Leaving Rashemen Session 9 (4 with me as DM)

If you missed part 1 & 2 of this story, I recommend reading it – after all it’s an adventure writeup.

another session is past, and I have to admit it is one kind of session, I hardly will miss. From the players and my personal side it wasn’t bad, actually it was very ingame heavy and a lot of character interaction that made a sweet sunday evening for all of us. Though everything was very different than planned and it was a session that shaped the rpg-sessions to come probably quite heavily. In all games we ran we had some limited amount of player fluctuation, but our unique approach to take care of this now heavily interacted with my hobby of ending sessions inmidst of some action. Last time ended with Daec having acquired, *cough* a seemingly mighty book, bound in flawless and marvellous blue leather and sealed shut. With Daec knowing what he had to do, or what he should try to do, I was relying heavily on what came next – the appearance of an Inevitable hunting the former owner of this book and an infamous red wizard appearing in the tavern. This is where we ended, it just did give us some problems when Daec’s player spontaneously decided not being able to join us on sunday morning.

Image via sxc.hu
Image via sxc.hu

Well first everything appeared to work out without severe problems, we had to integrated Turran the infamous berserker hero of the Rashemi Ice Troll lodge, with part of a red wizard trade enclave residing in a small outpost where the main traderoutes cross between Narfell and the Great Dale. Neither Turran nor Naulgh gave this scenario a great problem. The barbarian acknoledged, though grudgingly, he probably was outmatched alone versus the not-only-slave traders. It was one of the direct associates of Naulgh (a rather in?famous red wizard) that calmed the bodyguards on Thayan side and ignored the battle-hardened warrior completely. And it still was not obvious when Lysalis, Whurynia, Siyanda and Turran walked towards the haunted three-spire castle in the north-west – having several meetings on the road, fighting a lurking pair of ooze at a freshwater source and ending up at the “Copper-chip” mercenary camp at the foot of castle threespires.

The meeting with Mrack a charismatic half-orc leading the mercenaries accompanied by two druids that looked like crossbreeds of orc and gnome – making indeed a very strange appearance. It was Lysalis who spotted more than a few Malar banners at the campsite but even if the mercenaries felt associated with the Beastlord in some way, they were treating their guests with supreme hospitality, warning them only not even to think about getting closer to the former castle. The approach towards the box of rings, according to Rreliah Bearfather those were protecting from all kinds of fire, was easy though always under  supervision and the party quickly learned that the mercenaries had according to Mrack’s information fiddled a little with the box, but did not dare open it because of a death curse or trap somewhere lurking in the box.

With the daylight passing the real problems appeared on the following conversation that also ended our gaming session this sunday. We had in the beginning a few companions who had quite some motivation to do whatever necessary to fight either against chaos or save Rashemen against the eventual invasion of some dragon born of chaos, fire and ice. With the current lineup party, it was more the players conscience that kept them walking forward on that path but it seemed to me they hardly did know which path they wanted to walk. I’ve seen this in the past a few times and I found it to be one of the toughest gamebreakers a dungeon master can encounter, when all of a sudden it wasn’t all that clear, whether a party wanted to battle some evil, gain some gold whatever way appeared senseful or wanted something else…
I’ll probably have to think a bit more about the upcoming challenges and either demand ask for more motivation in key aspects of our campaign for newly included characters or live with the changes in pace and – more disorientatingly – direction of everything in the game.

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