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!

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