The session suffered initially from technical issues with internet access at Darrell’s home. Determined to play—-bravo!—-Darrell’s family drove to Dad’s and turned his home into an internet café.
There was some discussion about what to do next. The party recalled that the Elven court refused to entertain ransoms or buy-backs of Elven slaves as it would stimulate the market of elven slavery. Instead, the Elven court encouraged—-unofficially, of course—-rescues reliant on stealth or bravado.
The party eventually decided that the best course of action would be to examine more closely the situation involved with the two elven gladiators owned by Brunitis. The first order of business was to do more reconnaissance by sending Shadon in with Siri during her next round of medical visits. The cover was that because Brunitis has elven gladiators Siri would bring an elven healer to assist her. Shadon was able to converse with these elves in elven and learn that, yes, they were two of the eight who are missing and while one of them might have suffered a significant amount of emotional damage, yes, of course they would like to be rescued.
The scout’s reports about the defenses of the ludus were not encouraging. Busting two prisoners out of an Imperial Gulag might be easier than freeing them from a manor filled with gladiators. It was decided that the party would break free the elves at the upcoming gladiatorial games, in the coliseum.
At this point we broke from the traditional D&D style of the GM describing the defenses and guard levels and such and the players trying to find the weakness. Instead, the GM ruled that the party “has a credible plan” and we focused our creative efforts in coming up with an interesting vignette for how each character would contribute to the breakout, culminating in a test for that character, playing fast and loose with sequencing, timing, and framing. This led to 5 “parallel tests” each of which would separately serve as a linked test to a central break-out test.
Durgoth succeeded at a circles test to know Randigutgard (aka Randy), an old dwarf army buddy who became a gladiator trainer and took a lead into event management when the gladiatorial games became popular, figuring business was where the real money was. Durgoth convinced Randy to let him put his tinkerers cart at the perfect location to assist the elves in their getaway.
Siri succeeded at an alchemy test to make some ingestive poison that was effective enough to knock out guards without likely killing them.
Argent succeeded at a persuasion test to convince two guards to drink some poisoned ale. Durgoth mongered a help die by taking Argent drinking with some dwarves, teaching him all the tricks dwarves have for convincing someone to have a drink. Vol mongered a help die by coming up with the idea of a Argent pretending to be a bar owner of a bar other than the Golden Flask, giving out samples to attract business.
Vol succeeded at her circles test with her local bard friend to secure a slot in the performance roster and subsequently succeeded at Song of Meriment to provide a distraction, earning a Kansk reputation in the process.
Shadon succeeded his sword test and dispatched two guards the old-fashioned way.
Five linked test successes meant the central stealth test—-with Argent as point—-had +5D. Even though it was Ob 4, Darrell rolled 16 dice. An easy win.
The adventurers earned their first deeds point!