(Other reports from this campaign: first session from the Game Master’s point of view; second session.)
As I mentioned in the first text on this blog, I want to write about various topics that are interesting to me. The time has come for something else than the travel reports: a completely new topic, namely one of my favorite hobbies: role-playing games (RPG). However, I do not abandon the travel reports, the new ones will appear sooner or later.
For those who are not familiar with RPG, I highly recommend reading this text and watching this film (it’s in Polish, but there are English subtitles available) first.
Meanwhile, I invite you to a report from two sessions played in the system named Outstanding Heroes and Extraordinary Threats, in short OHET (this is how the game is most often called, so I am going to use this abbreviation).
The setting in which the action took place is a universe known from the excellent books of Andrzej Sapkowski and equally excellent (although Mr. Sapkowski may not agree) video games about the Witcher by CD Projekt.
Caution: books and games set in the Witcher’s world are full of cruelty, and during the session described here it was also not avoided. You have been warned.
The three players created the following Heroes:
Casimir, a deserter, trapper and furrier, coming from Beeches (in Kaedwen).
Mar of Lyria, a barbarian and a blacksmith from the mountains, of a thunderous voice.
It was dawn, April 25, 1267. The heroes sailed to Vizima. A storm broke out on the lake, as a result of which the waves washed them from the deck and threw them ashore in an unknown place, overgrown with rare forest. Because of the bad weather, the only things that the Heroes could see were the rough waters of the lake in the southwest, north-west and north, and the hills in the southeast. They decided to climb the hills and look around. In the meantime, the storm was over and it stopped raining, but a strong wind continued.
Before they reached the top of the hill, they heard mysterious chants and incantations. Casimir tried to sneak up unnoticed. He failed and fell straight into the three people who sacrificed a rooster. At his sight, they grabbed their weapons, but the conflict was prevented. Asked about the road to Vizima, they advised Casimir to go to the south-west, along the lake. Casimir hurried away and together with his companions moved in the indicated direction, which after some hours led them to a thick forest. They decided to camp there. Casimir immediately set out to hunt. He tracked down a stag, but when he shot him with a bow, the stag was wounded and escaped. Casimir followed his lead, but he came across two wolves and gave up, returning to the camp. In the meantime, Nat found edible plants, and Mar built a shelter. Then he fortified it by putting the sharpened branches into the ground. Then he lit a fire, at which the three of them dried and warmed.
At night they set up guard. The night passed peacefully, but in the morning it turned out that Casimir got seriously ill. Nat went to search for medicinal plants, but she fell over and wounded her on a sharp branch. She healed herself with the spell and she to meditate again to be able to cast it again. Mar went hunting and searching for herbs, while Casimir guarded the camp and Nat. At some point his fever increased so much that he began to hallucinate (or did he experience a vision?). Suddenly he was floating high above the forest. In the northwest, he once again saw the lake, then in his vision he fled east. He saw Elvish ruins, and among them bustling silhouettes with characteristic squirrel tails attached to their hats. Scoia’tael!
Meanwhile, Mar hunted down a deer, the same one that had been wounded the day before. Casimir, while skinning the deer and preparing a dinner, found in its stomach a figurine of Melitele, which he gave Nat after cleansing. The heroes eventually managed to find healing herbs, which Nat used to heal Casimir with such effectiveness that she not only healed him, but also made him stronger than ever.
At night the heroes heard that someone was breaking through the bushes. Nat called the strangers, in the name of Melitele. It turned out these were three people met by the heroes in the hills. One of the men was wounded. They turned out to be vejons, priests of the god Vejopatis. They claimed that on the return to their village, they had been attacked by Scoia’tael, who were now chasing them. Nat cured the wounded with the spell, they extinguished the campfire and silently prepared for the deadly fight in darkness.
The heroes shot back with their bow and sling. After a while one of the vejons fell dead, the other two were injured, Nat miraculously avoided a serious wound. However, half of the elves have also been wounded. One of them, after the arrow flashed right next to his face, panicked and rushed to escape, ruining the morale of the others. The barbarian fell into battle rage and, using his two-handed axe, wounded, overthrew, and then turned into a bloody pulp one of the elves. Three were wounded and taken prisoner. The rest, mostly injured, escaped.
The heroes searched the captured elves. They found, among other things, three gambesons, one of which Nat put on (she had no armor before, for which she almost died), a rope which they used to tie prisoners, bows, swords, daggers, perfumes, some orens and a letter:
“To commandos’ leaders:
In addition to killing Dh’oine, whenever circumstances permit, leave the body in visible places and fabricate traces indicating that they have been killed by wizards, witches, druids, dryads or witchers.
If you kill the soldiers of different Kingdoms, make them look like they killed each other.
Do not attack men of Duke Hereward or the representatives of the Cult of Eternal Fire. They are our useful idiots, let them act and we will kill them later, when they are no longer useful.
Your most important targets are all human wizards, bards, scholars and other Dh’oine known for their good relationships with the Elder Races – as well as their relatives and friends.
Strengthen agitation in cities. Publicize every case of persecution of the Elder Races by Dh’oine. Mute and soften any discord between Elder Races. Traitors of the Elder Blood have to be administered justice, but they cannot become martyrs. Before they are killed, they should be discredited.
Send your soldiers best acquainted with … <blood stain covers a few words> to me, they will be needed at the Belleteyn Festival in Vizima.
Do not lose your spirit! Soon, a powerful ally will support us. Who defeated the lions, will surely defeat the eagle or the unicorn.
Nat, knowing the Elder Speech, tried to interrogate commando’s leader, but the interrogation turned into a long exchange of insults and malice. In the end, to terrorize the leader, the heroes (or maybe anti-heroes?) decided to pretend that they are cultists of some terrible cult, cut the “ritual signs” on two elves’ skin, and then threw them into the campfire. Mar pretended that he was going to eat the leg of the slaughtered elf. As a result, the leader committed suicide by biting out her tongue. Ultimately, they did not learn anything from her. (Anti)heroes hanged her corpse on the tree and decorated it with a wooden plaque on which Nat had engraved the inscription “traitor of Aelirenn” in Elder Speech.
Vejons, shaken by this scene, went their own way (after they buried their fallen comrade) to warn their people of Scoia’tael (and maybe our heroes too). The heroes, calm as seasoned ruffians, went to sleep. Nat dreamed about Lionheaded Spider, Coram Agh Tera. Could it be that she angered Melitele and brought the attention of the ominous deity?
In the morning, the team went on their way to Vizima. On April 27, they went through forest and reached the coastal plains where they camped for the night. During her watch, Nat heard sheep’s voice. She ignored it. On his watch, Mar heard a wail and a squeal. He rose from the campfire and went that way, taking no torch nor lantern. He was looking for a source of a sound until he found it… trampling a nestling.
The heroes were worried about what would happen if the nestling’s mother realized what had happened, but nothing disturbed the silence of the night.
On the morning of April 28 they went on their way. They found corpses of shepherds pierced by Elven arrows, and one dead sheep, which Casimir skinned straight away, while the other two buried the shepherds. They passed through the plains without any problems. When they were in the forest further away, they noticed in the distance seven riders heading south. Mar called them with his thunderous voice, and the riders… run away. Without further adventures they went through the forest, until they went out to the arable fields in the evening. In the lake’s waters they could see the wreck of a ship that they were travelling on just three days earlier.
Immediately after entering, Mar was spotted by a merchant for whom he had once worked. The merchant was drunk and in a very good mood. Asked about the news, he shared a number of gossips from the wide world.
In Novigrad, persecution of nonhumans inspired by the Cult of Eternal Fire continues. The Northern Kingdoms are flooded with cheap goods from Nilfgaard. King Foltest ordered to form a special unit to fight Scoia’tael under the command of one Vernon Roche.
White Wolf, also known as the Butcher of Blaviken, has spectacularly slaughtered several murderers, the Michelet brothers, in Oxenfurt. There were also local news – robber knights were prowling on the road, and then escaped the chase riding along the shore of the lake toward north-east.
Nat, in turn, told the merchant about the sheep that survived the Scoia’tael attack on shepherds and avoided being eaten by wild animals, and therefore must be some unnatural sheep.
The heroes rented a room in the inn for ten orens and stayed overnight, for the first time without posting guards. On the morning of April 29 they finished their journey as they reached Vizima. They headed for the Trade Quarter, where they found a weapon shop. There, they sold part of the gear looted on Scoia’tael.
I also invite you to my fanpage! In addition to information about new posts, I plan to share curiosities about games, books and of course, castles.
My other posts about RPG:
- analysis of simulative and narrative RPGs;
- review of four RPGs about factions and intrigue;
- report from “The Sword, the Crown and the Unspeakabler Power” session (one of the systems reviewed in the above post),
- report from adventure in Mythic Greece and its continuation,
- report from “Dogs in the Vineyard” session;
- my RPG summary of 2018; 2019 and 2020.