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Dungeon World / AP: The Dark Temple of Orcus
« on: August 11, 2012, 04:51:13 AM »
This game was started mostly as a way to introduce some friends into the game and get them excited for release. I kind of cheaped out by using a pre-existing module (more specifically a dungeon) and anyone who knows it can figure out what it is.

The Cast

Diomedes the Paladin. Very forceful dude who goes out of his way to enforce law on others. Very very dead (See: Session 2.)

Leonna the Cleric. Soft and pleasant priestess who tends to hang back and stay out of the line of fire.

Barrel the Thief. Rogue, fool, vagabond, general absconder of valuable goods. Barrel loves what he loves, and he loves Money. He shows up in Session 2 as a new recruit.

Halek the Ranger. A trailblazer of some repute, ill and otherwise. Halek's eyes can see through the darkest shadows and his arrows can strike through to the deepest of hearts. Foes beware his smile for a true predator lurks behind those eyes. He shows up partway in Session 2 as Barrel runs off to get a trailblazing friend of his.

Session 1
Me: You have finally arrived at the small walled town of Adrick which straddles the Seafangs (a rocky coastal region with very few places a ship can land safely.) A mysterious myth has brought you here, referring to an ancient war and an even more ancient temple dedicated to the dark lord Orcus. For that reason you've traveled far from the western reaches of the Varheidt to...investigate.
The guards stop you at the gates and demand your names and business. You come in search for adventure, riches, and most importantly..glory. Surely someone in the town knows where to find the dark temple.
***Leonna sits quietly, and looks to Diomedes to answer first.
***Diomedes steps forward, head held high, and booms over in a deep, baritone voice. "You have Captain Diomedes."
***Leonna adds in a much softer, soothing tone. "And I am Winter, attendant to the Captain."
Diomedes: "And my business is not your concern." he continues, revealing the holy symbol from under his robe
Me(Guard): "Ah, religious business. Fair do. I must request that you don't start fights in our town if at all possible, self-defense is permitted."
Diomedes: "Request accepted." he responds, then looks over to Leonna and nods towards the gate. Afterwards, he begins moving again.
***Leonna pats the cart-horse reassuringly on the flank, spurring him into slow movement, the wooden cart with the gear clattering lightly over the street.
Me: The town is pretty much your bog standard town, there's two taverns (the Ankheg's Breakfast whose sign features a fat ankheg, and the Priest's Indiscretion which has a sign of a drunk priest) with an Inn complete with stable and a small marketplace. While mostly residential you can see the town hall looming over most of the town and a tower at the far end.
Leonna: "Where should we start?" Leonna asks, anxiousness and determination mixing in her voice.
Diomedes: "For the sake of humor, let us visit the Priest's Indiscretion tavern. There, we can lay the groundwork of our quest."
***Leonna takes a good look at the sign hanging above the Indiscretion, a mockery of the unfaithful, or a mockery of the faithful? Her face contorts a little, and she looks quickly to the cart-horse.
Leonna: "I think Pillimi is hungry. Why don't you check out the tavern, and I'll see if I can find something for him. Someone should watch the cart anyway, this is a bigger city than it looks."
Diomedes: "We can pay someone to take care of the horse at the inn."
***Leonna reluctantly agrees, and drops the horse off at the stable and -- after setting up the room and stowing their gear -- the wagon  before returning.
Me: So you find yourselves walking through the tavern door, already having secured a room / rooms at the inn to discover a very rowdy sort of place with a large firepit -- with a huge boar roasting in it -- in the center of the room, the dwarf barkeep stands behind a fairly large oaken bar nursing a tankard which is most assuredly full of some kind of alcoholic beverage, dwarfs do that you know. The inn is a busy place full of various races, some looking particularly tough and some that don't, there are very few places to sit in fact. Despite the crowdedness of the room you can see the servers picking their way through the room and setting down impressively good-looking meals and enormous tankards as well as an enthusiastic arm-wrestling match in the back of the common room.
***Leonna stays quiet, her arms hangling loosely at her sides as she looks around hesitantly.
***Diomedes pushes someone out of the way with one finger, which is enough to throw the man off balance, and makes his way towards the barkeep.
Me: The man -- already drunk enough to lack balance in the first place -- crashes to the wood flooring of that part of the tavern, drawing loud laughter from his companions as he pulls himself up onto his chair.
Diomedes: "Salutations, good dwarf." he attempts to keep his voice low. "I presume you know of the myth concerning a war, and a temple belonging to a dark lord."
***Diomedes sits at the bar as he speaks. After realizing Leonna is missing, he turns around and motions her to make her way over to him.
Me: The dwarf detaches the tankard from his chest and sets it onto the bar, pulling his shirt back down.
***Leonna is entranced by the severed head of what appears to be a centaur with horns mounted on the wall. When she realizes Diomedes is signaling her over to the bar, she quickly cuts through the din, hurriedly walking over to him.
Me(Dwarf): "So ye're an adventurer eh? Aye, I ken th'myth well and ye aren't not th'only ones t'enquire about it ye aren't."
Diomedes: "Can you... write us all you know about it."
Me(Dwarf): "Ye'r a strange one, I ken ye kin ask th'sage, Malodor-Maldorius if'n y'will. He ken a sight more o' th'highlands'n'th'coasts m'lad."
***Diomedes blinks once and opens his mouth, but no sound comes out. However after a brief pause, he continues. "And where is this sage?"
Me(Dwarf): "Th'tower o'course m'lad. Mayhaps ye'd like one o'me lads t'lead y'there? Fer a coin'o'two o'course."
Diomedes: "Do they share your speech pattern?"
Me(Dwarf): "Nary a man in 'is life kin speak th'tongue lad, mayhaps one o'yer heeland coos, ne'er th'men."
Diomedes: "Good, then. Have one of your boys lead us to the tower." he pushes a few coins on the table
Leonna: "I think that means this sage is human. Could be good news for us, it's hard to get information when it needs to be repeated a couple times."
Me(Dwarf and Stinkeye): He nods and slams on the bar with both hands, "Stinkeye!" The two of you can hear a loud crashing from the kitchen and a fairly short kid crawls out covered in booze, giving the barkeep the stinkeye, 'Wot?"
Me(Dwarf and Stinkeye): "Ye're t'lead these two t'th'tower lad, and hurry home. I'll pay ye if'n y'don't screw up." "Ok."
Me(Stinkeye): Stinkeye pulls himself to standing position and walks over to the two of you and sticks out his hand, "Glad to meet you folks. The name's Calorn, but me friends call me Stinkeye."
***Leonna graciously takes his hand, offering a bow of her head along with the handshake. "Good to meet you, Stinkeye. I am Acolyte Winter, and this is Captain Diomedes. We need to speak with the sage, is there any way we could meet him today?"
Me(Stinkeye): "Sure, the tower doubles as the Hall of Archives for Adrick, anyone can visit him."
Leonna: "That sounds great. We'll need a moment to grab some gear from our room, then where should we meet you?"
Me(Stinkeye): "I'll be waitin' at the fountain."
***Diomedes silently nods, then turns around and begins to leave.
***Leonna walks near Diomedes through the streets. "I'm not sure what it means..." she mutters, flexing the fingers on her right hand. "But I've had pains in my hand all day. Perhaps it's a sign."
Leonna: "Let's not worry about that, though. Come on, I still need to get my mail on, and I'd rather not keep that child waiting."
Diomedes: "I'm certain it is. It's saying you need to pick up a weapon and starting to fight for what you believe in."
Me: And so the party gears up and finds themselves walking out of the inn with a bit more confidence in their lives.
Me: The inn is not far from the tavern and you get your gear and arrive at the fountain, the kid is balancing on the edge of the fountain with one leg in front of the other.
***Diomedes moves up to the kid. "We are ready, now."
Me(Stinkeye): He steps off, "You'll need to do something before we start though. As we're walking you need to think about knowledge positively, it's the only way."
***Leonna puts her weight on the staff and readjusts the clothing under her chainmail, then nods along.
Leonna: "What do you mean, child?"
Me(Stinkeye): "It's en-enn-uh..spelled!"
Leonna: "Ah, so it's like a game?" She patronizes the child a bit, and sends a knowing nod in Diomedes' direction.
Me(Stinkeye): "You can't get to the tower without it."
***Diomedes crosses his arms and looks at the child. "And how do we do that?"
Me(Stinkeye): "Just think!"
***Diomedes raises his eyebrows and shifts his mouth, but decides against saying anything else and ultimately just closes his eyes
Diomedes(OOC): I think about knowledge bringing discipline and improvement of self and all that good stuff
Leonna: "Alright, we've got our brains all warmed up. Lead on, Commander!" She playfully orders the child onwards.
Leonna(OOC): Leonna will focus on the idea that knowledge (good knowledge, that is) deserves to be known and spread across the land, for all are worthy to hear.
Me: You guys find yourselves walking through twisty alleys -- all alike -- with your guide, who seems to innately know exactly where to go until you finally - after what seems like a half an hour of walking -- reach the door of the tower, a very large iron double door with a dragon's head as the design.
Diomedes: "May I?" he joins Leonna's game and asks the child for permission to knock.
Me(Stinkeye): He shrugs, "You can just walk in if you'd like."
***Diomedes nods, then attempts to open the door.
Me: The door opens easily, revealing a vast hall full of tall shelves, scattered everywhere. You can see the shelves rising into the darkness, maze-like almost. Nearby is a floating blue light near a librarian's desk, with the apparent librarian -- a young girl it seems -- sleeping, loudly.
Diomedes: "Is that.. the sage?"
Me(Stinkeye): "Nope, that's just Ardelle."
***Leonna walks up to the desk, and studies the girl a moment, before using the round head of her staff to knock gently on the desk. "Hell-oooo?"
Me(Ardelle): She jerks her head upright and blinks at Leonna after rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, "What?"
Leonna: "Oh, hello. We'd like an audience with the sage, if you please."
Me(Ardelle): She says, She waves vaguely, "He's in Marfas History section." and lays her head back down.
***Diomedes shifts through the hall and puts his massive hand on the girls back, gently shaking her. "Can you show us where that is?"
***Leonna shifts her staff to the other hand, flexing her right hand, and attempting to crack the knuckles, using her chainmail as leverage.
Me(Ardelle): She grimaces, "Keep going down the main aisle until you see a scroll case, then take a left at the first bookcases."
***Diomedes thanks her and releases the weight off the girl's back. He nods to Leonna, and starts moving in that direction.
Me: After a few twists and turns between monolithic shelves and odd areas of almost natural-looking book-crafted terrain you discover the sage himself. He is a tall man wearing spectacles of some sort who looks younger than you'd expected. he's currently examining a tome that reads "Herb Lore of the Walden."
***Diomedes clears his throat, trying to get the man's attention
Me(The Sage): Without looking up, "Hm?"
Diomedes: "A rather... aphonic dwarf send us to you after we inquired about a certain myth. We're interested in this ancient war and tower, which revolves around a character named Orcus."
Me(The Sage): He looks up and says, "Oh?"
Diomedes: "You heard me."
Me(The Sage): "Yes yes" he says impatiently. As he slides a bookmark shaped like a griffon's claw into the thick tome he asks, "Why in the gods' names would you be looking for that now?"
***Diomedes clears his throat again, then, as with the guard, reveals the holy symbol from under his cloak.
Me(The Sage): "I see. What do you want to know?"
Diomedes: "What is there to know about this myth."
Me(The Sage): "Well I suppose since you're here you already know it's somewhere in the area, so I'll tell you what I know. It was built somewhere to the north of town -- where, no one remembers. Every so often we have folk arrive at the town and sally forth to find the temple, and apparently they find it. Or at least we assume so. Very few return alive and the few that do are usually witless, raving about horrific things and terrifying events. A few things we've heard are written upon a scroll in my study if you wish to see them."
Diomedes: "Indeed, we do."
Leonna: "Yes, if you have written accounts, their review may give us helpful insight. Thank you, lord sage."
Me: After inspecting the archives you glean the following:
1. Deep within the temple there is said to be a place where the light of the noonday sun still shines; this place is abhorred by the foul creatures that live within the caves and caverns.
2. A great library, once the property of the followers of Orcus, lies forgotten in a hidden area within the temple. Though it contains works of great evil, it also holds books that could be of great value to sages and adventurers as well.
3. Though some brigands attack caravans that pass through the area, others specialize in taking on adventurers exiting the temple and lairs, weakened but fat with loot.
4. Deep in the temple lies a vast cavern with monsters of gigantic size. An immeasurably huge beholder has been seen crunching up the rest of the occupants.
5. A great oracle can be found beyond a great cavern. He can tell all to anyone willing to pay his price.
6. Further notes reveal that a great deal of adventurers have explored the forests on the western side of the northern road though the coasts are by no means untravelled.
Diomedes: "It seems like we will need help for this journey, Leonna."
Leonna: "I was just thinking the same." No she wasn't, she was trying to figure out just how big of a Beholder the one mentioned is. She shudders a bit before nodding with renewed vigor. "Yes, let's look around town and see if we can find some other brave travelers."
Diomedes: "If we mount a campaign against the demons that lurk in there can end in tragedy. We need outstanding adventurers. Fighters to form the backbone of our crusade, expert guides and trapsmiths that make sure we survive the foes that don't fight with swords."
Leonna: "You know what we seek, I'll leave it to you to procure these fighters."
End of Session 1

All things aside the game went pretty smoothly, everyone immediately got the rules and it just came off great, though this session wasn't very crunchy. The next session however..had a bit more AND a player death. Though this was mostly due to the player not wanting to play their character anymore and wanting to try something new.

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