I had no idea what we would do for our Houses of the Blooded game tonight. It has been weeks to almost a month since we played last and this arc hasn’t been as laser focused as the last.
Storn had some ideas about trying to figure out if his Count should be High King and we kicked the idea around for a few minutes before just diving in, having the characters meet and discuss the issue. Turns out, running the Hub Baronies is complicated business and the initial reason for gathering everyone together got shelved.
They swore a standard fealty oath to the Hub Barony and their newfound Count with some sorcerer blood-magic hoodoo behind it. They talked about the High King stuff a bit but got side-tracked when Anthony wanted to tell the Count how his Barony was doing.
Did he make a roll to see what he knew or did he just decide that something was ravaging his country-side? I’m not sure.
Turned out, something was ravaging Anthony’s Barony and whenever he sent scouts, they never returned.
Off they went.
I peaked at the orc rules and decided that this thing was going to be a monster. I looked at Storn’s newly drawn purty maps of the Hub Barony and saw that Bayul, Anthony’s character, had a Barony near the lake at the center of Shanri. At that moment I decided this thing was a Lovecraftian Cthonic menace, something brutal, something Bayul’s father had kept in check but now that the old sorcerer was dead it was loose again.
It was the hound the Sorcerer Kings used to send after ven slaves who tried to escape.
I picked powers.
Terror can be between 1 and 10. I chose 10.
Orcs can be rated between 1 and 10, I chose 9.
Fuck them. This is a monster they might have to lose to and come back to fight another day.
They found one of the scouts. He was naked, covered in mud, shooting arrows at them and raving. Storn’s Count killed him while Bayul tried to talk reason to his vassal.
They had dreams about the dead vassal in which he insulted them and talked about how they were all slaves playing in their master’s clothes and how all of ven society was a sham to convince them all that they were no longer the Sorcerer King’s servants. I had a damn lot of fun with that NPC’s ghost.
Bayul suggested that they go get help and not knowing the numbers I had chosen for this monster, Storn and Mario’s characters gave valiant speeches about how ven do not cower.
And they met this thing, this tentacled hound with breath that puts ven to sleep so it can take them to its under-water lair and store them for the Sorcerer King’s punishment.
They round up their Courage rolls to beat the damned 10 Terror and they each, one by one made it. None were going to run.
We ran the combat like a Mass Murder and none of us were sure if it should have been Mass Murder or a Duel. It felt like Mass Murder, as it was them, their personal guards versus this godzilla beast.
Their guards were slaughtered, 40 ven killed but they finally beat it due to one of Storn’s special gifts from the suaven, the ven ancestor-saints.
It was a funny thing because before that, the game was kind of limping along with some petty bickering and no real cohesion. Killing that monster brought them all together. They were hooting and hollering and smiling. It was damned fun, killing a lovecraftian beast with swords and guile.
Mario has epic plans for the creature’s skull.
The dreams were funny things, I asked them to set the scene as to where the dream would happen. I liked that. The dreams were really fun.
They had dreams again, in which the vassal’s ghost was put to rest. Mario’s character me the suaven she most intensely worships, a grizzled swordsman whose nickname is Old One Eye. Anthony got to put his vassal to rest in style. Storn had this odd dream set in the senate but with the High King’s throne in it and when the vassal’s ghost was gone, Jamyne Steele, the suaven who was the last and only High King, entered the senate and tried to talk to Storn’s young Count, try to council him on grasping or not grasping for the crown but there were spider-webs gagging his mouth.
That was a good damned night of gaming.
I needed that.