Vrentae

Session 9
Story 4, Winter, Year 1, Entry 9

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Narrator’s Notes

With multiple sessions taking place in the summer, I thought it appropriate to skip year one’s autumn entirely and move straight to winter. Winter, the most terrible season in Shanri. The season where the Enemy is least dormant. This was a short session other than a lot of in character time for Maurevel and Gwanal. Suhajka had to leave early. Vanya and my newest player couldn’t make it.

Things Made True

I started this session with the following: • Dagul Burghe has been tried and was found guilty for his crimes. As a result he has offered to take the black and serve within Lady Shajar Yvarai’s guard. • Dagul’s sister, Lady Atami Banin, Blooded of the Wolf has taken his lands. She is ruthless and serves a different Count instead of Lady Shajar. • There are rumors that she has her eyes set on Maurevel’s borders, and may be raising a secret army.

Then the players gave me: • The Woods hold a forgotten Shrine to Ecc Jalan • As of late, for whatever reason, a lot of forest animals are being found dead more and more often. Not mauled, just dead. • The most common animals to be found dead are birds of prey, such as hawks, eagles. Or falcons. • The Relic once held at the Temple has been taken by one of Lady Atami Bannin’s Generals. • Maurevel has already moved his spy network into action working to find the cause of the odd deaths to the birds of prey • The dead animals have lead them to discover the long forgotten Temple. • Maurevel has personally lead units of his Roadmen to patrol his border this has proven to be taxing on him, he has not been sleeping much at all • Vanya is well aware of the particular relic gone missing. She has experience with it in fact and it’s….abilities. (Style) • The Secret Army has not been provoked when the story begins.

Recap

Abhazsson Fortress, Lord Muarvel’s castle; was the chosen setting for this story. The scene opens up within Maurevel’s lord chambers. This would be the place where he might meet with his vassals to discuss the matters at hand. As this is a very small gathering, this room has been converted for wine and food for the guests that have traveled so far. Even so, there is business at hand.

As the guests begin to poor into the room, some familiar faces are seen. Aside from the player characters being present, Rali Yvarai, Count Kether, and Lady Shajar arrived. A member of Maurevel’s spy network came rushing in the room . He returned from a mission with blood on his face. He confirmed the secret armies whereabouts, on the other side of Lommig Forest. They were able to confirm that the secret army was large.

A conversation occurred between Gwanal, Lady Shajar and Maurevel to discuss what steps to take against a common threat. Gwanal requested a private and secure room for further discussion on this matter. Maurevel agreed and sent for such a room to be secured. He also voiced interest in having Vanya and the Q’val present for this meeting for council and advisement.

To Be Continued

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Session 8
Story 3, Summer, Year 1, Entry 8

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Narrator’s Notes

Last session ended with Lord Burghe, the cultists and Vanya arriving at the temple. Prepared to fight, the cultists had their weapons ready, but Suhajka did not provoke them.

Instead, the Q’val invited them to join him in clearing the temple. Maurevel was quickly making his way down with his personal guard, and Lady Gwanal followed in suit with Lady Shajar and her house guard.

Things Made True

As this was the second continuation of the summer story, we did not start with three things true.

Listed below is a collection of things made true through style or risks throughout the session.

Things Made True Throughout the Session, and other various plot points

  • Dagul Yvarai was one of the cultists in yellow.
  • Maurevel’s sister is one of the cultists in yellow.
  • Alexai Yvarai was one of the cultists in yellow.
  • The Cult were after a satchel hidden within a secret compartment in the eastern corner of the temple.
  • The satchel contained a perfect replica of a high-profile Duke’s head. It is so well-made, it almost feels warm to the touch.
  • Rali Yvarai fainted after witnessing the feats Suhajka put Dagul Burghe through.
  • Alexai was not acting himself.
  • Alexai fell unconcious without any obvious cause.
  • There were obvious signs of sorcery on Alexai.

Recap

The new scene opened with Vanya convincing the cultist standing watch over her that their likelihood of success at whatever it was they were trying to accomplish was slim. Not only that, but the cultist standing guard grew more worrysome over earning this Suaven’s wrath.

The Q’val Suhajka waved over a few of the cultists to help him pick up the statue. In the process of moving it, Suhajka tripped on a broken stone tile and the statue fell right onto two of the cultists. Both cultists had their legs pinned by the statue and they cried out in pain.

The sound of fast footsteps can be heard down the great hall. Reinforcements.

Lord Dagul Burghe considers the situation with two of his men down, and the sound of footsteps outside the temple. In his zealous attempt to take Suhajka captive, he manages to put his blade into Suhajka’s side. Wounding the Q’val was not his intention, but he continues as if it were; continuing with the plan of a hostage situation.

Maurevel arrives with his roadmen in stride, and commands the cultists to disarm. Dagul’s company of men do not disarm, but do keep distance from Maurevel’s roadmen, unwilling to provoke a fight with their daggers againsted sword wielding roadmen.

Unable to retreive his sword form the Q’val’s side, Burghe begins to push the Q’val in front of him as he makes his way to the far corner of the room. Vanya moved to press the matter of how bad the situation was for Burghe, but he was not convinced. Maurevel aimed his bow at Lord Burghe looking for the right opportunity.

Lady Shajar, Lady Gwanal and Lady Shajar’s personal guard arrive in time to see Lord Burghe’s sword in Suhajka’s side. Dagul Burghe continued forcing the Q’val with him to the far corner of the room as various voices shouted their demands. The large bear of a man finally reached the far corner of the room, and pulled forth a stone to reveal a secret compartment. He then pulled forth a satchel and quickly took ahold of Suhajka again.

Maurevel Thorne, waiting patiently with his bow; finds an opening. He lets loose an arrow that finds Lord Burghe right in the eye. Lord Burghe was thrown backward by the force of the arrow and the satchel fell to the ground. Suhajka pitched forward now that he was free from the cultist’s grasp. At this point, Lord Baron Moryandal Tammel; Blooded of the Fox made his first appearance. Sanctioned by Count Kether, the Baron was sent to keep a close eye on whatever took Lady Shajar from her own party. He was also to serve as her protector.

With Lord Burghe down, and the Q’val no longer under threat; the Countess Shajar took ahold of the situation and had the cultists surrounded and disarmed. Once they were captives, their hoods came down. All the cultists were prominent blooded that our protagonists are familiar with. Three of the cultists were known well..

The twin, Dagul Yvarai; was the cultists who had turned during the conflict to aid Vanya. The second face to be revealed was that of Maurevel’s sister. And lastly, Lord Alexai Yvarai. It was Alexai’s reveal that drew the most attention and concern. It was then that Alexai smirked and broke free from the guards. He moved quickly to try and leave the room but was unable to do so. He doubled back towards Lady Vanya and Suhajka. Lady Vanya was upset and calling for her Lord’s death after seeing his batrayl.

Lady Gwanal called out loud the probability of sorcery being at work. Lord Alexai moved to confront Lord Moryandal who has blocked Alexai’s path. As Moryandal raised his sword, Alexai planted himself on it’s tip to take injury. But Moryandal’s sword skill was enough to press him back and knock him over without any further injury.

With Alexai and Lord Burghe down, the guards began to clear the room with the cultists in captivity. Suhajka revealed that the Countess’ twins were involved in this mess. Maurevel offered Vanya the satchel. Lady Vanya would go on to check the satchel expecitng something such as an artifact, but finding the head instead.

The concludes our summer story. The beginning of the next session will reveal additional truths that could not be concluded before the session was finished.

End of Story

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Session 7
Story 3, Summer, Year 1, Entry 7

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Narrator’s Notes

Last session ended with Gwanal and Rali entering the defiled temple of Talia Yvarai underneath Lady Shajar Yvarai’s temple.

This session continued towards closure of this Summer story.

But it did not resolve this session. See below for information on what actually happened.

Things Made True

As this was the second continuation of the summer story, we did not start with three things true.

Listed below is a collection of things made true through style or risks throughout the session.

Things Made True Throughout the Session, and other various plot points

  • Suhajka Jalan gave Rali Yvarai a Rank 5 injury.
  • There is a light well that reaches the south wall of th ecastle, down to the temple itself.
  • Yellow was the color of the Devotion.
  • Lady Shajar is related to Count Kether through marraige.

Recap

The new scene opened just as Gwanal and Rali Yvarai entered to see the desecrated temple of Talia Yvarai while Maurevel hid in the shadows, spying.

Vanya and Suhajka arrived to see the terrible mess ahead.

The Q’val used his intimidating presence to convince Rali Yvarai of his involvement, but the ginger-haired boy did not comply.

Suhajka fell under the power of the Suaven and delivered a near fatal would to Rali Yvarai.

Rali Yvarai tried to call out in mercy, and Maurevel demanded that he be let down. The twin brother was given mercy, and would comply to his end of the bargain. He spoke of Lord Dagul Burghe’s bribe that offered the boys an opportunity to rise to the rank of Baron for the desecreation of the temple. He also provided the ork parts.

Gwanal and Maurevel went to inform the Countess Shajar of her sons and Lord Burghe’s involvement in what happened, and to bring her here to see it. The injured Rali was left in the Q’val’s care who was busy cleaning up the mess in the temple.

Rali, feeling truly guilty for what he had done, agreed to Suhajka’s terms to care for the temple of Talia Yvarai. Just as the three blooded exited the catacombs and made for the garden, they noticed voices ahead. Though it is now the dark of night, the moon shines up ahead to reveal the forbidden color of yellow… Several cloaked figures in fact, wearing the forbidden color.

Gwanal, Maurevel and Vanya hid themselves within the brush nearby. Vany came to the realization that the Q’val was still down there, and would be caught off guard by the presence of the cloaked figures. In an attempt to correct this, she made herself known; but not before giving Maurevel a white rock and telling him to put it in the well.

Vanya found herself a quick hostage at knife point and the cloaked figures made their way into the catacombs. Maurevel and Gwanal moved quickly through the garden where they came upon a fallen house guard in the garden pond. The moonlight shimmered on the bloody water. As they moved past, Maurevel collected his men and made for the temple below while Gwanal continued in search of Lady Shajar.

Lady Shajar was found in the primary blooded gathering alongside Count Kether. Lady Gwanal made a request to speak with Lady Shajar in private. The Countess insisted on Kether staying, but Gwanal pressed her further. After telling Lady Shajar of the trouble below, Lady Shajar called her Captain of the Guard and had her guard organized and gathered just outside the garden. They would make for fast pursuit of the cultists…

The scene changed back to Suhajka who had already received the white rock and yellow flower, taking note of both clues. Lord Burghe, the cultists and Vanya entered the temple prepared for a fight, but received no hostile response from the Q’val. Instead, Suhajka asked for their aid in clensing the temple.

To Be Continued

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Session 6
Story 3, Summer, Year 1, Entry 6

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Narrator’s Notes

After the cliffhanger that ended the previous session, there was a long delay until the next session.

During this down time, we said goodbye to Ian, the player of Alexai Yvarai who would be leaving the campaign for good.

This session went pretty well, considering there was about a month break.

Things Made True

As this was a continuation of a previous session, we did not start with three things true.

Listed below is a collection of things made true through style or risks throughout the session.

Things Made True Throughout the Session, and other various plot points

  • Count Kether was trying rather suspiciously to get out of the banquet hall but was cut off from doing so.
  • Suhajka Jalan intimidated Count Kether in front of everyone.
  • Kether realized the Suaven’s Warth gives powers to the Q’val who knows how to wield it.
  • Kether used his own bit of sorcery to tag Suhajka to give him the Moving the Pawn Free Aspect at Rank 3.
  • The twins were manipulated into believing that Suhajka and Gwanal were arguing, and that Lady Gwanal was in need of comforting.
  • The boys think to show to take Gwanal to the temple that has been defiled.
  • Madame Vorante passes out from excitement due to something Alexai whispered in her ear.
  • The Madame passing out offered the twins and Gwanal ample opportunity to leave the scene with few noticing.
  • The entrance to the Temple is in the gardens adjacent to the Courtyard.
  • Suhajka entered a trance while shadowing the three to the temple.
  • Vanya was able to bring him out of the trance.
  • Gwanal and Rali entered the defiled temple of Talia Yvarai to find that Talia’s statue was lacking a face, the altar had been split. Also blood and orc body parts were scattered throughout the room.

Recap

The new scene opened within the same hour of Lady Shajar Yvarai’s announcement that everyone was to remain in the castle grounds until the party responsible was found, “On Pain of Death.”

Lady Shajar had retired to her personal quarters to avoid the onslaught of complaints that were sure to follow. She appointed Count Kether to be her representative until she returned, much to his dismay.

Count Kether was seen suspiciously trying to exit the council room when he ran headlong into Gwanal Yvarai.

Gwanal requested an audience with Lady Shajar, but also offered a sugguestion of what terrible things might occur if he didn’t see to it swiftly. Kether (second thing true – “The most ruthless bastard you’ll ever meet”) made a note of the threat and went on his way to find the Countess Shajar. But just as he left Gwanal’s presence, she called back to him stating that she no longer had a need for her request.

Meanwhile Vanya connected with the Q’val Shajar who was aggressively trying to find Kether. Thanks to Vanya, he was able to find Kether, and went immediately over to him. The Count Kether turned from Gwanal only to find more demands from Suhajka. The Q’val demanded to be taken to the location of the temple, and then intimidated Kether with his eerie trance-like state. Kether was quickly getting fed up with being made example of in public. It was tolerable for the fact that this was turning out exactly as he had hoped.

Kether used a blessing in turn on Suhajka Jalan that offered the ‘free aspect’ Moving the Pawn (A known elk blessing). The Aspect would offer Suhajka incentive to murder the Twins.

Lady Gwanal developed a plan with Vanya to be shown the temple by the Twins, and went after making it happen. First she spoke to Suhajka, and put on a daring public act of smacking him. This smack drew the attention of the entire party. She then proceeded to lure the boys into her trap, by seducing them into believing that they were comforting a lady of recent misfortune. They couldn’t be more wrong.

The twins both thought to impress Gwanal by showing her the defiled temple. They knew how to get there, given this was their home. At this same point in time, Alexai Yvarai whispered something into Madame Vorante’s ear, and she fainted publically. With this distraction, the three took off for the temple. Maurevel was already in the courtyard, and decided to shadow them. Finally, Suhajka and Vanya would pursue them from a distance.

Sneaking through the garden proved troublesome as guards were stationed here to prevent nosey investigators from finding their way to the temple. The twins and Gwanal began to sneak through the garden, but Gwanal stepped on a fallen twig that caught the attention of the guards. Rali pushed his brother Dagul into the pond in the garden to take the attention away from Gwanal. Gwanal and Rali got away, after leaving Dagul to be spotted. The two would continue to the entrance of the catacombs.

Maurevel Thorne snuck by the guards with no complication.

Suhajka Jalan entered a trance as they passed through the garden. His horrific demeanor became like a man possessed and frightened the guards away from him. Vanya managed to bring him out of the trance, and the two continued in pursuit.

The walkway to the catacombs was a mile long, extending through various downward sloping hallways until they reached the Great Hall of Sarcophagi below, arranged as if they were floating on a lake lining either side of the lit narrow walkway.

Ahead was the temple itself…

As Rali and Gwanal reached the temple, Suhajka and Vanya had reached the Hall of Sarcophagi

Gwanal, Rali and Maurevel entered the temple to find Ork parts have been spread all over the altar to Talia which has been hammered and ruined from it’s once crisp single stone form. Blood has been painted in terrible ritualistic symbols all over the walls. And the face of Talia removed form the statue.

This story will extend to a third session.

The Log

You can view the Logs page, or you can view the direct log.

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Session 5
Story 3, Summer, Year 1, Entry 5

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Narrator’s Notes

Out of the mysteries of the Sorcerer King’s ruins and back to some good ol’ fashion political intrigue.

I was very excited to jump back into a session that revolved more around what appears to be the setting focus and the very reason I chose this game to run over other games.

Courts, Nobles, Romance, Revenge, Lust, Duels, Backstabbing, Assassinations….

All of these elements are what drew me to Houses, and I am very excited to see how they play out over time.

Things Made True

As we decided last time, unless the next story forward is clear, we will be starting new Stories with three things true and a Wisdom Risk.

I gave the players the following

  • You have all been invited, and are attending Countess Shajar Yvarai’s birthday court this spring
  • Lady Shajar Yvarai is moving on in life from her years of Summer to Autumnone step closer to solace.
  • There is gossip that the Countess enemy has been invited by mistake, to attend the party.

The Players Gave Me

  • Suhajka is the Enemy she has let in by mistake.
  • Lady Shajar Yvari’s husband is a useless glutton. And I mean GLUTTON
  • In his stead she’s taken to making Vanya’s husband, her lover.
  • Some Speculate Lady Shajar herself invited her enemies
  • The Talashan (Archdruid) from Alexai’s lands has been spreading a cult throughout the rest of the isles
  • The cult has brought Lady Shajar under the Wrath of her favored Suaven.
  • the cult seeks out a treasure held in the coffers of Shajar’s castle, tonight’s party is the night the move to get it.
  • Although she considers Suhajka an enemy, Lady Shajar needs his help to regain her Suaven’s favor.
  • The cult’s worship a being that is a strange abyssal thing once revered by the Sorcerer Kings that has been lost to the annals of time.

Things Made True Throughout the Session, and other various plot points

  • Lady Shajar’s Castle resides on the island of Jaerdom
  • Talia is Lady Shajar’s favored Suaven
  • Her castle holds a secret and private temple dedicated to Talia
  • The temple has been desecrated
  • But it is not what has earned the wrath of Talia Yvarai for Lady Shajar.
  • The Ritual of Progression involves begging the favored Suaven for the right to pass into the next phase of life.
  • Count Kether knows the location of the private temple.
  • The Count owes Lady Shajar a favor.
  • The Lady’s twin sons are present at the party.
  • The Boy from the forest has been taken as a ward by Alexai.
  • The courts have caught onto the Lady Shajar’s situation through the gossip going around.
  • Alexai Yvarai and Madame Vorante have started a romance.
  • The Twins are the reason Lady Shajar is suffering the wrath of Talia.
  • They are also responsible for the defilement of Lady Talia’s shrine.
  • And members of the Cult spread by the Talashan.
  • Talia’s statue was litterally defaced in the desecration.
  • The Twins are both boys, one named Rali and one named Dagul.
  • Madam Vorante’s husband is a very jelous and frightening man.

Recap

As mentioned above, this session focused around the Lady Shajar’s Ritual of Progression from Summer to Autumn.

The session started in the beautiful courtyard of Lady Shajar Yvarai, Countess of Ymil, Blooded of the Fox. Various ven gathered in the courtyard to enjoy the warm summer breeze.

Lord Alexai Yvarai entered with his wedded vassals Lady Vanya Steele and Sir Davan Yvarai. Maurevel Thorne entered with his wife, Lady Deta Yvarai; who has made her first scene entrance into the campaign.

Q’val Suhajka Jalan, Lady Shajar’s enemy, was also invited. Some say by mistake. Reguarldess, he accepted the offer and was in attendance. Finally, Lady Gwanal Yvaraiarrived with her Personal Guard.

At this point, the Lady Shajar made her entrance into the court yard. She immediately set her sites on the group of characters that had gathered at the entrance way to converse. The Countess Shajar made a point to ignore Suhajka while conversing with the others. At this point, Shajar invited her neice (Gwanal) to walk with her to find Lady No. This was more to pull her into a personal request than to actually find Lady No.

Sir Davan Yvarai gave Lady Shajar a few looks that his wife managed to catch. It was a look of longing.

While in conversation, Shajar cut to the point of her request. The countess believes that Suhajka is the cause of Talia’s Wrath. She mentioned that she was led to believe so from a Q’val. She spent the rest of the conversation pleading to her neice Gwanal to resolve this for her. Gwanal agreed to look into the matter, but was dissapointed to see her aunt revealing her emotion so openly.

At the same time, tension was rising between Suhajka Jalan and Maurevel Thorne due to a off-handed comment Suhajka made about the Lady Shajar, Maurevel’s mother in law and leige lord. The tension cooled slowly before it was brought to a boil, and Suhajka left to explore the sculpture garden.

While all this is taking place, Lord Alexai and his Seneschal Vanya talk of all the various things that occurred last season, from the death of Yavan Adrente, to the betrothal of Alexai to the Duke’s daughter, to the boy who Alexai has taken on as a ward. Alexai has asked Vanya to help look after the ward.

Gwanal arrives back to where the crowd had gathered, but only Maurevel remains. It’s about this time that the rumors of the Lady Shajar’s situation began to spread like wildfire through the cutthroat crowds of blooded guests. The Lady Gwanal manages to persuade her fellow Baron Maurevel, to deliver to the Countess’ ear any insight he might have gained about the situation from talking to Suhajka.

Back in the sculpture room, Count Kether approaches Suhajka respectfully with his famous mischievous grin. After a few moments of idle chatter, Kether confessed the existance of the hidden temple and it’s current state of desecration. And another important piece is revealed. The relic has been stolen, not destroyed.

Suhajka reacts with a intense, nearly hostile demeanor and a booming voice to add effect. This creates concern for some of the ven nearby. Gwanal is one of the first to arrive on scene, which Count Kether has clearly set up to appear as if he were being pushed around a bit.

Gwanal used her ability to command attention to get Suhajka to listen to her, before he went storming off to find the host with such a hostile demeanor. It was a wise move, that probably resulted in a much less defensive response from Lady Shajar.

At this point Muarevel Thorne managed to find the Lady Shajar and offer his service of aid, as well as to fill in the Lady Shajar on his conversation with Suhajka. He was willing to help, but wanted something in return. As to what, Maurevel did not know.

It was here that the Lady Shajar’s twins (Rali and Dagul) made their presence at the party known. They stood together, mocking a young blooded woman with an obvious air of mischief about them.

Chaos ensued as Madame Vorante found the prey she set her mind on last season, Alexai. I don’t think anyone expected a romance to come from this. But Alexai surprised us all!

Gwanal spoke to the twins and sent Suhajka off to speak with the Lady Shajar. She was able to observe that the twins were right in the middle of something.

Style was used here to make the twins responsible for the desecration of the temple.

Suhajka requested Lady Shajar’s help in finding the party responsible for the desecration of the temple that occurred tonight. This was the first time the Countess heard of the desecration and was quite embarassed that the news had come from her enemy. Maurevel Thorne offered his Personal Guard and Roadmen to his Leige Lady’s endevours should she require them.

In response, the Lady Shajar would make a very bold move for a blooded ven. She would hold an entire party of powerful guests captive within the confines of the castle until the party responsible for the temple’s desecration was found, and the matter was resolved “On Pain of Death”.

It’s here that our story was set to be continued.

The Log

You can view the Logs page, or you can view the direct log.

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Session 4
Story 2, Spring, Year 1, Entry 4

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Narrator’s Notes

This session had it’s long and drawn out points, but I think that’s the nature of online gaming. I think after this, I’ve come to realize that I prefer this system within the realm of political intrigue versus the realm of pure exploration.

I think with a lot of the players being new to the setting, they didn’t quite comprehend the amount of contradicting views The Talashan (Archdruid) brought to the ven concepts of Shanri. I think if this session played out with a group that were intimately familiar with the ven, they would’ve had a better idea for the contradictions that came out. For example, the word Shanri means ‘the enemy’. That goes not only for the world itself, but everything and everyone within it.

Where the druid talked a lot about listening to ‘the land’. I am very happy that Caity for grabbing that contradiction by the reigns and playing on it with her character Gwanal Yvarai. Caity, you get a style point!

Things Made True

This session was a continuation of the last, so we did not start with three things true.

The following things were set as prominent story leads

  • The Boy was led by instinct to a hidden prison with a secret room down a long corridor. The room contained many artifacts and treasures of the sorcerer king, including a set of armor with a hole the shape of the yellow gem. Vanya Steele was able to determine that the suit of armor was actually there to protect the artifacts. This room also contained the stone that would open the gate to the sorceror king’s ruins.
  • The Talashan (Archdruid) led the group into the castle and the ritual was performed in the end. The boy was used in the ritual in the end, despite protests; but did not end up dieing in the end.

Recap

This episode started right in the thick of things. Where last we left off with Suhajka Jalan, Maurevel Thorne, Gwanal Yvarai ‘s personal guard, and Alexai Yvarai ‘s mass murder scene against the Ork pack, this episode started with the exploration of Vanya Steele and Lady Gwanal’s personal scenes as they dealt with tracking down the boy and The Talashan (Archdruid) who had up and vanished the moment there was a threat.

Vanya Steele sought out high ground to try and get a better vantage point. Even with the thick fog, her endevours were successful. She moved west through the forest and across a river bend and up a gradual climbing hill. Spotting the boy, she called to him, but could not get his attention. It was at this point that she decided to try and chase after him. She found the boy standing before a set of strange stairs that led down into some sort of dungeon. She was reluctant at first to go, but the boy spoke of the pull the place had over him. Like he knew he was supposed to be down there. At that point, Vanya decided to follow.

Cut to Lady Gwanal moving through the forest after the Archdruid. Just as she caught up with him, he seemed to weave through a set of thick brush. She persued and was surprised to find a steep drop at the other end. Tumbling, Lady Gwanal suffered minimal wounds and climbed to her feet. Before her stood the Archdruid with the Yellow Gem, holding it high overhead. Lightning struck the gem and reflected forward to reveal the massive ruins, with a high climbing staircaise to a porticullis and two pillars on either side of the stairwell, shaped like tusks. The Archdruid referenced a need to open ‘the door’, and then the scene changed.

Vanya and the boy moved down into a dungeon filled with a series of prisons and the stench of death. There sat a dozen or so cells with old bones in each one. The bones were clearly ven ancestors. Vanya was able to determine that these were likely the unfortunate ven who once served as slaves for the Sorceror Kings. She might’ve stayed longer to uncover truth, but the boy proceeded forward into the corridor ahead. The corridor led to very large room that contained many relics of the sorceror kings, as well as a suit of armor with a hole in the middle, and three statues that seemed focussed on a stone that sat in the middle statue’s hand.

It was here that the Elk with prominent knowledge of relics knew that the armor’s true purpose in being here was to protect the goods of it’s masters, and slay any who might try to steal them. The boy seemed focussed on the stone ahead, and so Vanya moved to try and turn it.

The wheel turned, and spiked protruded en masse to make her bleed from her hand The blood flowed steadily and perfectly into a basin at the bottom of the stone and the earth began to shook. Vanya grabbed the boy and the moved to head out as quickly as possible.

This is the point in which all three groups came together at the base of the castle, to see that the porticullis had now opened. Whatever that stone did, it also seemed to trigger the porticullis.

As the protagonists approached the castle, they could feel the hair on the back of their neck and arms stand straight up. Something was not right with these ruins. Something terrible once lived here…

They did not spend too much time exploring the ruins, but instead made quickly to find the alter. A wise move, indeed. The alter was found within the grand hall, but there was a problem in getting there. That being a thirty foot wide hole in the ground. It was here that the hole’s depth was tested, but no sound ever returned of the rock that went down. That’s when they determined that jumping was not likely a good idea.

Maurevel Thorne noticed a picture and made reference to it. Gwanal examined the picture and was able to determine that it indicated a reference to the moonlight shining in, and a yellow bird in the foreground.

After some distrust, debate and speculation, they agreed to throw the gem across after Alexai placed his blood over it. Alexai heaved the gem, but it was clear that it would’ve been short the distance it needed to go. This did nto matter, as it seemed to stall all on it’s own in the center of the hole. The moonlight came through the windows in a burst of light and before them stood a blue, sorcerours floor. When the blindness faded, they found the gem on the floor.

Suhajka led the ritual, though skeptical of the Archdruid’s intentions. The archdruid smiled as the ritual began, and faded as a spectre into the wind… The boy took many cuts and lost lots of blood. The place began to shake and the group moved quickly to exit. As they left the last few steps, the place began to sink into the ground until there was no sign of it left, but the tusked pillars…

The Log

You can view the Logs page, or you can Session 4 Log by following the appropriate link.

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Session 3
Story 2, Spring, Year 1, Entry 3

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Narrator’s Notes

I enjoyed this session. It turned out well considering all the obstacles. We had one player who was going to miss the beginning of the game, and a second who was struggling with the buggy as ever Open RPG application. Fortunately, we were able to work through the issues and still get a good two and a half hours of gaming in.

This session can be summarized as our ‘mass murder tutorial’ as that took the better part of an hour and half to hash through. You see, everything online takes double the time it does in a live game, with the exception of combat. Combat typically takes triple the time it should. Then we needed to go over how the combat actually worked.

I found myself feeling bad for the two players who opted out of the mass murder scene. Though they were doing very important things that we will get to at the beginning of next session, I wanted to focus on the mass murder in order to provide a proper tutorial. I really like where this session went, and I look forward to see where the players take it from here.

Things Made True

We started the session by discussing how we were going to handle transition from story to story. Those players who were in the game at the time, all agreed that it would be best to start most stories with three things true, and then allow wisdom risks to set the scene.

I gave the players the following

  • It has been a month since Yavan Adrente’s tragic death
  • It is a night of the full moon
  • The setting remains within Alexai Yvarai’s province of Tryran Dur

The Players Gave Me

  • Over the course of the month a few noteworthy ven have simply disappeared
  • A Full Moon is a bad Omen in this part of Shanri
  • Alexai’s betrothed has been in very deep mourning over the death of her beloved
  • The player characters are meeting with the Arch Druid on the night of the full moon. (Style Spent)
  • There are rumors of a mysterious mist rolling through the Domain of Baron Alexai Yvarai (Style Spent)
  • The mist hides an ork tribe. (Style Spent)
  • Born under a good omen or blessed by his patrons, Alexai has evaded the curse that was on his brother (Style Spent)
  • A Blooded of the Bear (Dagul Burghe) from Na’Nal’Dun is among the missing Ven. (Style Spent)

In addition to the things stated at the beginning of the game, the following things were set as prominent story leads

  • Talashan The Talashan (Archdruid) arrived through the tick of the forest, with a child hanging off his right hand, and a large yellow crystal within his left. A contested wisdom roll was made two two free wagers to discover more about the crystal, talashan and the boy.
  • It was here that we determined that the boy was a veth child of Yavan Adrente’s.
  • The Crystal is the reason why the mist and the ork tribe have come to this province.
  • As the druid approaches the group of Ven, the child bursts into loud wails
  • because he must suffer a terrible ritual to “save the lands”
  • The crystal resonates in response to the childs cries
  • The orc scouts can hear the child’s cries from some distance away
  • The Talashan needs a blooded ven related to the child to perform the aforementioned ritual.
  • The Archdruid is actually surprised by the response of the crystal to the childs wailing
  • The Full Moon is making the ork crave the sound of the resonating crystal
  • The Talashan’s understanding of the ritual is truly lacking.

The players also learn throughout their journey into the forest that the ritual that is about to take place, is to remove a threat left behind from the dreaded Sorcerer Kings, and that it involves some sort of ruins.

Recap

As mentioned above in the Things Made True, I started this session by giving them three things true to help set the story. A month had past since the last session. It was a full moon. The setting remains within the province of Tryran Dur.

The players in turn provided me with the important information. The players were going to meet with The Talashan (Archdruid) upon the night of the full moon. And so they gathered at the Rock of Three Hands at the edge of the forest in Tryran Dur. The Talashan eventually arrived, along with a mysterious boy and a yellow crystal. The boy was determined to be the illegitimate veth born child of Yavan Adrente. Both the boy and yellow crystal were said to be vital to whatever was to come of the night.

The Talashan spoke of saving the land again. Alexai Yvarai was growing frustrated with the Talashan’s puzzling phrases. Suhajka Jalan began to see that this was all linked, and very important. Gwanal Yvarai found herself quickly annoyed with the boys crying. Vanya Steele was able to calm him down, earning the boys trust. At least for a time.

As they began to enter the forest, the Talashan revealed the plan. Within the forest, there is a ruin of the Sorceror Kings that was a great threat to Shanri. He intended to banish this threat, with the help of the boy, the crystal and Alexai Yvarai, though he wasn’t able to place exactly how it would all work together.

As they went further into the forest, it became much thicker, and very hard to walk through. Despite the other’s difficulties, Maurevel Thorne moved through the forest with great ease. Alexai also had little trouble navigating the forest due to his familiarity with it. Gwanal tripped at the wrong time, and found herself cut in several places by branches with thorns.

Not long after, the group entered a clearing in the forest. The fog was still thick, making it very hard to see beyond a few feet ahead. It was here that the group would hear the sounds of battle. Both the boy and the Talashan dissapeared from the other’s view. Alexai managed to trip on one of his fallen roadman’s corpse. He was able to see teeth and claw marks. These were all hints of the dangerous threat of orks present.

Gwanal fled the threat range, assigning her personal guard to assist Alexai. Vanya moved to find the boy by getting a better vantage point of the area by finding higher ground.

Meanwhile, Maurevel, Suhajka and Gwanal’s Personal Guard formed up on Alexai’s back and prepared to face off against these deadly Orks.

There were four in total, appearing to be four legged creatures with sharp fangs and razor claws. Maurevel Thorne was the first to deliver a deadly blow as chaos spread around them. All three ven would land hits upon their enemy, but two would find themselves near death in the end. In the end, Alexai and half of Gwanal’s personal guard stood relatively unharmed, while the others found themselves gravely wounded. Suhajka took a deadly gash from right shoulder to left abdomen while Maurevel found himself dealing with a vicious fanged stab wound on his right shoulder.

As they gathered their wits, they realized that neither Gwanal or Vanya were within sight…

To Be Continued Next Week

The Log

You can view the Logs page, or you can Session 3 Log by following the appropriate link.

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Session 2
Story 1, Spring, Year 1, Entry 2

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Narrator’s Notes

We are definitely improving. Our new players are starting to get the difference between spending style and making a risk. They are also starting to comprehend the power allotted to the players via the system. I think the final flavor piece of the game that needs to be grasped is that it doesn’t always have to come down to a risk or an expenditure of style. Sometimes, you just have to role-play the way you would in any other game. Without the role-play, things get dry very quickly. I look forward to where things progress from here.

Things Made True

I started by telling players that the dinner feast as well as Yavan Adrente’s blooding ceremony into the Blooded of the Wolf had already come in past. I had them make contested wisdom rolls to tell me anything significant that happened during that time.

The Players Gave Me

  • Suhajka was the Q’Val selected to oversee the Blooding ritual.
  • (Style spent)
  • Yavan’s Blooding ritual and ceremony were a resounding success
  • A Wolf Suaven is very impressed with Yavan’s performance.
  • And decides to begin influencing his life.
  • Though it looked as the Yavan’s previously mentioned ‘condition’ might overtake him, Vanya Steele and the Q’Val Suhajkaprepared a brew to combat the condition.
  • (Style spent)
  • The Duke, having arrived to witness the ceremony, seemed thoroughly unimpressed with Yavan and ready to leave by the time it was over.
  • In addition to the things stated at the beginning of the game, the following things were set as prominent story leads

  • [:56896 | Lady Shajar Yvarai]]’s daughter was waylaid by bandits, thus preventing her arrival to this party. Fortunately, her husband Maurevel Thorne had assigned his personal guard to look after her.
  • Duke Renly Yvarai was convinced through conversation by Suhajka to forget his plans for Yavan who had chosen House Wolf over House Fox, and replace him instead with the brother that had already chosen Fox; Duke Renly Yvarai.
  • At least a portion of those plans were already discovered through the use of an artifact by Lady Vanya Steele. The artifact was placed in the meeting room where the Duke had started his negotiations with Lord Olindar Adrente.
  • Yavan Adrente was outraged when the Duke’s initial plans were announced. His daughter was now arranged to marry Alexai Yvarai next spring instead of Yavan Adrente.
  • Yavan Adrente was killed by his condition which appeared to be anything but natural.
  • Recap

    Because this session was a continuation of the last, there was no real introduction. Instead, I provided the players with an opportunity to tell me what happened during the dinner feast and Yavan Adrente’s blooding ceremony. It is best to view the Things Made True section above if you want full details on what was made true. Suffice to say, Yavan’s ceremony was a success. Duke Renly Yvarai and his daughter arrived in time to see the ceremony. He appeared thoroughly unimpressed.

    This story continued in the Castle Valedi’dur on the central island of Ordo, just after the Blooding Ceremony. With all the ceremonies out of the way, the real party begins. Various ven covered the banquet hall, socializing, plotting and drinking wine. Foxwine was present. Some tasted it. Many indulged in it. Maurevel Thorne was able to resist it’s true temtpation, for now.

    As mentioned above, Lady Shajar Yvarai offered Duke Renly advice on his dilemma. If he was dissapointed that Yavan had chosen the Wolf instead of the Fox, why not work with the brother that has already chosen the Fox. Of course, he was implying Alexai Yvarai. After a few more glasses of Foxwine, the Duke thought this idea brilliant, and began scheming. He asked the seneschal, Vanya Steele to find Lord Olindar Adrente as he had wished to speak with him. Vanya had asked why, but her inquiry was shut down quickly by the Duke’s pompous demands. Not wishing to offend the Duke, she quickly took leave to do just that. Finally, the Duke warned Suhajka against his ideas going poorly, as if Suhajka had some influence over the matter.

    At the same time, Gwanal Yvarai had started conversation with Lady Shajar Yvarai about the plesantries of life, and their history performing together. Lady Shajar Yvarai is a musician, and Lady Gwanal Yvarai is a well known singer. After enough Foxwine, Lady Shajar built up the nerve to agree to Lady Gwanal’s performance. Lady Gwanal made quickly for the composer to interrupt before the next song. With the plans now in place, Lady Shajar’s artisans and Lady Gwanal prepared for a performance of a lifetime.

    Cut to the scene on the dance floor. Just off of the dance floor, Lord Maurevel Thorne loomed quietly, while in contrast; Alexai Yvarai continued to thrive as the life of the party. Wishing no ven to be bored, Alexai quickly set the young Myellian and the Baron Thorne up with a dance. He was quite successful in entertaining the young Falcon Baron from Na’nal’dun.

    As Lady Gwanal and the Countess Shajar take the stage, it is apparent that Duke Renly is quite drunk. He continues to converse with others while the rest of the crowd falls silent to view the performance.

    The performance is a resounding success, as the musicians and singer sweep through three different styles. The first is a pastoral melody to praise the land. The second invokes the great romantic works of our people and society. The third is a romping, rousing segment that intends to have everyone on their feet cheering by the end.

    The performers set out to share three moods in one, and they managed to do so, despite the Duke’s interruptions. By this point the Duke was good and drunk, and made sure to interrupt between the second and third segment. Despite his most belligerent interruptions, the performers played on.

    After the performance, Maurevel Thorne took the opportunity to meet Gwanal and speak with Lady Shajar. At the same time, the Duke was led to Count Olindar by Alexai, and quickly made off with him to a private room for further private discussion. The Lady Vanya took an opportunity here to use her position as Seneschal to slide an artifact into the room that would allow her to hear of their dealings.

    As the night’s party came to a close, the Duke took the stage for a toast and announcement. He first toasted Yavan in congratulations, before moving quickly to announce what he had been scheming all night. The Duke declared the betrothal of his daughter to the hand of Lord Alexai Yvarai.

    This resulted in the younger brother Yavan, who was previously betrothed; to be sent into an uproar. Seeing the boy in an uproar, the Duke sent his guard to have the boy intimidated into tranquility. The uproar seemed to have triggered Yavan’s condition, and as he turned to leave, blood dripped from his eyes. This has been previously seen. What followed has never been seen or accounted for. Yavan’s chest erupted in flames and his body fell lifeless to the floor. The supernatural phenomenon sent nearly all the blooded running for safety in their chambers. Maurevel and Alexai were courageous enough to consider staying behind.

    As the ven took their beds at night, many were plagued with nightmares of the final event of the night.

    End of Story One of Season One

    The Log

    You can view the Logs page, or you can Session 2 Log by following the appropriate link.

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    Session 1
    Story 1, Spring, Year 1, Entry 1

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    Narrator’s Notes

    (The narrator notes section of the adventure log will be my out of game take on what happened in the session.)

    This was a very good starting session, though I believe my expectations were too high given the amount of ‘fresh blood’ we had in the game. It’s going to take people a while to learn Houses of the Blooded. Roleplay is houses is different than any other game, because you are also putting on the hat of the narrator at the same time. I think as people learn Houses, things become less chaotic. They move along quite a bit better. People begin to feed off each other’s creativity until everything begins to tie together nicely. We’ll get there. I’m sure of it.

    Things Made True

    (This section will be very important to glance over before the start of each new session. Houses allows for a lot of narrative freedoms for the players. If they aren’t careful, the game can drift off into absolute chaos as people forgoe previous things made true for new scenario’s. In order to provide players with a quick recap of what was made true last session, I have made this section. To find out more details about the session as a whole, please see the Recap or Log sections below.)

    I started by telling Alexai that his sister was pushing him to host a party this spring. He informed me that he would agree to do so. It seems that it was Alexai’s brothers coming of age ceremony that would be the very first session.

    Yavan Adrente

    Three Things True

  • He is Alexais younger brother
  • Yavan currently has no claim to a province, and thus no liege-lord
  • It is said that the young Yavan befriended the Duke Renly ‘s only child
  • The Players Added

  • Yavan is considering becoming a Q’Val
  • But the | Duke has other plans for him.
  • Duke Renlys Only child is betrothed to Yavan for when they come of age.
  • The younger brother made a rather embarrassing attempt to initiate a romance at the last social gathering had.
  • Rumor has it that Yavan’s healers are worried that his extreme nervousness over tonights party will exacerbate a “condition.”
  • This condition is somewhat common in Yavan’s blood.
  • In addition to the things stated at the beginning of the game, the following things were set as prominent story leads:
  • The Arch Druid ‘s unwanted arrival and outburst. As well as his invitation to the woods three ‘moons’ from now.
  • The Duke’s unexpected arrival announced by one of his Roadmen who was sent ahead to gain the Baron’s approval.
  • Recap

    (The recap portion of the game will be quick descriptions of the things that were made true over the course of the session. This section will include as much detail as possible without being hard to manage or read. For real detail, a log will be posted below for every session. Keep in mind that online games take longer to progress. It will probably take two or three sessions to get done with the same amount of detail that can be managed in a single ‘live’ session.)

    As with most Houses games, the campaign started with the GM laying out some facts. I provided the players with pre-game descriptions of the gryuac archipelago. I provided them with unique details about their characters based on which island they are from, as well as any rivals or enemies they have. I will make sure to post more on that in the NPC tracker on this site.

    The first adventure of the game is the coming of age party for Yavan Adrente, the younger brother of our Host Alexai Yvarai. The opening scene involved the arrival of various nobles of the Blooded to the castle Valedi’dur on the central island of Ordo.

    Among the welcomed guests arriving, were Maurevel Thorne hailing from Na’nal’dun, Suhajka Jalan hailing from Llilya, and Gwanal Yvarai hailing from Llilya.

    The scene started with dinner being announced in an hour. Many ven took this opportunity to meet and socialize in the baquet hall. The party had only just begun, and there were already dealings being made.

    As the various guests entered, a few specific things happened. Alexai greeted his cousin Gwanal personally, and the two began to parade themselves around the banquet hall, welcoming guests and serving as a stunning show to all those who had entered.

    At the same time, an old mad man dressed in dull and old clothing from a century ago, moved through the crowd. He appeared to be looking for someone, and brushed past anyone who was ‘not him’.

    Just then, a Roadmen appeared at the entrance to the banquet hall and approached Maurevel. He asked to speak with Alexai’s seneschal.

    The scene cuts to Vanya Steele, Alexai’s seneschal who has spotted the old man’s interruptions. After speaking with him, she was left with only frustration and asked Alexai’s personal guard to be prepared to remove him.

    Maurevel caught up with Vanya and was able to inform her about the Roadman at the door. Approaching, she learned that it was Duke Renly Yvarai ‘s Roadman. The Duke’s previous plans were canceled and he had interest to join the party within the Province of Tryran Dur.

    At the same time, the old man had found who he was looking for. He managed to locate Alexai, and quickly erupted into a tempered shout. He claimed that he was a friend to the land. More importantly, he claimed that Alexai had been forsaking his land, and that the ‘magic’ of the land was in jeopordy.

    To most ven, this notion would be silly… Everyone knows the only real magic that exists comes from sorcery which is entirely founded from the terrible Sorceror Kings. It’s their legacy, really. What made his claims worse is it was apparent this man was veth, ruk….dirt. A peasant making such bold claims at a lord’s party? How did he even get in there. Before he could be cut down for his blatant disrespect, he offered those present, including the Q’Val Suhajka; the right to join him in ‘three moons’ at the edge of the forest. It was there upon a rock with three hands that he would begin to show them the truth about the magic of the land.

    With the disappointment of the crowd coming very quickly at The Arch Druid’s outbursts, Gwanal and Alexai worked quickly to steal their attention. Music came a bit earlier than expected, and it seemed a brief dance prior to dinner would occur. Typically such dances are reserved for the late evening. The distraction worked well, and many ven began dancing.

    Vanya informed Alexai of the Duke’s soon unexpected arrival, but it seemed he was too busy playing host to notice. With a bit of protest, Vanya went off to arrange for the Duke’s grand sleeping quarters. Meanwhile, Suhajka delivered a gift of a book bound in Ork skin to the most gracious host of this party…

    To Be Continued in Session 2

    The Log

    (This section will incorporate an actual log of the game from start to finish.)

    You can view the Logs page, or you can Session 1 Log by following the appropriate link.

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