Session Recap S2E03: Crossing Bridges

“And we must still try or we would be leaving our friends to fight without us. I think this is what you have meant by duty, all along; I do understand, at least this much of it.”

― Naomi Novik, His Majesty’s Dragon

Since the Majestic Griffon had been taken by the Cloudreavers, there had been scarce time for our heroes get to know its original crew members. There was that bit with missing crew, then all efforts went into sailing the undermanned ship. With Sarina Morrus now announcing her departure from the ship, Torlan wants to get to know the original crew of the Griffon a little better, perhaps wanting to curb more dissent and desertion from the already undermanned ship. So he sits down in the tavern with Unnao, Moira of Vathirond, and Aejar Colwarn. He learns Unnao is Thranish despite serving on a ship under the Brelish flag, and there are some frayed nerves there, but the old dwarf keeps his cool.

Meanwhile, after a long shift at hauling timbers, Ruskel heads over to the settlement’s mender, Saul, to pass off his jacket for repairs. The magewright remarks on the quality of the skyknight’s jacket, and asks for seven sovereigns to get it repaired. Ruskel passes him a whole galifar and asks when to swing by to pick it up. Saul says he has a few sails he has to get to first, and tells the skyknight to come back in two days.

Daina asks Torlan into her room and sits down her godfather for a heart-to-heart. “People don’t get Dragonmarks like mine unless they’re part of a bloodline,” she says…

“…Is there something about my family you know that you’re not telling me?”

Torlan sits back in his chair and goes thoughtful. He tells her that her great-grandfather was part of House Deneith…but he wasn’t marked. Nor was her grandfather, nor her father. Daina asks if Torlan knew her mother. The dwarf replies that he didn’t.

Would you lie to me? Daina wonders aloud.

“Not unless it was to protect you,” he replies.

As for Trucco and Owlbear, the shifter is still trying to rig fights with Owlbear, and it isn’t going well. Owlbear doesn’t get the concept of “faking it”. His punches aren’t pulled, and when Trucco tries to explain to him to be gentle, the large man is certainly gentle, as in, he forgets to punch.

During their time in Rickey’s Squibs, Torlan, Daina, and Ruskel had been networking with locals. Daina of course wants more crew for the ship. But it seems the pitch isn’t going great. Most sailors seem to either want to be of the snatch-and-grab pirates, who win their prizes through blood and glory…and then there are others, paid wage-folks, who would prefer to not get their hands dirty. While Cyrans might be fine doing either in the name of Cyre, that would mean finding Cyrans, and Cyrans were a thing the small squib-port happened to lack. Daina and the Mourners would have to focus their efforts, most likely one direction or another, if they wanted a crew who matched their purpose, until Cyrans could be recruited to replace them.

It’s late in the afternoon, and the group is discussing these options, when the a man comes running into the settlement and by them from the direction of the logging camp, crying, “TROLLS! They got us when we were logging!” He’s quite understandably hysterical, and smeared with blood, but Daina manages to calm him down. Still, he’s only able to recall that there were two others with him who got taken, and the trolls had a “hound” with them.

Daina knows that trolls will regenerate unless burned with fire, and sends the others ahead while she secures some torches. Torlan stays behind with her to play a serenade to hurry her along, while Ruskel and Trucco dash ahead into the woods. Moira of Vathirond and Unnao happen to be nearby, and Torlan calls them over as well to round out the combat party.

Ruskel manages to find the trolls’ footprints and signs of battle quickly, while Torlan, Daina, Moira and Unnao catch up, tindersticks and torches in-hand, and it’s deeper into the woods they go running. Ruskel leads, recalling his military scout training to follow the trail, but he’s so focused on the trail itself that he fails to notice the troll-hounds stalking the party!

A furious melee follows, with blades, spells, and crossbow bolts flying through the woods. Trucco sinks a thrown knife into a troll’s face. Ruskel gets knocked down by a charging hound, but rolls back to his feet and pivots around the shifter, lining up the perfect angle to drop a thunderwave on a pair of troll-hounds, and Daina breaks from the group, with blue fire swirling around her rapier, cuts solidly through a second troll that tried to ambush the attackers.

Mourners fight a pair of Trolls
The Mourners track down a pair of trolls and their hounds preying on loggers at Rickety’s. Map created by MapGuffin.

Torlan looks across the bloody landscape, and notices one of the troll-hounds, its bones shattered by the skyknight’s Thunderwave, beginning to right itself. Just at it’s about to lunge for Ruskel, the old dwarf steps on its back and shoves his lit torch down against it to keep it down for good.

With the regenerating foes dispatched by fire and steel, our heroes go looking through the nearby woods. They find Zell from the logging crew, breathing raggedly. Daina tears off some scraps of clothes and, supported by Torlan and Ruskel, get a compress on his wounds and manage to stabilize him. A third member of the logging crew, Verth, is also found, but sadly, it’s too late for him.

And with that, our heroes return to Rickety’s Squibs, with yet another tale of daring heroism following in their footsteps!

Behind the Scenes

  • Savage Worlds damage is swingy by design. At any point in time, the lowliest goblin could, with enough exploding dice, kill an adventurer. In this case it worked in the Mourners’ favor, as Daina rolled exceedingly well on her attack against the second troll, eviscerating it in a single hit without giving it a chance to regenerate!
    • Elly also used a lot of tools at her disposal to make that come to fruition. Her Fighter class ability, Martial Flexibility, lets her take a Combat Edge of her choice for an encounter. She chose Frenzy, giving her an extra Fighting die to use on an attack, and then she took a multi-action to hit it with an Alchemist’s Fire to prevent regeneration, and followed up with the attack that turned out to be the deathblow all in one.
  • Likewise, the troll hounds each failed their regeneration rolls, so while Ruskel actually crit failed his Notice roll to see the one nearest him moving (his second Notice crit fail of the night!), the failed regeneration roll allowed Torlan to set fire to the bodies and make sure they didn’t rise again.
  • For folks who maybe know Savage Worlds but not Eberron, Saul’s designation as a “mender” means he’s a magewright–a professional “mage” who specializes not in a school, but really one spell, or even one function of a spell. In this case, he mends cloth–sailcloth usually, or, for Torlan and Ruskel, clothes. This is a hallmark of Eberron’s “Wide Magic” philosophy, where blue collar workers like blacksmiths or engineers or even cleaners might use spells where people in our world use technology to accomplish their jobs.

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