Friday, September 16, 2011

The Last Fleet: The Stone Queen: Session Six

Continuing the series of session reports for the Last Fleet campaign; previous entry here.

The Dwarven Story

The group engaged in an exchange of information with Gavesk Sundering- filling him in on their present situation. Gavesk reacted slowly, but seemed remarkably coherent. Lira watched him warily however. The group learned a number of things.

  1. Gavesk and his ship had been caught in a wild-storm from the Stormwall and cast out into the In Between. They had spent years trying to repair their vessel and figure out a way back. However, later they had been caught by the Stone Queen- only managing to keep themselves intact by means of the shield they’d hoped to use to return through the storms.
  2. The Stone Queen seems to have been some kind of Golem who had figured out a way to grow larger. It had stone servants to caretake and build upon it. Gavesk remained uncertain of her origins. The Queen hunted souls- petrifying them and turning them into her servants.
  3. Several magical engine spheres dragged the Queen through the void of the In-Between. Other ships which had been captured and chained were dragged along as well. The Queen grabbed up any raw materials she could find in the void, adding it to her own.
  4. Over the years, Gavesk’s fellow Dwarves had died, gone mad or been caught by the Queen. Her Gargoyle servants had harried the force field surrounding the ship for decades before finally turning to other matters. He now remained the sole survivor, unable to take advantage of the situation. The field protected Gavesk from the deadly magical radiation outside- the source of the illness now gripping the PC’s fleet.

The Plan
Dweena pressed him- could the force field be adapted for a larger purpose, perhaps to protect their fleet and allow them to pass through the Stormwall into another realm. He believed it could be done- but would require significant magistone. But the generator was the Dwarven ship itself- it could not be simply taken out. Gavesk, however, had a plan.

He calculated the time before serious attention from the Queen would reach them. Even now scouts would be coming, then later the Queen’s Dragon- so they would have to act fast. Two things would be necessary for Gavesk to drop the shield, fly out from inside the chains and escape the Stone Queen’s grasp. First, he would need some of the energy from one of the Queen’s Engine stones. Second, they would need to disable the lock on the chains- halfway between his ship and the statue herself. That disabling would prevent the chains from constricting.

The Fight
The group agreed and headed back out to their ship with the goal of intercepting the Gargoyle scouting party. They anticipated a minor brawl, but arrayed themselves carefully. However the stone-skinned monsters proved deadly opponents. The group suffered some nasty damage- barely able to kill all of the Queen’s minions, shooting the last one out of the sky in a daredevil maneuver. With a battle that difficult to start, they worry about the rest of the operation- can the overcome the Stone Queen’s forces?

GM’s Notes
Sessions five and six suffered from some bad scheduling and pacing on my part. What should have taken an hour and a half in Session Five ended up taking a little less than twice that. That meant that I had to get them to the next episode and stop at an awkward point. I’d hoped to have a small combat to wrap up the session, but it had gotten too late to start that- plus they had plenty of questions for the Dwarf. The following session they were down a player- and things again took longer than I’d planned. The group offered to end early so that we could take up the following session with all players present. Given the difficulty of the situation, that wasn’t a bad plan on their part.