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A full-fledged postmortem will have to wait, so let’s just talk about this session.

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I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet, omitting most of the nuance and a decent chunk of the flavor. That’s mostly in the interest of getting this done, since this has been long overdue. So let’s get to it.

You’re in a room

The PCs were in a room that ostensibly acted as a barracks. After examining the room, they noticed that there were runes of warding that protected the room. Since Ratha and Rubican had reasonable familiarity with the language of Bael-Turath, they were able to complete the spell and rest.

They deciphered the missives, of which there were two. One concerned a portal, and contained orders to shut down the portal in order to retreat to the Usurper’s strongpoint. There were also orders to execute any prisoners. The other missive was from an inferior officer who begged the addressee to keep the portal open.

The PCs discussed the implications of there being a portal here— questions as to whether the goblins were using this arose, whether the goblins were actually being exploited by something else— and before long they decided to rest.

Rubican had a dream, where the Usurper made him kneel. Rubican resisted and although it chagrined the Usurper, he congratulated Rubican on his persistence and strength of will. Then he disappeared. Rubican didn’t wake up; rather, he saw across the clearing a woman who radiated heat. He approached her, and offered a hand despite the scorching air around her. She cut the shard out of his hand, and showed him a vision of plains of endless fire.

The next day they explored the rest of the complex. They found a storage room, which contained little of value beyond what could be considered historical artifacts. They found the holding cells, wherein the executed prisoners had risen back to life, still locked in cells, and more or less harmless.

Finally, they found the portal room. There was a bright sphere of light and a runic circle. On the floor were ashes, which had been undisturbed. The presence of ash was conclusive proof that this place had been undisturbed.

They entered the portal and explored a bit after realizing that the portal had closed behind them and that they were stuck. The notion was that the room they arrived in was a staging area for troops. This became clearer as, once they explored, they discovered that there were other, now dormant, portal circles. They also heard voices, and chose to investigate.

The last confrontation

When they found the source of the voices, they saw a bunch of goblins, one of whom was attempting to build a new Zombie/Zolem/Zombie fat-man. The rest were gambling.

The chieftain nearly lost his wits when he saw Ratha and Rubican together, as he had some sense that Rubican was affiliated with the Usurper, and after having moved a bunch, it was evident that Ratha was of the Star Pact. The PCs tried to extract more information, and found mostly that he was struggling to rebuilt the goblin army. Evenutally the PCs convinced him that he’d been betrayed, at which point he lost all reason and ordered his goblins to attack.

It was a short fight. Once the goblins all died, though, the jeweled finery that the chief goblin had been wearing began to crack and explode. A mist formed, which took on a humanoid shape, and rushed at Rubican.

At this point, Rubican had another vision. The Usurper demanded Rubican’s full cooperation. The Mother of Embers, as she identified herself, appeared behind the Usurper. When the Usurper noticed, he flew into a rage, and offered Rubican power and wealth at his side. Rubican chose the Mother of Embers. In response, the Usurper assumed control of Rubican and the battle began.

It was a longer fight than before, but odds were against the Usurper, even though he was able to reconstitute the goblins and raise the Zolem. Once the final blow was struck, the Usurper combusted and dissipated, leaving behind a fine white ash, almost like sand.

The PCs searched the room and found a number of books preserved. This was the Usurper’s lab, perhaps one of many. One of these books had a scroll of teleportation in it, which necessitated that someone involved have an intimate connection with the teleport destination.

Another thing they found were some old Bael-Turathi weapons, obviously magical but clearly outside the bounds of what magic was available in modern times.

They cast the teleportation ritual, and appeared in Er-Eret.

Epilogue

Eventually, Sighni, Ansa, Ratha, Lexa, and Alec got together and discussed the implications of what happened, and resolved to do some more research. Ansa advised against keeping the Bael-Turathi weaponry, as it might awaken or attract evil. They were also acutely aware that this was probably not the end of the Usurper.

Lexa hung on to a couple of the daggers. They whispered to her, and with each passing day, she grew closer to understanding. We decided that, in all probability, she would go insane, especially since her beloved crime lord was in such a dangerous line of work.

Long-term, Alac’s plan was to raise money for Er-Eret from the antiquities they found in the outpost.

That night, when they were celebrating, they saw a familiar face reflected in the bonfire: Rubican, who lived on in some parallel realm of pure and scorching fire.

Done!

I’ll have more in the postmortem, but it was nice to have a not-entirely-shitty resolution to this campaign. Everyone seemed pleased enough, and I was glad I could put it to rest.

It was tonight. I’m tired, so I’m not going to post the whole write-up about it now. But suffice it to say that this was the first game I actually Finished, as opposed to dropping due to inertia or lack of interest, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! I tried some only very slightly experimental bits, which worked better than I expected, though they might’ve used a few tweaks. The full write-up will probably happen tomorrow.

I also got my hands on Arcane Power, which of course looks pretty sweet so far.

That’s all for now, though, blog. I must has my sleeps, you see.

The final chapters for Er-Eret are coming up. That’s right, blog: I decided to end this shit.

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Hi, blog! I have good news: I finally got the group together for a session of Er-Eret, the primary reason behind the dearth of posts.

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It’s really short, as this session had a couple of encounters and a lot less roleplaying.

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Whereas Session #2 was good, this one was, in my opinion, not very good.

Let’s get right into it.

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Sometimes I procrastinate for no good reason.

I mean, there I was, lamenting the fact that I’m no good at outdoor adventures or “journey design” or whatever you want to call it. Then I sat down and started iterating on existing ideas, and I have enough material for a couple of sessions. I’m excited again, blog!

The only thing I have to be careful about— and this is something conscious, that I want to do myself— is keeping a thread that ties it all together. It’s easy to have these points of interest be unconnected, but that’s not what I want.

Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m challenging myself. Here’s what I’m going for:

  • Provide choices along this journey.
  • Tie many of these points of interest to a common theme.
  • Reveal more about the history of the area through these apparently unconnected places.

It’s fair to say that I might fail, and I’ll be OK with that; I just have to remind myself that I’ve never actually run this style of play before, so I’m flying blind. I’m relying on my instincts of what I think is cool as a player.

We’ll see how I do! Regardless, I think we’ll have fun, provided I don’t make the encounters too hard.

As I mentioned in my summary post, I’m really happy with the way this session went, so let’s just get right into the Cool/Not Cool for Session #2.

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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!

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