Today I don’t have much to update for minis; still haven’t gotten to painting but I did go out and prime all of my newest models the other day, so I’m one step closer! Also, I solved the “orcs are too tall” problem when I discovered just how easy the Bones plastic is to cut. Turns out when you take the bases off of the orcs, they get a lot shorter! Still bigger than I’d prefer, but at least they are within the bounds of reason with the other Lord of the Rings models. Also, I discovered that Gorilla Superglue is the greatest thing ever made, as it sets right away and is 10x stronger than the Citadel stuff I’ve been using. When my Penitent Engine broke apart, it only took a couple minutes to fix, where before it would have taken at least twenty!
Anyway, you’re not here to read me ranting and raving about superglue, since you likely saw that this is a D&D post. As last week was our first session, this will be my first post—but D&D is fun and there’s no reason not to use this blog to share the story of the game!
Session One: Parties and Provocations
To give a sense of the setting (which I created over the summer), I’ll just go copy the introduction out of my planning document (this was shared with the players prior to character creation).
Trouble is stirring in the island-kingdom of Illos. For generations, the aristocracy has maintained order in the kingdom—not a pleasant order, for the common person, but order nonetheless. Ruled by the Trazan Magi, the kingdom remains protected at the cost of the future of every new sorcerer born, each of whom is whisked away by the constantly-patrolling Trazan military to be raised in the Magus Academy of the Capitol, where they will be raised into a life of luxury and wealth that the impoverished commonfolk can only dream of. But now the winds of change are beginning to blow. News has begun to spread across the kingdom, from village to village as the Trazan military mobilizes in forces unseen in generations. A new man is wanted by the magi, a criminal surpassing any other. His name is Tero, and he is a necromancer.
The story began in an inn in a reasonably small town called Gavon, where the military marched in and ordered that a wanted poster for Tero be put up at the bar—they had been putting posters up all over the place. Only a couple people were around at 10am to be disturbed by the soldiers’ arrival: a quiet elven woman with a keen glance and a gold-handled rapier, a young dwarf adventurer eating a late breakfast, and a couple human kids playing some kind of card game across the room. But none of them spoke up, though both the dwarf and the elf eyed the wanted poster. The reward was 100 million gold to the party to bring the Necromancer in alive, half as much to bring him in dead. That got their attention!
Shortly afterwards, a dwarf with a funny-looking backpack entered and started asking for information on a dwarven criminal he was pursuing. Both he and the young dwarven adventurer were from the Dwarven Kingdom, so they started talking and quickly bonded. They were Akorn the rogue and Milo the mechanist, and each had recently left their home in the Dwarven Kingdom on a different quest.
Meanwhile, outside in the square, a young human woman was doing what she had been doing for years in the Capitol—stealing food so that she didn’t have to pay for it. Chava the thief was particularly good at her job, but today her luck had run out, when she found a sword at her back telling her to stop. She turned around and found a half-elf (a rarity in this setting) outfitted in wilderness attire. Yet once she appealed to his mercy, he lowered his defenses and soon the two were talking. She managed to draw out his name—Oldrian the ranger.
Back in the inn, a cloaked figure strode in and joined the elf at her booth in the corner. From beneath the cloak, flashes of blue indicated the newcomer’s species: that of the magical merfolk, capable of shapeshifting their tail into legs for traversing the land. These two were old friends and allies, and the elf was now telling her merfolk companion about the bounty on Tero. She wanted to go for it, and she wanted her friend Yantse the pirate to join her. After some banter with the dwarves about who was the Necromancer (as he was hooded in the wanted poster), Yantse and his elven companion left.
They were passing through the square when a new ruckus started—another thief had been caught, this one a young elven street urchin boy who had been caught at a merchant stall. The merchant was in the middle of publicly chastising the boy when he squirmed and slashed at the merchant’s hands with a knife that had been concealed. Now free, the youth bolted from the merchant—right into Yantse and her companion (whose name is Cerys, but she’s not a player character). Yantse’s inquiries into the identity of this kid (who had impressed the merfolk) were less than successful, but it drew the attention of Oldrian and Chava, who were still nearby. The kid finally escaped Yantse’s conversation and fled into a dark alley. Only Milo, one of the dwarves (who had just emerged to see what all the ruckus was about), saw where the kid was headed… to a deinonychus that was perched on the roof.
There was some banter amongst those present about the kid, and about the Necromancer, and with a frightening proclamation, Yantse took charge. They would work together to find the kid, recruit him, and then hunt down the Necromancer together. Everyone agreed.
So while Milo (and Cerys) returned to his room in the inn to get his equipment, the rest of the party chased the street urchin down, following his dinosaur (which he was riding across the rooftops). With some clever wordplay and layered lies, Yantse convinced the youth—whose name they learned was Kieran—that he (Yantse) was actually an elf who had known him in his youth, despite his blue scaly appearance. The party finally regrouped and headed out of town.
Which is when an explosion, tinged with purple light, went off several blocks away and arrested their attention once more. Milo, who had donned his custom-made steampunk armor (complete with an Iron Man-like visor!), wanted to know what the explosion had been and marched off towards the scene. Two rogues, Chava and Akorn, pursued in the shadows and on the rooftops. The others, meanwhile, preferred to stay as far as possible from the possibly magical event.
There was a police line set a block away from the ruined building, but that didn’t stop Milo, who simply vaulted it to go investigate the ruin. From the shadows and rooftops, Akorn and Chava noted that the rubble looked not like an explosion but rather like an implosion… and rather like an impact crater, at that. But that was all they noticed, for the Trazan Military was reacting to the heavy-armor-clad dwarf which had just easily vaulted their police line.
So began a short skirmish in which twelve soldiers surrounded the steampunk fighter and attempted to bring him down, even through twin wrist-mounted grapple guns and a jet-propelled warhammer. Unfortunately, the dwarven vigilante had never really tested his equipment against properly-trained fighters, and it turned out to be less effective than he would have liked against plate armor. The rogues, firing from the shadows, slew the Trazan Arbiter (an officer who is a sorcerer rather than a fighter) arresting him, but the dwarf was quickly overtaken by the rest of the soldiers. Fortunately for him, however, Yantse had approached (with the others) to see what was going on from a distance, and through intimidating the captain of this outfit was able to get Milo released to leave with them. The party was expelled from Gavon, with a wanted poster for his arrest in that town going up behind them.
They had not gotten far—and Milo was raving about seeing a black cat with purple eyes at the scene of the impact crater—when out of nowhere Yantse was taken down by the body of a bloody and wounded teenage human girl. Beside her appeared an equally damaged teenage human boy, who retained consciousness just long enough to appeal to Chava—by name—for help. Confused, the party tried to figure out how these oddly-dressed strangers knew them, when the girl recovered enough (through her magical belt) to keep Yantse from looting her body. They helped the boy recover as well, and he finally graced them with an explanation. They were Carter and Amora, anacronistic time-travelers who were training for… something. They were also locked to someone in the party, and would continually intersect with them out of order. They, then, had already known the party for two weeks prior to this, though the rest of the party were meeting them for the first time.
Now once more on the road for the town Bloomingburg (where the Necromancer’s undead had been sighted) and finally fully together (despite their uncertainty about each other), the party set off for riches and glory.