Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Final R&PL Session Recap + Epilogue

Final Session Recap

The party took a single step through the mirror and realized the current layout would make it impossible to fight the Red King and the doppelgangers.  They decided to change the layout and headed back to the various rooms in order to create a zig-zag pattern.  Before they could leave the inner sancum, they ran into Tizdala who demanded to know why Jarreth had not kept his vow to slay the traitorous Ildana.  Jarreth claimed that he was having to untangle his oaths to the gods before harming a Lady.  Tizdala cheerfully told Jarreth that the gods could not see this forsaken realm, and he should consider all oaths void. The party was able to rearrange the battlefield and head inward.

The battle itself was slow and cautious.  Each Briv became trapped in a forcecage created by their opposing Rhogar.  Each Ghrax rained havoc as long range artillery.  After some stalling, the two Jarreths entered battle like two knights in a trial of combat.  The real Twig, revealing that perhaps he knew a bit more about this realm then he let on, came up with a clever mirror trick to free Briv. Then the Red King aggressively pressured the party and was heavily damaged by Twig when he overextended himself.

At this moment there was a ripping sound as the room walls were torn apart from the outside like wrapping paper.  The party, the Red King and all his dopplegangers were being unwrapped in the court of the Queen of Hearts.  The whole extended room was a birdcage lying on a table in the court room, as the court of the Queen of Hearts cheered and booed them.  After Briv drove the final blow into the Red King (with a sword rather than a stake), the Red King turned back into a pawn and the Ultra Duke and Ildana swooped in from the Queen of Hearts’ court to try and lay claim to the Red Throne.  Jarreth cried for assurance from the Queen of Hearts that she would uphold her bargain if the throne were claimed and she assented.  Jarreth then, to the Queen of Hearts’ chagrin, called the Duchess to the room with her pendant.

As the three Vampires closed in on the King’s piece, Twig decided to cause some chaos and shot it off the pedestal and to the grate below.  After a tussle, Twig ended up with the piece.  Twig first sought a way to destroy the piece or have the Queen of Hearts’ court turn against her but settled for Jarreth’s suggestion of extortion.  With the Ultra Duke and the Duchess each promising power in this forsaken realm and Ildana promising wealth beyond measure, the party chose the latter.  Ildana sucked the red color from the pawn and became the new Red Monarch.  Ildana and Twig exchanged some quiet dialogue implying he may have been in on it all along.

The party collected sizable rewards.
15,000 gp
The Wanderer - a priceless pearl necklace owned by every royal card house in turn
An Interior Doorway in the Red Queen's Castle - Can't take it with you, but it is named after you. You have a fancy deed to it.
A Map - Explaining how to get back to Voivodja from the Neverember stables or any crossroads.
Annoying Money -10,000 gp worth of expired currency, debased coinage, old IOUs and subprime mortgages. Some stuff that looks like space money?  No one will take this.
Ferme Generale - Confusingly, a letter from the Pale King authorizing you to collect a tax on his behalf as part of a complex tax farming scheme. The party is authorized to collect Snails Tax from any snails they encounter.
Animals - The party is given a Squirrel, Elephant, Squid, Ocelot, and a Loach

Each hero also took an item that struck their fancy :

·       Rhogar claimed a magical globe that would become linked to his ship;
·       Briv found a mirrored shield that could answer all sorts of questions, should they be posed in rhyme;
·       Twig was promised the stolen slippers of the Red Queen;
·       Ghrax received powerful Ioun stones that could hold magical energy; and
·       Jarreth took a strange set of playing cards, with mirrored backs and whose card faces would change to reflect the politics of the realm beyond the looking glass.

Epilogues for Jarreth and Kvothe 


Kvothe woke with a lump on his head and a pain in his gut.  He was in a familiar inn room in Neverwinter, but couldn’t quite remember how he had gotten there.  A strange looking wind-up toy soldier sat on top of a note.  The note read:

“My friend Kvothe, 

I apologize for the lump on the head.  I had hoped that the poison would have rendered you unconscious, but your constitution is much hardier than I anticipated, and thus the blow.  I do owe you an explanation and I am afraid it may not paint me in the best of light, but I feared what the court of the Red Queen had done to you.  I thought incapacitating you and removing you from that land might bring you to your senses.  If after some time has passed, you still wish to return and enter the service of the Ultra Duke, and you wish my assistance in doing so, you need but wind up the toy soldier and it will lead you to me as long it contains my drop of blood in its core.  I owe you at least that much.  If you do not wish to return, at least the toy soldier will be a reminder of our time beyond.

-Jarreth, the Knight of Tapestries”

"Immortality. That was the reason for all of this. Why else would one swear service to an insane vampire Duke? But this? What the hell had taken a hold of me? Charmed once too many times? Did being drained by one of those monsters have unforseen effects? And thank Titania for that drunk Dragonborn. There is a debt there to be paid, who knows what I would have done if he had not clocked me and dragged me out of there? I would not have gone willingly. Wait, did I eat human flesh while I was there?"

Kvothe stumbled to the lone window in the room and wretched the meager contents of his stomach onto the landing below.

"No more adventuring for a while, perhaps something quiet? Neverwinter could use another tinkerer I suppose. But what of the giants and his comrades in arms? They should not be left shorthanded. Ah, I think I know just the one to take my place . . ."


After leaving a hefty bag of strange gemstones with the master of the orphanage, Jarreth mentally checked off his last errand in Neverwinter.  While he could never cleanse his soul, gods willing he might be able to at least forget the whole thing if he never saw this forsaken city again.  He picked a direction and started walking.  

Many days later, as he sat beside a campfire fiddling with his pocket loom, he caught a strange reflection in one of the playing cards he had been absent-mindedly reviewing.  Wait a minute, what was I doing again?  I thought I had left this buried under an old oak tree.

He looked back into the mirror and saw the headless king.  He felt a twang of guilt for the old vampire, after all he had kind of, sort of, promised to help him out or something.  He took another long drink of spirits and the image disappeared.  Only took two bottles tonight, I’ll break the son-of-a-bitch yet, he thought to himself as he climbed into his sleeping bag carefully embroidered with a scene of vampires playing croquet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A New Era

I never got into G+.  Now I don't ever have to, but I am going to make an effort to participate more in the OSR social scene instead of looking on from the sidelines. This will take the form of working up a few of my adventures into better-formatted documents and listing them on the sides, attempting to share my posts more widely with the community and generally making an effort to grow the readership.  I have 0 designs on making it more professional, but I want to engage more with the community for my hobby. Hopefully this will also dovetail with increased art production as well.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

R&PL Session #4 & 5

Thank you Josh for writing the play report!  

Our Quite Large Party
Jarreth - Drunken Fighter, Tapestry Knight
Kvothe - Pro-Vampire Thief, Aligned with the Ultraduke
Darvin - Warlock, devoted servant of Blackrazor
Rhogar - Charming Bard, wielder of Wave
Briv - Headstrong Barbarian
Ghrax Glittereyes - Sorcerer Supreme
Twig - Man Out of Time
Griff Two-Eyes - Cleric and 2x Ocular Award Winner 

The party, newly bolstered in ranks, spied the castle of the Red King.  Noting its formidable defenses, including a moat of blood, savage crocodiles, Rooks and green pigs up on parapets, they opted to figure out a stealth approach.  Briv focused his inner totemic power to commune with the hideous carrion birds that flew above and spied a number of facts about the surrounding area.  Armed with this knowledge, the party sought out a short route and planned to use the magic powers of Ghrax and Kvothe to turn the entire party invisible.  Slightly before doing so, Jarreth granted himself the power to see invisibility and discovered their missing companion Darvin, was in fact not missing.

The party invisibly scaled the walls of the castle, snuck past the Rooks and pigs and then crossed a ten foot gap to the roof of the inner castle.  Based on Briv’s divinations they snuck over to a fortified tower that seemed suspiciously like the Red King’s lair and had Kvothe investigate.  Kvothe performed a perhaps cursory investigation and found no sign of the Red King.  The party then decided to head into the castle itself to investigate.  Griff Two-Eyes used the power of his gods to shape a hole in the castle roof and the party headed down to discover a well-appointed room with a strange floor that turned out to be made of water.  Upon hearing the entry of a Bishop and pawn, most of the party dove under the water and made for a door on the floor.  One or two of the party members overheard the Bishop berating the pawn for allowing a breach of security, they then joined the party underwater and the party entered through the door.

The party quickly came upon a group of pawns and proceeded to murder both them and the swarms of gnats they turned into.  One of the swarms turned into a pawn which was pocketed by Jarreth.  The party then discovered a strange room with four portraits that appeared to be portals to elsewhere in the castle.  After opening one of the portals the party was attacked by another swarm of pawns that was relatively easily defeated.  Most of the party headed through the portal behind the “clown” portrait.  On the other side of the portal were three doors, one a locked door with the image of a pawn and the other two unlocked doors.  The party attempted to open one of the doors before being called back as one of the brides of the Red King had appeared and questioned the party.  Jarreth made some minor conversation with her before she continued on her way, possibly alarming the Red King to the party’s presence (although the bride seemed not to know where the Red King was).

The party then headed into one of the rooms in the Pawn room and entered the “hall of turning” which seemed to be a trapped room.  After a velvet pawn emerged from the wall the party lit it on fire and managed to kill it before suffocating to death.  A new person appeared, a Halfling name Twig, who claimed that he was sent from one week in the future by the party to help them escape.  Twig managed to lead the party out of the hall of turning by following a moth.  The party tried the other door and discovered a strange room where any person who entered created 4 clockwork versions of them.  After much trial and error the party got rid of the most pernicious duplicates and then murdered some of the less impressive duplicates to discover a key to open the locked pawn door.  Inside the locked pawn door the party discovered a brass key and a chess board with some seemingly random pieces on the board.  The party moved some of the white pawns about (the only pieces that could be moved) and then added their red pawn to the board.  Nothing bad could happen.

The party then headed into the knight room, which was nearly identical to the pawn room (1 locked door, 2 unlocked doors).  Briv and Rhogar checked out a room that had a thick layer of fell smelling bile on the floor and were ambushed by 5 knights.  They managed to successfully retreat and checked out the other door which turned out to be the “War Room.”  A room that had a model replica of this plane.  While checking out the room the third as of yet unmet bride entered into the knight room through the portal.

Monday, October 1, 2018

R&PL Play Report #5

Just like time in the Red and Pleasant Land, these play reports are out of order. I'm still catching up but thought I'd write last session's report today while it is still fresh in my mind.

The party finished talking with Illona last week, and she walked out of frame, leaving the party in the cube room with paintings on every side of the cube.  The paintings were a clown, a battle, a tower and, a cardinal.  The party removed the clown painting and climbed into the cube through the 2x3 foot hole behind the painting.

Inside, Rhogar listened at the door to the Turning Hall, with a moth climbing out of the key hole and into his ear hole, very unpleasant.  They went through the western door into the Turning Hall, walking down the narrow hallway as it turned back and forth.  The hall was sumptuously decorated like an extremely upscale Viennese hotel, but smelled slightly of mothballs and dust.  After following the winding path for a while, they came to a dead end.  After investigating the dead end and looking for secret doors, the party walked back, only to find another wall where once there was a door. They were trapped.

Assume everything looks like this

After some debate, they investigated the final wall again, to have a pawn, made completely of striped, living fabric, emerge from the walls to attack Rhogar.  The party quickly started to light this fabric beast on fire, ignoring the smoke as it filled the narrow, closed off hallway.  Rhogar decimated the beast with Wave, necrotizing half its body.  They were able to defeat the beast without dying of asphyxiation.

Still trapped in the hallway, a loud CRACK announced the arrival of a new PC, Twig.  Twig had been sent from one week in the future, he told the party, by the party to aid their past selves. Twig also claimed he was super important to their quest according to the future party.  The past party, wary of vampire tricks, was about to kill him when he stated that he knew the way out of the Turning Hall. 

"Follow the moths"

The party, after unsuccessfully looking in Rhogar's ear, found some moths hiding in a dusty old curtain and set them loose.  When they looked up from the moth hunting they found that the Turning Hall wall that blocked them before was gone and headed deeper into the Turning Hall.   Then, after walking deeper and deeper into the Turning Hall, they found themselves back at the entrance where they started. The party discussed among itself and agreed that this was the perfect introduction to this land for the newcomers.  "Confusing, dangerous, and pointless." 

The party then entered the Decagon Room, inaccurately called the Octagon by the ignorant. Golems in red cloaks surrounded Briv and prevented him from leaving. Twig shot an arrow at one and was immediately struck by four arrows from his own golems, which appeared instantly. He then lay down for a while, careful of his arrow wounds.  The party eventually figure out that healing spells made the golems disappear, removed Briv's golems and had Briv rip apart Twig's golems, finding inside all sorts of treasures and many animals including an ocelot, a penguin, a bear, a boar, and a lobster. 

Twig also found a miniature cube of hands, a wedding ring and an engagement draft.  He proposed to the cube of hands and had his proposal accepted by the skittering cube.  It placed the ring around one of its miniture forearms and skittered around the body of its new fiancee. It attached a hand via glossamer string to Twig's ring finger and went into his backpack. 

The party then got a key from the destroyed golems and opened the Pawn Room. They found a chess board within with black and white pieces, and moved the pawns around and argued for a bit.  They then took a red pawn they had captured in chesspiece form and placed it in the chess board.  It stuck, and now there are three colors of pieces on the chess board.  They also took the brass key. 

Finally, they entered the knight room and walked into a low archive full of puss, blood, and viscera up to their waists.  Rhogar used Wave to Moses away some of the liquid around him in a 5 foot cube, bringing Briv with him. A bunch of knight vampires ambushed them, obviously.  Surprisingly, Rhogar was able to get out without being grappled, and Briv was only slightly charmed. (By Scales, an old friend who seems to have become a vampyr, plus he changed his race, facial features, and language).   

The party closed the door and shuddered, keeping Briv far away from the door, and investigated the northern room.  They found a large, interconnected Rube Goldberg Machine, chessboard and puppet show detailing the current location of puppet/doll figures representing everything in Vovoidja. Kvothe started to cut off the top of the Looking Glass Palace (Castle Poenari) and heard a loud echoing sawing sound from elsewhere in the castle. Before the party could continue a bright and sing-song voice echoed out from the 2x3 foot painting entrance.  Tizdala, wearing a wedding dress and with large spikes at odd angles from her immaculately coiffed hair called out to the party and we decided to end the session here.