vol. 90 - September 14, 2013
Highlights in this issue:
Are you ready for Quest? Come enjoy our fall games!
- On October 12th at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, "The Divine Wind" takes you to the Crusades in Bilgosh. Watch for danger on the water, learn about Yamamotoan weaponry, and prepare an attack to free the Bilgosh coast from a dangerous enemy, in this final installment of the Divine Wind arc. RSVP with GMs Jackie and Beth at cg132 .
- On November 9th at the Arlington Masonic Lodge in Arlington, MA, "Hidden in Shadow" rides onward to northern Bilgosh. Are you brave and clever enough to investigate a recently slain Dark Lord's manor, bringing back valuable information (and treasure) before the region can be overtaken anew? RSVP with GMs Lauren and Ian at hiddeninshadow .
Got a game idea?
Are you interested in running a Quest game during the winter or spring? Got an idea that's ready for action or needs some work? Or are you considering GMing for the first time and would like some help getting your game off the ground?
Contact the Events Committee (events-committee)! We're looking for GMs interested in running games in January, February, and March (or even later), and we look forward to making your game happen!
Bring a friend
And don't forget the "bring a friend" discount — bring a new player to any game and get the same discount they do!
The Rules Committee has passed a two rules changes in 2013, and they are now posted for community review at the Rules Committee page. Per the RC Charter, we will be collecting community feedback on these proposals during the month of October (and the rest of September--bonus!) so that we may discuss any concerns before the new rules are adopted in 2014. Please send any concerns or comments to rules-chair, and they will be raised to the committee.
Summary of changes (please see the proposal text for the full details of each change):
- Mage Kits have been added. Similar to the previously existing Cleric Kits that customize magic for clerics of different CG deities, we will now have Mage Kits that customize mage magic based on the five elements (Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Aether), plus Void, the absence of elements.
- Quicktalk has been renamed to Persuasion. "Quicktalk" isn't a real word, and was confusing to newer players. "Persuasion" is a real word, and describes the skill's effects just as succinctly.
Continuing Game News:
Interested in running a game set in the Bilgosh arc?
- The Crusade story is being driven by what GMs write and how well PCs do at those games. There is no secret, pre-written master storyline, and the background material is available to GMs. If you want to run a game set in it, just talk to the CG Chair at cg-chair so we can be sure you have all the necessary stuff!
- The Crusade story has no specific plans to end at a given time. Our intention is to keep running for as long as it makes sense story-wise, and for as long as it still has steam. As long as people want to run games in it, and as long as people want to attend games set in it, we’d like to keep it going.
- It will end at some point. We'd like it to end with some high-stakes game(s) in which the PCs deal a solid blow that can plausibly be the straw that breaks the camel's back. If you are thinking you might have a game idea for that, please let the CG Chair know!
September 14, 1013:
After lengthy negotiations, the representatives of the Crusader nations of Allondell and Chardreau signed a treaty with Yamamotoan emissaries from Seiguntou. The two Hesketine kingdoms agreed to open trade with Yamamoto in exchange for the provision of weapons and supplies for the Crusade effort.
Viceroy Yukinaga Mizuho of Seinguntou agreed to send an ambassadorial party to negotiate with the Hesketine countries after the discovery of a staked vampire in the hold of a wrecked ship that had been bound for Yamamoto. The summit at which the Yamamotoan ambassador met with the Chardrois and Allondine delegations was not without conflict; a faction of Napermian nationalists launched repeated attacks against the embassy building, culminating in a failed attempt to destroy the building with an explosion. Reports have also circulated suggesting the presence of necromantic magic being used within the city; documents were recovered indicating a connection between the alleged necromancer and these events, causing speculation that the forces of Overlord Emilian of Bilgosh may have been operating in collusion with the nationalist group.
Despite these disruptions, the negotiations proved successful, and a treaty was formalized, with copies sent off to each of the homelands of the ambassadors present. Allondell and Chardreau agreed to lift the ban on trade with Seiguntou and deal with their merchants on the same footing as their peers from other Hesketine nations. In return, Seiguntou promised to supply both nations with magical weaponry and trained operators to deploy against the unholy armies of Bilgosh.
Prince Alonzo of Veneza, outraged at his former allies’ normalization of trade with the Yamamotoans, withdrew from the Crusade and set off with his knights and troops for home. His Highness stated he could no longer stand beside those who had “abandoned Nicolia [an island once held by Veneza, now part of Seiguntou] and the rest of Hesket for the evil hands of the occupiers”. Princess Francesca of Castagna followed suit the next day.
In Malema, the ruling Nennite order of Codexers split down the middle. Some of the order’s knights maintain that fighting the unholy in Bilgosh is of paramount importance; others believe that forging a treaty with the Yamamotoans tacitly endorses the Yamamotoan attack on Delona, denying justice to those who fought to defend their homelands from unprovoked attack and conquest.
In Philiathos, another duchy that lost territory to Yamamoto in 998, Duke Timotheos withdrew his ambassadors from Chardreau and Allondell.
Sainte-Portia, Chardreau, and Selmouth, Allondell:
Following the accord with the Yamamotoans, Allondell and Chardreau each opened up one of their port cities to Yamamotoan merchants.
Among the Allondine royal court (both in Tolbury and among the King’s retinue at the Crusade), there is increasing rumbling between the young King Harold’s faction (which pushed for the accord and favors the opening of trade) and that of the king’s uncle and former regent, Prince Edmund (which contains many older veterans of the war against the Yamamotoans, and opposes the opening of trade.)
Yamamotoan ships began arriving in the two port cities about a month later, carrying porcelain and jade wares, silk textiles, and “sache”, the Yamamotoan rice-spirit.
Throughout the spring, as the season of war began again, Crusader armies made headway in their spring drive to reach Lake Ladgosh, hoping to secure the watershed area of the lake, which they believe they need to control before they can advance on Overlord Emilian.
According to those inside the camps, the teenaged King Harold of Allondell is the one urging greater haste, with the older Queen Catherine of Chardreau advising caution and better advance planning, especially in light of the Crusaders’ now-diminished numbers.
King Harold instructed his exchequer to take out loans to secure funds for the purchase of large supplies of garlic and wolfsbane, which were distributed amongst the troops. (Allondine courtiers say the exchequer grows increasingly concerned at the ever-mounting cost of the war.) The Allondine king also commanded his noble vassals to secure more silver and silver-coated weapons; the high cost of such equipment has not pleased all of his subjects.
Both monarchs, along with their allies, advanced to Domorica, on the northern shore of the lake. They were met there by the combined forces of several Dark Lords and Ladies, including one vampire and one master werewolf -- plus their soldiers, both unholy and mortal.
Willing Crusader soldiers have been taking initiates’ vows in holy orders so that they can be trained in the prayers that create holy auras, then using those auras to repel unholy foes. The Crusaders deployed those initiates strategically, using their powers to channel their opponents into chokepoints on the battlefield where Crusader knights, mage-knights and pikemen could grind them down.
Emilian’s forces made a counter-offensive, sending werewolves tearing through the Allondine flanks. There were heavy losses among the archers before the Allondine and Chardrois knights could close ranks and chase the wolves down.
At dusk, many of the unholy forces grow stronger, but by sunset the Dark Lords and Ladies had obviously taken heavy losses. While their unholy minions might be easy to control, their mortal soldiers were demoralized, and began to break and retreat, and their black banners soon fled. While Queen Catherine advised that they regather and resupply, King Harold urged a pursuit to rout the fleeing Bilgoshmen, but the Crusaders had taken sharp losses and few had the strength to continue the fight, and King Harold was finally convinced by his uncle, Prince Edmund, to declare victory and end the day.
Jiyoma (Gioma), Seiguntou:
On May 4, revolts spread across the former capital city of Napermo, now the chief city in Yamamoto-held Seiguntou.
While Napermian partisans had been operating in secret networks for fifteen years, many of those groups have apparently abandoned hope of outside help, and spurred locals into striking immediately at their Yamamotoan rulers.
Yamamotoan authorities reacted sternly and harshly, declaring martial law and sending forth infantry from the city garrisons and nearby forts. Open fires in rebellious neighborhoods were permitted to burn freely, with the Yamamotoan troops corralling and then arresting those who fled the fires.
Revolts continued for three days, followed by a mass public execution of several hundred rebels.
After several months of siege, the castle held by Dark Lady Silvestina fell to the Crusader armies that had surrounded it, with the necromancer herself slain.
Via strength in numbers, the Crusaders had been able to eliminate the Dark Lady’s outlying armies early in the spring. Supplies of food and wood within the castle ran low early on, with the Crusaders hoping that starvation and deprivation would weaken morale for the troops within and lead to a surrender. However, the necromancer instead let her people perish, then raised them as fresh undead troops, resupplying her own ranks.
Even undead cannot exist indefinitely without resupply, however, and so the Crusaders waited until the unholy forces had weakened before hurling holy water over the outer walls and then attacking the walls with catapults. When the wall breached, Crusader forces penetrated the bailey and, after extensive fighting, slew the weakened undead.
Silvestina herself made a final redoubt in the inner tower, brought down only when the Crusader mage-knights used magical flame to crack the tower’s mortar and topple the structure. Her remains were unearthed from the tower’s debris, and burned.
Porto Delvino, Vallino:
Trade in this Vallinan port dropped considerably over the summer once the Allondines and Chardrois opened their own ports to the Yamamotoans.
Porto Delvino, once a small port, grew in importance (and trade) after the previous Doge of Vallino opened the port to Yamamotoan ships in ‘01. For the Yamamotoans, it was the only Hesketine port open to them outside their own holdings; for Hesketines, it was the only market where they could purchase the Yamamotoans’ goods.
With the more lucrative markets of the larger kingdoms now open, many Yamamotoan ships now bypass this small port and proceed straight to Sainte-Portia in Chardreau, or Selmouth in Allondell.
While some of the Vallinan nobility hope that the broader trade with Yamamoto may reduce Vallino’s pariah status among its Hesketine peers, among the Vallinan merchant families there is great concern that Vallino’s financial fortunes may decline.
Crusader armies led by Lord Boothe, the Allondine Earl of Dremmen, were defeated at Revnik by Dark Lord Tibor.
The Crusaders at Revnik faced an army of shambling undead, and sent their ranks of clerical initiates forward to block the undead’s progress. Lord Boothe hoped to shift the undead sideways, toward the waiting pikemen who could impale them.
However, the Crusaders soon learned that the “undead” were actually mortal Bilgoshmen wearing rags, paint, and dirt, and walking with a shambling gait. When the initiates were caught off-guard by the ineffectiveness of their prayers, the “undead” advanced rapidly and overran the Crusaders’ lines. The pikemen rushed to back up the initiates, but were too far away. The Crusader lines buckled, then fell into retreat as a wave of actual undead followed the fake undead. Lord Tibor himself pursued the fleeing Crusaders with magical bursts of thunder.
Lord Boothe retreated to the main Allondine camp to attempt to regather and remoralize.
A textile merchant in western Kiljukan who remains sympathetic to the Crusade effort sent word on August 10 to the Allondine camp near the Bilgosh border that another three Crusader ships have dropped out of contact. The merchant uses messenger birds to relay orders to warships en route to Bilgosh and receive reports to pass along to the commanders at the front, but in the past several months, he has lost contact with more and more ships. These vessels have failed to report in through any other means, their missions have gone uncompleted, and they have been recorded lost at sea.
Yamamotoan ships sailing past the Marakh emirates en route to the Crusade were beset by pirate ships.
Unlike the Hesketine vessels which had attempted the same trip (and which were captured), the Yamamotoan junks struck back with their magical fire-lances (known as “hikyosha” to the Yamamotoans). The pirate ships, not expecting this counterstrike, had left themselves in vulnerable positions and were rapidly set ablaze. Several went down into the waters, with the remaining vessels fleeing.
Gameworld news comes from GMs, story authors, and other Quest participants, not from the Game World Committee. If you have material to contribute, please email it to cg-chair.