Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lud: Part Five

In the dead of the night, Happy Force 109 returned to the old and broken-down shack they had discovered earlier that year ((see "A Little About Roger Whirm: Mysterious Man of Lud")). Lo and behold, the mysterious man was there, as if waiting for them.

Roger turned out to be an eccentric and optimistic man, despite his tragic past. After explaining that they wanted to find a way off of Lud, Roger told them of a possible way. He explained that when the Alon had removed his hard-earned gifts, they had not been 100% successful and that there was some residual powers laying dormant within him. With the right equipment - namely, the equipment he and his brother had used long ago - he could tap into his ability to create portals. Additionally, he would need to open the portal in the same location that he and his brother had performed their experiments, as reality itself had weakened over the years of their projects there. As fortune (or misfortune) would have it, the shop they operated out of years ago was the very same that Gog called home.

Roger gave 109 schematics for a complex frame that would aid him in opening a portal, as well as detailed maps of the street in front of Gog's workshop, pinpointing the exact spot it would need to be placed. Rad quickly got to work, jury-rigging the equipment needed while the rest worked on a plan on setting up unnoticed. They decided that early morning under cover of the snow and mist that had become the norm would be the perfect cover to attempt their escape. They chose a planet (one thay had visited before) as a destination and a hopeful means of safety. When Rad was finished with the frame and other equipment, they packed up and set out to leave Lud.

That morning, there was no snow-fall, but a thick fog provided them enough cover as they set up the complex equipment on the deserted street in front of Gog's now-destroyed shop. Rad, Hera and Roger prepared the device while Gog, Gasha, Wade, Adrianna, Flynn and Byra said their farewells to the island they called home for the past year. As always in these situations, things didn't go quite according to plan.

As the morning stretched on and the sun rose, beginning to burn away at their precious cover, Rad discovered an Alon security camera. After smashing it and alerting the rest, the group stepped up their efforts to set up as quickly as possible.

The Alon arrived just as they were finishing up and Roger began the task of harnessing enough energy to open the portal, giving 109 the unfortunate news that it would take him a few moments to fully open it. Even more unfortunately, the Alon had brought a small army to apprehend the powerful group of rogue gifted.

While Gog, Gasha and Hera took cover, Adrianna, Flynn, Rad, Wade and Byra fought to hold off the growing army. Using all of their powers, they fought a loosing battle. Byra even resorted to summoning her most powerful creature, Arkadios - the dragon adorning her back. Despite his immense power, Arkadios was eventually brought down and destroyed, and the army continued to advance.

Just as they were about to be overwhelmed, Kintaro arrived to help, accompanied by Corey at his side. The two may not have been strong enough to stop the army, but combined with 109's continued efforts, they were able to delay the march long enough for Roger to finally open the portal. Adrianna was the first through the portal, followed by Hera, Gasha, Rad, Flynn and Wade. Just before Gog and Byra were able to get through, however, a shot struck Roger in the back, closing the portal instantly and flinging 109 through a place in-between reality.

They landed hard in broad daylight. Around them stretched on rolling green plains. Above them towered a large tree growing to just one side of the dirt road they had fallen upon. On this road was a large wooden cart piled high with supplies, and literally under them was the cart's owner - handsome young man who only had one arm - the other was cut off at the shoulder and bound in bandages.


((Whoo. I can't believe I actually updated this! I again fell out of interest with 109 as my new arc played out and got progressively worse (no fault of my players, just my own mistakes) but now I'm getting back into it! Of course, my biggest inspiration to pick this up again has been one of my off-again on-again employees who had been reading some of these and essentially stroking my ego about it. That's always good motivation! Welp, on to talking about the session itself!

The final session of Lud was probably one of my more weak sessions, unfortunately. I feel that it fell victim to my own over-hype. In the weeks leading up to it, I had this grand and epic final battle in my head - one that was full of some powerful and over-the-top set pieces in it (like Byra summoning her dragon). Unfortunately, as is always the case, things didn't play out as they were in my head and instead, the whole fight seemed more like a grueling gauntlet instead of a struggle for survival.

After the session was run, I took a brief hiatus until I was able to talk to several of my players about it. I learned a lot from those conversations, possibly the biggest being that I should tone down the NPC big-damn-hero moments. Basically, my players were getting a bit tired of being saved my the NPCs, lol. After he pointed it out, I could really see it.

Nobody's perfect, and I'm still learning a lot from my storytelling experiences and (hopefully) becoming better at it as a result.