Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lady Blackbird - Session 1, Part 1

Last night I ran a session of Lady Blackbird. What follows is an account of the game.

I had five players, so all the roles were taken. Lady Blackbird was played by Randy, and really did a lot with her Stormblood abilities. Tammy played Naomi, and was scary. James took the roll of Captain Cyrus Vance, and played him with panache. Chris was the sneaky and clever Kale, and Paul was Snargle, and really brought the funny to the table.

They started out in the brig of The Hand of Sorrow, in cells with electrified bars, while two somewhat disinterested guard played cribbage nearby. Plans were hatched, and the cribbage playing of the guards was constantly criticized by Cyrus. Snargle changed his color to match the metal bulkhead. He then squeezed between the bars and jumped up to a steam-pipe that ran along the ceiling. He dropped down next to the control panel that electrified the cells and turned off the juice. Then many things happened at once.

Kale picked the lock of the cell he and the Captain were in, and Cyrus dashed out towards one of the guards. Naomi kicked the cell door off its hinges of the cell holding her and Lady Blackbird. She dashed out, grabbed one the guards and snapped his neck. Cyrus, using a length of chain from one of the bunks in the cell (Naomi was kind enough to tear the chain from the bunk for him earlier) rushed the other guard. Sadly, Snargle thought he was being helpful by tripping the guard, who fell at Cyrus' feet and under the chain's swing. The guard then gave the Captain ye-olde-groin-punch, and drew his rapier. He never go a chance to use it, since Naomi came up behind him and snapped *his* neck. Yikes.

The Captain hatched a plan of escape. Snargle and Kale would wear the guards jackets and be leading to their commanding officer. He knew a way up to the upper deck of The Hand of Sorrow that should be lightly patrolled. Kale was working on booby trapping the door to the brig, using some wire to electrify the door, when the communication panel in the room crackled, asking for Private Bell, now being played by Snargle. The goblin altered his voice and answered. He was told, by Captain Hollis, to prepare the prisoners for transportation. Troops would be sent down momentarily to escort them to interrogation. It was time to go!

Cutting through the galley, and down some nearly empty corridors, the group made their way up to the deck of The Hand of Sorrow About two hundred yards away was The Owl. Between them and their boat was a platoon of troops practicing marching drills. Behind them, another platoon doing fencing practice.

Lady Blackbird summoned up a bolt of lightning, and blasted a fuel depot on the other end of The Hand of Sorrow, hoping to cause enough of a distraction to let herself and the others slip unnoticed to The Owl . Well, the best laid plans... She indeed blew up the depot, but the lightning got a bit out of control and surged in all directions, with her at the epicenter. Not terribly subtle. Then an alarm went off. Prisoners had escaped! Uh-oh. Plan B was enacted : run like hell to The Owl!

Running and jumping over prone troops (with Naomi carrying the exhausted Lady Blackbird, and Cyrus hobbling along with his groin injury), they finally made it to the boat. The four men guarding The Owl prepared to do battle, but the Captain shot two of the men dead and ordered the other two to hook up a fuel line to The Owl, which was almost running on fumes before they were captured. As Snargle pulled The Owl away from the larger ship, the fuel hose disconnected and sprayed flammable liquid all over the deck of the Hand of Sorrow. A well placed ricochet shot by the Captain ignited it, and they were off!

Snargle dropped The Owl down underneath The Hand of Sorrow and set course back towards Haven. Then a dozen small blips appeared on short range sonar. Imperial Dragonflies! (I see the Dragonflies as being very similar to the "flaptors" from Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky.")

The Dragonflies opened fire on The Owl. Kale modified the engine output to create a huge trail of black smoke, while Snargle tipped the nose of the boat down, diving towards the Lower Depths. The Captain manned the 37mm. Eventually, with The Owl skimming across the surface of the Lower Depths, the number of Dragonflies dropped to two (Lady Blackbird had joined the Captain in the cramped gun turret and had sent strong, short gusts of wind at the smaller craft, forcing them to fall back, or crash into each other). Cyrus was having an impossible time hitting the last two with the cannon. He pulled his two pistols out, and with Lady Blackbird's help, using her wind magic, he took out the last two Dragonflies.

Flush with victory, Cyrus turned to Lady Blackbird and kissed her on the cheek. She drew back and smacked him across the face, and climbed down from the gunnery turret in a huff...

OK, that's enough for now. More coming soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Arcus and the Eyes of Chaos

With Ed over this past weekend, another session of Barbarians of Lemuria was played. Another nice, short game, clocking it at about 2 1/2 hours.

Arcus Thaal had traveled to Oomis for a bit of trading (he is a merchant these days) and met up with his old friend and mentor, Tarune. Tarune, who had taught Arcus the trade years ago in Satarla, had retired to Oomis, and owned a rather nice manse in the heart of the city.

The two caught up, laughing about old times. Tarune said that he had a little job, and that it was fortuitous that Arcus had arrived in Oomis when he had; he needed someone he could trust. A client had hired Tarune to find the lost temple of Malfasgiar of the Eleven Eyes, the Lady of Chaos, and retrieve the 11 rubies that made up the eyes of her statue.

Arcus, along with the laconic guide, Larn, trekked into the Jungles of Qush on kroark-back. After a few days, they found the temple. Arcus entered via a crack in the domed roof, and all was going perfectly; he'd found the statue and the rubies, as well as an offering bowl filled with uncut black diamonds. Then the Grooth arrived...

They had ambushed Larn outside the temple and was dragging him into the temple. Arcus had scampered up the rope and was dangling near the ceiling. The leader of the Grooth noticed the Eyes of Malfasgiar missing and began shouting. He looked up and saw Arcus, who held up one of the Eyes for the brute to see, and with a wave and a smile, exited through the hole in the roof.

Arcus ran across the roof, towards the entrance. He had noticed a bunch of loose stones when he had climbed up earlier, and now pried them loose. As the Grooth ran out of the temple, he pelted them with stones, taking out over half of them. He then swung down into the temple, rapier in hand. He was outnumbered, but his swordplay was too much for the uncouth savages, and they were handily dispatched. Larn was merely unconscious, and when he came to, the he and Arcus quickly left the temple.

They returned to Oomis several days later. Tarune and Arcus celebrated far into the night. Eventually, Arcus stumbled off to bed, but he did not sleep long. He was awakened by Jalandra, Tarune's lovely slave girl. She seemed frightened. She was there to warn Arcus that her master was insane, and that he had sent an assassin to kill Arcus. As if on cue, the shuttered window smashed open and a man, dressed all in black, wielding a Kir, jumped in.

Arcus disarmed the assassin, but the man was nearly as deadly without his knife as with. Eventually Arcus got ahold of his rapier and stabbed the assassin through the heart. Jalandra quickly told Arcus that Tarune was in league with the Yellow Druid who secretly ruled the city, and that he was gripped by the Madness of Morgazzon. He was now performing some dark ritual with the Eyes of Malfasgiar. She begged Arcus to take her with him, away from house of madness

They dashed down the hall, and looked down from a balcony into Tarune's study. The man was standing in the center of a magic circle. Eleven of his servants were lying dead around him, and on the breast of each one was one of the Eyes. As Arcus and Jalandra watched, the bodies melted and warped, wrapping around the Eyes, and transforming into eye-tipped tentacles. Arcus tried to use magic of his own to plant the Kir he had taken from the slain assassin into Tarune's chest, but a tentacle of Malfasgiar swatted it aside. Cursing, Arcus jumped down off the balcony and started cutting and slashing his way towards Tarune. Finally, he stood just outside the magic circle, and his friend turned towards him, madness and hatred in his eyes. Arcus knew there was nothing he could do, other than slay his old friend, so he did.

The remaining tentacles burst into flames, catching the books and shelves and tapestries in the study on fire. Arcus grabbed one of the Eyes (figuring if somehow the other Eyes survived the fire, no one would be able to perform the ritual again) and climbed back up to Jalandra, and the two of the escaped into the pre-dawn.

Three days later, they were on the galley Arcus had chartered, in the Gulf of Satarla. Jalandra had a confession for Arcus; she was the daughter of King Keldon of Oomis. Her father was under the spell of the Yellow Druid Ilkthar. The Druid's staunchest ally, Tarune, had wanted her, so she was given to him. She wanted nothing more than to find a way to overthrow the Druid and save her father. Arcus said he would help her in any way he could. They sailed off towards Satarla...

So once again, Barbarians of Lemuia delivers the goods. Another fun little scenario. I was a little concerned that the combats, especially the fight with the Grooth would be too tough, but Ed played smart and sneaky so it worked out perfectly. I'll have to start scheming up the next game. I wonder if it should be Arcus trying to help Princess Jalandra save her father. Hmmm...