Friday, December 2, 2011

Jakalla and Nowhere: the Player's Perspective

I have noted elsewhere my phobia/disinterest around session reports.

Said pathology doesn't extend to my players. I always get a kick out of seeing the game as it is viewed through their eyes. On my better days even reading them I learn something about how to tailor games better to what they pick up on--and what they filter out.

A number of session reports have been coming back out of the Petal Throne and Domain Game II sessions on Google Plus as of late, so how about a little show and tell.

Tekumel fans may enjoy a quick account by the “high-functioning autistic” hunter-barbarian played by Jason K on his sojourn through the Jakallan Underworld here. Related through my EPT co-DM, Jeremy, is an account of last night's session by Evan on the happenings on that haunted isle just outside the City Half as Old as the World here (while you are at it you can pick up Jeremy's nice EPT character sheet here as a free download).

Finally back in Nowhere, Peter Robbins has a tale of frontier life to relate:

Jathur Ol Kadim slowly works his way around the fort on horseback, taking note of defenses that need building up. The recent attack by the hoard of undead white apes has left the newly settled community on razor’s edge. Nerves are palpably shattered amongst the settlers. They all share a simple but nervous greeting with Jathur as he makes his way through their rank and file. Each member of the community are seen pitching in--digging for new crops, clearing brush, removing chopped down trees; any way to keep their minds off the looming chaos spire still creeping into their thoughts.

Jathur himself looks with trepidation towards the previously “humming” apparition of a spire in the dark distant woods. If he listens closely, he can still hear it’s echo from recent past. A tell tale heart of darkness, pulsing their brains in the night’s sky.

Jathur finishes his rounds, returning to the fort, hoping the weight of his new leadership role to this garrison will soon dissipate. The “Vermillion Lancers”, a rag tag group of mounted mercenaries supplied to Jathur and company to help buttress the garrison fort are far from professional grade. 

Over the past few days he has attempted to whip them into shape, using the skills he learned as a warrior of the Desolate Isles. Constant drills, day in and out : making charges at looped rings on horseback, letting arrows fly to target from mount and foot, and stabbing at large bags of unusable grain stacked and tied to stumps or low-lying trees. They’ll make good soldiers, some day, just not today.

Jathur settles in, leaving horse tied near the barracks. He looks in on a make-shift hospital area setup in the large barracks area. Several settlers have taken on illness, or hurt themselves with a loosened axe head; nothing critical. Needing shelter, Jathur allowed them to be settled into the fort instead of the budding encampment, for it cannot be called a “village” in any shape or form yet.

Jathur moves on from the barracks, passing through the smells of the unmanned kitchen, the dinner from last night still lingering in the stale air. He then makes his way into the previous warden’s office. Jathur still is not used to having his own room. He is not used to ordering men around either. He prefers the company of fellow warriors ; equals, under night desert sky to this predicament. Call them the Desolate Isles all you may, but at night, in the summer sky; a warm curved woman by your side - the freedom you felt cannot compare to these ‘civilized’ lands.

Jathur sits down to practice his recently acquired writing skills. Bringing ink to parchment....

The 20th Day Of Summer, Fort Va‘rok

Summoned to the Jade Quarter of Lyk Ku’tah, along with fellow explorers Hasan and Betkin.

Received new title Warden of the South Reaches. I will receive a 2000 LB (Large Bronze) stipend/budget yearly to garrison the fort.

Traveled back from Lyk Ku ‘tah to Duke Mraz’s Southlands holdfort. Attempted to discuss the new promotion with the Duke, but was summarily told to “bugger off, the Duke is busy!” by his attendant.

Re-provisioned the caravan, containing Hassen and Betkin, along with roughly 40 settlers and 7 mercenaries of the Vermillion Lancers.

Caravan traveled to Fort Va‘rok to begin establishing Hassen’s sub-sub-barony, and build out a village for Betkin and his fellow colony settlers.

The group notices that a previous mass grave of indigenous White Apes, very large 4 armed apes roughly 8’ in height, is now empty. The previous smell of DEATH in the area surrounding the fort is now gone. The humming of the nearby glass Chaos Spire however, still rings in their ears. Even more so then in past expeditions to Fort Va’rok and it’s surrounding area.

The group decides to start immediately to clear the forest in the two square miles south of Fort Va ‘rok, which was bestowed to Sub-Baron Hasan. Betkin takes the lead in helping the settlers split up into the infirm and the spriteful, taking the able-bodied folks to help hatchet their way through the mixed brush and trees nearby.

I establish the Vermillion Lancers into the main tower of the Fort, allowing the settlers to temporarily take the larger barracks.

That night, during second watch, an alarm is raised. Panic ensues amongst the settlers and warriors alike. A dozen great white apes, undead in nature, attack the fort. A long battle ensues, many of us injured.

One beggar, now known affectionately as “Beggarman”, acts heroically during the battle, taking on several white apes on his own, with little to no skills at his aid. Surprisingly, he survives.

All parties act heroically throughout the battle. The undead white apes were all killed, without loss of warriors or settlers.

It is noticed that the previous humming of the nearby glass-like “Chaos Spire” has ceased. It was determined that in the morning, the group would venture out and see what if anything is currently going on near the spire.

Hasan, Betkin and I, travel to the chaos spire to investigate. Hasan investigates the spire, prodding and poking about. Soon a ghost-like apparition appears from the nearby woods, the same long lost general of the Southlands Satrapy that the group prior had seen. This time, Hasan is able to take his anti Chaos amulet, and force the apparition to retreat. Throughout, Hasan nobly asks the apparition to leave willingly, to no avail.

Several days have passed without further attacks or activity of note...

Signed, Jathur Ol Kadim, Warden Of The South Reaches

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