Friday, May 15, 2020

The Wandering Misfits, session #3 - "Interlude"

Summary: Report from a mini-session that the Misfits had this previous Monday. Lots of in-game discussions and then a final decision regarding what to do next. A hook has been grasped.


Mondays are painful. This one seemed excruciating since literally everyone turned up to the session tired, sad or a mix of both, so we decided to keep it short, just to lighten up the mood a bit and then collectively call it a day. Think we succeeded, since everybody seemed happy in the end. Lesson of the day kids, RPGs are therapeutic. 

In any case, the majority of this seance was in-game talking, so I’ll keep it rather brief. The group went back to Dr. Brenner’s chalet, intent on bringing him into the grove where they left the beast. Due to the gradually built up distrust, Gybon insisted that if they bring Brenner to the beast and not vice versa, they might prevent him from any kind of funny business, especially since they would insist on him coming without his guards.

"Catskill Mountain House" by Jasper Francis Cropsey 

The party arrives, they start talking. They are initially beating around the bush and not saying that they have the creature alive, but Shine gets irritated and cuts to the chase. 

“We tracked it, we have it, do you want to come see it? We need your help.”

To everyone’s surprise, the good doctor was more than willing to comply, instantly excited about the fact that the beast has been tamed and not dead. They escort him back to the grove.

Que lots of nice roleplaying. Brenner is mind-blown and gets a nerd boner. He explains what he knows about the creature. It is known as Catoblepas, an ancient thing with a peculiar power of “stealing” the consciousness of those it turns to stone. The doctor asks if the party knows who the last victim is, turns out it is the farmer. Everyone is mind-blown, but now it makes sense why the beast understands what they are saying, as it is actually the farmer in the driver seat. Boner intensifies.

Que even more nice roleplaying. The group is wondering if the doctor can help. He doesn’t know right off the bat, but presumes that there might be a ritual or some sort of alchemical process that might help. He will retire to his study and try to search for some answers and tells the group to come by his chalet in the morning. He, again, makes it clear that this thing is old and rare and that everyone is walking on unknown ground now. 

Prior to leaving, the group asks if Brenner or any of his staff had anything to do with this mess. The doctor insists that he is innocent. He leaves, but the group is still somewhat weary of him, but decide to go along with whatever he might aid them with.

Nightfall slowly approaches, so they decide to go to the farm to spend the night, keeping the farmer, whom the group named “Bob” for some reason, in the big ol’ barn. Dark clouds ascended upon the village, turning into a thunderstorm during the night, leaving the characters happy that they have a roof above their heads.

Morning comes and they head towards the chalet, as agreed. They meet Dr. Brenner, who offers them tea and an interesting conversation. The gist of it is a question, whether the characters want to commit to helping the farmer, because everything that is coming will be difficult. It will be a complex search for knowledge, clues and ingredients for an unknown ritual that may or may not work in the end. He is also fairly certain that they will all need to do a fair bit of travelling, probably towards one of the big cities, in search for what they need. 

The characters say “yes” (alas, not to the dress), but are also wondering why Dr. Brenner wants to help. He gives a scientist’s answer, he is in it for the knowledge and, when the ordeal of bringing back mister Kosovel to his real body is successful, he would like to keep Catoblepas for himself. To seal the deal, Brenner gives them a small crate with 2000 silver pieces, as promised at the start of the trek for the beast.

So, the first order of business is getting some ingredients that he doesn’t currently have, but will need in any case as they are essential for the majority of rituals. The ingredient in question is a certain type of salt, known as Rosewater salt, peculiarly found only in this region of the world. As it happens, on the other side of the mountain there is a spa resort of sorts that uses this kind of salt in its baths. He will give the party some silver to buy the salt, enough to get them three full vials, but if the establishment isn’t willing to sell then he hopes the group will find… other means of acquiring it. 

Again, he made it clear that this is not the final step, but only the first and that in the meantime he will go back to his books and dig deeper. It should take the party at least two days to finish the task, so it will give him just enough time to find a hint for the next course of action.
Final thoughts:
And that's a wrap! It was a neat little session, actually giving me a clear picture what the upcoming adventure will be. This was a crossroad of sorts, since the players tossed around a few ideas what to do with Brenner/Catoblepas, so I had a few possible modules lined up that would appropriately correspond to those ideas. If this was a longer session we'd probably delve into the "chosen path" immediately, but since we stopped here it gives me enough time to polish the whole thing. Which is good, I got some ideas along the way.

In the next post I'll cover the player assumptions and how I plan to incorporate them into the world/story. Thanks for reading!

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