A playtest of something called Path of Blood
Not yet. We’ll be throwing this out to try publication, and an any-time guess is a good guess.
Follow-up. Always this long?
No, but I need to kick it to pieces and re-write it. The way I hand over information to adventurers is relatively slow, and I have a few ideas.
No Hengrast, which was interesting, as it was his Tula we were visiting.
Massive spoilers. Players who have not played this should stop reading now.
Events began with Gastara catching up, and the payback from the Zorak Zorani troll encountered (and outwitted) by the other characters in the last session. Things went badly for Gastara, the Maran Gor Priestesses she was accompanying, the Zorak Zorani, and Gastara again, in that order. She failed to save a life, and the chief Priestess saved her instead. On arrival at Wilmskirk she was sentenced to do extra service for the Earth Temple for the season. (Possibly the year?)
Hengrast, OOCly absent, was ICly out where his father was.
The rest of the group were at the Tula before Gastara was, and found out a few more things. Laika noticed that their host, Venlar, was not around. While there were preparations for a feast going on, there was also a surprisingly lack of leadership, with Silor away and Venlar mysteriously gone. Jon was busy selling his wares to Aelna, wife of Silor, who was not really being asked what needed to be done either.
However, around the time that Gastara got into the Tula, Silor returned and the world began to turn again; his presence seemed to jolly people along, and it was obvious his personality helped him to lead. There was a feast, at which everyone got to show off, and everyone got to talk to Yamia, Hengrast’s sister and lead contender for scariest Humakti who was not Eril, in a strong field. Gastara remarked that she talked exactly like her uncle. However, she was very helpful on the subject of undead, what they were like, and how to fight them. She even showed them how she would use the Death Rune against a thing that feared it, but Gastara did not understand Death well enough, and Rastar – who did – felt that Humakt’s way might not be his.
In the feast hall, they also noticed that several of the warriors were drinking only lightly, and were on watch, each by one of the doors.
Silor did not find time to talk with them that evening, but the next day he took them for a walk where they would not be overheard, and listened to their story. In return, he told his; Eril had come for help, which Silor and Hengras’s mother had given, in buying thralls. Later he had returned in a bad way, wounded and feverish, and paid the death price for those who were lost – everyone. He had asked Silor for help in timing his own betrayal, but Silor had refused, unable to face handing over his brother to enemies. Eril had been exiled for the deaths of the thralls, and had left. Some days afterwards, Silor felt his brother torn away, and knew he was dead.
He said he would not send others into the fragment of the Upland Marsh that existed at the edge of his lands. His children were too at risk from the magic of the area, potentially being linked to it; most of his warriors were originally from the Firebull Clan, and they were already deeply divided over what had happened there. The Heroquest that created it could only have been suggested by someone they knew, and Silor did not want to push too hard over the history.
Massive spoilers. Players who have not played this should not read more.
The troll was very little to do with the plot, but gave Gastara some catch-up time and attention. Hengrast’s absence was awkward, because this was a chance to test whether anyone else could compete with him knowing his home Tula, and also whether I had prepped the Tula enough. (The answer to that is no, and it comes back to why I need a full re-write; I already knew the people involved, and I need to lose that thinking.)
The session was a little bit made of filler, because we needed Hengrast to be there for the entry to the Upland Marsh, but it was enjoyable filler and there was cake.
The information dump is pretty harsh here, so I’m considering the suggestion of letting the first heroquest unlock everything, and I think I can’t do that. What I can do, though, is let it unlock an index – if they want, they can go straight to the Cinder Foxes, and that will make sure that they have an idea of where to go, but they can expand if necessary. Investigating should give them advantages.