Castaldo – Into the Other Garden

Laputa’s Secret Corner by Chris Skinner

Well, new table and a new game. This is being played with complete newbies using the “World of Dungeons” ruleset, and running through Emmy Allen’s “The Gardens of Ynn“. We’ve got 2 players in this session – Autumn Castaldo a ranger with a pet baby owl-griffin, and Nihal Castaldo, a wizard with some cunning spirits in tow.
This session was partially devoted to getting the players up to speed with what an RPGs in general is, making characters, and setting the scene. Then they had to put up with my rusty running of the game – this plague time of 2020 has been draining!

===Session 1===
Players
Autumn (ranger)
Nihal (wizard)

The sisters Autumn and Nihal were told that their aunt, Mayda Castaldo, had been missing for many months and had left instructions with the family lawyer: her house and possessions were left to the sisters.
They found their aunt’s diary. The last entry contained a reference to “The Other Garden” and instructions on how to make a gateway to get there. Autumn was concerned, believing that their aunt had wandered into this “Other Garden” and not returned, but Nihal was immediately excited by the possibilities and went to the garden to see a ivy-covered wall and chalk on the ground. She followed the instruction, drawing a door on the wall and wrote “Ynn, by way of Castaldo Cottage”.

They passed through the gateway and into a overgrown vinyard, the air filled with haunting musics. They wandered among the rows of vines, until coming across strange golden pipes gutting out of the ground. Autumn climbed up to get a better look at the surrounding lands – strange overgrown gardens stretched out to the horizons, with scattered forest and ruined buildings nestled among the rolling hills. Nihal examined the grapes, which taste amazing and slightly intoxicating. She stored a handful of grapes in her knapsack.
Autumn wondered about the inhabitants, and managed to beckon a mossy-squirrel with some grapes, and then the pair followed the squirrel as it leapt across the fields towards rows of trees.

The trees concealed a flooded orchard. Overripe fruit had fallen and fermented in the still waters, the air filled with alcoholic fumes. Nihal felt herself slowly becoming light headed, and rushed them onward splashing heedlessly through the waters. Autumn had her pet owl-griffin direct them to the nearest edge of the orchard, and into some wild hedges with a tower peeking over the top.

They were feeling a little lost, so Nihal took some time to summon one of her Spirit (Lupo della morte).
While Nihal was busy, Autumn took the time to try to explore the nearby tower. A giant golem gardener was working, trimming the grass and trees. It expressed sounds of anger at Autumn walking on the grass, but when she offered to help it gladly gave her a pair of garden-shears. She set about trimming the hedges – managing to impress the Gardener with her neat work.

When Lupo was finally summoned, Nihal gave it her collected grapes, and tasked it with finding a direct path to the vineyards. It returned after a dozen minutes with directions for Nihal – but shortly after it was followed, by a giant preying mantis!
Everyone hid, but Nihal was in a dangerous position hidden in bushes just near the monster’s feet. Gentle (The owl-griffin) swooped in to distract the Mantis. The beast immediately chased Gentle towards the tower. Nihal took the opportunity to throw her fire-oil flask to drive away the Mantis. The oil splashed across the tower’s courtyard before igniting – the flash of heat drove the Mantis into the woods screaming, but the fire remained, grass and flowers quickly withering in the heat.
Everyone heaved a sigh of relief, until the Gardener-Golem came from around the tower and took in the ruin of it’s carefully tended patch of gardens. It roared in anger.

===End Session===

Exciting to get back into RPGs, and what was even more exciting was how both players were asking questions and chatting about the game even when we’re not playing 🙂

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