Fólkvangr Biðr

Session Four
Losing Luck and Gaining Admiration

Stepping into the dark light of The Solent, each small lantern shaped like an elaborate wrought octopus holding delicate candles, the party are met by the sight of a raucous evening. Natali bought the group drinks (as usual), and they took to a table to watch the show. Unveiling herself, a very beautiful dancer takes to the stage as the centrepiece attraction. Her dancing is both astonishing and creative, a swirling miracle of lights and purple as her dress flows, with her legs and arms framing shapes and gestures that delight the heart. Natali spares a moment to try and talk to her lady in red, only to find her a lot older than anticipated. The elderly woman asks her if she has seen her son Nathaniel, who she claims had gone off to join one of the local gangs but had never returned. Natali promises she will keep an eye out for him, just in case.

The group then splits; half of Aster to the gambling tables in the back room, and half to talk to the dancer as she finishes her set. Approaching the lady at the bar, she seems so much colder than she did onstage – snooty, concerned only with status and not those she deems beneath her. Extracting the bare minimum from her, in that she dances here only for her enjoyment whilst she otherwise prefers avoiding the lower city, she says that MacClaigh employs her merely out of her own choice and her benevolence to him.

In the gambling room, Shilea and Natali take to one of the card tables and scour the room. As well as the heavy Brass Growler presence back in the main hall, they also spy the bald Growler who had assaulted the shop keeper in the morning.

After winning a few games and having Karolina join them on the fun, Natali catches his eye and he immediately throws another player out of the game to seat himself. The antagonising between the two goes on for a while before it’s obvious he does not have the upper hand, despite his confidence and semi-concealed secret knowledge that something is going on. Not able to guess what is going on and not wanting to lose any more money, Natali and Karolina accuse him of cheating, at which he gets affronted. At the peak of his anger, he tells them both that it’s MacClaigh’s fault and not anything to do with the Growlers. Shilea and Natali both stand and join him in confronting the owner of the bar.

Meanwhile, Patience has been patiently listening in on Grannd McClaigh‘s hosting skills; he seems to have found himself in the middle of several people all laughing exaggeratedly at what aren’t exactly good jokes. Seems the man loves talking gossip about everyone and anyone who attends the establishment he runs, and loves attracting exorbitant attention from others. Patience doesn’t really get it.

As the party regroups to confront the manager of mischief, he seems to already know a little of them, though not their reasons for being here – so strange a group of travelling Praetorian Guard would be to come this far. Natali and Karolina enlighten him quickly, to which he really is surprised. So surprised are the gathered crowd, also, that one of the people there breaks away and bolts from The Solent without a second breath. MacClaigh gives them little help, as he only claims to know tidbits; no Dunlorian soldiers in the city of late, and that if one were to look for help on the Dunlorian side they would go to the nearby Kingdom of Ethele. The very same Patience heard whispers of witch-burning and dragons of. MacClaigh also tells them that The Solent’s gambling room isn’t rigged in the slightest – they can even check themselves if they should wish. With little else to go on, they leave The Solent and head to the Seamstress’ guild to collect on their next source of information.

Back at the Broken Drum, young Runesa awakens in her bed. Confused at the lack of her companions, she gets up and heads downstairs. At the bar, Maartje Klein is talking to a tall, muscular troll with a wide-brimmed hat and a cigar held between his lips. Maartje calls her over as ‘the unconscious girl’, and the troll looks her over. Not very dead indeed, despite the reports he had been hearing. He advises her to keep herself out of trouble, or at least if she gets into trouble, not to let herself be carried around like some ritual sacrifice. Ruensa quips at him as he leaves, and asks Maartje where she is and where her friends have gone. She gets pointed towards ‘the marketplace’ with some vague directions from a very drunk Finn Lavlin, and herself rushes off into the night to find them.

The rest of Aster show up to Madame Zessora, seeking payment for their ‘mission’. She is found in her office, one of her girls sat to one side with bruises lining her ribs. None of the party comment on it, except wondering if she should be in the room. Zessora says she will be good, and the woman flinches in her silence. The madame gives the party their due; there are no Dunlorian armies sneaking in and about Marren’s Eve with any captive, but there is a particular diplomat staying at the courtesy of House Eszter. And in a time of abstaining from involvement in the war, that is a very unusual thing.
As the party leave, Shilea and Patience express their distaste at dealing with Zessora given how poorly she treats those that work for her.

Reaching the Broken Drum for the night, they find Runesa missing, lost to the city. Flying into a panic and questioning a still partially drunken Finn about where she has gone. He feels horribly guilty and tells them he thinks she went to the marketplace based on his direction. Nhean Mirza overhears this, and with a keenly worried expression tells them to come with him. He offers to help find Runesa, and the group hurries to the commoner’s market.

Nhean says he is concerned she may have been taken by someone he knows, vaguely – the woman in the red cloak that Natali first approached at the Guise of Nature performance. When pressed for why, he simply says he knows she is a dangerous woman and that she is mildly obsessed with him. Upon reaching the square, he immediately asks the nearest red cloaked person (one of the Widows of Eve) – a young man – a series of questions as the others search. Karolina coaxes a nearby stray dog into sniffing Runesa’s travelling cloak, but it’s only response is looking up to the towering black peak of Sandorne Keep.

With not much luck at the market, Nhean grimly says he will take them to someone who might be able to help, though it may cost him greatly. When asked why he is so eager to help the group, he simply replies that he knows how the people of this city suffer every day and aims to help any whom he can. Sliding through narrow back passage ways, past open street fires and beggars who reach out to Nhean with smiles, he leads you all to a house on the edge of the Noble Quarter. Hopping over a finely built back wall into a pristine and delicate garden, you all step quietly up to the back door. Upon knocking, a maid blearily asks what the hell you want, until she sees Nhean and pauses to go tell the master of the house. When you are let in to a warm household, the maid named Maria hurrying to light a fire and make tea despite obviously just having woken up. They are greeted with the sight of Rashan Asfour. He seems unwilling to help at first despite consistently petitioning Nhean to ‘accept his previous offer’, which your friend seems unable to do. But between Mirza and Shilea, they manage to ask Rashan to mobilize some of the forces of the Brass Growlers working for him, presumably at some price (as if Shilea’s undivided attention is not enough for him, pfff). He orders for some of the men to be sent for at once, Maria rattlng her unfinished tea tray in distress, and says he will send a raven for them during the night if he finds anything.

Heading home, finally, for the night, Fireteam Aster set up watches so that some of them at least may be awake if a raven should come. One does not, and they simply talk their way through the night. In the morning, however, a tap at the window delivers a scroll from N.M., saying Runesa is still missing but something…else came up, instead. Asking Finn for directions to where Nhean is staying, and he is only happy to help after feeling terrible for Runesa leaving unaided.

Hurrying to his boarding rooms, they are greeted with the sound of female shouting – though it is only faintly familiar. Inside, barging into the tiny cluttered space Nhean is renting, they find someone Fireteam Aster recognise…Mireille Delór, a swordsman from Fireteam Daphne. Heavily injured and in a furious outrage, she quickly accuses Aster of abandoning the company to die, recounting how so many of their brethren are now laying dead in the dirt. Asking where Carys is, she is distraught to the point of tears at hearing how she has also fallen, questioning what all this is for now that their Captain is gone…

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Session Three
Sleepless Nights in Scos

Upon waking the next day, some more rested than others, Fireteam Aster hear a commotion out in the street. The fresh morning disturbance does nothing to wake Runesa from her slumber, however she does feel slightly less warm to the touch and simply seems to be sleeping soundly. Rushing to the window, they see a man thrown through a glass storefront from within and out into the cobbled street. Passers by don’t seem to care, as if it is an everyday occurrence, but someone climbs out of the shop after him – a huge, thug-like man – and starts hitting him repeatedly in the face. Jumping into action, each member of Aster takes off to stop the fight (some through windows, others the stairs).

After a little wrestling with both gents, they convince the thug to step off the shop owner. He threatens the group and says he’ll come back for the rest of his money later. They notice that despite his tatty appearance, his shoes and a clean pin he wears on his ratty lapel stand out – a small twisted piece of brass. It pricks Karolina on the hand just before he took off down a dark alley. The shop owner doesn’t thank them, pushing Karolina away and saying that this only makes more trouble for him. He owes the Brass Growlers protection money, and that beating might have covered it.

Leaving the shop behind, Aster consult a map over breakfast with Finn, deciding where best to look for information first; Karolina and Natali decide one of the brothel chain The Seamstress’ Guild might be a good start, whilst Shilea and Patience decide to go with Finn to the trader’s hall – Shilea reasoning they might find good information and, if not, important things to buy.

Karolina and Natali arrive at the Guild – a building with a terraced housefront and rising stacks upon stacks built on behind it rising above the rest of the houses. The tiled interior isn’t bad (classic Victorian style) and a whole mixture of clientele sit on sofas and chairs, adorned by beautiful men and women. The prostitutes here all wear metal rings on one of their wrists, noticeable as a brand mark, but all seem content enough. Quickly, a woman in dark leather heels stalks over to them, flashing her cigarette in their vague direction. The madame of the house, Zessora, asks them what they might be here for – man, woman, or more? Whilst Natali says, maybe later, they both enquire as to something more; information, if she has it. Taking a walk with the two, she says she might have some on any Dunlorian activity in the region, but needs a favour first (as everything has its price). She wants the two to act as spies at a competitor operation, The Hidden Depths, as the people there know all of her people, or any of her other contacts she could ask to do this. The two gladly accept such a task, and decide to mill around town for a little while until the Depths open.

Back with Finn, Patience and Shilea are introduced to the hectic wonder that is the Trade Hall of Shaor Scos. Thousands of feet across, the huge iron and glass building covers all the deals – legal and less so – in Marren’s Eve. Finn tells them he has a few business meetings, pulling his cart into an unoccupied spot in the back near a warm lantern, and that he must bid them adieu for now. He does, however, leave them with one warning – if they see a large, important-looking troll with a cigar, they should run and go straight back to the Drum. When they ask, he says he does not know much of him except he is one of the chief Witchhunters – the city’s detective police force. Though not hunting for actual witches, he is very much a danger to them and their endeavours. The ladies nod and decide to split up to search the hall proper.

Patience overhears several conversations, picking things out of the busy hubbub and stalls that might be of importance; there’s some kind of illness in the Kingdom of Dackary, they’re hunting and burning actual witches in the Kingdom of Ethele (oh, plus the king there apparently has a dragon).

Shilea, meanwhile, is at glorious distraction as she moves down the aisles – caught up in the whirlwind of exotic and beautiful items on display. Though she catches the eye of an intimidating man in a black coat surrounded by guards (patently not a troll), she lingers over some intricately designed clockwork music boxes, and he approaches her. After nervously trying to talk to her, they discuss some of the wonders of the marketplace together and he is markedly polite despite his air of nobility. Shilea notes he wears a pair of sparkling brass cufflinks on his fur-lined coat, and that he speaks with poor Opanan (though seems to know a little of many languages). After a little time spent chatting, he takes leave of her as his guards seem to get antsy, introducing himself as Rashan Asfour ((What’s an Asfour?)). Shilea gives him a short bow as he leaves, under the impression that he is rather taken her.

Back in the rest of the city, Natali and Karolina go to check on Runesa (who has been crying softly in her sleep), and ask the shop keeper from earlier where the Growlers can be found. He begrudgingly tells them that though it isn’t their base, The Solent is where they tend to ‘hang out’ – but it isn’t open at this time of day. Still, they decide to go and check it out before the evening. The Solent is hidden beneath a glassware store (as Glassware is a speciality of Shaor Scos) that proudly displays a huge part of a shipwreck atop the roof, and the two bimble their way through saying they need to talk to one of the staff – John Smith in the blue shirt. When they get in, The Solent is a huge underground space, with two bars and a main platform for performances, decorated in a seafaring theme with a huge glass tentacle chandelier as the centrepiece.

the_solent_maybe.jpg

Once they are finished, they head in the direction of the Depths, a fancy and ‘trendy’ new whorehouse opened closer to the centre of the Eve, decorated out in a theme less educated people would call ‘exotic’. They meet with Emmyth, a quiet prostitute from the Seamstress’ that gives them the money they need for the evening. Karolina and Natali enquire about the bands on his wrists, and he states he is (like the rest of them) indentured and cannot leave Zessora’s service, nomatter how unpleasantly she treats them. But, he says, it is better than many other places in Marren’s Eve, and so is content for now.
After he takes his leave, the pair step up into the Hidden Depths and immediately demanding a menu from the maître d’, they spend a little time deliberating over who to spend time with…

At the same time, Patience and Shilea stop by to check out the commoner’s market, in the shadow of the intimidating black-stone Sandorne Keep. Patience spends her time discussing the cuts of meat and food on display into Karolina’s ear (that she had kept in case there was trouble), before catching sight of a small old lady near a fountain in the middle of the square. The old woman is calling out to passers-by, loudly warning them of the dangers of the Night Walker and decrying King Rhikon, but she seems to be drawing the wrong kind of attention – that of the city guard. Before she can be snatched away by them, Patience bundles her into a side street with promises that she will listen. The woman tells her how the King has known about the threat of the Night Walker (distinctly different from the Greyhold Mother, who is regarded as benign in this Kingdom), the beast that steals and consumes people and has done for years, but has done nothing to stop it. Patience asks for more, and the woman tells her to find the Widows of Eve, as they are the people left behind from tragedy. Patience promises she will look into it.

Back at the brothel, Natali spends her time getting to know Ezechiel in a carnal (but slightly over-hyped) fashion, whilst Karolina breaks in to the office at the top of the building and steals some important-looking documents; a roster of all the staff and some important-looking accounts. Then, she heads back to meet Amata, with whom she spends the rest of the time pleasantly chatting and offering backrubs. Both women discuss the Depths with their partners for the evening, and both partners imply that the owner of the Depths is a crooked old man who spends more time blowing his money at The Solent than anything else to care about the business. Amata suspects he must be getting money from somewhere, even if the Depths is so popular.

Finally, once everyone is done having fun, Fireteam Aster reassembles back at the Drum. They tell one another briefly what they have found, before Patience suggests visiting The Solent as the final thing this evening (on Finn’s recommendation). The group set off to go start trouble investigate properly, with the night leaving off as they arrive, Natali spotting a woman in a red robe just ahead of them, entering the glassware shop…

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Session Two
Echoes Over Black Bridges

The party, having decided to leave town with Finn in order to make safer progress into the Doomholds than they might make by themselves, move away from Lullin and start up the mountain road. Not too treacherous at first, they climb easily onto the track – only to stop when they hear the patter of paws following them from the town behind. They turn to see Jasper, one of Runesa’s stray dog companions, come bounding towards them. She greets him excitedly and rubs his fur – though still consistently ignores the rest of the group. Eager to keep moving (as Finn tells them it’s a day’s walk to Marren’s Eve, the capital of the Gateway to the Doomholds – Shaor Scos), the group continues. He tells them stories of local folklore; some of which is greatly exaggerated, some of which is about the Low Gods of the area, and some of which relates to cautionary tales of a figure called the Greyhold Mother. He believes in none of these except the wildest and most ridiculous ((50ft wolves stalking the mountains waiting to eat him)).

Several things happen as they travel up the ever-steepening road. Amid fervent conversation about how to get into the city of Marren’s Eve, and what tact to take, Aster hear Runesa cry out from the back of the pack – kneeling and clutching at one of her hands. Jasper stares at her expectantly, tense (but not aggressive), as though he may have just bitten her by accident. Rushing over, Finn flakes out at seeing blood and starts having a small panic to himself, whilst Runesa tells them not to worry about her. She slumps on Karolina’s shoulder, quickly becoming warm to the touch and slipping into sleepiness. Karolina picks her up and puts her safely in the back of Finn’s cart, before they move on and leave a curious Jasper looking after them. When Natali checks on her, she hears Runesa mumbling a passage of something she cannot hear clearly apart from odd words, said over and over and over.

Passing by a group of miners headed to or from Lullin, the party stops when they come across a Dunlorian carriage – marked with the crest of the civil servantry of the kingdom (as Natali recognises). A rain troll with gold-rimmed glasses sits out of one door, inspecting the guards accompanying him as they try to unstick one of the carriage’s wheels from a rut in the ground. The nicely-dressed troll smiles jovially at them as they approach, so the group offer to help get the carriage moving again. Though his guards seem agitated, he welcomes any assistance with a smile, and Aster successfully lift his cart from the rocky entrapment. Laughing, and calling his guards incompetent, the man introduces himself as Tauvash Toe-Rash of Dunlor, perhaps some kind of diplomat or envoy, and bids them adieu. Finn doesn’t like the idea of associating with what Aster usually consider ‘the enemy’, and appears to get a little jealous that they so readily would use Tauvash as a pawn for help should they need it, over himself.

As they move off from where they had stopped to help Tauvash, Patience stoops down to the ground (which is now steadily changing in form as they climb higher and higher) as she is overcome with a sense that she has been here before. Finn tells them that many thousands of years ago, the rock on which the kingdom of Shaor Scos is built (a black, flint-like substance) used to be warm to the touch, melting the snow that fell on it. Though it no longer radiates heat, it still has a distinctive look and is famously recognisable. When Patience touches her hand to a piece of this rock, still jutting from the mountain, she is surprised to feel that it is hot to her touch, just for a second. As her attention is elsewhere, she doesn’t notice the eagle-eyed ((hehe)) creature watching both her and the cart from above, and a short fight with a mountain Griffon ensues. Finn hides under his cart, Natali electrocutes it and Shilea twists its limbs off.

Finally, after many hours of climbing into snowfall, the group reach a long bridge over a dark, seemingly-bottomless chasm. There is just about enough room for one cart to pass by itself, and the group goes carefully across – thankfully, as the road is well-travelled, this bridge is well-maintained and sturdy. Some of the party take this chance to look around, taking in the grand and oppressive presence of the surrounding mountains, and some catch glimpses of what look like two small yellow eyes looking up at them from within the darkness below.

Safely reaching the tunnel carved into the mountain on the other side, Aster makes smalltalk whilst Grace goes to the bathroom they wander through the underbelly of the mountainside, discussing where they had travelled in their lives and what they had seen. Finn seems to listen in only somewhat, but politely keeps out of the conversation that isn’t his. Eventually, they all emerge into an open plateau – the grand, black city of Marren’s Eve on the hilltop before them. Aster decides it is best not to lie to the guards (decided on information given by Finn at the time about Shaor Scos’ political state at the moment) on the gatehouse, and they press on into the stream of travellers and traders thronging on the road leading up to the capital. At the gate, before any of Aster are even questioned, Finn shows his papers to the gatekeepers, and passes over a small purse. Though questioned by Aster, he refuses to say how much he paid, embarrassed. Aster thank him for his kindness.

As they pass under the great reinforced archway at the mouth of Eve, Fireteam Aster arrive cloaked and hooded against the cold mist permeating this foreign city. Finn Lavlin tries to imply a goodbye to them, as they have stalwartly refused to tell him of their business here, but the group ask him for one more favour; a map. He tells them of some of the places he knows here (having visited many a year before) and says he will be staying in The Broken Drum inn; it can’t be beaten. As this is the best recommendation they’ve had all day, Aster decide to join him there. Natali has a quiet word with Finn, in which he once again just double checks they aren’t here to assassinate someone (/get him involved in spooky shit he isn’t willing to get into) and she reassures him.

Next, our heroines enter that nexus of iniquity, The Broken Drum. After striking a hard bargain with the landlady, the cunning Maartje, for a room, Karolina carries an unconscious Runesa upstairs and puts her comfortably in a bed for the night, checking her fever is no higher. The carrying of the limp woman draws many stares, but attention is quickly drawn to the stage as the main act of the night begins. Four men take to the stage – one in white cloak and adorned with a strange, stone-like shirt adornment, one with a string instrument bigger than himself, one taking to a piano and one with a beautifully intricate brass instrument, valves and pistons abound. There is a tension in the air as the crowd wait with bated breath, a vibrating energy about them as if a fight may break out or someone might scream. Then, the music begins to play; it is like nothing Aster has ever heard before. Patience’s mouth falls open. The lead singer appears to gesture and wink at several members of the audience, Natali included. People in the crowd swoon, clap, try and join the singing and look on in awe as the smooth, passionate notes roll over them. Some even start to dance.

When that song, and the one after, ends, the lead singer dismounts the stage, wiping his sweat from his forehead and touching audience members casually (as if a good friend). Many people talk to him as he makes his way to the bar – a place which Karolina also finds herself as she takes money from Natali in order to buy a round for the group. Shilea, having keen-eyed the man (seeing a scene in which he seemed to break down crying in front of a very dissimilar from him but pretty woman, who called him her brother and tried to console him), asks Finn for his thoughts. Finn isn’t unimpressed, but has seen a Guise of Nature concert before many times. He also isn’t one for that much flash, but doesn’t seem to think Nhean is a bad guy. Karolina chats pleasantly to him at the bar, with Mirza quickly pointing out her and her compatriots are all in Opanan armour (Finn quickly headdesks). He doesn’t seem to mind though, and wishes that they enjoy the rest of the concert and their evening.

Natali approaches a woman at the bar clad in a red robe, who has been sitting watching the stage and seemingly agitated/interested in the performance. She quickly strikes up a conversation, but isn’t able to get much from the coy and mysterious lady. She seems intrigued by her company though, answering a little to Natali’s questions (particularly pointed ones regarding why Nhean seems to avoid her in a crowd) but quickly choosing to sweep away into the night, the last thing remaining of her being the flash of her beautiful face Natali catches in the candlelight.

Patience also chooses to briefly talk to the player of the strange brass instrument – he introduces himself as Arjen, and thanks her for her compliments about his music. He doesn’t seem to have much time to talk about the instrument now, though he does tell her he isn’t sure where it’s from, but possibly Oryn-ja. Following this light introduction, the party proceeds to recover mood together by drinking and enjoying themselves into the night. Responsibly, or irresponsibly? Who knows (Next Session knows)?

In the night, Patience dreams of two voices (a man and a woman) trying to convince her to take action, with the male voice seductively calling her to an action she knows is wrong. Shilea dreams of an all-white man with a rusted crown hovering in mid-air, seemingly unable to breathe amongst the void, before he looks at her and is promptly smothered by two giant, all-encompassing hands. Natali dreams of her mother softly touching at her hair, before opening her eyes in the dream to see a familiar face petting her – who upon realises she is being watched, panics and makes to strangle Nat in her sleep. Natali awakes to find her cloak accidentally wrapped too close to her neck.

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Session One
Things in the Woods

The party found themselves left behind on a desolate battlefield by their Captain, Carys Reeves, now deceased. She had dragged them far past the Avedinian battle lines, having overheard that Prince Julien of Avedine had been captured whilst fighting and fearing for his life. She did not mention where she thought they had taken him, who had told her this, or whether this person had actively instructed her to go after him. All you know is she was heading north-west across Dunlor-occupied territory, sacrificing what you think could be most of Tuesday Company along the way.

Finding Cary’s compass on her body as she collapses in the mud, the group say s few words over her as Karolina clutches at her, emotional. When they make a move to leave, Karolina picks up the captain’s body and hauls her over her shoulder. Using the thick fog to their advantage, Fireteam Aster continue on the Captain’s path until they reach the edge of the Holdwoods, the Doomhold mountains stretching off into the distance. They decide to bury Carys as a last respect to her.

As the rest of Aster help dig the hole and lower her into the ground, two of the party keep watch for any Dunlorian soldiers. Shilea looks out into the woods, eyes flickering amongst the darkness, before she spots something. The eyes of a mysterious figure look back at her through the black, with a piercing gaze, before she blinks and it is gone. Some of the party do not take her seriously, but it’s agreed that they shouldn’t dawdle in burying Carys. After saying a prayer to the High God and saying their goodbyes, Aster heads to stalk the nearby road as a guide to their destination.

After passing some guards heading back the way they came from what a stone signpost outlines as the track to Thyre, Aster starts the steeper incline up a hill. Runesa hears wolves howling in the distance, and despite the complaints of her companions, responds in kind. The sound ceases, then returns a greeting.

Upon cresting a particularly large cliff, the group beds down in the bushes and looks down over a rather desolate-looking mining town; Lullin. The place is littered with mist and lit by red lanterns, and guards seem to fill the place from all angles. As they discuss their approach, Patience and Shilea hear what sounds like grumbling off to their left, and warn the group. They decide to go investigate – and after some careful (and not so careful) sneaking, they meet a man called Finn Lavlin. He cowers immediately as he is ‘confronted’ by Patience, but gets angry as Shilea’s tail steals his sword. After the rest of Aster appears, the frightened man knows he has met his match. The group manage to convince him that they should help one another to get into the town, as he knows it (and the mountain roads beyond) well, and they can provide some cover for him. With little other choice, he accepts.

Shilea and Runesa both receive visions of Finn when they first meet him – the first being of Finn marvelling under a beautiful waterfall somewhere far away, allowing the water to wash over him with utter joy. The second, a vision of Finn drunk till half-dead in a bar with unusual music playing in the background, swindling money whilst gambling and subsequently getting beaten up by his opponents.

As it turns out, the journey into and through Lullin goes mostly well. Karolina and Natali confront some asshole Dunlorian soldiers who, luckily, are too drunk in their off-duty state to get into a proper fight, and they save a local pregnant woman who then hurries away (and totally isn’t important, sure). Runesa is followed around town by a group of stray dogs, who she calls Jasper, Carrie and Susie respectively. The dogs never follow her past the edge of town, but enjoy licking at her hands and look at her as if waiting for instructions – they never bother with the rest of the party.

Shilea is chosen as the quiestest of the group to join Finn in staying in the The Dishonest Queen inn overnight, as part of the “cover” story. She agrees, and whilst the two are having a drink he tries to gently probe as to Aster’s purpose. She easily rebuffs him, however, and keeps quiet as they are approached by a young lad from a rough looking group of kids across the room. Finn ignores him as he teases him about his present company, until Shilea tells him politely to fukk off. Finn tells her that he’s a member of a local crappy gang called The Stingers, and that he apologises his reputation might be drawing too much attention. The two retire for the night in awkward silence (entirely on Finn’s part).

The rest of the group make camp just outside the north-western end of town, under the watchful eye of two Dunlorian guards. Taking it in shifts, Patience and Natali do not discuss much, both thinking on the Captain’s death. Karolina and Runesa, on the other hand, both discuss their feelings and the day’s events – particularly the badass standing up against the soldiers bullying the pregnant woman (#WholesomeWatchIsWholesome).

Both parties get glimpses of the Mysterious Figure in the Woods watching them again, but she does not approach them nor stay longer than a second. Runesa hears howling once again from the woods, closer this time, and responds again.

In the morning, Finn comes to collect his trader’s wagon and the rest of the group, and the two guards they must walk past successfully identify him as ‘The Coward of Lullin’. Unappreciative of this, he gathers his things quickly, and Fireteam Aster head onwards up the mountain pass, towards the Kingdom of Shaor Scos, and it’s capital of Marrin’s Eve.

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5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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