First Playtest Report
I’ve started alpha testing the new game system and setting I’ve been working on. I thought it might be fun and interesting to tell you about the first full session I ran.
The pipe city of Dru lies south of the Cloudcrystal Skyfields, so it is cold and the terrain is obviously barren. The ancient metal pipes that run in and out of the cliffs and ground come in two varieties. First are the open pipes that the folk of Dru use to move from building to building without facing the harsh chill winds. The second are the closed pipes, in which something warm still flows through, providing heat to those buildings built up against them.
Like the rest of the city, the buildings that comprise the Tichronus estate are fashioned from the etched stone quarried–or collected, or scavenged… it’s a matter of semantics at this point–from the nearby mesas. Lord Tichronus, having been summoned to the crusades in the Skyfields by the Amber Pope, needed someone to watch over his estate and its collection of artwork fashioned from unmodified numenera from the past epochs. He found four individuals, each quite capable.
For a week, these four enjoyed life left alone in a noble’s estate. Fisher, a clever jack who liked to sculpt illusions kept the others entertained. The somewhat more serious Grayden, a strong-willed glaive with curious telepathic powers, searched the place suspiciously and asked the residents of Dru about the nobleman (learning little more than that he was a known womanizer). His fellow glaive, Caracol Vus, a tough swordmaster, kept a watchful eye over things, while Caedmyn, a graceful nano with a penchant for lightning, kept mostly to herself.
One day, a knock came at the door. An elegant woman in a hoverdress of fluttering feathers announced that she was Lady Isaltha, the betrothed of Lord Tichronus. This, of course, was news to the group of estate guardians. Isaltha had brought with her a household of goods on a wagon pulled by equine lizards and at her side were Brune, a hulking figure with a large blade, and Drast, a shorter, armored man with a cyclops helmet. The glass lens of the helmet’s one eye kept turning and adjusting with a whirring noise. Behind Isaltha floated two glass spheres that she called her Vuechi.
“Lord Tichronus is crusading, my lady,” Caracol Vus told her. “You’ll have to come back after he has returned.”
“We were not informed of your coming,” Fisher added. “Nor of your upcoming wedding.”
Eventually, however, Isaltha convinced them to let her in. Caracol Vus was adamant that her guards remain outside. The Vuechi were bonded with her, however, and accompanied her. Fisher crafted a lie that there were ten guards inside, not four, and backed it up with some illusions. Grayden used his telepathy to coordinate his group’s actions. Isaltha immediately began to address everyone as her servants.
“Unload my wagon, and bring my possessions into my new home.”
All the while she looked around the interior of the manorhouse with deep curiosity. Her two “boys” then tried to force their way in, but Fisher prevented it. Caedmyn stole outside through one of the open pipes connected to the manor to watch them. Caracol Vus became more and more insistent that the Lady Isaltha had to leave. Finally, he and Fisher attempted to force her out the door.
The Vuechi reacted defensively and began blazing forth with blue fire. Caedmyn drew upon her powers to command the artificial numenera particles that infused the world now–for she was a nano, and had knowledge of such things–to fend off Drast and Brune. It is easy to understand why so many call them “sorcerers.” Grayden and Caracol Vus, the stalwart warriors, battled with the floating spheres and their energy blasts. Just as Brune smashed through the door, Fisher created an illusion of Isaltha herself, and convinced the brute that the real woman was in fact a disguise. Brune knocked the real Lady Isaltha unconscious, as the glaives destroyed the Vuechi. Then Fisher’s hologram told Brune and Drast to guard the wagon. Clever jack indeed.
The four confused and beaten companions quickly regrouped in the foyer, barred the door, and looked down at the unconscious noblewoman on the floor.
Now what were they going to do?