Mythic Russia playtest session 7
The heroes quickly established that the man with the blood flowing from his hands was Br Daniel. ("Are you Br. Daniel?" "Yes.") He didn't react as expected to the heroes' threats, as he seemed to welcome death. He also spent a lot of time moaning about how he'd made everything wrong in the village and how Peter, the village headman, had prompted Br Daniel to take the heart from the bear but the bear refused to die. The heroes weren't sure that Peter wasn't the vodyanye in another form.
Volk licked the blood from Br Daniel's hands and decided that it didn't taste human. Tengujin tried to bind Br Daniel's hands (despite there being no visible wound), but the blood soon soaked through the bandage. Volk followed the stream of blood up the hill, towards where it was flowing. It took him to a large pool of cold, congealed blood on a hill-top with a large mass float in the middle of it. Meanwhile, the other heroes had got fed up with Br Daniel's whining and Bear beat him into unconsciousness. Bear carried Br Daniel, Valvo convinced the bear to carry him, and they all went up the hill to Volk.
When they arrived, Volk waded into the pool of blood and started to scrape the congealed blood from the object in the middle. First he found some fabric and then, when he pulled it, he seemd to have grabbed someone's arm. He pulled the body to dry land and cleaned it up. It was Olga (Valvo 's mother and the witch who'd turned Volk into a human servant). Despite the gaping hole in her chest and her missing heart, she wasn't dead, but neither was she awake. Tangujin put the knotted wood charm (given by the leshy) into her chest, but took it out again when the wound started to heal by wood and leaves growing from Olga's chest.
There was some discussion about what to do next. Everyone was agreed that they needed to defeat the vodyanye to retrieve the bear's heart, and doing that would make the forest whole again. Valvo also remembered that Olga had put her heart into a bear for safe keeping, and the conclusion was that it was her heart that was keeping the bear alive. Eventually, the heroes decided that they should attack the vodyanye in the Ideal World, where they were more able to find its lair.
They went back to the stream. The village wasn't there (unsurprisingly) but the site of it was replaced by a large, still lake. They threw the still-unconscious Br Daniel into the lake, and the surface formed itself into a pair of giant jaws that snatched Br Daniel beneath the surface. While the vodyanye was (they hoped) distracted by it's elevenses, Tengujin dived in, closely followed by Valvo and Volk. All three swam to the bottom and entered the vodyanye 's cave, lit by the glittering of jewels. Inside was the vodyanye, sitting on a throne with a crown on his head. Nearby was Mary, the rusalka. After a brief banter, Volk attacked the vodyanye while Tengujin managed to spurn Mary's advances with his bow and arrows. Valvo started to look through the vodyanye 's treasure pile for the bear's heart. Both spirits were soon defeated and the leshy-gifted moss was used to prevent the vodyanye from reforming. Valvo found the bear's heart in a small casket.
Everyone returned to the lakeshore where the leshy was waiting. They took Olga's heart from the bear and put it back in Olga, and put the bear's heart back in the bear. Both awoke as the leaves in the surrounding trees turned brown, withered, and fell. Olga decided that she'd keep her own heart for a while, as she hadn't been as close to Valvo as she'd liked. She also ceded Volk's request and turned him back into a wolf.
And they all lived happily ever after. Or something like that.