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[We played a “Strange Mission” game, without a GM. I was the Frame Master, who set the scene based on the random elements, and everybody got two words and a type of scene was generated when we started it. Out of game comments will be in brackets.]

[To set the scene, I had the words “safe haven” and “minefield” and generated the location as a secret pocket realm, and the objective to destroy secret clan lore in the hands of others.]

The fey princeling Sardine was visiting Whiskey Forge with his diplomatic entourage. The archon graciously put on a sports event for him. While watching, Sardine got bored, so he snagged the archon’s son (Rensen) and vanished. The archon was furious, but this sort of thing is a risk you take when you have diplomatic dealings with the fey. Sardine’s entourage was very apologetic and offered to open a gateway to the princeling’s favorite hideaway, so a group could go after the baby. No one of blood relation could go, so the archon chose a stalwart group.

Tancred (Shaun), The Dan (Simon), Onexia (Elizabeth), Gudrun (Iris), Piker (Mark), and Barteus (Andrew) were picked for the job. Steeling themselves, they marched through the fey diplomat portal. They found themselves on a pretty sand beach with bones here and there, under a gorgeous sky, the ocean at their backs and the jungle ahead.

Scene One: The Beach [Environment Hazard. Autonomous, Artifact. Mark]

As they started across the sand, it twirled into sinkholes with bone cages in them that rose up around the trespassers. The Dan and Onexia were accustomed to uneven floors as carousers, and Piker got lucky, so they weren’t caught up in the cages that swayed up on stalks like deadly cage flowers. Tancred, Gudrun, and Barteus had to break out of the bone cages and jump down to the sandy beach, or slide down if the trap was damaged and listed to the side. They evaded the rest of the forming traps, making it to the jungle eaves.

Scene Two: The Vine Door [Movement Hazard. Riddle, Rotten. Iris]

A path led to the jungle, but it kept splitting like a delta, and they risked losing their way. They came to a wall, and it had a doorway that was grown through with vines that wove into a barrier. When prodded, the vines set forth a glimmer of a riddle, but none of the dwarves could read it. The vines tightened when pestered, and there seemed to be a chasm underneath that was emptying of vines as the door was reinforced.

Losing patience with this fey trickery, the dwarves assaulted the portal, hacking through in an explosive flurry of violence, and dashing past it. As they did, the ground ruptured, because the door pulled at vines from the ground to reinforce itself, tearing apart the tunnel behind the door and the ground beneath them. Gudrun, Onexia, and Barteus made it across, while The Dan and Piker (who tied themselves together) both fell, along with Tancred, into a foul rotten goop far under the vine door. The party was split!

Scene Three A: Tunnel Panther [Hunting Monster. Warning, Cache. Elizabeth]

The Dan, Piker, and Tancred won free of the horrible muck, and followed a pathway up. When it split, they were attacked by a giant puma from one side; focusing their efforts, they blasted it down in the initial clash. They went to its lair and poked around, but didn’t find anything they wanted to keep (except from the puma corpse, where they harvested the tail to make a belt, the four big fangs, and some claws.) They found a ladder leading up.

Scene Three B: Rrrumblecats Ho! [Movement Hazard. Tapestry, Lurker. Simon]

Gudrun, Onexia, and Barteus came to a big hall, where Sardine taunted them by flaunting the baby, then teleporting out on a platform. Two huge panthers with whips coming out of their shoulders had runes branded on their sides matching runes on the platform (so it would only work if they were on it.) They attacked!

As the dwarves fought the vibrating cat-things, the injured one retreated to the platform and cloned itself. Still, the dwarves killed all three, and dragged the bodies onto the platform, and teleported–

Scene Four: Pain is an Illusion [Dealer’s Choice. Adventurers, Scorpion. Shaun]

Gudrun, Onexia, and Barteus teleported into an alcove by where The Dan, Piker, and Tancred were following the tunnel to a ladder. Reunited, they headed up the ladder–only to find progress was an illusion and they weren’t going up at all. So they headed down the corridor, and came to a side chamber where there were gleaming bones and such, and an opening high above. It was where corpses were dumped; they saw about 9 bodies, with some humans, maybe human children, at least 1 dwarf and elf, all jumbled together. The bones were picked clean, but no one had the urge to look for loot.

Continuing on, they found a big room, dark, with a spotlight on an altar in the center with a gleaming Clan Caskbound axe–a rune weapon! They took the axe, and heard skittering, so they ran. Checking the axe once they got away, they saw it was a rusted piece of junk. (Barteus kept it anyway.) Continuing on, they came back to the same room, and the axe was there again! They went to retrieve it again, but this time they were attacked by two massive scorpions with saw-tooth stabbing tails.

As they battered the scorpions, dismembered scorpion pieces broke down into smaller swarms, and they attacked those swarms. Gudrun got far enough back from the fray to realize the scorpions were an illusion, and they all came around to seeing it. They also saw Sardine laughing at them, hefting the baby on the far side of the room. He ran, and they pursued.

Scene Five: Time Space in a Knot [Movement Hazard. Sorcerer, Thorns. Andrew]

They came to a sphere, with pole-tops sort of big enough to stand on in a field that curved up the sides, defying physics. On a platform on the far side, Sardine, with a marimba where when he struck a note, one of the pillars gusted magic. They had to cross the room to get to him, and save the baby.

Piker tried firing his rifle, but the bullet curved around the weird physics of the room and nailed him instead. He picked himself up and tied himself to The Dan and Onexia, and together they tried leaping across.

Tancred, an engineer, could not accept the broken rules of gravity in the chamber. While he struggled to come to terms with what his eyes were telling him, Gudrun rushed out and didn’t get much closer to Sardine, avoiding his magical blasts. Piker, the Dan, and Onexia fell. Piker got stuck at the bottom, waking swarms of imps, but that left The Dan and Onexia hanging from an odd angle with the rope, able to take advantage of their strange position to get much closer to Sardine. They cut the rope to Piker and closed in, swinging each others’ weight on the rope, reaching the far side as the others were stranded or trapped in awkward situations.

When they reached the platform, they leaped out of a gem, to find themselves in a nice jungle gazebo. Sardine was pinging the teeth of a comb, looking into the gem where everyone else was, and the baby was off to the side being cared for by fey critters.

Onexia and The Dan insisted they won and it was time to give them the baby, and Sardine agreed. He dumped the rest of the dwarves out of the gem, and let them keep it as a souvineer. They got the baby, and he opened a portal back to Whiskey Forge; they had a chance to make themselves presentable, then they strode out with the baby and the gem in hand.

The Conclusion

The fey diplomats apologized once more, and headed out through the portal. The archon expressed his gratitude to the dwarves who saved his baby, and he received the gem from them as a gift. Then they were all generally happy that they wouldn’t have to host the fey princeling for at least another year… [and they all got 5 Ledger, and agreed that this version of the story was the truth as it really happened.]

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