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Session 0

In Which the Fair Gets Foul

19 May, 103 CY

GM: First day of the FAIR! Where the hell are you?

Reeoh: Boy is this a nice day for pickpocketing!

Perrin: Perrin is taking his family to the fair… buying them lots of fried things

Aramis: Aramis half-watches a juggler managing three burning torches while he waits for Sharwyn to arrive.

GM: The streets of Brindinford bustle with activity as the fair engulfs the main street through town. The main street – none too wide in the first place – is narrowed further by the carts and booths lining its sides. Fortunately, wagons are barred, but pedestrians clog the road effectively enough. Artisans, entertainers, and merchants staff the fair booths, calling to potential customers and trumpeting their wares.

GM: Above it all, two notable features define the town’s landscape. A walled keep crowns the hill at the western end of the town, and in the center of town a huge bell tower stands like a sentry.

GM: The fair is confined to the largest thoroughfare through town, Eastgate Way.

GM: Silver Hill (from the keep to Old Ford Road): Like the neighborhood, the fair here is classy and high-priced. Musicians play sophisticated and serious music. Refined dancers move slowly on clear stages. Artisans sell elaborate items whose function is almost purely decorative, made from fine materials of the highest quality. Food vendors are less common closer to the keep, and they sell fine wines, freshly dressed game (pheasant and venison) that can be taken home and cooked, and sweet pastries. The carts are well maintained and elegant.

GM: Eastgate (from Old Ford Road to the East Gate): Lively entertainment raises the noise level in Eastgate, as minstrels, comedians, poets (lyric, epic, limerick), actors, storytellers, and others compete to be heard. Artisans, merchants, and other professionals sell their wares and their services. The quality of those wares and services varies widely, but seems to increase in both aesthetic and practical value the closer one gets to Silver Hill. Food includes meat pies, pastries, mead and ales, and produce.

Aramis: (In Eastgate)

Perrin: (Also in Eastgate) Perrin is carrying Anna on his shoulders. The child does not react in the least to the sights, sounds, and smells of the fair around them.

Reeoh: (In Silver Hill)

GM: (Because there is Newly Organized Crime and/or Reeoh Loves the Loot, it makes sense that the new criminal element wants to frame her for an assault/robbery on a city guard. This goes wrong for her when they succeed and she is arrested with pilfered loot on her person and a bloody dagger. Damn her luck. She is carted off to the jail for processing.)

* * *

(Eastgate)

GM: A shout from the middle of the busy fair spreads into an expanding ripple of cries and screams, accompanied by loud crashes that sound like carts and booths being overturned. These ripples of sound immediately transform into a wave of people, as bystanders try to escape whatever is wreaking havoc behind them.

Aramis: Aramis turns his attention that-a-way

GM: Pushcarts have been turned over on their sides, booths are smashed, and goods are strewn over the cobblestones. A handful of merchants swat ineffectually at several big rats with brooms and other implements.

GM: A handful of thuggish-looking types appear to be beating one of the merchants and/or reaching for wares on display.

GM: (3 zones) [Aramis + Perrin + Crowd] [Crowd] [Crowd + Thugs + Dire Rats] Crowded Streets, Panicking Fairgoers

Perrin: (Create Advantage – Athletics +3)

GM: Perrin climbs up on a nearby cart to get above the crowd (Situation Aspect: High Ground)

Aramis: Shaking his head, Aramis reaches for Wintertide in its scabbard and starts toward the rats.

Aramis: (Overcome – Athletics +2)

GM: Aramis struggles through the crowd toward the altercation, but has trouble getting his weapon free in the fracas.

GM: One of the thugs scans the crowd for any sign of interference, but doesn’t notice the approaching protagonists.

GM: Perrin’s first arrow skewers two of the dire rats, then Aramis bellows out, “Dragonslayer coming through!” The people GTFO of his way, and he rushes up to the thugs, with Momentum (boost)

GM: Two of the thugs turn on the self-proclaimed hero, pulling their own blades as they close in.

GM: The first lunges, but Aramis’s Momentum carries him inside the man’s reach.

GM: The other scores a scratch on the cleric’s arm. (1 shift of physical stress)

GM: Perrin’s second arrow lodges in the throat of one of the thugs harrying Aramis. He drops to the cobblestones, dead.

GM: Aramis presses the attack, knocking his foe momentarily Off Balance (boost).

GM: The thug fighting Aramis whistles sharply once, then disengages, transforming into a rat and slipping into the crowd. His cohorts do the same, leaving only a dead man on the stones with an arrow in him.

GM: (Concession with new situation aspect: Oh, Good … Wererats)

Aramis: Aramis is suitably horrified at the sight of the transformation.

GM: The crowd cheers at first, then lays eyes on the archer. And shy back.

* * *

(The Jail)

GM: Reeoh is interviewed by Sergeant Masser in booking.

Reeoh: "Excuse me, but I didn’t do this,” she says.

GM: He snorts. “That’s original. The politeness, I mean.”

Reeoh: “You can plainly see that the dagger with the blood on does not match any of the daggers you claimed from me.”

GM: “You mean this dagger?” he says, holding up the bloody dagger, which matches those she carries.

GM: Clearly, whoever had framed her had lifted it before the deed. Damn!

Reeoh: “Furthermore, there is no blood on me from stabbing someone. And that’s not my style anyway. So obviously I didn’t do it. And guards NEVER have any good coin, so why bother?”

GM: Masser sighs. “Look, we’ve never had you in here for assault before, so I’ll admit to having my doubts. But maybe watchman Johns caught you snatching Lady Dylan’s bracelet and you panicked, lashing out reflexively, aye?”

Reeoh: “I’m too damn good to be caught by Johns, he’d been drinking. And I don’t ‘lash out reflexively’; I run away.”

GM: The sergeant shakes his head. “We’ll get this sorted. Cool yer heels for a bit, lass.”

* * *

(Back to Eastgate)

GM: Aramis and Perrin examine the body.

Perrin: (Create Advantage – Investigation +6)

GM: Perrin thinks he recognizes the blade. He picks it up and finds the master’s mark of Shoomma, a dwarven smith with a shop in Chatterstreet Market. He thinks that it’s possible the blade was stolen and returning it to her might buy you her good will. And if it wasn’t, maybe she remembered the fellow who bought it. And knows one or more of his associates.

GM: (Situation Aspect: A Stolen Shoomma Blade with two free invocations)

GM: Two members of the Watch show up, and when they see the body, they draw blades on the armed men standing over the dead one. “What’s gone on here, abomination?” the male watchman demands of Perrin.

Chris: Aramis looks to Perrin, once he figures out that’s who the “abomination” is.

Perrin: “Four armed assailants attacked the merchants and let five giant rats loose in the crowd. There was none of the Watch around, so I began dropping the rats. Then one of the assailants escalated and tried to kill Aramis here,” (pointing to the wound on his arm). “I responded with appropriate force. Once he fell, the others turned into rats and disappeared into the crowd.”

GM: “Did they kill anyone?” asks the watchman.

Perrin: “I didn’t allow them to do that, no.”

GM: The speaker scowls at that. “It is not for you to judge ‘appropriate force’, civilian. Vigilantism is against the law in Brindinford.”

Perrin: “Self defense is not. I am aware of the law.”

GM: “By your own admission, you were not defending yourself. And by killing the assailant, you took the law into your own hands.” The other watchman looks unhappy at the direction of this interrogation is taking.

Aramis: “These people were incapable of defending themselves, Watchman.”

GM: The frown turns on Aramis. “Just another customer, eh?” he says, pointing at the corpse with his chin.

GM: “I’ll just go canvas, then, shall I?” says the other watchman. She left to question the other witnesses in the crowd. The people back up Perrin’s version of events, however reluctant some of them might be to defend him.

Perrin: “Son, if you feel like you need to take me in, I’ll be happy to make that stroll with you. As it happens, I do know the way. I’ll come with you peacefully and walk right back out again peacefully once this is all said and done. Then I’ll buy you a drink.”

GM: That pisses him off. “I accept your surrender.”

GM: “Lar…” says the other watchman.

Aramis: “Then you should bring me in as well, though I ask that you send word to Father Sloane that you’ve done so.”

GM: His jaw clenches at Aramis’ suggestion, then he shoots a look at his partner. “I’m taking these men in. I’ll send backup to help you … clean up.” His tone is as dismissive as it gets.

Perrin: Perrin smiles as he removes his quiver and blade, placing them in the other watchman’s hands.

GM: They are escorted to the jail.

* * *

(The Jail)

GM: The jailer comes to check on Reeoh, and sees her cell empty. “What the-” he says, pulling out keys and opening the door before entering to search the walls for holes.

Reeoh: Reeoh drops down from where she’d braced herself between the cell door and the ceiling. She snatches the guard’s keys and dashes out, slamming the cell door shut behind her. On her way out of the building, after grabbing her bag, she runs into (literally) Perrin, while trying to ditch the planted bracelet.

GM: Sergeant Masser is clearly trying not to facepalm at Officer Lar’s arrest of the former captain … not to mention the returning hero, even if he does worship the creepy death goddess. He casually places a hand on Reeoh’s shoulder. (How Did He Know?)

Perrin: Perrin says, “Oh, hello. Reeoh. Still frequenting the establishment I see”

Reeoh: “Uh… I was just leaving, Cap’n.”

Aramis: “Oh,” Aramis says, primarily to himself. “THAT was her name.”

GM: Masser: “As it happens, we’ve gotten word that violent criminals might be getting more aggressive, and even going so far as to incriminate…” he sighs, “… innocent citizens.”

Reeoh: “That’s the truth, there’s no one MORE innocent than I.”

Aramis: To Reeoh: “Oh?”

GM: Masser, to Lar: “We’ll take some statements from the other witnesses that your partner is no-doubt questioning. I see no reason to detain Mister Hargrove or Brother Shepherd. We know where to find them if we have any follow up questions or … ahem … allegations.”

Perrin: “Thank you Sergeant. You know I’ll be happy to cooperate with any further information.”

Aramis: “As will I.”

GM: Masser nods at the two of you, almost apologetically.

Reeoh: “So we’re free to go?”

GM: Masser to Reeoh: “Conditionally, in your case. I remand you into Mister Hargrove’s recognizance. As I recall, you two have something of a history.”

Reeoh: “Sure, I’ll go with the Cap’n. And I do believe that someone dropped this.” She places the bracelet on the counter.

GM: The sergeant pulls Perrin aside before he goes, and speaks to him in an undertone. “Have you seen your nephew since yesterday?”

Perrin: “Can’t say that I have. Something wrong?”

Aramis: Aramis exchanges a somewhat awkward glance with Reeoh while Perrin speaks to the sarge.

Masser: “Hoping not. He hasn’t checked in today. He was following up on a lead in Chatterstreet Market. Might be nothing. Just a bad feeling, is all. Thought you’d want to know. In case.”

Perrin: “Seems like things are getting serious around here. I’ll look into it. Thank you for letting me know.”

GM: He nods, once. “Sir.”

Perrin: Perrin gathers his belongings and starts heading out, grabbing Reeoh by the collar on his way.

GM: Masser to Lar as they leave, “Don’t you have reports to write and file…”

Perrin: “Reeoh have you met my family? I need to let them know we are okay. Then, we need to go to the blacksmith.”

Aramis: “History?” Aramis asks after them as the three depart.

Reeoh: “Didn’t study that.”

Perrin: “Reeoh was one of my more common delinquents while I was running the Watch. But always entertaining.”

Aramis: “Knowing what I know of the company she kept, I cannot say I find that surprising.”

Perrin: Looking to Reeoh “And you! I would not recommend trying to ditch us as we work today. We might need your skills. And remember, I’m retired now. I literally have nothing better to do than to track you down."

Reeoh: “YOU only have to ask, Cap’n.”

Perrin: “What do you know of wererats in Brindinford?”

Reeoh: “Where the rats are? All over the place, really. Mostly in the sewers.

Aramis: Aramis looks slightly pained

Perrin: “Nothing then? Tsk Tsk. I would have thought you more informed than that. How about a new gang, brazen enough to launch an assault in the middle of the fair?”

Reeoh: “Like the ones that framed me for stabbing a guard?”

* * *

GM: “Sergeant?” the jailer called out from Reeoh’s cell. “Anyone?”


The Speaker in Dreams

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