Interesting to look at my prep from sessions long ago-- normally I work with notebooks and rarely type up my prep notes, but every once in a while I do before a game. So about this time of year back in 1999 I was running what came to be called "The Freakish Band of Adventurers" campaign-- a fantasy homebrew in my shared world. In any case, here are my pre-game prep notes for the session 1/14/99.
Tonight’s Game Thursday, January 14, 1999:
1. We begin in the city of Smokestone. Recap who is with them: Kibray, Luck and Nadja; Malinois; Apergilis; Frank; the Servants; Klaus and Brande; Carissa; Valarian; Laden; Engler; Maissa. Describe who the people are give the PCs an opportunity to ask questions or else talk to people. (As is my want I suspect that a number of them are going to stay here for some time: if possible Klaus, Brande, Engler, the Servants, Frank, Luck and Nadja) That’s a fairly substantial group who will wait until the group has found the boat and dealt with the darkness on the mainland.
2. Dealing with the leaving of Klaus and Brande. Klaus will explain to his brother that he doesn’t want to take his sister into the darkness. He’s spoken to the other Jymlinders (make apparent that Engler is the holdout, and to Kibray.) She has said that staying here would be a good idea. Perhaps at this point he could mention the curse he was placed under. The Captain will also probably want to look into the factories and metal works…especially gunsmithing. Engler can be an intermediary for this.
3. Speaking with the Warder. See if he wants to talk with the various NPCs. He will probably want to speak with Malinois…as will everyone. Give him the opportunity if possible. He might also wish to speak with his father. Valarian is in pain, but is hiding it well. He has a cover of spirits around him currently.
4. The City is richly filled with non-humans. That in itself could be a strange thing for Dave. Escobar may also wish to speak with him. This is an opportunity to discuss the kind of magic and form which he goes through. These are two possible plot points for him.
5. Krynn and the strange atmosphere here. I am assuming that she will want to speak with Malinois. Also arrange a conversation with Frank post-glasses. The possibility of an Ilviran priest. Might make for some fun now. Weapons as well…she might like something from here.
6. Crank and the deal for weapons. See what he would like. See if there are other conversations she wants to deal with.
7. Going over the questions with Myrnn. Seeing what she wants. There will unfortunately be no response from the Mooncats. She will have to find her path herself. Conversation with the Vizer of Metals about the Cinnabril. Katanas are out of the question…made only by the crafters of the Walking Lands…Shazak in particular. However, they have a variety of Red Steel Weapons. ;) Talking with Don Fernando about the call of Janmareks. He will explain what part of this is about. The Free Confederacy has become somewhat aggressive, something unheard of before. It is said that some humans as well as a group of aggressive Lupin are leading an assault on neighboring villages. In part this is because some of the richest lands were damaged by salt (Ternus has done nothing to help) and also because of the various elemental damages. The same tensions have begun to spread into the various Sedhuen-esque lands. This has made some travel dangerous. A number of people who might have brought some sense in this have traveled to safer pastures elsewhere. No one knows where Herath stands in this and some suspect that Ternus is backing the bid. Yinshul is believed dead, but there are always rumors.
8. Don Escobar will call the group together early on to get some of their story. He will be mostly focused on what has happened in Perdao. While he is a concerned man, what concerns him most is the life and safety of the people of Smokestone. There will be some grumblings from his various advisors about how he works himself to death.
9. At some point Escobar will come and apologize that he has to leave. He has received an urgent summons from the Mendicant Order of Magi. They are all of the major mages of the land. He will be unclear as to what the nature of the emergency is. One of his fellows arrived here last night. They can meet him if they wish. A wolf-folk person: Grasmell the Tooth. Aged and worn down with time. He will be vague about the nature of the circumstance…except perhaps that it involves a member of the Court…if pressed he will perhaps mention Herath. This may be a point for some comment about Mrynn’s power and ability.
10. The group will eventually have to depart Smokestone. There should be some comment from the Elemental Workers about their nervousness about the power source for their ship. The main drive of the ship and the bikes is Upsidaisium. They should avoid cracking open the containment of these things. That would be bad. The various NPCs will arrange to remain here until the group can come and fetch them. Engler will also suggest that they will keep an ear out for news of Ancantar.
11. Zoom! The Ship takes off. It will require some hours for the ship to make the journey to the mainland. Keep in mind how hard it is for the group to pilot the ship in the darkness. The will eventually come down somewhere in Jarlshire…not more than a day or two away from the main castle. The ship itself will have to recharge its engines after the prolonged, controller flight. Remember, this is still Skaven technology. If they decide to use the bikes remind them of what height they are built for.
12. One of the first things they will find is an abandoned village; one of the human settlements. They may find one of two of the Honor Warders here, the human adjuncts under the auspices of King Aludrescu. They will tell of the darkness and the plague. That many elves died and they feared a return of the Death Wind. Most of the Dragon Warders are away…some searching for the Mestare (Valarian) and others having headed to the north because of reports of various undead on the march. Valarian will say that this is not the Deathwind…he will not explain himself further, but he is certain of this. However, he has become quite ill at this point. Eventually they will have to head to the Zaveth’s Tree (named in honor of the head of the Shadow Warders who fell in Sirayn). It is not known what has happened there…they say that the Lady is there with some advisors.
13. There will be a real sense of tension when they reach Zaveth’s Tree. First they will feel a real isolation of spirits. Second, John will feel a strong sense of a scryfield around the area. Whoever is doing it is not being particularly subtle. They will eventually find a staked out area. It is surrounded by spirits…they will find the body of Ronzor Goldwright. He has been ritually murdered to keep him from regenerating.
14. Eventually meeting the Basilisk. That is all he will call himself. He will be cleaning his blade after having dispatched several false Dragon Warders. He is planning to make his way into the Tree to dispatch the Chimera and his group of Drow associates. He can perhaps tell the group of what is going to happen. The changes, the attempts, the fact that someone is making or has made the new sword. He will continue to look at Mrynn strangely. He has two weapons with him, but he wields only one.
15. Making their way into the tree complex. Fairly cleared out. A number of guards about. Point out that some of them can probably contact others if they are not dealt with quickly. Finding the body of the ageless Elf and of Citizen Narwain…tearful deathscene. He will speak of the valor of this one. He believes that the Spinner, Oison, the Lady and Khandallan are being held.
16. Big, hot fight. Several nasty drow evil ones attempting to subvert the will of the tree to their own. Several normal Drow, plus the Chimera. The Basilisk will look worried because he is not sure that he can defeat the Chimera.
17. Big fight, big resolution. Oison and the Eye. They have put it into him because they are not sure what is going on there. The Avar have been put into a slumber because they are particularly susceptible. The vision of Oison…the need for the darkness to be lifted lest it remain…must go to the one who knows of the Godplane---Ethilrist or Solace.
18. Let’s see where we go from here.