Thursday, November 17, 2016

Session Recap: Until It Sleeps, Session 2

Took a while to find an appropriate
So some things happened, but not a lot, oh well, documenting this anyway.

The Cast

Mortimer ("Morty")

A subterranean elf, Morty was among the most respected undertakers in all of Montgomery, before being ousted. He has secretly been practicing Necromancy, but this wasn't even his worst crime. For some reason, he can't remember, shortly after the embalming of the late Empress Lumi Montgomery, he went mad and attempted to kill the new emperor, Edward Montgomery LVIII. He was apprehended and sentenced to death. Zeke who felt things didn't add up after hearing this story decided to help him escape. Retconned!


Talbot is a mustelidian, or more colloquially, an otter-person. Until the end of the recently deceased empress, he was among the royal gardeners. He has a magical talent for gardening [using Sorcery mechanics] and can usher the elements to his whims using by calling o power through the rhythmic clashing of two stones in either hand. He is enchanted with Zeke's air synthesis, a rare miracle in this day and age, and becomes friends to learn more about him.


An Air-Infused religious monk who has betrayed his traditions, and done irreparable harm to his ancestors by selling manuals of their secret techniques to rich but exploitative businessman who have exhausted air aspected mana throughout the empire. To this day, the faintest breeze is considered a miracle. Wanting to give the greedy royals a piece of his mind, he returned to the capital to speak with someone in charge that might help. When this failed, due to an unfortunate switch-up, he found himself imprisoned for a short while in the same dungeon as Morty. He was soon released when the forensics group discovered they made a mistake, but while in the cell, he listened to Zeke's story, and decided it was worth his while to help him break out.


September 26, 1812.
The players try to figure out a way they can serve the monks of the abbey. It turns out today is a somber holy day of judgement for the empire. It "celebrates" the unfaltering judgement of the gods in delivering justice to those who have earned it.
Alex. the first monk the party met in the previous session said that Bjork, the head monk would need to be escorted to a colloseum in the capital city of Montgomery. They go to gather up Bjork, a decrepit, blind man, praying all by his lonesome in a dark cloister. He clings to Zeke's arm and leans on his cane, shivering uncontrollably in anticipation of the events of the day. Zeke decides to make some charms in preparation in case of emergency.
Bjork explains that his place in the ceremony is to purify the bodies before burial, as these are the worst criminals the nation has known. It is also the last chance that one has to receive pardon if the gods will it. This is determined in a process where Bjork reads the minds of the criminals to recall the moments of the crime scene, and witness for himself the deeds they have committed. It is important to purify a criminal before burying the body lest it pollutes the earth. Zeke asks who is being executed today.
  • Abraham - charged with burning down a hotel, killing hundreds and sending the same to the hospital.
  • Ida - charged with terrorism and the murder of an entire elementary school classroom.
  • Valentino - charged with the rape and torture of over 20 women, several ending in death.
At first, Zeke and Talbot were hoping that maybe they could find an ally sympathetic to their cause amongst those on death row, but they decided that these are probably people they don't want to be associated with.
When the party reached the colosseum, they were directed to an out-of the way entrance, and escorted by Sheila, a royal guard. They were directed to Ida first.
After harnessing the two together, and finishing a prayer and a ritual, the lights grew dim, and the restless Ida went limp. The old man Bjork thrashed violently against his restraints, there for his own protection as he howled and cried mournfully as sights that no one should have to see flashed invisibly in his head. When he bit his own lip to snap out of the trance, he did a prayer and wrote sutras on her body, announcing quietly to Ida that she is guilty but is now ready for adjudication.
The same ritual repeated itself when they approached the chamber of Abraham, and the party tensed up as the lights dimmed, but instead of the violent wailing, Bjork sobbed bitterly repeating "no, no, no." in a pitiful voice, "don't kill them, please." When he snapped out of it, he retched on the floor, and prayed over the man, telling Sheila that this man is not guilty, but a victim of the incident, and he should be presented to the emperor for an official pardoning.
Finally, Valentino was also found guilty and his body also prepared for the adjudication ritual, but while the ritual was occurring, Zeke used a ritual talisman to ask Sheila were political and traitorous prisoners might be being held. In trance, she explains that they might be found at a secret address. They would not be executed in such a grand showing as many of their crimes are matters of national security.
After this, two of Bjork's attendants mention they will begin escorting Bjork back to the monastery. They decide to follow, as two attendants stay behind to attend to clerical matters.
When they brought Bjork back to the monastery, they escorted him into a brightly lit baptismal chamber, with candles and plentiful natural light coming in from stained glass windows. When he arrived, the rest of the abbots and monks set to preparing the ritual. The old man was stripped naked and sutras and prayers were drawn on him with blood from a sacrificial animal, as flowers and herbs were added to the water. After a chant and prayer, one monk in water proof ceremonial garb lead the blind trembling Bjork into the pool. The water started to turn black as if the ink was washing off, though none of it was smeared or obscured. Bjork moaned in a low tone as the prayers and chanting continued. As the water darkened, so too did the room, even though it was midday, and even though the windows were lit with natural light, it was like a darkness climbed from the pool and filled the room. Coincidentally, the two attendants that stayed home entered the room at this time with an envelope from the colosseum. It was full of a shining sand which was dumped into the baptismal pool, and suddenly light returned to the room, and the water congealed in a muddy red black, with Bjork completely submerged, his attendant scooped him out and poured clean water over him to wash the last bits off, the lettering immediately washed away this time, and the ceremony was complete.
After this, Talbot decided to help around the monastery with gardening, and Zeke decided to go to the nearby village of Apfelbough, but no one was willing to listen to him or help, as today was a somber day of inward reflection and memorial of those who have passed, those who have been condemned, and those that have been redeemed. The party decides to try to sleep it off.

After Action Report

  • I like that Zeke plotted out his plans out loud which helps me think what details to spare and which to focus on.
  • This was not a very actiony session, but I'm not getting any complaints so I might continue exposition and buildup for a while.
  • The players said the window dressing was disturbing, but in a good way.
  • In the upcoming sessions the party is interested in doing any of the following
    • Getting more work from the monastery to build trust.
    • Getting in contact with the mayor of Apfelbough
    • Exploring the location of the supposed prison for traitors in Montgomery
    • Building a hideout for allies and a base
    • Find a way to infiltrate the justice or corrections department.

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