‘I see you’ve found a new companion.’ He nods slightly towards Eldon, his gaze never leaving the party members. ‘How…interesting.’Unknown
Session 18 – Greetings Wanderers
Advice to the reader
In order to interpret the structure of my gaming session posts effectively, it is strongly suggested that you peruse A Readers Guide to Play Sessions on The Old Bard, if you haven’t already.
To better grasp what I mean when I bring up Fate questions, you might find it useful to keep the Mythic Fate Chart accessible, potentially in a new window or tab in your browser.
The Story So Far
The Party, now joined by Eldon Marrowwind, is returning to Dreadmere to collect Mara and then back to carnival to re-convene with Moody Cleves.
You may remember me stating in the session 16 that “In the next session, we’re going to take a few moments to flesh more out for Eldon Marrowwind and Blyris Bledstone, as we will be needing that information very soon.”
However, there was lots of development that needed to occur that I didn’t want to reveal just yet as that might spoil the story for you as the reader because of some surprises I have in store. That’s why this session is 18, instead of 17 like you may have expected. After the big reveal, I’ll publish session 17 so you can see what exactly happened..
Day 18 – Scene 56 – Continued
The party continues their travel back to Dreadmere after defeating the cloud of Skin Bats.
ATGM: As you can see on the image above, I have my mini I use for Morn set on the location of the map between Athesa and Dreadmere. The party has moved another 6 miles and I've updated my time tracker to 4AM. And now it's time once again to determine if there will be an encounter. Rather than roll just a basic 50/50 for an encounter chance I did last time, I'll use the Fate Chart from Mythic to determine the outcome. Since Our chaos factor is still 5, and we still have a 50/50 chance of an encounter however this will add in the likelihood of an Exceptional Yes or No to the encounter chances. and I'm going to say it's very likely. I roll 1d100 for a result of 20. In this case, that's below the value of 50 so this is a Yes, but not enough for an Exceptional Yes. So now let's roll for a Very Likely chance that this is an encounter with the sinister figure. I roll 1d100 for a result of 57. In this case, this is below the value of max value of a Yes on the Fate Chart for a chaos factor of 5. So, in this case, we have in fact encountered the sinister figure once again.
The moon is shrouded by dense, brooding clouds, casting a dark shadow on the road. Suddenly, a chilling wind sweeps through, causing the trees to sway ominously. Before the party, the air shimmers and distorts, as if being pulled apart by some unseen force. Out of the darkness, the Sinister Figure appears.
His robe, adorned with chilling symbols of skulls, seems to absorb the scarce light around him, and his pale, almost translucent skin appears to glow faintly. His eyes, dark and piercing, bore into the party members with an unnerving intensity. Around him, the air crackles with an ominous energy, and a palpable sense of dread fills the air. It is as if the very atmosphere is reacting to his malevolent presence. The Sinister Figure’s voice, echoing with an otherworldly power, slices through the silence.
“Greetings, wanderers,” he says, his voice a low, rasping whisper that seems to echo around them. “I see you’ve found a new companion.” He nods slightly towards Eldon, his gaze never leaving the party members. “How…interesting.”
The party is taken aback, tensing as they prepare for the unexpected. They knew they were being pursued, but the sudden appearance of this ominous figure sends a ripple of apprehension through them. The road to Dreadmere has become much more dangerous, and the journey has taken a turn for the worse. They ready their weapons, keeping their eyes on the Sinister Figure, unsure of what will happen next.
ATGM: Now for the big question, does the Sinister Figure attack them? If not, do they attack? Let's let fate decide. Does the sinister figure attack? I say this is Likely, so I roll 1d100 for a result of 96. As our chaos factor is 5, and I chose Likely, the maximum for a Yes is 65, so the sinister figure does NOT attack. HOWEVER, on the fate chart, the lowest value for an Exceptional No is 94, and since we rolled 96... This is in fact an Exceptional No. Let's roll on the meaning tables to help us figure out why the Sinister Figure does not attack. I decide to use the Character Motivations meaning table from page 205 of Mythic.
ATGM: I roll 1d100 for a result of 45. Hmm, Important. Let's roll on the Character Personality table for another word. Another 1d100 roll gives me 72. Prepared. Hmm, let's roll for another word, but back on the Motivations table. I roll 1d100 once again for a result of 88. Safety. Important, Prepared and Safety. I feed these words to ChatGPT with the following to see what it comes up with. "The sinister figure does not attack, but the following three words come to mind: Important, Prepared and Safety. These words are the reason he doesn't attack. Use them to describe why." I took the response but edited it greatly to remove some things and re-word for the story.
The Sinister Figure, despite his menacing presence, does not strike. Instead, his gaze sweeps over the party, evaluating each member with a calculated stare. There are no sudden movements, no surge of magical energy, just the deafening silence of the night and the sinister figure observing the group with an eerie calmness. It’s as if he’s measuring them, weighing the implications of his next move. He seems to focus on Eldon.
He can sense the party’s readiness, their heightened alertness, and their strengthened resolve. They’ve faced trials and tribulations, have grown stronger and more united. They are no longer a group of mere wanderers, but a formidable force. An attack now, under these circumstances, could lead to unforeseen consequences.
The figure, after a tense standoff, fades back into the darkness, leaving the party with the chilling memory of his appearance and the foreboding promise of what’s to come.
“He didn’t attack us!” shouts Ulmog as he looks at each member of the party. He notices Eldon. A look of deep concentration on his face.
“Yes, he didn’t attack, but this isn’t a cause for celebration. This was a warning.” Eldon’s voice breaks the tense silence that follows Ulmog’s outburst. His eyes, lost in thought, are focused on the spot where the sinister figure had stood.
He continues, “He wanted to show us that he can reach us at any moment but chose not to strike. We must be prepared. We are important to his plans, and our safety is paramount. We cannot let our guard down.” His voice, despite its calmness, carries a weight that emphasizes the seriousness of the situation.
The atmosphere remains heavy as each member processes Eldon’s words. The dangers of their journey are becoming increasingly real, and the imminent threat is palpable. But in this moment, they also understand the importance of their mission and the need to stay vigilant and strong, together.
They continue on, reaching Dreadmere just after daybreak. They return to the Leering Eagle and knock upon the door to Mara’s room.
ATGM: Does Mara answer? I say there is a 50/50 chance, and our chaos factor is 5. I roll 1d100 for a result of 70. This is a no. Mara is not at her room.
“We should check with the innkeeper Honey O’Dell” Thenelis suggests.
The party enters the lobby and spots Honey O’dell at the bar cleaning and stocking.
“Miss O’dell”, Morn calls out, “We are looking for our friend who was staying here with us, Mara Jourdain. Can you tell us, have you seen her?”
ATGM: Has Honey O'dell seen Mara? Once again, I'll say. 50/50. I roll 1d100 for a result of 65. Once again, this is a no.
“I’m afraid I haven’t today sir.” Honey responds.
“When was the last time you did see her?” Thenelis questions.
Honey reflects briefly before replying, “Well, it was just last night, actually. She told me she was going for a short walk around town to clear her mind. But she hasn’t come back yet.”
A hint of concern creeps into her voice. “I do hope she’s alright. Despite only knowing her for a few days, she seemed… different, somehow.”
“Different? Can you be more specific?” asks Eldon.
“Certainly,” Honey replies, her brow furrowing slightly as she thinks. “She seemed… burdened, I suppose is the best way to put it. Like she was carrying a heavy weight, though she did her best to hide it. She was polite and soft-spoken, yet there was a certain strength about her. And sadness… a deep-seated sadness that she didn’t share openly, but it was there all the same.”
Honey sighs, placing a hand on her hip. “She didn’t speak much of her personal matters, but whatever’s troubling her, it seemed significant.”
“We must search the town immediately and with haste.” Eldon states to the rest of the party. “Miss O’dell, if you might be so kind to let her know her friends are looking for her an to remain here should she return.”
“Of course, sir.” Honey responds.
The party ventures out into the streets of Dreadmere to search for Mara.
In the streets, Eldon demands from the group “Quick, you must tell me more about this Rune your friend Mara holds that helps her stay in human form”.
Thenelis speaks up, “We were informed by Honey O’Dell about a rumored Rune in the west goblin cave. A Rune that could supposedly transform Mara back to her human form. Eager to aid our companion, we decided to brave the caves once again. The goblins proved less challenging with Ulmog and Mara aiding us.”
Morn interjects, “Upon finding the Rune, we were at a loss as to how to use it. We sought a mystic here in Dreadmere who guided us in its use. When Mara held the Rune, she was able to return to her human form. The transformation was a relief to her but, unfortunately, we were informed it wasn’t a permanent solution.”
Ulmog finishes the account, “The Rune does allow Mara some control over her curse. She can now change between her human form and the Giant Ape at will. However, the mystic warned us that only the sorcerer who cursed her can fully lift it. It’s this quest to find the sorcerer that brings us here today. To break her curse for good.”
Eldon, looking intensely at the group, breaks the silence, “The situation is more complex than I first believed. Mara is in grave danger, more than you can possibly know. She holds a powerful artifact, one that could attract the attention of dark forces. And if the sorcerer who cursed her learns of her recent transformation… We must find her as soon as possible. Let’s split up, we can cover more ground that way. Meet back here in two hours’ time. If you find any clues about Mara’s whereabouts, bring them back here.”
Ulmog shouts “I’ll take the north! Might as well visit my tent near the river and grab some supplies. I’ll work my way there and back.”
Thenelis states to Morn and Eldon, “Morn you go east, I’ll take the west and Eldon can cover the southern part of town. See everyone in two hours time back here.”
The search parties break away, urgency reflected in their brisk strides. Ulmog Ghimire, the compactly built warrior, takes off to the north. He’s familiar with this part of Dreadmere, having set his tent near the calming ebb of the river. A sense of home strikes him as he steps inside, gathering necessary supplies before he continues his search.
Morn heads east. His heart beats a rhythm of worry, his normally jovial demeanor now replaced with a look of solemn determination. A bard’s sharp eye and keen sense of intuition aid him as he scans his surroundings, peering into alleyways and asking the occasional townsfolk if they have seen Mara Jourdain.
Thenelis moves westward. He navigates the morning market crowd, his heightened senses tuned for any indication of Mara’s presence. The normally bustling market noise fades into the background as he focuses on the task at hand.
Eldon uses his intimate knowledge of the southern district’s streets and alleys to conduct his search. As a sorcerer of considerable power, he has an added edge, using subtle magical detection techniques to aid in his search.
The next two hours crawl by. Each moment is thick with tension, every new corner turned, or door opened carrying the potential to bring relief or deepen their worry. The party reconvenes at 9AM to their designated meeting spot, each hoping that the others bring news of their friend Mara Jourdain.
Did anyone find Mara? Who is this Sinister Figure? Stay tuned!
I’m going to say the party certainly wasn’t in much control so we’re going to raise the Chaos Factor to 6. I also say that this ends scene 56, Return to Dreadmere for Mara. We’ll add a new Scene, 57, titled Search for Mara, and we’ll test this expected scene in the next session post.
Till next time!