Thursday, January 31, 2013

RL #6: The Loup-Garou

Last night we resumed in the church of Marais d'Tarascon, where the PCs had been resting for a day following the battle in the cemetery the night before. Having expended their spells to heal, the party set out for the Tarascon plantation at twilight; there they found Luc, staring vacantly out into the fields.

Luc grieved for his brothers and imparted that he carried the blame for their deaths. When asked to elaborate, Luc accompanied the party back to the church where he explained how, many years ago, Marcel had come upon a journal belonging to one of the founding Tarascon forefathers. The journal made reference to a scroll penned by a Vistani seer named Hyskosa that foretold a great prophecy; though he searched for it throughout the village, Marcel found nothing.

Over time, the journal's tale was all but forgotten - until, one evening at dusk, Luc caught sight of a colorful gypsy wagon just outside the village. There, a beautiful, dark-haired woman named Valana told his fortune:

Look for the scroll where the old rest fine, behind the stone where six stars shine. The finding, however, will cause much pain; beware the time of the falling rain.
Luc was taken aback by the gypsy's words and rushed off to inform Marcel, leading his brother to a secret passage at the edge of the cemetery which led them into a walled-off area containing a number of ancient mausoleums. Upon one's door was etched a six-star insignia, and inside they found Hyskosa's scroll. Amazed, Luc began reading the verses aloud, but as he did, a slew of undead came forth from the disinterred coffins and struck Marcel down, taking his life. Luc could provide no details of the events that followed, for at that moment he entered the trance-like state that he retained until the zombie lord was finally defeated.

Caring to speak no further, Luc took his leave, and the party retired to their makeshift beds. They awoke the next morning surrounded by a thick fog amid the chill autumn winds - inexplicably, they found themselves outside, sleeping on the cold, bare ground.

Taking to their feet, they saw nothing recognizable and began marching in the direction Alaric believed to be north. As morning dawned, the fog cleared and they came to the outskirts of a village. Elias took note of a woman in the distance; suddenly, he ran for her, calling out to his "Aunt Meisha." Immediately they knew that they somehow had returned to Chatain.

The PCs spoke with the relative briefly and bade her to call for Karsten, who came to them a short time later. Karsten explained that, although no soldiers had returned after the night that the party delved into the swamp, their lone captive had been killed during a recent attempt to escape. Moreover, a few days after the party left, two woodsmen arrived from the east, searching for a large, monstrous wolf.  The loup-garou, as they called it, had terrorized settlements across the countryside, killing dozens if not hundreds.

At the party's request, Karsten located the woodsmen and sent them to the edge of the village to meet. They introduced themselves as Eldon and Ravewood, explaining that the trail of the creature they sought led unmistakably toward Chatain, though they had not found actual footprints in days. Fearing themselves at a dead end (for beyond Chatain lay only marshland and swamps), they agreed to accompany the PCs east until their respective roads would have them part ways. Not wanting to reenter the village, the PCs asked the pair to send for Karsten, agreeing to depart the following morn.

They waited all day for Karsten, but by dusk he never came. As night fell, the PCs headed for the Winter Wolf tavern (a name that Eldon and Ravewood believed was a bad omen). They found Karsten inside, but when questioned, the innkeeper denied that the woodsmen had come to him. At that moment, Eldon and Ravewood appeared in the doorway with weapons drawn. "It must be one of you," Ravewood accused grimly, implicating the PCs and Captain Rapacion.

Before a melee could ensue, Aginot cast hold person and the woodsmen were disarmed. When the spell expired, cooler heads prevailed, and the party convinced the pair that none of them could be their quarry.

Satisfied, all retired for the evening, Alaric to his church and the others to separate rooms in the inn. Screams of villagers outside awoke them in the early morning hours, and the PCs rushed to the street to find the grisly bodies of the two woodsmen, torn apart by a large wolf whose footprints were abundant in the soft ground.

The tracks led north into the forest. Though the PCs followed the trail as best they could, all signs of the wolf soon were lost. Rapacion assured them that the creature had not made it this far, and when questioned how he knew, he replied:
"Because I turned around last night when I reached the forest's edge and returned to the inn."
Horrified at the revelation, the PCs watched as the captain donned an evil grin, confirming their fears. "Fortunately, you have gifted the one weapon that could possibly harm me to an innocent young boy," he continued, referring to the magic dagger that Aginot had given Elias in Marais d'Tarascon. Alaric moved to attack but barely grazed the warrior. Rapacion fought back menacingly, fairly skewering the paladin with his longsword.

Aginot commanded the captain to "die," and Leilana cast entangle as he fell unconscious, causing vines and trees to wrap the captain tightly and hold him fast. Alaric took up Rapacion's longsword (knowing it to be enchanted from a casting of detect magic by Leilana in the tavern) and attempted to run him through, but the magically-awakened vines captured Alaric, and then Aginot too. Leilana bolted for the village, calling for Elias and Karsten, and returning with both moments before her spell would end. Rapacion had transformed into a thrashing wolf, biting and clawing at the vines to escape. Just as he tore himself free, Karsten plunged the captain's sword deep into his hide, eliciting an unworldly howl. Rapacion fled into the forest on four legs as the vines finally gave way, leaving the party wounded but very much alive.

XP and DM's Commentary

Wow, that was a lot crammed into a three-hour session, with a very unexpected turn at the end. The party almost fell to a handful of bad rolls (three failed saves against Leilana's entanglement) and honorable role-playing decisions (giving the magic dagger to Elias despite its enchanted nature). Leilana's casting of detect magic that revealed the evocation on Rapacion's longsword proved a critical bit of knowledge that saved (and nearly ruined) them all.

(It should be noted, as well, that as unlucky as the characters' die rolls seemed throughout the night, the PCs were very fortunate that no opponent succeeded on any saving throw rolled against their spells.)

This session was a great example of how, as DM, you really never know how things will play out, and how a PC's (or enemy's) fate can rest on the roll of a single die. In the end, the characters survived, but so did the final antagonist, and it should be interesting to see how the party proceeds from here. The players have seen Rapacion's combat prowess firsthand and no doubt know what a dangerous adversary he could prove.

A quick note on logistics: this is the first game we've had with absolutely zero technical issues. No blue screen errors from my laptop (I installed a horde of updates after the last two sessions), no reconnecting the video call mid-game, no audio echo from the mics. Good things all around - hopefully they continue.

It seems reasonable to award XP for Rapacion's longsword, so I'll do that at this time. Through a bit of trial and error, the PCs find the weapon to be a longsword +1. Beyond that, they know not what other powers it might have. For now, the sword will be valued at 400 XP; divided three ways, the party's updated totals are:

  • Alaric: 3,717
  • Aginot: 3,717
  • Leilana: 3,667

It remains to be seen whether "by the book" XP awards will work for this game long term. It's something I'm keeping an eye on, but I'd really like to stick to it if we can.

Alaric's Prayer

    I thank the light that myself and my companions are safe after the events of the past few days.  A few scrapes and bruises and broken bones are little to pay for survival after fighting with so many creatures of the dark.  I am thankful that my companions were able to continue the fight even after I fell.  I feel ashamed that I fell before my companions, and I shall strive to perform better in the future.
    It seems that dark times have arrived in Falkovnia.  I fear that what we have seen is only the beginning.  During my youth, I heard tell of the dead rising, but I thought it a story, meant to scare children into behaving.
    While the townsfolk in Marais d'Tarascon have welcomed us, it appears that we are being blamed for the events that happened.  I fear that I understand them, and that they are just trying to protect their town from further unpleasantness.  I hope that after what this town has been through they are sheltered by the creator's hand as they deserve peace for a long while.
    I must admit that I began to doubt myself during our trek.  I have discovered that it is easy to be a servant of the light, when you are at home and nothing is trying to kill you.  Now that I have been away from my church for awhile, I find myself with difficult decisions to make.  Leilana and Aginot are rash, but sometimes their way seems easier.  However, I have sworn to uphold the law.  Because of this, I find myself stopping them from acting, and lecturing them on the proper way to go about things.  I have wondered if it would not be easier to go along with their ideas.  It troubles me that I spent my life as a servant of the light and I am so easily considering forsaking it.  I feel as if this is a test of my faith, and I do not intend to give up so easily.
    I ask that the creator shelter my companions and I, and that the light show us the way.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

RL #5: Night of the Walking Dead

A marathon Saturday night session wrote an end to the mysterious deaths in Marais d'Tarascon. Despite a number of out-of-game interruptions, the party forged through and defeated the zombie lord, Marcel. Read on, if you dare...

After speaking with Lillin, the PCs headed for the cemetery in search of its caretaker, Pierot, but first found Shaman Brucian outside the church. In the privacy of its walls, Brucian explained that, after Marcel died, Jean Tarascon quickly fell from grace: once a noble overseer of the Tarascon plantation, Jean's mind became poisoned by the loss of his two brothers. With Marcel dead and Luc seemingly void of all consciousness, endlessly reciting scrambled verses of unknown origin, Jean was increasingly plagued by fits of rage and violence. In light of this, Brucian and others exiled Luc to the swamp for safety - until the PCs retrieved him a few days earlier.

Outside in the cemetery, Pierot shunned the party's questions, intent on preparing for the funeral of the waitress who was murdered in the early morning hours. The group remained for the interment of the deceased, and was relieved to see that the coffin remained quiet and motionless through the end of the service.

As evening approached, the party headed back for the inn but was ambushed en route by the black-cloaked assailant, who stabbed Luc twice before Rapacion slew him grimly. The corpse was revealed to be Jean Tarascon himself, and Brucian pilfered a key and dagger from the dead man's robes before ushering the PCs away to speak in private, urging them to find Marcel's body.

The party opted to replenish at the Full Moon Inn for the evening and begin their search at daybreak, though they considered it paramount to acquire the key from Shaman Brucian before the night's end. Together, they accompanied a handful of villagers back to the tavern, where Brucian confided yet more of his frightful tale. Jean, he explained, had brought Marcel's body - torn nearly limb from limb - to the church on the night that Marcel was slain. Brucian attempted to raise the twin with a magic scroll, but tragically, the spell failed. Jean fled the church in anguish, taking the body of poor Marcel with him.

Suddenly, the storm clouds - having loomed over Marais d'Tarascon for several days - finally broke, pounding the inn with putrid drops of rain and racking its walls with thunder. Simultaneously, Luc's sporadic verses became unprecedentedly clear and unmangled. Within moments, a villager at a nearby table fell dead as a deathly odor settled in the air. Alaric leaped to his feet and buried his sword into the body of the fallen, determined that he not rise as undead. Then Luc recounted a new stanza, a verse not before heard by the PCs in any form:
Look for the scroll where the old rest fine, behind the stone where six stars shine. The finding, however, will cause much pain; beware the time of the falling rain.
Before anyone could react, a rain-drenched villager burst in from outside, yelling, "The dead! The dead are approaching Marais d'Tarascon! An army of the walking dead!"

Constable Gremin quickly began to organize a defense, leading willing patrons outside. Brucian, however, urged the party to accompany him to the old cemetery, where he vaguely recalled an insignia bearing six stars from decades earlier. Ignoring Gremin's demands for help, Brucian and the party fled into the village, blanketed by the night and drowning in the downpour.

As they ran, shambling corpses lumbered toward them in throngs. Brucian and Aginot turned those they could manage while the others aptly slew those they could not. When finally they arrived at the cemetery, Brucian led the group to a chained iron gate enclosing a ten-foot high stone wall, guarded by twin gargoyle statues that eerily seemed to move with every flash of lightning.

Alaric and Rapacion pounded at the chain with their weapons, finally severing it and gaining entry to the old cemetery, an untended portion of the graveyard that supposedly hadn't been entered in years. Overgrown with trees and vines and the ground beneath them turned to mud by the rain, the PCs trudged amid the mausoleums until they came upon two buildings of interest: one was the grandest of all the tombs, towering in size and boasting a stained-glass dome ceiling, the other was a smaller and plainer structure whose entry was adorned with a cryptic, six-star insignia.

Luc refused to approach the latter, shrieking and cowering and nearly fleeing away in terror. Half of the group opened it and scoured its interior, finding recent boot tracks and a half-dozen disinterred coffins that, thankfully, were empty. Dismayed at the lack of anything to validate Luc's recitation, they turned to the larger mausoleum, which Brucian knew to harbor the long-dead ancestors of the Tarascon family.

They entered and ascended a set of stone steps, and as they did, the rain suddenly stopped. The moon's light cast a sickly yellow pallor through the stained glass upon the tomb's floor, a carpet of bones and half-eaten carrion. A nauseating odor filled the main chamber, further lighted by two burning braziers with a finely-crafted throne nested between them. On the throne was seated a hideous creature who resembled Jean Tarascon, but with rotting, pale-gray skin.

The creature proclaimed itself Marcel Tarascon, Lord of the Undead, and demanded an item it called "the scroll of the six signs." Before any could answer, corpses lumbered from recesses in the crypt's stonehewn walls, attacking with their vicious claws. The undead lord looked on as the zombies assailed the PCs, who struggled grimly as first Leilana, then Alaric were laid low. Companions rushed to the aid of the fallen, all the while slicing and stabbing at Marcel's undead minions. When finally Marcel joined the battle in earnest, a great thunderclap rattled the chamber and lightning exploded the dome overhead. Above, the moon turned blood red; its light bathed the tomb in a veil of deathly crimson before fading away and then disappearing completely - a full lunar eclipse.

Marcel gazed to the sky and cried out in abhorrence, and as the last of his minions burned at the end of a newly lighted torch, Aginot, Brucian, and Rapacion hoisted up the zombie lord and buried him onto a fiery brazier, igniting the undead body in a sea of red flames. Thereafter, the crypt fell silent; Luc instantly regained coherence, and those that were able helped carry the more grievously wounded out of the cemetery and back to the church.

The undead army, it was learned, dispersed aimlessly when the zombie lord was killed, though it had left Marais d'Tarascon with many dead and wounded. The sun rose early the next morning, shining its glorious rays upon the village with no storm clouds anywhere in sight. The Tarascon manors were searched by the villagers; Brucian brought word that the Tarascon servants were all found dead, and a mysterious scroll was discovered in a bookcase in the upstairs floor of the townhouse. The scroll held many of the verses recited by Luc when the storm broke:
The night of evil shall descend on the land
When this hexad of signs is near at hand. 
In the house of Daegon the sorcerer born
Through life, unlife, unliving shall scorn. 
The lifeless child of stern mother found
Heralds a time, night of evil unbound. 
Seventh time the son of suns doth rise
To send the knave to an eternity of cries. 
Inajira will make his fortunes reverse
Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse. 
 -- [Missing verse, torn away] --
The light of the sky shining over the dead
shall gutter and fail, turning all to red.

Post-session Details

In addition to showing them the strange scroll and allowing them to copy it if they so choose, Brucian offers the party the dagger and ring of Jean Tarascon (both magically enchanted), a scroll from Brucian's own collection containing two raise dead spells, and an offer to remain at the church until the time they are fully healed of their wounds. At that time, the PCs must seek refuge elsewhere, preferably nowhere near Marais d'Tarascon.

(Out of game, the dagger is a dagger +1 and the ring a ring of protection +1. Brucian explains that Marais d'Tarascon has no desire to harbor the implements that helped murder a number of its villagers, and asks that they be taken somewhere far away. The scroll, too, the priest wishes no remembrance of, given that its failing led to the near-total devastation of village.)

XP and DM's Commentary

Last night's session seemingly spells an end to the first major chapter in our campaign. This time I was well prepared to DM and despite some out-of-game delays we managed to grind out the most fruitful adventure thus far. With that, XP awards are as follows:
  • Rescuing Luc from the swamp: 100 XP
  • Slaying the zombie of Duncan d'Lute: 40 XP
  • Saving Lillin from the black-cloaked assailant: 100 XP
  • Defeating Jean Tarascon: 150 XP
  • Zombies (10 in total) slain/turned en route to the cemetery: 400 XP
  • Marcel's undead minions (5 in total): 363 XP
  • Marcel Tarascon, the zombie lord: 650 XP
  • Dagger +1: 400 XP
  • Ring of protection +1: 1,000 XP
The total award of 3,203 XP is divided four ways between the PCs and Rapacion. Though Shaman Brucian also aided the party in the cemetery, it can be assumed that the value of the raise dead scroll effectively negates his portion. The contributions of Elias and of course Luc were negligible and not counted; therefore, in the end, 801 XP is awarded per character. Furthermore, Aginot receives an additional 50 XP for his recent in-character journal, bringing the party's current XP totals to:
  • Alaric: 3,534
  • Aginot: 3,584
  • Leilana: 3,534
Aginot hereby gains 3rd level immediately, though he should plan to spend several days training and paying reverence to his faith at the next opportune point. Aginot will be allowed no additional level advancements until this occurs.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Detection of Evil and/or Good

One thing that seems to come up again and again in AD&D games whenever a paladin is involved is the innate ability to detect evil. Because the paladin is able to use this ability at will, a smart player's intuition is generally to attempt to detect evil around every corner and inside every inn; after all, why wouldn't you want to know if that innkeeper is secretly plotting to murder the whole party while they sleep?

Unfortunately (read: fortunately), neither the spell detect evil nor the ability of the paladin are so keen. From the first edition DMG (p. 60):

It is important to make a distinction between character alignment and some powerful force of evil or good when this detection function is considered. In general, only a know alignment spell will determine the evil or good a character holds within. It must be a great evil or a strong good to be detected. Characters who are very strongly aligned, do not stray from their faith, and who are of relatively high level (at least 8th or higher) might radiate evil or good if they are intent upon appropriate actions. Powerful monsters such as demons, devils, ki-rin and the like will send forth emanations of their evil or good. Aligned undead must radiate evil, for it is this power and negative force which enables them to continue existing. Note that none of these emanations are noticeable without magical detection.

The second edition PH defines the spell detect evil using similar terms. While there's no reason a paladin can't detect evil constantly, only truly extraordinary circumstances would trigger a positive detection. No, the innkeeper probably isn't a demon, and the door to the blacksmith's outhouse probably isn't a portal to the Abyss. Though a player playing a paladin shouldn't feel bad about calling on the ability when a critical situation arises, it also should be accepted that, much more often than not, detect evil won't reveal anything at all. It's easy to trivialize the ability to detect evil when read as part of the paladin's class description - after years of playing D&D, I still seem to do it myself sometimes - but in the end the purpose of the ability/spell is to identify unworldly evil sources, not simply a common criminal or even a malicious mercenary.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Tarascon Diaries: Aginot's Perspective

The collected writings of Aginot, Friar of the Order of the Coin, scrawled upon scraps of parchment pilfered from the servant quarters at the plantation of Marais d'Tarascon, and kept rolled and bundled in the pockets of his robes.

The intrigues of Marais d'Tarascon plague my mind, and disturb my rest.  Our newest acquaintance especially, a queer little man named Mordu, leaves me with such a feeling of unease that I find myself checking my window every few moments, expecting to see his sinister little face peering back at me from without.  There are three mysteries, above all, which give me the most consternation, all dealing with murder.

First, and most troubling, are the sudden and unexplained deaths of several townsfolk, preceded by a stench fouler than that of Souragne, that result in their unholy resurrection as undead creatures of great strength and ferocity.  We are no closer to unraveling this mystery than we were when we first arrived at Marais d'Tarascon.  

Second are the assassinations, conducted in twilight, which are as of yet unsolved.  Our only clues, thus far, are the pieces of red licorice left at the scene...whether this clue is meaningful, or just some jape of the assassin, is as of yet undetermined.  Mordu may play some role, or at least have some knowledge of these murders, but we've been unable to ascertain whether he truly has any involvement.

Third, though certainly not finally, are the savage murders conducted at the Tarascon plantation, whereby flesh and limbs are rended and torn as if by some savage beast.  Our young companion, Elias, has had disturbing dreams of a dark woman warning of shapechangers, those that shift form by the light of the moon...I do not believe in coincidence, though I do not yet know the importance of the child's dreams, or why he, of the group, is the only one that suffers them.  I cannot help but feel that our detached companion Luc, or perhaps one of his wayward brothers, is at the root of this mystery.

I take faith in my stalwart companions--Alaric and Leilana, as well as Captain Alec Rapacion and my new friends Luc Tarascon and Elias.  It is my hope that we have the means to unravel these mysteries, and avoid the dire prophecies of the gypsy soothsayer from Souragne.  

Ravenloft session #4: The Murderer Escapes

The campaign was back from hiatus last night, and from my perspective it was a rocky few hours. I felt really off my game, and a solid half-hour of technical difficulties to start things off didn't help. By the end I think everyone was pretty well immersed, but for a while I was struggling through my notes and probably just not as prepared as I could have been. Hopefully things only go up from here. The PCs are sifting through a frustrating patch in Marais d'Tarascon, but I think that scheduling a more lengthy session in the near future should help get them through it.

We picked up the morning after the untimely death of Duncan d'Lute at the Full Moon Inn, and the party was eager to explore the rest of the village, starting with the Tarascon plantation. As they made their way to the edge of town, the PCs took note of the Tarascon townhouse, a lavish, two-story structure at the edge of the village proper owned by the three brothers. Its doors were locked up tight and its windows covered with heavy curtains - the place looked all but abandoned.

The manor house at the plantation (a half-mile outside the village) didn't show much more promise, with no people or field-workers to be found. After discovering a mutilated cattle carcass in a wheat field, the party prodded around the servant house, prying a lock off the cellar door and entering through the basement. Inside the house's main chamber they found a disembodied arm (female and presumed to be a servant's based on its tattered sleeve and dirt underneath its fingernails) and dried patches of blood. Otherwise, the house seemed in reasonable repair, neither pristine nor drastically unkempt. In a side chamber that appeared to be the head servant's room were records of the plantation's field-hands scrawled on sheets of parchment. The attached stables yielded little but rope and miscellaneous supplies.

Satisfied, the PCs turned back to the stately white manor house, hoping to find an easy way inside. As they searched, a stout man bearing sword and shield made his way toward them from the road, declaring himself the town constable (Gremin by name). Gremin seemed overly perturbed that a group of outsiders had taken it upon themselves to pry about the plantation, and was equally distressed at the presence of Luc among their numbers, making it clear that the youngest Tarascon brother was not welcome anywhere near the village.

As the PCs pressed for information and denied Gremin's requests for them to leave, the exchange quickly soured, and when they questioned his diligence in investigating the murders, the constable broke down and revealed that his own son had recently died in the manner witnessed the previous night at the inn. Distraught, Constable Gremin made to arrest the party - until he was interrupted by a second man calling for him from the road. Seemingly a laborer, the newcomer brought word of another murder, just outside the Full Moon Inn. With a look of contempt for the PCs, Gremin turned and followed the villager hastily back to town.

At this point, Aginot and Leilana made a case for forcibly entering the manor house, especially given that Jean Tarascon still had yet to be located, but were refuted by Alaric and Rapacion, who feared that such action could spoil them in the eyes of the village - a stance that the constable would undoubtedly support. In the end, the party elected to trail Gremin back to the inn with all speed.

They arrived to see a throng of people gathered around the body of a dead barmaid in the morning shadows outside, the corpse spattered with slashing wounds and a few pieces of red licorice at its feet. Lillin, the staff manager and daughter of the innkeeper and his wife, explained that the woman was en route for her morning shift and killed a few hours earlier, just before sunup.

"Such a shame, such a shame," a voice uttered behind them, and the PCs spun to see Mordu, the town eccentric, standing closely at their backs. Mordu's expression oozed of intrigue and excitement rather than sorrow, and he was quick to lead the PCs back to his nearby cottage, imparting that he had a theory about the murders. Obviously guarded, the party followed; inside were shelves filled with old histories and tomes, many of them likely fictional - or at least in reference to places nowhere near Marais d'Tarascon. One volume in particular seemed to interest the strange man (a self-proclaimed scholar), titled Infamous Rulers and Societies. After distastefully offering them all licorice from an earthen jar, he flipped the book open to a chapter called "The Cult of the Swamp God," attempting to link its content to the town's recent deaths and slayings.

The PCs found the theory far-fetched at best, but had little time to ponder it further as a scream from outside resonated through the open windows. The companions rushed to the door - though divided on whence the scream came, they followed Alaric on his hunch to the east. A few houses away, the party caught sight of Lillin being assaulted by a black-cloaked figure brandishing a blade. Leilana cast entangle as the others sped for the scene. At Alaric's call for the attacker to cease, the hooded form disappeared into the shadows, allowing the innkeeper's daughter to escape. The PCs darted behind the building where the attacker had fled but found nothing aside from twisted foliage livened by druidic magic.

Frustrated and distressed, the party questioned Lillin, who explained that she was on her way to find Pierot, the cemetery caretaker, when she was assaulted from the darkness. She saw nothing that allowed her to identify the attacker, though when asked about the Tarascon brothers, she revealed that Marcel and Jean were Luc's senior by fifteen years and that their mother, Claudine, had died twenty years prior. Marcel was one of the first in the village to die (if not the first), though Lillin knew not the cause of death nor if any private funeral was held - for none was held publicly.

XP and DM's Commentary

Throughout Marais d'Tarascon, the villagers (with the exception of Mordu) seem resigned to their grim fate, and the continued presence of dark, unbreaking storm clouds overhead does little to mend their confidence. Out of game, no further commentary aside from the notes at the top of this post, and I'm again waiting for a more suitable stopping point before divvying up and awarding XP. Our short sessions make it difficult to progress much over the course of a single evening, though I'm hopeful we'll be able to schedule for a longer stretch a week or so out.