My players were eager to continue, so we had a 2nd session this week. There was not a lot to randomly generate this time around during the session – as I was able to put together the tower’s contents from the random tables during the intervening days. I must say i’m impressed how the random tables and treasures from “The Gardens of Ynn” were able to generate a site that felt like it had its own history…
The sisters had driven off the monstrous Mantis, but were left with a spreading fire in the gardens, and an angry looking Gardener Golem running towards the fire. They made a break for it and ran into the tower, leaving the Gardener Golem unable to follow them into the small doorway.
Inside they found the broken down remains of a drawing room – tattered chairs, crumbling tables, and faded artwork. All covered in a thick layer of cobwebs. They carefully moved through the room, brushing off the webbing that built up as they brushed against it.
Upstairs they came into a cobweb filled dining room, plates and cutlery scattered across the broken table and floor, chairs rotting and held together only by the webbing encasing them. There was a brief attempt to get a closer look and try to find out what may have happened, but the cobwebs stuck to them, and their motions started pulling apart what remained of the room. Both of the sisters had to stop to remove the webbing that was starting to make moving around difficult.
Continuing up the tower, they came to a kitchen and pantry. The kitchen was nearly as dilapidated as the other rooms, but they found the pantry bathed in a strange honey-coloured light coming from a glowing candle. Nihal went to examine the candle. She quickly felt herself starting to slow and become drowsy, but before blacking out managed to reach up and extinguish the candle. Looking around they found all the shelves filled with assorted foodstuffs. Autumn took some cake wrapped in cloth to eat later. Nihal was curious about the candle and melted some of the wax to try tasting it. Even though it burnt doing down her throat, she realised that the candles were infused with magic, much like quicksilver. Autumn asked Gentle(the baby owl-griffin) to go out into the garden and look for some herbs to help heal the burns)
The next level contained an ornate (but rotten and cobweb filled) bedroom. The sisters tried to avoid moving or touching anything while looking at the room. The bed was unmade, and the wardrobes had been opened and various articles of clothing were scattered on the floor nearby. It looked like someone had packed and left in a hurry (before the spiders arrived) When they tried to move in for a closer look they were surprised by a number of small and colourful spiders that skittered away from under the bed and out the windows. There was a lingering floral scent.
Above the bedroom was the wine storage. Another magical candle, and rows of dusty bottles of wine with strange labels and contents. Gentle came back through the window with some fungal remedies for the sisters. Nihal noticed something peeking at the window, and managed to surprise a giant pastel-coloured spider. It screamed in shock and scurried up the outside walls and out of sight. While Autumn was engrossed in the alcoholic beverages, Nihal crept upstairs.
The penultimate floor was completely webbed over. Through the silken tunnels Nihal glimpsed a pair of huge spiders whispering to each other at the window. Once they noticed the intrusion they rushed to protect a lumpy pile of silk in the corner. Strangely enough, Nihal could just understand the rudiments of their language – which was similar to the magical language of the spirits. They were afraid of her, “The Bringer of Fire”. Even more shocking, they recognised her sent, said it was familiar. Nihal went down to the pantry to collect some fresh meat and gave it to the spiders. They were put somewhat at ease, and the trio tried to make themselves mutually understood.
Autumn was faintly disgusted by the spiders (especially their eating habits) and went to the top floor (while sampling some wine). There she found the study and library of a magician. Books chained to shelves, struggling to be free. And a giant silver mirror in the centre of the room. What caught Autumn’s eye were the scuff marks a the base of the mirror – like someone had dragged a heavy suitcase through a doorway
Nihal had reached an impass, the spiders said they knew the “Other old lady who smells like you” and where she had gone, but refused to give up information without a payment of “fresh” meat. She joined her sister in the magical library and they immediately set to investigating. Whoever had lived in the tower had been making the magical books, and had been using the mirror as some kind of magical doorway – the sisters just needed to work out how to open the door. As they were skimming through the books they were setting some of the more interesting titles aside.
Nihal decided to run a test, and read the incantations from a book titled “Chariot of the Skies” which summoned a massive whirlwind which lifted her up (and started to demolish and scatter the contents of the library). She commanded the spirits to bring her outside and land on the still raging fire in the gardens. The winds were so strong that most of the fire was immediately blown out, with only a few embers scattered in nearby trees. The Gardener Golem waved in thanks and lumber over to extinguish the tiny remains. Nihal asked to return to the library and the winds tossed her back through the window, but took the opportunity to fly into the skies without her.
Autumn had collected the book – which was now a useless collection of charred pages (in an expensive binding). The sisters realised that without a source of magic power of their own, these books could only be read once. Remembering the magical candles, Autumn collected some books and wines while Nihal melted the candle and mixed it with an exotic wine – the resultant brew fairly glowed with magical power. Once Autumn was ready with packed bags, Nihal drank the wine, and cast a spell named “mirror road”
The mirror dissolved into darkness, their reflections replaced by a starry night and a cobblestone path leading into the darkness. The drag marks and faint footprints were visible on the nearest stones. The sisters looked at each other, agreed, and stepped through the mirror.
Gotta say, I really like how easy it felt to run this session. The “World of Dungeons” ruleset has enough to make the characters feel different, but light enough that there was very little pause in running the game, and the results always felt distinct enough for me to narrate something.
I am a little nervous about where the sisters are going, but it really feel that “portals” are a running theme for me 🙂