Ah, a bunch of suckers I seeBlyris Bledstone
Session 7 – Menagerie Of Curiosities
In Session 6, we took a moment to build out the basis of the new environment the PCs of our party have entered, Blyris Bledstone’s Menagerie of Curiosities.
Now it’s time to introduce the party to the mysteries of the carnival.
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 had just entered the main chamber of the crypt where Cord Stomrock was holding Chengs wife and were preparing to attack Cord when suddenly he lifted the crystal ball, and a bright blinding light filled the room.
Before we get started, at the end of the Session 5, we bumped up the Chaos Factor to 6, and updated our Adventure Lists.
The Scenes section in Mythic Game Master Emulator Second Edition (MGME2E) covers to use of the Scenes to provide a framework to connect one part of the narrative to the next. We decided the transport to this carnival would match what Mythic might call an Interrupt Scene, but it wasn’t due to the roll of the dice, it was more what I had already planned for our adventurers’.
The Characters List is used for more than just Characters (PCs or NPCs) but is also used to track Locations, Groups, Objects. You put those things on the Characters List based on your own judgement. Items on these lists become more important when Radom Events happen, which may drive you to roll on these lists to choose an area of focus. You can also use this at the start of a new scene, if you don’t know what specific thread or character you want to focus on. More details on rolling on these tables can be found in the Random Events section in Mythic.
Since we had planned this transition out, there is no need to roll on these to get the scene started, so let’s move forward in our story now with the characters realizing they seem to be in some kind of carnival now.
Day 15 Continued – Scene 51
Slowly the party starts to see around them. They are no longer in the crypt. Instead, they see small multicolored tents, hear laughter, and music playing. It looks to be a Carnival.
The party is surrounded by all sorts of jovial people moving from here and there in what appears to be a market area of the sort.
The party also sees that Cord Stomrock is not far from them. He is no longer holding the crystal ball in his hands, and the look of shock is also upon his face. Realizing he is vulnerable without his source of power he darts into the crowd and disappears.
Thenelis starts to dart after him, but Morn grabs him by the arms and shouts “Wait!”. Morn points to the ground near them to see Chengs wife laying there. Cheng also sees her and runs to her side.
ATGM: We need a name for Chengs wife. I decide I'm just going to open a random page in The Game Master’s Book of Non-Player Characters (GMBNPC). I'm going to use a Generative Resource technique that Geek Gamers uses and is covered in her book the Solo Game Master's Guide. (See page 30 in that book). I'm going to roll 3d10 to come up with a page number in the GMBNPC. I come up with 8, 3 and 2. The book doesn't have that many pages, so I'm going to re-roll my first number. I get a 1, so I'm going to turn to page 132 in GMBNPC. Page 132 gives me Warden Theas Ignafera Sicarias, which isn't going to really work here, so I'll roll 1d10 and turn that many pages forward. So I get 8, so I'll move to page 140. Cisha. I like Cisha, so we'll call Chengs wife Cisha Koos.
“Cisha! Cisha my darling!” Cheng shouts as he kneels down and lifts his wife into his arms. Groggy, but seemingly unharmed.
Cisha responds to her husband “Cheng! I was so frightened Cheng!”
“You’re ok now my dear. These kind gentlemen helped me find you, but when we did, somehow we arrived at this strange place.” Cheng explains.
As Cheng and Cisha rise to their feet and are greeted by the party, the crowd slowly silences and begins to part to the sides as a man begins walking towards them. All eyes are on him as he approaches.
The man stands tall, his back straight and his shoulders square. He wears a tailored suit that looks like it was made for someone else. The suit is made of a damask fabric with a complex pattern in deep shades of red and gold, and it has frayed edges and torn patches that suggest it has seen many years of use. The coat tails hang down to his knees, and the lapels are adorned with gold buttons that glint in the light.
On his head sits a strange, steam punk-inspired hat that is much too large for him. The hat is a masterpiece of engineering, with gears and cogs that turn and spin as he moves. It is made of dark leather and is adorned with brass studs and buckles, and a large feather that juts out from one side. The hat is so large that it casts a shadow over his eyes, giving him a mysterious and almost menacing appearance.
In his hand, he carries a seemingly magical staff, which he twirls around in a showy display of skill. The staff is made of a dark wood, with intricate carvings and inlaid with precious stones. When he waves it, sparks fly out of the top, and the air around him seems to crackle with energy. He is a figure of wonder and awe,
He approaches the party and asks, “Tickets please?”
ATGM: As I noted in my previous post where we took a moment to create The Carnival, I explained to my wife what my concept was, and she gave me some inspiration for what the ringleader looks like. I asked her to give me a brief description of what she had in mind, and with her key words, I used ChatGPT to come up with a description for him based on that. I then tweaked that description as an introduction to the PCs.
The party looks at each other in wonder, unconsciously searching their pockets for tickets they don’t have.
Ulmog responds, “I’m afraid we don’t have tickets kind sir. In fact, I’m entirely unsure how we got here If I’m perfectly honest. In one moment, we were attempting to rescue the beautiful Cisha here for our friend Cheng, and the next moment…. we were blinded and well…. we’re here, wherever this is.”
“Ah, a bunch of suckers I see”, the figure responds. “Well, in order for you to stay, I’m going to have to ask that you purchase a ticket. “
“A ticket!?” Ulmog shouts, “A ticket for what? Like I said, we don’t rightly know where exactly we are!”
The party nods to each other in agreement, to which Morn states “Yes, if you could be so kind sir… where exactly are we?”
The tall figure looks curiously at them, laughs and responds, “Well… you’re at Blyris Bledstone’s Menagerie of Curiosities of course! And I am Blyris Bledstone, master of the strange and supernatural, and the keeper of the secrets of the carnival. Now, how many tickets do you need? A ticket for the day will cost you one silver piece each, but we have other options for patrons that wish to come back many times.”
Thenelis whispers into Morn’s ear “We should be respectful enough to get tickets to appease this man, perhaps then he will be willing to help us understand more, and per chance figure out how we get back to … well anywhere but here.”
Morn reaches into his satchel and presents his hand open to Blyris with 6 silver pieces. “We’ll purchase a ticket for each of us please sir.” he says.
Suddenly, Blyris’ top hat opens up, a mechanical arm extends from it, reaching down snatching the silver from Morns hand and retracting back to his hat as it closes. Simultaneously, another mechanical arm presents itself from under his coat presenting him with 6 carnival tickets and a map to the carnival.
“A bargain if I may say so”, Blyris says to the party, “Now, enjoy your time and should you have any questions, please seek me out. The map will help you find all the carnivals main attractions. Good day!”
And with that, Blyris Bledstone retreats back into the crowd tipping his hat to them as he departs, a mechanical hand popping from the top of the hat this time and waving goodbye.
As Morn passes out the tickets, Ulmog states “Well, what now?”
“Perhaps we should take a look at the map.”, Morn replies as Mara clenches her hand to her chest.”
We’ll go ahead and end this session with the introduction of Blyris Bledstone and his Menagerie of Curiosities. In the next post, we’ll work out what’s on the map of the carnival that the party is about to look at and use Spectacular Settlements from Nord Games to provide a bit more details about what can be found here.