A playtest of something called Purple Gold. This is the second play-test, and the first as written in the publication pitch. Session 1 is at Purple Gold 1.
Not yet. We’ll be throwing this out to try publication, and an any-time guess is a good guess.
Yes. It took two sessions.
Follow-up. Always two sessions?
No. 4-5 hours, and we give instructions on how to make it shorter or longer.
And introducing Rurik.
Massive spoilers. Players who have not played this should not read past this point.
Rurik, Noble of the Malani Green Fish Clan, came down the road to find bloodstains, unmilked cattle, and then a flaming pig. He killed the poor animal and walked forwards into the chaos that was the pitched pig battle of Stone Bowl. Upon triumphing he revealed who he was to less than happy responses from those who knew him, and sent the Humakti warrior to get his horse and close the gate, if the chap didn’t mind. the chap did mind, and furthermore Rurik broke a fingernail in closing the gate.
Tathia managed to go find other people to help, including Talda, whose husband Hent was missing. Talda had plenty of herbal teas and tisanes to drink, which the village healer had given her, denying her other drinks. This meant that she would not be drinking unpurified water from the well, which Tathia had noted had an oily smell to the water. She went to talk to Talda’s neighbour, who was exhausted with an ill husband and mother-in-law, leaving that house just as action around the well got interesting.
Examination of the well with a torch showed a dark shape at the bottom of it. Rurik used the Flight spell to lift it out, and it turned out to be a body. Nikolai showed a suspicious understanding of bruising, examining the hands and fingernails, and finding bruises on the knuckles. Varkill asked exactly where he had been about two days ago, when the body was fresh. At about that point, a strange purple cloud began to surround Inpira; a disease spirit was attacking her. The others rallied around to fight it. Varkill refused to cast True Sword on someone else’s sword, when Rurik asked for it.
Gricka walked around the village, checking with Rune Magic whether there were disease spirits; there were plenty, and they were in people who were ill. She went off to find the healer. Others checked on Offir the farmer and found he had bruises on him too, indicating that he had been fighting, and might have killed Hent. He died before he could be questioned, upsetting Tathia.
People broke the news to Talda that she was a widow, for her husband had been dead two days.. There was a lot of sobbing. Meanwhile Nikolai had been investigating Talda’s teas, and thought he could make something to strengthen people against the sickness. He was wrong, and what he made was some horrible tea, but this did give Tathia the idea and she was more competent. Together they cooked up something that would help.
The healer, Erlestara, was obviously shaky and senile, but trying to do her best. They talked a little with her about the illness, although she was not really up to answering questions.
At the odd howling of an alynx, the group went off to investigate, leaving the tea cooking up. They found the alynx shivering on a granary, and by the foot of another was a dead rat. They opened this one, and inside was a huge purple-gold spirit. It attacked Inpira, and they all fought it, with Varkill ridding himself of his torch by throwing it into the granary, a thing he had been itching to do for some time. After they had defeated it, they had to pull the sick out of the chieftain’s longhouse, and Varkill made very sure of victory by burning the rest of the Colymar Clan’s grain…
A little later, when the ill were safely out of the way, a child who had seen Nikolai slitting a woman’s throat accused him of it. Varkill volunteered that he had been the one to strike her first, and Nikolai’s killing might have been for mercy, and told the boy and Voskar to bring a complaint to Saronil of the Malani, where it would be heard. The group was offered hospitality despite all the problems, as it was dark. The next morning, Tathia walked the fields looking for evidence of disease, but found none. With some of the harvest not yet in, it seemed Stone Bowl might have some food, but not enough for the year’s needs.
Massive spoilers. Players who have not played this should not keep reading. Just stop.
Player feedback was that this was fantastic fun. There were a few tiny changes; we took out an NPC that no play test to date had met, and will change the name of Stone Bowl to Stone Cup, which is easier to hear. We also changed the name of the healer to Dorasa, which was easier to say, and added more direction in her section on how to play her. In the write-up she had been helping until she too fell ill.