“Beast men. Monsters. The true name for these “demon children” is Childer. It is believed they were spawned or created by the Infernals of the abyss many centuries ago and that they now reside in the hot, desolate realm known as Norcan Darr – the “Hard Lands”. Little is known of the Childer beyond that they are universally vicious, tainted by Flame, and that they are summoned to create chaos and murder wherever they go. The ratzin you have encountered are the least dangerous of these strange creatures from beyond the veil…"
~Godfrey Steele, on Childer.
Chapter Two – We Are Shale!
August 27th 2013
The club opened up later than usual so we started play a little late. Joff was unable to attend this session so Jovander faded into the background as he succumbed to an infection from ratzin bites.
4th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122.
While Runt, Ton, and Tully finish up at the Gather and return to Shale, Parlee gets a few hours rest and then meets with Godfrey at the keep. Gofrey gives Parlee a pep-talk and assures her he had his reasons for recruiting her into the Rangers.
Runt, Ton, and Tully arrive at the keep and inform Godfrey of their progress. The party then travels down to the docks, meet with Jovander, and learn of the murders on the merchant vessel.
The party search the vessel but find no additional evidence. They look for marines at the RTC outpost but find nothing so head to Sergeant Cliffside’s house. They find the wounded Sergeant, still in danger from a horde of ratzin. As Parlee moves to assist Cliffside, Ton engages the horde and Runt unleashes a ridiculous torrent of arcane energy upon the creatures. The ratzin leader flees with Tully in close pursuit. A race across town ensues ending with Tully knocking the creature off the wall (just before it could scramble over to safety) and its neck breaks.
Sergeant Cliffside tells the group that Brandon arrived at his house and unleashed the ratzin upon him. He suspects they were looking for his copy of the manifest – which indicates that the three stolen crates were bound for Lady Winter.
Tully tells his father Brandon is alive. Lord Harding reveals his suspicions that Brandon was secretly engaged in Flame research before the raid. Tully searches Brandon’s room and discovers a Flame-touched book.
While Tully is with his father, the rest of the party meet with Lady Winter. She claims to know no reason why her crates were targeted, but after Parlee takes her aside, Lady Winter confesses that the crates contained magical reagents used to ward away Darkness and Flame. They could conceivably be used by agents of those powers as well.
Our heroes find the body of the remaining RTC marine in his house in valley-side. It looks like Brandon went there first looking for the manifest.
Tully meets with Father Hayes at the Church. Roderic inspects the flame-touched book and suspects it contains information relevant to creating a cauldron – a portal to Norcan Darr, land of the demons. Tully requests a detachment of Paladins be requested from Archanaya, but Roderic fears they may be delayed due to a military build up in Camon.
Parlee meets with her friend Arianna Mohdri. The two share pleasantries, Arianna seems very pleased with Parlee’s new status as a Gray Ranger and she also makes a pass at Parlee (who doesn’t notice). Parlee is invited to a small gathering several days hence.
5th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
The Rangers attend the weekly town council meeting. Lady Fielding files a motion to improve relations with the Gather by revoking the exiled status. Lord Harding and Lady Fielding argue for some time on the issue – in the end the motion is not carried. Lord Harding announces the arrival of a delegation from Erimar – Captain Gullen and two Prelates from Camon. The Rangers are instructed to escort them around Shale and to treat them as befits their VIP status.
The party visit Market Street Antiques and Tully purchases a scarf for Shaila Breck (on Arianna’s suggestion). After a conversation outside the shop in which Ton informs his friends that Gunther Breck doesn’t like Visserian Mohdri, Parlee rushes in to warn Arianna of a possible danger to her husband – Arianna appears confident her husband is not under threat from Breck.
In The Last Resort, Parlee notices a little brusing hidden under the scarf Shaila Breck is wearing. Tully moves in to investigate and Shaila attempts to create a distraction. Runt uses legerdemain to stop her but Ton decides to help out by punching a farmer and starting a bar brawl. Tully accosts Shaila and despite her protestations refuses to leave without more answers. Reluctantly she takes him upstairs under the guise of “finding a missing book”. Once alone in the room Shaila quickly turns angry and slaps Tully but then just as swiftly falls into his arms. She tells Tully that Gunther is a bad man, he is involved in criminal activities and also beats her. Worst of all he has been offering poor people work outside town but when the take up the offer they never return. Shaila fears for those people but she cannot go to the authorities because Gunther has hidden her son. Tully promises to help.
6th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
The Rangers escort the Erimar delegation to The Kingdom’s Finest. Captain Gullen and Mr. Jones clearly do not like each other but exchange pleasantries (possibly coded phrases). Next they travel to The Club, where the Erimar delegation do their best to convince the wealthy club-members of the benefits of working with Erimar (and by extension, the Prelacy). Lord Harding appears to be very interested. Lord Layshona seems strangely adamant that the delegation are not annoyed – he seems to fear them (and what they know). Lady Fielding causes a stir by ranting at the delegation (expansionist fascists!) and has to be escorted out of the building by the Rangers. Tully informs her of Shaila’s status and Lady Fielding promises to help as much as she can.
7th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
The Rangers meet with Rene in the library and question him about Brandon (and his research). After some threats from Tully, Rene reveals that Brandon had been researching local geography and history (particularly looking for sites of battles and the locations of ley lines). When Brandon began to inquire about the Flame, Rene barred him from the store. Tully assigns extra guards to watch the library in case Brandon seeks revenge.
8th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
Parlee attends a small gathering at the Mohdri house. Arianna is an impeccable host and seems very interested in having a Gray Ranger as an ally. She makes several passes at Parlee that are rebuffed.
Ton informs Roke Hogsback of the investigation’s progress and is encouraged to help probe a new tunnel in the mines. At the Gather, Ton meets with Kralle and they discuss the political situation – Kralle sees no reason to kowtow to Shale’s noble folk.
9th Day of Eternal Sun, 3122
A valley farmer arrives in town, desperate for aid. The Rangers learn that Gunther and his minions have been going from farm to farm “offering” work. The farmer’s family were taken and he was left for dead. The farmer suspects that Gunther’s recruitment is moving steadily south-ward.
A really enjoyable session that covered a lot of ground. It was great beginning to see the many threads of Shale’s intrigues beginning to weave into a narrative as the players started putting things together. Seems like everyone has secrets! The roleplaying level was again excellent, with several scenes instigated entirely through hindrances. Fantastic!
Things To Ponder
What upcoming events are Jovander and Mr. Jones so concerned about?
Why did Lady Winter need those reagents?
Gunther Breck is rounding up people – but where do they go and to what end?
What was the purpose of Brandon’s research?
Why was Lord Layshona so scared of the Erimar delegation?