Gaia: Shadows and Light

The Story So Far...

Axel Doth is a noble son of Haufman. After a few days of travel and hunting, he has returned to his family holding where his older brother has news for him. The two visiting foreigners have been asked to provide some impartial dispute resolution, and Axel has been given the task of being their local guide and interpreter.

Smooth Goodrich has come a long way from Phaion in search of both martial secrets and the strength to overcome the sort of mistakes that originally caused her to flee her home. Nearby, a band of infamous technicians might be willing to teach her some ki techniques, but for now, some food and shelter from the freezing snow is in order.

Miksa Hara hasn’t stopped running for months. Only the snows of Hendell and now Haufman have managed to slow him down. Either Fate or Fortune led him to lift the [[:Fancy Cloak]], and perhaps only his nephillic soul keeps those who might desire it from finding him. Trusting in few, he keeps moving, doing what he can keep above water.

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Session 1
Mediation in Haufman

In Hildesthein, the PCs are asked to investigate and mediate the allegation that the Frey Family has failed to pay proper tribute to the Fehu, goddess of Prosperity and Fortune, and thus causing an increase in natural disasters, attacks from creatures in the mountains, and a loss of wealth among the merchant families.

House Gjevik has claimed the right, as laid out in the holy texts, to carry out retribution upon house Frey by executing the heads of the family. House Frey says that they have paid tribute at their family shrines, instead of the public shrine used by the merchant council, and are thus innocent. Most of the Frey family has gone into hiding, while Erling Frey keeps a retinue of guards in defiance of Igar Gjevik.

House Gjevik is both rich and powerful, but smaller than house Frey. House Frey is well liked in Haufman, and any further disruption caused by such a dispute will cause much commerce to cease, and in Haufman, that can mean the death of people who rely on the transportation of important goods through the Peak of the World.

The merchant council is offering 50 silver coins to each of the PCs to find out whether the Frey family has, in fact, failed to pay tribute to Fehu, and their advice on a suitable punishment will be strongly considered.

The PCs began their investigation by interviewing both Erling and Igar, getting the information above. Next, they began the 2-day journey through the mountains to the village where the two families live. Halfway there, they found out that someone had crept up to their camp and spied on them in the night. They followed the tracks and were confronted by some sort of shady warriors from Goldar. They left without incident. The next night, Miksa set a simple warning alarm, which was tripped by one of the Goldarians. A fight ensued where one warrior was stabbed by Miksa in the back and then immolated by Smooth’s Onibe – Will O’ the Wisp technique. The other was thoroughly stunned by a electrical discharge produced by Axel.

Upon interrogating the surviving warrior, they learned that the Goldarians were hired by an unknown Hauf to kidnap 4 members of the Frey family and hold them for a week until further instructed.

The plan for now is to rescue the imprisoned members of the Frey Family.

Loot:

  • Miksa stole a fairly valuable golden necklace from Boden, the head of the merchant council.
    The following was recovered from the Goldarian mercenaries:
  • 1 bow
  • 20 arrows
  • 1 crossbow
  • 20 bolts
  • 2 bastard swords
  • 2 daggers
  • 1 suit of fur armor.
  • 13 silver coins

Experience Points: 35 total

  • Combat: 3 xp
  • 5-hour session: 15 xp
  • Good ideas or plans: 2 xp
  • Interpretation: 15 xp
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Session 2
Rescuing the Freys

Journal from Axel Doth:

We got directions from the lone whimpy member who tried running away (smells like crispy penguin). We left my dogs to guard him, and we climbed mountain easily because I noone knows how to travel like me. Long walk and many trees later, we come across some more whimpy people at night.

Sneaky mika…miska…Miksa…shrug…sneaky person goes around and tries to poke people in back again. They see me and cower in fear as I charge in. Then, sneaky tries to push guy off cliff. I try helping by burning his feet…but he doesn’t fall. Pity, cause these guys are whimpy. Then, sneaky guy just runs around people and looks in tent while smooth swings her silly weapon around like a crazy person.

Funny things happen. Weird bunny-man…man-rabbits…crazy-rabbit-things start doing weird things. They didn’t do much. They just blew cold air and tried biting people, nothing really dangerous….just annoying. I tried seeing what they look like when hit by lightning…but I guess I was so confused by the things that I ended up getting tired and going to sleep underneath a nice little tree.

Anyways, I wake up and everyone is fine and weird creatures gone. Glad I got some rest cause I feel better. I saved the people, and the people were thankful that the Frost Giant had saved them.

I think the crazy bunny creatures would be cool pets if trained. Next time, probably should bring carrots or lettuce for them.

Experience Points: 35 total

  • Combat: 5 xp
  • 3-hour session: 9 xp
  • Difficult Actions: 3 xp
  • Interpretation: 10 xp
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Session 3
Ylfi Frey gets his first level in summoner

After Miksa and Ylfi were separated from the rest of the party, both groups decided to continue north to their destination: the village containing the Frey and Gjevik families.

Upon arriving, Axel went to the Frey village and found out that someone had stolen the family’s tribute. Smooth went to the Gjevik village and tried to ease tensions, to no avail. Together, Axel and Smooth decided a joint Frey-Gjevik guard post over the Frey family temple would be a sign of good faith between the families. Before they were able to see the results of this experiment, Miksa arrived without Ylfi. Ylfi had become sick and wandered off in the night. Miksa tried to follow him, but turned back when he saw strange lights and eyes watching him. Fatigued and cold, Miksa recovered with the village healer while Axel and Bar, a Gjevik guard and tracker went to find Ylfi.

On the way, they were attacked by a hired Frostkolier technician. It was a nasty fight, which was interupted when a fire demon, bound into Ylfi’s body, escaped and the Axel and the Frostkolier teamed up against it. This part of the adventure was mostly narrative, since it only involved Brian. An ice maiden abruptly arrived to protect Ylfi, and without fighting, was able to force the fire demon to leave. She also convinced the Frostkolier to abondon his query. Axel carried Ylfi back to the village.

It turned out Ylfi was a budding summoner, and unwittingly attracted the attention of the Ice maiden, and in turn, a number of other local fey and supernatural beings. It was the true reason behind the recent attacks. It seems that the Gjevik family might have seized upon this opportunity to eliminate their competition. Nothing can be proven, and any further investigation was abandonded, since a peaceful solution seemed to be acheived.

The party received 100 silver. The proposed distribution was 30 each for Miksa and Smooth, and 40 for Axel, since he faced the Frostkolier alone.

Experience Points: 38 total

  • Combat: 3 xp
  • 5-hour session: 15 xp
  • Difficult Actions: 5 xp
  • Interpretation: 15 xp

That brings Jason to 108, and Brian will get only 35, bringing his total to 98, just short of leveling, but I let him level up anyway, so I can avoid a level gap. Now, the question is: Riv missed a game and so will be 38 points short of levelign, not 2. Should Riv level up or should he have to wait another session?

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Session 4
The Hiring Post

The PCs are sent north to Gaïtende Castle with 2 objectives:

1) Find a Summoning trainer for Ylfi and leave him there for training. This he was able to accomplish on his own.

2) Find a Supernatural adviser for Greg Doth.

They took a Sleigh with 2 Fjord horses for the 5-day trek to Haufman’s coastal village of Grigard, where they boarded a longship for the 5-day ocean leg of the journey.

Just before reaching the coast, they were attacked by a hunting Merigrif. Smooth exhausted her Ki launching fire attacks at it. Ylfi summoned a pair of ice fae to ice it’s wings, grounding it. Axel fueled the flames on its burning feathers, and Miksa sunk a poisoned dagger into it, to no avail. Eventually, after nearly killing Axel with a flurry of attacks from its 3 beaks, they were able to convince the beast that this prey wasn’t worth the effort. It flew away.

In Gaïtende Castle the PCs set up at the Blue Lynx Inn and posted a job notice. The next day they had 3 interviewees. (I actually feel a bit bad about railroading this bit. I should have put more than one suitable character in the mix so the players could pick one they liked, but I only thought of one, and it was pretty obvious.) The person they eventually hired was a 2nd level Kushistani wizard, passing on the inexperienced Sylvain wizard and the over-qualified Summoner.

And, as mysteriously as he had disappeared, Flonius reappeared to the group, recounting a tale of wandering the snow and discovering a black fist-sized pearl. A vision from Erebus led him to it, and he was determined to unlock its mysteries. Knowing at least that he was alive and well, they parted ways, and the party prepared to leave Gaïtende Castle and head back home.

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Session 5

This adventure was our first with the Savage worlds rules.

After conducting business at Gaïtende Castle and hiring Fariyad, Miksa discovered that he was being shadowed. Upon returning to the Blue Lynx Inn and informing his fellow adventurers, they chased their pursuer briefly through the alleys and eventually caught her, bringing her back to the warehouse belonging to a friend of Miksa, whom he discovered had recently taken up shop in the town.

After an interrogation, they discovered that she had been hired to track down Fariyad by his parents and bring him back to Kushistan. He had made off with some valuable items and they wanted them, and their son, rerturned safely. She offered to split the payment with them, but they refused, and instead smuggled her back to Haufman’s mainland and left her there.

I was fairly disappointed in the game. I felt like there was a lot of missed opportunities for interesting turns in the story. Partly, I blame the fact that we had switched rules systems, but I’ve been keepint this in mind ever since.

Other notes:

  • I don’t know if I like the SW chase rules. At least, they didn’t work out in our case. Instead of a fixed 5-round chase, I am thinking maybe 3 successes in a row would be needed to outrun or catch someone. Otherwise, I might have to adjust the way we roleplay the chase for it to make more sense.
  • Jason used the “Nemesis” card, and I failed to really turn the only villain in the session into Jason’s nemesis. I am working on a fair resolution to this.
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Session 6
Into Goldar

The PCs have finally left Hildesthein in their quest to learn the mysteries at the Great University of Lucretio. They have traveled nearly two months now, passing through Annar, city of the Frostkoliers at the feet of the Peack of the World; across the border into Goldar and on to the city of Landhoff, where they celebrated Yule with a collection of Gaia’s Lost Souls (various Nephilim); past the Sleepy Lake, where they all witnessed a large inverted castle in the ice, entrancing both Axel and Smooth; and finally en route to Komerfest, they were waylaid.

Before leaving the Peack of the World, they were attacked in the night by 5 Ice Wolves. They had a icy breath attack as well as a chlling bite. Two of the horses were nearly lost, but in the end, everyone survived.

They happened upon a grisly site. A dozen human bodies and 4 horses, slain by arrows, blades and teeth. The human tracks were both shod and bare. The bodies and wagon were looted.

Before they could leave, a patrol of Goldarian soldiers – Clan Yngling demanded they surrender to the law. Smooth recognized a face among the warriors- Dagny, a fellow student of warfare from years previous. They were taken back to Komerfest, where they were briefly held, before Dagny and her brother, a scholar, freed them in order to undertake a quest.

Clan Skuling has been winning raids against the Yngling for generations, growing in power and threatening the peace of Goldar ever since a curse was put upon the chieftain of the Yngling. If the party can find a long-lost Chieftain’s cairn in the Forod forest, they can recover his crown, which must be taken fairly or given freely, and restore it to the current chieftain, ending the curse.

This is where the session ended. We’ll pick it up again in 2 weeks.

XP:

2, plus last week’s 3 brings everyone to 30 total xp. Characters got to spend an advance after this game. I’ll update the character sheets and post links.

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Session 7
The Ancient King's Cairn

The party, having been “released” from a Komerfest jail, journeyed into the Forod Forest in search of the ancient Yngling King’s tomb, and his crown within.

Along the way, they fought an Arctic Chimera. Dagny was severly injured, but survived the fight. they kept the pelt, to be later made into masterwork fur armor.

They found a supernaturally treacherous valley within a dense part of the forest. At the middle of it was the Cairn. Upon approaching it, undead guardians, merged with the roots of a cursed tree attacked. Miksa incanted the ancient Goldarian prayer, and the king was summoned. He stepped forward and a deal was struck with Dagny. She took the crown, as well as its curse, upon herself. Now all she has to do is win a battle against Clan Skuling and the curse will be lifted.

On the way out of the forest, Miksa traded with some friendly clansmen.

Clan Yngling was grateful, but their coffers were nearly empty. The PCs were made honorary Ridders of Clan Yngling.

XP:

3 for completing the arc.

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