As some of you might have gathered from my previous session recap, I've played the second session of my new S&W campaign over a weak a go. I was eager to go over that game and post a short recap, since it proved to be a great tool for ordering what happened during the session, as well as the progress of my players - both in game and on the meta-game level.
Unluckily I've been struck down by some weird illness that gives me vertigo so strong that for a few days I was barely able to walk, not to mention using a computer. I feel a bit better now, but after a weak of visiting doctors, there's still no clue what's wrong and I still can't spend too much time typing - this post took me 3 days to write!
But anyway, since I feel a bit better and can finally do something constructive - I give you the second session recap!
The next morning after the happenings of the first session, Kai and Juchi decided to leave the town of Stillwater and head south for the nearest city, where they hoped to coin some of the goods they retrieved from the caves underneath the shrine of Skaghe.
As soon as they decided to leave the tavern they met Winston - the young boy that helped them in the caves and who was eager to join them on their adventures. He lied (of which they did not know) that his father gave him permission to go.
The girls noticed that the boy was wearing a viking-like helmet, a farewell present from Thorson. The former adventurer decided that the several times he got wounded in the caves was too much for his old bones and gave away his lucky helmet.
The girls accepted the boys company, but only after they made sure that he was wise enough to prepare his own traveling rations. And so they set out into the wilderness...
That was the point where I pulled out a white sheet of hex paper... As I was preparing for the session I decided to make it a hex-crawl during which the players will draw their own map. Using the hexographer I made myself the outline of the terrain, but decided not to mark any specific locations. Instead I created some random charts that would determine what the players might encounter, thus filling the map with dungeons, encounters, villages, etc...
Here are some of the things that happened during their travel through the wilderness:
1. A day of travel from Stillwater, the girls saw a line of smoke emerging from distant ruins. The whole party managed to sneak to the ruins, despite them being located in open sight and on top of a small hill. Within the partially collapsed walls of a small keep they saw three Norse males sitting and chatting...
Kai, filled with joy of meeting her kinsmen, neglected any common sense and came out of hiding. The three men immediately attacked the warrior-woman, proving to be bandit berserkers. The fight was short and the party was cooking warm stew before the bodies got completely cold.
2. Few days later, the party came to a river. As they were following the road, hoping it will take them to a bridge or a brood, they came upon the remains of a burned village. They were examining the ruins, trying to make out what had happened, when the other river bank started swarming with goblins.
Julia and Katja decided to face them. The encounter was long, with the cowardly goblins sending deadly rain of arrows, nearly taking Winston's life... Finally, the girls decided to retreat and try to find another crossing up the river.
I noticed a drop in mood, but i hope they learned to judge their foes more carefully...
They circled the forests for a few days and found themselves returning to the village, hoping that the goblins are long gone ("It's not like they're sitting there waiting for us"). Turned out the goblins left some guards, since the bridge was the only crossing in miles. However there were few guards and the party manage to safely cross the river.
3. On the next day they came across an old burial ground, but weren't interested in jumping into the open mouth of danger again.
4. Few hexes to the south the party had to stop, as the road was cut in half by a canyon-like rift in the ground. The road seemed to continue on the other side, prompting that perhaps the hole in the ground came into existence quite recently.
Kai and Juchi decided to look for a way around the rift. They lost one day traveling west where they found this Elder construction. I was hoping that after they defeated the enemies they'd flee from the monster without barring the doors, but they proved to be more thoughtful than I suspected. Since the little dungeon wasn't a path to the other side of the rift, the party decided to head East.
5. After two days they've found the "end" of the rift and decided to get back to the road. They didn't want to loose another day for following the ledge and so they went straight through the woods, hoping their path will cut the road at some point.
This took them to a hex occupied by a goblin war camp (probably belonging to the same goblins that raised the village), but the party decided to sneak by.
6. After that they finally made it back to the road, just to enter into the middle of a fight - two merchants wagons fighting off bandits. The brigands proved to be no match for party's skill and soon our heroes were offered a lift on one of the wagons.
The merchants were quiet and didn't ask many questions, nor were they asked any by the party. Somehow no one voiced any suspicions about the place where the merchants were encountered... They were traveling south, but they were just a day away from the rift and no other trading rout was visible. Was their travel north interrupted by the appearance of a new geological formation, making them turn back? or was it the goal of their travel?
Whatever was the answer to those questions, the rest of their travel went smoothly and just three days later, after almost three weeks of traveling, they made it to the city of Adamask!
I must admit, that I didn't expect the party to get to the city during this session, not to mention exploring it! However, ever since being beaten by goblins, I sensed that girls got weary of the wilderness, so at some point I decided it's time to risk letting them reach Adamask, with me being completely unprepared. Luckily, the game took off anew once they crossed the city walls.
Once in, they were very interested in the market (here I could put something about women and shopping, but I would feel a horrible hypocrite as I 've seen male players spending hours haggling with traders). Juchi managed to get a good deal for preparing the wolf hide and both girls took some time to flirt with a tall, black southerner trading in fine silks and exotic wares.
Later they stopped at the fine artisans street and visited an old jeweler (role-played by putting a beer bottle-cap in my eye), with whom they haggled really hard and managed to make a nice profit on gems they found in the goblin caves. They also briefly stopped at a blacksmith, who directed them to a good tavern. Before they left he mentioned that he's the innkeepers friend and perhaps they'd find some work there.
The Iron Sword turned out to be a small and modest inn, run by an old mercenary called Drognar. After a short conversation he told them of his problems with rats and offered a free meal and room for the night. When asked, why he hadn't settled it himself, the man told them that he ordered his tavern boy to take care of the rats, but one of them bit him badly and now the wound was turning bad. After giving it some thought, Kai and Juchi promised him, they'd look into it first thing in the morning.
After a good meal, the girls talked a bit with the innkeeper and asked him about good brothels!!! He told them, that hearty adventurers like themselves would probably feel best in Warrior's Rest.
As they were about to leave, they noticed little Winston trying to sneak out. They told him it's dangerous to wonder the city alone at nighttime and inquired where was he heading? The boy tried to sell them a story about "leaving to get some air", but to his embarrassment they saw through his bluff and managed to pull from him his true destination. The boy was off to a brothel himself! After laughing about "itching virginity" they promised to take him with. Needles to say that only made the awkward boy more uncomfortable.
Warrior's Rest proved to be a jolly and crowded place. The bartender, who the clients call simply Bob (an anagram for his long and complicated name), turned out to look and sound like Jack Black.
The girls told him their business and the innkeeper offered Winston "a go for half a price". Kai also found some pleasure in the arms of a woman, while Juchi waited in the main room drinking the surprisingly good beer...
After the curse of Winston's virginity had been lifted and everyone met back at the bar, I asked whether the girls want to party Conan style and exchange some of their coin for experience. To my surprise they were reluctant, but after some thinking decided to take a roll on the party table, Winston included.
The next morning was a painful one, exactly as it should be! Kai woke up bruised up, with a black eye. Juchi smelled literally like a pig, vaguely remembering getting into some argument with an old woman. But the biggest surprise was yet to come. As they descended into the main tavern room, Drognar welcomed Winston with curses and shouts. As it turned out the boy got so hammered, that he peed all over the tavern's main room...
After this was settled with some coin, the party bought themselves a big breakfast, and still a bit hungover, decided to descend into the cellar. There they encountered four giant rats. The fight was short, but Kai got bit by the only infected rat. Julia almost neglected that, as the girls found a crack in the wall and wanted to explore more of the city's underground. Luckily, in the end she decided to go seek help at the temple of Skaghe.
At the temple they were offered some cure potions, but the temple pharmacist told them that three portions will take a day to prepare. The party decided to go easy on themselves and spend the day on sight seeing, until the medications are ready.
The next day they received the promised medicine and descended beyond Iron Sword's cellar, deep into the darkness underneath the city of Adamask...