Prep TimeReally nothing to prep this time. Expected the players would follow-up on their plan to trade the Cheshire Cat for the Loach, get information about The Unicorn, return to Castle Cachtice for their reward. Already had maps and notes ready to go for all of that from last session. But you know how expectations go...
- Borus Bleeve - Borus the one-handed. Borus the hand collector. Borus of the two right hands.
- Karl Min Valé - Possible owner of "Min Valé Industries".
- At the last minute, Jhovan had to cancel. The players have realized that, until now, the Cheshire Cat has only appeared around Jhovan. So with no Jhovan, there is no cat. With no cat, there is nothing to trade for the Loach. Plans need to change.
- Players decide to head back and finally help the Order of Diamonds merchant recover the Queen's cloak that was stolen by an eel and taken through a mirror.
- They reclaim the duck, Fat Balto, insisting that they will require his help. (Really they players just like this duck and wanted any excuse to have him back.)
- They head through the mirror and find a nearby pool of water. Still, crystal clear, and mirror like. In fact, they find they can pass through it like any other mirror they've encountered.
- This mirror leads them to an Interior of MC Escher like madness. Floor and stairs moving up walls and along ceilings. Small sections trying to pretend they are still proper rooms surrounded by this maze-like madness.
- They start sneaking around, but are quickly found by a knight. Carrying a mirror shield. And a face that looks exactly like Borus's. Except female.
- Borus falls in love. With his gender-swapped-mirrored self. He convinces this knight, Surob, that he can take her out of these narrow interiors and into the wide world outside. Surob has spent her entire life in the Interior, dutifully and enjoyably capturing and torturing people, so the offer sounds appealing. She joins the party and promises to help them find the stolen cloak.
- Turns out, she has recently captured (and tortured) a Colorless Knight who mentioned (under torture) that he knew about the theft. Surob takes the party to the knight's cell.
- They party interrogates the knight. They convince him that they have been sent to rescue him. He starts blabbing. About the theft of the cloak. The theft of the Heart Queen's shoe. And the real reason for these thefts. They all were cover for the Colorless House's real plans. They intend to play the Pale House and House of Hearts against one another. "Once the Pale King begins his baking, the Hearts will never forgive them!"
- The party rescues the knight -- by cutting his head off. He turns into a mist and floats away.
- The party starts exploring the Interior for an exit. They stumble upon another group of Colorless Knights. These ones are carrying the stolen cloak.
- Using the information given to them by the captive knight, the party convinces these knights that they are on the same side. They convince they knight's to give them the cloak. "We will deliver it to the Colorless Queen."
- Some more searching for the exit. The party bumps into another mirror knight. This one is a gender-swapped mirror of Karl -- Lrak. Not to be outdone by Borus, Karl also tries to woo his clone. She agrees to travel with the party, but otherwise spurns all of Karl's advances.
- Shortly later, the party finds another mirror knight. This one looks like a female version of Jhovan. But she's laying dead on the ground. Lrak cries out. "Navohj! My friend is dead!" The sound of sizzling bacon. "A foreclusion? The cause of this has not happened yet. We may still be able to save her!"
- Karl has no idea what a foreclusion is, but if it will impress Lrak, he's willing to help save Navohj.
Questions before next time
- Okay, so how the hell do foreclusions actually work? Time to re-read that section of A Red & Pleasant Land.
What worked well?
- Players did a really good job of going back and picking up on a previous adventure hook when they were experiencing obstacles on the current one. Good sandbox play!
- Pretty happy with this one overall.