Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Helvéczia: Journal de Campagne, 2


Some sickness has delayed our resuming the campaign, but this week a fully healthy group reconvened to continue our gaming.

I ran the introductory adventure from the main book, The Seven Knaves, relocated to the the southwest region of Helvéczia.  Specifically, an encounter on the road through the Schwygdalp, on the way to Ammertal.  Aside from this change, I ran the adventure essentially as-is.

In Search of Rest

Late in the day, having received no hospitality from the rustic villagefolk of the Schywgdalp region, the troupe came upon a vagrant sleeping next to the road.  He shared his story of having been beaten and robbed by a band of ruffians at a nearby farmhouse.  After some debate, they decided to visit these miscreants and educate them on Christian generosity, and at the very least gain recompense for Green Bernard - the vagrant - who agreed to accompany them.

Along the road they met two of the brigands standing guard.  Although they tried to have a polite discussion, one of the brigands was particularly foul-tempered and attacked Gerard, but the duelist was able to skewer him and obtain the other's surrender.  From that one they learned of Raoul and his band of highwaymen, as well as the patron they were waiting for.  Father Francesco gave the young Cutpurse a lesson in redemptive acts and sent him on his way.

At the farmstead, they enacted a daring plan.  Father Francesco would place a cross and prayer of Prohibited Passage on the door while Green Bernard set loose the horse in the barn to set a commotion, and Gerard and Filip would lie in ambush.

A chaotic scene played out.  Francesco was trampled by the horse, and waylaid by a pair of the knaves, while Gerard initially disarmed Raoul but was then trapped within a magic crystal globe, Filip fled from the possibility of a melee but ensorcelled the last of the knaves within the house and set him fleeing, Green Bernard managed to rescue Francesco, who, through the grace of God, set his own wounds upon Raoul, and Filip managed to break the globe and set free Gerard.

By the end, two knaves were unconscious, two had fled, and Raoul was beaten and bound to a chair.  At that point, the sound of a carriage arriving outside set a hush over the company, and we adjourned for the evening.

The Mechanics of Play

We got to try out several of the mechanics of Helvéczia in this adventure.  Gerard used a few combat checks in his duel with Raoul.  Only his disarm was successful, but the failed attempt at stabbing the crystal globe out of Raoul's hand did chip the globe, which gave Filip the idea that it could be smashed to free him later.  Several spells were cast.  Filip used the Mirror of Narcissus to charm one knave, while Francesco used Prohibited Passage to trap the door, and both the Manifestation of Sin and Commandment (unsuccessfully) to try to deter his assailants.  Francesco also called on the Lord's intervention with the miraculous powers of the Holy Bible.  I forgot to make note of the verse itself at the time, but it was something about the wounds of Christ foreshowing future glory, which I ruled that the wounds Francesco had suffered that night would fall on Raoul.
All of the rules of the game went quite smoothly and we didn't really need to look up or reference anything during play.  It was a fun, fast-paced adventure.

A Coach Awaits

The Seven Knaves is a short adventure that would easily play in a single evening for most groups.  Our sessions are on the shorter side though, at only 2 hours most weeks.  The group spent a fair amount of time chatting with Green Bernard, with the first two knaves encountered, and debating the merits of sleeping outside beside the road or lying in wait to try to ambush the coach en route to the farmhouse, before settling on teaching those miscreants a lesson.  Ending it with the arrival of Goodfriend worked well for me, as I intend to offer an early entanglement into the matter of The Mislaid Letter when we reconvene.

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