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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monomyth Structure: Session 12

The Fortune Teller (also referred to as the "FT" in shorthand) arrives at the former city-nation of Scandonia, a.k.a The Cursed Battlefield.
[*Note: At some latter point in this session I began using my cheapo 7" Cruz tablet, which has the GM HTML app with the log window that I posted here. Since it's not as easy to type using the tablet, I limited myself to writing the questions, and some terse interpretations where needed. As such, much of the plot information is already contained in the questions and Mythic's answers, so writing a lot of prose would be redundant. The fact that I didn't need to think so much about writing dialogue or anything like that made the session flow smoother and more interesting, in my estimation.

The general direction of the session was to answer some of the questions in the "Crossing of the Threshold" stage, particularly those relating to the Threshold Guardian, and what does this intermediate world look like. These are being answered but I'm letting the session progress "organically", and sometimes this takes you on apparent tangents, so the answers to the monomyth questions emerge in a roundabout way.

As far as the stat system I've been using, in the course of playing I decided to follow the Shock conflict system more closely by only using it when I find myself not liking a Mythic roll-- by definition a conflict.

Finally, I lost starting log entries for this session but I still remembered what I had already established for the scene via Mythic:
-Eli is re-animated by the Fortune Teller on the desert of The Cursed Battlefield
-the fortune teller is no longer alone
-old and deteriorated artifacts of the conflict can still be seen around the desert: Particularly striking are the old flying fortresses that are now crashed on the ground
-father still is the city-fortress of the Scandonians who fought against the Empire takeover. This city is carved on a jagged ("violently-rough") cliff of the highest mountain in that former nation
-The Fortune Teller does not know where to find Camus in this place, so he re-animated Eli.
]

Eli regains consciousness and screams "NO!", as when he last was conscious, the Fortune Teller was raising a hand to strike him dead-- or so he thought.

"Silence him!"

The wind is knocked out of him with a punch thrown by someone. "You yell again, and I'll cut your tongue out," says a man's voice.

When Eli recovers, he notices that the Fortune Teller is no longer alone, and that they're no longer in the tent. In the distance, he sees gigantic structures at odd angles. Farther still, he sees a fortress-city carved into a mountain's jagged cliff near the top.

The Fortune Teller then addresses him: "As you can see, we are in Scandonia. You will now take me to this 'someone' who will answer what I want to know."

Scandonia-- The Cursed Battlefield, thinks Eli. Only then, do the structures reveal themselves to him for what they are: the ancient flying fortresses of the Empire that were lost in this place. It is said that exiled criminals lucky enough to survive the desert and its inhabitants take refuge in these.

Eli also recognizes the fortress-city in the mountain as what was the center of life for the Scandonians at the time. No one would be insane enough to venture there now, or so goes common wisdom. Yet, Ainus described Camus as his insane disciple.

"There," He points at the Scandonian fortress-city.


[*Note: From this point on, I began using my cheapo 7" Cruz tablet, so the bad prose is vastly reduced.]
 
[Question: The Fortune Teller, driven at least by greed, has stuck his nose into the gods' business, and shown no concern about ancient sorcerers, or cursed lands. The odds are Likely that he will continue on to the fortress-city in the mountain without hesitation. Does he?
roll: 46
answer: Yes
event: None]

[Question: His henchmen may be another matter. Do they trust his power enough to venture there without protest? I don't know, so 50/50.
roll: 26
answer: Yes
event: None]

The Fortune Teller trusts his own power to overcome whatever is inside the fortress-city. His henchmen trust him as well.

[Question: I am assuming that the Fortune Teller needs the henchmen, not so much for protection, but to lug his stuff around. Is this true? Very Likely odds
roll: 63
answer: Yes
event: None]

[Question: What is he carrying?
description: carelessly smooth]

Whatever the men are carrying is not clear to Eli, because it's covered by expensive silk cloths. He can tell, however, that the there are asymmetrical, almost random, curves underneath.

[Question: I figure that the fortress-city had to be accessible, if easily defensible, to its people somehow. Is there an easy way to climb the cliff to the city? Very Likely
roll: 57
answer: Yes
event: None]

There are stairs cut into the inside of the mountain base that go up.

[Question: I figure there had to be defenses. What kind?
event: Ambiguous event : Praise Dispute]

The more warlike or fearsome looking warriors were usually posted at the checkpoints in order to discourage visitors from other lands.

[Question: It's very unlikely that any sentinels are there now whether alive or not as no one in their right mind would come here now. Are there?
roll: 24
answer: Yes
event: None]

[Note: Time to stat Mr. Fortune Teller & co as I've been winging it (because not really feeling the stat setup I chose, as far as corruption/integrity goes because it hasn't really fit thematically with anything critical about Eli.) ]

[Question: I think that the F.T.'s confidence belies a measure if true power. I think it Very Likely that he can handle these sentinels with relative competence. Does he?
roll: 20
answer: Yes
event: None]

[Question: How does Mythic describe the battle?
description: partially colorful]

The group was momentarily surprised by two sentinels hiding in the shadowy high ceiling, almost losing the man in the front of the group, were it not for FT (Fortune Teller) dematerializing them with a burst of dull orange fire from his hand. The men are a bit shaken, but determined. Eli somehow feels relief mixed with dread as he does not know what will happen to him at the hand of his captors, even if they survive these horrors.

[Question: The vamps strike me as not too brainy, if cunning to a degree. They also seem to rely on stealth and brawn. It's very unlikely they would gather a larger force at the moment to handle the intruders on their next attack. Do they?
roll: 88
answer: No
event: None]

The intermittent attacks continue, much as the first one. Each one handled by the FT, who is completely dedicated to his goal.

[Question: Is he being drained by all the effort, though? I don't know, so 50/50.
roll: 48
answer: Yes
event: None]

[Question: I figure that the effort has not been enough to be of concern yet, so it's Likely he is fine thus far. Is he?
roll: 41
answer: Yes
event: None]

Though they have climbed far and arduously, the FT does not show any signs of fatigue.
They eventually reach the city gates at the top.

[Question: Does he allow the men a rest? He is smart so far, but kind of obsessed so 50/50.
roll: 60
answer: Yes
event: None]

Proving himself to be wise, he allows his exhausted haulers to catch heir breath and quench their thirst.

[Question: How about Eli, does he see any escape route, besides the city gates? Unlikely.
roll: 96
answer: Exceptional No
event: None]

No. The only way out down the stairs, as the massive gates in front of them are locked. He hopes that is a sign that Camus is here.

[Question: What do the fortress-city walls look like?
description: hopelessly dry]

There are no adornments on the heavily fortified  and rough looking iron doors. Sand from outside also litters the floor as it is lifted up by the winds.

[Question: Any signs of the ancient war here? Likely odds, given the old wreckage outside.
roll: 73
answer: Yes
event: None]

[Question: What kind?
event: Close a thread : Delay Suffering]

Along with the expected warriors, there are dessicated bodies of ordinary dwellers (including women and children) that may have died from either thirst or hunger, given the lack of violence on their bodies.

[Question: I find No Way of imagining the FT or his underlings being disturbed much by the scene given their propensities. Are they?
roll: 20
answer: Yes
event: None]

Eli is very unsettled by the sight, and surprised to see the men around him muttering their god's names, or unconsciously reaching for their amulets and charms. Even the FT's eyes betray discomfort, even though the rest of his demeanor appears as before.

[Question: This no doubt means that there is more to the situation than Eli understands. Is there? Odds A Sure Thing
roll: 51
answer: Yes
event: None

Note: this was the first of two questions where I unintentionally broke with my tendency to  try to know only know what Eli would know, and keep any information only a GM would know a mystery.]

[Question: Can Eli notice anything? Since the henchmen seemed to have seen it, it's likely Eli will see it too.
roll: 88
answer: No
event: None

I'm fine with keeping it a mystery for now.]

Eli tries to see what about the scene bothers them so, but does not figure it out.

[Question: I figure it's Likely that greed will spur the FT on even if there might be something that gave him pause. Does he soldier on?
roll: 51
answer: Yes
event: None]

He curtly orders the spooked men to open the gates.

[Question: I figure these are impossible to be forced open from the outside via normal means. Do the men do it?
roll: 51
answer: No
event: None]
The men nearly exhaust themselves trying to no avail.

[Question: It's a near sure thing that the FT is able to force them open with sorcery. Does he?
roll: 97
answer: No
event: None]

The FT raises his hands towards the door, but the doors don't move an inch.

[Question: It's very unlikely that the FT would try again, as the door would have probably opened if it had been within his power. Does he make more attempts?
roll: 47
answer: No
event: None]

[Question: The most reasonable course would be for them to turn back towards one of the wrecked flying citadels to regroup or continue looking there. Is that what the FT decides? Near sure thing
roll: 64
answer: Yes
event: None]

He dryly tells everyone, "We will head that way," pointing his slender finger a the wreckage closest to the base if the mountain.

[Question: Do they make it without incident there? Unlikely as the sun is settling down.
roll: 87
answer: No
event: None]

[Question: Does he handle everything as competently as before? Near sure thing
roll: 42
answer: Yes
event: None]

A few fiends attack as before but his power has not abated, and hale dispatches them with ease.

[Question: Are they challenged by anyone when trying to enter the wreck? There's probably a community of convicts in each of them, so it's very likely.
roll: 79
answer: Yes
event: None]

[Question: I think it very unlikely that a sorcerer of equal power would be satisfied with a wrecked citadel (rather than taking the Scandonian fortress itself). Is the challenger or are the challengers of concern to him?
roll: 73
answer: No
event: None]

Though the dwellers inside the citadel try to keep the strangers outside of their improvised gates, they are no match for his power.

[Question: How does he overcome hem?
description: combatively mundane]

He easily relieves them of their rudimentary weapons by seizing them with an invisible force, and inflicting unbearable pain on those not wise enough to recognize the futility of any resistance. The rest are easily defeated by his men.

[Question: He almost certainly wants to extract as much info as possible as well as pressing the men into his service via fear.
roll: 98
answer: No
event: None]

[Question: Then he certainly intends to cast them out and take over their citadel. Odds Has To Be
roll: 11
answer: Exceptional Yes
event: PC positive : Break Legal matters]

As the convicts flee out of the citadel, a phalanx of what looks Imperial soldiers suddenly appears over the horizon, surprising the FT who now has to deal with them. This creates enough of a distraction that Eli now may have a good chance at escaping by mixing himself with the crowd of spooked convicts fleeing from the FT.

[Question: Given the random event directive from Mythic, the chaos caused by the phalanx and the fleeing convicts, it's very likely that Eli will escape.
roll: 62
answer: Yes
event: None]

Eli takes his chances and disguises his escape among the fearful convicts, making his way out of the citadel with them.

[Question: The most logical thing for them to do would be to head for the nearest citadel do they? A sure thing
roll: 17
answer:
Exceptional Yes
event: None]

They don't even seem to think about it as they hurry there as if their lives depended on it.

[Question: Need to find out what happens between the FT and Imperial soldiers. Are the Imperial guards supplemented by a magic user? Has To Be, given the location; they wouldn't come to deposit convicts without some form of magic backup.
roll: 9
answer: Exceptional Yes
event: None]

Their magical backup is in the form of a powerful battle mage.

[Question: That might Likely be more than the FT wants or can handle at the moment. Is it?
roll: 81
answer: Yes
event: None]

[Question: He will Very Likely lay low by pretending he is just another prisoner, should the soldiers come to investigate what's going on. will he?
roll: 62
answer: Yes
event: None]

Upon noticing the soldiers, the men get ready to fight, but the FT tells them to put away their weapons and things as he has a better plan.

[Question: They almost surely have noticed that Eli is gone. Have they?
roll: 37
answer: Yes
event: None]

Fearfully, one of the men makes the FT aware of Eli's absence

[Question: How does he react? description: mysteriously abandoned

*Note:I was trying to play mostly from Eli's perspective, and try to keep anything that Eli wouldn't know as a mystery to myself as well. This question was not in tune with that. It was unintentional as I got caught in the moment, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter since I'm my own GM anyway.]

He cryptically tells them to let him go; his expression is unreadable.

[Question: It's very likely that the soldiers only came in to deposit more convicts. Is that the case?
roll: 5
answer: Exceptional Yes
event: None]

In fact, they don't really care about any conflict that may be going on among the convicts. As soon as they leave the new group near the citadel, they leave. Perhaps they only venture this far in order to make sure they don't become a threat.