Tuesday, November 30, 2010

post management post

This a non campaign post.

First order of business is to point out that I have posted several posts today. Three campaign updates and this. For unknown reasons, the campaign updates are out of order. They are numbered, so read them in order, if you want to have a sense of chronology, and don't if you just want to save time and read top to bottom.

Sanjesh (geo) and I went to Ucon, and had a good time, though the drive home was a burden after three days gaming after an overnight drive out. We were fortunate to get back awake, and a few hours prior to Geo's axle coming apart. We will prepare better should we make the journey again, and we do hope to do so. Ann Arbor seems a nice town, it would be pleasant to explore an eatery or two besides Denny's.

Been painting a bit, but not a lot. Still, a little is at least progress. Missed an opportunity to buy a Sró dragon on Ebay, and I will kick myself for that for a bit, but I did just order the Qól and Hlutrgú from the Tekumel Club. A few figs were given away at the con, but I never heard who got them.

Also bought some 6mm figs a bit ago to make massed armies for Tékumel warfare. Talking to someone on the Tékumel minis who has used rapid prototyping to build some proxies in 25mm with the hopes of scaling down his meshes for doing the same in 6mm. Don't suppose any of my readers is a 3d graphic designer?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quick campaign update pt 3

Now our heroes had decided that the whole Chnéhl adventure was getting both dangerous, and frustrating. Suni had nearly been killed twice, and their targets had eluded them several times. They climbed back to the lair. The Beast handlers believed that the Chnéhl might have abandoned the area, but they found no sign to support the theory. They had brought along two of the mountain Hmélu to use to drug their prey, but the plan this time was to use zoic domination on heavily drugged animals and walk them right up into the cave. It was a matter of dosing them correctly to keep them alive just long enough to get them into position. The set up a defensive perimeter at the high camp late in the evening. But the night was not quiet.

During the first watch the party was attacked by Shánu'u, the giant distant cousins of the Hláka. They struck from above, and attempted, primarily to separate the party from the Hmélu. Overall, it didn't go well for the Shánu'u, losing nearly half their number, but they injured a few of the parties guards, and made off with one Hmélu. One Shánu'u was captured. In the morning the party decided to follow through with the plan with the remaining Hmélu.

The Hmélu, drugged and ensorcelled, made it to just outside the cave, where some young Chnéhl cautiously approached to investigate. They prodded it with sticks a couple times, then bashed it once or twice, celebrated their hunt and dragged the poor creature inside. Our heroes waited an appropriate time for the drugs to do their work. Then they cautiously approached the lair.

Exploring the lair they found the young Chnéhl had all succumbed to the drug, and the mothers were, if not unconscious, incapacitated. But they did not find the alpha males. Searching they found a larder, and a back exit. Now, it seemed reasonable that, under normal conditions, the Alpha males would have been the first to eat, so they deduced that they had not been in the cave. No idea where they might have been. The high camp was currently only occupied by the slaves. But the Chnéhl normally won't attack a group larger than themselves, and there should only be two, while the slaves numbered ten. Our party decided to wait in the lair and hope the Alpha males returned. In the morning, they did.

A single slave head rolled in through the cave entrance. I don't who, but someone suggested responding in kind, and the party killed and decapitated one of the females. Her head was tossed out. Another slave head rolled in, and then nothing. More waiting. Eventually, our heroes came out, to find that the Alpha males had left. The tracks lead off around the mountain, counter clockwise. They found one more slaves head, in the bushes, simply discarded.

And that brings us to this week's game, I think. I may have missed something, but I hope not. Their plan is to press on after the Chnéhl and bring this to an end.

Quick Campaign Update Pt 1

Our heroes spent the next day deciding what to do with the captured Chnéhl. They considered releasing a couple of the smaller males in order to keep the local family group alive, in an effort at herd management. They had them all drugged, for easy compliance, and trundled all but two off on a Chlén cart to collect bounties from Mis. They then went off into the local woods to look at the traps they set up. Then they discovered the tracks. The Chnéhl they had captured were not the largest Chnéhl in the area during the fight. It appeared that two other Chnéhl had sat in the woods and watched. Had they simply realized the attack was doomed, or had they actually used our heroes to eliminate their potential rivals.

Our heroes decided to make another attempt on the Chnéhl. They climbed up to the area of the Chnéhl lair looking for Mountain Hmélu, which they planned to drug, in the hopes that the Chnéhl would catch the weakened beasts, eat them, and, thus also be drugged. In the first attempt they found a group of Hmélu just off the lairs entrances. (The Chnéhl lair has three obvious entrances, in close proximity..). They spent a good deal of time trying to close on the Hmélu close enough to get a shot off. Despite her perfect balance, Suni couldn't seem to make a stealth roll, and repeatedly startled the flock. She had the weapon with the shortest range, and Mriga, who is not adept at this kind of thing, controlled one of the Beast handlers with an Atle Atle, and the longest range. So he moved to a decent range, and waited, aiming, for several turns while Suni struggled on a slope of loose gravel. In the mean time, Sanjesh had noticed some of the Chnéhl females watching from the cave mouths. Finally the Hmélu had enough and bolted, so Suni quit trying to be sneaking and gave chase. Mriga, who had been aiming forever, found his foot asleep, and tumbled backwards when he went to throw, firing wide. Suni managed to tag one with a well tossed dagger, but she didn't really have time to savor the moment, because she found that she had come to close to the lair. The two big Chnéhl roared forth from the lair and attacked her, and, nearly killed her in the next few moments. But the others leapt up to attack, and, again badly outnumbered, the Chnéhl wisely fled back into the lair. Our heroes scooped up Suni and retreated to their high camp. They prepared for what they expected to be a night on Defense, but the Chnéhl never came down.

The next day they went up, hoping perhaps the Chnéhl had taken the Hmélu and thus been too stuperous to press the attack. They saw no sign of the Chnéhl, and tracked the blooded Hmélu along the mountain side. Eventually they found the flock, and the wounded Hmélu down. Stringing out their slaves as herders, and moving up the flanks and ahead, the party managed to capture, if I recall, the entire flock. They also discovered that the downed Hmélu was dead, but it had attracted some local fauna. Curled up near the carcass were two lskjdlfj that had succumbed to the drugs in its system. The party used nets and sticks to bundle them up and cart them off as well. All in all, an excellent hunt.

Quick campaign update pt 2

I don't recall what prompted the group to drop that thread for a couple days and go back into the caves. I suspect I tempted them, as they discovered from the workers who were going down, that there was a form of grass growing on the cave floor. Entry added mystery on mystery, as they also discovered the cave had developed a weather pattern all it's own, with a minor monsoon season every 20-30 hours, and thunder and lightening. The eco-system was cycling at an accelerated rate, with a full crop of grass and such growing, withering and regrowing each day. The players packed up an entry team and made their way upstream, investigating the apparent source of the daily weather cycle.

Again, they found themselves up in the area of the Stele and the temple like room. Here they were attacked by Dlaqó, who were quickly run off when one of the Beast handlers used Zoic Domination to control the leader and he was hacked to death. The carcass, they decided, would just attract other critters, so they dumped it down the deep hole across the way. (Remember that hole.. did I mention it? The players have expressed the belief that it is the pathway created by a HUGE Aqáà?. This made our more conservative player a bit nervous about attracting much worse than more Dlaqó.) They also found a chimney, and Suni scuttled up it, past Hu bat guano, and an apparent hu bat nesting site directly out to the surface. She noted the location, which was outside the area that Mis had agreed to purchase, and came back down. That was significant, because, in theory, they no longer controlled all access to the tunnels.

The next morning the Suni and Sanjesh took ropes and went down the Aqáà hole. At the bottom they found a shallow water feature and a large, round room, filled with a slightly unnaturally persistent darkness. They found a large room, with 6 large doors, More or less equally spaced and three small doors clustered up on a dias. They had no tools for opening the doors, but one small door was slightly ajar, and they could see a white tiled room on the other side. They could not get it open. They also found three platforms on the dias, and pried one up. It created sparks, and a bit of ozone. The others were trod upon and they lit up. Then they heard a low grating rumble, and the sound of water draining down an opening. They also found that the water was quickly emptied of thousands of small frogs up onto the dias where they stood. Sanjesh caught one, to take out for further study. When the climbed off the diase, the water on the floor had gone down, and the sludge was a bit thicker. They made their way back to the ropes and climbed out.

Sometime on the exit Sanjesh discovered his frog had escaped.