I brought along a bunch of FUDGE dice as a possible way of resolving un-categorisable tasks and allowing granularity of results (not just success/fail).
The session followed closely to the Summons of the Wyter adventure, though there were a number of embellishments along the way.
The party arrived at Verstead to be greeted, not by their family and friends, but smashed village gates and burning buildings. During the previous evening, the stead was attacked by unknown enemies. The clan leader was trapped and burnt to death inside his house. Only tens of people survived.I don't feel like it was an overly successful session. There was a lot of time spent establishing the story to come, which meant not many interesting decisions for the players. Futhermore, of the few decisions that existed, I struggled at making them genuine. Allowing players to influence the plot has got to be the most challenging aspect of an RPG. Nevertheless, I had fun and I think that generally we enjoyed the session.
The adventurers helped rescue their clans-folk. They pulled, from the rubble and collapsed beams, Soliste's aunt, Arlyn. Addi, a herb and spice trader, was also a notable survivor.
Hengall Boneblade (the stead champion) had reluctantly assumed leadership. He arrested Addi, then Arlyn, then Soliste, accusing them of betraying the clan. Arlyn and Soliste were accused of witchcraft (both have knowledge of God Learner alchemy and sorcery). Addi was arrested simply because he was an unknown visitor to the stead.
The accusation of treachery and witchcraft made against Soliste was resolved well by Trax who declared any accusation absurd as Soliste hadn't been in town for months, "and besides, she's been fighting against the clan's enemies, the God Learners of Seshnela."
Addi was also convincing. He'd lost half of his herbs and spices and was almost killed in the night's mayhem. If he had betrayed the clan, why would he have remained in the stead?
Arlyn remained tied up, with Hengall refusing to release her, no matter what argument was made.
An intense headache, then a vision of the clan's wyter (a theistic guardian being of an Orlanthi community) flashed into the minds of the people of The Black Grove Clan (including Trax and Soliste). The wyter was in danger!
Hengall began to organise a small group of weaponthanes and carls to assist the wyter, located in the Black Grove, an hours ride from the ruined Verstead. The wyter had to be saved or it would spell the final doom for the clan.
As they were about to ride for the grove, horsemen were spotted, riding towards the stead from the south.