Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Faery's Tale Actual Play:
Liza and the Jewelled Brooch, Part 2

This is the actual play report from the second session of Faery's Tale which I have been running for my wife. Last time, we saw Bwok, the great horned owl, admonishing Liza and her pixie friend, Cherry, to hurry on their way if they intend to catch Markle, the blacksmith brownie.

Seeing the need for swift action, Liza - a lover of birds - asks Bwok if he is willing to carry her on his back and fly her, speeding their pursuit. Bwok agrees to help her for the price of a boon. Liza agrees and gives the owl a boon. [Boons were one of the features of the game that took me a while to get my head around. I had at first been thinking of them too much like tangible currency. The best way to define a "boon" in this game is "an owed favor". It's an abstract entity that gives the holder a claim on a future favor. Faeries and other creatures of Brightwood have an endless supply of their own boons. If a faery achieves the title of "Knight" or higher, that faery can trade boons, making them more like a currency. In essence, this means using a boon you've acquired from someone else as payment - transferring the boon to a new owner.]

Liza climbs on Bwok's back and, with Cherry alongside, they float into the air and take flight to the west, in search of Markle. The owl, using his keen senses, tracks the fleeing brownie and returns Liza to the ground, only about 10 feet behind Markle. In the darkness, the faeries see the brownie's form. They run after him and in another moment, he climbs the base of a tree, enters a large hole in the tree's trunk, and disappears from view.

Liza climbs up to look into the hole. It is absolutely dark inside. Cherry flies over to the hole and gives off enough light to reveal a downward passage. Liza can't see the bottom. She calls out after Markle and the sound of his bag dragging in the dirt stops. He seems to have heard. Then, a moment later, it starts up again, faster now. Liza bravely throws caution to the wind and jumps down the shaft! [For which I awarded her 1 essence mote. It was a brave and selfless thing to do, after all. I had her roll her Body of 4 for this fall. I made it a Tricky (2) challenge. She didn't succeed, and so I had her lose 1 essence for taking fall damage.]

Liza falls a few feet and slides out into a faery-made underground tunnel, supported by wood and stone. Liza calls Cherry, who soon arrives at her side. By Cherry's pixie light, they follow quickly after Markle's trail in the dirt. There are various other tunnels which diverge from the sides and top of the tunnel, but Markle's tracks are easy to follow.

Suddenly, a scorpion falls down from a hole in the ceiling! [This is a creature taken right from the book. His stats are: Body 2, Mind 1, Spirit 0, Gifts - Venom.] Cherry backs away while Liza pulls out one of her homemade weapons - a shard from a broken paring knife, with a leather-wrapped handle. [My wife allocated all 4 of her Body dice to attack and none to defense.] Liza carefully lunges forward, slashing at the scorpion's legs. [She rolled a 6 and three 3s. A 6 on the die earns an extra die. She rolled the extra die and achieved a 4, for a total of 2 successes. I had allocated no dice to the scorpion's defense pool, so he took 1 damage to his Body score.] The scorpion squeals in rage and swings a pincer at Liza. [Since the scorpion's body was now 1, I rolled one d6 and achieved no successes.] Liza deftly ducks the attack and lashes out again, this time with her sewing needle sword. [This time she allocated three d6s to her attack pool. She rolled a 2, giving her 1 success. He still had no defense, and therefore took the damage.] She plunges the needle into the top of the scorpion's head. The scorpion falls down and stops moving completely after creeping backward into a side tunnel. Liza sheaths her needle and beckons Cherry to follow her onward.

Then, from the scorpion's hole above, they hear a muffled voice calling out. Liza sends Cherry up to see what it is. Cherry reports that there is a faery wrapped up in spider's webbing. Cherry gives Liza a bit of pixie dust to float her up into the hole and Liza uncovers the faery's mouth. He is a pooka named Dandaloo.
He had been wrapped up for a spider's dinner, but the scorpion had stolen him and brought him back to his hole for later. Liza cuts through the webs with her knife and Dandaloo breaks free, thanking Liza heartily. He gives Liza a boon for saving him. He feels a bit weak and is unsure whether or not the spider actually bit him at any point. Therefore, he isn't certain whether or not he's been poisoned by spider venom. Either way, he feels well enough to move and even travel. He plans to go to Bwok's tree and rest (he knows Bwok). He tells Liza that, if she brings him some healing remedy tomorrow after he's had some rest, he'll give her another boon. Then he drops down the hole into the tunnel, transforms into a snake, and slithers back down the tunnel.

Liza and Cherry climb out of the hole and make it through the rest of the tunnel without any further distractions. When they arrive at the end of Markle's trail, they see another carved shaft going up into a tree, just like shaft by which they had entered the tunnel. There are grooves in the ground where a ladder had recently been planted, but there was no ladder now. Markle had apparently pulled it up after him. Liza sends Cherry up to have a look around. Cherry reports that the ladder is up here, outside the hole, but it is too big to carry while flying. Liza recommends pushing it, which Cherry attempts and finds to be a workable option. After a series of good pushes, the ladder comes falling down the shaft. Liza dodges out of the way until the ladder hits the ground. Then, she scrambles up to the hole and climbs out onto the ground. The faeries are somewhat disoriented and unsure of their location, so Cherry uses her pixie dust to burn a small "C" in the tree bark. That way, they will have a marker for their journey back.

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