Hey all, Counterfett here. I took a little break from gaming over the weekend, but I am back in top form, and doing a lot thinking about how I want the rest of the inaugural adventure to go.
"Are you sure we're heading the right way?" Cedrick asked for the ninth or tenth time.When last we saw our brave heroes, they were battered, and deprived of gear after a harrowing encounter with a brutish rust monster. Now, they are outside the city, in the relative safety of the Qalim Desert, walking toward the King's approaching army, hoping to reach them before perishing of exposure or thirst. We are to Q8 now, and I roll a story cube and get a parachute. I also roll a 6, meaning enemy attack on my characters. Now, unless the Vizier's men also have the support of the tinker gnomes, an actual airdrop is out of the question. But since the dice are supposed to be metaphorical, and describe the setting of the attack, rather than the attack itself, I figure maybe the parachute means that the attack will happen as Cedrick and Korynn are being 'bailed out.' Deus Ex Machina Go!
"Yes" replied Korynn. Seemingly in one of her rare, non-annoyed moments.
"How can you be sure?" Instead of responding, Korynn just pointed. From the trail ahead rode a squadron of knights in plate armor, lances bearing pennants with the lion of the king on them. At the lead of the column was a woman in laquered white armor, with golden wings enameled on the shoulders. Cedrick laughed, "I will never understand how you Mennatyrans go around in that much metal in the middle of the desert!"
The woman on horseback pushed up her visor and looked down at him. She looked rather like Korynn, Cedrick thought. "What makes you say we're Mennatyran?"
"You're certainly not Umbarren!"
The knight tilted her head and lifted an eyebrow, silently acceding the point. "Lady Korynn, I am surprised to see you, though less surprised in such company."
Cedrick could tell that Korynn was forming a response, but felt the odd need to defend her just then. "If, judging by the closed visors of your knights, you mean she travels with a man that exceeds their handsomeness, then you are certainly correct!" Polite laughter drifted from the cavalrymen, the type of laughs that Cedrick associated with polo or croquet.
Korynn found her voice at last. "If you are here, Lady Kathrynn, does that mean that my Lord Caleb rides with the King?"
"We have important news from the city that must reach the King, can you bring us to Lord Caleb?" Lady Kathrynn looked annoyed, but raised her hand, and a few squires brought up horses from the string of spare mounts behind the knights.
"Umm," Cedrick piped in again, certain this was a good time to push his luck, "could you also spare a shield and sword for the good Lady Korynn? She is a bit short after some fierce fighting in our escape from the city." Lady Kathrynn rolled her eyes but gestured once more, and a plain sword and kite shield were handed down to Korynn.
Cedrick, not especially used to riding a horse, used the excuse of his needing Korynn's help to stay next to her during the ride. In reality, he just didn't like Lady Kathrynn and her band of silver soldiers. Besides, he wanted to ask Korynn some questions.
"So, Rynn...do all the women in Mennatyre look like you and Lady Kathrynn?" he asked in a quiet conversational tone. In his experience, the key to having a private conversation and keeping it that way was making it seem like you were not whispering or being conspiritorial.
Korynn smiled, a little sadly. "No, they do not. Lady Kathrynn is my father's First Knight, the head of his household troops. She is also my oldest sister."
"What!" Cedrick said a little too loudly, and several of the knights looked his way, he lowered his voice again and they looked away again. "Rynn, you never told me you had sisters."
"Cedrick, your an idiot if you think..." she was cut off as several horses squealed in terror at the front, and rear of the column. They were under attack! Cedick could hear an odd chanting, and felt that queasily uncomfortable fealing of snakes in his head once more.
"Witches!" the sisters shouted, in stereo for Cedrick as Kathrynn was to his other side. Lady Kathrynn spurred toward the from of the column, which meant to Cedrick that he and Rynn had the rear. He spun his horse about as well as he was able, and followed Korynn, who, better on horseback, was already galloping toward a purple clad figure which had materialized behind the horses.
Lightning shot from the witch's fingertips, and both horses were felled. Picking himself up from the abrupt spill, Cedrick saw Korynn, already up, charge the spellcaster. He aimed his pistol, a fine angle far off of Korynn's line of charge, and applied his match. Fizzle. He sighed, drew his dagger, and charged after Korynn. It was a brief battle. The witch was only able to cast her lightning bolt a second time, which, while painful, was not as harrowing as the fireball the other witch had cast earlier. Then, the dazzling rainbow shield was split asunder, and Korynn hewed the witch with her sword.Most of the battle here is pretty self explanatory. I rolled an odd number for Cedrick's pistol again. he might not here the end of that. But the fight went considerably better than the last time they crossed a spellcaster, and the lightning really didn't take that harsh a toll. Rynn struck twice with her sword, and Cedrick chipped in with his mighty d4 worth of dagger.
With that, we wrap up Q8. What awaits our bold adventurers in Q9? Tune in next time to find out!