Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Endland: Book Hunting

The campaign is on Obsidian Portal

Eldur - Elementarist, has lived in Tavor for years
Nvidia - adventurer, always in search for the next profitable thing
Diesel  - down on his luck, mechanic and new in town

Diesel has had a rough day: after searching for work all day without any results, he spends some of the money he has left on a sausage in a bun. He takes the cheaper kind, with unnamed meat, and it doesn't agree with him. He stumbles into an alley to get rid of it and it promptly attacked by a mugger. When he's got his breath back, he notices a body lying in a dark doorway. The man is still alive and Diesel goes to find one of the city guards.
The impromptu street theatre draws a lot of spectators from the nearby King's Head pub, Nvidia among them. She recognises the victim as Leonid, a friend of hers and in typical Nvidia-fashion, goes to chase the idea that the attacker has escaped over the city walls. Diesel and the guard chase the idea with her, but all three stop short on top of the city wall, looking out over Tarvor's slum. It's not a bright idea to go there at night. Eldur, drawn by the commotion, catches up with them there. They decide to accompany Leonid to the hospital and ask him what happened when he comes around.

While they wait, Nvidia asks the doctor about her pregnancy and gets a pregnancy test by frog. To her surprise, she is not pregnant at all. The doctor tells her that it's not uncommon for women to lose their child that early in pregnancy and Nvidia doesn't really know how to feel about it. She wasn't really eager to be a mother, but now that it's not going to happen, she suddenly feels a loss.
Leonid (who may or may not have been the father) wakes up in the morning and tells them that he bought a book from a shady dealer at the market. Eldur has had a talk with Finara from the Citadel and knows that they are searching for a book that is very valuable to them.

They trace the dealer, Misha, to the slum and find out that while he is a thief and crook, he probably had no idea what he was selling. Dressed up or rather down to avoid attracting attention, they venture into the slum. Eldur is appalled by the poverty he sees - he has never had any business in the slum and for some reason, the city council hasn't addressed the problem in any way. Maybe because the slum is relatively knew. In any case, they bride a street kid to take them to Misha. At first, they try to pass themselves off as interested in buying the book, but Misha is nervous and doesn't really take the bait. He also has brought backup, which makes negotiations suddenly tense. But Eldur manages to talk Misha down and he tells them that he might have heard that the book was in the hands of Geser, a much bigger fish in Tavor's criminal underground. Geser can be found at the Cock and Bull, a pub none of them have ever been to and from the sound of it, wouldn't want to be seen anyway. But they decide anyway to go there.


Five hours before we played, I had nothing. Not the slightest idea, let alone a good story. I was close to cancelling for lack of inspiration. But there is something to be said for the right mood and that mood is last minute panic. I had wanted to introduce the seedy underbelly of Tavor for a while now. The city is well organised and a good place to live, but not for everyone. And I wanted to get the characters into contact with the Citadel, a cult/organisation that is powerful and always in search of human-made artefacts, for reasons of their own.

The pregnancy test by frog is real. It's not instantaneous in reality, but it's wonderfully weird and sounded like something I just made up.

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