I’m working on a few new things. With a major non-gaming project coming to fruition in three weeks, my time is very tight. However, my Chapter system still allows me to plug in a scene while I’m waiting between appointments.
In other news, I’m still finishing the next chapter in my Drowsbane campaign, and I found myself sketching out a couple of original fantasy characters — something I haven’t done for a while — and revisiting one of my favorite systems, Jaws of the Six Serpents.Trying to find balance, I don’t want to completely abandon gaming even when my work project intensity spikes.
In any case, here’s the next in my Chapter system experiments with the random title anchor.
More of Doria:
Chapter 2: The Knights’ Crusade
Rain continued to pour. Doria picked herself up and considered the direction of her horse. Just then, a figure approached draped in a voluminous cloak and masked by an old helm with a respirator. He introduced himself as Blazespawn and beckoned the warrioress to follow. “Your horse has no doubt been captured and sold,” the man said in a metallic voice as he led the warrioress through a maze of backstreets lit by the occasional bonfire around which vagrants stood listlessly. Inside an abandoned building, he led her deeper into a guarded room behind a steel mesh fence.
Inside was a round, dimly lit chamber of concrete and steel. Doria looked warily into the room. Suddenly, she was shoved within, and the door to the steel cage was slammed shut behind her. With an oath, she whirled with sword and dirk in hand. “What is the meaning of this?!” she growled. “What do you know of the cult of the storm bringer?” the man asked. “Nothing!” she swore. After came a slew of questions, including what she knew of the Balarhen skyships. She admitted that she had seen many as a girl in the north, and had even been brought aboard one before she fought her way to freedom, but she could remember little. “That should suffice,” the man said cryptically. Suddenly, he flipped a switch on a control panel, and a metallic behemoth of a construct whirred to life within her cell, grinning a display of yellow and red blinking lights. The thing rolled forward, chopping the ground repeatedly with a massive cleaver attached to a bionic arm. She rolled out of the way as the mechanical monster rent the concrete she had occupied. She saw coils of fluids at the base of the thing’s armored dome top, and worked her way closer with a series of parries, spins, and dodges. With her blade, she sliced through an exposed hose. Hot fluid sprayed out and an even louder buzzing and squealing filled the room. It slowed significantly. Next, a different mechanical arm extended bearing some sort of long chrome barrel. Doria leapt aside as a brilliant beam of hellfire ripped through the steel mesh behind her. She ducked again, and took the opportunity to leap through the sizzling hole. The armored man who stood at some control panel panicked. With a sword leveled at his throat, Doria commanded, “Shut that thing down!”
The man did so and cowered, sobbing behind his metallic mask. “Please,” he cried. “Spare me! I am the last of the rune-knights who seek to undo the cult and see the shackles they have placed on these people thrown away. I have waited for years to find someone worthy…I have waited this long for my replacement — I have waited for you!” Blazespawn related that his knighthood was a divine order sworn to protect the folk of the Blackened Bowl from their oppressors — the priests of the cult and their sorcerer allies who flew in on the old warships to take slaves and materials, leaving all under the domination of the priests of the cult. “Please! You have the skills to defeat them!” he said. “You can defeat their technology! Will you not take my cause?”
Doria regarded the man, unable to see even his eyes through his visor. “I am no noble knight, sir,” she answered. “I am a sell-sword, and no more. You seek another.” “But you are wrong!” answered the man. “I have been shown the only path to salvation, who shall cometh as a woman radiant of the darkness, who shall cleanse the unnatural overlords with shadow and blade…she shall herald her coming by condemning a feared and powerful Padh to righteous justice where all others have failed. This prophecy names you, my lady. Wouldn’t you want to exact justice on those same ones who obviously enslaved and ravaged your kin?”