Episode 8 Path of Fog and Shadow

Last we left our adventurers camping off a road for the night, when Keva the Wolf sounded an alarm that riders were approaching. 3 of them glided into the darkness, while Dro was left at the wagon to greet the strangers.
In the light of the campfire and dusk approaching its twilight state, the 4 horsemen approached the camp. Dressed in military leather armor and carrying spears and swords they trotted up to Dro and wagon. The first rider, the leader Dro surmised since his mannerisms showed leadership and only one to raise a hand and salute. The other 3 stopped behind the leader with spears and reins in hand.
Dro salutes back, as the leader says, “hello traveler, how are you?”
“Good, and well armed escorts? “Dro strumming his beard.
The leader slides off his horse, and shakes a leg to get the blood circulating again. “ There have been better times than these days, traveler.”
Dro leaning against the wagon, with a crossbow loaded just a hand” reach away hidden in the wagon, squints. “I do agree with that. The massacre up the road is a terrible sight to see. One must be careful who they meet on the roads these nights.”
“ We are of the Kings men and looking for someone of importance to find and escort. We are currently looking for a woman and child. Perhaps you have seen them the last couple days? As for the massacre, others are dispatched to find and bring justice to them.”
Out of the fires glow Mort is fidgeting his bow with his 2 fingers and trying not to feel the pain of the loss of his 3 fingers just 2 days. Looking at the riders Mort sees something different. (Perc ob 3, success) 3 of the riders are wearing calvary boots which makes sense. The 4th rider in the back is wearing riding boots. Which according to his wise (ob 2, success) they all should be wearing cavalry boots, since most calvary men are vain and love their uniforms and pageantry, Mort thinks.
On the other side of the fire out of the light stands Adira looking at the back of Dro and the wagon and facing the riders. Her bow is strung and notched and she is looking at the riders also. (Perc ob 4 success) Peering out of one of the saddle bags she sees what appears to be 2 different midwife shawls. Adira remembers that most midwives in villages, tribes, and most cities wear specific shawls. These shawls symbolize their position in their society as strong, caretakers, and midwives. It is customary for a midwife to sew a new color patch, symbol,thread color, or icon to their shawls for every birth they bring into life. It is a history for the tribe, village, or city showing the lineage of births that are remembered in these shawls.
A midwife can read a shawl and recite the births and history of those she has served and helped bring to a new life.
Bigger cities are sometimes shunning this tradition as saying it’s old and superstitious. A Midwife wears the shawl all the time. The only time a shawl is separated from a midwife is passing on her trade to the next midwife, or the marking of passing a child to another midwife. She pulls up the bow and holds it.
In the woods also is Tha’pop out of the light of fire and fighting a battle but in his mind.
The sword or rather the bone fragment that is fuzed in the sword is urging him to fight.
The entity Fire Fever speaks to Tha’pop “ There is a worthy one to kill. Your first of many Tha’pop. Its time”.
Tha’pop breathes and internally speaks. “I see what I can do for you, what can you do for me?”
Fire Fever sighs as if teaching a new student a common thing and wasting time. “Your the hand of death and vengeance. All will fear who crosses you. Any who defy us will be swallowed in glorious death and reborn. I cannot save your life, I only take life”
Tha’pop smirks inwardly, “ I can take life as well. What do you bring?”
You only gamble with taking life. Death comes with certainty from me. Death taken with and from me will cleanse you from your grief, of the loss of your son. Oh yes, I can read your very thoughts and heart and know the depth of your grief. “
Tha’pop growls inwardly, not liking the last part, as he turns his attention to the discussion between the alleged leader and Dro up ahead. (Perc ob 4 success) Tha’pop looks at the leather armor and sees something odd. All the military units he has known both human and elvish, have regulations and traditions for all aspects of their professions. Tha’pop knows that even tying the knots of their armor is specific to each unit. The knots and tying of these riders is slovenly and not consistent with military knots that he is aware of. Fire Fever almost smiles from Tha’pop surmising these riders and awaits.
Tha’pop pulls Fire Fever from his scabbard and gets a momentary vision of holding a gigantic lance between his fingers. But his fingers are claws not fingers. He looks around in the vision and sees himself flying and having wings. Looking at his wings they have scales as well. He knows his name, Ember Tempest. The vision shrinks and stepping out of the darkness trotting up to the leader from behind, orange tendrils like smoke and wisps encircle the sword like the licks of a fire.
Dro suddenly sees Tha’pop emerge and is taken back for a second as he sees an orange mist surrounding his sword, as Tha’pop says nothing and strikes the leader.The leader pulls back momentarily to assess this demon from the dark but eyes go dark as Tha’pop slice which should of only nicked him, cleaves him in half as a knife thru warm butter. At the same time as Tha’pop emerges, 2 of the riders climb down unawares of Tha’pop entrance.
With their leader dead, the closest one on foot, stabs Dro with his spear as a reflex as Dro reaches around and grabs his crossbow. The spear hits Dro, and would have skewered him, if not for him turning to grab the crossbow and now feeling a slice on his waist.
Adira and Mort, seeing Tha’pop emerge and cut down the leader with 1 stroke, both pull their bows and go for the rider with riding boots still on top of his mount and easily seen. Both hit and he falls dead, but not before he hurls a spear at Dro and misses. Dro drops his crossbow at his feet and frantically grabs his ax hanging on his side. The spear man jabs at Dro again and hits him in the chest, but doesnt have the reach for the followthru thrust yet.
Tha’pop upon cleaving the leader hears a large drip in his head. Envisioning a deep cavern filled with blood and a large drip of blood hitting the surface with the kill. Tha’pop turns and reaches the other spearman who is drawing his sword and with 1 stroke again, separates his head from his body. The frightened last spearman hesitates as Dro penetrates the spearman armor and down he goes. When Mort and Adira notch and pull back another arrow, the fight is already over.
Dro pulls on his beard and spits out a curse.” If you’re going to do that, at least give me a heads up, no pun intended as he spies the headless corpse on the ground. What made you go mad and attack them?”
Tha’pop sheaths his sword and straddles a dead rider, “ didnt like their knots”.
Before Dro starts a irate discourse, Adira and Mort appear and give their intuitions also, settling Dro down a bit, but not much.
Adira, Mort and Dro, and Keba who was in the forest and now a Wolf all look at Tha’pop for an explanation of this sword.
Tha’pop looks up and cocks an eyebrow, “ Its nothing, I’m now wedded to a spirit attached to my sword is all.” Looking over the bodies now for anything else.
Mort blurts out, “Is all? Its more than that to cleave a man in half and take off a head in 1 strike a piece. Could you do that before tonight?”
Tha’pop, not even looking up, says “no”.
“Quite magical and deep you have stepped into Tha’pop” Adira says, getting the child out of the wagon and looking her over.
That night after the bodies were searched and hidden in the forest, discussions arose about the riders. Were they part of the massacres? Were they looking for the child Adira has? No answers and a lot of questions. Adira looks over Dros superficial wounds and gives him some tea saying he will be good in the morning.
Next morning the group starts out and makes for the nearest village a day off called creekstone. A few farms are seen and few travelers on the road. The last traveler tells them they are about 1 hour from creekstone and night will fall in 2.
Tha’pop (perc 6 success) sees a mark on a tree off the road. Steering his mount off the road he approaches the tree, and recognizes the mark . Its a Elvish symbol, that is seen by Elves only and can only be read by Elvish runners or explorers usually. Studying it Tha’pop thinks its pointing to the river and woods and in the direction of the village. Riding back to the group he tells them what he found. Tha’pop wants to investigate further and Dro decides to tag along.
The group splits up, Tha’pop, Keva, and Dro head into the woods, while the baby, Adira and Mort on the wagon stay on the road.
Tha’pop and Dro head into the forest further towards the river, they find a body. Its a body of Elf, face down, dead and still warm. Tha’pop gets off his mount as Dro pulls his crossbow and nervously looks around. Tha’pop rolls the body over and sees a message tube that has been opened and its content missing. Dro then looks over at Tha’pop as the Elf sobs softly.
Tha’pop recognizes the signet on this dead Elf as one who served with him and his dead son 10 years back. But pouring into his grief like a river is the other thing he sees. The dead Elf was killed by an Elf. Tha’pop picks up the dead elf and lays him over his mount. Dro looks on in wonderment and keeps silent. Tha’pop and Dro then continue on to the river, looking for the murder sign in the grass, and finding none. At the river they see the village south of them on the other side of the river and cross at a small ford.
Adira and Mort take the road and come to a bridge spanning the river and to the village of Creekstone. A long line of travelers and peasants are being questioned and searched by a group of militia on the road to the entrance of the village.
The guards and militia finally get to Adira and Mort and start questioning them and searching their wagon and cargo. Mort and Adira tell them they killed 4 bandits probably involved in the massacre 1 day ago. That brings the aged captain out of the shack and a runner sent running. A while later a runner comes back and talks to the old captain. The captain looks at Mort directly and says “ Thank you for the information. You are to go to a convent on the hill above the village. Follow this escort. “ Mort and Adira agree and are let through, its night as they follow the escort and before they get to the convent, they see Dro and Tha’pop join them with another dead body.


Love the shawl details.

What were the characters’ Beliefs for the session?


Thanks Luke.
Im having a difficult time in getting my characters to change their beliefs. Out of my 4 players the most receptive to creating beliefs that can change with sessions is my newbie. The other 3 are die hard dnd and pathfinders, which is hard to break habits with.
I tried explaining that perhaps beliefs is not the correct word for them to process this idea. I suggested to them to think of session goals instead. I ask them every session if they want to change, but haven’t got them to really dive into the belief usage. Im still plugging away at it. Its like a iceberg, till I get it to flip Im merely making snow cones. Lol

Yes, be patient with them. They’ll come around.

Are they earning rewards?

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yes they are…im giving out artha out for roleplaying and such. One actually got a deed, because I felt her surrendering her life to possibly lose it to save a great wolf was epic. The whole group is using their persona and fates quite well during play. So no problem in hording.

Well, the simplest way to drive engagement with beliefs is to tighten your awards criteria. Tell them that to earn now, they need to hit goals or invoke beliefs. In general, in all of our games, rewards for pure performance-based roleplay should be rare. Given out maybe once every few sessions.

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sounds good. thanks

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