The last few months have been quite patchy for gaming; fortunately I have only one week coming up when I won't be around to run/play something - until I become a father in September, and who knows how that will effect things then. But 'til then, let's see what sort of things have been happening recently in Wetham, shall we?
Patrick and David went to sleep after their trip to the warren of the Dread Rabbit, and woke to find themselves in a strange sugar-coated nightmare world - Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess. Despite the machinations of evil stuffed toys and dastardly cherubs they were able to escape, bringing back some items with them that would probably prove useful...
In Wetham they wake up and find that the dream was the result of evil alchemist Arvik Bleeve who was determined to kill them/psyche them out ahead of the Large Chess match/civil case that he had brought against them. Rather than fight it out on the board, they decide that the only way to really be rid of the problem was to kill him.
A plan is hatched: find a way to break in to his house, engage in a little burglary and assassination and/or burn it to the ground. They crawl through the city, meeting people, finding out the ways of Wetham. An investigation into a breakout/crazy accident at an asylum for young women gives the party an idea: Orve will dress in the disguise of a mad woman (their hair is painted blue so everyone knows) and this will help allay suspicions when Bleeve is killed; Vaskin will be smuggled in to the house and let the others in at 2am; Rowntree the elf and Orchard the magic-user will generally be awesome.
They enter the house via the back door and a fight breaks out with strange faceless servants in the kitchen. They hear a person patrolling at the front of the house, and duck downstairs. In the basement they find five people (including two blue-haired girls) in cages. A sub-basement has a strong vibration of "wrongness" to all magic-users in the room. They release the prisoners and try to escape quietly. The guard is tipped off - and vaporised quickly by a magic wand that Rowntree brought back from the dream world - but the house is awakened. Another bodyguard is killed, and then Arvik Bleeve arrives. He wastes no time in herding people away with a stinking cloud and then polymorphs half of Vaskin (who is secretly a pair of goblins in a big coat) into a dog.
Of course, the party think that Bleeve has split Vaskin into a dog and a goblin...
Things don't look like they are going well, until Bleeve is shot by a love arrow (again, brought from the dream), where he promptly falls in love with Orve. The party escape, and a new plan is formed.
The morning after, and the day of the Large Chess match: Rowntree sets out to hire players for Large Chess. These are an alibi, as Arvik Bleeve will hopefully be dead long before sunset. Orve buys poison, Orchard stays in his room at the inn and Vaskin and his dog-brother hire a coach. Orve and Vaskin abduct/elope with the smitten alchemist and kill him with poison, dumping his body in the river (but not before asking him to restore Vaskin).
Rowntree learns of the probable whereabouts of a former guest of the inn who they were supposed to be looking after (and learns that they might be in danger). Orchard is disturbed by Nena Bleeve, the alchemist's niece, who wants to know what the party have done with her uncle. Nena is a magic-user of some talent; she and her bodyguard torture Orchard a little, and kill the party's faithful servant, before Rowntree arrives and uses the rapidly-running-out-of-charges-wand to slay the attackers.
The Aftermath: the case has been settled, as Arvik Bleeve does not show up for the Large Chess match. The party will probably take possession of Bleeve's house under Wetham law (stiff penalties for frivolous lawsuits!). They spend a large amount of money on the funeral/wake for their servant Grendzl. During the wake an urchin hands Orve a note, from "a man who was just stood over there... Oh, he's gone miss!"
The note reads: "I know what you did. I saw you dump the body. I will contact you."
DUN DUN DUN!
Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess: A lot of fun to run and the party all survived - in doubt at some points - and brought some insane magic back to the real world.
XP Watch: Much more moderate in recent games; Patrick is running three characters, so they tend to level slowly. Rowntree the elf has made it to Level 3.
Wetham: The city is starting to feel populated. I have lots of pieces of paper which need to come together to make some kind of understandable notes (for me!).
NPC Deaths: Lots of them in recent sessions, including retainers and enemies who had names and everything. They players seemed genuinely shocked (or are great actors) when Grendzl was killed suddenly by the bad guys. And they now have lots of pieces of information about others in the city; what they make of it is anyone's guess.
Large Chess: I knew it. Design a means for an elaborate trial by combat, sketch out a history of the game, create random tables for generating a challenging opponent team - and the players just assassinate the other party before the trial. Sigh...