GAME ONE (11/06/2009)

That’s 3 Fires, 2 Airs, and 1 Wood.

We are traveling individually on the road south, but in proximity to each other among the constant stream of refugees, when a group of thugs endanger the lives of some of the other travelers. They push a wagon with two children in it off the road so that it rolls down an incline.

Ash orders the thugs to stop the wagon (one of them complies and runs after it), Niahlton kicks in his anima banner and leaps in front of the wagon and slows it, Naomi sweeps the two children off of it, Kex breaks the axel with an arrow shot, and the thugs flee in terror of the anima banner.

With an anima banner visible, some of us (Kex particularly), becomes curious about the quick and decisive actions of our group. We discover that the six of us are all recent exalts. Well, 5 of us are, and one of us (Moth) remembers nothing about their past, though we have to drag that out of her later.

We continue on the road and reach a town that is bulging at the seams with recent refugees. While there, the zoo comes to town. Dr. Trundle’s Zoo sports a number of strange oddities that he will charge people to see (Even though he’s showing them for free right now)… A Lamia, an ape with tentacles for a head, a fox-woman, an earth elemental, a chaos-tainted land shark, a blue wyrm, and a chimera.

I don’t remember tons of details of this fight, so feel free to fill in the blanks:

Naomi takes on the tentacle-ape, using her swords to cut it to ribbons. But she’ll deal with it a while longer as it regenerates.

Niahlton takes on the charging land-shark, puncturing its gills with his needles until it stops moving.

Yuri attracts the attention of the chimera, who tries to breath fire on her, slightly burning the crowd. She ends up using her chain to clinch and hold the chimera, whose fire breath is ignored by Yuri, a fire terrestrial.

Kex chips away at the Chimera and Wyrm, attracting the wyrm’s attention with some lightning breath, which misses the crowd.

Ash tries to use his charms to convince the fox-woman to surrender. She burns a will and resists, and counters with a plea to those around her to help her. Ash counters with a better phrased plea that he will help her, which she will not burn a will to resist and she moves toward him through the panicking crowd.

In an effort to keep the body of the now-failing Wyrm from falling on the crowd, Niahlton leaps through the air and not only stakes it good with his needles but pushes it way past the throng.

Moth tries to convince the Lamia to surrender because its “friends” are all going down. It seems uninterested in quitting.

Someone (Kex?) hurts the chimera enough that Yuri can leave it and move on to the next target, which would be the fox-woman that Ash is already working on. Her attempt to tackle the fox-woman becomes the subject of social debate later on. Depending on who you ask, it could be about the rights of an individual to do his part unimpeded, about the need to subdue anything that might be dangerous without regard for what others plan, or about zombie rights. It’s during this discussion that we discover that Yuri can raise the dead.

That sets the stage for later on, when Moth runs off alone to do things and one time returns with a shiny goo-like substance on her. When someone approaches her, the goo responds that we should stay away! She’s summoning demons, making pacts with them, and they do her bidding. We meet her Armor Demon (goo) and her Healing Demon (bug). They do this in return for things, my favorite of which being that the bug demon gets to eat anything tainted/disgusting that Moth eats, and Moth must eat something like that once per day. So she carries around a rotting bunny, a piece of a festering creature, etc., as a snack.

As a reward for subduing 4 of the creatures, losing the elemental who escaped into the ground, killing the wyrm outright, and killing, killing, killing, and finally burning the regenerating tentacle ape, we got some money from Dr. Trundle. We also get approached by Garlin and Garvin, brothers who have come here seeking heroes. They’re village is annually raided by brigands who seek money in return for not killing the villagers. The brigands sometimes employ giants.

We agree and Ash spends a couple days recruiting some folks to take back to the village with us who can help fight.

On the journey, we run into a group of regular travelers who feed us information about how things go. This is followed by running into a group of bandits who think we should give them anything of value. Join war! A short skirmish features Ash leading our troops, Niahlton as champion, Kex firing arrows at their leader, and the enemy crumbling under the first attack, which shrunk their numbers, causing a panic, which shrunk their numbers even further. They surrendered.

A brief discussion of what to do with brigands comes up next. Some folks advocate killing them. Some folks say no, that will not happen. Kex suggests we haul off their leaders and leave the rest to disperse and flee. We do this and continue on our way to the village, with Ash working on the new captives to help them see the light.


GAME TWO (06/02/2012)

HEY, not bad, I think that’s all correct except Jeff’s aspect which I’m guessing is Earth or Water.

Kex (Robert) was not present after about 30 minutes into the game.  A message I got from Robert says, quote:  “Talked to Mark, for purposes of the write up, Kex stayed with the refugees.”  To this I say NO WAY IN HELL.  I realize that in order to join the rest of the group at the scene of the game’s encounters I had to burn a will to leave the folks behind (due to an “intimacy”), but after Kex intimated that we should leave the prisoners behind with him so that he could “take care” of them, there’s no way I’d have left the group.  I demand my willpower point back and my limit break point expunged, you history re-writin’ m-fers!!

Now back to the writeup.

End of Game 1, we were on the road to Jadestone pass to help the locals with a racketeering issue involving some thugs who come to town once a year and demand money but who now are also demanding young women.  We had defeated some bandits that assailed us (and our refugees).  We now had two groups of people:  bound bandits and unbound refugees.

There’s a discussion of speeding things up by sending some folks ahead to begin preparations.  Kex (Robert) About now we come to a bridge and on the other side are some soldiers (mercenaries) in armor.  Ash is acting as our mouthpiece, being a general and having a decent charisma.  It turns out they are for hire.  After he haggles with them they agree to join our cause.  It is decided that since we need to prep we should go on ahead and the soldiers would guide the refugees and soldiers behind us.  We impress upon them that we are keeping the prisoners (as they will be performing labor for us).  As noted above, Niahlton has to burn a willpower to leave the prisoners and refugees in the care of the soldiers and automatically collects a limit break point.  I am the first!

As we travel the path we are assailed by giants who try to rain down boulders on us.  Since we are in a canyon we have three (including their apparent leader) on one side above us, while the majority are on the far side across a gulley and river that are below us, mirroring our path.  In other words, to get across to them you’d have to either fly/jump, or you’d have to go down the cliff side, cross the river, go back up the Cliffside all the way pas the height you started from and finally reach the group of giants, who are basically clinging (with ease) to the side of the mountain.  Niahlton kicks in a charm to boost DV for all of our folks vs projectiles.  The general is the lucky first target as he climbs quickly and is promptly slammed with rocks.  His injury will be the source of great humor later on.

Niahlton can jump across to the other side due to anima powers and attacks one on the far side.  The Earth folks climb down the side and back up, which takes a while.  Naomi finishes off the one injured giant using Michele power.  The giants begin to scurry away, having been satisfied with one casualty (They took out the man on the horse, which was one of Ash’s two militia leaders).

A WORD ON SCRIPT IMMUNITY:  The subject of “Script immunity” came up.  What is this?  It means that if a background (Resource, Follower, etc.) shows up on your character sheet as an expenditure… that is, if you actually spend bonus points on something, it is immune to being killed off/destroyed/etc. except in cases where the GM needs to do so for some reason, and then he’ll discuss this with the player in advance to come to some kind of accord.  But if you haven’t spent points on something Mark gave you so that you can keep it, it’s subject to death/destruction/mayhem.

I bring this up because the newly minted Militia-man was someone Jim had convinced to join up, but who was not paid for.  There’s also the matter of the boy who hired us, who is also subject to rock attack, but who is riding away uncontrollably on his horse.  The only reason it remains on the path is because when it neared the edge, scary-child, Moth, frightened the horse back onto the path with an intimidate roll and display of her demonic parasites.

The giants pull back and run off to wherever they go (since we are not able to easily pursue).  It’s worth noting that one giant was taking time to direct another, larger giant.

So Ash needs healing.  Niahlton’s healing is more of a someday-I’ll-get-the-charm-that-will-help-you-speed-up-healing effect.  However, Moth has a demon in her who can heal stuff but in return he demands tribute.  Typically this takes the form of eating something disgusting.  Sound okay so far?  Well, he eats by entering you and digesting it from the inside, therefore you must eat the disgusting, rotted, hideous thing so that he can eat it from you.  Pretty damn funny when people find out what they have to do to get healed.

Yuri uses his spirit powers to commune with the soul of the departed giant to find out where they live and if they work for someone.  Turns out they are just freelancing.  We decide we need to take them out because if we don’t then the group of refugees and soldiers and prisoners trailing us will be subject to attack.  Also, we take some time to have our Earth folks help repair the path.

We go after the giants, water-boy Jammer sneaking into the dark cave while invisible to scope things out.  However, the cave being dark, he bumps into a giant and a fight breaks out.  We hold a bottleneck at the door and begin our assault.  It’s discovered right away that the one big giant has hardness.  Shortly after that it is discovered he is animatronic and thus gains guidance from someone who knows how to push his buttons.  That fellow, the giant leader, instructs him to destroy the nearby Naomi by throwing rocks at her.  Well, the leader gets taken out, but the instruction stands, and thus the golem/construct continues to try and hit her.  Bravely/insanely, Conundrus, whose soak is pretty amazing, takes the hit for her and continues to try and get in the way, while Naomi tries to hide in/under/around a nearby giant.  Ash uses his command skills to coordinate attacks, thus allowing us to drop the DV of our foe, making it easier to hit.

The giants all get put down and the construct stops, I think, when Moth finds the off button?  I don’t think Naomi had to die in order for it to stop and we didn’t destroy it.

We pillage the caves.

We continue on and come across a mound by the side of the road.  Poking out of the mound is a face… human-like… whom we greet and who greets us back.  He is part of a group of dwarves who were assaulted by a wyrm that burned them.  Nialton fixes them up as best he can.  They decline demonic healing.  We set out to defeat the wyrm, who is also a danger to our caravan.

When we arrive, the wyrm is at the cave entrance and welcomes us.  The general explains we’re here because of the threat to our troops.  The dragon explains that this is what she eats.  The general suggests wild cattle as a replacement.  The dragon tries to cook its dinner alive.  FIGHT!  Our fire aspected people luck out in that when they kick on their anima they become immune to its breath.  Unfortunately, no one is CLAW aspected, so we take a good clawing.  The creature focuses on those closest.  There’s a bunch of jumping around and climbing, dodging fire breath, etc.  The dragon is taken out mostly due to the coordinated attacks guided by Ash.  The dragon baby comes out to attack us.  Naomi tells the wyrm to surrender and the wyrm is surprised to find that its food talks.  After a few minutes of “get in muh belly” we put it down too.  Nice loot!  Wyrms keep pretty decent treasure.  Now we have the golem AND a Tree Singer.  It’s a strange lemur/ape creature that when it sings, if you don’t have a high enough mental DV, you stand there and listen to it rather than defend yourself as it wraps its tail around your neck strangles you.  Niahlton is resistant, Yuri puts up some mental defense (I think) in order to stay out of trouble too.

We tell the dwarves the deed is done and they give thanks and move on.

We are a couple days from town, passing through a forest, when we are assailed and netted by panda folk.  These are some sort of funky hairless creatures analogous to the Ewoks.  The boy who is guiding us tells them we are friends and they free us.  They feed us and we go on the rest of the way.  Turns out our next camp is in a well of power (node) where, had we the skill, we could build a manse.  The local things are a bit warped by the power of it, and so too would be anyone who stayed there too long and was mortal (Terrestrials are fine).  We encounter a horse-man.  I literally remember nothing of the encounter right now.  I remember the general being tricked into falling in the mud by some nymphs.

GAME THREE (06/16/2012)

Still on route to the village of Jadestone, in the BloodJadestone Pass,  our army a ways behind us, we reach a small farm cottage from which emanates sounds of alarm.  Ladies in distress.  Immediately we leap to action.  Jammer jams down the door, Naomi is prepared to attack, many of the rest of us either take up positions in the front or get into strategically hidden locations.  The bandits therein (around a dozen Wyld Barbarians) have three captives—two women and an old man.  They hold knives to the ladies’ throats and threaten to kill them.  As they are prepared already we have to be slightly cagey.  Yuri whips out his monkey—er, Treesong Lemur thingie, and has it sing, which works brilliantly.  They, and a few of our folks, stand there in a stupor until the girls are safely dragged away, then the singing stops and we break into combat.  It gets ugly then as we stomp them thoroughly, keeping one captive.  After General Ash interrogates him there’s a brief discussion of what to do with him, whereupon we decide to take the guy with us to stand up to justice at Jadestone pass.

The village is less than.. “easily defensible” in that it is in disarray.  It’s not as if a yearly siege has taken its toll; no, rather each year they pay their bounty to the bandits and then there’s no additional money to upkeep the walls, many of which are little more than crumbled heaps.  We go to the local tavern and meet the local former mercenary-turned-barkeep (Stefan), and then our kid/guide sends word to the Baron that we are here.  We get an audience with the Baron, to whom we release our barbarian captive (He will be appraised—if he’s incorrigible he will be put to death, but if he can be made into a slave that is his fate).  Jammer eats a rotted dragon carcass steak, while the rest of us dine on the Baron’s best.

We send out some feelers to the other locals (The centaurs, etc.) to find out if they would be interested in assisting us with the bandits.  For the time being we are on our own, with the townspeople, the local soldiery, and a few loose groups of militia.  There’s talk about how there might be people in town who inform on goings-on to the bandits.   There’s prep-time as the local alchemist makes flaming oil for us, should we need to torch an area, keeping our captives from fleeing, while another group digs trenches, etc. Niahlton sets up an infirmary and tries to teach locals basic medicine skills and gathers supplies (mostly for stunt dice in trying to save units of troops later)

Scary Girl #1 (aka Moth) goes off and comes back with a new demon.  This one is a swirling mass of insectoid parts, spikes, hammers, and other dangerous looking things; he does not speak the language and therefore frustrates the GM who wants him to be picking fights with us.  Their bargain (Moth and the… Tempest?  Wait, I think I know what their bargain was!) was actually that he would defeat the bandits or be released from service inside a month (whichever was faster), but he did not engage in this fight simply because of his purposeful misinterpretation of the bargain—He was told there were no bandits in the town, and when the bandits attacked they moved into the town, therefore they were no longer bandits, so he ignored them.

The fight when it finally comes is pretty fast.  Two units showed up—one was infantry (magnitude 4) and the other was a group of giants (who acted like magnitude 3 but were mag 1 for purposes of disbanding them).  Due to a fog that was brought up by the town’s weather manipulator (the Baron’s daughter), the infantry did not see a hole in the ground we’d dug and covered over, thus they plunged in dropping a magnitude due to the damage, I believe.  The giants pulled back, and a feint by General Ash caused them to split actions and fail to reorient themselves.  The giants managed to get off one barrage of rocks which greatly injure our archery unit.  The infantry meet and are promptly swallowed up by three of our units, failing to do any damage to the unit they hit head-on (commanded by the Baron).  The Giants are run down by the Gray Dogs (the mercenaries we hired) and their 1 magnitude turns to zero.

We leave no one to go back and tell the enemy of what happened.

The medical prep saves the damaged archery unit from dissolving in magnitude.

It’s noted that maybe the Abbot could help the citizenry embrace us more and that maybe his church (a Manse) could be helpful, and so the General talks to the Abbot.  Seems his biggest local problem (aside from Bandits) is that for several generations they’ve been unable to fish despite sitting on a lake.  There is a river monster (think Dragon-Turtle the size of modern city block) who prowls the waterway and keeps it free of fishermen.  We take it upon ourselves to take out the beast.

Kex sets up a lure—a barge full of goats, and we wait until it breaks the surface then engage it with ranged attacks.  It moves toward us and breathes.  Conundrus intercepts the damage that would have happened to Niahlton, and over all we’re still in good shape.  It comes right to the shore and those with reach or ranged weapons are coordinated by the General.  Due to its hardness it is not easily defeated, but we chip away at it consistently until it falls.

This is when I left for the evening, though I think we were in wind-down mode at that point.  We were talking about taking the fight TO the bandits rather than waiting for them to show up.

GAME FOUR (06/29/2012)

This game was a lot of planning and one big mass combat.  As such, we were awarded 1 charm and 4 bonus points.  CORRECTION: I'm told another charm was given out after I left.  That's 2 charms, 4 bps for the session.

In the wake of our first victory over the bandits who threaten the village, we spend a week setting up for the rematch.  And nearly that much in real-time planning how to go about this.

In the end, after Jammer does some recon and discovers that their village is loaded with maybe 1400 soldiers, giants, and ogres, and that their base of operations is the site of the old and long defunct Jade mines from which the pass gets its name, we decide that maybe the best things is to fight them at the town.  (While this puts the site in danger, it means we don’t have to pull troops out of town to fight, we control the battlefield, etc.)

Now before Jammer sets out to do this investigation, he turns on a charm that detects whether he’s being watched.  Turns out he is.  He spots the spy fleeing the square and the group pursues him to his home.  He’s the town’s fletcher.  He tries to send out a warning to the bad guys via pigeon.  Sure enough, he has a whole aviary of them.  While the message itself is not incriminating, the slapdash manner in which he’s sending off hurried message to his “beloved” is suspicious, as are the scrolls found at the bottom of one of the cages that has scrawled on it some questions about the number of exalted in town, etc.  He is now guest of the Baron.  Some interrogation gets us the fact that he’s long lived there at the behest of the bandits and lives there for the express purpose of spying.

We consider sending disinformation, but no one is sure whether maybe there was a second spy or not, so the idea is born from Yuri (bet you thought I was going to say Niahlton, didn’t you, Joe?) that we send a message detailing that some of the local troops are down due to disease.  In the end, they send one less group of troops because they aren’t expecting us to be at full strength.

When the troops do arrive, they arrive by two methods.  While the core of the army comes from the same direction as the last troops, the giants come from across the bridge.  The bridge has been disabled, thus slowing them down, but they still come from that way.  It allows us time to deal with the others first though.

Moth’s pet demon (“Tom”) is sent by her to fight the giants.  Alan then proceeds to roll awful for everything, so the demon’s usefulness is simply in tying up the giants for a couple of combat rounds.

Meanwhile, a detachment comes for the Grey Dogs (being run by Scott and accompanied by the hero, Slate).  There’s much sitting and spinning as General Ash uses his combat “feint” skill to redirect the opposing forces, causing them to often be facing the wrong way.  General Tomishanko (a guess at the spelling), the traitorous general who abandoned the realm of Damara for its enemies, leads the other forces, tries to mess with the Grey Dogs, and moves his troops in to assist.  The Baron’s unit (led by me) seems to run one direction, then another, in total confusion over what to do next.

Yuri had raised a group of undead from the bodies of the fallen and hidden them in the ground near where the troops would come through.  Unfortunately though they were spotted at the outset of combat and were charged by one of the sets of foes.  Thing is, the zombies had been outfitted with jars of alchemical fire, so Yuri’s move is to march the group right into the teeth of the opposing group and trigger their fire.  It works pretty darn well, but Molotov unit is dust, so Moth and Yuri join up into the all-creepy-girl battalion.  They manage to finish off what’s left of their foe.

The Grey Dogs, and their hero, Slate, do plenty of damage to the confused and spinning units.  The opposing generals vie for control of the enemy, but ultimately they get stomped and Slate goes in and kills the General.  Yuri will have to question his soul later on using her dead-speaking abilities.

The giants knockdown the archer group, taking them out with one nasty strike of boulders.  The Baron’s group and another move in on the giants and just a tick before the giants would get to attack again, they are decimated.

Some talking to the dead takes place.  There was a sorcerer in the group of giants, but he’s dead too, either in combat or because Moth took him out in outrage over having her “friend” demon killed.  Said sorcerer is actually a famed apprentice of a much bigger wiz.  This means there may be a bigger wizard in the core group of bad guys back at their base.

As I left for the evening, Ash had set out to check with our potential allies among the Panda people, centaurs, and dwarves.  With any luck we’ll have additional troops.

GAME FIVE (07/28/2012)

In an uncharacteristically quick and sloppy decision, we opt to take the fight to the enemy by simply heading to his encampment without troops and taking them on.  I think a lack of arguing against this tactic stemmed from having done a tone of mass combat recently and this would allow us to not have to do that, and in my case, not wanting to draw the city map for the third consecutive game.

So did we head their way?  Nope.  We got drama first.

Moth heads to the forest to summon one of her demon buddies.  This one is a wasp with beautiful stained-glass wings.  During their negotiation process, from the woods emerges a shadowy snake who proceeds to try and attack Moth.  During their combat, the snake smudges out part of the summoning circle thus allowing the warded wasp to fly away after attempting only one sting on Moth.  Moth battles the snake and wins.

So in town our heroes are relaxing when there’s a scream.  Outside a man has been grabbed by the wasp and is flying up into the air.  Naomi is first on the scene and engages by trying to leap onto it and bring it down but it is able to continue course and in fact opens a portal and flies through.  Naomi leaps off since she’s unsure where the wasp is going but is unable to both abandon ship AND grab the other guy, so the wasp ends up teleporting to high up in the air whereupon it lets go of the guy and he plummets to his hideous, bloody death.

Perhaps because it’s a demonic wasp thing, some of the party assume that Moth has something to do with it (though I am just assuming the enemy sent something or it was a “wondering monster” encounter).  Of course they were right and Moth cops to it and explains how the creature got away.  Where did this shadow snake come from and why did it interfere?  Well… funny story…

It seems Moth attempted an assassination on the enemy by summoning a couple of minions from hell to go and take out the Grandfather of assassins, Silent G.  Not his real name, that’s just his rap name.  Thug life!  One creature is not heard from again, possibly killed.  The other was somehow empowered to come back and kill Moth.

Moth gets a lecture about having people around to help while she’s summoning.

Next day we go to face the enemy.  We’re following a chasm when the first of the enemy are spotted.  Naomi sees them and heads up to face them immediately.  They sound a horn alarm.  Naomi takes out the first one, but when Nialton arrives next he does not see a second thug who hits him with a poisoned arrow.  Normally I’m good against missile attacks, but at 0DV for being unaware, I get hit and the poison is pretty nasty and will impair me enough that I am totally ineffective for the rest of the combat (I think I injured that thug and injured one giant).  Fortunately for us all, the others were more competent.  In an attempt to catch anyone in the chasm who might be hidden, a massive swarm of glass butterflies was sent after us.  It filled the low ground and eventually shattered against a wall, making the area dangerous to walk through without heavy boots. Then the majority of the PCs, the ones down in the chasm, rushed the enemy.

Once the core group was nearing the giants… oh, did I mention what we were facing?  At first it was about 8 giants, a wyvern, and a sorcerer (on the ground), plus a hidden assassin.  Then after the butterfly trick it lost about 4 giants.  Two of those it seems were just hiding in the mountains because they decided to collapse a hillside onto the group.  Most made their rolls to stay out of the trouble, but Moth was momentarily covered in rocks.  Kex, being the one down there in the pocket who was firing shots from a range but not directly engaging, drew arrowfire from opponents, whereupon he proceeded to shoot down every single arrow that came at him using a charm and skill.  Conundrus, Jammer, Ash, and Yuri stood in there and took on the group, taking them down one-by-one.  Meanwhile, having less luck were the two who could stay up on the mountain edge, Naomi and Niahlton.  They were facing the giant who collapsed the cliff (and who was quite well protected in rock) and another stone giant.  After the initial successful hit on the giant they spent a lot of time futilely trying to hurt them and ultimately fleeing.

When it was all done, I think we took out 5 giants, the wyvern, and the grandfather of assassins, who made himself seen when firing arrows and who ate a few poison arrows himself, making himself an easier target.

We fled when an army of normal soldiers started to flood into the pass.

Back home, we considered our failures and successes, saw to our injuries, and planned the next step.  Yuri interrogated Silent G’s spirit.  At the time that I left, the characters were all snug in their beds (or on watch) when a bunch of assassins showed up and tried to murder us in our sleep.

GAME SIX (8/11/2012 )

Yuri (Joe)
Moth (Alan)
Ash (Jim)
Kex (Robert)
Jammer (Paul)
Slate (Scott)
Conundrus (Jeff)
Niahlton (Darren)

So last game there was this ninja attack in the night.  Assassins dropped in and tried to wipe out some player characters.  Seems we survived.  I know I survived by leaving as it was happening.

Well, then comes the insanity.  Soldiers have entered town and started attacking citizens and burning down buildings, but we have bigger fish to fry, because a pulse of magic has killed all of the hundreds of years of wards on the graveyard and the dead have risen!  When we reach the graveyard, the gates are open and about 150 of them have risen—of the potential thousand or so bodies.  There are waves of skeletons, zombies, disease zombies, and ghosts, with the head sorcerer at the rear, kept aloft by some kind of skeletal bat creature.

Many of us are injured either from the assassinations or from the previous fight.  At this point we were informed of a rule change that actually gives some value to the “medicine” skill:  Keep track of your injuries.  A successful medicine roll made with the difficulty equal to your worst injury will convert 1 point of Lethal into 1 point of Bashing.

I should have taken notes because there was a lot of activity in this fight, so I’m likely to credit some people incorrectly.

Kex will fire from the distance.  With any luck, Niahlton will be able to jump the entire line and put himself near the bad guy.  The front line forms at the gate, and while they intend to do battle with the dead and hold formation that will keep them from advancing, Yuri will be moving in behind them and using the grave dust (or whatever it was called) to create a barrier behind them that the front line will step back over.

But then come the nasty ghosts.  I forget what they were called.  I think I changed their name enough times (Corrugated ghosts, Cromulent ghosts) that I actually forgot the original name.  These guys would materialize and attack, but could not be harmed unless the attacker had a special ability—of which we only had Conundrus and his “Ghost blade” charm.  So these guys would show up and hurt whoever lost the PRE+APP roll.  So Niahlton, Kex, Slate, and Jammer seemed to be the targets.

The lead villain is wearing an amulet, well-secured to his body, that creates a “shawdowland”.  That is to say, he is creating a weakspot between our world and that of the dead, and so they can cross over and say hi.  Or eat your brains.  Whichever they feel like.  Kex peppers him with arrows, enough so that he flees in terror, winking out.  My guess: He probably crossed into the shadowland to get away from us.  Either way, he was only able to add one additional wave of the dead during the course of the combat.

Now Yuri’s deal with the wand has allowed him to fireball the crap out of the encroaching mob.  Many of us are getting injured because we’ve spent a lot of essence and so we’re flaring—enough so that we can’t get into the circle of dust without ruining it, so we stay outside it and lose a few points at a time.

There’s plenty of good old fashion skull splitting, but it’s mostly the Area-of-effect attacks that are helping out.

The wave of ghosts (the non-cromulent ones) that make it through the wall, since they can do that.  But they can be harmed, so there’s that.  Niahlton, for one, was totally ineffective during this fight.  Even using my full dice pool on an attack I couldn’t hit a thing.  Except I could hit their claws with my face.

At the end of the fight everyone is still vertical!  Ash rolls out with some folks to put down intruders and fires.

This is good because after a short round of wound treatment and a brief rest, we get word that our spotters have seen their armies coming.  The dead were there to soften us up.  The main event is ahead.

This one is handled a little differently.  There are 8 major enemy combatants (the armies are being handled off-camera and will be hand-waved based on how our fights go combined with Jim’s rolls).  Now about those 8 evil monstrosities… I will try to recall them as best I can, which isn’t all that well…

It turns out that our planning was pretty good.  The matchups worked out REALLY WELL.

I’ll get mine out of the way first because it involved prep by Yuri, and it was the first kill.  The “wand of fireballs” had agreed to let Niahlton use it on the condition that its service ends earlier, right after the fight.  This proved to be a good choice, as Niahlton killed the serpent personnel carrier in two shots.  (If 10’s counted as 2pts of damage I’d have done another 8 pts.)  It got in one attack that failed.

Whatever it was that Kex and Yuri’s Zombies fought, it was nice to have those zombies there as it was a hand-to-hand fighter and Kex could remain at range and shoot it while the zombies played defense.  Kicked its @$$.

While Jammer was in close doing his damage consistently, the spine creature gets in multiple shots—and this would be nasty except for Hopping Firecracker Technique, which allowed Jammer to keep floating away from the first attack, ending the series; The proper defense for that attack.

Ash has a tremendous Dodge DV and thus kept dodging all the acid blasts from momma while smacking her down.

Another good choice was having two-on-one vs. the wizard because he used his mace to create a cloud of darkness that messed up one attacker, but with another attacker free they first managed to wreck the wiz’s mech and him in one mighty swing, but then Slate and Conundrus could both focus on the summoned cloud of darkness.

The automaton having a great soak matched up pretty well with the Meat Puppet.  Ol’ stoney only took about 1 pt. of damage while dishing out plenty.

The other two fights, as you can imagine, I don’t remember specifics on (else I could extrapolate what the creature was).

As a result of not letting a single one of the big guys go unchallenged AND Ash’s command rolls for the other troops, only two dice were rolled, instead of 9, to determine the number of buildings lost.  We only lost 9 buildings in all.

Next up, we get some rest and there’s a party at which we are given titles.  Unfortunately I can’t recall the titles.
Yuri,  Speaker of the Dead.
Ash, Steward of Jadestone
Niahlton, Surgeon General
Kex, Woodsman?  Sporter of Wood?... I dunno.
Slate, Masterbuilder? Master Craftsman?
Moth, official scary demon child of the summer games?
Jammer?  Conundrus?  Naomi’s was undecided at game time.

Then comes the subject of what we do for the next year.

Ash: Tries to establish a just kingdom by implementing a judicial system.  (We’ll get to that.)
Kex:  Takes over the home and workshop of the fletcher (the spy, who is… we’ll get to that).
Moth: Sets up her home at the outskirts of town, near the statue.  She takes on an apprentice who wants to know her craft.  And also a slave.  (We’ll get to that.  Sensing a trend?)
Yuri: Tries to build a zombie army.  Establishes his home somewhere near Moth’s, in the Scary-Girl district, right beside the hammock district.
Slate:  Helps rebuild the city and tries to invest in jade futures.  Now that he’s all crafty he wants some Jade to work with.
Niahlton:  Petitions to get custody of the largest of the burnt-out buildings so that he can build a hospital there, where he can reside and train people to heal.  Also, sends out feelers to try and locate some lost refugees from his past.
Jammer:  Um…uh…
Conundrus:  …hmm… uh…

I think I’m blanking on the last two simply because they were furthest across the table from me.

And now for the “Well get to that” segment.  So the Baron points out that as Steward of Jadestone, it’s Ash’s job to mete out justice.  This means he’s responsible for the fate of the spy, the former fletcher.  He decides that it should be a jury trial until it’s pointed out that no such thing exists.  Peers don’t decide futures of criminals, Stewards do.  He settles on a simplistic two-sided argument approach: He hears the charges and evidence quickly from one side, probably given by someone who volunteers (a party member).  The other side is the defendant, who can speak for himself.

Now the General wears his politics on his sleeve.  Being a “just” man and having people know that this is your character’s “Motivation” (written on the character sheet) means they get an extra 3 dice just to try and convince you of things.  So when told to speak for himself, the GM rolls some dice and seems happy to have “convinced” Ash that justice is served by not killing but rather imprisoning him.  Now Ash can burn 1 WP to resist such influence, but he is not sure that justice is served by imposing his own desire for revenge upon him.  Lots of people died because of the spy.  That would irk any general.  After he’s said his piece about justice, a rebuttal comes from the gallery, from Yuri.  He points out that real justice would involve not just him dying, but that he’d be turned into an animated corpse where he could work off his debt in perpetuity.  Yuri makes his roll and the whole thing has shifted another direction.  Remember when I just said “that would irk any general”?  Well the Surgeon General, Niahlton, stands up and says that he’s been captured and he’s confessed and that killing a captive is inhumane and unbecoming of a just society!  I make my roll and now we’re back where we started.  Soliciting the Baron for an opinion gets Ash nothing!  The Baron gives NO input.

Ash decides NOT to burn the willpower point.  The captive will not be killed.  However, he will be enslaved, being put to work in the laboratory of scary-girl Moth!  Funny that his options were: Die, or Die and work for Yuri, or live and work for Moth.  Take out the middle one and hit might be a tie for which was best result for him.
So I’m uncertain if justice has changed form from Ash’s initial vision.  Do court proceedings now involve people in the gallery?  Probably not.  We’re probably just privileged that way.

We scored some treasure, though most of it is of a necromantic nature.

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