We were fortunate to detect it’s use recently, and our Soothsayer pulled it back, along with you suckers I suppose!Blyris Bledstone
Session 9 – No Time For Games
The party now understands they have arrived at Blyris Bledstone’s Menagerie of Curiosities, a strange carnival indeed, but they are unsure how exactly they got there.
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 met Blyris Bledstone who welcomed them to his carnival the Menagerie of Curiosities. They purchased tickets and received a map of the carnival.
Before I get started, I’ve added Blyris Bledstone to the Characters List on my Mthic Adventure Lists page.
Day 15 Continued – Scene 51
The party looks at the map they have been given and see the following:
Ulmog shouts “We don’t have time for games now! We need to figure out how the hell we got here and how the hell we get OUT of here.”
Thenelis responds “That Bledstone fellow did say to seek him out should we have any questions, so perhaps we should head there on the map.”
The party heads towards Blyris Bledstone’s office.
ATPC: The Characters of course need to determine if Blyris is in fact in his office. There's no guarantee he is there, he could be elsewhere so let's allow the answer to a Fate Question to determine that for us. I'm going to say it's 50/50 he is there, and the Chaos Factor is 6. Therefore, our Fate Chart numbers are 13/65/94. I roll 1d100 with a result of 88, so that's a No. BUT since it's double digits that means we have triggered a random event.
ATGM: Now we need to roll on the Event Focus table to determine what the focus of this random event is.
ATGM: A 1d100 results in 39, so the focus for this Random Event is going to be NPC Action. For NPC Action, Mythic has this to state what that focus is.
An existing Non-Player Character does something that impacts the adventure. Roll on the Characters List to see which NPC acts for this Event.
ATGM: Since I have 16 items on my Characters List right now (See Current Adventure Lists image at the beginning of this post), I need to roll 1d8 to determine which block I need to perform my next roll on. I get a result of 5, so the focus will be on section 3. Now I roll 1d10 to determine which NPC. My result is 5, so it looks like the NPC action is going to be Cord Stomrock. I decide that the Action tables are more relevant against the current context, so I'll roll 1d100 on each. My first result is 60 which is Lure. My second 1d100 for the second action table is 94 which is vehicle. So, Cord is trying to possibly lure a guard away to steel a wagon to try to escape.
The party doesn’t find Blyris at his office, but they hear shouting from behind and see a figure grasping a woman by the neck, and a gaurd approaching.
“It’s Cord!” shouts Cheng, “but he doesn’t look the same!”
The party looks at him and sees that he now appears strange, not like how they witnessed in the crypt. He now appears emaciated and sickly, with grayish and sunken skin that clings tightly to his bones. His eyes are sunken and hollow, and his hair looks thin and brittle.
He holds the woman by the neck, his fingers digging into her flesh as he tightens his grip. The woman struggles and gasps for air, her eyes bulging with fear and panic. It is clear that she is in great distress.
The party moves in to attack when they hear a voice behind them say “There will be none of that here.”, the party turns and sees Blyris Bledstone behind them.
Blyris moves past them while lifting his staff and pointing it at Cord. A bright blinding light fills the area, and the party can feel a strong wind blowing through.
They witness the now corpse like body of Cord Stomrock crumble and disintegrate before their eyes. Bits of flesh and bone break off and are lifted away by the wind, swirling around and scattering in all directions. The remains of the body seem to wither and dry up until they are nothing but dust. A strange scent fills the air, a mix of decay and dust, and the sound of the wind carrying the remains of the corpse echoes in your ears. It is a haunting and eerie sight to behold, and it reminds you of the fragility and impermanence of life.
“That was not the man you believed him to be, ” Blyris explains to the party “but a Wight formed by the man’s former vanity and greed in death. I assume he was able to project a more ‘natural’ living appearance while he was in possession of the Umbral Sphere.”
“Umbral Sphere?” Morn asks.
“Why yes,” Blyris responds, “Our soothsayer keeps guard over it, and it’s what allows us to travel to fine communities such as yours and others to bring our entertainment to the masses! It was stolen a long, long time ago I’m afraid, and we’ve been sort of, well… stuck in time shall we say? We were fortunate to detect it’s use recently, and our Soothsayer pulled it back, along with you suckers I suppose!”
Blyris looks up into the air curiously as if suddenly realizing something “That reminds me!” he exclaims excitedly, “We can now move on finally! Oh my I must go prepare! Good day to you!” and just as suddenly as he appeared and disappeared before, he turns and walks off hurriedly.
“But wait!” Morn shouts as he Blyris disappears once more into the crowd. “How do we get back to where we came?” he shouts with no answer back.
“Perhaps we should seek out this Soothsayer. If this person was able to pull the Umbral Sphere back and us along with it, perhaps they can help return us to Dreadmere.” Thenelis suggests.
“Agreed.” Morn replies as he pinpoints the Soothsayers tent on the carnival map. “It’s not far from here, let’s go there”.
ATOB: I actually had in my mind, to plan out more use for Cord Stomrock or rather, the Wight that was now Cord Stomrock in form. I was thinking he was going to be an important NPC as the story progressed and the characters would be on a quest to find him. However, as this Random Event happened my mind wandered to the thought of Blyris suddenly showing up to rid the party of the problem with Cord, and once again disappearing quickly to demonstrate that Blyris is very powerful and protective of his carnival. But that's not the complete end of Cords story. The characters may yet learn more of him and his past as they unravel the mysteries presented to them..
The party reaches the tent of the Soothsayer and reads the sign above the opening.
ATGM: At this point, we need to come up with a NPC for the soothsayer. Once again, I'm going to utilize my copy of The Game Master’s Book of Non-Player Characters (GMBNPC). I decide also to use the same NPC Generator tables as before for Big City Denizens starting on page 98. I roll 1d4 for a result of 4 to determine which table to use. Since there are only 3 tables, we'll just use the last one. 1d20 for the first name results in 16, so the first name listed there is "Moody". 1d20 for the last is 2, so "Cleves", so Moody Cleves is the name of the soothsayer.
The sign reads “Moody Cleves: Seer of the Unseen, Master of Destiny.“, and underneath the title sign hangs a plaque with the following:
"Enter the realm of destiny and unlock the secrets of your fate with Moody Cleves, the master soothsayer who holds the power to guide you through the mysteries of the future. Readings for 5 silver."
As the party stepped into the dimly-lit tent of Moody Cleves, the air suddenly became thick with the aroma of incense and the sound of ethereal music filled the space. In the center of the tent, Moody Cleves sat at a low table, surrounded by flickering candles and mysterious trinkets.
The soothsayer’s intense gaze locked onto each adventurer, seeming to penetrate their very souls. But before revealing any visions, Moody Cleves demanded a fee of 5 silver coins from each of them, explaining that the secrets of the future come at a price.
Morn hands Moody 30 silver.
Moody Cleves began to speak, revealing visions of the group’s past. Speaking to each one directly with their names that they have not shared with Moody as of yet.
“Ah, Morn Bardigus,” Moody says, “the wandering bard with a voice like honey and a heart like fire. Your past is a tapestry of triumphs and tragedies, woven together with the threads of love and loss. Your music is the key to unlocking the memories that have long been buried, and it is through your art that you will find the path to your destiny.”
Moody then speaks to Thenelis. “Thenelis Goltorah, the half-elf fighter with a heart of steel and a will of iron. Your past is a tale of fierce battles and shattered alliances, of blood spilled and honor regained. Your scars bear witness to the battles you have fought and the enemies you have vanquished. But beware, for the future holds great challenges that will test even your mettle. Stay vigilant and let your blade be your guide, for it will lead you to victory.”
Ulmog turns to Mara and whispers in her ear “Sort of generic babble don’t you think?”
Moody turns to Ulmog judgingly and proclaims “Ulmog Ghimire, the human warrior with a skeptical mind and a guarded heart. Your past is a shadow that follows you, always lurking just out of reach. Your life has been one of duty and obligation, of standing up for what is right, even in the face of great danger. But beware, for your doubt and mistrust may lead you astray. The answers you seek may not be found in the sword, but in the secrets hidden within your own soul. Trust in yourself, and you may yet unlock the mysteries that have eluded you.”
Ulmog shakes his head and responds “That’s still pretty generic. All you did is call me out for not believing your babble.”
Morn shuns Ulmog stating “Bite your tongue Ulmog. We are but truly guests here.”
Ulmog shakes his head again but remains silent.
Moody then turns to Mara, staring at her and pauses for what seemed to be an eternity before continuing.
ATGM: Well, up until now I haven't given Mara a last name Let's do that real quick. I'm just going to stick on the same table in GMBNPC for that. 1d20 for is 2, which is Jourdain. So there we have it, Mara Jourdain.
“Mara Jourdain, a lost soul with a tragic past. I remember you from many years ago, when the shadow of death fell upon this place and claimed the life of your husband and so many others. Your own soul was cast into a body not your own, and you have struggled ever since to break free of this curse. The rune you possess offers a way to return to your true form, but it also binds you to its power. If you wish to break free from the curse forever, you must confront the sorcerer who cast it upon you and face the darkness within your own heart. Only then will you find the key to unlocking the secrets of your true self.”
With shock in her face Mara exclaims “It is true then! This was the place where my husband was taken from me. Tell me where he is!”
Moody Cleves meets Mara’s demand with a solemn expression, “The sorcerer who wrought such devastation upon your life is a shadow that looms over your fate. He hides in the darkness, always one step ahead of those who would seek to stop him. The path to finding him is perilous, and the price of facing him is high. But I can see that your heart is strong, and your will is unbreakable. If you truly wish to rid yourself of this curse, you must first learn to let go of the past and embrace the power within you. Only then will the path to the sorcerer be revealed to you.”
“But how!” Mara exclaims.
Moody Cleves looks at Mara with a knowing look and says, “The answer lies within you, Mara. You have carried the weight of this curse for so long that you have forgotten the strength that lies at the core of your being. You must rediscover the power within you, the power of your true self, and trust that it will guide you to the answers you seek. Meditate upon the rune that binds you and listen to the whispers of your soul. It will reveal to you the path that you must take.”
ATGM: I took a moment to add Maras Rune to the Characters List, but also removed the one instance of Cord Stomrock. I left the one instance of Cord there, as I think this will help drive the story later when we research how he came to be in possession of Umbral Sphere. I also removed "Defeat Cord Stomrock" from the Threads List. In its place, I put another entry for "Find Sorcerer for Mara"
Moody Cleves turns his gaze towards Cheng and Cisha Koos, sensing the weight of their recent ordeal. “Cheng and Cisha, I sense that you have both faced great danger and triumphed over darkness. Your bravery and tenacity have led you down a path that few would dare to tread. But beware, for the shadows of the past have a way of clinging to the present, and the scars of your journey may linger for some time to come.”
Moody Cleves then pauses, his eyes fixing on the Umbral Sphere now sitting on his table, and says, “The Umbral Sphere is a dark and powerful artifact, with the potential to corrupt those who seek to control it, as Cord Stomrock unfortunately found to be true.”
Moody continues “I must try harder this time, to keep it out of the wrong hands, for the consequences of its misuse could be dire. Remember, the power of the sphere is great, but the power of the heart is greater still.”
Morn tells Moody “Blyris said you pulled it back, along with us…. well, I assume us, he seems to keep calling us suckers.”
“Yes,” Moody explains, “it opened a portal to return when I pulled it back, and well… you were sucked into that portal. This also happens when we relocate the carnival. We use the Umbral Sphere to move us from one location to another, and when we arrive, it has the unfortunate side effect of ‘sucking’ a few folks in. Blyris means no insult by the term, he has just always called those folks suckers”.
Thenelis asks “So you can use it to return us home?”
ATGM: I decide at this point to pose the question asked by Thenelis as a Fate Question in mythic. I'm going to say it's 50/50 that Moody can in fact use the Umbral Sphere to return them. Since the Chaos Factor is 6, the target numbers are 12/65/94 with anything above 65 being a No. My 1d100 roll results in 18, so that's a Yes.
Moody responds with “I can.”
“Then send us home then!” Thenelis demands.
Moody Cleves looks at the group with a measured gaze and considers his options. “It is within my power to send you all back to your world, using the Umbral Sphere. But to do so would be to deny the fates that brought you here, to cut short the path that you have begun to walk. The carnival is a place of wonder and terror, of mystery and magic. It is a place where the threads of destiny are woven into the fabric of the world, and where the past and present converge. To leave now would be to turn your back on the very reason that you were brought here.”
Moody Cleves then leans forward, his eyes locked on the group, and says, “The carnival has a way of revealing truths that are hidden from view, of unlocking secrets that have been kept hidden for too long. The Umbral Sphere brought you here, like many others. It is not my choice to use it to send you back. I can, but I won’t.”
“A simpler way,” Moody continues, “May just be to wait for your tickets to expire.”
“Our tickets to expire?” Cheng asks.
“Yes,” Moody answers, “Once the duration for a carnivals ticket expires, the holder is returned to the area they secured the ticket at.” But suddenly Moody remembered they were suckers. They didn’t purchase their ticket in their homeland, but only after they were sucked to the carnival.
“However, I realize you were not sucked to the carnival when we arrived in your homeland, but rather when I pulled the Umbral Sphere to me. Did you by chance buy a lifelong pass?”
“A lifelong pass?” Morn asks.
“Ah yes, a lifelong pass will allow you to come and go as you please! You can use it to return to your homeland. See Blyris for purchasing options! Now, unless you would like to provide more coin, I’m afraid our time is up.”
“We will try to locate Blyris once again,” Morn states, and the party leaves the tent of Moody Cleves in search of Blyris once more.
I already did a bit of bookkeeping on my Adventures Lists, and after another quick look through, I decide to replace “A Carnival” with “Acquire Lifelong Passes”. I’m also going to say that we will close out the scene and start a new scene called “Lifelong Pass”.
Lastly, I don’t think that the party was in very much in control of what has transpired in the last scene, so I’m going to bump up the Chaos Factor to 7 now.
I have also decided who this mysterious sorcerer was that Mara and the party will need to seek out, but that’s going to be a secret for now.
Till next time!