Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Hillfolk RPG Session 3 (pt 2): DEVILS IN THE SMOKE

In the second part of Hillfolk Sesson 3 write up we have backstabbing, poisonings, berserk rages and a fantastic reveal at the end, all of which are examples of why I love this game. Any concerns that the theme, Devils in the Smoke, was too specific was to be unfounded as in hindsight it was a great evocative title that brought the mind a shadowy threat to the tribe whilst allowing hints that the devils could be lurking much closer to home.

Scene8 (Dramatic scene called by GaryG; Cast: Patch v Eagleeye; When: After scene6) While the scouting party heads out, Patch leads Eagleeye to the site of the Desertwalker camp proving in fact that he was right about the location. Inexplicably Patch sends Eagleeye ahead knowing that the warrior will be detected by the Desertwalkers. (Outcome: Eagleeye agrees to Patch's guidance and walks into a trap; GaryG gains a token from Dave)

Scene9 (Dramatic scene called by Dave; Cast: Eagleeye v Forest; When: After scene1) Eagleeye identifies the dead warrior as one of the Brother's of Blood, one of the desertwalker tribes. In a petition to Forest Eagleeye asks that he watch out for Strongaram and he keep him from harm. This may be a plee for Forest to intervene should Eagleeye attempt to harm the ex-chieftain or an honest request for help to protect his friend. (Outcome: Forest agrees; Dave gains a token from Trevor)
To Kill or Cure

Scene10 (Dramatic scene called by Andy; Cast: Strongarm v Patch; When: While the scouting party are away) Strongarm asks Patch for the blessing of the gods, but those of the new gods and not the Old. Patch tells him that their is no new god only the Gods. However he does concede to give Strongarm a gift and presents him with a potion to give him strength in the battle ahead. This is a poison, which will give Strongarm strength and courage at first but will eventually kill him. Strongarm drinks from the potion (Outcome: Patch agrees; GaryG recieves a token from Andy)

Scene11 (Procedural scene called by Trevor; Cast: Forest, Eagleeye and Arrow; When: After scene8 As Eagleeye walks towards the Deserwalker camp) Forest while scouting comes across the desertwalker camp but spies Eagleeye inadvertently about to alert the camp guards. Forest uses his knowledge of animal cries to alert Eagle to the danger. The scouts then move away believing that they are un-noticed. Unfortunately as they exit the forest they are attacked by a mounted deserwalker. (Outcome: Success with a negative consequence to Eagleeye; good continuity link to scene1)

Scene12 (Dramatic scene called by GM; Cast: Desertwalker v Strongarm , Siren; When: Flashback to a decade before) Strongarm and Siren, Eagleeye's wife, appear to be scouting the Deerhunter camp years before. As the pair approach the camp they witness a confrontation between a tall Desertwalker cheiftain and the Deerhunter headman, wherein the deerhunter is refusing to give up one his wife as a tribute to the Desertwalker. Strongarm moves forward and announces that he is here as requested and apologises that it was difficult for him to get away unnoticed. He presents Siren as a tribute to the Desertwalker and requests that the Bullhead tribe is left unmolested.(Outcome: Strongarm agrees to the petition; GM recieves a token from Andy; Not sure we handled the token transfer correctly here)

Scene13 (Procedural scene called by GaryG spending a drama token as Patch was not cast; Cast: Strongarm, Eagleeye & Forest; When: The Desertwalker camp) The poison flows through Strongarm causing him to recklessly charge into the Desertwalker camp, At his side Forest fends off an attacker whilst Strongarm continues on barely registing the near fatal blow Forest has prevented. He attacks five of the enemy, killing three before he is surrounded, his weapon wrenched from his grasp. Eagleeye comes to his rescue stepping in to defend his friend and between them they defeat the remaining Desertwalkers.(Outcome: Success though Andy has to expend multiple bennies/positive consequences for redraws; he commits a lot of his reserve for this fight)

Scene14 (Procedural scene called by Dave; Cast: Strongarm & Eagleeye; When: ) At the height of the battle Strongarm and Eagleeye confront the Desertwalker cheiftain. Still unarmed Strongarm attacks the desertwalker with his bare hands to no avail and the blows bounce of the huge warrior. Eagleeye, as usual, is ready to strike and cuts down the enemy with his sword. Strongarm however is still enraged in the grip of the poison and with no-one left to attack he turns on Eagleeye. The scene ends with Strongarm battering Eagleeye into the ground. (Outcome: Success for Strongarm; for eagleeye, not so much)

Eagleeye learns why
he is called Strongarm
Scene15 (Dramatic scene called by Andy; Cast: Strongarm v Eagleeye; When:following on from scene 14) The battle has died around Strongarm and Eagleeye and the fury has passed from Strongarm. In the quiet Strongarm asks for forgiveness and while initially it appears he is apologising for the beating he has given Eagleeye, instead he confesses that he had lied about the death of Siren and that in fact he had given her to the Deserwalkers as tribute years before. Eagleeye is stunned and demands why. Strongarm claims that they could still save Siren if Eagleeye forgives him but Eagleeye does not reply. (Outcome: Eagleeye refuses; Andy receives a token from Dave;)
Scene16 (Narrative scene called by GM to close the episode) As Strongarm and Eagleeye talk tendrils of smoke drift into the camp growing denser and denser. Soon shadows appear to stalk forward in the smoke strangelt twisted and malformed. As Strongarm and Eagle appear certain to be attacked, Goldmane charges from the smoke his blonde hair flashing and he leads his father and Eagleeye to safety.

We decided that the next 3 to 4 sessions would form a new arc of the story in a slight change of pace. The begining of the story is over, the initial threat to the tribe has been averted, and while the war is not over the next part of the story will focus on the internal conflicts within the tribe.

The themes of  'Winter' and 'Gods, Old and New' were established for the second arc of the Trials of the Bullhead Tribe. Food stocks have been secured and the war band has been dismissed for the cold season. Now the tribe must look to their Gods and pray that they will survive the winter but which Gods?

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