A lot of my commentary is going to have to wait for the post-mortem, but let me just say briefly that this session went very well. Last night’s session was probably the best session of any game I’ve ever run, to be honest.

This is not to say that it was flawless. I’m afraid a lot of people were bored while I was doing stuff with a few different PCs, for example. The conflict between Alac and Sighni is still a bit too acrimonious. But for the most part, I was happy with it.

I’d also like to say that a lot happened. I can’t remember all of it and I might’ve messed up the order of some scenes. Also, as always, some things happened outside the common view, so I’ve left that out, too.

Ready? (Oh, man, this shit is long.)

Go!

Previously in Er-Eret…

I picked up where we left off last time. Ratha, Lexa, and Sighni were in the inn that most people frequent. (There’s another inn, but it’s primarily for dwarves, who in this case don’t take kindly to strangers.)

Unfortunately, I’m drawing a blank on some of what happened before, well, you’ll see. I believe that, by this point, it was mid- to late-afternoon. Alac spent some time looking over financial documents that had been left in the manor. Rubican studied. Sighni, Lexa, and Ratha were socializing in the inn.

Nobody had much to do, so time passed and everyone eventually went to bed. At some point during the day it rained heavily and tapered off to a drizzle.

The North Wall

Alac was woken by the sound of someone walking around in the manor. It turned out to be Rubican, who was pacing; he had a “bad dream.”

Then they heard a loud crash, coming from the north end of town.

All of the PCs, one way or another, went to the north. Ratha heard from a guard that there was some kind of attack underway, though they had no idea what, and that nothing like this had happened before.

When the PCs arrived on the scene, they saw a large breach in the north wall. This was presumably caused by the large, bloated golem that, upon further examination, was a pastiche of body parts. Where there might’ve been stitches, there were glowing orange runes of binding, undeath, and animation. This zombie-golem thing was accompanied by a couple of goblin skirmishers, a goblin sharpshooter, and a goblin with a wand dressed in some strange, tattered regalia, who I call a necromancer.

The PCs also noticed rather quickly that there were a half-dozen or so corpses of guards in the area, which were crushed, javelin’d, or crossbow’d to death.

Combat! Honestly, the monsters barely laid a finger on the PCs, although Rubican and Ratha did take a serious hit or two. More on this in my postmortem. Sighni the ranger made short work of the necromancer and sharpshooter, while Lexa the rogue and Alac the warlord nailed the zombie-golem and did some damage to a skirmisher or two. Rubican torched a bunch of guys, and Ratha opportunistically attacked and killed a few.

Almost immediately after fighting ceased, Sighni took off for the south, saying she’d heard that there might still be an attack in progress to the south. Alac remounted his horse and headed south also.

Ratha, meanwhile, declared that these monsters might still be dangerous, and rolled a goddamn 20. More on this in the post-mortem, too. Ratha didn’t find much before he called Rubican over to help examine the corpse, though he took the goblin necromancer’s regalia with him.

Ratha carved up some of the skin with the runes on it, which were no longer glowing once the creature had been defeated. He and Rubican conferred a bit on what it might be.

Alac arrived south to find Ansa talking to what appeared to be a high-ranking guard. She had seen battle, as evidenced by the blood on her armor. It turned out that the goblins had also attacked from the south, although the guards and Ansa had only barely managed to repel it. They also lost a great deal of guards.

She was concerned when she heard about the undead golem, and voiced concerns about how organized the goblins were. Alac told her that there would be a town meeting and that he had a plan. He also spoke a bit to the guard, who, when asked if he was the captain, said “I am now.” Taking into account the guards that didn’t return from the north as well as the losses at the south, the guards numbered perhaps a dozen altogether.

Lexa, Rubican, and Ratha gathered at the tavern, where people who had been awoken by the commotion were discussing what happened. Ratha and Rubican related the story of what happened at the north wall, playing up both Alac and Sighni’s role in the fighting. Lexa prowled the edge of the crowd, planting doubt in the minds of the cynics and skeptics.

Ultimately, people went back home, as did the PCs. Fast-forward to the meeting in the morning.

Problems & Solutions

It was chilly and drizzling. Rather than having the meeting outside, in the town square, Alac arranged it to be in the tavern. Townspeople had to cluster around the building, and were none too pleased about having to stand in the rain.

Alac began to give a speech about shared sacrifice, about rebuilding the town. Essentially this turned into a shouting match between Sighni, the increasingly irate mob outside, and Alac. The town council members who were present were mostly aghast. Sighni began to speak, but Alac shouted her down, and moved towards her as if to silence her. Before the situation got out of hand, Ansa spoke.

This was the first merchant caravan in a year, she said. Where did he expect to get this tax money? The town has no money. Did he think that the people enjoyed wearing rags? And what time did the town have to train an army? The goblins would surely not let up their near-weekly raids.

At one point, Rubican stepped forward and offered at least one solution to Er-Eret’s problems. He could create a makeshift barrier in place of the gap now in the wall.

Alac countered by asking what her plan was. What choice do they have? Would she send farmers to fight the goblins? No, she said. She would send Alac, and she would send Sighni. Alac relented, and the meeting soon broke up, as the people went about their business.

Rubican and Ratha approached Ansa with a sample of the runes. Ansa looked at them, and based on having discussed this with Sighni earlier, declared them to be old magic, magic not seen since the empire of Bael Turath. She escorted Rubican and Ratha to the temple library and left them in the hands of Edward, a farm boy with some small potential now turned librarian.

There was some question as to whether the goblins were capable of this. The consensus was that this was an unusual level of sophistication, and that they either had help, in the form of someone organizing them, or access to some resource they didn’t have before.

Speaking Plainly, Then

Ansa and Sighni then met with Alac. There was a lot of plain speaking here. Previously, Ansa neglected to dress him down publicly, as she believed to some extent that Alac could greatly aid the town. In turn, Alac said that he understood why the previous people had abandoned this town, that the town leadership had failed the town through incompetence or neglect, and that the only reason people were angry was because people would always be angry when a new lord arrives. Ansa countered by explaining that he knew nothing of the town and if she didn’t think he had potential, she’d be working against him.

After some of this back and forth, they decided to set aside their disagreements, as they both agreed on one main point: nothing good could happen for the town while the goblins attacked. Alac asked who else they could send beyond Sighni and Alac.

Ansa pointed out that some had already proved themselves, based on what she heard about the battle at the north wall. Further, she’d heard of another extraordinary fighter, Lexa, who demonstrated herself to be quite capable in yesterday’s attack on the caravan. It took some prompting, but ultimately he did remember her. When Alac asked send Sighni to go get Lexa, Ansa suggested that perhaps he go in person.

The Proposal

Alac talked to Rubican and Ratha about his plan to track and destroy the goblins. The two tieflings readily accepted, being very interested in the origin of these runes as well as the history of Bael Turath.

While Alac spoke with Rubican and Ansa about acquiring materials to repair the wall, Ratha went to the tavern to speak with Lexa. Ratha solicted her help in the form of protection as well as another pair of eyes to watch the other members of the group. He also told her that Alac was coming to her with a business proposal.

Not long thereafter, Alac arrived, and although he did not remember her terribly well (which of course was a great source of irritation to the tiefling), he offered her a share in Er-Eret’s future prosperity, and in the short term, a share of the inevitable spoils that would come from the goblins.

Magic Show

Once Rubican acquired the materials he needed to repair the wall, he made a great display of it. Glowing runes trailed off of his clothes as he walked to the north wall, and a crowd accumulated over time. Alac took care to be seen directing the repairs, and Rubican did his best to make the ritual flashy and impressive. No one noticed that he kept some of the materials to himself.

Same Time Next Week

I’ll most likely be playing again this week, as Evan’s fairly busy with Real Life stuff, meaning he more than likely won’t be able to prepare a session for his own game. This is just as well because I prepared a bunch more material than I actually used in this session.

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