Episode 5: Party Crashers
Once again we open to the crew around the table in the lounge aboard The Carl. Winston explains how he has sifted through the massive amount of data the crew liberated from the Cortex relay station. Using dates and information supplied by Celeste he has narrowed down communications traffic and file transfers to and from Townsend’s office and home.
Unfortunately it is all encrypted with protocols even more advanced than those Winston worked with in the Navy. The decryption algorithms are stored in physical key devices. Based on the destinations for Townshend’s communiques he’s narrowed down a list of facilities and people that must have the keys that the crew need to make sure Townshend can never hurt Celeste or Zenith again.
One of the few potential key holders that isn’t deep in a military facility is Lukas Thatcher. He operates a Security Consultation firm that provides personal guards and anti-intrusion technology for the Prime Minister’s home and interests that are outside of his official government activities.
Bobbi immediately latches on to the idea of catering Rhonda Thatchers upcoming birthday bonanza. Rhonda is a famous socialite and unlike her secretive and reserved husband she loves entertaining at their mansion.
Dr Yuan-Qi takes Joleen to meet his mother, rightly assuming his well connected family can get them much coveted invitations to Rhonda’s birthday party. The Dowager Yuan-Qi’s only concern is the family name. Provided the doctor is on his best behavior and doesn’t plan to stay on Londinium long she is happy to help. She will even contribute additional resources to his research. She knows this is an excellent motivator her son and often provides large financial returns for the Yuan-Qi family. Upon obtaining the invitations the two crew members begin a classic shopping montage while acquiring appropriate party clothing.
The rest of the crew will be disguised as caterers. They aquire two large vans, filling one with small but powerful speeder bikes for the inevitable get away.
Having survived the wolf attack, our party bandaged their wounds and then decided to split up in search of Baba Lysaga. This acting as a convenient explanation in world for why so little of the party was present for this session. This also marks my first attempt at running a game through Discord.
The goal with these pieces was for the Nurgle rot to really stand out and catch the eye, but at the same time for the structures to look essentially like any other ruins depending on the angle.
Our party stood on the top of Yesterhill, having slain the druids and reclaimed the first of the Wizard of Wines’ magical gems. Next on their list, Baba Lysaga, the Witch of the Wastes.
Episode 4: The Ark of the Cortex
Young Zenith and her mother Celest have a big problem and they need help. Fortunately for them, the majority of our crew have soft spots for children in trouble. As well as an assortment of very useful skills and experience.
Celest reveals that the mysterious father is none other than the Right Honorable Crispin Townshend. He is a long time member of the Parliment and rumored to be the power behind the current Prime Minster as well as some previous PMs. He is the linchpin for the current majority political alliance and the architect of many major government policies going back decades.
The players in my latest game all work at an excellent local tea house. It is a fantastic place for weaning yourself off sugary soft drinks, great conversation, and preparing to run RPG sessions.
There are many traditional teas there with interesting names and they struck on the idea of naming and/or theming their characters after some of them.
Osmanthus, Tiefling Warlock. Osmanthus is one of several teas made with flowers from the Osmanthus fragrans plant. Curled horns that blend in to curly hair, curvy and of somewhat ambiguous gender. Claims to have a restaurant back in the city.
Dragonwell, Dragonborn Druid. The literal translation of Longjing, a pan-roasted green tea. Small for a dragonborn, anxious and obsessively brushes her teeth.
Igom Ternin, Human Paladin. Named by way of acronym for Iron Goddess of Mercy, an oolong tea which is named for the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Rustic and earnest, carries a big axe.
Cha’ti, Apeling Monk. Inspired by Golden Monkey, a black tea, as well as the legendary figure Sun Wukong. Metallic golden fur, except for his perfectly white tail. Tiny but fast as lightning.
After meeting the heroes of our nascent story during the character creation session, I decided to set the campaign in The Forgotten Realms. There are analogs for many medieval Asian cultures in the land of Kara-Tur. It is the far east of the same super-continent that Faerun is on. Between the two there is a fantasy Silk Road called The Golden Way. Adding Faerun’s tea trade as a feature of the story seemed like an organic way of reinforcing the tea house theme. We are using the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition rules.
Our humble party headed south to Yester Hill this session, in search of the druid conclave and hopefully one of the mystic gems belonging to the Wizard of Wines. And as is so common with this group, they completely derailed a carefully planned encounter and then almost died. Thankfully they have a badass rogue with a very nasty crossbow.
I love building terrain. Be it turning junk into an orkish fortification or assembling an official kit to create an industrial complex of catwalks and boilers. While I have plenty of unpainted miniatures laying around (who doesn’t) lately I’ve been focusing almost entirely on crafting terrain. Which has led to the strange predicament of running out of things to work on. Thankfully, I have friends with their own piles of plastic and so a friend offered to let me build some for him.
Having dropped the fair Ireena off with Father Lucian at the church of St. Andral, our brave party set off west to find the Wizard of Wines. This particular session started off calm, gained a tinge of unsettling horror, and then delved into the comedic.
Madam Eva has popped up multiple times in the adventure so far, and so the party sets out in search of her. And in finding her they hope for answers as to how they might return home. As well as more knowledge about their great enemy, Strahd.