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A Red & Pleasant Land, Part 11: The Two Bells

Prep Time 

Nothing really. Players are currently exploring one of the sample locations from the book, so it will be easy enough to run this ad-hoc. 

Players 


  • 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". Too good to be wooed by himself.
  • Gor Orben - Amazon, "She is Gor"
  • Orv Gaster - Alistair, wearer of the checkered pants

Events 


  • Picked up where we left off. Navojh -- the gender-swapped mirror clone of Jhovan -- is laying dead on the ground. The party learns this is a foreclusion. The effect (dead body) has happened, but the cause hasn't happened yet. If they can affect the eventual cause in a way the results in a similar effect, they may be able to save Navohj. For example, they can cause a very similar looking body to end up dead in the same spot.
  • The party sets out looking for two things: a way to undo the foreclusion and a way to exit this place.
  • Lrak tells the group that she's heard rumors of two bells in this section of the Interior. If both a rung, the exit will reveal itself.
  • She knows where one of the bells is an will take the party to it.
  • The bell turns out to be quite large, but the party gives it a strong ring. It's sound echoes through the MC Escher halls of this place. And is answered by a screaming madness of approaching creatures.
  • Gaunt creatures with sharply bitten fingernails and the babbling voices of the damned are climbing the sides of the platform room the party is standing upon. They are about to be surrounded by them. The party decides to run for it and find better ground to defend from.
  • A short run away, they party crosses a narrow bridge-like structure. It looks like it will make a suitable bottleneck to fight the creatures from. Orv greases part of the bridge. The two mirror knights form a wall with their shields. And the rest of the party form a firing line. Their solid strategy makes quick work of the creatures as the come screaming across the bridge.
  • The party examines the body of one of the creatures. In general shape it is basically human. Could it work as a substitute for Navohj's body in the foreclusion? They cut the same wounds onto the creature's body as they had seen on Navohj's, then take the body with them.
  • One problem. Navohj had blonde hair. The creature has only a few strands of hair remaining. Without that, it couldn't possibly satisfy the forecluded cause + effect.
  • Some more searching around the interior for the other bell. The party encounters a large flower with a child's face. "Have you seen my mouse?" it asks. The party opens file and kills it immediately.
  • A few turns, stairs, and travel down the hallways and the party finds a jail cell. With a mouse locked inside. The party quietly walks away without saying a word.
  • Some more travel. Still no sign of the bell. But the party encounters a wandering merchant -- a member of the Order of Diamonds.
  • The party makes a major trade with the merchant -- they give him the mysterious transparent cubes they were carrying, and, in return, they get his misericorde (a stiletto with a blade of hard wood made for killing vampires) and his hair (which happened to be the same color as Navohj's).
  • More and more wandering and searching for the bell. They eventually find it -- turns out it was in the room right next to Navohj's dead body. Convenient.
  • They lay a wig of the merchant's hair on top of the creature's dead body inside a suit of mirror knight armor. The place this body in the same place where they had found Navohj's body. They've successfully made the cause that made the earlier effect.
  • Navohj suddenly walks in -- alive -- from a nearby room. The players were able to unravel this foreclusion.
  • As a reward for saving her friend, Lrak gives Karl her mirror shield. Karl is disappointed that she still won't give him her heart.
  • They head back to the bell room and give it a ring. They suddenly find themselves standing on a staircase leading up into the night sky.

Questions before next time


  • How are Surob and Lrak going to react to the outside world? They've been in the Interior, capturing and torturing prisoners, for the entirety of their existence.
  • Where does this staircase lead to?

What worked well?


  • After some initial explanation -- conducted via the native-to-Voivodja NPCs -- the players were able to grasp the basic idea of a foreclusion and how to unravel it.
  • I continue to be impressed by my players' thinking about their fights rather than just diving in and assuming they'll win. Running to a more advantageous battleground was excellent play!

What didn't?


  • Another happy session. But I've now run through all of the sample locations from A Red & Pleasant Land (with the exception of the castles). Nothing to fall back on going forward...

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