Library Wilderlands game, 3rd session
Bartolo is a prosperous halfling merchant who deals in beeswax- and honey-based products, the most popular of which are Bartolo’s Green Candles (known throughout the region for both their distinctive jade color and insect-repelling properties*.) His family also owns and operates the Honey Drop Tavern in northern Greenwax, which is where his son approached the four PCs with a job offer: protect a cargo boat traveling up the coast to Fort Axilar, a trading post on the Axilar River delta. There, its captain will meet with Bartolo’s partners, a primitive tribe of golden-furred halflings, to trade for a new supply of potent wax and honey (harvested from ferocious, giant jungle bees by mysterious apicultural methods known only to that tribe) and return to Greenwax with the cargo. The PCs were warned to be on guard against pirates, who, in addition to seizing cargo, will commonly carry off prisoners to sell in the flesh-markets of Antil to the north.
The journey was uneventful for the most part, but as they drew near their destination they saw smoke rising from the delta — Fort Axilar was under siege! As the captain urgently sailed to the beleaguered outpost’s aid, two longboats filled with armed pirates raced out to intercept them. Dodging a hail of arrows, the PCs managed to cripple one of the boats with a well-placed arbalest shot, but the other reached the ship. A gang of savage-looking human, lizardman, and ape-man warriors swarmed aboard and the melee was joined. For a time, the two sides seemed evenly matched, but the battle turned when the human sword-maiden Mixit carved a path of bloody ruin through a half-dozen of the enemy. The spectacle thoroughly demoralized the remaining pirates, who beat a hasty retreat. When the ship reached the Fort, the battle was over. A larger group of mixed-race warriors had been repulsed, but not before they caused great havoc: some dead, many wounded, buildings burned, captives taken, and treasure — including the new stores of wax and honey — seized and carried off into the jungle. A war party is being assembled by the fort’s commander to pursue the raiders into the jungle, and the PCs were offered a share of the spoils for their assistance.
A few post-session thoughts:
- The first half of our lunchtime session was taken up with converting characters to BoL and explaining the basic mechanics of Attributes, Careers, the Task Roll, Boons & Flaws, and Hero Points. I was expecting this, and decided to use the remaining time to set up next week’s adventure. If we have additional players show up, their characters can either be survivors of the Fort Axilar battle or sailors who volunteer for the war party.
- I realize that, much as I enjoy improvising at the table, I’m just not that good at creating cool names on the fly.
- Before next session, I need to create a player aid for how to use Hero Points, as it’s one of the few things everyone needs to remember that isn’t on their character sheet.
- As ideas unspool about where this adventure is going, I find myself thinking back to a sadly-short-lived plan to run Dwellers of the Forbidden City with BoL…
* Bartolo’s Green Candle: Made from the wax of giant jungle bees and subjected to secret alchemical processes, this candle will, when burned, give off a pleasant fragrance that will repel insects in a 10′ radius. The candle must be burning to have this effect.