Posted by : David Guyll July 30, 2014

Cast
  • Augustine (5th-level human paladin)
  • Jaya (5th-level human bard)
  • Mouse (5th-level gnome thief)

Augustine could not see the soldiers, but thanks to the burning brazier he could at least see their shadows. They were trying to hedge him in so as to keep him away from Shorna, who had shuffled back inside her magic circle and continued chanting.

He was still backing away and considering his options when Mark returned to the deck, followed by one of his men and, more importantly, a pair of trolls that were casually rampaging their way through the floor as they pursued them. They
made it inside Shorna's magic circle just in time for her to raise an invisible barrier, which to Augustine's dismay was strong enough to repel even their combined strength.

Below deck Jaya had pointed out the centaur's remains to the troll that had just hurled his friend through a wall. Despite both her sword and the pegasus's hooves having only a fleeting impact on its skull it relented, effortlessly tearing the cell apart and proceeding to noisily and gruesomely devour its corpse. With the troll momentarily distracted, she started leading the pegasus to one of the holes that had been punched into the ship so that they could escape before it finished.

The ship suddenly shook with a familiar tremor, as the third ship in the arena smashed into the other side. The impact flung Mouse through the air and into one of the sails on Mark's barge. He punched a hole in it with his dagger, slicing it open as he descended towards the deck. Once he was a safe distance he released himself, falling onto the back of a troll. It was slippier than expected, so he drove his dagger into its head to prevent himself from sliding off.

Unfortunately for Jaya the other troll had survived the fall, and by the time she had regained her footing from the impact it had made its way back up and into the hull. Luckily, rather than rend her limb from limb, it lumbered past her and began to what she could only assume was yelling at the other troll. They roared at each other for a bit, before the one eating the centaur drove what was left of one of its leg into the other one's skull. While this seemed to keep it down, the other one was now out of centaur.

As she is wont to do, Jaya blew a series of high-pitched notes on her flute, deafening both herself and the intended recipient. Even so, she was able to hop on the pegasus and get away while it clutched its head and bellowed in agony.

Mouse scampered across the deck towards Augustine. One of the trolls had given up on the barrier and decided to go with the smaller, more immediate and delicious threat. Mouse was fast, but the troll was plenty strong and more than capable of, say, tearing chunks of the ship's rail off and hurling them. Though he was able to dodge their impromptu ordnance he slipped on what he hoped was just swamp troll slime, and before he was able to regain his feet one of the trolls was standing over him.

Augustine came thundering across the deck. To the surprise of both himself and the soldiers he had cleanly skewered one of them, and was using it as a kind of shield to keep the others at bay. He swung the halberd about, flinging the invisible corpse away, and caught the troll's club with it. He felt his teeth rattle from the impact, and the troll's own shock gave Mouse more than enough time to drive his short sword into a part of the troll that, more than most places, made it very grateful to have regeneration.

It's pained howl was slightly higher than usual, attracting the attention of the other troll. It quickly recovered, and as they both loomed over Augustine Jaya's owl swooped in. It scratched at their faces, easily evading their clumsy attempts to catch it. Though ultimately harmless it was still distracting, which gave Mouse enough time to hurl a vial of serpent's tears into one of their mouths. High overhead Jaya could clearly see that Augustine had taken a beating, but when she tried weaving a healing song one of the trolls hurled a thick plank of ship deck at her. It struck one of the pegasus's wings, and they both went spiraling down.

Gripping his throwing blade, Mouse maneuvered onto the ship's rail to get some distance and a clear shot. He struck one in the eye, and it staggered back, clawing painfully at its face. The other tried to pelt Mouse off the ship's railing with a chunk of deck, but Augustine swung his halberd in a wide arc, striking its skull. Mouse's poison had weakened its stony flesh: it easily cleaved through, and the troll crumbled apart into a cloud of chalky powder.

The troll Mouse blinded had yanked the throwing blade free, and he could see that it's eye was rapidly growing back. It grabbed the railing that Mouse was perched on and gave it a powerful pull. It had intended to dislodge Mouse, but the railing snapped towards it, propelling the gnome toward its face. Mouse twisted in the air, using the force to drive his sword deep into the troll's not-quite-empty eye socket. The momentum carried him up and over the troll's head, splitting the top half of it open as he sailed past.

Mouse landed on the deck with a hard thud, but when he collected himself was promptly knocked back over by a shadowy, wolf-like creature with black, mangy fur. It tore into his flesh, and he felt the spirits within the wolf belt take over, involuntarily transforming him. They both circled about each other, but before either struck the wolf demanded that Mouse release the trapped spirits. Mouse pointed out the witch, explaining that she was the one responsible for making them. If he agreed to help kill her, then he would destroy the belt immediately.

The wolf agreed, and with some mental effort Mouse was able to revert back, remove the belt, and sever the it. Dark, howling wisps flowed from the tattered belt into the wolf. Its fur became thicker and fuller, and its size noticeably increased. The wolf thanked Mouse, and true to its word turned its attention to the witch.

Jaya had given the pegasus a quick "tune up", and was flipping through the book she had found below deck. Unfortunately all she could find were formulas for potions and poisons, and nothing about easily breaking through magical spirit barriers. She was not sure if her magic would penetrate it, but figured it could not hurt to try: she weaved an illusion around Mark, and was relieved when he blinked a few times, then drew his sword and started walking towards Shorna.

The soldier that had followed Mark tried to stop him. Mark knocked him aside with a strike of his gauntleted fist, telling him to stay down, but before he could drive his sword through Shorna the soldier tackled him to the ground, pleading for him to stop. Jaya saw Shorna ready the dagger above a red-haired poppet, and when it was clear that neither of the men inside were going to get the upper hand anytime soon, used the last of the powder that the dusky king had used to restore his magic.

There was a momentary shimmer in the air, but nothing overtly indicating that the barrier was gone. Shorna brought the dagger down, but right before it stabbed the poppet something unseen slammed into her, sending her sprawling to the ground and the dagger clattering away. At this Mark, seething with anger, kicked the soldier away, and retrieved his sword. It crackled with violent energies as he brought it down, silencing the soldier's cries for mercy.

The wolf leaped in, sinking his fangs into Shorna's throat and carrying her away. As Mark spared her a glance Jaya began playing her flute, a rapid series of notes causing Mouse's sword to hum. Mouse dashed towards Mark, but he moved with surprising speed and skill, easily swatting him aside with the force of the blow. When Mouse did not get up he strode towards Augustine and Jaya, arrogantly stating that he was the legitimate heir of Hell's Arch, and that once he killed them, "Fiona's lackeys", everyone would have to bow to him.

The blade again crackled with energy as he swung it at Augustine, who barely caught it with the haft of his halberd, and began shrieking demands that he acknowledge his claim. Jaya used her magic to enhance Augustine's—and thankfully only Augustine's—halberd. Augustine shoved Mark back and took a swipe, but he was far more skilled than he anticipated and evaded the brunt of the attack. Augustine was thrown off balance, and with a smug, toothy sneer Mark hefted his sword above his head, preparing to finish off Augustine.

His eyes suddenly went wide and blood began to trickling from his mouth. He coughed, and his grip loosed on his sword as he let it drop to the ground. He reached behind himself, and when his hand came back Augustine could see that it was coated in blood. He stared at his hand in disbelief, as if he was genuinely confused as to what or how this had happened, and then fell to his knees. His expression changed to one of anger, then fear, before he finally collapsed.

Mouse was standing behind him, shirt stained with blood and holding a bloody dagger.

"That ought to shut him up."

Behind the Scenes
I think we're almost done with this campaign: maybe another 3-4 sessions left. We wanted to do podcasts/Hangouts on Air with this campaign, but had a baby on board, which made it difficult for Melissa to cut the audio. Once Melissa and I move that won't be a problem however, which means that we can also start from the beginning.

So what would you guys want to see/hear next? FATE has been mentioned, but I could also start running a Sundered World game.

Melissa: Is it cut in any way?
David: What is this, a dungeon deli?
Dan: Is there a centaur steak handy?

David: It's the best of both worlds: human and horse. Like a turducken.

Dan: The body will give you two armor.
David: Damn, we need to carry bodies around.

(after David has suggested using the bag of anti-magic dust several times on the barrier)
Melissa: I throw the whole bag at it: screw you, barrier!
Dan: The wavering sort of, heat like interference of the barrier goes down.
Melissa: Oh, the barrier goes down?
David: Mmm *rubs nipples*...let's see here...mmm *rubs nipples* for a new bond Jaya should write a song about me and how my ideas are always awesome.

A Sundered World Update
I have decided to start posting updated pdfs of A Sundered World each week, partially to help build interest, partially to let people know almost precisely what to expect when the Kickstarter launches. You can get the current document here, and here is a current list of additions/changes for this week thus far:

  • Modified the world move for building things out of the astral, and adjusted some Astral Swimmer moves to account for this.
  • Deva: Added the Death domain, as well as a few advanced race moves for it.
  • Elf & Kytheran: Added more racial moves.
  • Most classes have questions that you can ask about them.
  • Battlemind: Changed Learned background, added miss effect to Psionic Focus, added/changes some moves (Reforge Flesh lets you spend focus to heal/shape weapons on others, added Biomagnetics).
  • Invoker: Added advanced moves: Be Afraid, Suffer No Evil, Your Will Be Done..., ...Your Kingdom Come, Be Very Afraid, Celestial Choir.
  • Shaman: Added Kindred Spirit background. Tweaked some other moves.
  • Chronomancer: Added moves: Time Compression, Temporal Acceleration, Time Stop, Warp Field
  • Lingering Soul & Possessed: Started adding moves.
  • Equipment: Added tags to go along with madiron, sinsteel, staff focus. Added vial of astral stuff, copper arm, starwater, poison, thoughtroot implant, ironwood enthollow, frostbone jotuncase, etc.
  • Fleshed out the Running Out of Time campaign front.

{ 2 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I would love to see you start playtesting A Sundered World. Doing so can help you work out any bugs or awkward moves/wording/situations that may have been overlooked so far. I'm sure you have enough content ready already, and if not, the rest of it is all in your head; get it to paper! I'm sure that playing will even help you flesh out those ideas that may still be hazy when it comes to details.

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    1. @Cory: As I write I keep adding more and more stuff to it! I was about ready to stop, but I think what I need to do is get the necessaries done, and just add more during the Kickstarter period. >_>

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