PrinceCon XL: Alex’s scenario writeup
Ratri has a secret. In fact, she has a lot of secrets, and is willing to share them… if you have something worth trading for.
First Run “On the Loose”
Morley the Dark
Pfferdsensen the Trollrider
Wussun of the Narwal Tribe
In their own words:
The “All Mother” Eir asked us to go check up on Ratri, who was chained to Law Rock in Mannheim.
We travelled to the south coast, where we interceded between (“Greenpeace”) Members of the Open Door, who was rescuing a small whale who beached itself to escape THE Serpent, and a group of Driftwood rights gang (dozen men w/weapons). After a run-around (literally by Wussun), minimal casualties and a patrol by Lord Luthor Sigursson, we headed to Sigurshelm where we met an old man who told tales (Hione?). Lord Luthor arrived later with a dead “fish man” and strange red algae.
Onward to Law Rock**, where a being was chained on top. Chains were broken and a parley began. What we learned ::: AS PER THE FREED LADY :::
> Wyrd sisters write tablets (with our Fates)
> Breaking a tablet *can* alter outcomes (be wary of unintended consequences)
> Blank tablets may be veiled (so Detect Magic may not work), and may require Dispel Magic to reveal and Read Magic to read the writing
> See Alex for trading of tables (or Secrets) for Secrets
Law Rock has “Fate of Janda” carved on it. (Not broken, see board). Not sure if this event has already happened.
As we were leaving, we found the area was surrounded by many trolls. They let us pass freely; were they under control of the Lady?
- Wussun, holder of the Keys
** En route, there was a mystery iron cage near Katla.
GM notes: This run was to give the players a flavor of Mannheim and an introduction to southern Jaanmark. Along the way, they got some quality time with Hione and Ratri. The players talked themselves out of a big combat with Trolls at the end of this run by playing nice with Ratri, who left them with some goodies and an “open door” for further trading of information, but the fact that they didn’t try to arrest Ratri disappointed Hione, who left the scene without warning to brood upon the state of Mannheim and the heroism of his Valiant.
The “Greenpeace” Members of the Open Door were a cell of dupes used by the overall Open Door of Night (ODoN), Ratri’s demihuman cult of the Serpent. While the dupes were a nuisance, the rest of the Cult could work in secret on their primary objective: to erupt the Ring of Fire and flood southern Jaanmark.
Second Run “To Stoenheim”
In their own words:
Looking for the wife of Oodlask, “Sybil”, supposedly a daughter of Hione.
In Stoenheim, encountered 3 Ettins. Killed 3 Ettins and looted the bodies. Found Sybil, got a letter for her mother. A group of Ettin attempted to kill Sybil. We saved her and delivered her to Oodlask via Valkyrie express.
Delivered letter to Eir. Also got a letter for Ratri (don’t know where she is).
If you know where Ratri is, see Keith Belgerent for letter.
GM note: there was strong suspicion that Sybil was Ratri in disguise. Sybil was, in fact, a true daughter of Hione and Eir. I had originally intended for Sybil to provide information “for free” about Fate Stones, but the party was offput by their reception; when told that they were emissaries from her mother, Sybil was abrupt and complained it was a little late for her mother to mend bridges. As a result, they determined that Sybil should not be forced to come home to Mother, and simply asked to deliver a letter from Sybil to Eir.
This was actually a fabulous turn of events, because this brought Ratri’s “secrets for fate stones” exchange to the fore. Saturday morning, Wussun (from the first run) traded a Fate Stone from the Valor Hall board to Ratri for the information about how to break Fate Stones. Of course, Wussun didn’t ask about whether there were any *consequences* or limitations on who could break Fate Stones, so the players didn’t know about death by Fate Stone until they tried it, and they didn’t know that gods couldn’t break Fate Stones (and therefore Ratri must not be a god) until later still.
Third Run “Njal Njalsson MUST NOT DIE”
Kattero Hex Monkeybane
Pirata Fuerte Gato del Fuego
The Diary of Pirata Fuerte, Walker of the Deep, Heavyweight Champion of the Caverns, Ponderer of Suplexes
This new group is the worst so far. The Mannfolk wants to hunt us, and the Vatenari has an ego the size of the great serpent. We were deposited on the Stormsness peninsula. We proceeded to walk to a nearby town and entered the tavern. We found we need to travel north and east to find the farm Njalsson lives at. We reach a frozen river near the farmstead; however, we see a couple groups of people with weapons. Our suddenly giant flying Svartalfar played a decent role in ceasing hostilities. We flew to the farmhouse on our giant Svartalfar friend. Apparently the Njalssons are in a feud with their in-laws. All this boring diplomacy bores me, but we get Njalsson to agree that maybe it is time to end the feud. Apparently the Njalsson boys were trying to stop a blood feud by continuing the blood feud.
Our overly dramatic Vatenari informed Njalsson of the prophecy concerning his family. We then asked about the tablet to discover if he knew anything about it.
Many personal questions ensued pertaining to their family life, but I did not take part in this. I sat and meditated, preparing myself for the match to come. I woke up to people looking for my Katt Koomr and suggesting we turn them into a cougar.
KILL ME NOW
We set out after Skarp-Hedin, and found him near a bend in the river, out cold. I was forced to use the Katt Koomr on Kattero. A tattoo of a snake swallowing its own tail appeared briefly on Skarp-Hedin’s arm. He seemed unsure of what had just happened. The party thought that cutting the arm off might help. The Pain, My Head Hurts.
The party removed a curse from Skarp-Hedin, and he seemed to improve. We walk back to the house. He seems much less murder-y. They force me to pet Kattero with the brush again. It would appear most of the family has the arm marks. An Analyze Spell reveals there is a curse on them that will turn them into fish people. Someone just told Njalsson this seems fishy.
PLEASE MAKE IT STOP
Pirata Fuerte could not bring himself to continue, so Dimrodel finished by noting:
The cult in the town brings sacrifices to the fish people. The cult must be destroyed. Do that next. The cult was abducting the family and cursing them. We relocated the Njalsson family to a nearby town — Sigurshelm. Keep them safe. The future of the Carrunos religion depends on it.
PS – if they cause any trouble remind them of “a dwarf on both your houses”.
GM note: this was a short run, but the players got quite a lot done. It seems like the Fate Stone describing how the children of Njal would survive and help populate the New World was never actually found by the players, so it likely fell into the hands of Ratri’s minions. Eir had become aware of the existence of this Fate, and unsure of the status of the Fate Stone, and so wanted the Valiant to ensure the safety of the family. They did this rather well in this expedition, though I hear that they took Skarp-Hedin adventuring in a later expedition and got him killed in Baenheim. Should that have been a cross-scenario “With Friends Like These” nomination?
Fourth Run “The Open Door of Night”
GM Notes: NO RUN REPORT?! Those bastards!
This party wanted to go after the “Open Door” cultists, but struggled for a while to find leads. They went to Sigurshelm to talk to Luthor Sigursson, but he had died under somewhat mysterious circumstances — his horse fell through the ice as he was crossing the river. There was precious little in the way of hard information, as neither his marshal tasked with investigating the “Open Door” nor his daughter, now busy seeing to affairs of the town, seemed to know what was going on. [in the case of the marshal, he really didn't know what was going on; in the case of the daughter... see below]
Speak with Dead (or was it Question Dead? there was significant debate over which would be more useful to cast) revealed that Luthor believed he had been murdered by a mage. Using some items that allowed them to talk to crows, the party followed a potential suspect’s path upstream to the foothills of the mountains. With judicious use of Telescopic Vision, the party scouted a cave entrance a half mile off, and began to make preparations. First, the mages took a nap. Partway through the nap, the scout with See Invisible saw a group of seven lightly armored, cloaked figures leaving the cave, but no one else could. Quickly the party worked to make everyone able to See Invisible and plan out an ambush, but once buffed, Black Sun went Berserk and charged ahead. Markus tried to Hold Person, but Black Sun was already out of range [nyah! nyah! Clerics can't modify range because it's beyond the power of their god! wait, what, hunh?]
Black Sun, with a high Con and several levels of Toughness, refused to go down easily, but was glad when the rest of the party caught up. In a nice move before his HP dropped too low, Black Sun made his Will save to end his Berserk, Power Word cast Mirror Image (and rolled the maximum number of images), and went Berserk again.
The party took one prisoner, and with the help of ESP, determined that Luthor Sigursson’s daughter was the one who hired the mage. Searching the cave, they found a shrine to The Serpent being born “out of the darkness” that made them think of Ratri. There was also a device that could cause large scale Tremors. The way forward was now clearer; however, some of the players needed to get sleep, so they turned over the job of capturing her to the next party.
Fifth run “The Ring of Fire”
Using the Eye of Oodlask (see Shant’s scenario writeup when available), the party traced the activities of the Cult of the Serpent from Laex, its head (the daughter of Luthor Sigursson), to a network of cells, operating out of a series of small caves in the mountains. Each cave contained one of the tremor devices; the party now faced the difficult decision of whether to try to disarm the devices or go directly after Laex. They eventually decided to disarm the devices; the problem was that there were a lot of caves, but they hoped to take each one down quickly. The cultist crew manning the tremor device in the first cave was taken down before they could set off the device; however, one of the cultists left alive managed to activate a magical device carried on a cord around his neck that transmitted a message “to the lady”. The jig was up, and while the party was able to stop another tremor device just after it was activated but before it built up to full power, soon the Ring of Fire was erupting and mountains were literally blowing their tops.
The party now traveled to Sigurshelm, but Laex had flown the coop. (There was strong suspicion that Laex was Ratri in disguise, but she was the true daughter of Luthor Sigursson and one of Ratri’s high priestesses.)
Dismayed at having lost their original target, they thought of the Fate concerning Magus, and went with him to Katla (joining the party in Bob’s run) to see if they could both calm Katla and save Magus.
Technically Not A Run “Ratri”
A few final runs where plagued by Ratri. First, Steve W.’s party traded the secret of where Ratri could find a spear that would allow a non-god to kill a god (in the possession of Kjallintar in Bob’s run) in exchange for information on how to chain the Beast (your own son, Ratri?!). She promptly stole the spear, causing a little chaos in Bob’s run, killed Daglir offstage (slightly hosing two Daglir clerics as I went around and erased Daglir’s name from expedition chalkboards), and finally appeared in Blue’s run to stab her ex-lover Carrunos, putting him at death’s door. As Ratri tried to deal the coup de grace, however, Hugh (having broken a stone) “Defined Fate” to cause her to miss, and then Ryan (also having broken a stone) “Defined Fate” to cause her to miss on the multistrike. The players then used a lantern (acquired on a late night combined run with me and Bob) that allowed them to “Banish Shadows”, sending Ratri away and into hiding, where she did no more mischief for the rest of the con.