Dragon's Perch

Session 6 - The Circus Comes to Town
Wherein the adventurers see a not-so-familiar face...

In the first day out, Ixanti, Lilia, and Lyria fall to the roadside as a pair of grey uniformed guards from Moressley ride quickly east. Hopefully they'll be come and gone by the time the trio come ot the small village where they'll rest before heading north into the wilds. The village is little more than an Inn and a stable, truth told, but something much more interesting is afoot! 

A caravan of elegant and colorful wagons has arrived and camped between the village and the river. It's a famed Elven Circus called Shadows Dance upon a Silken Moonlit Circle. That's the best translation that crude human languages can manage. No one quite knows what to expect, this circus has never before been seen in the lands north of the elven homelands in living human memory. And since the elves journeyed north to settle the Vale and the forests east of the Inland Sea only a few centuries ago, if Dancing Circle was here before, it's been a very long time indeed since they performed. 

The Inn's common room is abuzz with the anticipation of colorful elven visitors. And so, when Harmonia, a stylish half-elven songstress appears and takes the stage (a table with good sight lines). Her performance is measured as she warms to this new audience, watching them for cues that she might use to better attune her renditions to their ears. She has the taproom's rapt attention.

Atreyu returns to the common room after seeing to the horses. The senior Mages of his cabal have taken rooms and a table and are debating finer details of arcane lore over pints. Bored of their endlessly predictable positions on contentious points of magical scholarship, Atreyu seeks fairer company and finds it in the form of Lilia, who despite being a bumpkin elf, is preferable to droning Magi, however august and learned they may be. Lilia has added her piping to the half elf's lute and song and the flute's eerie tones have cast a pall on the room. Atreyu, curious, asks if he might examine the eerie pipes. Casting a spell over the pipes, he assenses that they are magical, and though not yet attuned to Lilia, can cast a dark enchantment over those who hear their dark piping. The bones they're carved from are a Lemia's bones… a cunning and cruel creature from the sandy wastes and it is perhaps that alone which gives them their dark power. 

Seeking to lighten to mood, Harmonia calls for requests. Sadly, she does not know MY BLOOD FALLS ON STONE, but before long, the room is clapping and singing along with an old favorite. The half-elven Bard invites the lot of new acquaintances back to her caravan as guests. She finds that she's chafing under the Circus' leadership and has decided to set off north with them on their adventure – but not before they all partake of the caravan's hospitality!

Next time: Leavetaking

Session 5 - Collision Course
Wherein the adventurers are at last united...

Lilia is to meet Jimmy at 'The Perch,' a high spot on the outside of the wall that bounds Moressley's posh southern district. She slips past the gate guardsmen as they brace a carriage of well-to-do residents, tumbling over the wall and into the manicured walks and gardens between the palatial manners. Thiefly reflexes atingle, she sets off through the avenues in search of a way over the wall — much easier from the inside. She deftly diverts a doddering groundskeeper, by convincing him she'd seen a rabbit. He is alarmed! Rabbits are destructive! Humans are so, so very gullible.

Except Jimmy. He's as cagey as they come. 

Lilia finds a place to climb the wall and drop down to the perch, climbing hand-over-hand carefully to what was, once, a balcony, of some sort – a balcony with no house behind it, only blank, mortared stone wall rising more than 10 paces up and down from the prominence. She arrives at the meeting spot with no sign of Jimmy. And no clear indication of how he appears right behind her. Jimmy is pissed. To protest her innocence, Lilia gave her alibi as planning a heist with known associates of Jimmy's at one of his known places of only-somewhat-legitimate business. Ever the machinator, however, Jimmy sees the dragonborn's escape as an opportunity to draw the Guard out on a merry chase. He sets Lilia the task of finding the 'murderer' and helping her stay one step ahead of the Guards. But only one step… while he… attends to other business. Lilia sets off on this new task, slinking through the streets, listening for tips or tidbits about where her targets might have gotten to. She hears a crazed woman talking of 'a starfall on the plateau' and that it is a great omen. Of what, she's not terribly clear. A brother spots Lilia and after a flurry of signals, she heads east, ending up in a graveyard (where she shamelessly trawls the graves for offerings for the dead – finding a strange set of bone pipes)…


Edu, assensing with characteristic acuity, that Ixanti is, in fact, the target of the Guards' search also decides that the Guards have overstepped their authority under the law and judged her guilty out of turn and much, much too hastily. He quickly draws up the loan papers for Reynard and sends Sayid with Reynard to fetch the bargained-for goods (a set of chainmail armor for Ixanti). He has suspicions, but no real knowledge. Remaining purposefully ignorant of any crimes the two may or may not have committed, Edu sends Lyria and Ixanti out to verify the death fo a client he has good reason to believe is, in truth, dead. The man's last known location – a cave shrine in the deep forest to the east and north. The two head for the eastern gate, stopping by the riverside to gather mud with which to darken Ixanti's scales so that she can pass the guards. 


Lyria and Ixanti play it cool waiting in a queue to leave the eastern gate. Guards are checking wagons and cargo for smuggled murderers. Grumbling townsfolk and traders line up, waiting inspection. Lilia, emerging from the graveyard with her ill-gotten flute gain, spies the two fugitives. She recognizes them from the square, despite their attempts to change their appearance. The Guards, however, totally let Lyria and Ixanti pass. Someone really enterprising would take these Guards in hand and train them properly, though perhaps it serves the powers that be in Moressley if the Guards aren't exceptionally competent. Who knows? 

Out on the road, the three are finally reunited, separating themselves from the smattering of travelers in wagons, afoot, or on horseback. Ixanti greets 'THE ARCHITECT OF HER FREEDOM' with hale and hearty welcome. Lyria is less certain, she finds the elf's presence suspicious. Lilia is certain Ixanti and Lyria are… let's simply say 'less than elven,' but she has a job to do if she wants to keep both eyes intact. And so an uneasy (save Ixanti) fellowship is struck and the travelers trek west. 

Next time: The Circus Comes to Town

Session 4 - Fugitives!
Wherein the adventurers find enemies and allies both...

Lyria and Ixanti realize pretty quickly that if they're fugitives, Ixanti is poorly outfitted to defend herself. And since they won't be breaking into the Guard HQ to retrieve Ixanti's impounded goods, they decide to find a smith and barter for his wares.

Their path takes them by The Blind Basilisk, the site of Ixanti's revelry and whose adjoining alley was where the grisly murder for which she stands accused took place. Already Guards have cordoned off the alley and mourners gather to leave tokens of their grief and reverence for the slain Cleric.  

The blacksmith, Reynard, is unimpressed with Lyria's 'heirloom' 'sapphire,' and suggests the trio trek to Eduard Curlew's office. Curlew is a solicitor dealing mostly with estate law, but doesn't make a habit of turning away business. Eduard is gaunt and long-limbed without being tall. Itchy. Charming in his way, despite the extensive butterfly collection hanging over his desk. His clerk, Sayid, is a sturdy man from the western deserts. He welcomes the trio in and is happy to help his old friend Reynard and these upstanding young adventurers (one of whom just happens to match the description of an at-large murderer).


Lilia is signaled in the street that One-Eye Jimmy is looking for her. She makes her way to The Blind Basilisk to make contact. She ingratiates herself with the barman and the bouncer by insisting imperiously to meet with Jimmy with her coded order of a 'pineapple cider.' They are still trading barbs, if not literal daggers, when word comes where Lilia can pick up that perilous pint… 

Next time: Collision Course

Session 3 - Escape
Wherein an innocent isn't executed...

The struggle continues upon the scaffold. The crowd, surprised by the turn of events mill and call. Some are angry about the death of Jaehanna and cry for blood — any blood. Others recognize Ixanti's heritage — the Daardenrian are well regarded in the western lands. Someone even calls out 'Little Feather,' a name that would be largely unknown outside of Ixanti's home.


Lyria cuts the ties binding Ixanti's hands and it's on. Hoerik, Lyria's current employer (former? SOME GUARD), disappears. As does the mysterious smoke conjuring Atreyu. Lilia springs into action (from underneath the gallows) and trips the trap door so Ixanti can fall through and escape. A rogue's gotta rogue. Ixanti grapples with a guard for his truncheon and wins handily. The guard tumbles off of the scaffolding, recovers, and beats feet away, limping. Is he fleeing? Or going to report? A little column A, a little column B.

Ixanti is having none of the escaping business. Signaling to Lyria, the young dragonborn unleashes her breath weapon. This is telegraphed by a deep inhalation and the guards — acutely aware that this was a possibilty — more or less fall all over themselves to get off of the platform. Two are seared in and out by the cloud of poisonous gas that Ixanti exhales. Knowing that she cannot breathe again soon, the guards now do what they could not before and form up into a phalanx just as the paladin and cleric charge them, ferocious. This phalanx proves convenient for Lyria, who procedes to knock them down one by one by one. GRRRR! The guards had trouble landing blows. Is their training that bad or were they merely fighting to a draw until reinforcements arrive? (Column A, Column B…)

Lyria and Ixanti battle fiercely (Quote of the game… Lyria: GRRR!!! Ixanti: You are a … strange little girl.) One of the remaining two guards decides that discretion is the better part of valor and flees. His fellow guardsman, standing strong, notes the lack of an ally and breaks, chasing after him. The shame… a murderer has slipped through their fingers! Ixanti makes for the river behind the scaffolding and dives in. Lyria gives chase and they carry on a 'conversation' shouted across the river before meeting on the bridge where Lyria gives the young dragonborn a mace.


Lilia, retreating from direct conflict, chases after the guardsman and braces him. It should be noted that STR 9 Lilia totally overpowers the guard. Lilia means business! Sadly, the guard doesn't know anything and she turns him loose so that she can follow him. He runs to the guard station and drums up reinforcements. Wanting to get more information about this strange affair — Lilia is in a unique position to know that Ixanti is innocent — she hustles into the Red Gremlin a tavern near the guard station, to get the word on the street. Word on the street is a recounting of the murder site which grows more and more gruesome in the retelling, taking on sinister proportions. Lilia saw the scene of the murder herself — she discovered it — but there weren't any of those… ritual elements… were there? It's all a bit of a blur…

Next time: (Spoiler Alert) Fugitives!

Session 2 - Adventure Begins!
Daggers for everyone! You get a dagger, and you get a dagger...

We spent about half of this session finalizing character information, finishing gear selections, filling out a cheatsheet reference for me, and going over how rolls are generated. That stuff done we began to play…

A new day begins in Moressley, a small-to-middling sized town in the westernmost frontier of the lands claimed in recent (by elven standards) history. Moressley sits on the river Drisk which is a tributary to the Luithcruidyr - the Gray Wanderer – the river that strikes through the Great Vale. Over night, the was a grisly murder and the morning after… an execution. 

Swift Justice. Or is it?

Atreyu is in Moressley to study with a small cabal. It was on errands for these learned folks that he was snatched into a parlor and ensorceled with a Geas by the locally famous Cleric, Jaehanna the Just. 

That same day, Lilia was planning a heist with some 'friends' at The Blind Basilisk. The common room was rowdy, no one was paying them too much mind (a young dragonborn lass, Ixanti, was living it up in the big city on her first foray from the lands of her birth). Lilia, to her dismay, stumbled upon the freshly murdered body of Jaehanna the Just in an alley near the Basilisk. She was arrested! She was ultimately let got, but only after (inadvertently?) incriminating Ixanti and exonerating herself. Quote of the night: 'I couldn't have been killing anyone… I was planning to rob things.' One-eye Jimmy may have some 'words' for Lilia. Released by morning, Lilia makes her way to the town square where a gallows is being erected. 

ENTER: Lyria. The halfling paladin is escorting a merchant about his business. The merchant's donkey begins to buck as the town square fills up abuzz with the news of an execution in the wake of Jaehanna's shocking murder. 

The accused: Ixanti. A young cleric embarked upon a rite of passage which will end rather soon at the end of a rope on the town square of Moressely while the Drisk flows on. 

But did they stand for this?! NO. Atreyu cast illusory smoke on the scaffolding while Ixanti began to struggle with her captors. Lilia, under the awesome cover of that illusory smoke (whoops! Someone failed a WILL check) attempted to sneak onto the scaffolding. Some onlookers don't see her, and some do! (so many failed WILL checks). Lyria advanced on the gallows and clambered up, stalwart champion that she is and took a swing at the guard being thrashed by Ixanti's struggle. Atreyu, mischief managed, faded into the milling throng. Lilia, the star of her legend rising and falling by turns (and rolls), critically fails to climb the scaffolding and falls under it. Oh! Trap door! 

More guards are arriving.

What will happen next?

Session 1 - Characters
And I'm not talking about the PCs...

The group met to roll up characters at 33 Taps in Silver Lake. It was a really nice place to sit for an afternoon — the management was totally cool with us crashing for several hours. We got about half way through character creation with folks and ended the day with the following characters:

Atreyu, High Elf Mage

Lilia, Wood Elf Rogue

Lyria, Halfling Paladin 

Ixanti, Dragonborn Cleric

Session 0 - World Building
It's a world of slaughter...


The World of Obora

I have long suspected that the boardgame Small World , with it's wild juxtapositions, would make a terrific way to randomly generate a history for a game world. As a hands-on exercise in my Worldbuilding class, we played a game of Small World on our lunch breaks to do just that. I need a game world just now, so this is timely!

It worked even better than I could have hoped.

Dragon Wizards and Seafaring Halflings. Fortifying Orcs and Pillaging Ratmen. Flying Ghouls and Berserker Tritons (who later 'reappeared' as Commando Skeletons). Mounted Trolls. Sit with that one for a moment… Mounted Trolls. I decided that they ride, or rather, rode rhinocerii. The rhinoceros riding trolls passed into history centuries ago.

In the era the campaign will take place (I made each step about a century), only the Seafaring Halflings and one lone Amazon remain through the thousands of years that intervened. Centuries of conflict cooled only when plagues ravaged the land.

In recent times, Elves have come from the South. Many hope they will bring an era of peace… though… when? In the span of Elven generations? If so, few will live to see it.

Some centuries ago, the Elves declared the Vale of the Jenn the seat of their influence and in the centuries that have followed some measure of peace has fallen over the strange and wild land.

Dragonborn stand in the western swamps against the Bone Tide. Orcs strike in from the east. A contingent of Dwarves venture up from below determined to lay bitter grudges from the past to rest (for profit).

Obora is poised for adventure!


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