Casting Runes 6: A Season for All Things – Session 14 Recap

This post continues the exploration and implementation of RuneQuest 6th Edition in a sword and sorcery campaign setting. This was a short session, focused on introducing additional characters and locations.

 

Check the list of links below for the recaps of the previous sessions, and other related articles on this campaign. Less-detailed video recaps are also available on my YouTube Channel.

 

Session 14 was a little unusual in that we launched additional characters for the players. Part of this exploration is to make use of Troupe Style play, but due to the way things have happened in the events of the game, we have not gotten to this stage until now.

Problems  & Solutions:

Another set of technical problems struck this game, but did not interfere with play. One player’s camera inexplicably would not activate, while another lost the use of their mouse and could not regain it. The former player carried on with audio only, while the latter shifted to an older laptop and soldiered on.

Thoughts on Running the Game:

For those who have not experienced it, Troupe Style provides each character with a cast of characters that they play. It might include having each player run multiple characters in a scene, or it might mean players running multiple characters in different locations and/or time periods in the same campaign. In ‘A Season for All Things,’ the players have an opportunity to take on additional characters in different parts of the world, in the same period of time as the characters we have been following. It is intended that only one character will be played per person per session, but minor exceptions might occur.

Session Fourteen: Survivors

This session, was run on a Saturday afternoon, with two players present. It saw the introduction of new characters for the players of Turged and Gorwyn. One chose to play a female Aliran acolyte in service to the Charioteer. The other chose to play a young Fidran orphan, apprenticing to a secretive sorcerer operating under the guise of a merchant and unofficial ambassador to the human nations. These two characters are navigating the misery and mystery of the Fidran refugee camps being set up among the islands off the coast of the Great Bazaar.

The Great Bazaar is a vast collective of tent-based and semi-transient merchants – many of them Fidran – occupying a stretch of coast in an otherwise unsettled and unclaimed part of the human territories. Of course, its nearest neighbor, the expansionist Al… Empire, has been increasing its presence and its implied control for a decade or more. Only the economic and political might of the Fidran holdings have kept them in check. With news of the loss of Helon’s Hold, the massive, undersea city state which was the very beating heart of the Fidran nation, little would seem to hold those expansionist dreams in check.

The two characters, Mihanoom and Makalai, both nominally under the protection of the same merchant, have begun to investigate the reasons and consequences of the destruction of Helon’s Hold a few weeks before. The Hold, one of the most glorious sites in all the Firmament was one of the last visible displays of divine power in the firmament. In fact, only two such monumental wonders remain… or remained. The daily race of the sun across the crystal dome of the sky to bring light, celebrated most beautifully by the Alirans in their worship of the Charioteer was one such miracle. The other was the glittering shell of energy, known simply as the Hand of God, which protected Helon’s Hold from the crushing weight of an ocean of water. These last two miracles, a daily factor of life, were taken practically for granted by their witnesses. It should go without saying that now that those two miracles have ceased, talk of them has not been greater since their first appearance forgotten millennia ago.

On Alirans

Working from the simple framework I provided here, as Mihanoom began to take shape in character generation, so too did her species, the iconoclastic and mainly incorporeal Alirans. As he worked through the details of her past, he also had to sort out and collaborate with me on the basic details of her people.

In their natural state they are, for all intents and purposes, visible but intangible. They possess great wings, with a glittering sheen of colors, and with concentration, and a forced shift into a fully-materialized form they can soar and fly like condors. As a species, they do not eat solid food, but rather take their sustenance from the sun’s rays and the humidity of the air. When solid, however, they have discovered a capacity for tasting food, and some come to appreciate it. In their slowly drifting and constantly re-forming cloud cities, the Alirans forsake the need for clothing and the modesty it brings. They are proud, strong-minded, and given to the defense of things. Passing over and above everything, apart and disconnected from much of it, the Alirans have a reputation for cold aloofness and superiority. The truth may be quite different.

On Fidrans

Again building on what was written in the campaign guide, and seen in play, Gorwyn’s player worked with the rest of us to give more distinction to the Fidrans. Dwellers under and on the sea, but not of the sea, the natural character of the species began to take on tendencies of obsession and refined focus. Artists, chefs, warriors, and sorcerers. Spies and collectors, visionaries and heretics. Sensual and sensitive, the Fidrans see and experience more than their fellows. Living under the massive and unmistakable aegis of their deity, has marked them for greatness, and many seek to rise to that call. More than a few, fail. Those failures spread out from the Holds and across the lands of the Firmament, serving as the eyes and ears of the great information network which feeds the minds and plans of those who live ‘Under the God.’

 

The Session

The session began with character creation for the apprentice sorcerer and we chose to go through the full process, rolling on every chart and keeping the results we got. As usual, this arcane method produced inspiration in great measure. While this was in process, we tweaked and refined the Aliran Acolyte to be as fully-developed. Using a little less than an hour, we slowly chatted and brainstormed with the ideas that the character generation process was sparking, enjoying the opportunity for such refined collaboration.

Once both characters were ready to go, we established their introduction in the lavish halls of Mala Meninkai, Makalai’s benefactor, mentor, and literal savior. They would be touring the refugee sites together over the next few days while Mihanoom got her bearings and searched for any sign of similarity or connection between the destruction of Helon’s Hold and her own Cloud City of Wither.

Session Recap:

  • Mihanoom arrived at the estate of Mala, and was met at the door by Makalai. The acolyte presented the young apprentice with a gift for his “uncle,” and was escorted inside. The gift, a jar of rare honey, was whisked off by servants to be incorporated in the many exotic dishes that the merchant enjoyed as a matter of course, but that kings would move mountain and sea to taste. In point of fact, the menu for this first meeting was to be world fish, a dish said to never be served outside Helon’s Hold.
  • Hours passed and no sign of Mala was to be seen. Eventually, Makalai revealed that his mentor was away from the Bazaar and involved in the great undertakings of electing a government in exile for the Fidran people, as the refugee camps began to take shape. The young man, all of 14, was to escort the acolyte to the camps, and his ‘uncle.’ He had been delaying in order to learn more about the Aliran, and enjoy the honey she had brought. It was not lost on either of them that the meal before them was one she could but taste, and that he found so common as to be unremarkable.
  • A quick tour of the Bazaar to gather rumors and news from travelers did not amount to much, so the pair took themselves to the merchant’s pier and took one of the small craft anchored there. Within a few hours, they hove in sight of one of the bigger islands around the cape, out in the open sea. Makalai, a proficient sailor managed to bring the craft into the harbor without incident, and the pair made their way through the chaos of the camp to find Mala.
  • After checking in with Mala, the pair found him to be cordial, as usual. He directed them to specific spots in the growing camp, and then bid them join him at the end of the work day for wine and a discussion of what they had found. He made his farewells, then left them for a return to the great tent in which deliberations about the elections were underway. Knowing him, Makalai was certain he was missing out on seeing the sorcerer turned merchant engage in king-making of the first order.
  • It did not take long for their investigation to start bearing fruit. A small group of fisherfolk, and others who spend their lives aboard ship reported the same sorts of details to them over and over again. They spoke of how the sun seemed to stand still (which now of course it does, and has been doing for months), and the winds gathered tightly together. The spoke of a massive whirlpool opening and drawing many vessels to their doom. Some few, hours and many drinks later, were willing to state that they say the form of something unsettled, undecided, but yet somehow lake a dragon given shape by water and smoke, erupting from the waves to vanish into the raging storm which had just as suddenly swept up as the seas drank Helon Hold in one vast gulp. Fewer still were willing to describe the horror of the dead which began to surface, shattered from their rise from the depths. It was to this part that the orphaned and banished Makalai listened most carefully, and about which he asked the most questions – even resorting to subtle sorcery of the mind and emotions [Enhance Characteristic: Charisma, RQ6 page 243].
  • The light of the Frozen Sun continued to beat down upon them hours after it should have been full dark, and Mihanoom remembered to cloak herself in a thick hooded robe lest she fall prey to the sun-sickness which had been afflicting her people since the Charioteer disappeared from his course in the sky, leaving his blazing orb trapped at mid-morning. Exhausted, the two began to wend their way back to the main tents, and Mala.
  • Before they reached the center of the camp, they recognized that they were being followed, and began their preparations for surviving an ambush…

 

Session Fifteen:

The Fifteenth session recap will appear after BrigadeCon.

 

Stay tuned~

Weekly Recaps

Comments
2 Responses to “Casting Runes 6: A Season for All Things – Session 14 Recap”
  1. Scott Rhymer says:

    I’m a big fan of troupe play. In our Galactica game, the players typically had two to three characters in dramatically different roles (military, politician, police, scientist), which opened up a lot more plot types and opportunities for me, the GM, and the players.

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