The Well of the Halfhollows, Part One

Last night we had our inaugural game session for play testing Augur’s Lore: Song of the Pale Stone. Thanks to all the players for such a fun campaign launch! I’m thrilled that there was so much character involvement and looking forward to the continuation next week.

Our first session consisted of the following PCs:

  • Hodjai, “Ji-HO”, the Djenndan fighter, played by @Evan
  • Lemurt, “Lem”, the kahlnissá treeling, played by @Terri
  • Sookta, the Djenndan blacksmith, played by @xSubNuke
  • Ts’uviti, the viantu savant, played by @saelbrin

The adventurers found themselves in a township called “Pike’s Watch,” standing in a cramped and stuffy room full of other adventurers of some ilk, like themselves. The crowd had gathered from a variety of locales, some having just been released from jail on trespassing charges, others seeking fame and riches, but all had assembled to hear the offer of a man by the name of Rad Boleshin. It seems that Boleshin was tasked by Dolyos Miren, High Lord of Pelmora, to assemble a militia charged with tracking down the whereabouts of Lady Grilea Miren and her missing caravan. Lady Miren was sent as envoy to the capital of Thelea weeks ago, but never arrived at her destination. The last time she was seen was here in Pike’s Watch.

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The crowd was restless and tense. Boleshin, who obviously drank too much wine, proved ill-equipped for the task of inspiring everyone in the room to come to the Lady Miren’s aid. He stammered and stuttered and and even earned derisive looks from his own bodyguards–two Thelean Peacekeepers. After assembling a crude map and telling the room full of adventurers that High Lord Miren was offering the estate above Pond’s Edge and a handsome boon as reward for their service, many of the adventurers scoffed and left the room grumbling or smirking. Pond’s Edge though large in size was in poor repair after years of neglect. And Boleshin’s drunkenness was not charming enough to convince the many adventurers who had their share of run-ins with the Pelmoran Knights that they should risk their life and safety for the “boon” of High Lord Dolyos Miren. When the majority of adventurers left the room even one of Boleshin’s bodyguards took the opportunity to take his leave.

Sookta, Hodjai, Ts’uviti, and Lemurt decided to stay a while longer to ask Boleshin and his racist bodyguard Varek some questions. What they learned from Boleshin’s behavior and evasion is that his task in finding the Lady was likely punishment for him. It seems as if the High Lord sent Boleshin on this task because he knew that it was a futile one. Varek, for his part, was simply working as the paid bodyguard of the drunk, and in typically arrogant Peacekeeper fashion, made no apologies for seeming to care nothing about a missing noble. After grilling Boleshin and Varek for several minutes about the High Lord’s reward, the estate, the missing Lady, and how she came to be seen last in Pike’s Watch, the adventurers took their leave of Boleshin’s gathering and made their way to the square outside.

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The meeting house is located in the center of the Pike’s Watch town square, the common location of market gatherings and festivals. Usually during the middle of the night the square is empty, but due to the meeting of the adventurers, there was sound and commotion noticeable on the outer parts of the area. To the east they could hear the laughter and festivities coming from “The Pond’s Edge,” a tavern at the front of the estate Boleshin spoke of earlier. Directly ahead to the south of the square was a merchant’s tent lit by standing torches. An elderly man seemed to be negotiating with a few adventurers over some equipment. The west part of the square led to the residential district of the town. In that direction, Ts’uviti immediately noticed a tense situation. A Peacekeeper–the one who had exited Boleshin’s meeting room early on–was cornering a young man and young woman near a cart. The PCs decided to part ways at this point; Lem’ made her way to The Pond’s Edge while Hodjai, Sookta, and Ts’uviti headed toward the western Peacekeeper to help diffuse the altercation there.

As the three adventurers approached, the Peacekeeper commanded them to carry on their way and mind their own business, but it was obvious that they wished to help the two cornered youth. With few words, the Peacekeeper drew his sword and assumed an attack posture. The young man tried to step in, but was held back by the young woman. Ts’uviti, the savant, cast a charged glance from his strangely-colored eyes toward the Peacekeeper; his eyes flashed and for a moment the aggressor seemed as if he might become calm. Shaking his head, the Peacekeeper re-brandished his sword and prepared an attack. Sookta stepped to the side and grabbed the large cart; with a growl and a feat of strength, he hurled the cart at the Peacekeeper’s legs, causing the man to yelp in pain as he buckled, dropped his sword, and fell to the ground. The young woman released the young man and rushed to the Peacekeeper’s side. “No! Father!” she called out. Looking up toward the adventurers, the young girl pleaded. “Don’t hurt him! He just has a temper, that’s all, and he doesn’t like Radiis.” She clutched the Peacekeepers shoulders and tried to help him up; the wounded man could only muster a moan. The young man Radiis was nearly out of sight by then, running west into the residential district.

The party sheepishly took their leave at that point, and followed Hodjai over to the merchant’s tent. There they met an Uskelian merchant who coaxed a few gold pieces from the two Djenndan in order to refresh his memory with a few scant details about the Lady Miren’s disappearance. Apparently, she had headed north out of Pike’s Watch, the opposite direction from the capital city. Additionally there was an altercation the morning of her caravan’s departure where two “brigands” were killed by one of the eight Pelmoran Knights in her employ. It also seems that if anyone directly saw the altercation, it would have been Itoar, the local blacksmith. The group traded banter with the merchant for a while, after which they headed toward The Pond’s Edge to reunite with Lemurt.

Meanwhile, Lem’ was mingling at the tavern looking for gossip and rumors that might serve her adventure. She met Golar the Inkeeper, a thin rail of a man with an oddly large protruding gut. Golar liked to speak about himself in the third person and served fresh chapan with spiced oil for dipping, but seemed to know nothing of note about Lady Miren. Lemurt introduced herself to a very tall, handsome Djenndan shaman who wished her well and after insisting that he “liked to work alone,” swiftly took his leave. She then met a charismatic viantu with a propensity for standing on tables and stools. The viantu, who Lem’ learned is named Dezeva, generously offered her information about the Lady Miren strangely choosing to travel north from Pike’s Watch after her Knight killed two “brigands.” Dezeva and Lem’ spoke long enough for the other three adventurers to arrive, during which she shared her plans to wake at dawn and investigate the blacksmith before heading north to find the brigands. The viantu jumped from her perch on the stool, gathered her elaborate purple robes, and took her leave, and the group of four adventurers compared notes regarding what had transpired. They noticed many people at The Pond’s Edge, several of whom were memorable-looking adventurers or townsfolk. Hodjai tried to tip a serving girl named Yahari in order to gather more information, but she didn’t seem to know anything of importance, and was nervous that her boss, Golar, would catch her malingering. The group decided to retire for the evening and set out at dawn.

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The new day might yield more answers. Perhaps the blacksmith knows something more after all. Will the Peacekeeper retaliate for the nearly mortal cart throwing? Who are these brigands and why would the Lady’s caravan travel north toward them? Will more adventurer’s from Boleshin’s call to arms decide to take up the cause? And where will their adventure take them from here? Only time will tell.

I’m looking forward to our next session!

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Fractalform is the gaming handle of Bret Woods--ethnomediologist, author, and lead developer of Augur's Lore RPGs. Bret is Thing 1 at http://descrypt-studios.com.

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