Sunday, May 20, 2012

Volant Playtest #2

Played our second game of *Volant - Kingdoms of Air and Stone* last Saturday.

Last week the PCs left the Women's Oasis just after dark, flying on their owls to the north, where the head woman had indicated was another oasis, somewhat south of the city of Kumah. They flew along the track of a wadi which went vaguely in their direction, and eventually came upon the oasis, much larger than the Women's Oasis we had just left. At the edge of the party's sight, to the north, a huge fire suddenly blossomed.

As the group flew closer, they could see, lit by the fire, huge shapes wheeling and darting around, and Sanjay shouted "Those are giant bats! I've heard of them! They suck the blood right out of people and drop the husks like breadcrumbs!" Arjuna said "Circle around and come in from the north. They're all busy here in the south of the oasis with those bats!"

As they circled around the oasis, they saw what had caused the fire. A great stoneship had crashed into  a huge building at the southern edge of the oasis. There were bands of people on the ground, fighting the bats, who would swoop down and carry one off every so often.

They landed in the north, and Nadila and Arjuna got out their long bows. The four PCs walked through the oasis, a rich place, with pools, fountains, and aqueducts everywhere, and many, many food items grown. many women and children were heading north away from the fire, and the PCs avoided them adroitly. From the edge of the light, the party saw a group of fighting men grouped around a leader. Kumar recognized him as Tomar Shen, the great alchemist, and number four on the party's list of seven targets.

Nadila and Kumar waded into the fight from the edges of the firelight, while Sanjay eased over and blended into the crowd around Shen. Arjuna climbed a tall date palm and leveled his bow at Shen. Sanjay slipped behind Shen as he was giving orders, and stabbed him through the back into his heart. Shen suddenly stopped talking, clutched his chest, and toppled forward as Sanjay slipped away into the confusion.

Nadila brought down a giant bat, and Kumar wounded one. Nadila saw  Sanjay and Arjuna slipping back north and signaled Kumar to follow. He did not, and the three had to wait a while for him to show up at the owls. They immediately took off and as dawn was breaking, reached the hills around Kumah, where they settled the owls down for the day. 

Kumah had outgrown it's city walls, and tall houses crowded both inside and outside up against the walls. The group sent Sanjay in to reconnoiter, and - as the guards were only allowing those with permits inside the walls - he entered a building outside the walls, leaped from its roof to the top of the wall, and then down to the roof of an inside building. inside, he learned that Willa Doss, the leader of Straum, and Timo Tomah, a powerful politician, were both in the city for a meeting with the great of Kumah. He also ran across a foreign merchant, and stole his document pouch. He returned to the group in the hills with the pouch.

Nadila read the contents - in addition to a paid access pass to the country, she found a set of correspondences in which the "merchant" discussed the ripeness of the nation of Straum for civil war, what with the great discontent over the unending wars for conquest. "He wasn't a merchant," she said, "He was a spy!"

Using the real permits as a guide, she Faked a set of papers for each of the PCs, and for the Birdmaster. With these, the party went into the city openly that night, with the Guards stamping the papers routinely. they rented rooms at a caravansarai, with Arjuna as Prince Arjuna, Nadila as his mistress, and Sanjay and Kumar as their lackeys. Sanjay and Kumar went off, and met up with some of their countrymen in a bar, while Arjuna and Nadila had dinner with a rich merchant, who - impressed with meeting a real foreign prince, wangled the two of them an invitation to the meeting with Willa Doss. Sanjay and Kumar, with the help of their countrymen, hired on as porters for a liquor merchant supplying the meeting.

The session ended there.

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