Thursday, March 18, 2021

Shattered Realm, Shattered Tower

Tonight was the fifth session of our Everway game, and the session started with the PCs arriving in a sphere with a mysterious red and gold comet (with moving parts; perhaps an orrery?) in the night sky, as well as a full moon.

The environment was fresh, wet, flat. Green, even in the darkness, with frog and cricket sounds.

The PCs spotted a large, city-sized object in the distance, sort of a bowl below, with a dome overhead. The approach. Human figures dart out of the way, and stay evasive.

The dome is made of a purplish-white material: porcelain. The PCs find a set of gates; the knock. A gatekeeper answers the door, invites them in.

Part of the porcelain dome has cracked, and fallen into the Purple City [this is where Whiskers said he hailed from]. This disaster happened in the last day. The gatekeeper says that the city is dangerous; a rebellion against the Cat Lords is underway. Barricades have formed. Humans have rebelled against their cat masters.

The party encounters a group of rebels, and clamber over the barricades to one of their headquarters. This group of rebels is led by a bloody-handed human named Blood; this is a new name. The rebel humans have renamed themselves that day. 

The rebels have have books and scrolls that have been plundered from various wizards towers of the cats of the Purple City. There are a number of charm and illusion scrolls among the books. One text appears to be about the architecture of the city and its towers, but as Pahoeho spends time with this book, he suspects that it is a magical text about Air magic and teleportation. He later confirms that this text is also about gate magic, specifically air gates. Jumping off towers is one way to spherewalk. At one point the rebels also mention that there are winged cats in the city; some have feathery wings while other have leathery ones.

None of the locals have heard of Everway. Farming is a new concept to them. Pahoeho and Tom strongly suggest they learn how to farm. The Purple City was surrounded by deserts just a day ago, before the comet arrived. Conditions are good for farming now; the surrounding lands are lush. How did the city get food in the past, the PCs ask: from sludge grown below the city, and mushrooms and other fungi. The food is flavored with imported spices from across the desert. It is just OK.

Percy decides to use spirit magic to search for the human No Whiskers. He looks for a low Air person. There are a LOT of them around in the cats' towers. There are still cats in the city. Instead, he searches for other groups of humans who are high Air. Percy finds a group in one of the cat towers. 

The PCs go to that tower. Osbert's magical sword Demonsbane begins pointing the way to the tower - an omen of things to come. The tower gate is closed and no one within responds to Pahoeho's knocking. Tom uses his magic to summon a rebac, and plays a rebel song that stirs up the crowd to bash in the tower gate. 

Detail from "Virgin among Virgins" (1509), by Gerard David

The PCs go in, and ascend the tower. Up, up, up, to a room where a summoning ritual is underway. In the center of the ritual space is a chiming, pulsating mass from which spikes push out in all directions: a demon! Osbert charges the demon with his sword. He strikes well, but the demon is stronger: Osbert takes a wound from the demon's dark energies while his sword, Demonsbane is stuck in the demon. 

Tom uses his musical magic to disrupt the demon's song. Pahoehoe taps on the shoulder of one of the summoners to distract them and hopefully weaken the summoning. Osbert plunges his sword even further into the flesh of the demon, as its pulsating mass forms numerous delightful lips to tempt and distract him. The sword plunges completely through the demon's mass, and into a wall on the opposite side of the tower wall.

Meanwhile, Pahoeho uses his Forge of Earth magic to reshape and ignite some of the stone flooring into a giant flaming glob of Earth. Pahoeho is immune to fire. He hurls the flaming stone glob at the demon, which explodes UP, blowing the top off the tower. Everyone flees.

Osbert heroically saves one of the summoners, pulling them to safety, and leaving Demonsbane behind. The heroes reassemble outside the tower, Tom performs a song about Bad Ideas - like summoning demons as anti-Cat Lord weapons of mass destruction. Such tactics can ruin revolutions. Tom uses Star River magic to teleport Demonsbane out of the tower and back into Osbert's hands.

Osbert discovers that the sword has a new pictograph on it: one which resembles the demon. It is hot to the touch. Apparently Demonsbane has a memory! New information for Osbert!

Osbert relates the story of his order of warriors, and its matriarchal rules of sword inheritance.

There is a BOOM from the outskirts of the city dome, and a huge chunk of porcelain wall comes flying in. Many are injured by flying porcelain shards. Pahoeho uses his healing magic to save many, transforming porcelain into flesh.

In march the dog-warriors, and an uncertain occupation begins. 

Will the adventures of our heroes continue? 


A couple of the inspirations for this, and the previous session include the Cat Lords of the Violet City, from Luka Rejec's The Ultraviolet Grasslands, and the magical porcelain dome from Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett's delightful novel, Havemercy.


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