Sundered Skies: Session 2
by, 03-02-2009 at 02:52 PM (1646 Views)
*Warning*: Beginning below and continuing periodically throughout this blog will be spoilers for much of the Plot Point adventures and world background from the GMs section of the book. My players are welcome to read through these materials as they will only recap events that they have already played through, but anyone who may be playing in a Sundered Skies game or use the aforementioned Plot Point adventures in the future should not read further as it will spoil many of the mysteries and surprises.
As we returned for our second session, the group picked up where they had left off, rescuing the mayor's young nephew, Coryn, and hiking back to town. Upon their return, mayor Maxxus Bishop was ecstatic to see his nephew safely returned and happily offered the PCs the promised reward and his word that they would recieve free room and board if they should ever return to his town. The party informed him of the cult activity, information which Maxxus took deathly seriously and hastily dismissed the crew so that he could begin the preparations to protect his citizenry.
The next day cycle, deciding to stay on schedule with delivery of their cargo, the crew set off again for Gateway. The passage from Broken Landing to Gateway took 1 week and upon approach, the ship fortunately encountered no trouble with the debris field that surrounds the city. The crew harbored their ship and delivered their cargo and salvage to Tomas Hawke as promised.
After concluding their initial business, Tomas informed Captain Ia that he had another job for her if she was interested. His youngest son, Allon, had taken a ship on a salvage run into the inner isles of the Shattered City. His ship, The Raven, had departed on what should have been only a short journey and had still not returned after 3 months. By a stroke of luck, Tomas had recently done business with a quirky orc scavenger by the name of Karr the Luckfinder who claimed to have come across the wreckage of the ship on a small island and had taken a sample of the island's soil should he ever wish to return there. Having left his previous crew over a disagreement about salvage rights, Karr was in need of a ship.
Ia accepted Tomas' promise of reward if she returned either Allon or the marked leather gloves that he wore with Karr accompanying and providing the necessary soil in exchange for rights to any odd trinkets they should find. The crew set off the next day and drifted through the ruins toward the heart of the Shattered City for 4 days before sighting the island Karr had discovered. The Raven had crash-landed into the base of a stone tower near the shoreline, partially collapsing the tower on top of the ship.
Taking the skiff and a small band to shore, the party scaled the side to the top deck where they discovered the gnawed skulls of what was presumably crew. Exploring the belly of the ship they were overcome with the piercing scent of decay and other foulness as they came upon the lair of a half dozen barnacle apes, a common but dangerous pest amongst sky travelers. Most of the creatures seemed normal but one of them seemed to be tainted with unnatural power and its eyes glowed a menacing red color.
After killing the attacking apes, they discovered a narrow crawlspace from part of the collapsed ship into the tower itself which seemed to be the source of the wretched odor. Entering the tower they found the landing of a spiral staircase upon which laid a bloated, misshappen human corpse which seemed to have been undergoing an unnatural transformation when it died. It was the origin of the horrible smell. They decided to ascend the stairs to the upper chamber of the tower, what was apparently an armory at one time which had since fallen to disuse and decay.
Then, hearing the sound of groaning and scratching from around the central column of the room, the party discovered a grizzly sight. Another of the bloated, mutated figures was leaning against a far wall, scratching feverishly into the masonry with its long, black claws. Apparently it was trying to keep as far away as possible from the light of the Void that entered the chamber through a collapsed part of the tower ceiling. Just as unsettling was that the chamber floor was littered with the dozen headless, emaciated bodies of The Raven's crew.
Attacking the party on sight, the bloated monstrosity shot tentacles from its swollen belly which pierced a handful of the corpses and animated them, turning them against the PCs. In the messy and foul-smelling aftermath of the battle, Ia found the body of Allon and took his remains and signature gloves to return to Tomas for proper burial. They set a funeral pyre outside for the bodies of the other crew and discovered a small, iron medallion around one of their necks depicting the image of a large beast over open water. Upon learning of the medallion, Karr was eager to insist that he forgo all other shares to lay claim to the trinket.
So, the crew of Firefly gathered and stowed their salvage and set out again for Gateway, where the session ended.
As GM, I felt that things went very well and with character creation out of the way and some system familiarity settling in, the players seemed to have a lot more time to really get into the meat of the world and the role play. I am finding myself really liking the system for overall flow and ease of management. Not having to worry excessively about mechanical details has left me more opportunity to invest energy in describing actions, scenes and characters with flair. I think the game is a bit more atmospheric for it. This was the first session that I actually broke out the paper minis and used them to nice effect. It was tangibly more appealing to simply use them on the table top with a ruler than bother with the off-putting "grid" or "hex" maps and so I will continue to use that method for combat to really evaluate what benefits it brings to the game. The setting is shaping up to be quite interesting and the players seemed to have a blast playing.