06 January 2007

Widowmakers Widowmade

On Wednesday we met for the first game session of 2007, and more Savage Worlds goodness. Unfortunately we were just three players plus GM again, with Col being reduced to (largely off-screen) NPC status for this week. The session began by covering what Adenaar had been up to whilst the other three were taking the slaves home and slaying dragons.


Adenaar had a regular job, to which he had returned after freeing the slaves just outside the city the previous night. He was a dish-washer and general cleaner in a restaurant in Sutur's Throne, and it was here he first had a run in with the Guild of Widowmakers. He was at work as usual on the day following events outside the city, when he heard a commotion out front in the restaurant and moved out from the kitchen to investigate.

The scene was set - patrons fleeing and the owners looking on worriedly as a trio of Widowmakers - assassins, guards and swordsman under the leadership of Chardun Whitehands, a member of the Council - stood over a trio of out-of-towners: two elderly monks and a young priestess. Widowmakers, whilst being killers for hire, have a reputation as thinking of themselves as honourable: they would not kill unarmed targets. As such the trio were attempting to make one of their prey to pick up a sword presented to them. After a stand off of sorts, Adenaar stepped forward and retrieved the blade, angering the Widowmakers who then opted to see him as standing with their targets. To their loss.

The situation was clearly not about to resolve itself without a fight; when it was over two Widowmakers were dead, a third sent packing and the trio of foreign types alive and well. Adenaar was unscathed. His employers were somewhat astounded; given the afternoon off, Adenaar escorted the three to the Opera House and turned them over to Kasmin's care. Kasmin was Zeff's mentor and the group's handler with the Free Brigades. It turned out that the Widowmakers had been after a sacred Talking Stone which the priestess had been carrying magically embedded in her stomach. A consultation with the stone then resulted in the priestess presenting it to Adenaar claiming he would soon be taking it on a great journey, at it's request. That was that, for the next week or so - Adenaar familiarised himself with the stone, and figured out the trick of embedding it in his stomach but otherwise life was "normal."

Col's ship was repaired over those few days and, 6 days after leaving on a single night's mission, Kelvin and Zeff arrived back in Surtur's Throne. Coming in at the skydock, they both saw for the first time an area of the dock hidden under a giant marquee - the rumour was that the Council and the Sky Cities were collaborating on a new and revolutionary skyship design. The site was heavily guarded, and whilst Zeff wanted to investigate for once common sense stayed his hand. After waiting all day evaluating the guards and their patterns whilst patrolling the nearby quayside, he headed back to the Opera House to inform Kasmin of his return. Kelvin, meanwhile, had been straight home to his alchemical lab and began tinkering with various materials picked up on the trip - making some impressive explosives.

Kasmin was unimpressed by Zeff's late arrival but did seem to take note of his account of the past week or so. Alas there were more pressing matters though - and she informed him of a meeting that night; all agents of the Free Brigades were encouraged to attend. Adenaar and Kelvin had both received word too - and so had about 20-30 other Free Brigadiers - and were present at the meeting where it became apparent the Free Brigades had acquired design specifications for the Council's project skyship. It was resolved that the Brigades must try to find a way to discover yet more before the ship's launch in a fortnight and more, would try to sneak agents on board at the launch party if possible. However before the meeting could be properly concluded Adenaar was alerted, via the stone which he now carried on him, that something might be up. Zeff skipped out of the house and up onto a nearby roof to look for trouble but he did not spot the group of guards approaching the address until Adenaar had whistled to call his attention to them. Taking up a position behind the host, Zeff was back on ground level as Adenaar barred the front door and alerted the others at the meeting. Kelvin climbed to the upper floor of the house and used the windows to find out what was happening whilst the rest of those present made for the rear door.

Upon bursting out it was apparent the house was surrounded by a large squad of Widowmakers who began to lay into the Free Brigadiers. The fight that followed was bloody, Kelvin using his recently made explosives to good effect and Adenaar butchering many of the Widowmakers he engaged. Zeff used his mobility to get up onto a roof and manoeuvre into a position to get between one group of Widowmakers and the Free Brigadiers who by and large weren't prepared for the fight, content to just hold off the attackers and give his colleagues the chance to escape - though he did floor two in the process and disorient others. Kasmin used her abilities to bound up the walls and escape, and the actions of Kelvin (who had also set the meeting-house alight with further explosives in dealing with the few Widowmakers who had entered the premises porper) with his explosive pebbles and crossbow, Zeff and Adenaar presented the majority of the rest of the Free Brigadiers with an opportunity to slip away.

There were several Widowmakers still standing, and both Zeff and Adenaar had somehow avoided blows that would have gutted lesser fighters, when things got worse for the trio still fighting. First, Kasmin re-appeared, bleeding and falling from the rooftop to land not far from her charge. Her appearance was followed swiftly by two figures on a rooftop, one robed and conjuring globes of darkness which he hurled at Zeff and Adenaar and the other jumping down to engage the sword-monk whilst the Widowmakers gathered like flies around Zeff who had been stunned by the wizard's globe. He regained his senses just soon enough and made a break for it - scooping up the injured Kasmin and carrying her off to safety. His departure left a group of 6 Widowmakers, and the newly arrived wizard, standing close together - and presented Kelvin with an inviting target. One accurately thrown pebble later and there was just more carnage. Adenaar, meanwhile, was facing off in a futile duel with the other new arrival; futile in the sense that after several exchanges neither man had received more than the odd scratch. The enemy revealed himself to be none other than Whitehands himself, who was more than a little put out by the losses of so many men. Nevertheless the scrap ended with neither down, as both "honourable" combattants would not strike once the other was disarmed; they slipped away in opposite directions.

A short while later Adenaar arrived at a nearby inn, the back room of which served as a Free Brigades' safe house. Zeff had been there awhile, with the injured, but breathing, Kasmin. Kelvin was also present, tending to the lady's wounds, and she had regained consciousness enough to discuss events...


Writing that, it does not seem like a lot actually happened. We play short sessions - largely prescribed because of my bus schedule getting to and from the game - but on the evening we always seem to get a fair bit done. That said, I really would like to have all four characters present - it has been somewhat frustrating not to have a full group as yet.

But those quibbles aside, it was another enjoyable session - and not as focussed around the one battle as it seems from my telling: the opening was more splintered and took longer to establish around the table, as everyone was off doing their own thing to a fair degree. The combat itself lends itself to discussion, and despite both Zeff and Adenaar being very well set up for combat both had moments when they needed to use Bennies to avoid being gutted like a fish. I ended up using all three on the same soak roll as I rolled really badly on the first two. I aced the last though and came away without a scratch from a blow that raised so much on damage it would have incapacitated Zeff outright. Certainly it has made me value Bennies a lot more!

Again, it ended up feeling like a bit of a set-up session, however from a certain point of view that is ideal: every session has been rewarding but felt like it is building to the "real thing" starting "next time", and for that I am grateful.

No comments: