Design For Living - Campaign Logs
- 1 The Major Events
- 2 "For the Defence of the Realm" (19th February 2008 to the 8th April 2008)
- 3 "Dogs in the Forest" (??) (The Eastern Kennel)
- 4 "Dogs in the Forest" (6th November 2007) (The Northern Kennel)
- 5 "A Brand New Beginning" (14th August, 4th September - 23rd October 2007)
- 5.1 Session 2.9 - Romanov's Trial (23rd October 2007)
- 5.2 Session 2.8 - Welcome to House Sawall. Can I offer you refreshments? (16th October 2007)
- 5.3 Session 2.7 - Interrogation and Reprisals (9th October 2007)
- 5.4 Session 2.6 - A Mother's Love (2nd October 2007)
- 5.5 Session 2.5 - Fox Hunt (25th September 2007)
- 5.6 Session 2.4 - Romanov's Bleys of Glory (18th September 2007)
- 5.7 Session 2.3 - The Lair of the Beast (11th September 2007)
- 5.8 Session 2.2 - Finding the way.... (4th September 2007)
- 5.9 Session 2.1 - Interview with a King (14th August 2007)
- 6 "Saving Grace...." (27th March to the 15th May 15th 2007)
Various Major Events that have happened, summarised for your reading pleasure.
- Events prior to the first session.
- The Events during Saving Grace.
- Return to Amber by the lucky few, aided by Corwin using an ability previously unheard of. Gerard still held the castle but the defenders were fighting a loosing battle.
- Rescue of Mirelle and Fiona from Chaos out of the grasp of Gramble and Bances.
- The Destruction of the Pattern by Benedict using blood from Gerard, Corwin and King Oberon. Oberon dies.
- The Events during A Brand New Beginning.
- Dworkin is found.
- Mei-Lian discovers the Fox, Athena learns of the Black Bird and together, the Jackal and his cave is located.
- The Romanov frees Bleys from Prison.
- Chaos begins their attack on Fenneval.
- The Romanov is lost to Gramble in Chaos.
- The Fox sacrifices herself for the Design
- The Salina is captured during a failed attack on Fenneval, Fiona and Athena walk the Design
- The Salina is captured during a failed attack on Fenneval, Fiona and Athena walk the Design
- Salina, a Princess of Chaos is tortured into revealing much information about Chaos and the attackers. A plan it formed to counter attack.
- Mei-Lian, somehow dominated, betrays Fenneval before stepping onto the Design, supposedly to die, and dragging Atikus with her. She does not and after completing the walk, vanishes into shadow.
- With almost no hope of survival, a daring raid on House Sawall is attempted and Dara is rescued. Jurt is recaptured during the raid after Mei-Lian had free him, Merlin and Salina from the Prisons below Fenneval.
- Dara brings words of Romanov's trial and probably death sentance.
- A daring raid on the King of Chaos' prison is barely successful. A parallel attack on the a Chaosian outpost is more so. Merlin and Salina are captured and Bleys is left for dead....
"For the Defence of the Realm" (19th February 2008 to the 8th April 2008)
-- To be added.
"Dogs in the Forest" (??) (The Eastern Kennel)
-- To be added.
"Dogs in the Forest" (6th November 2007) (The Northern Kennel)
Having been selected as carers for the pups, the rather disparate group was left to the training of the future Hell Hounds.... 3 Months into the training though, Prince Julian was called to battle along with all of the Hell Hound packs leaving only a skeleton staff at the Kennels and the barest of defences in Arden. Of course, your pups where still too young and untrained to join the battle and you were therefore left behind.
Things seemed to be progressing well for the first week or two... and then the supplies from Amber suddenly stopped. Why? You weren't sure but considering that the pups needed training and spending time hunting in Arden would take you away from that, you contacted the rangers in Arden who loaned you a few hunters. Unfortunately, food was just the first problem... the Pups were ill!
"A Brand New Beginning" (14th August, 4th September - 23rd October 2007)
Session 2.9 - Romanov's Trial (23rd October 2007)
The session began on a somewhat frenetic note with Athena returning to find out that Corwin had come and gone and in passing, made her general of the now staggeringly large force already gathered around Fenneval. It would appear Athena's force already only counts for 1/4 of the forces Corwin has managed to raise and he's raising more. Not that her force is unappreciated as clearly they are highly trained and worship her!
Soon after settling her troops in and around Fenneval, she noticed the imminent arrival of Tag, Bloom and Atikus - and hopefully help.... They arrive at the Design where she meets them only to find out that all is Chaos and they are heading for the Dungeons, prisoners and hangers on in tow.
In the dungeons, the story unfolds - a crazy dale of stupidity mixed with daring and pints of luck which no true Amberite would willingly admit to. That said, they found Dara and she helps them by removing their implants. She seems rather amused by all the goings on! She also mentions that Romanov is about to be put on trial by the King and that he'll probably be killed if found guilty.
After much discussion, it was decided that Bloom, Isawa and Atikus would attempt another reckless rescue mission into Chaos under the pretence of meeting their 'client' and Tag and Athena would provide a 'distraction' by invading one of the Chaosian bases.
Tag and Athena's scouting went smoothly and they were easily able to jump their troops into commanding positions without too much difficulty. After that, they were left to their own devices to fight the Draconic forces as the pair jumped directly into a tower where clearly their leaders were directing the battle. There were three of interest, two Logrus masters and someone using trump! Athena used a spell and surprise to knock many of the command group over and then they fought!
At the same time, the three representatives arrived in Chaos and, having said the ritual words, were allowed to defend their client - Romanov. After much persuading, they were allowed into see him and once there, attempted various means to get to him! Having spoken to the prisoner though, Bloom is unsure if he is really Romanov. Unfortunately, the prison was 'one way' as demonstrated by Atiku's hand which he had to chop off... and when Isawa used a Logrus tendril to try and investigate the door way, she got stuck! Despite Bloom's worries, the only way was forward and once they entered the prison, a power unknown to them took over and teleported them to the King and his wife Cymnea's presence. Their punishment for preventing to extract the prisoner was to fight in the area and they were immediately teleported out where they were faced with several of the wraith guard who immediately attacked! Clearly a loosing battle they group split up while attempting to defend against the creatures.
Back in shadow, Athena and Tag where doing well, Tag took Salina out while Athena held off Bleys and Merlin though took Bley's sword in the side for good measure. He left it there because he suddenly became weak when touched by her wielding Greyswandir! Merlin, seeing Salina fall, attacked Tag and layed him out with a power word and while he was recovering, provided a suitable exit strategy, a trump gate. In a desperate move, Athena released another flash bang spell which knocked everyone, including Tag, over, but gave her the upper hand and forced Bleys to give up any chance of winning. He fled giving Tag the opportunity to stab him on the way but Bleys ended up taking Tags sword with him!
Athena dove through the trump and followed Bleys and Tag took Merlin. On the other side, Bleys appears in the middle of an Arena along with Athena, much to the delight of the watchers! Fortunately though, for Bloom, Atikus, Romanov and Isawa, they now have a way out and after a brief defensive stance, choose to run leaving Athena behind!
Without much support and leaving Bleys, hopefully for dead, Athena is forced back by the Wraith guard and a fading trump gate... and returns into Shadow barely in time. The gate could have severed her in two!
Tag is in the process of the final strike to knock Merlin out and as he does, the gate vanishes, but not before Bloom, seeing Tag's sword still embedded in Bleys, triggers it to explode. What the result of the action was, is unclear as the gate closes.
With the prisoners, the group rapidly heads back to Fenneval leaving the not-so-wounded to aid in the movement of the troops back to Fenneval. The attack was 'good' but the losses were heavy. At least Romanov was saved - and he does seem to be Romanov....
Session 2.8 - Welcome to House Sawall. Can I offer you refreshments? (16th October 2007)
Having touched the Design along with Mei-Lian in the mad rush to 'Touch the Pattern and Die', the pair's traversal of the Design is almost sedate by comparison. Meil-Lian's walk shows her story, growing up in Chaos, trained by Dara, part of a minor house of Sawall, isolation from the house and from her brothers, and as things progress and Dara vanishes, Grambel using her as a pawn in a treaty with Amber, marrying her off to Fiona's daughter, Athena. Of interest is the briefest of images showing Grambel again, capturing Athena as she attempts to 'retake' the forces she stole from Jurt early on in the battle around Fenneval. The ambush was supposed to have netted several more of the Fennevalian forces....
Atikus' walk is a little more intriguing. It would appear he is rather old though has suppressed the memories of his past where he grew up in the unseelie court, his mother a black armoured figure who placed him in a Faerie circle when young. The highlight of his time in the unseelie court was something along the lines of a massacre where, dressed in black armour and wielding a fiery blade, wildly attacked his kin, slaughtering many until he was eventually taken down by the combined might of the aristocracy. Stripped of his body, they sentenced him to eternal imprisonment and sent his soul from the courts. The prison was to become the mechanical world of Cybertron where the souls of the damned where given a chance to redeem themselves in mechanical bodies. Of course, when his body was re-grown by Mei-Lian, his former self templated the body and he has returned....
The walks completed, Mei-Lian vanishes leaving the small group in stunned silence and with the overarching thought that if they don't act quickly, the time bombs placed in their heads will surely explode!
With Corwin and Athena off in Shadow raising an armies, a council of war was called.... More information from the prisoners - where the only person who might help them, Dara, teacher of Mei-Lian, was imprisoned. So off to the Prisons below Fenneval only to find that Mei-Lian had been there before them and in a whirlwind of death, taken out the guards and their reinforcements before releasing the prisoners. Atikus heals one one of the dying guards to get the story. He remains to try and help any survivors as the remaining folk head to the situation room to consider what needs to be done.
In the situation room, a small infiltration force of Corwin's is called to duty - Chaosian impersonators who'd worked during the invasion of Fenneval to ferret out information from the enemy. Down in the dungeon, a disturbance occurs and a woman appear, crashing heavily into the wall with such force that the rock is marked. Her shatter body falls to the floor - luckily for her, close to Atikus who is able to stabilise her and bring her back to life. She bears a sword of some magical power and appears a little crazy! The captain of the guard and the others rush to the dungeon as they are called and when the woman move to draw her sword, the captain of the guard shows his skill, holding his sword to her throat and surprising those around him with his speed.
It turns out she was dragged here by the Logrus... and that she knows a little of Chaos. As a Chaosian who seems willing to serve, it is decided that she will come with... along with the infiltration team and before long, the group are arriving in Chaos, to the only location they can.... Directly outside the Black Watch with the 8 foot tall wraith guard! Luckily, the square is filled with people as there appears to be some sort of fair on and they quickly try and blend in with the crowds.
After another discussion, Atikus gets fed up and walks over to the gates of Sawall where our infiltrator knows, one has to prick ones hand on the rose gates to gain entrance. He does this and vanishes much to the chagrin of the others. Atikus, having failed to provide a good enough reason to enter Sawall, has been moved directly to the dungeons!
The others try a more subtle approach and request entrance under the name of the Chaosian's long forgotten house and ask to speak to Jurt of Sawall. They are taken to a waiting room where Glait, a servant that Tag thinks is made entirely of Chaos, ushers them to Jurt's rooms. When Jurt appears, he recognises the group and combat ensues. Three of the infiltrators are cut down, Bloom is stabbed, but in the end, the group manage to subdue Jurt and dance away to where they think Atikus us - probably an unwise move considering where he is, but they do so anyway as they need to leave quickly as reinforcements arrive outside Jurt's ways.
Atikus on the other hand has been talking to a fellow prisoner - who he upsets - but works out is, in fact, Dara. He is however unable to get out of his cell. When the others arrive however, he alerts them to his stroke of luck and together they all hurriedly leave House Sawall, prize in hand!
Session 2.7 - Interrogation and Reprisals (9th October 2007)
Once the battle fields had been tidied up, the men put of defensive rotations etc, there was a brief interlude. Corwin arranged for a council meeting the following day at 12.
Bloom arranged to have a sword made and went to practice her spells, [[Design For Living - PCs - Atikus|Atikus[[ went to visit Cybertron only to be rebuffed due to his changed form and Tag took Athena aside and taught her a bit about the Design. Mei-Lian was no where to be found.
The next day, the council was gathered and 'what to do next' was discussed. Chaos had been rebuffed, but they were no where near defeated and would surely attack again. The following ideas were put forward:
- Raise an Army. It was noted that it is far more difficult to do that with the Design than with the Pattern as there was no way to find a place to easily recruit warriors from. Corwin did not know an easy way to do this either and he suggested he and Fiona, who was still in bed recovering, study the Design to see if it was possible.
- Study the Design - as noted above.
- Hit back at Chaos
- Militarily, ambushing bases and the like
- Politically, assassinations
- Interrogate our "Guests" in the prison
- Rescue the captives from Chaos. The list is too long, but any of them would make valuable additions to the defences.
- Find Martin and Mirelle as they were free of Chaos and could still be.
- Find out more about the Beasts as they can strengthen the Design.
- Find out more about the Spikards. Corwin then explained that Grayswandir was a Spikard but that the great shadow storm that occurred during the battle with Chaos seems to have severed its connections to the power sources in shadow. Maybe they can be reconnected or maybe those power sources can be harnessed.
The most urgent and useful source of information however, seemed to be the prisoners and Corwin was left to his own devices, the rest went to the dungeons for the interrogation. Jurt, warded by the Logrus seemed too much to handle, by Salina seemed to have a small crack in her defences that Athena believed she could tunnel through - and so began that. The others left with Atikus and Bloom heading to Frae and Tag heading to his old home, Metropolis.
Bloom and Atikus made rather a mess of the talks with the Hedgehog King of Frae with Bloom almost pledging herself in marriage before Atikus tried to force the issue which the King and his wives took as a thread. The pair barely got out alive!
Tag task, while seemingly easier, netted him only a handful of loyal supporters as his old gang had slowly devolved without his strength of leadership. That said, a few loyal souls are always useful and his army of 12 headed back to Fenneval.
Back in Fenneval, Bloom and Atikus began arguing, both feeling they were in the right in the situation. Luckily, Athena, having finished her spell, had come looking for the others and was able to stop the fight escalating. Tag soon returned, and together, they went back down to the dungeons to begin the interrogation.
- Have you been to Fenneval before? She answered: Only during the battle not before.
- How do you know so much about Bloom. She answered: The commanders were all briefed on the leaders of the Fennevalian army.
- Who ordered the attacks? She answered: Suhuy ordered the destruction of Fenneval although her orders, her troops and her command had come from House Sawall.
- Who are the other battle leaders? She named: Jurt, Despil, Gilva, Mandor, Par, Minobee, Liam and Cymnar.
- Do you know where any of the captives are held? She only knows of Flora who is being held by her Father as an ornament in his apartments.
- Where are the forward encampments? She describes several of the black zone shadows dedicated to military operations - monoliths of might surrounding Chaos. There are however, no forward bases as the Logrus has become stronger and is now capable of creating a tunnel from an expanded tendril through which the troops may travel - a proverbial black tendril.
- Who made the metal trumps used during the attack. She shrugs and answers that it must have been someone from the Artists Regiment.
- What other Power sources do you know of? She doesn't quiet understand what you are asking, but doesn't know of any Beasts or places of power you could steal. Her father however is always a fount of knowledge and power. Ask him.
- How did you Stun me last time we met. She used a simple Word of Power - which Tag now knows.
- How is the Thelbane protected? She laughs at you. She can't conceive of any situation where you could breach the wards and the Black Watch patrols, let alone the living Logrus.
- How does the Logrus work. She has many memories of her training that can be examined, but it is a madness you will never truly understand without walking the Logrus yourself.
During the interrogation, Atikus stepped outside, restless, and went for a drink in a pub outside of the Villa. He saw Mei-Lian returning and chatted with her for a bit. After that they returned to the Villa, with Mei-Lian greeting people she knew with hugs.
Later, ready to head off on the next task, they gathered horses and the like and rode to the Design where suddenly Mei-Lian dives from her horse and rushes over to the Design. A harsh inflection on her voice as she says, "And now I die!"
A brief struggle arises as various attempts are made to stop her before Atikus is able to somehow pin her... but just too late. A shifted foot steps out and touches the Design and Mei-Lian. The pair of them have touched it!
Time seems to stand still as Mei-Lian slumps to the ground, Atikus, in shock, tries not to move as he knows, removing yourself from the Design could be deadly, and the other stare at the situation. And then Mei-Lian begins rocking backwards and forwards, crying that she has killed them all. A few question later and the outlook is grim. She's planted some sort of destructive capsule in their bodies....
There is only one way out of this - to walk the Design and slowly, the pair of them wangle their way to their feet - and complete the walk, with Mei-Lian's images showing her capture and subjugation by the now familiar visage of Gramble. On her completion, however, she breaks from Atikus' grasp and vanishes.
What now... the person who could help them has vanished. And if Mei-Lian is to be believed, they are all doomed.
Session 2.6 - A Mother's Love (2nd October 2007)
The Design, in Fenneval is where the session begins. Atikus, Tag and Mei-Lian are present. With Corwin called from the battle by Tag, he is told about the dying Fox and her wish for her essence to fight on against those who killed her cubs. At Corwin's advice, Mei-Lian is directed to place the Fox in the centre of the Design to ensure she live a little longer. She does this reluctantly but notices the Fox's laboured breathing easing.
Having been transported into Shadow by Romanov, Bloom was left in a shadow world looking much like Fenneval. Possibly due to time stream differentials, she arrived as Mei-Lian, speaking to Corwin, places a fox on the middle of the Design. Before she is really able to do much more, she notices a strange evil-looking creature with a flaming sword hovering over the Design!
Athena awakes and chokes as she breathes in water, bubbles rising from her as she lies on the bottom of the sea, only a haze of silver above her speaking of light above. She panics but maintains just enough composure to release a previous hung teleportation spell to move her towards the light. A surge of magic and then blinding light as she appears above the water, weightless for a second before hitting the water. After a bit of a struggle, she heads for the beach and a much needed rest. After waking, she has a strange and painful vision of the Logrus surrounding Fenneval like a snow globe - and those same tendrils attack her mother... smothering her. She recovers from it and trumps Mei-Lian... who answers! She's distracted though and when Athena joins Mei-Lian, she is standing at the Design, and the Fox is lying on the centre and Corwin is about to walk the Design.
Athena can spare little time for the situation around the Design - which appears to be going to strange to bad. Mei-Lian is angry that Corwin intends to continue the sacrifice of the Fox instead of trying to save it - it does appear to be stronger now that it is on the Design. Bloom is staring at a strange elven creature who is flying above the Design, and Tag is trying to calm Mei-Lian. And then... Tag falls forward, before being dragged by an invisible cord attached to his leg, in the direction of one of the paths from Fenneval.
Another flash of pain for Athena and a vision of her mother feeling the same causes her to refocus her attention on her mother and she dashes to the Villa. She finds her there and with her magical sight, is able to see how the power provided to the wards by the Design, has weakened, allowing the Logrus to more forcibly attack her mother who is barely holding it off. She can think of nothing to do but add her own strength to Fiona's and opens her mind - a lifeline which is accepted. The attack is awe-inspiring - how could she has survived for so long? Athena picks her mother up, intent on returning to the Design and asking for Corwin's help.
Back at the design, Atikus dives to help Tag, but bloom turns the evil Fae creature into a rock (not realising it is Atikus), and the rock lands on Tag, smashing his leg, but luckily, dislodging the Logrus tendril. Shifted, Atikus rushes after it, attacking it with all the fire he can muster.
Bloom tries to help Tag stop the bleeding, and Mei-Lian is still arguing with Corwin as Athena stumbles back down the road from the Villa and barely makes it to the side of the design, gasping for breath. She can hardly speak the attack is so strong, her eyes plead for help, but everyone appears in slow motion. She has to act... she can only think of one thing - maybe the Design will protect them both. She falls forward and touches the start of the Design....
And the attack shatters, severed tendril fall to the Design which arcs electricity like, causing the severed tendril, now corporeal, to shrivel and eventually vanish.
Fiona and Athena have, however, touched the Design. A few brief comments to Corwin as the pressure of the Logrus is no longer upon them, and Athena aid her mother in walking the grassy Design. The 'vision' is interesting showing Athena, a Goddess of War with worlds at her feat worshipping her... And while Fiona's story is a blur of time passing almost too rapidly for the eye, there are one or two scenes which stick in your memory. The most important of which is a family gather showing several 'elders' you've not met before, an argument between them, and later another family meeting without them. And her first Pattern walk where Corwin supports her emotionally and coaches her in a fatherly fashion through the walk. There appears to be a strong bond between them.
Corwin follows the pair onto the Design and completes the walk after them. On reaching the centre, he completes the ritual with the Fox, who says her goodbyes, and then is pushed into the ground by Corwin, the ground accepting the body without sign of wound, and the Fox is no more.
Fiona is returned to her rooms for much needed rest, Mei-Lian heals Atikus and and Tag, and the remaining royals, return to the battle front to continue the fighting, the events at the Design, a brief interlude.
Corwin is crazily busy, fighting several front at once and Athena offers to lead one of them with the others. Corwin accepts gratefully as he is fighting a loosing battle. Athena though, focusing on the one front, is able to turn the tables on the Chaosians and after several days of fierce fighting, where Bloom throws hundreds of fireballs at the Chaosians forces, Atikus leads attack after attack, and Tag, using the design, tried to assassinate leaders, Athena is able to discern who and where the leader is - and it is someone they have a trump of!
They quickly hatch a plan. Atikus provides a distraction, Tag trumps the woman, Bloom dances forward through the Melee with Athena, and Athena takes out the leader. The plan works like clockwork - with Tag barely holding onto the connection between him and woman, long enough though to distract her as Bloom and Athena dance in and club her over the head, stealing her from under the noses of her guard.
With their leader gone, they are routed and are harried as they attempt to retreat through a golden trump gate. In the end, victory is sweet, Salina - for that is her name - is held in the dungeons of Fenneval, and a golden trump to a location unknown, is taken before it can be removed from the battlefield.
Time passes, and the other battles are soon won, Chaos retreats, and Fenneval has a brief moment of piece.
Session 2.5 - Fox Hunt (25th September 2007)
With Gramble overpowering offensive defence, there was really no other way. Romanov pushed everyone into shadow - for their safety - and sacrificed himself.
An unknown shadow.... Tag recovered, a beach with ping sand, two rock steps leading no where. And quiet.... Sleep. And then back to Fenneval where none of the others appeared to have returned! Mei-Lian on the other hand woke up in the snow covered ruins of Romanov's Russian home. Not seeing anyone about, she began walking through shadow. Atikus, stuck in Bleys' shadow prison, finds no reasonable way out. While waiting, he notices that his exoskeleton is rusting and it is spreading fast. His nanites don't seem to be healing it quickly enough. To curb the rust, he removes the rusted plates and replaces his front panel with the two halves of the gold trump in the prison.
Eventually, after hunting around, Tag decides to check places Romanov was recently and finds Atikus, stuck in the Prison world. That gives him an idea - and he checks several places Romanov might have sent folk. He has only one success - Romanov's home on 'Earth'. The footprints are almost dusted over with snow, but they head off and vanish at a shadow boundary. With a lot of trial and error, he and Atikus track down Mei-Lian and the threesome return to Fenneval.
On the way back, Mei-Lian notes rust on Atikus and after an examination , realises that it is the Blood of Chaos, still affecting her. She has to sever limbs regularly to prevent the virulent virus from affecting her too and as she does, the land becomes to corrupt too. Tag regularly moves them on to the next shadow on, noting that as he does, the shadows behind are being separated from the node network in his vision - they are clearly being destroyed by the virus.
Eventually Mei-Lian is forces to sacrifice almost all of Atikus' body, only his mind remaining - barely - and she regrows a body from it after finding a safe place to rest. The body appears fae-like and entirely different from the usual mechanical exterior the group has become used to. He does, however, survive!
While this has all been going on, Mei-Lian has been having strange visions of Athena, her vision filled with silver, and then, a vision of the Fox in danger.
So, off to the Forest where they last met the Fox. There, Mei-Lian begins tracking the Fox and they eventually track her trail to a Fox Hole. From there, they follow several urgent scents that speak volumes of a hunt in progress. Not only is there the Fox, but it appears, her two cubs as well!
The trail splits, Atikus follows the trail of one of the cubs and finds a sakes cub, its heart missing. He tracks back to the trail. Tag and Mei-Lian follow further and the trail splits again. They choose to follow the Fox. Atikus catches up to the fork and takes the other, eventually coming upon the second dying cub, its back broken.
The Fox has however led its attackers a merry chase until they finally catch it. Clearly a battle of some proportion occurs and then both the Fox and the attacker's trails vanish.
They track back and eventually join up with Atikus who is attempting to save the cub. Mei-Lian joins, but her skill does not seem to have any effect on the creature. During the conversation with the cub, it decides that the best way to die is to summon its mother, asking that they save her if at all possible.
It does this, but Benedict - in the guise of Romanov, is summoned along with the Fox and an alter upon which it lies, bound by the legs. Benedict is in the middle of performing a ritual of some sort.
A brief and bloody skirmish ensues - Atikus looses an arm, Tag looses his sword - again - and Benedict would clearly have had them if they'd dallied for any longer. As it is, Mei-Lian was only just able to grab the Fox from the altar, taking a wound, before Tag is able to get them the heck out of there and back to Fenneval!
Unfortunately, the Fox is already dying. The ritual begun, there can be nothing to stop it and it is her wish that her essence fight on. Tag's only thought there is that Corwin may know a way to do this and he finds him amidst a major battle outside Fenneval - haggard - yet her drops everything on hearing of the Fox and moves immediately to the Design.
Mei-Lian asks if there is anything he can do to help the Fox. He isn't sure, but the Design will keep her alive temporarily if she is placed in its centre. Mei-Lian does this.
Session 2.4 - Romanov's Bleys of Glory (18th September 2007)
So, while pondering, Athena get a call from Corwin telling her that her mother is lucid and calling for her. This is obvious an issue as she'd like to stay here and continue investigating, but her mother takes precedence. She tells Corwin she'll be there shortly and turns to ask Tag to take her to Fenneval (Fearing Corwin might be up to something!).
Unfortunately, before she can ask, Tag gets trump call. Romanov is in the middle of a fight with a large number of Ant-like bipedal creatures and needs their help. He and Bloom obviously agree to help. They are just about to leave Athena in the lurch when Corwin calls again and tells Athena to hurry up and that it has already been half an hour. Time clearly flows faster there than here. She accepts Corwin hand and vanishes, dragging Atikus with her who'd heard snatches of encrypted information telling him there was a war brewing in Fenneval. The other pair use the Design to rapidly go to Romanov's aid.
During the brief chat to Fiona, she revealed that Benedict was a traitor. She also overheard it mentioned that Romanov was attempting to free Bleys and was distressed by this and told Athena that Bleys could not be freed! He was and still is Benedict's lieutenant!
While this is happening, Tag, Bloom and Romanov face off against the ant-like creatures and battle their way forwards. Tag, spotting an opportunity, dances forward through the mess of bodies and appears in the tower. A large trump image appears to be acting as a gateway for the creatures to arrive and he slices it in two causing a severe explosion which knocks most of the creatures out. They proceed to mop up and investigate the tower where Romanov frees Bleys from a magically shielded cell. He damages Benedict's sword doing this, but is able to break the chains holding him. They leave quickly and head for the glade in shadow in which Romanov drew the trump and Mei-Lian spoke to the Fox.
Back in Fenneval, having heard of the war Atikus heads off to Cybertron to assist in the war effort and is faced with an invading army of chitinous bug like creatures. After some study and several attacks in the wrong direction, Atikus pins down where the leaders are and makes his way towards it.
At the same time, Athena and Corwin join them and together they hunt down a Chaosian who clearly looks like Mei-Lian! With that under control, Corwin leaves to continue the fight on another front. The army is soon decimated as the mechanoids attack from the front and Mei-Lian steals control of some of the bugs from behind - these being troops she once lead in House Sawall. This completed, Athena and Atikus join combat elsewhere.
Back in the glade, Bleys is able to 'bite' Romanov (though he believes it a spell from the prison) - and then Bloom as she too investigates the pair of them. The bite knocks them both out and forcing Tag to flee with Bloom and Romanov. Bleys does not follow, but when they arrive in Fenneval and Romanov is well enough, he trumps Bleys, who answers, and brings him to Fenneval.
Almost as soon as Bleys arrives, they are 'summoned' by a powerful force from Chaos - Gramble. Bleys drops to the floor, energy spent, and Gramble, taking Romanov for his compatriot Benedict, offers him a drink - the 'Blood of Chaos' - which he takes and drinks to keep up the rouse. A mistake to say the least. He almost instantly becomes delirious.
Luckily, Tag and Bloom are able to track Romanov and appear rapidly in Chaos with the others, but are almost instantly on the back foot as Gramble, on home turf, attacks. There is little that can be done as their ability to leave seems cut off... until Romanov sacrifices himself, pushing everyone into shadow....
Session 2.3 - The Lair of the Beast (11th September 2007)
Having asked to return to Fenneval, the party gather their thoughts - only to be interrupted by an insistent Romanov who wants to walk the Design. This would not be an issue if it wasn't for the fact that Salina had told him that it would be bad if he did!
He eventually gave up and trumped to the smithy but was a little rude the smith who tried to send him out - and when he didn't leave immediately, brandished his hammer. Romanov left with instructions to the smith to repair his family sword. He then trumped to the tree next to the Design to contemplate his next move and build up courage to walk the Design.
That done, he trumped to the Design where Bloom was waiting to stop him. She however could not stop him without hurting him and eventually, Romanov was able to step onto the Design and begin his walk. The walk was completed rapidly enough and featured Romanov, a mere boy, killing an assassin in his father's home before being taken from there by a 'monk' back to Amber - a safer place than Russia at the time.
Since Romanov seemed 'ok' for now at least, Bloom and Tag where a lot less worried and Tag happily taught Romanov a little about the Design. Which is all he needed.
As the Mei-Lian and Athena rallied the others to hunt for the Fox, they searched the area where the Fox was last seen. As they followed the trail, Romanov remained behind and began drawing a trump.
The trail was old and difficult to follow, but eventually led Mei-Lian and the others to a cave where they found a decomposing corpse of a Jackal. There were still strange power signatures in the area, but this creature was definitely more than a simple jackal.
Session 2.2 - Finding the way.... (4th September 2007)
A month passes while Bloom and Tag are taught the finer points of using the Design as a means of travel. During that time, Athena, Mei-Lian, Romanov and Atikus head of in search of Amber and clues to what happened and if it is possible to rebuild the Pattern.
Along the way, they encounter a mysterious creature calling herself the 'Fox' - and a fox she is. Mei-Lian frees her from a trap and she continues on her after thanking Mei-Lian and offering her a gift of service in turn should she call her name.
Bloom decides to remain in Fenneval with Corwin and help him while Tag decides to stretch his legs and locate his friends (amongst several other goals provided by Corwin). Using a trump, he locates Athena, but without understanding the needs for the path between Fenneval and the shadow Athena is in, Tag tries to bridge the distance and looses control of the Design, blasting his way through the second story wall of the pub Athena is in, and severely wounded the both of them.
At the same time, Romanov receives a trump call and answers it only to be attacked by a strangely familiar mind. He is unable to defend against it, but is able to redirect the call to Atikus, who unknowingly responds. His firewalls being easily breached, the trump entity is brutally broken as Romanov picks Atikus up and pile-drives him into a nearby tree, ending the contact. There location has, however, been compromised.
Realising the situation, Mei-Lian heals Tag and after a brief rest, Tag heads off to the groups destination, who are hesitant to travel with him, and he then trumps them through to the location of the Primal Pattern which is now simply a muddy circle on the ground. Clearly a lot of time has passed.
Athena scans around for magical energies as the location appears dead. Instead of an expected Pattern, she finds magical wards under an avalanche of dirt. Together, a whole is dug through to a warded door. Much conversation insues as Tag remembers stories of the hermit Dworkin and his madness, but they decide to open the cave.
Dworkin is inside and appears to have some access to the Design though almost no control of the node travel which has him constantly bouncing off the walls and furniture in his bid to control it. He does however answer several questions and eventually, the party discover a book containing names and descriptions of various Beasts of Power. It includes a reference to the Unicorn, the Serpent... and a Fox.
The party then heads to Castle Amber - which is clearly run down. Much time has passed here.
Session 2.1 - Interview with a King (14th August 2007)
Having recently witnessed Amber's betrayal at the hands of Benedict, his attempt at erasing the Pattern using the blood of the King and his brothers - specifically Corwin and Gerard, the eventual destruction of the Primal Pattern finally the mercy-killing of King Oberon, the characters may have felt a little lost. Fortunately, Corwin had a way to return to Fenneval and offered to take them with him. They accepted.
Left to their own devices, the characters are free to recover, explore Fenneval and even study the Design. One the third day, however, they are invited to a banquet along with a number of notables from nearby shadows which Corwin is already courting in an attempt to create a protective buffer zone around Fenneval. The meal is enjoyable despite the requirement for 'small talk'. The events of interest however, take place after the banquet when the characters are invited to Corwin's study.
Here Corwin speaks to them individually offering them thanks and gratitude for their rescue and opens Fenneval to them assuring them that they are welcome to remain if they so wish. He also has a few special words for each of the characters.
Of interest is that:
- Corwin names Athena the Sword Bearer and he gives her Greyswandir stating that he no longer has use for it. He also speaks to her of Fiona explaining that she is in his rooms where she has been significantly warded and warns her not to try and remove her - for Fiona's safety, of course. He does agree to a visit and what Corwin said about her appears to be correct. Her body is whole but her mind appears to be heavily ensnared in a power Athena believes to be the Logrus.
- Mei-Lian is thanked for the significant assistance she gave both Corwin and Fiona. She is assured that Fiona is recovering physically and that it is thanks to her. More importantly, he explains to her that he only recently learnt of her existence from Dara during his imprisonment in Chaos and while he knows little of her, she is a welcome addition to his family. He also tries to explain Dara reasoning for hiding this fact from her but does not do a very good job - or at least one that satisfies Mei-Lian.
- Tag explains that despite Tag's emptiness, the destruction of the Pattern was probably necessary in the long run as it was flawed in a large number of ways. Maybe now that we have the Design, created with fewer, if any, flaws, we can hold out long enough to gain the upper hand against Chaos.
- Corwin is clearly interested in the fact that Bloom was able to traverse the Design and asks her several questions about it and the women, called Salina, whom she met. He contemplates whether you are Merlin's daughter and you are reminded that Merlin is still locked in the cells. He also asks for the Brooch back and you return it.
- Romanov is thanked profusely and Corwin has to chuckle at the strangeness of the body Romanov now wears and Corwin appreciates the sacrifice. Corwin has somehow got hold of Benedict's Blade and offers it to Romanov in compensation. He explains that it is an exception blade and that it will doubtlessly feel more comfortable considering the form you are now in! In fact, the sword feels and fits perfectly.
The characters then split as Tag and Bloom head for the Design where Tag successfully traverses it - much to the consternation of those watching as his past is more than a little bloody. They however, accept him for who he is. The pair then decide to stay on in Fenneval to continue studying the Design.
Meanwhile, Romanov, Athena and Mei-Lian have met up with a mechanoid individual called Atikus who they saw at the banquet. When they explain that they are preparing to leave, he asks to travel with them when they leave in the morning and they accept his company as their number is depleted and his assistance, despite his lack of knowledge about the possible Powers they seek, could come in handy - as could his seeming ability to defy shadow law and fly, let alone live in an environment hostile to his technology.
"Saving Grace...." (27th March to the 15th May 15th 2007)
Currently we don't have any campaign logs from the original 8 week block although I'd appreciate it if anyone could add some!
- Return to the Design For Living Pages.