This was our first session
Out-of-game notes will be marked with a ((Note)) format.
((The first hour or so was spent just talking and getting to know each other. We’d all been talking online for about a week or so beforehand, so it helped break the ice with a bunch of new people.))
((Personal Note: Character Creation is always one of those things that seems so dull, it’s absolutely a metagame thing, and it takes a big chunk of the first session to do. I think I want to work on a way to do it in-game if we ever need to again.))
((Character creation happens. One of the players doesn’t have long to stay so we just get her rolled up and then she has to leave. It’s ok, will work her in next time.))
The rising sun is unseen. The characters, and others, awaken with none of their possessions, in a holding cell in Quirrel, a border town between The Guard and Seville Plains, with no memories of how they ended up in jail. The guard of the room, an imposing Turneshi man, paid them no heed, responded to no questions, and had nothing to say.
Loggins, a half-elf bard, methodically separated the prisoners in their cell, to discover that only three people in the cell were not locals. Loggins, himself, Dorn, a dwarf, and Saris, a mage of some sort.
Dorn has the bright idea of attacking Loggins in order to provoke a response from the guard. This leads to a brawl, which the guard promptly alerts other guards to, and soon the cell is dealing with a half-dozen, well armed guards come to break it up. Loggins and Dorn are cuffed to opposite sides of the cell, and shortly after guards start coming in to remove prisoners for processing.
When the three and a small handful of other prisoners go through processing, they’re led to a large table where a magistrate and two attorneys preside. The attorneys gather the information from them (noting that the three seem to be unemployed vagrants), and from there they are led to the courtroom.
Standing “trial” the magistrate decrees that the three are chief suspects in a riot that was started the night before, where 20,000gp worth of property damage, and 20 injuries requiring treatment. The prosecuting attorney declares that since the three there are the only people not local to the area, suspicion naturally turns to them. Their defense attorney states that all others involved in the riot were shown to have traces of a powerful magic spell lingering on them, it is very likely these travelers were merely caught in the crossfire. The magistrate agrees, and basically admits that the trial is a scapegoat, they need someone to stand justice, and the outsiders are the most convenient. The defense attorney manages to talk the magistrate into giving the outsiders an opportunity to track and find the one really responsible, within a fortnight, or they will be formally charged with the crime. Their attorney mentions that this isn’t the first time a riot like this has happened, and if they don’t do something the citizens will revolt.
They have magic detected on them as well, and determine it is Chaotic in origin, giving them their first bit of information. Asking the attorney, they learn the riot started in a bar in the Old Town district named The Way Inn, owned by a man named Mahmud.
At the Inn, which was converted from an inn and tavern into a more traditional bar, Mahmud tells the party that the fights started when two local kids, Jace and Kit, ran in and punched people, who in turn started punching other people, and so on. Mahmud and his wife hid from the insanity, and the bar was wrecked. As they are talking, contractors are already working on rebuilding. They talk Mahmud into allowing them to stay in a cleared out storage room while they investigate and bring the ones responsible to justice.
Jace is a local boy, and Mahmud gives them an address, but Kit is a street urchin, and there’s no way to tell where she’s holed up. They go to Jace’s home, see the landlord gardening, who hasn’t seen “Joanne’s boy”. They go up to see Joanne, who Loggins has met before, as she is also a bard and has worked with/against Loggins in the past (remains unclear). Joanne hasn’t seen her boy, and doesn’t appear to be a very good mother, as she is not concerned. She has no idea who Kit is.
Next they check out some abandoned houses in the area. After checking a few, Loggins is bumped into by a moving blur, who steals his trail rations in the process. They track them down in the house, and discover a young halfling woman eating the food as quickly as possible. Shaken at being caught, she’s rather short with them, but tells them that the other night, an old man with long hair, could be human, could be elf, she couldn’t tell, was in the house with a bunch of the other regulars. He said some things to one of the guys that made the guy go nuts, and that’s the last thing she remembers.
Having the clue of “an old man”, the party splits up, with Saris going to the Red District, Loggins returning to The Way Inn, and Dorn scouting out another bar. Saris learns that an old man had been looking for a man named Randall, while Dorn has eyes on an old man with short hair looking nervous at his bar, while a man with a cloak enters to speak with him, briefly, before leaving. Loggins doesn’t notice anything at first, but Saris returns shortly to tell Loggins what he knows, and afterward a man in a cloak enters the bar. Loggins sings a song about a man named Randall, which visibly distresses the man in the cloak. Afterwards, the two talk, with the cloaked man saying that he would speak with Randall, and that it might be a few days before he had a response. Later, Loggins notices the cloaked man speak with Mahmud and hand him a small pouch that sounded full of coin. Speaking to Mahmud, Loggins discovers that the man just paid him enough to cover the repairs to the building and then some.
Meanwhile, Saris leaves the bar and wanders the neighborhood, eventually finding the bar Dorn is at. He enters and tells Dorn what’s going on, and Dorn mentions he’s been watching this shady-looking fellow all night. Saris approaches the old man and mentions that he’s heard of someone looking for someone named Randall, at which the old man bolts. Saris animates a rope and throws it at the man, binding him and causing him to fall flat on his face. Dazed and disoriented, Dorn slings the man over his shoulder and carries him from the bar…to the other bar.
Back at The Way Inn, the crowd has dwindled as the hour has gotten late, and as Saris and Dorn come in carrying an entangled man, the few remaining patrons run out. Dropping him on the ground, the cloaked man immediately rushes to his aid. The man is, of course, Randall, and the cloaked man proceeds to inform them of such. Saris animates another rope and entangles the other man. As tensions are running high, Loggins appears able to calm things down a notch and the group learns a few things:
- The man responsible for the riots is Randall’s brother, Ted.
- Ted apparently “sold his soul” years ago and now wants Randall dead for some reason.
- The two men have been working together to figure out the methods, and have been keeping Randall laid low for some time.
- After a riot, Ted is weakened or unable to do much for about a week, these are the only times Randall can safely come out of hiding. The cloaked man has been searching for him, but Ted moves around between different neighborhoods and is never in the same place twice.
Speaking to Mahmud, they are able to convince him to allow them to keep the others holed up in the inn. He agrees, and they notice that the cloaked man and Randall appear to be very close. Clearing out another room (Mahmud refuses their help), they have everyone turn in for the night.
((End Session. I think it went very well for a first game session. As someone commented, this was unique for a “first session” in that there was no combat at all, and mostly focused on investigation/detective work. I have to attribute that to playing a lot of Call of Cthulhu recently, which learned me some things about mystery games. We have a fourth player, who was unfortunately only able to stay for character creation, and I will be working her story into the main game. Next session will be on July 15, 2016))