Gask, Jirro’s best friend (the one-eyed man who gave Grant the horse) came before dawn to take her to Jirro.
- Tokarim curses and commands his generals to summon his armies. He will march west to Tenebar fort and deal with Jirro!
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 220 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:36 am

Sorry folks for the delay in posting new session write-ups. It's been a busy year. We're still playing. Last session was 3rd December (Session 232) and we're starting to plan out the next story arc for 2021.

Things are going to change. We're about to move the storyline forward from the end of the Dragon Wars to a new era where Grant/Ethan are part of the elder generation.
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 221 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:54 am

Session 221 – Shadows over Ekul – Part 2 – 28th May 2020

- GM’s note: Ok, I’m months behind in the session writeups. So increasingly my updates will be shorter. This is the second part of the Beasts and Barbarians adventure, which has some Lords of Gossamer spin put into it.

Part 3 – The Enemy is Revealed

- Grant and Ethan march with Tokarim’s armies to Tenebar fort and deal with Jirro. Upon arrival, they find Jirro’s men rebuilding the fort’s defences but it is a long way from being complete. Tokarim isn’t interested in parlaying, and Grant (as Shah Ulesir) volunteers to lead a sneak attack to open and hold the gate as a prelude to Tokarim’s assault.
- Anaea, the commander of the Amazons, has been watching Grant and Ethan carefully. She agrees to send some of her best with them. Painted up for battle, they climb the eastern walls and take the battlements, and then the gate. Jirro’s men are alerted and they try to retake the gate but Grant, Ethan and the Amazons prevent that. Meanwhile Solembar, Tokarim’s general, leads a cavalry attack against the men camped outside the fort, routing them and then attacking through the open gate into the fort itself.
- The battle is over in twenty minutes. One of the Amazons has been hit by a bow-shot but otherwise Grant, Ethan and the Amazons have held their position without injury.
- Jirro is dragged out to face the wrath of Tokarim, but he pleads ignorance. He did as he was told and he took his men to Tenebar and began rebuilding the defences as instructed. He has no knowledge of where Karmella is.
- A messenger arrives. He carries a message from Korras, Ulesir’s half-brother, who claims to have her. (Ruman Gask stole her out of the city and Jirro unfortunately got the blame) At this new, Tokarim has a seizure and collapses. His men take him away and Ethan’s offers to help (as a healer) are rebuffed.
- Confined to a tent, Grant, Ethan and Marduk are effectively held as prisoners until such time as Tokarim recovers. As they make plans as to what to do next, Anaea brings the monk Jimpah into the tent who has an idea – they should escape and recover Karmella themselves.
- Leaving Marduk behind to explain where they have gone, the others slip away with the help of the Amazons. Following the instructions given to them by the messenger, they head to Rusty Lake in order to hand over Ulesir in chains.
- An ambush is set up and when a group of ruffians arrive with a hooded woman to make the exchange, Ethan and the Amazons pick them off. Grant (Ulesir) shrugs off the chains and attacks the leader, Ruman Gask, who undergoes a startling transformation as he seems to channel Umbral power and begins Gaunt-like, shrugging off a number of Grant’s blows before finally he is felled.
- However, their prisoner is not Karmella. It’s another double – this woman named Tamira. She has a passing resemblance to Karmella and has been dressed to look like her. She tells the story as to how she was kidnapped by Korras’ men months ago and has been kept captive in the Monastery of Shadows since. She doesn’t know the way there as she was blindfolded most of the way but says that there is a set of hidden stairs cut into the rocks behind the lake which ascend to a point where there are two men waiting. Her blindfold was removed at the top so that she could safely descend the steep steps.
- Grant and Ethan ascend the steps and surprise the guards there. They get directions to the Monastery of Shadows from the guards and decide to head there immediately.

Part 4 – The Monastery of Shadows
- They travel for hours in the high peaks of the Iron Mountains, eventually reaching a fortified village. The gate is heavily guarded. However there is a sheer cliff that looks climbable – for Grant and Ethan. Reminded of their climb of the glass mountain (GM’s note – way back in Session 44), they rope themselves together and make the climb. They are covered in war paint as they are expecting a fight.
- Climbing by this route, they avoid the gate and guards and reach the monastery directly. Slipping through one of the openings, they start making their way through the rooms, one by one. They find a library where the ‘writing’ is in knots of rope made from human hair. They ambush a group of six guards and quickly deal with them. They pass through an enchanted door which can only be opened via a riddle. They find a torture chamber on a lower level and find one of Jimpah’s fellow monks barely alive – he has been badly tortured. Even Ethan can’t save him.
- As they make their way through the darkness, Grant receives an Icon contact from Lucien for a chat.
- They run across two acolytes and Grant captures one of them named Jinzu. Jinzu leads them to Karmella who seems to be asleep and trapped in a nightmare. Two hounds that have been infused with Umbral energy need to be dealt with before she can be rescued. Unfortunately, freeing Karmella sets off an alarm and the group tries to make a fighting retreat but is forced into another chamber.
- In this chamber, Korras faces the man that he thinks is his hated half-brother. He begins monologuing that he will feed Ulesir to the Black Flame (which clearly has a link to the Greater Power of Umbra) to reinvigorate it. There is a prophecy that the Divided Man will restore the flame.
- A large number of acolytes in the balconies are chanting a ritual and the black flame on the altar leaps higher. Guards leap forward to restrain Grant, Ethan and the Amazons but they quickly swing into action. Grant punches Korras in the face, breaking his nose. Ethan is seized by two superstrong Umbra-infused guards and the Amazons try to bow down everyone they can. The battle is bloody but between them, they manage to disrupt the ritual – a ritual which has clearly been misunderstood as the Acolytes wanted to sacrifice both Ulesir and Korras to the flame (ie: the Divided Man prophecy referred to both of them). However they have not counted on the fact that Grant is not Ulesir, and Grant is also an Umbra Master. While the others fight for their lives, Grant uses Umbra Mastery to disrupt the ritual, cursing all of the surviving acolytes in the monastery with permanent blindness.
- In the confusion, Grant, Ethan, the Amazons and Karmella flee the Monastery of the Black Flame and return to Tokarim’s encampment (with blind Korras as their prisoner). A wounded Anaea is healed by Ethan. Karmella seems happy to talk to Grant now that she has been rescued and she knows that she will not be married to him. Marduk gives Grant and Ethan a heavy purse for their services and suggests that they be on their way before the real Ulesir arrives. He thanks them and wishes them well.
- The monk Jimpah also says a fond farewell and promises that their paths will cross again ‘should the gods wish it’.
- The Amazons meet with Grant before he leaves. Anaea says that Grant has the bearing of a Lord and King, and she says that her Amazons would follow him should he wish it. Flattered, Grant thanks her (as it is a true mark of respect) and he promises that he will return.
- Grant and Ethan walk off together back to Teluk’Ammar where Grant plans to open a Door and return to the Stair.
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 222 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:44 am

Session 222 – Burying the Hatchet – 4th June 2020

- GM’s note: And now we get back to the present plotline – Ethan is Dragon Marked and is being hunted.

Given time constraints, I’m going to keep these updates shorter than previous. I’ve fallen behind and this is my way of making sure that I can catch up.


Part 1 – Bad Advice

- Ethan finds himself in the city of Gau-Mang, a polluted world with heavy industry, heavy mining and few local laws. Life is cheap here. Despite having a very bad feeling about this place, there is an entity called Desslyth here who apparently has information about how to remove a Dragon Mark.
- The creature called Desslyth is a tentacled monster that dwells out of the public eye. He has the knowledge and is willing to trade it to Ethan for a ‘favour’. A bargain is struck and Desslyth gives Ethan the information that a Dragon Mark cannot be removed unless the marked is ‘unmade’ via Umbra. This knowledge is useless for an Eidolon Master because it would either mean his destruction or the loss of his powers.
- Ethan leaves the city with the laughter of the alien creature ringing in his ears.

Part 2 – Arranging a Meet
- In the back alleys of the Agora, Ethan plays chess with a heavily armoured alien warrior with dark red skin called Marrus. They sit on seats made from old barrels and move pieces of bone across a wooden table that looks as if it is hundreds of years old. The sounds of the markets are far away from the players as they indulge in a game of skill. Marrus knows that Ethan is Dragon Marked and is a little tense. Ethan is also a little distracted. He is waiting to hear whether the Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik’s sentient cloak, Artemis, has a message for him.
- Ethan has reached out to the Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik, his old nemesis, and is trying to reach some sort of arrangement.
- A kid arrives with a green token. It seems that the Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik has accepted Ethan’s offer for a meet. Ethan calmly finishes the game with Marrus and departs.

Part 3 – A New Understanding
- They meet in a low-tech world, perhaps around 800AD. There is little or no magic here and there are many racial groups here – humans of different races, plus Pahtra (feline-looking), Trolls, Ikeshti (reptilemen). It seems to be some sort of Trading Post – a permanent marketplace. There is only one Door here.
- Ethan senses the arrival of another Warden. The individual sends Artemis out to scout ahead then when he is comfortable, the Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik, clad in heavy armour, strides over and joins Ethan at a table.
- A conversation ensues. It is cordial. An exchange of ideas.
- They talk about what the Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik wants. He wants to prevent the Dwimmerlaik empire from reform as it was. He wants to see a new and vibrant culture, not something that just conquers and seeks to supplant others. Without the new, there is no change and the Empire has become stagnant. He says that the Empress is not the same person that she was because she carries an amulet that is a phylactery of all of the souls of the past Emperors – they are reinforcing the status quo – and that will ultimately be the death of his people unless they change. He believes that breaking up the Empire is the only way to save it.
- The Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik also warns that something is coming. Wardens don’t appear at the rate that they have done so, nor do they become as powerful as Grant and Ethan have without there being a very real threat. The Stair has done this before in times of great crisis so the Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik concludes that something is coming. It may be years away, but something is coming. He fears for an Empire that cannot adapt and the Empress will not listen while she carries the amulet of her ancestors.
- The conversation turns to whether the Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik has any advice for him and he sanguinely points out that Dragons have long memories and they will never stop hunting him. The Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik tells him to listen to Hilda if he wants to stay alive. The Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik tells Ethan that the Dragon Mark is an Invocation.
- The Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik makes a remark that sounds like an apology without actually saying it, suggesting that things may be different between them in the future between them. He doesn’t know how to remove the Dragon Mark but he says that all Invocation rituals need someone to lead them, so one of the Dragons must have led that ritual. Knowing which of them might yield some clues as to how to remove it.
- Both Ethan and the Red-Eyed Dwimmerlaik sense that they’ve lingered too long and danger is drawing near. They decide to part, but not before he passes his Icon to Ethan (in the form of a stone enamel disk).
- Ethan contacts Isabelle via Icon and leaves promptly before pursuit can arrive.

Part 4 – Ethan and Hilda
- Ethan finds himself in Isabelle’s clockwork house. Hilda is there and she eagerly hugs him. She wants to show him a picture that she drew – it is of a single yellow rose in a vase, and the moon above has red eyes with a tear dripping from it. It is spooky how she can sense connections to the Red Eyed Dwimmerlaik.
- Ethan feels safe enough in Isabelle’s house to stay a little while. He spends time doing normal family stuff and trying to carry on as normal. When he has a few minutes alone, he does some Divination spells and concludes that he is not in immediate danger and the Dragons do not know where he is, for now.
Image
- After helping Hilda to bed and reading her stories, Isabelle asks Ethan how he is coping. He tells her that the Dragon Mark is some sort of Invocation and he asks for her help to break it. He wonders if killing the caster would break the Mark.
- To his surprise, Hilda hasn’t gone to sleep. She walks in at that point and says that she just had a dream about a blue meany that was protecting her as the grey wizard couldn’t help anymore. This makes no sense to Ethan and he reassures her and takes her back to bed.
- Back to an adult conversation, Isabelle says that identifying the originator of the Invocation is important in order to break it – and the Dragons would certainly know that. She suggests that Abbie (Abigail) might be able to find that out.
- Isabelle is clearly concerned about Ethan. She asks how he is coping and he promises not to stay too long and keep moving. Even more worried based on his response, she tells him to rest and get some sleep and she will keep watch. She promises to keep both him and Hilda safe. Ethan accepts her offer, tells her that he loves her and kisses her goodnight.
- The next day they talk further. Ethan wonders if the Dragon Mark will be ended if the target ‘dies’ – for example if Ethan were to die and be resuscitated. Isabelle says that this wouldn’t work as Invocation is linked to the Name. Even if the target came back to life, they would have the same name. Hiding the name wouldn’t work either and changing his name now might not even remove it.
- Ethan thinks through his options. Isabelle offers him some tea and promises to stick with him. They’ll work it out – somehow.
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 223 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:01 am

Session 223 – Clues to the Mark – 11th June 2020

- GM’s note: This session contains two separate adventures, both set during the period where Ethan is dragon-marked and being hunted. Despite being pursued, he is continuing to investigate the Dragon Mark and how it was created. He hopes that by learning more about it than he will find a way to remove it.

Part 1 – Wards like the Dragon Mark

- Ethan is tired of being hunted and he is running out of ideas. He was hoping that the Forbidden Library would have more information but it hasn’t yielded anything solid. It is only a matter of time before they go after people that he knows in order to get to him. A group of assassins has already tried to hit Grant. Ethan and Isabelle meet with Grimples in Grimples’ test lab. The Cat has prepared three body suits, each warded and runed. There is one for Ethan, one Isabelle and one for Macavity. They need the suits to explore a realm which has no magic and major powers such as Eidolon are unreliable. The atmosphere is caustic.
- The realm in question used to be populated by an amphibious race whose skin layers provided protection from the environment. They were very advanced and were allies of the Draconian Empire. Quite suddenly they went dark and were apparently wiped out. But their magic was very similar to Draconian magic, and the suggestion is that there may be something can be learned from what is presumably a dead realm. It is even possible that the current Dragon Mark spell was based on this realm’s magic. The suits that Grimples has fashioned should last roughly 18 hours.
- The realm in question can’t be accessed directly. They need to access it via a gate in another realm. They reach this intermediary realm from the Grand Stair. The Door hasn’t been used in a long time. There is no sign of a trap or ambush. Ethan’s spells make it difficult for most to track him, but it has been done before.
- Heading through the Door, Ethan recloaks the group and establishes a teleportation marker near the exit. They have exited from a door which is part of a low shack built into the base of a rock face. The pebbly beach is cold and there is a clinging mist.
- Ethan follows his nose (ie: Wayfinding) and follows the shoreline until he reaches a point where natural rocks jut out from a stone circle. There is a carved obelisk here. Waves could reach this place at high tide but not now. Ethan takes time to identify the waystone which opens the path to the gate. The gate requires two pairs of hands to activate the ritual. Speaking the ancient tongue, Ethan and Isabelle complete the spell and rocks rise out from the sea like massive stepping stones. A wind picks up and divides the mist.
- On the final stepping stone is the gate to the target realm. A doorway with no door, appearing as a heat haze in the shape of a door. The three step through and find themselves elsewhere.
- They are in a park, on a raised platform which has half a dozen heat haze gateways. There are thick succulents underfoot – it is all overgrown.
- The architecture around them is unusual. The skyscrapers have slopes to them. Sloping domes. There are no square windows. Arcs and curves are used everywhere.
- Exiting the platform, they figure that their arrival location used to be some sort of public transport station. Ethan tries to recloak them but finds that it doesn’t work here – hence it will be only a matter of time before pursuit finds them here.
- Their destination is the hall of rituals. They hurry. They can hear something moving in the city – they are not alone here. With Macavity in the lead, they search the hall as quickly as they can, laying their hands on a manual which they hope will help them. By this point, Ethan is almost certain that the hunters are closing in. He can feel it. Worse, Icons won’t work here while the realm is in flux, undergoing an ‘Umbral Cycle’.
- Fleeing what now appears to be a tide of twisted and corrupted amphibians, the group is forced to go to higher ground and buy time. They fight a running battle as they move higher and higher up the structure. Given that the hall of rituals is a relatively low structure, they quickly run out of room to retreat and find themselves fighting for their lives. Macavity’s spells fizzle due to Umbral interference, forcing Ethan to scoop him up and beat a hasty retreat. He covers for Isabelle until she is able to contact Grimples via Icon and then they flee the realm.
- Back in Grimples’ laboratory, Ethan comments grimly that he hopes the book was worth it. Handing it to Isabelle for study, he confirms with Divination that there were hunters in pursuit in the realm that they just left. Given that the amphibious race had clearly degenerated and gone mad, Ethan speculates that the hunters may not have survived.
- Ethan and the others scatter.
- A day later Isabelle contacts Ethan by Icon. She has been through the book and studied a ritual that is very similar to the Dragon Mark. It works on the same principal as the Dragon Mark by leaving a stain on the target which is then easily traceable. Isabelle speculates that the Draconian version of this spell uses Sorcery, Invocation and Wrighting. She has some ideas as to how to weaken the Mark further.
- Ethan thanks her and prepares to cut the contact but Isabelle suggests that they meet and have dinner. Ethan doesn’t like to linger in one place for too long but he agrees. They meet in a high-tech realm locked in eternal winter. Watching the snow fall outside the window, she tells Ethan that even though it may not look like it, progress is being made. The other Lords of Gossamer are trying to change things even if they don’t agree on methods. For example, she mentions that Grant and Drake have recently disagreed strongly. What is making things difficult is that there are tensions between the Dragons. It’s almost as if they are on the precipice of war. The tension between them seems to almost be boiling over, and Grant has been fanning the flames. He figures that if the Dragons do go to War, it might change things as they will be more interesting fighting one another than hunting him.
- Isabelle explains that she doesn’t want to give Ethan false hope, but she tells him that there are others who are fighting for him, even if he doesn’t see it. With that, she passes him a letter. It is a short letter from Abbie, who has clearly taken an enormous risk in passing him correspondence like this. In her letter she tells him to be careful and that this will not last forever. She wishes him well, and signs it ‘Abigail’.

Part 2 – Primitive Culture

- This adventure starts ‘in media res’ with Ethan running up the side of a ziggurat with a small army of offended worshippers chasing him with spears. The high priest is about to sacrifice a woman that he needs to decode a stone tablet that he hopes will give him some clues as to how to deal with the Dragon Mark. It is after dark and the ziggurat is lit by many torches.
Image
* Image sourced from Google Images
- This is a low magic realm. Magic is possible but it takes a long time to acquire the energy to make a spell work. The Dragon Mark simply doesn’t work here at all – it seems to be completely suppressed.
- He bolts to the top and upon reaching it, he tries to use his favourite Cantrip on the high priest: a Sleep spell. The tanned fellow who is decorated in glittering metallic robes seems a little unsettled by this but he doesn’t fall asleep. Ethan’s favourite spell doesn’t work.
- Grabbing a spear, Ethan hurls it at the high priest to make him duck and think twice about stabbing his helpless sacrifice. Unfortunately, Ethan’s aim is quite good and it strikes the high priest hard. A glancing blow from Ethan is still enough to throw a normal man off his feet.
- Ethan starts cutting the woman free. She is glassy-eyed, evidently drugged. Guards rush him but he manages to sling her over his shoulder and make a run for it.
- As three moons come into alignment above, a beam of light hits the open stone where the sacrifice should be. The guards look terrified as the light fills up a small bowl with what looks like liquid magic and the ziggurat begins to tremble.
- Running like hell, Ethan notices that everyone is passes is very frightened – clearly nothing like this has ever happened before.
- Bounding away from the structure as there is a sudden tremor and the ziggurat shakes and is split by a sharp crack, Ethan doesn’t wait to see what happens – he runs into the jungle to make an escape.
- He runs for a few miles, climbing out of the valley before stopping to rest. The temple that he has fled from hasn’t fallen – it looks just as it did before but clearly he has done something to the ritual which has resulted in physical damage to the structure.
- Ethan knows that his magic will work better at dawn but at night-time it is badly suppressed. The Door is many hours’ journey away but at dawn he should be able to use a Teleport spell to return to a Mark that he laid earlier.
- After a while, the woman hits him and tells him to put her down. She has woken from her drugged state and has recovered some of her wits. The woman’s name is Eztli and she claims to be the daughter of a local chief, but her village was burnt and she was dragged away as an honoured sacrifice. Ethan asks if she can read the stone tablet and she confirms that she can. She believes that her people have been destroyed and she thought she was going to be killed to. She is curious about the pale-skinned Ethan and surprised that he can speak her language. Dark-skinned and dark-eyed, she looks nothing like Ethan. She is still dressed in clothes that she was to be sacrificed in.
- They decide to rest at a set of ruins only a few miles away. The place is supposedly haunted which Ethan considers fortuitous. Eztli allows Ethan to carry her again and he covers the ground swiftly.
- Ethan is pleased to find that there is a water source amongst the ruins. He also senses some sort of presence here – it is powerful but not dangerous. It feels indifferent to him.
- Eztli has suffered some minor injuries being carried through the jungle at speed. Ethan heals her wounds and she is amazed. She thinks he is a god as he has the ‘power of the ancients’. Prostrating herself humbly, she thanks ‘the god’ for her life and asks how she can be of service. Ethan offers to find her some food but asks if she can translate the runes on a stone tablet (that he cannot read).
- Working by moonlight, Eztli gets to work at once. She is uncomfortable in this haunted place but ‘her god’ promises that she will be safe.
- Meanwhile, Ethan goes to look around – he finds that there are similar runes on the ruins here. He returns with some edible berries and plants for her to eat.
- Eztli explains that the stone tablet describes a ritual, a method of displacing powerful marking magic from one place to another. In this realm, they are referring to spiritual tattoos but Ethan quickly figures out that there is an application for the Dragon Mark – perhaps a template as to how to shift the Mark to another target.
- Just before dawn, a group of tribesmen who look like they belong to the same tribe that was going to sacrifice Eztli are spotted approaching the haunted ruins. They clearly don’t want to approach but they have followed tracks leading to it. Ethan can feel the presence within the ruins stirring.
- Thinking quickly, Ethan decides to pick off a tribesman with a rock. He throws a stone with supernatural force, killing one of them. The tribesmen look alarmed and look for another approach. Ethan fells another one and they withdraw.
- Dawn arrives. Ethan and Eztli leave the ruins and he feels the presence giving him sort of farewell. It recognised him as a Warden.
- With the sun rising higher, Ethan is able to manage a Teleport back to the Door. Back on the Stair, he uses an Icon to contact Isabelle. Back in her clockwork home, an awestruck Eztli is introduced to Isabelle (another god!) and Isabelle promises to look after her. Ethan explains that there are some clues in the tablet which give him ideas to explore.
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 224 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:50 am

Session 224 – Duskwall Adventures – 9th July 2020

- GM’s note: This session was an example of a good idea that misfired and needed a recovery. I had discovered Blades In the Dark (by Evil Hat Productions) and had fallen in love with the Magpies Podcast. I ran a one shot for a group of local Canberra-based friends and decided that this was indeed awesome. I then started a campaign of Blades in the Dark (you can find the writeups here on the Blades in the Dark Community site). That campaign, as of writing this post, is now in its 2nd Season.

Anyway, I decided that I wanted to introduce Blades in the Dark to David (who plays Grant). A dark industrial setting was a perfect setting for Grant to ply his sneaky skills.

But how to avoid making him uber-powerful? Well, I decided that in this realm (of Duskwall), the difference between the average scoundrel and a ranked Lord of Gossamer was much less than elsewhere. It meant that, for the first time ever, Grant would be challenged by the locals. He was stronger and tougher, but the difference was not as great.

And….. David hated it.

I couldn’t believe it. This was such a perfect setting.

But perhaps I forgot something important about David. David likes playing the superhero characters who are more powerful than everyone else around them. Take away some of Grant’s powers and put him into a rich setting which he was unfamiliar with and …. It just didn’t work. Also, sometimes we are tired in the evenings and he just wanted something simple, not something where he needed to navigate a complex world.

So we ran the first session on 9th July 2020. It went ker-splat.

I think it was also a bit of LoG&S fatigue on both our parts. We’ve been at this for eight years! So we decide to flashback in Session 225 to Tachyon Squadron and then come back to it.

I ran the conclusion to the Duskwall adventure on 25th September. This time it worked better and we concluded the adventure.

Meanwhile, my local gaming group is playing both Blades in the Dark and Scum and Villainy (two different campaigns). I love the system, but it’s just not geared for ranked Lords of Gossamer.

Anyway, on with the tale….. this is both parts so at least it seems semi-coherent.


Part 1 – Duskwall Blues

- The realm of Duskwall is relatively close to the Agora. It was a heavily used realm during the Great War, before the Cataclysm which broke the gates of death and plunged the world into almost eternal night. However, the realm of Duskwall is still frequented by many individuals of power because it contains relics of an earlier era, and because it is a good place to hide. Wayfinding doesn’t work very well in this realm.
Image
* Image sourced from Google Images
- Isabelle, Cal, Jessamyn and Grant have come to Duskwall and are staying at the Leaky Bucket on Cinder Street. The Dragon Lords are up to something here – they are searching for something and the Lords of Gossamer want to beat them to it. The Dragon Lord Arcades is here in person, shapeshifted into another form. The Dragon Lord Asmadi has sent a servant – Baird.
- Duskwall is a dark, industrialised city and a spooky place to visit. Isabelle has been here before – she spent a lot of time here. She has a doppleganger here named Lyssa. They look very similar except that Lyssa wears an eyepatch. Lyssa leads one of the gangs in Crow’s Foot. Mistaking Isabelle for Lyssa, a group of Lampblacks ambushes Grant and Isabelle, leading to a knife fight. There are eight of them against the two Lords of Gossamer and it is a hard fight. One even scores a knife wound against Grant before Grant dispatches him.
- Cal and Jessamyn try to follow Baird to figure out what he might be up to. They follow him to Nightmarket and a number of stores that sell spiritual relics. They assume that he is after some sort of relic here that would be worthy of a dragon’s interest.
- By this time, Grant has realized that there is a ghost field here that he can peer into which shows a spiritual and ghostly overlay as to what is currently present, and also what has been. He finds this intriguing. He knows that Ethan has been able to pick up afterimages from objects (psychometry) but it is the first time that he has been able to do it so easily.
- Cal thinks that he has identified that there are items of interest at Mordis’ place so the Lords of Gossamer stage a heist. Grant plays the role of backup. Rather than steal the items, they use sorcerous marks on them to figure out what Baird may be after.
- Hearing bells in the distance, Grant takes to the air in crow-form and goes to look for what the noise is all about. It is not the famed Deathbells that he has heard of but some sort of police warning system. He arrives in Six Towers and finds a number of Bluecoats on the ground, singed and injured. Reinforcements are arriving. It looks like there has been a robbery and the house in question is heavily warded. Taking an interest, Grant listens in and finds that there was a crew of four who got away with a trunk. He notes the arrival of the Spirit Wardens, a group of protectors who hunt down and destroy rogue ghosts, and he decides to investigate further.
- Looking into the ghost field, he finds recent afterimages as to who has been here. He recognizes Shimrod by his golden face mask – he has not seen him in an age but Grant has heard that he has been working for one of the Dragons. Shimrod and three other men left in a goat-drawn carriage with the trunk onboard.
- He decides to tail Shimrod and he follows him back to a mansion in Crow’s Foot, the residence of the Red Sashes, a powerful Iruvian gang.
- Investigating further, Grant figures out that the house in question belonged to the Spirit Wardens and that Shimrod has stolen something that can used to protect the wearer from or repel ghosts.

Part 2 – Duskwall Blues
- Months pass and Grant has been busy. There seems to be a lot of players here and the various powers have been very active here. Grant finds Duskwall challenging – he is having to work much harder here than he usually does. Wayfinding barely works here. His Umbra Mastery works, but it also has some unusual side-benefits – he is able to look into the ghost field here and see much with clarity. But this is a broken realm, shattered by the Cataclysm that happened hundreds of years ago.
- Shimrod has been stealing equipment. Isabelle has been pining over Bardal, an old lover who has spent the last few years in Ironhook prison. Grant helps with a breakout which goes very badly. Isabelle receives a deep stab-wound (she is mistaken for Lyssa) and they end up being trapped in the prison. They escape, but Bardal doesn’t get out alive. This seems to make Isabelle even more gloomy.
- Cal and Jessamyn seem fascinated with this place due to the number of powerful relics that they uncover here in the city and beyond the city limits in the Deathlands. However, Grant grows frustrated with the progress as them both as they seem more interested in antiquities than in doing something which will help Ethan. He also notes the change in Isabelle – she is clearly unhappy to be in this place. They both know that there is something here that the Dragons want but they can’t figure out what it is.
- It is only when Grant slays a demon that has been hiding here since the Great War that he finds gains a clue.
- Ethan killed Nicol Bolas, but Bolas was not the first Dragon Lord to have been slain. Bolas had a brother, Ugin, whom he hated. They find evidence that Bolas slew his brother in this realm – and this fascinates Grant. This must be what the other Dragons are after. It is increasingly likely that they are about to go to war, so they are seeking information as to how Bolas killed his brother.
- There is a place where the Imperium keeps a relics and books that are too dangerous to be destroyed; where ancient ghosts are kept rather than being eliminated by the Spirit Wardens. It is called the Archive of Echoes.
- The team figure out where the Archive of Echoes is in Brightstone and they stage a break-in.
- What then follows is a textbook Grant infiltration – something that he is very practiced in and exceptionally good at. He takes his time, evades the guards, has to disable one, and locates the central catalogue (a huge tomb which is chained to a desk). There are many things related to Ugin here and he goes in search of them.
- One by one, he acquires the items, bypassing arcane wards, dealing with more guards all while time passes and the risk of discovery becomes greater. At last he breaks into one of the ghost vaults, opening a door covered with runes. Inside the dark room, he finds a glowing spirit jar (one amongst many) that is under a heavy cage. He swaps the spirit jar for another containing a mundane spirit and then sneaks away.
- He also picks up other items of Ugin and a few items of curiosity before he makes his escape.
- Returning to the others, they quickly decide to leave Duskwall and examine what Grant has found in a place of safety and security. After establishing many protective wards, they open the spirit jar and the ghostly form of the Dragon Lord Ugin appears (it is small, about two thirds the size of a man). He has been expecting Grant.
Image
* Image sourced from Google Images but this is Ugin, one of the Dragon Lords created by Wizards of the Coast

- GM’s note: The point of this is that Grant is able to learn from Ugin how he was slain, and how a dragon can be permanently killed. (This is a difficult thing. It is very very hard to kill a True Dragon, an almost impossible to kill a Dragon Lord)

After running the session on 9th June (and finding that it didn't work), we then decided to go back and continue the Flashback adventures back in the Tachyon Squadron universe, carrying on after Session 216. We felt that after 8 years of Lords of Gossamer, and months of lockdown from Covid-19 (which was particularly bad in Melbourne, where David is), we had lost our groove and needed to do something fresh before continuing and concluding the 'Hunt Ethan' plot line.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 225 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:35 am

Session 225 – Return to Tachyon Squadron Part 1 – 24th July 2020

- GM’s note: After Session 224 we felt that we’d lost our groove. David didn’t know how to conclude the ‘Hunt Ethan’ plotline and we’d had enough of lockdown to know that we needed something fresh. Something nice and easy to play.

So we decided to return (for three Sessions) back to the Tachyon Squadron universe where much younger PCs are still finding their feet. We really like this setting.

Hence this session continues straight on from Session 216. They’ve just graduated – Grant (aka “Deadeye”) has five days and Ethan (aka “Chance”) has six days of shore leave.


Part 1 – Returning Home
- Grant and Ethan decide to stay in a hotel after their graduation to rest and recover from the day’s ‘high’. The next day, they check out and head for the Door that leads back onto the Stair. It’s only 40 mins walk back to the Door leading back to Earth (Realm 0). They carry all of their stuff with them, arrive back safely and dump their duffel bags inside the Door of Westgate Manor.
- Even though they’ve been away for months, nothing has changed. (note that this series of adventures pre-dates the cats and ravens so they are not there). There is some mail in the mailbox. The milk is out of date and there is no food in the house. The house is cold and it is 8am in the morning.
- Feeling good, Grant and Ethan decide to walk into Fiveways and go shopping. It is even colder outside but it feels good to be home. Arriving, Ethan prioritises a lot of batteries for his Walkman and some AV cables, however he notes that his account is almost out of money. Grant suggests that they get a bite to eat and they stop for brunch at the Tipsy Elephant. Looking over today’s newspaper, they find that things seem much the same as when they left – nothing really notable has happened and things seem much less complicated than on Draconis.
- They head back with heavy shopping. The sun is higher and the temperature is warmer but the journey feels longer and both start to feel a little tired. When they get back they put away the shopping and make some fresh tea which reinvigorates them.
- Sitting in the front room, they eagerly discuss what to take back to Draconis and what they should do before they report for their next assignment. They make a list but decide to sleep on it.
- The next day they fry up bacon and eggs for breakfast and start making the most of their R&R. Ethan misses the colour ‘green’ when he is in space – he wants something ‘green’ to remind him of England. Grant wants to take some artwork with him. They pick items that are special, some keepsakes, and chuck in a football (soccer ball), cricket bat, stumps and a ball.
- Ethan makes mention that he would like some more music before heading back but he doesn’t have the money to do that. Grant is not in much of a better situation – they are running out of funds here on Earth.

Part 2 – Venturing Forth
- They decide to go back to the treasure cave that they discovered early on. Opening the Door is more difficult than they expected and as soon as they open it a crack, a mass of gold coins pours out and they have difficult closing it. This is not how they remember things, but they fill their backpacks regardless. Singing Abba’s “Money Money Money”, the two merrily head back to Westgate to stash the majority of the coins, and then head out once more with lighter purses.
- Ethan takes lead and goes to find a Door where they can have some fun. He finds a weathered wooden Door and opens it. On the other side is lovely sunshine. They step into a medieval marketplace where everyone is dressed in bright colours. There are musicians playing and the local people seem to be in a good mood.
- Judging that they don’t really ‘fit in’, they decide to spend some of their coins to buy different clothes, and then mingle, trying foods here and there. It is a festival of some kind, and they just enjoy the spectacle. The quality of the ale isn’t very good by modern standards but it is wet, and it is strong.
- After a few hours, the commoners go to watch some nobles fighting in mock battles. It is difficult to see over the many people watching the spectacle, but Grant and Ethan enjoy what they can see of the event.
- As the day wears on, the pouch of gold that Ethan is carrying has drawn attention and he finds himself being questioned by some of the local constables. They wonder if he is a bandit to have so much gold on him, but after some fast talking, they let him go.

Part 3 – Re-equipped
- Grant and Ethan return to the Door without further incident. They feel that they’ve had a lot of fun but they haven’t accomplished as much as they wanted, so they change back and decide to head to another Door. This time Grant takes lead – he imagines a modern or near-future shopping mall, some place that they haven’t explored before. After some time, they reached a brushed metal Door with a small, rectangular, semi-transparent window.
- On the other side is a modern city, but it has more neon than any city that they have seen. There are vehicles that fly here and there amongst the many tall buildings. The grey sky above doesn’t look like cloud and there is a lot of trash about.
- Finding lifts that go to different levels of these tall structures, the pair go exploring. They find that this place is a warren of buildings and corridors with side shops everywhere. It would be hard to get their bearings if they didn’t have Wayfinding. The place’s name is Aleph and it seems to be some sort of high-tech city – or maybe that’s the name of the planet. They’re not sure. Most of the people here are human but there are some humanoids and even aliens. It looks like there are many things worth buying here but there is a problem. Aleph is part of the Hegemony and they need an Identity Card in order to transact.
- The good news is that getting an Identity Card is relatively easy. They register their Identities with a bored-looking attendant in a booth. Questions are asked. A DNA fingerprint is taken and ten minutes later, they have Identity cards. They then find a moneychanger to change the gold coins into ‘sticks’ that can be used to pay for goods.
- Ethan finds a department store called One! and falls in love with an elaborate sound system there. However Grant talks him out of it and instead they go to have a quiet meal at a bar called “Atomic”. The beer and pizzas are excellent. They are served by a green-skinned alien with tentacles for hair. “Atomic” doesn’t have many customers and they are treated royally.
- Given that their ‘sticks’ worked, they then go shopping. One! seems to stock body armour and they spend money on one that looks better than what Draconis has to offer. Then they go to a specialist weapons shop called the Razor’s Edge which sells blasters, arcoswords, power axes, sports weapons and other gear. Ethan gets a powersword, a blaster pistol and shock gauntlets with power cells and a portable fusion generator. Grant likewise buys a small arsenal.
- They decide not to linger, figuring that buying this much ordnance will attract attention. With their bags full of body armour and an arrangement of lethal weapons, they make their way back on to the Stair and home.

Part 4 – Return to Prime Landing
- The next day, after unpacking and testing the equipment, the friends discover to their surprise that the Aleph blasters actually work on their Home Earth. They were not expecting this.
- Ethan decides to head to York to go to a bigger HMV (music shop) to buy more music. Grant wants to return to Aleph to buy more gear from One! and then head back to Prime Landing (on Draconis) to rent an apartment that they can use as their base. The two friends go their separate ways on the third day.
- It takes Ethan a long time to get to York and back – he has a car, but traffic is awful, it takes time to park etc. But he does manage to change some money and buy a lot of music CDs.
- Meanwhile, Grant has deposited funds in his account (by selling some of the gold) and is successful in finding a two-bedroom apartment which is only 4 blocks from the Door. It is available immediately (lucky!) and he decides that he’ll worry about furniture another day.
- Ethan is tired after his long day to and from York but he is very excited when he hears that Grant has arranged an apartment for them. The friends pack a bag or two each and head over. It is nighttime when they arrive and the place is very bare, but it is theirs and they are happy.
- There is an iPad-like tablet stuck to the wall and they have their first messages from the real estate agent, welcoming them to their new home.
- They decide to celebrate by going for a walk and finding out what is nearby. They find a Korean-style restaurant – it is ordinary but there is a queue of locals lining up for it and the food is excellent. Grant decides that he has discovered some new favourite foods.
- They go for a walk around to get to know the place but decide not to stay the night as they don’t have beds.
- They return to Westgate manor and despite the fact that it’s very late and cold, on the spur of the moment they decide to walk into Fiveways to go the Tipsy Elephant for beer and to throw some darts.
- The next day they move more of their gear to Prime Landing. Grant takes his acoustic guitar. Ethan takes some books that he has been meaning to read. In Prime Landing they go on a spending spree and buy basic furniture, bedding, cooking implements and white goods. That evening, the friends cook a meal in their home consisting of sausages, mashed potatoes and beans. Very basic, but it makes them feel good.
- Grant and Ethan make a list of all that they have and brainstorm what they might be missing. After all, it seems like they’ll be spending some time here.

Part 5 – Reporting for Duty
- The day quickly comes when Grant needs to report for duty. A shuttle takes him to Draconis Station. He is welcomed by “Nails” who will be his buddy to help him get settled in. Grant has a tiny apartment of Draconis Station where he will stay when not on duty. A ship is waiting for him and it has his name, “Deadeye” on it. This the first time that he has his very own starfighter. Not just one from the pool. This one is his. There are many like it, but this one belongs to “Deadeye”.
- “Nails shows “Deadeye” around and he is introduced to “Rana”, one of the technicians who will be helping him settle in. She’s ex-Republic, an older woman with a heavy-set face and of Filipino descent.
- It seems that it has been relatively quiet in the last week while he and “Chance” have been on leave. There has been no pirate activity to speak of.
- Grant spends the evening at the Spacer’s Bar with other members of Tachyon Squadron. There are no cadets here – there are only pilots now, and “Deadeye” is one of them.
Image
* Image sourced from Tachyon Squadron RPG by Evil Hat
- Meanwhile, back in Prime Landing, Ethan catches up with Nicky. They hit it off and have a good time together. Nicky reveals that she has applied to join the military, much to Ethan’s astonishment as he thought she was going to university to become a scientist like her parents. But no, she’s very keen on joining the military and her eyes sparkle with the same patriotic fervour that he’s seen in others.
- The next day, Ethan takes a shuttle to Draconis Station. His leave is over. He is met by his buddy, a pilot named “Cobalt”.
- Meanwhile, “Deadeye” has been taking his fighter out for ‘familiarisation’. He remembers how to do this and he flies with confidence.
Image
* Image sourced from Tachyon Squadron RPG by Evil Hat
- When he returns, “Skipper” comes to see him and “Chance”. He tells them that there has been no contact from a team from Axion squadron that headed to the Dalban system three days earlier to search of the missing ship “Challenger”. He tells them that he’s putting together a team to find out what happened and they are on it.
- Two ‘pugs’ (ie: Phoenix class strikeboats) are put together. “Hammer”, a no-nonsense, professional pilot is in command of the mission. “Chance” has been selected to fly the pug, with “Tex” on the guns. “Tex” is of American descent and known for his strong accent and unflappable demeanor. “Deadeye” will be on comms and sensors.
- In the second pug are “Gunner”, “Nails”, “Nok” and “Auger”.
- They are given all of the information about the “Challenger” – the ship details, its configuration, pictures, information on the crew and exactly where they were going on Dalban.
- They are also given information about the missing Axion Squadron members – “Spooky”, “Farmer” and “Kid”.
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Re: LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 225 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:06 am

Session 226 – Return to Tachyon Squadon Part 2 – 30th July 2020

- GM’s note: Continuing on with the second of three sessions back in the Tachyon Squadron universe, when Grant and Ethan were much younger.

This adventure is inspired by one of the old Classic Traveller Adventures – Chamax Plague.


- The two ‘pugs’ (Phoenix class strikeboats) head to the Dalban system. In the first pug is “Hammer”, “Tex”, “Deadeye” and “Chance”. In the second pug are “Gunner”, “Nails”, “Nok” and “Auger”. It is the first time that “Deadeye” and “Chance” have been on a real jump to another star system. Each of the ‘pugs’ has a FTL drive.
- The jump is not instantaneous. It takes 3 hours of travel time and then hours to recharge the drives. Coming out of lightspeed, “Deadeye” confirms their position and “Chance” orients the ship towards Dalban 3. It is slightly smaller than Earth and has an atmosphere, but there is no water and no vegetation. It’s a barren planet.
- Completing a sensor sweep, the lead ‘pug’ enters orbit while the second pug hangs back. “Deadeye” quickly finds the Shaarin Challenger – it’s intact on the surface and hasn’t crashed. It is about 400 metres from a nearby ruin. There are many ruined structures on the surface.
- They do a sweep for the missing ‘pug’ from Axion squadron and find that it crashed about 30km from the Challenger. The debris is scattered over a wide area – it looks like it came down hard.
- “Hammer” orders the lead ‘pug’ to descend and “Chance” guides the ship down. They circle the Challenger – there is no obvious damage. There is a lot of static on communications. It looks like the nearby ruin was recently approached and that the ‘pug’ which crashed had landed here previously.
- “Chance” lands the ship about a kilometre from the Challenger. The ground outside is barren and flat. Nothing grows here. But the air is breathable. It is about two hours before the G-type sun sets.
- Confirming radio contact, “Chance”, “Deadeye” and “Tex” are given the task of scouting out the Challenger. “Hammer” remains in command in the ‘pug’ and maintains an open communication channel to the second pug.
- It takes them about ten minutes to cross the distance. “Deadeye” spots some patches where the soil is disturbed. He’s seen evidence of burrowing creatures before (eg: from Tyndam) and he points this out to “Chance”. As they make their way closer to the Challenger, the strength of the radio signal degrades.
- Reaching the ship, there is some damage underneath. A total of six holes, each roughly a metre across and it looks like the hull has been melted inwards. It doesn’t look like weapons fire. It looks like something else. Reporting back, “Hammer” decides to lift off and remain on standby, circling the Challenger, just to be on the safe side.
- The bow doors of the Challenger are shut. “Deadeye” pretends to run a security bypass and then uses his Warden abilities to open the door. Inside is a tracked ATV, sitting idle. The static gets worse as they investigate inside. They lose the signal entirely when they reach the cargo area. There is a hole in the ceiling and the occasional hole in the floor, here and there.
- What then follows is an Aliens-style sweep of the ship by torchlight. “Chance”, “Deadeye” and “Tex” carefully go through the place, room by room. They are certain that there is something here. Eventually they find a strange ball-shaped creature, about twice the size of a basketball, sitting there amongst the storage crates. It is quivering slightly, as if it is breathing.
- In another place they find two more. Then another, and another.
- Then, they find one moving – it has unfurled its spider-like limbs (of which there are six) and seems to be heading purposefully in their direction. It is big – as big as a Great Dane. As it gets close, “Deadeye” blasts it and it begins melting on the deck.
Image
* Image is from Traveller Double Adventure – the Chamax Plague
- Ethan calls out that there is another one moving in their direction. Then two. They seem to be moving lazily in their direction (as if they are just waking up) but they are moving with purpose. “Tex” and “Chance” shoot them. They seem to have an acid sac just below the mouth – when that sac is broken, it kills the creature and starts melting through the deck.
- There is too much static to alert “Hammer” as to what is happening. More and more of the creatures seem to be coming out of hibernation. “Deadeye” and “Chance” move confidently (they’ve dealt with worse situations before) and they lure the creatures out and kill them in clusters. “Tex” keeps his cool in the situation even though the creatures are becoming faster as they become more alert.
- Gunfire. Grenades. Smoke fills the corridors making it difficult to see. The trio go full-blown Chuck Norris / Rambo. It’s clear that the ship is infested with these spider-like creatures. The creatures are in front and behind. There are piles of dead smoking bodies, their broken acid sacs spewing acid which is rapidly eating through the deck.
- At last they find a large creature which is largely immobile, except that it is churning out eggs. They toss in the last of their grenades and blow it apart. This enrages the remaining creatures and they are forced to retreat via the top hatch onto the exterior of the ship. As they do so, they grab what information they can from the bridge computers. The bridge is largely intact – there is still no sign of the crew.
- Free of the ship and with many of the creatures dead (as they themselves are creating interference), “Deadeye” is able to contact “Hammer”. It seems that killing one of the mother-creatures has triggered a reaction amongst the population. There are hundreds heading towards the Challenger from the ruins – they are still kilometres away but they are marching towards the ship at a steady pace.
- “Chance”, “Deadeye” and “Tex” are picked up by “Hammer” as the G-type sun is setting. They start going over the bridge logs. It seems that five of the crew headed north in a shuttle to check out another site. The crew of the lead ‘pug’ take their stations and “Chance” guides the ship in the direction of the crashed ‘pug’ which came to Dalban 3 to rescue the crew of the Shaarin Challenger. They survey the wreckage and judge that there could not have been any survivors, particularly as the ground impact clearly attracted attention.
- Heading 300km north, they find that five of the crew have survived and they were trapped in a cave above one of the glacial flows. The spider-creatures have made short-work of their shuttlecraft and the crew retreated across the ice to make their last stand. However, they then made a discovery – the spider-creatures don’t like the cold. They tend to hibernate when it is cold or when there is no available food source.
- With the survivors of the Shaarin Challenger rescued, the ‘pug’ returns to orbit and “Deadeye” charts a course for home. There are comments upon their return that though “Deadeye” and “Chance” have only just joined Tachyon Squadron, they’re already behaving like bad-ass marines.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 227 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:29 pm

Session 227 – Return to Tachyon Squadron Part 3 – 10th September 2020

- GM’s note: Continuing on with the third of three sessions back in the Tachyon Squadron universe, when Grant and Ethan were much younger.

This session has two mini-stories. The first deals with the aftermath of the smugglers’ ship, the Dark Shadow (first introduced in Session 210.

After this session, we return to the current timeline.


Part 1 – Return to the Dark Shadow
- The cadets from Starfighter Academy captured the armed freighter, “Dark Shadow” about two months ago. Since then, the intelligence forces of Draconis have done a lot of work to figure out who Captain Maggar was working for and who was trying to ship weaponry to the Arco space station.
- “Deadeye” and “Chance” are part of the crew of the captured “Dark Shadow”. A meet has been arranged at a rendezvous point in space. Another ship, unlisted and with more armament than the “Dark Shadow” approaches.
- The plan is to board the unidentified ship and capture the encrypted data storage before their presence can be detected and the data storage destroyed. “Deadeye” and “Chance” spacewalk across with two others – “Flash” (a hacking/decoding expert” and “Glare”, a Draconis marine who is a bit of a weapons nut. They manage to open one of the exterior hatches without tripping the alarms while the ships dock and extend a boarding tunnel in order for the official ‘meet’ to occur.
- They reach the data storage and “Flash” gets to work. “Glare” assembles a signal jammer to prevent the crew of the unidentified ship from sending a distress signal. “Deadeye” is sent to secure the cargo bay while “Chance” is sent forward.
- They go hunting. They are heavily armoured up and prepared to use flash and sonic weapons. Alarms go off – but they didn’t trigger it – something else is going on, perhaps the official ‘meet’ is going poorly. A few crew members are quickly dealt with, but “Chance” runs into trouble when he reaches the airlock to the “Dark Shadow”. One of their crew is in powered armour and wearing a huge honking sonic weapon. “Chance” blinds the crew member with a flash grenade and overpowers him with a melee weapon, knocking him over and pinning him to the deck. He hurries onto the bridge and finds that the crew have an armed drone hovering by the door. He throws a grenade and the stunned drone falls, its circuits fried.
- On the bridge itself, the two crewmembers are hurriedly getting into powered armour while a functioning warbot (like a tripod) stands guard. Judging that he has to act quickly, “Chance” hurls in another grenade which blinds the warbot and it starts firing erratically. One of the stray blaster bolts severs a power cable and the lights go out on the bridge.
- Using the darkness as cover, “Chance” dives into the room and ‘sonics’ the men. The warbot is still shooting in all directions when he uses a blaster to finally silence it. “Chance” calls in to report that the bridge is secure – the jammer doesn’t affect the local secure comms that they have prepared.
- “Deadeye” has already taken the cargo bay. There are no comms from the “Dark Shadow”. “Glare” and “Flash” have what they came for. “Chance” reports some damage to the bridge controls (loss of sensors) but control could be rerouted to engineering. Both of the bridge crew are alive but unconscious. They are instructed to hold position and wait for the ‘all clear’.
- They wait almost ten minutes before the next instructions are given. They are advised that there is a standoff on the “Dark Shadow” – the agents who went across from the unidentified ship are still there, in a Mexican standoff with the crew of the “Dark Shadow”.
- “Deadeye” heads across to break the stalemate. The two are called “Argent” and “Silver”. “Silver” has a cybernetic arm and other enhancements. They speak another language in an attempt to converse privately but “Deadeye” can understand them. They know that their cause is lost and they are trying to figure out how to get out ot the situation alive. “Deadeye” convinces them to stand down and that they will be fairly treated. They surrender.
- The team from Tachyon Squadron return with both ships. The unidentified ship is carrying warbots, heavy weaponry and armed drones.

Part 2 – Revenge of the Dark Shadow
- A few weeks later, Draconis Intelligence has enough from interrogating the prisoners and going through the encrypted data storage to figure out the next target. There is a crime lord named Jasper Jerome who is operating out of an asteroid field on the edge of Dominion territory. He sounds like bad news – a techno-rogue who is out for himself – young and ambitious. It seems that he has a total of three unregistered ships that are used to carry weapons to Dominion sympathizers in Draconis space.
- The unidentified ship has been repaired and has now been given an unofficial name – “Sally”. The team from Tachyon Squadron are given a new mission – to capture Jasper Jerome and bring him back to Draconis to face justice.
- To make this easier, Draconis Intelligence has acquired the item that Jasper was expecting to receive as payment – a large sculpture made of crystals.
- “Deadeye” and “Chance” take “Sally” to a small moon on the edge of Dominion space in order to meet with Jasper. Jasper welcomes them and is very pleased when given the artwork. Jasper offers them some very expensive alcohol out of a bottle carved from diamond to congratulate them, at which point “Chance” cuts him off and tells him that he is under arrest.
- Before Jasper’s bodyguards can react, they are taken out by “Deadeye” with two quick sonic blasts. However, Jasper drops a cufflink that explodes with a deafening sound and he gets away into a concealed elevator. The two novice Lords of Gossamer are staggered but quickly shake off the effects and go after him.
- In the hangar bay below, there are two racing vessels and one is ready to take off. “Chance” seals the doors and “Deadeye” uses Wayfinding to easily locate Jerome in the racing vessel that has not yet powered up.
- One of the racing vessels takes off and slams into the hangar door, exploding in flame. As the automatic extinguishers spring into life to put out the fire, “Deadeye” calmly takes Jasper into custody (but offers him a drink).
- Jasper has a lot of loot in his lair. There are priceless pieces of art (a lot should be in museums), cash, precious materials and a lot of weapons and data crystals. Jasper offers “Chance” and “Deadeye” many inducements to convince them not to turn him in, but they are not particularly interested. They take a few hours to load up “Sally”, using some of the service drones to assist them – and then depart. Both are wary that Jasper may have somehow called for aid and they don’t wish to push their luck.
- They return to Draconis space and report in.
- Over the next few weeks, they make multiple trips in order to quietly retrieve more of Jasper’s cache.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 228 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:29 pm

Session 228 – Duskwall Adventures – 25th September

- GM’s note: As mentioned during the Session 224, our adventures in Duskwall did not go according to plan. Session 224 was run on 9th July 2020 and it just didn’t work. We then returned to Duskwall in Session 228 (after three sessions of flashback to Tachyon Squadron) and completed the session properly so that it actually worked.

The writeup for Session 228 is actually in the Session 224 writeup so that there is one coherent narrative.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 229 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:15 am

Session 229 – The Dragon Orb – 8th October 2020

- GM’s note: This session carries on from our messed up Duskwall adventure which was covered in Sessions 224 and 228. We return to Ethan and Grant in the present, with Ethan being hunted by the Dragon Highlords.

David and I had already talked about how this plotline could end, and what Ethan might be able to do to bring this to a close. This session was about finding an artefact that would give him an edge.

The Dragon Orb concept is, of course, from TSR’s Dragonlance.


Part 1 – The Other Thief
- Grant and Ethan spend considerable time talking to the Dragon Lord Ugin, learning about how his brother Nicol Bolas slew his mortal form. It seems that Bolas had an artefact which could be used to influence and even control other dragons – a Dragon Orb. It is doubtful that even someone as powerful as Ethan would be able to directly control a Dragon Highlord, but it may be possible to influence them.
- Time passes. Grant and Ethan split up. Grant searches for clues as to where such a device might be held and who might currently be in possession of it. Ethan spends time in the Forbidden Library trying to learn more about the artefact from old, lost historical records and what it is capable of doing.
- After some time, Ethan is able to locate where this artefact is (via Divination). It is in a vault, in a pocket dimension. He is able to find the Door that leads to the Vault. He is pretty sure that no Icons will work in the Vault itself, and the Vault holds many ‘precious’ things. The realm itself will be hostile to them – the draconic inhabitants were and are still loyal to Nicol Bolas.
- The Orb itself is normally 2-3 metres across, but it can be shrunk with the correct commands.
- The two friends plan an approach with Isabelle and then put the plan into motion. Grant runs interference while Isabelle and Ethan make their way to the central room that contains the Vault itself. The Vault door should be no challenge for two Lords of Gossamer but they are astonished to find that someone has beaten them to it. The Vault is open and leaking coins. There is blood on the floor and a trail of blood droplets leads away. Frowning, Ethan realizes that someone else has already come for the Orb.
- The alarms go off elsewhere in the complex. Soon there will be guards everywhere.
- Ethan calmly uses Mental Invisibility to shield the both of them. Remote cameras will still pick them up but not the guards in proximity. Taking a sample of the bloodstain on the ground, they begin tracking the thief.
- They find some doors have been opened and traps have been disabled. They realise that the thief is someone small, and rather than heading for the exit, the thief is heading deeper into the complex.
- Hurrying after the thief as they presume that he (or she) has another way out, they hear a high-pitched scream ahead and find a large silver mirror lying on its side. There is a single dragonfly wing on the ground – it looks like the thief is some sort of fairy, and he (or she) has lost a wing trying to escape through a mirror portal.
- Ethan is unwilling to follow the thief through an unknown portal (given that he is being hunted). Frustrated at the coincidence of two groups of thieves hitting the same target at about the same time, Ethan and Isabelle lay into the first group of reptilian guards that arrive in the mirror chamber. They take them out easily.
- Isabelle asks what they should do next and Ethan grimly tells her that they have to withdraw. Despite the multitude of guards that are looking for intruders, the trio are able to slip away without being detected, but the mission is a failure.

Part 2 - Recovery
- Ethan looks over the small dragonfly wing and decides that the thief is a pixie rather a member of the true fey. He thinks that the thief should be relatively easy to trace given that he has one of the pixie’s wings. Also, he has a feeling that he’s seen this sort of magic before.
- Ethan uses Divination to trace the source of the familiar magic and he concludes that this thief comes from another Trollworld. (first seen in Session 49!) Scrying on this world, it seems that this society is thriving, and there seems to a magical broadcast going on – a TV gameshow where the contestants are going through magic mirrors to steal things from other worlds.
- Ethan shares what he knows with Grant and Isabelle. They judge it too far to traverse the Stair via the normal means so Grant uses his Mastery of the Stair to establish a closer connection to cut down the travel time. Ethan has a bad feeling about this – he has the feeling that the pixie may be a Warden, or a potential Warden.
- After a number of hours, they reach the Door to an alternate Trollworld. There are many cultures here – humans, demihumans, orcs. They arrive in a city street of what looks like some sort of classical fantasy world. Ethan takes some time to re-establish the magical wards to prevent the hunters from tracking him down. He senses that he is not the only powerful magic user here. Sorcery is powerful here.
- Sitting down in a park, Ethan takes time to find the thief via scrying. He confirms that the thief is still carrying the Orb, and in the complex that is being used for the gameshow. Ethan watches as the one-winged pixie thief runs into a multi-headed hydra on what looks like a beach (despite this ‘beach’ being inside the complex).
- Ethan shares the location with Grant and Grant turns a door into a Door to reach the room where the pixie thief is fighting. The hydra discharges lightning bolts from its mouth while the pixie dodges here and there, trying to avoid being fried. The hydra is completely unaware of Ethan and Grant as they are under the cover of Ethan’s spells. The hydra is abruptly slain by the pair, and Grant uses Umbra to incinerate it for good measure.
- Conscious that they are now probably ‘on TV’ and this will make it easy for the hunters to find him, Ethan grabs the pixie and tells the others that it is time to leave. They retreat to the Stair, literally walking out of the realm and ‘off the map’. Grant switches Doors to conceal their path and they head to a safe realm of red vegetation in which yellow-fanged orcs dwell. There they go through the pixie thief’s things – he seems to have a lot in his backpack. Far more than what the backpack should normally hold – artefacts, weapons, a lot of gold and jewels, documents and a change of clothes. There is also a puzzle box which, oddly enough, none of the Lords of Gossamer can open.
- By this point, the pixie thief has fallen unconscious from the strain of it all. Ethan heals him and restores his wing. Guessing that this pixie may be a Warden or ‘almost a Warden’, he decides to make a crude Icon sketch of him to keep an eye on him in the future. Then he uses a mind-to-mind contact to figure out how to open the puzzle box. Persuading the pixie doesn’t seem to work so he needs to trick him within a dream into revealing the secret.
- Sleepwalking, the pixie thief opens the puzzle box and the Orb is found. There are also other precious things inside like a tiny pixie size filigree brooch.
- The three Lords of Gossamer peruse the pixie’s possessions but decide to take nothing except for the Orb. Isabelle is a little bit annoyed – she would very much like to take some of the treasure for herself.
- The Orb itself is bigger than expected – almost a metre across – again, far too big to believably fit inside the backpack which is tiny. Ethan wonders how it works.
Image
* Image sourced from Google Images
- Grant quickly figures out how to shrink it down to a pocket size and they decide to leave the pixie thief with the natives. They don’t seem hostile or likely to eat him.
- Ethan is pretty sure that this Orb is the artefact that he has been looking for, but he has absolutely no idea how to use it.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 230 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Sun Mar 21, 2021 6:44 am

Session 230 – Orb Power – 22nd October 2020

- GM’s note: When we last left Ethan, he had recovered a Dragon Orb which is supposed to be able to control or at least influence dragons. This may finally give him a tool to be able to strike back against the Empire that has been hunting him.

This is actually the second last session of this story arc. We’re building up to a finale.


- Some time has passed since the last session. There were no instructions with the Orb and Ugin (the Dragon Lord who had been slain using it) was not able to tell Ethan how to use the device. Nevertheless, Ethan has managed to figure it out – using psychometry, divination and the combined gadgetry of Isabelle and Ethan.
- Ethan believes it may be possible to control a lesser dragon, but influence over one of the Highlords is likely to be very limited. Also, the older and more powerful the dragon, the more likely that they will sense the attempt. A test is required.

Part 1 – The First Test
- We cut to an underground cavern with many graeco-roman columns. Ethan, Isabelle and Macavity are running for their lives as masonry splinters behind them. An enraged Smaug-sized dragon is tearing the place apart trying to pursue them.
Image
* Image sourced from Google Images
- The first test has failed. Something went wrong. And as such, the trio are running like hell. Even Ethan’s Mental Invisibility isn’t helping them very much – the Dragon is still sensing them.
- Fleeing as fast as they can, Ethan notes that the Dragon is trying to cut off their escape route by sending a number of draconian minions to intercept them. Luckily Grant is playing a screening role and he engages before they can block the trio’s escape.
- The dragon behind them is behaving like it has lost its mind. It is so mad that it is almost berserk, smashing through columns like a wild thing in his hunger to reach them. Occasionally it sends a blast of fire after them but so far, they have been lucky (even though the stones around them have heated to the point where they glow and smoke).
- Knowing that the dragon is coming for him and him alone, Ethan splits off from Isabelle and Macavity. The dragon pursues. Ethan tries to put as much of the cavern’s pillars between him and the dragon. The dragon is very, very irate – it tears and blasts its way after him.
- However, the stalling tactic works. Isabelle reaches the Stair. She reaches him via Icon and pulls him through. Then she recovers Grant. They are safe – for now. Hurrying away before pursuit can reach them, they return to Isabelle’s domain via a circuitous route. Everyone needs a cold drink. Macavity is not impressed – he glares at Ethan and licks his burnt tail.

Part 2 – Further Research
- The little group of Lords of Gossamer are sombre. They realise that Ethan’s connection with the target dragon failed and it’s only a matter of time before the Dragon Highlords realise that someone has the Orb. This is not good.
- Isabelle decides to study the Orb further, hoping to figure out what went wrong. Ethan is tired. He was really hoping that this would make a difference. Grant offers him a beer and he accepts. Macavity scowls at them both and slinks off.
- After a while Ethan simply acknowledges that they missed something and he doesn’t know what. Grant reassures him that he’ll figure it out. The last individual to use the Orb was Bolas - he was a dragon and he knew how to use it.
- Ethan excuses himself and goes for a wander on the Stair. Cloaked via numerous Wards, he eventually decides to try the Forbidden Library. On his way he senses another Lord of Gossamer nearby and decides to avoid them. He doesn’t like surprises.
- He returns to the Library and begins looking through books which contain histories of past conflicts between dragons, looking for cases where dragons have died, or times when the Orb itself is mentioned.
- He finds three separate accounts which are of interest. It takes him considerable time (weeks) to find and read these.

Part 3 – Three Accounts
- The first account makes reference to a ‘suppression effect’ when dragons take to the battlefield. It seems that it affects dragon mortality and whether they can ‘come back’ or not. Ethan counts seven Dragon Lords from the records who have died and not returned. It is not clear how this has been achieved. There are many battle accounts which are of vague interest but not pertinent to the question in his mind.
- The second account was written by a dragon’s faithful servant. The servant refers to something untranslatable which can be on, or off for battles – but the trigger is a formal duel – and the consequence of losing that duel is real, permanent death. The account also goes into the different motives and layers of the draconian mind which gives Ethan a glimpse of the complexity of these alien creatures. He wouldn’t want to play chess against even the weakest of them.
- The third book is bound in dragonhide. The sheets of paper are actually metal. Despite being fireproof, it looks like something or someone has still attempted to immolate the book. The book is a grimoire – a study of dragons and of spells relevant to dragons. The spells seem very complex and layered. The author of the book was not a dragon but seems to have been a powerful mage, possibly even a Warden of the Stair (it’s not clear). The book is old and predates the Great War. It takes Ethan weeks of work to fully digest what is in the book and he has to do this in multiple sittings.
- The longer Ethan remains in the Forbidden Library, the more uncomfortable he feels. He doesn’t like lingering in one place. He thinks that the Dragonmark is suppressed here but he cannot be sure that it is completely suppressed. And even if the Forbidden Library’s location is forgotten, he considers it possible that the dragons somehow remember.
- Two months after the disastrous first test, Ethan feels that he has learnt a lot. It seems that someone who has been working for the dragons has been depositing books into the Forbidden Library for a long, long time. He has learnt a lot from this hidden information. Many of the dragons that are mentioned are still around today, but sometimes they go by other names.

Part 4 – Preparing for the Next Test
- Despite what he has learnt, Ethan doesn’t rejoin the others. He is sick of being unprepared and this time, he wants to make sure that he has all of the relevant information before trying to influence a dragon.
- Working through the wealth of information in the Forbidden Library, Ethan starts piecing together how to use the Orb. One by one, he eliminates the unknowns. It has been a while since he had to study for something important but he takes this study very seriously.
- Ethan is also interested in what is said about each of the Dragon Highlords – their history, their personalities, their agendas. In the old texts, Lofwyr had other names – Iceclaw, Frostlord. It seems that he is an expert with Divination and Scrying and had access to some sort of relic that gave him an edge over other dragons in this regard. If Ethan is going to try influencing some of these Highlords, he needs to understand them better.
- Occasionally Ethan speaks to Grant. It seems that they are still hunting for him. The situation between the Dragons is still very tense – some of them are even actively talking about the Emperor being poisoned. Grant doesn’t think it will take much to push them into conflict. He also notes that the Dragons tried to send a group after Grant (to get to Ethan). Grant dealt with them but this escalation has apparently upset some of the other Lords of Gossamer. Grant says that he’s moving around as well – he hopes that Marindar won’t be targeted if he stays on the move.

Part 5 – The Intruder
- Another month passes. Ethan has read many books and what he is finding now seems to be of diminished value. Nevertheless, he pushes on, looking for anything else that he has missed.
- It is during this time that an intruder is caught in the slowtime trap inside the Library. This tanned individual is close to collapse when Ethan finds him. Using mind-to-mind, Ethan confirms that this person isn’t here for him. He doesn’t even know about Lords of Gossamer. His master died and he was asked to bring items here. He found out about the Forbidden Library from a puzzle box left by his master (similar to the puzzle box that Ethan has used to take knowledge out of the Library).
- Ethan decides to remove him from the Library and contacts Grant. He can’t afford for this individual to be picked up by someone else. Grant agrees to look after him.
- Returning to the library, Ethan goes through the items that the intruder was trying to place in the library and finds a book about dragons. Coincidence? Cursing himself for his stupidity, Ethan realises that someone probably knows where he is and has manipulated the young sorcerer into coming here.
- Ethan flicks through the book – it is interesting but he decides that it is too dangerous to stay. He leaves the book behind and decides the quit the Forbidden Library. He is done with researching. It is time for action.

Part 6 – The Plan
- Grant and Ethan meet in a soundproof booth. Neon lights flash. People dance on the dance floor. Both Grant and Ethan are using a variety of charms and devices for blocking scrying and divination. Grant has picked up some skills in the last year – he has become very good at blocking draconic divination when he wants to. For now, Ethan’s danger sense is quiet. It is time to talk. It is time…. to plan how this ends.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 231 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:51 am

Session 231 – The Dragon War – 5th November 2020

- GM’s note: This session’s writeup covers the entirety of the war which breaks out. It would be too long to write up every blow so what follows here is an abbreviated account.

David and I talked about how to end the ‘Ethan is Dragon Marked’ plotline, and what we wanted to see (and run) after this plotline. We talked for quite a while over many months.

Eventually, I think the plotline went on too long and David didn’t know how to actually draw this to a satisfactory conclusion such that the next story arc was something different and not ‘more of the same’. So what I suggested was that we take the story up a level and map out up the inevitable war. We ran this as an abstract, using Blades In the Dark rules (yes, we used Dice !!!) and a series of linked Active Clocks. We occasionally use FATE Cards for a bit of random inspiration (eg : It’s a -3, that person really doesn’t like you) but this time we wanted something more.


Part 1 – Starting the War
- Ethan and Grant plot the destruction of the Draconian Empire. The Lords of Gossamer will not directly become involved between the Dragon Highlords, but things have gone far enough. It is time to end things. The Dragon Highlords seem poised to go to war – all they need is something or someone to push them over the edge.
- Ethan is more confident using the Orb and he believes he can use it subtly to push the Dragons towards war. He believes that that the Dragons don’t yet know that he has the Orb so for the time being, miraculously they have the advantage.
- Grant and Ethan consider each of the Dragon Highlords and decide how they want the war to play out. But first they need to remove the Dragon Highlord Arcades. He’s meant to be a master strategist and he could be a balancing figure – they want him out of the way.
Image
* From L to R, Top to Bottom: Lofwyr, Arcades, Nephron, Asmadi, Sturmvald
* Images sourced from Google Images – some are from Magic The Gathering, others from Earthdawn
- Ethan hatches a plot with some of his friends in Faerie (Bettina) for the fey to keep Arcades busy. He is introduced to a Lady of Faerie called the Dusk Queen who is intrigued enough by what is going on to invite the Dragon Highlord to a very special ‘party’ that will keep him occupied for some time.
- The Clock “The War Begins” is now 1 of 8 (see Blades in the Dark for how Clocks work).
- None of the other Dragon Lords seem to notice that Arcades has been diverted or if they notice, they don’t seem to show any interest.
- The next part of the plan is to make the Highlord Sturmvald think that Asmadi is going to attack him. Asmadi is known to be dangerous and greedy, and all of the Dragons are amassing forces for war. Grant decides to sabotage some of their magical camouflage in order to reveal to Sturmvald just how large an army Asmadi has. He also uses stealth to bait one of Asmadi’s more bellicose lieutenants into attacking a target of opportunity (Ethan also uses the Orb to influence the dragon lieutenant) and then exposes this act of aggression for all to see. They make certain that Sturmvald is aware.
- The Clock “The War Begins” is now 2 of 8.
- All of this takes time. Grant and Ethan watch the situation. It seems that Sturmvald is aware, but he remains cautious of starting anything.
- As such, Grant and Ethan pick another target. This time Grant impersonates one of Nephron’s powerful ambassadors and he convinces a race of demons to go to war against their enemies for the promise of a favour. This also works well, but the demons are more successful than expected. Nephron is alerted to the situation and realizes that the demons who are operating in his name are becoming a threat to others and drawing too much attention.
- The Clock “The War Begins” is now 3 of 8.
- At this point, Grant fakes instructions to Asmadi’s forces encouraging them to ‘take the initiative’. Asmadi’s lieutenants are already twitchy and ambitious, and they take it upon themselves to arrange to kill Irina, the Blue Lady (a Lord of Gossamer, and servant of Lord Sturmvald).
- Grant isn’t happy about a Lord of Gossamer being targeted and he intercedes so that the draconic assassin fails to kill her (although she is wounded). Grant’s hand in all of this is undetected.
- The Clock “The War Begins” is now 4 of 8.
- This time, Sturmvald is less cautious. He targets one of Asmadi’s people in a tit-for-tat exchange. This has limited effect as the strike is not conclusive. However, Sturmvald has not hidden that he is behind the attack.
- The Clock “The War Begins” is now 5 of 8.
- Ethan decides to try to use the Orb subtly to increase Asmadi’s paranoia, hoping to push the Dragon Lord into responding rashly. However, this fails – Asmadi becomes aware that someone is attempting to manipulate him and he realizes that the Orb is in play. Asmadi is angry and he redoubles his defenses (but he does not tell the others that the Orb is in play).
- The Clock “The War Begins” remains at 5 of 8 because this was a failure.
- Sturmvald seems to realise that Asmadi is not backing down. Asmadi seems to reach the conclusion that only Nephron could have the Orb and he decides to move against him. Grant becomes sneaky again and decides to stealthily impersonate some of the demons in Nephron’s demonic legions in order to reposition them poorly. This is more than successful – it finally triggers Asmadi into a full-scale attack against Nephron’s realms.
- The Clock “The War Begins” is now at 7 of 8 because this was a critical success. Asmadi himself enters the fray. He doesn’t trust his minions to do it properly. He personally leads his armies and establishes a foothold in Nephron’s territory.
- Believing that Asmadi has lost his mind, Nephron takes the field and a duel is declared. Leading up to this, Grant has been nudging the situation along with Umbra, feeding the bad feelings between them and breaking down whatever trust they had previously. Ethan tries using the Orb on both Dragon Lords. With Nephron he is successful in pushing the Dragon Lord towards the duel. He is less successful with Asmadi whose seems to be slipping towards insanity.
- The two mighty Dragon Lords battle over the mountains of Morak Dur. A terrible battle is fought. Asmadi’s rage gives him terrible strength and he inflicts ‘final death’ on Nephron.
- Triumphant, Asmadi claims Nephron’s legions as his own and declares himself Dragon Emperor. He is however furious that Nephron does not seem to have the Orb.
- At this point, the Clock “The War Begins” – is complete and the story enters a new arc.

Part 2 – War of the Dragons
- GM’s note – the War itself was run with a series of rounds, with different Clocks indicating how depleted the various Dragon Lords’ forces were, and we also included a Clock for when Arcades might realise what is going on and return. Each of these rounds takes place over months of time. The war itself takes time to play out.
- Open war finally breaks out with Asmadi declaring himself the new Dragon Emperor. Asmadi launches attacks against Sturmvald. Sturmvald retaliates. Ethan uses the Orb to skim the thoughts of the various Dragon Lords to figure out who knows the secrets of the Dragon Mark – which one of them was the prime instigator for the ritual which put it on him. He is successful and realizes that Sturmvald was the instigator, at Lofwyr’s suggestion. But the master of the ritual is actually an ancient dragon referred to as the Keeper of the Rituals, or the Dragon Sage. Too old and doddering to be a real contender for Dragon Emperor, the Dragon Sage is considered apolitical and largely left to his own devices. With this information, Grant slips into Draconian Empire territory and uses Umbra to weaken the Dragon Sage further, such that Ethan is able to slip into his mind and starts working to acquire the final pieces of the ritual so he can undo the Dragon Mark.
- In the months that follow, Asmadi’s and Sturmvald’s slug it out, whilst Lofwyr remains uncommitted. Grant successfully recovers a relic that can be used to scry on the dragons – a relic that even penetrates their shielding spells – this gives them a vital edge. Ethan continues to work on the complex ritual with the unwitting help from the Dragon Sage.
- Grant continues to watch the battle between the Dragon Lords from the sidelines, occasionally intervening. He doesn’t want Asmadi to win, but a defeated Asmadi might also be very bad – Sturmvald in place would likely result in a more militant and controlling Dragon Empire. As the months wear on, the war spills out into more and more realms and the Lords of Gossamer are inevitably drawn in. Drake is too friendly with Sturmvald and it is impossible to stop him providing some support. Ethan seems to hit a wall in trying to put together the final pieces of the ritual. He tries twice to remove the Dragonmark with Isabelle’s help but each time it fails. Something is still missing.
- During wartime, the unexpected happens. Grant receives a request for aid from the Dwimmerlaik via Lord Morla. They are being threatened by both sides in the Dragon Civil War and they request Grant’s assistance to help in maintaining their neutrality and helping to keep them out of the war. Seeing an opportunity for improved relationships with the Dwimmerlaik, Grant goes to help. He also uses his connections with Lofwyr to try to avoid drawing them in.
- As the war wears on, both Asmadi’s forces and Sturmvald’s forces are becoming increasingly battered, but it looks like Asmadi has the upper hand. Finally, Lofwyr picks a side and sends forces to reinforce Sturmvald. The injection of fresh troops reinforces Sturmvald’s positions and Asmadi suffers severe losses as a result.
- Finally, after months of work, Ethan manages to remove the Dragon Mark. He is finally free of it.
- But the damage toll is colossal – the number of realms that have sustained damage is more than can be counted. The war continues on multiple fronts. Arcades is still nowhere to be seen – he remains a guest of the Dusk Queen, blissfully unaware of what is going on.
- Ethan now turns his attention on trying to influence Asmadi and Sturmvald to resolve their differences with a duel to ‘final death’. However, both minds are too strong for him to influence and hence the war continues to rage on. It is during this time that Marindar itself comes under attack and severe damage is done to Central and to its people. In the devastation, Lady Sophia is lost, presumed dead.
- On the Poznian plains of Turien (Sturmvald’s home realm), Asmadi finally launches a final offensive against what is left of Sturmvald’s forces and decimates them. A triumphant Asmadi faces off against a crippled Sturmvald and delivers ‘real death’ to him.
- Many grieve for the noble Sturmvald (Drake weeps bitterly) but all attention now turns to Asmadi and ensuring that his rule as Dragon Emperor is a short one. Lofwyr contests Asmadi’s claim and further battles are fought as a result. Despite badly battered armies, Asmadi continues to fight on – his madness seems to give him inexhaustible strength and with Nephron’s forces added to his own, he is in a stronger position than Lofwyr.
- The war drags into a second year. By this point Grant and Ethan are doing the same as many of the other Lords of Gossamer – they are trying to minimize the damage that the Dragons and their forces are causing – but the war is being fought on many fronts and they cannot be everywhere.
- Ultimately what brings the war to an abrupt end is an apparent miscalculation on the part of Lofwyr. Asmadi seems to lead from the front and so Lofwyr arms himself and enters the fray directly, seeking to ‘cut off the head of the snake’ and end the war. Lofwyr is highly prescient and is well prepared to fight Asmadi, but despite this, the battle is savage and it does not go the way he expects. Even with all of his preparations, Asmadi’s strength is a match for Lofwyr’s. Between them, they level mountains and destroy large swaths of the realms that they duel in.
- After a sustained battle, Asmadi is finally slain, cursing Lofwyr’s name and believing him to have used the Orb to bring about their ruin. Lofwyr himself is mortally wounded. They have seemingly killed one another.
- But Lofwyr does not die. Before he breaths his last breath, a Lord of Gossamer comes to his aid. Ethan has decided that Lofwyr as Dragon Emperor would be preferable to no Dragon Emperor at all and all of the chaos that this would bring. He brings Lofwyr back from death’s door and Lofwyr, as the last Dragon Lord standing, claims the title of Dragon Emperor.

Part 3 – Aftermath
- A large number of realms are in ruins after the bloody civil war between the Dragons. Earth 0 has remained unscathed but Marindar is heavily damaged.
- A wounded Lofwyr is pronounced the new Dragon Emperor. Lady Abigail (Abbie) becomes his major domo. Abbie promises to spend time with Ethan when she can ‘catch her breath’. Being the right-hand woman to the new Dragon Emperor is more than a full-time job.
- Drake continues to mourn the death of his friend, Sturmvald.
- Arcades leaves the company of the Dusk Queen to find that the world has changed while he has been away.
- Grant is heartbroken at the loss of Sophia. He sadly begins the slow task of rebuilding Marindar.
- Ethan takes a while to actually relax. He has been hunted for so long that he finds it hard not to be constantly looking over his shoulder. He and Isabelle spend time together in the aftermath of the war.
- Macavity turns up after many months in absentia. He says nothing about where he has been.

- GM’s note: From here, we then run a session focusing on some key events from the war (like the attack on Marindar) and then we move into some stories in the immediate aftermath of the war before moving onto new things
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 232 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:40 am

Session 232 – Interludes from the Dragon War – 4th December 2020

- GM’s note: David and I decided to delve a little deeper into some key episodes in the lead up to the war, and during the Dragon War itself. My ideas were as follows:
  • The attack on Marindar
  • A hero on the wrong side
  • An unexpected opportunity
  • A terrible loss
  • A friend in need
  • Personal grudge
  • Strange ally

It was my intention to play through all of these over a few sessions but we ended up just picking a few. Here is a summary of those mini-adventures.


Part 1 – An Unexpected Opportunity
- Prior to the outbreak of war, Grant unexpectedly finds himself in the vicinity of Florin. One of the Marindan couriers, a woman called Cherie, is travelling on the Sparrowhawk (an airship first seen way back in Session 32 which has a Door to the Stair onboard) and the vessel is under attack by sky pirates.
Image
* Image by TerryLH on DeviantART
- Notified by Icon, Grant successfully defends the Sparrowhawk from the small raider vessels and helps to drive them of. He finds Florin is the next stop and he decides to pay Aethelwyn a visit. He hasn’t seen her in a long time (he’s been trying to stay away as there is a spark there). To his pleasant surprise, she is pleased to see him after so long.

Part 2 – Strange Ally
- Prior to the outbreak of war, Grant finds himself in a dark, polluted, ghost-ridden city. He is in pursuit of one of the Dragon Lord Nephron’s lieutenants who is said to be a vampire: Lord Raethel.
- During this adventure, Grant comes across Norwood, a gentleman ghost who was once Lord Raethel’s friend. Norwood is surprised that Grant can see him and asks for Grant’s help in breaking the curse that has prevented him from moving on. He is willing to help Grant in return for an end to his disembodied state. To Grant’s surprise, he finds that he likes the noble Norwood and he offers to find him a suitable body that he can possess.

Part 3 – A Friend In Need
- War has finally broken out and Grant is busy. Nevertheless, things come up which distract him. In returning to Marindar, he finds that Olin the bard has gone missing. Grant suspects (and it is quickly confirmed) that Olin is performing a task for Jona (whom he believes is the Olympian Hera in disguise).
- Figuring that his friend may need his aid, he seeks Olin out and finds him on a small, mountainous island which is being lashed by storms. Olin has been helping the people here to recover from a series of earthquakes that have rocked the island – but he thinks that Jona (aka Hera) wants him to do something heroic to find and stop whatever is causing these calamities.
- Together, they search for the source of the earthquakes and find that there is a mighty Chthonian dwelling beneath the island. It is almost certainly too much for Olin to handle on his own, and Grant is concerned that a battle against the monster will almost certainly destroy the island and all of Hera’s worshippers on it. As such, Grant takes some time to weaken the creature and return it to its slumber.
- He finds that he needs to return more than once to the island to ensure that it remains asleep.

Part 4 – Heroes on Both Sides
- Grant watches uncomfortably as Lord Drake sides with Sturmvald. Even though Sturmvald is a noble Dragon Lord, Grant decides that Sturmvald as the Dragon Emperor would not change anything for Ethan. He has decided that Sturmvald must fall in order for Lofwyr to eventually take the throne. And for that, Asmadi must triumph over Sturmvald, even if that means backing a treacherous dragon over a noble one.
- Grant decides to neutralize Drake’s presence on the battlefield by organizing to hire Mordecai through intermediaries so that Drake will not be as effective as he would normally be.
- As the months wear on, Grant watches the battles between the two Lords of Gossamer and sees the considerable damage that each is inflicting upon the others’ forces.

Part 5 – Grudge and Loss
- Krovaliss has long suspected that Grant was behind the Dwimmerlaik Civil War. Rather than openly show his hand against the Lords of Gossamer, he manipulates Asmadi into launching an attack on Marindar.
- This offensive takes Grant by surprise. The Marindan defenders are relatively small compared to the size of the dragon army that attacks them, and the battle is bloody. Grant joins the defence but dares not bring Ethan to Marindar lest it be a trap to draw him out. There are three waves of attacks over four bloody days. In the end, Marindar’s allies from Arcadia and elsewhere have made all of the difference – but Central has been heavily damaged and there are thousands of dead, including many dragons. Worst of all, Lady Sophia is gone. Grant cannot even find her body to mourn her.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 233 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:28 am

Session 233 – Olympian Games – 10th December 2020

- GM’s note: It has been a while since we saw Hilda. The last time we saw her was in Session 222. Ethan was concerned that he was being hunted and it wasn’t safe for her to be around, so she was being looked after by Antigone in the woods some distance from Central (on Marindar). Once the Dragon War was over, it made sense for Ethan to wait for the dust to settle, then to seek out his adopted daughter.

This session is a two-parter where we pick up the story about six weeks after the end of the Dragon War.

Personally I really liked this adventure because it was an excellent blending of a Greek Myth into the Lords of Gossamer storyline. It makes sense that Demeter would take a shine to Hilda. Demeter lost her daughter Persephone to Hades, whilst Hilda has chosen to remain a child and even wiped her parents’ memories in order to protect them..


Part 1 – Reunited with Hilda
- It has been six weeks since the end of the Dragon War. There has been time for reunions with both Abbie and Isabelle. All three of them feel a sense of relief that the nightmare is finally over and they can move forward, but there will be further challenges and hardships ahead.
- Ethan returns to Marindar to assist with the cleanup. The devastation is worse than he expected. Whole sections of Central have been flattened or are just ‘gone’. There are so many missing. Central is not a large city, and he has spent enough time to know many people here. He knows many of the lost.
- His family has also been affected too. Ethan’s elder brother Ben was a member of the Marindan Defence forces and he was killed during the Dragon War. His other family members have survived but many of those who came with Ethan from the Legendary Realm have not. Those who did survive ask why Lord Ethan didn’t stand with them. They feel abandoned, betrayed.
- After a week helping repair and rebuild Central, Ethan decides that it is safe enough to visit Antigone and see how Hilda is faring. Luckily Ethan’s house in Central is standing – it was in one of the sections of Central that didn’t sustain any significant damage. Hence the magical breach in the house can be used to reach the woods where Antigone lives.
- Ethan steps through and finds the woods as quiet and calm as he remembered. There is no one home but he goes for a walk and finds her. She is calmly fishing with a spear and line down at the river. They talk for a while – Antigone left Central in the wake of the second dragon attack – it brought back bad memories for her and she decided to take Hilda out of harm’s way. She remarks that Hilda will be pleased to see her ‘father’ and they head back to the house. Ethan thinks it strange that Antigone believes that Hilda is in her house when he cannot sense her presence but he says nothing.
- Returning to Antigone’s house, they find that Hilda isn’t there. Ethan can sense that someone else has been here and he feels like it is someone with Olympian powers. There is a piece of parchment with golden lettering on it that is lying on the table. It is addressed to both Antigone and Ethan. The words are written in Hilda’s handwriting. She says that she is going to play with Aunt Demeter and not to worry.
- Ethan is surprised. He hasn’t met Demeter before although he knows who she is. Annoyed, Antigone says this must have only happened in the past few hours whilst she was fishing. Antigone confirms that Demeter has never visited before. Feeling the parchment, Ethan can tell that this was written by Hilda and she was excited, not distressed. She was not coerced into writing this missive but it doesn’t say when she will return.
- Both Antigone and Ethan are worried at first, but they decide that there is nothing that they can do in the short term so they decide to wait for Hilda to return. They share some tea, and they share stories. Antigone asks Ethan about what happened during the many months that he was away from Hilda. Ethan asks about what his daughter has been doing and whether she has been okay. As the day wears on, Ethan looks at the treats that he brought for Hilda to eat and they decide to eat some of them while waiting for her to return. Antigone suggests that when Hilda returns that Ethan not take her back to Central – a young child doesn’t need to see such destruction.
- Late that evening, Hilda returns in the company of a woman who is much younger than Ethan was expecting. Hilda is very pleased to see her ‘father’ and gives Ethan a huge hug. Ethan thanks Demeter for bringing her back to him.
- Antigone appears calm but Ethan can tell that this intrusion has upset her. Hilda munches on treats and then goes to her room to retrieve her latest artwork to show Ethan. While she is out of the room, Demeter patiently explains that there was someone else here – a bird with red eyes. Hence she removed Hilda from danger.
- Realising to whom Demeter is referring, Ethan thanks her. Demeter accepts Ethan’s gratitude and explains that her own daughter (a reference to Persephone) is not talking to her and she finds it refreshing to be in Hilda’s company.
- Antigone also thanks the Olympian, and Hilda brings in some of her artwork to show Ethan. Sure enough, she seems to have uncanny insight as to what he has been doing of late – there are many drawings of him running from various terrors, but also one of him clearly coming here. Hilda knew that he was coming.
Image
* Image sourced from Google Images.
- As the adults talk, Hilda settles down with a new sheet of paper and some pencils and begins drawing again. She quickly sketches a raven with red eyes flying over what seems to be an endless forest – but there is something different about the bird this time. The raven looks sad, even lost. Ethan notes this but says nothing.
- Hilda gushes as she tells Ethan all about her adventures with ‘Auntie Demeter’. She’s been playing with other children but some of them had odd ears and ‘funny little horns’. Some even had wings.
- At last, Demeter looks uncomfortable and a little sad. She moves to leave and Hilda bluntly asks if she can visit again. Demeter brightens at this and asks Ethan if he would allow this. It is clear that Demeter is finding it difficult to be parted from Hilda – she seems quite fond of her. Hilda also seems keen to spend time with ‘Auntie Demeter’ so Ethan agrees to this. Demeter is a taken aback by this, and she offers him a small hand mirror which can be used to communicate with her. She then leaves, fading from view as she walks out into the wood. It is as if the woodlands have simply swallowed her up.

Part 2 – The Trouble with Hermes
- Goodbyes are said to Antigone, and Ethan thanks her for looking after Hilda. Ethan then reaches out via Icon to Isabelle, a connection is made and they leave Marindar.
- Isabelle is very pleased to see Hilda and they embrace. Isabelle shows her some of the clockwork toys that she has been making for Hilda and she is very pleased. The three of them spend some time with other as a family. It is clear that Hilda was getting bored living in the woods with Antigone and she is keen to embark on new adventures. About a week later, Demeter is mentioned and Ethan contacts her via the mirror. The Olympian is pleased to hear from Ethan and she welcomes Hilda to join her.
Image
* Image by Venlian on DeviantART
- The ‘playdate’ goes well. Both Demeter and Hilda enjoy themselves, and it gives Isabelle and Ethan some time to themselves. As soon as Hilda is out of the way, the ‘powertools’ come out and then begin working on Isabelle’s latest project together. (GM’s note – at least that’s what my wife and I used to do when the kids were asleep – out came the powertools and we started doing all of the work around the house that we couldn’t do while they were awake)
- But it is on the third ‘playdate’ some weeks later that things go a little awry. Before the time that Hilda is due to come back, Demeter contacts Ethan through the mirror – it makes a little chime when she calls. Ethan is surprised by the contact – he is enjoying a street meal in the Agora. Demeter asks if Ethan has spoken to Hermes since the Marindan Games and he says that he has not. Demeter does not press and says that she will be in touch.
- A few days pass. Ethan is loath to contact Demeter but he is starting to get worried. At last, he contacts her and asks if everything is all right. Demeter appears worried and says that Hermes has taken her on an adventure. Ethan asks where she has gone and Demeter explains that it is an old realm, a realm without doors – and there are many mythical creatures there. Ethan asks if they should be worried and Demeter remarks that the creatures there would not be a threat to Hermes, but he can be a little overconfident – and the creatures could potentially hurt Hilda. She doesn’t want to interfere but she is a little worried. There is at least one dragon in that realm.
- Ethan frowns and decides to investigate further.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 234 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:37 am

Session 234 – An Adventure with Hermes – 22nd December 2020

- GM’s note: This session is the second of two parts as Ethan goes to find where Hilda has ended up.

And given the date of this (22nd December), you can see that we ran out of time to run the Christmas Special before Christmas. Oh woe!


Part 1 – In Pursuit of Hermes
- Demeter would clearly love to find out what has happened to Hilda but she doesn’t want to sound possessive and there seems to be matters of protocol between the Olympians. Hilda is currently with Hermes and it would be ‘poor form’ for her to interfere with that. Ethan asks for Demeter’s guidance as to what to expect on this journey then he heads out.
- Ethan dresses in simple, clean travelling clothes. He carries a broad-bladed short sword that has been touched up by Eidolon. He carries the invulnerable Dragon Shield. A satchel with food and water. He journeys on the Stair for a short distance and then enters a realm which Demeter directed him to. In this realm is a stone dais where an old invocation can be used to open a portal.
- Completing the ritual, he steps through a shimmering portal into a small building which seems to be a temple. Nearby is a small village. The people seem to be healthy, clean and live simply. He is treated respectfully as he passes through. There are no other Doors in this place. No route back to the Stair except via the way that he came.
- So where to from here? There are grassy hills all around, one sun and two moons in the sky. He thinks for a while and then picks the direction that feels right.
- The whole realm seems to be very pleasant. The sun is warm and inviting. The grass is green. There is the movement of birds amongst the long grass. The further away he goes from dais, the wilder it seems to become. After crossing two small hills, he sees his first sign of larger animals.
- Icons don’t seem to work near the dais but the situation changes as he gets further away. Ethan feels for his sorcery and can tell that it will work, but there are different rules here.
- In the distance there is a great, lush forest of tall trees. Ethan decides that this is definitely the right direction and he heads towards it (which takes him a few hours). The walk is enjoyable and he doesn’t rush.
- Entering the forest is quite a transition. It is almost like he has left one room and entered another. Things are quieter here, but there is still movement from time to time. Ethan spots some pixies flying by. Some look like true fey and others look like locals. As he walks on, one of them calls out to him by name. Ethan has been recognised!

Part 2 – Taking Directions
- Ethan can’t remember the name of the small blue pixie, but the pixie certainly remembers Ethan. Ethan asks the small creature for directions, describing Hermes and Hilda. The pixie speaks in a high-pitched squeak as he tells Ethan that ‘those two’ didn’t listen to him when he told them that the forest is different now that the ‘dragon has gone’. The pixie thinks it is a wonderful thing as without the dragon (the lord of the forest) as there is no one to assert order over the place and the pixies have been having a wonderful time, dropping the local cockatrice in a hall of mirrors, pranking the wolves, plaiting the fur of the local brown bear and so forth. He claims to have played with Hilda as well (apparently she has wonderful dreams). He points Ethan in the right direction and wishes him well.
- Ethan follows the river upstream. Hours pass and he eventually reaches a waterfall which fills a large pool at its base. There is an island with two voluminous trees in the centre of the pool. Ethan hears laughter but it is doesn’t sound like Hilda. There are water nymphs here – some on the island, some playing in the water.
- Ethan decides to talk to the nymphs, but he behaves respectfully and avoids looking at them directly out of courtesy. There is more giggling, and one of the nymphs emerges head and shoulders near the bank where the water cannot possibly be that deep. She smiles coyly and asks what she can do for Ethan. He asks for their help and guidance to find his daughter and Lord Hermes. She also claims to have interacted with Hilda and found her delightful. But she says that Hermes is a scoundrel. The nymph directs him to climb to the plateau above the waterfall and follow the river further upstream. Apparently Hilda wanted to see a unicorn but the nymph warns him that since the dragon left, the unicorns have become more territorial.
- As the conversation continues, some of the other nymphs on the island continue to call to Ethan to distract him. He gives them a polite wave but is not diverted. The nymph explains that black unicorns are very dangerous. They may start off as white or brown, but the darker their coats, the stronger and meaner they can get.
- Ethan asks the nymph’s name and she says it is Azura. He thanks her by name for her help. He asks if there is a safe place to rest for the night and he is pointed to a nearby spot which should be safe as long as he doesn’t sleep under the dolmen that is situated there.
- Deciding that climbing the rock face in the dark would be foolish, Ethan decides to leave it to the morning. He rests for the night as best he can but there is a shift in the forest when darkness falls. A dire badger, very grumpy, comes close enough to smell him before deciding that he isn’t worth the trouble. He tries to contact Hilda via Icon. The image animates after a while. She says that she isn’t hurt but she is stuck up a tree for the moment. The birds are bringing fruit to them so she isn’t hungry. However Hermes is hurt and won’t wake up. She mentions that there are unicorns around but they aren’t ‘nice’ at all. However, she says that the tree is looking after them.
- Hilda seems confident that they are in no danger for the time being so Ethan decides to rest until morning.

Part 3 – Finding Hilda
- The next morning Ethan climbs the waterfall. It is easy to climb – after all, Hilda got to the top. Given that there seems to be dangerous fauna around, Ethan decides to use his favorite Mental Invisibility spell in order to cloak himself but he feels that it only provides partial concealment here.
- By the middle of the day he has reached a clearing. At the end of the clearing is a massive tree which seems to have woven its branches into a series of leafy platforms. There are two unicorns here. One is chestnut coloured and seems fine. The other is pitch black, abnormally large and very angry. It doesn’t seem to be able to detect Ethan but it can sense that something is amiss.
- Ethan watches the black unicorn for a while. It doesn’t behave like a unicorn. It behaves like a predator. Ethan decides to attempt to wound it and drive it away. At first it is enraged and he finds out that it moves as fast as a cheetah. However, it still can’t sense him properly and after he wounds it a second time, the black unicorn limps off in a huff.
- In the tree, Hilda is fine. Hermes is wounded (inflicted by a unicorn). There is also a small pixie here who is helping Hermes whom Ethan recognizes – it is Jertwynn who is (possibly) a Lord of Gossamer. Jertwynn admits that he got here via the dais but didn’t know how to get back. He found Hilda and Hermes but wasn’t able to lift Hermes to take him out of here. He is supernaturally strong for a 7-inch-high pixie but he isn’t strong enough to lift an Olympian god.
- Ethan assists with Hermes’ recovery using Eidolon. Once he is able to walk, they retrace their steps, returning to the dais. Hermes seems a little sheepish at having to be rescued. He admits that with the dragon gone, it seems to have destabilized this place, but stops short of actually apologizing.
- They return to Marindar. Demeter is waiting for them and is pleased to see Hilda. Hilda is pleased with her adventure and asks if it is possible to go on another adventure, but minus the dangerous bits. This pleases Hermes and he promises to take her on another adventure soon.
Image
* Image from Mythic Battles Pantheon
- The Olympians depart. Ethan asks how Jertwynn became involved and Hilda explains that one of the pixies gave her Jertwynn’s name. She couldn’t contact Ethan using his name because it is hidden, so she tried to get help via another means.
- Jertwynn is fascinated with Marindar and heads off into Central to explore. Ethan and Hilda head off onto the Stair to head to the Realm 0. He promised long ago to show her where he came from, and she is curious to see this place called ‘Earth’.
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 235 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:40 am

Session 235 – A Conversation between GMs – 12th February 2021

- GM’s note: January 2021 was pretty terrible and we utterly failed to catch up and run the Christmas Special until very late in February.

This session was a conversation between two GMs as to what we wanted to do next as opposed to an adventure.

This is what we came up with ….


Part 1 – Conversations between GMs – Narrative Storytelling
- The first topic of conversation is why I (as a player, playing Ethan) completely fail to engage with some of David’s plotlines. Ethan is a wanderer and an adventurer. David offers up NPCs that he feels are interesting and he spends time crafting these, but then I seem to ignore them and keep walking.
- So we talked why that might be. Certainly I (as a player) would like to see Ethan build connections with people. (He has many already but it’s something that I do enjoy). But I’m also aware that David often seeds in a character that I am supposed to like (eg; Jertwynn) but I effectively ignore them and walk on.
- The conclusion that we reached is that rather than forcing a connection, I prefer a question being asked which allows me to have some input into the narrative. Hence, rather than be presented with a NPC and then hope it works out, I’d rather be asked the question “Ethan finds this individual interesting, what is the connection that is made here?” This way I have input into the relationship and am more likely to buy into the story.
- This is a technique that seen used a lot in Blades in the Dark, particularly listening to the Magpies Podcast where the players are providing input into the shaping of the narrative. Frequently the GM there (Rhi) will ask a player what they are trying to do, a roll is made, and then often it is the player, not the GM who describes how this plays out based on the roll that is made. Hence the player helps tell the story. I prefer that sort of narrative storytelling because it results in more collaborative story and it creates ‘buy in’ and emotional connection to the plot because the players have contributed to creation of it.
- For example, if Ethan met Jertwynn, the question could be asked as to what common ground or common interest is discovered between them. Then the question could be asked as to how this came up in conversation. In each case, the GM is prompting the player to help tell the story, and this builds player buy-in.
- In Session 236 we tried this (with the Christmas Special) and it was very interesting what happened – because (in my opinion) the narrative failed because I felt that we failed to do what we had just discussed, but then we rewound a short way and told that section of the story using the technique described above, and (in my opinion), it worked much much better.

Part 2 – Conversations between GMs – Next Adventures
- The second topic of conversation was to talk about what happens after the Christmas Special (which we would run in Session 236).
- We talked about we wanted to see and how we could make the story different and new.
  • There is a 2-part Beasts and Barbarians adventure which I want to run, but that could be run as a Flashback. The idea is simple – two guys smitten with the same girl who foolishly decide to travel overland via a forbidden pass in order to help her to ‘get rich’.
  • We are both keen to see more Tachyon Squadron adventures run because being in spaceships neutralizes a lot of the powers of the Lords of Gossamer and it has a very different feel to the game. We also like flashing back to when they were very low-level characters (~30 point level), before they had Eidolon and Umbra Mastery.
  • I want to run Courts of the Shadow Fey, a Dungeons and Dragons campaign which according to the author was originally designed with Amber DRPG in mind. I love the idea of introducing the fey, another group of powerful individuals whom the PCs don’t necessarily want to fight, but they need to figure out how to deal with. And that’s what we are running from Session 237 onwards….
Part 3 – Conversations between GMs – The Next Era
- The third topic which we discussed is the next era that we play in after Courts of the Shadow Fey. Yes, it is true that I have another story arc in mind, but beyond that we want to do something different again. The PCs are already 450 points and the next obvious jump for them is to wind the clock forward possibly 80-120 years and then focus on what Ethan and Grant are like when they are part of the ‘Elder generation’ of Lords of Gossamer. The general flavour of what are thinking of is as follows:
  • Marindar is settled and secure. There is no reason for Grant to anchor himself there. Lady Sophia is out of the picture. If Grant has kids, then they have grown up and are self-sufficient. Grant is wandering, finding new wondrous places to discover. He is trying to understand the Stair. He spends increasingly long periods of time away from Marindar. It has been years since he was last there.
  • Ethan and Isabelle have gone their separate ways. Isabelle is still around, and there is still affection there but they’re increasingly living separate lives. Ethan and Abbie ended up having a child, but upon reaching adulthood, the child wanted nothing to do with either of them. Abbie has gotten old, and tired. If we start the campaign, she is either close to the end, or has just passed away. She just isn’t willing to go on ‘forever’ and it’s time to go. Even Macavity would probably be old or even gone. Perhaps Ethan has a new feline companion.
  • Hence the general feel of this next story arc would be transition, impermanence and regeneration. Some things don’t change in 80-120 years but many things have changed and continue to change. Even Grant’s and Ethan’s roles amongst the Lords of Gossamer has changed. They now have enough attunement to the Stair and mastery over Gossamer to be able to sense problems well before they occur, and this brings us to the focus of the arc.
- What we are thinking of is designing a new section of Stair which will ‘important’ somehow. Grant and Ethan know that something will happen here and hence it is important to monitor, influence and shape this section of Stair. Hence we’re creating key realms and factions in this section of Stair that they can interact with and figure out what they want to do. So, part of this will be discovery, part will be diplomacy, but there will also be lurking and growing threats. Instead of being able to call upon Vala, Lucien, Drake for backup, they are here in this place because there is no one better to deal with this emerging situation.
- Hence we aim to up the power level again and have the characters as true world/realm shapers. No doubt we’ll do flashbacks to other times/power levels (because that is fun) but we’re going to advance Grant and Ethan to be part of the ‘Elder Generation’.
- In terms of the details of the realms/factions that we’ve come up with, sorry but you’ll have to wait for that. We have done a fair bit but I’d prefer not to divulge too much.
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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Mister_Bruce
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LoG&S Campaign - Grant/Ethan - Session 236 is up

Post by Mister_Bruce » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:03 am

Session 236 – Holiday Special (Very Late) – 24th February 2021

- GM’s note: And here at last we have the very very late Christmas Special for 2020. I think this is the first year that we’ve missed Christmas. The fates conspired against us.

January 2021 wasn’t much better. David had a period of ill health and we ended up taking a whole month off.

Oh well, that’s life.

For those of you who haven’t read the holiday specials before, they are a bit more lighthearted but are not deliberately silly.

Here we go….


Part 1 – Spiced Cinnamon
- There has been an indeterminate period of time since the end of the Dragon War. It’s holiday season and the boys (Grant and Ethan) are on the Stair, collecting ingredients to make a very special cake.
Image
* Image from Giraffes Can Bake
- The list of ingredients is very long. A mix of mundane and unusual items.
- Normally collecting ingredients would be easy, but not this time. Isabelle needs the ‘traditional’ ingredients, not some close copies but the ‘real’ ingredients. She has tried to make this cake more than once and each time has been a failure.
- But this time there shall be no failure. Ask no questions. Obey the cook. Get me the ingredients or die trying…. Or else you shall have no cake, and that would make the cook very angry! You do not want the cook to be angry…..
- Grant and Ethan head off to many different realms. There are Christmas-like festivals in many different realms. It is not necessarily Christmas, but there are many places that have a midwinter festival and their Exogesis translates the festivals as ‘Christmas’.
- They are halfway through the list and have come to a snowy valley where they hope to buy some of the spiced cinnamon that is unique that this is realm. Unfortunately the local store is out of stock (everyone is making cakes) and the mountain trail which leads to the next major township is blocked by avalanche.
- GM’s note: As I mentioned in Session 236, this session worked well but we had to repeat a section. What actually happened was that David had railroaded the characters such that the merchant carrying spiced cinnamon was on the other side of the avalanche, and hence we needed to go 15 miles to clear the debris, but we weren’t allowed to use any flashy magic because the natives weren’t used to that.

And at that point I asked David to halt the story and we tried to tell the story more interactively so that the GM wasn’t dictating both problem and solution. I felt going back to a question/answer style worked much better.

- Winding back just a fraction, Grant and Ethan have come to a snowy valley to collect some spiced cinnamon but all three of the shops in the village are out of stock. Ethan asks the shopkeeper of one of the shops as to where it comes from. The shopkeeper says that it comes from Portsmith (which is on the coast). It’s hard to get.
- Ethan spots some cooking sherry in the shop. It wasn’t on Isabelle’s list but he adds it anyway. Grant also adds some bits and pieces which he thinks the family might like. The goods are stored in Ethan’s multi-dimensional cube.
- The two talk for a bit about how to acquire the spiced cinnamon given that there is no stock here and the nearest town is a long way away. Ethan wonders if he could possibly buy the quantity that Isabelle wants from one of the villagers, compensating them for the inconvenience. There is one recluse in the village who typically bakes his cake very late – Old Man Williams. He might be persuaded.
- Old Man Williams leaves on the hillside in one of the older buildings. Once it would have been once been a prime position with a stream running through his property. But the waterwheel appears broken and the woodshed is listing and appears short of wood. There is smoke coming from the chimney.
- The old man is very slow, painfully thin and stooped. He blinks at the pair when Ethan asks to trade his spiced cinnamon for some silver coins. The old man isn’t used to seeing strangers or receiving visitors but is quickly convinced to trade his cinnamon for a tidy sum that can be used to buy more when the next merchant caravan reaches town in a few days.
- Ethan notes that the man is badly injured. Something raked his back when he was much younger – and there are burn marks around the edges of the wounds. Explaining that he is a healer, Ethan offers to help the man. Old Man Williams looks at him doubtfully but explains that he’s not been able to ply his trade for a long time and any relief that be offered would be most welcome.
- Ethan uses Eidolon to repair the old man’s back. He stands up straighter and feels much stronger. Apparently Williams used to be a hunter, and he used to make charcoal, then heatstones. But he got injured on one of his hunts and his health has been steadily deteriorating ever since. The healing that Ethan provides with Eidolon makes him feel much better but it will take him some time to develop a measure of his old strength.
- The trade appears to be complete and Williams is happy. He offers Ethan a lucky charm made out of carved wood. It is beautifully carved and feels like it has an echo of Wrighting about it. Meanwhile, Grant has chopped wood and brought back a brace of rabbits.
- They leave Old Man Williams feeling that they’ve done someone a good turn who needed help.

Part 2 – Tears of a Mermaid
- Grant and Ethan pick up other ingredients that they need but the next item on the list sounds ridiculous: Tears of a Mermaid. Is it a reference to some sort of herb, or is Isabelle asking for tears of an actual mermaid? How does a mermaid cry underwater? And if a mermaid were to cry underwater, how would one capture their tears? And then – how does one actually make a Mermaid cry?
- Ethan decides to check with Isabelle via Icon and she confirms that she wants actual tears of a mermaid. It isn’t a herb or a metaphor. Real tears. She’ll only accept genuine mermaid tears.
- Grant and Ethan have never met a mermaid before but Grant mentions one of the realms that Marindar trades with called Pacifica which has an undersea kingdom. He supposes that the females are called mermaids. Grant decides to bring onions with him, just in case they are needed to make a mermaid cry.
- They make their way there quickly and arrive in a trading port. There they hire a guide for silvers and charter a vessel. The merfolk don’t come to the islands very often – they prefer deeper water.
- Ethan enjoys a few days on a boat travelling through warm waters. After a missed opportunity, they find a small reef at the edge of deep water where a blue-skinned Merman is waiting to trade. Neither Grant nor Ethan speak their native language, but the Merman speaks the common trade tongue.
- The Merman is very surprised when Ethan explains what he is after, but they are happy to trade for this unusual request. It takes a bit of time to get a Mermaid (as most of the traders are men), but eventually a blue-skinned alien woman comes to the surface. Ethan notes that Mermaids are not pretty after all, despite what the stories say.
- Then they have to figure out how to make the Mermaid cry. Onions work, but only after Ethan enhances them via Eidolon – and when he does that, everyone ends up extremely teary. Nevertheless, they manage to capture a Mermaid’s blue-tears (which turn into a strange crystal that appears quite solid once separated from the Mermaid). The Merfolk are very pleased with this deal – from their point of view they have acquired trade goods for something that they consider to be very mundane.
- Grant and Ethan return to port and consult the remaining list. There is but one item left.

Part 3 – Dark Elven Jam
- Tridoran Jam.
- It’s like sherbet pop for Dark Elves. The Dark Elves from the Tridoran Empire have conquered the surface world and subjugated all of the other races. Still, they prize very highly their Tridoran Jam. It takes a thousand slaves almost a year to produce just one jar of Tridoran Jam, and hence it is not possible to buy the Jam. Just having the Jam is a sign of prestige and status amongst the Dark Elves.
- As such, Grant goes undercover as a Dark Elf – with Ethan as his slave. Grant is resplendent in his finery. Ethan is wearing basic clothes – which his generous dark elf master allows him to wear (clearly he is a trusted slave).
- To acquire the Tridoran Jam, Grant infiltrates Imperial society and he decides to pick on an obese Dark Elf named Kerixkas (using Umbra to figure out who is weak). Grant presents Kerixkas with a bauble – an Eidolon-enhanced artefact – and engineers a situation where the only thing that Kerixkas can gift in return is a jar of jam.
- The trading of gifts goes well, and Kerixkas believes that he has been given an artifact of real power (it’s very shiny).
- Returning to the Stair, Ethan remarks that Grant enjoyed being a Dark Elf far too much for his liking.

Part 4 – Dwarven Ale
- On the way home, Grant and Ethan visit a dwarven brewery. The locals are not pleased to see these rich newcomers. Lord Harnaek is the current brewmaster but he is hopeless compared to his father, grandfather, great grandfather and so forth. His recent brews are dirt cheap because they are mediocre, but he still has what’s left of his father’s stock – and those aged brews are awesome. The prices are astronomical, but Grant and Ethan can afford them.
- Some of the dwarves cry as Grant and Ethan take a barrel of ale, and a barrel of mead.

Part 5 – Holiday Feast
- Grant and Ethan return to see Isabelle with days to spare. She has been trying to use Eidolon to fix her stove without upgrading it but she doesn’t have the control that Ethan does (she is still learning). She refuses to let Ethan help as this is her project.
- While Isabelle cooks, Grant and Ethan prepare the rest of the food and set up for the many guests. Grant has also managed to find chocolate oranges from somewhere. (Ethan doesn’t get the attraction of chocolate oranges).
- They have a lovely Christmas with family and friends. Grant’s family and Ethan’s family. Isabelle and Lucien are there. Isabelle’s parents (Stefan and Yolanda). Abigail and Hilda. The cake is a success, Isabelle is praised for her cooking and they have a happy holiday.

And this ends the Holiday Special…..

Next we start a new plot arc with the Shadow Fey…..
The White Wizard makes the best cakes, the thought of which drives even sane Uruks into fits of frothing madness.... Do not come between the Uruk-Hai and their precious cakes.

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