Monday, June 10, 2013

037 - A narrative crossroad into the Palantir Campaign

This session report summarizes the knowledge acquired by the company members on their next step: getting the Palantirs from a very powerful tribe of Lossoth hunters/guardians. The coming adventure is a sandbox: It should be a mixture of many play style, but I didn't plan for the player to solve the problem in any particular way. I cannot guarantee that it can be achieved for any possible course of action. We will figure this out as the campaign plays itself out...

Gwirith 26 FA 16 (April), Bay of Forochel

"Something happened while the Gondorians were hunting walruses. Something bad. This place is evil, and the crew is not willing to risk their souls for 2 celebins a day.", Haram complained out loud to Captain Vacros on the quarter deck of the Raven. Thannolf's attention was drawn by the shouts.  He worked as part of the crew since Tharbad, and had the chance to keep track of the ship's attitude towards the voyage north. He was worried with this turn of event. 

A few minutes later, Vacros and Thannolf were discussing the day's events. The two men were standing beside the two huge walrus carcasses. Vacros wondered aloud whether there was any chance that the carcasses could spring back to life. Thannolf tried to be reassuring, but neither men were satisfied.

"The men witnessed three burst of green energy, or wraiths, coming out of one of the chainmail knights". Vacros expressed to the company the concerns of the crew, and their wavering support for the expedition. Galdor and Kasper denied any knowledge about the green manifestations that took place during the combat. Thannolf further interrogated [ Detect Lies on both, failed on Kasper.] [+] the knights and couldn't find any evidence that they knew anything about it.  

Vacros also explained to Arnadil that he was concerned that there would be no opportunities to salvage scrap metal, nor find clients for their ware.

Consequences :

  • The crews and Vacros' attitude to the Company is decreased to reflect the perceive threat on their lives and the poor commercial prospect of the expedition. The sailors are now vaguely debating about leaving Forochel and cutting short the contract.
  • Since the company keeps on getting help from an unknown and mysterious source of help: orcs/trolls falling asleep, trolls walking pass them, bursts of wraith terrorizing their foes, the company members now collectively suffer from a minor delusion that they are helped supernatural forces when they get in trouble. This means that the company will not shy away from stating this fact out loud, and it will make you look like you have partially lost your marbles. 

Gwirith 26th, FA 16, Forochel, off the shores of Hlechui (Fishermen village)

The Raven arrived near the shores of Hlechui in the last lights of the 26th. Reitu, the hunter from Talta and their guide into Forochel, got off the Raven and made contact with the Chieftain to announce the company's arrival on the following morning. 

Kasper had a sleepless night as a number of tornadoes kept on roaring on shore. Through their roars, he thought that he could hear them calling his name [ Incurring 2 FP of sleep deprivation.] [+]. With anticipation, Chief Kirken received the company in the village on the following morning. He offered them a ceremonial broth and an audience in his hut. The company offered to him the two walruses as a gift and told him about their hunting adventure. Kirken was most grateful and impressed by the donation. He looked upon the 10 walruses heads and told them that they would have to talk to Taaso the Elder once the audience over.

The company got from Kirken that the Southron stones were at the heart of tensions within the Lossoth nation. The Lossoth of Mulkan, a most powerful tribe, were the custodians of the stones and drew from the stones the power to control a powerful spirit called Shapithui. A winter drake hatchling called Farathui was now raiding Forochel to appropriate the stones. The devastation left behind by the Drake's raids, and the looming threat of Shapithui had driven the Eastern tribes to demand that the stones be disposed of. Mulkan firmly refused to this request. Chief Kirken showed sympathy to the company's mission to take the stones back to the south, but caution against the means to accomplish this as Mulkan is a very powerful village. Without the Stones, there is a good chance that Shapithui will be turned loose and exact a terrible revenge on the Lossoth people in retribution for centuries of servitude...

The company then met with Elder Taaso. Taaso explained to them that in the Lossoth Lore, amulets carved from the tusk of the same walrus binds the souls of tribe member and allow them to provide mutual protection against demons. Without an amulet, the living must face demons on their own when the terror descends from the highlands. Tasso also explained that amulets embedded in totems were also used to ward off the tribe's demons. He pointed out at the dozen of totems scattered around the village. The company was most interested on possibly exploiting this vulnerability to strip Mulkan from its defense if the need arises.

Taaso also told them that there was TWO stones, a small one (40 lb) and a large one (900lb). Both came from the Southron King and were recovered from the sea a thousand years ago. Arnadil and Araliniel figured out that the Masterstone of Weathertop (Amon Sul) must be the large stone. This will cause a logistic problem to simply get this stone back on the Raven. Tasso told the company that both stones were easy to access, in a shrine in the village, but that taking them forcibly from a tribe tasked to keep a lid on the Gate of Baatan (an open gate to the underdeep), was simply not possible without a large armed force. Taaso, in fact, didn't advocate for a violent solution: the Western tribe folks are impossible to deal with, but they are not bad people.

Much attention was paid in the nature of Shapithui. This spirit is allegedly a giant snow spirit which travels through ice and crush its enemies by smothering them under ice and rubble. Taaso explained that the spirit's heart contained the amulet of the tribe of Elder Tiani, and that this amulet was the basis for the spirit's control.  The company was most interested in the possibility to swap the amulet to one of theirs to take control of the spirit. They made a case to Taaso to help them take control of Shapithui. Taaso, very reluctantly and probably out of fear of letting Shapithui exact its revenge unchecked, agreed that he would step in if the company was capable to remove Tiani's amulet from the heart of the snow spirit.

A last alternative was presented, which is to appropriate glass shards from the Imenstone. These shards allow their owner to pass into the world of shadows. Tasso, however, cautioned that becoming a shadow was a very dangerous option and that most people attempting the feat do not come back to the world of the living. Nobody in the company showed much enthusiasm at this possibility.

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