Note: After some more consideration, I’ve decided that the Gray Reavers sounds like an interesting faction to get thrown into the mix. I’ve added this as an addendum to the last minor milestone, giving the issue, out to right past wrongs, reflecting the potential for retaliation as a result of Rysdan’s last conflict.
I’ll also be flipping a coin to find out if a random compel takes place and have generated a stack of cards with all aspects on them. If a relevant compel is unwanted, I will demand the payment of a Fate Point to make it go away. There can be a maximum of one of these random-type compels per session.
As per the usual rules, as a player, I can always choose to compel things…I may taper off the use of Rory’s Story Cubes to focus the manifestation of said compel. It seems necessary only if some complication doesn’t immediately spring to mind. Aspects already pack a lot of meaning, and trying to strong arm too much into a compel might be forcing things. I may roll a cube or two if I’m at a loss.
The Big Wide Open
Compel. The Lost Crown of Laenaya Nathoniel.
Cubes Rolled. wheelchair, hobo pack
The Big Wide Open.
He hastened westward, flying like a bird of prey. He could see a distant speck on the road beyond, and kept following the signs. However, he was relentless, and his beast was spent, forcing him to rest. He resumed as soon as he dared.
Travelers were few and far between. When he did happen upon a small caravan or the odd family on pilgrimage, he inquired. The first of such groups confirmed seeing a scarred elf in a terrible haste, but the others he met later had not.
Vexed, he could do little but make a brief camp and water his horse. Elves required but little actual sleep. When they used beasts, however, they were subject to the needs and limitations of their companions.
Near a brook, Rysdan wandered a ways to scout the terrain for clues. The vastness of the western heartlands was daunting and discouraging. The odds of him finding anything were as good as finding a needle in a haystack.
The next morning dawned, and Rysdan wandered aimlessly, for some reason following the same brook. He heard noises and cautiously approached by foot. They were the mumblings of a aging drifter, with one lame leg who wandered a hillside picking dandelions which he proceeded to eat while arguing with himself.
Rysdan looked upon the man without remorse and pressed the man, who seemed at the edge of leaving his senses behind. The man was startled when he revealed himself, but answered the elf’s questions easily enough. The fact of the matter was that the man had seen the scarred elf a day before heading north into some hills.
“Seen him!” the old man said. “Know where he is!”
Rysdan promised to give the man a gold if he might lead him the direction to which he referred. The man accepted gleefully and wandered north. The way was slow what with the man’s constant mumblings, poor train of thought, and ambling gait. It tested Rysdan’s patience, but the elf would not deign to give his saddle to the poor man.
By nightfall, the pair crested some hills into a grassy depression dotted with strange lichen covered stones. The man led the elf between two leaning columns that nearly touched one another in an arch.
“Here!” said the man at last.
“Here, where?” Rysdan asked irritably. “Where, exactly?”
The man pointed to the ground between the stones. “Poof!” was all he could repeat as he flicked his fingers as an illustration of the word.
Rysdan nearly throttled the man, but realized in sudden dismay that these were ancient standing stones imbued with the power of teleportation. It was an inter-dimensional gate…one that Mourn knew how to use. Rysdan’s quarry was gods knew where.
Gates were capricious. Some were enchanted to activate from a simple password, while some were set to the celestial mechanics of the heavens. Some were one-directional, or set to a single destination. If one did not know the key or command spell, there was no hope of knowing how one worked or to where it led.
To make matters worse…
Compel. [ I’m choosing to do this one to make matters interesting: A Dangerous Frontier Full of Fell Beasts and Worse ]
Cubes. astronaut planting a flag, nest of dino eggs, “look over there”
Rysdan’s horse nickered nervously. A strange cracking sound caught the elf’s sensitive ears. He silenced the old man’s rambling. He followed the sound to the summit of the hill where, after a quick investigation, revealed an enormous nest. Inside were eggs as big as a pumpkin if not more. A shadow passed overhead, blocking out the first stars of the azure sky.
Black Bird of Prey; Massive; Slow Flier; Territorial
Fantastic (+6) Constitution; Great (+3) Strength; Mediocre (+0) Dexterity, Charisma, Intelligence, Wisdom
Eyes of the Eagle (Wisdom). With eagle like eyes, the Roc gets +2 to overcome when spotting prey on the ground while in aerial flight.
Snatch (Strength). The roc can snatch creatures up to horse-sized. They gain +2 to create advantage actions to place the snatched aspect on their prey when airborne.
Physical: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ]
Mental: [ 1 ] [ 2 ]
The startling realization turned to terror. Rysdan turned and screamed, “Run!”
Contest: run this as a race.
* The roc gets airborne with 1 free invoke.
* The man has lame which provides a passive opposition threshold of 2 that must be overcome by Rysdan as long as he remains together with the old man.
* Strength governs this foot versus air race to evade the bird’s territory.
[ 0 vs 4 — two victories for the roc ]
Rysdan pushed the man after his now fleeing (and sensible) horse. The man objected, hopping along like a mad hare with a limp. “What in the hells?!”
The dark shape of a monstrous bird wheeled around in the air and dove, gaining considerably on pair.
[ Rysdan creates scared w/2 free invokes by casting a thunderclap; 0 vs 6 — both invokes used to even it up plus a 1 FP to invoke slow flier — a tie! Fencing! (The man gets adversarial — this ups the required success threshold to 4) ]
The elf risked a stop, turning to face the diving terror. A few gestures and a word of power, and he released a portion of his mighty lightning magic — it was impotent in actual devastation, but produced the loud roll of thunder for which he had hoped. The mighty bird was relentless, not at all perturbed by the sound.
“Sorcery!” cried the man. Rysdan caught up with him as they bounded down the hillside. He caught the man by the arm and began to pull him along.
“Let me go, dog!” the man screamed. He nearly pulled free and turned in the wrong direction.
[ Rysdan slaps the rump of his horse to create a confused aspect with 2 free invokes; -3 (re-roll of 4 with 1 invoke) vs 2 — increase to 6 vs 2 with remaining invoke; 2 victory points for Rysdan ]
His white steed was not far ahead. Rysdan and the flailing invalid came up behind. The elf swatted the horse’s rump, sending him veering in a tangential direction. It was enough for the giant bird, that whistled dangerously close overhead to veer up in a corkscrew to regain altitude as it considered which target to focus.
[ Rysdan puts on a burst of speed with 1 free invoke made with opposed roll due to man’s adversarial attitude; 0 vs. 2 — Rysdan uses free invoke and ties; Storm Cloud! ]
Rysdan didn’t wait to figure out what the massive blackbird would do next. He yanked the old man along, putting on a burst of speed that had the man stumbling to keep from toppling.
Just then, real lightning flickered from an approach storm in the distance. The elf felt a few raindrops stinging his left cheek as a powerful gust of wind nearly blew him over sideways. A sudden idea took form…
[ Rysdan turns into the wind suddenly getting 2 free invokes on the gust of wind; 1 vs 6 — Rysdan boosts score to 5 with gust and spends a FP to finally evade with third victory point ]
Rysdan sharply veered into the wind and kept on as fast as his legs could pump, all the while dragging the cursing man along with him. In the skies above, the wind was no doubt even stronger. The giant roc tried to veer after the elf, but had trouble maintaining altitude against the erratic and swirling gusts.
Finally, the bird circled away as Rysdan made the base of the hill and beyond its immediate roost.
When it was safe, Rysdan let go of the man and fell in a heap gasping for breath. The madman continued a tirade fit to make a courtesan blush and wandered off at random in a limp.
“You’re welcome,” said Rysdan exhaled, silently admonishing himself for putting his beloved steed at risk to save a mentally unhinged human.
Note: much of the gains made here in the form of Fate Points were spent on getting out of trouble. Heh. He’s got two left. It was fun, though. Session two continues. Just posting this scene as a single post because it was longer, quite eventful, and made use of the contest mechanics.
Up next, part four...
Up next, part four...