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A photo of Mordred from the television series Merlin.  Mordred, like the young Brightwood boy, is a powerful and feared druid boy.

Making dreams a reality.

Merry Christmas everyone :)

Here I'm able to take a moment from the festivities to write about how I feel Friday went.

For starters, while the session was a bit stunted for the seasonal effects, the overall objective was achieved.

Lack luster?  Maybe, but let's dive right into it.

Mitch is back and Mitch is smart.

For starters, we have Helbrim, the Mitch controlled druid with all the smarts and capabilities he left off with and then some.

Let's talk about my elves.  They didn't do a small amount of damage, and they were ferocious little bastards.  However, they are vulnerable to fire, and ...dumb.  They were based on the Critters from ..Critters.

So when Helbrim produced a viable target for my elves, it only made sense that they targeted the boar and the goat as easy protein, as any carnivorous little bastards would.

Dirk Gently, the retroactive influence.

Having just finished consuming the second season of Dirk Gently I just want to say that while I've alwys been a huge fan of the show I am not writing my story based on anything they've been doing there.

I had no idea about the direction that that show was going and I have no explanation for some of the similarities in storyline, however, given the inspiration that it provides, I can honestly say it is not only an amazing show and wonderful inspiration, but an uncanny sign that no matter the corner it may seem like I'm writing myself into, there's always a way out.

I don't have a challenge in tying things together, my challenge resides in deciding the direction to take the story in.

Perhaps the most difficult thing about it all is writing a story that doesn't make me scoff at how far fetched it is, despite having just finished watching Dirk Gently (which as anyone who has watched it can tell you, is really out there).

Political Shift

With each passing session we attempt to tell the story of a magical city caught up in the plays of many powers, while attempting to grow into its own entity.  For the first time in this campaign, we have a conflict between two houses.  Not player controlled houses, but large political powers.

The question of retaliation is in the air, and whether or not the Ketterrogs will see the support of any other houses for their moves upon the Brightwood house.

This could easily go a number of ways, but one of the obvious routes would be to put the Ketterrog house on the defensive; however, I am not interested in something too boring.  Especially not when I have as much at stake.  Yes, me, the Dungeon Master, has to consider what they have at stake, and Joe was right in stating his concern.  While I may not be as capable a writer as the Dirk Gently crew, I'm confident that for a D&D game, I can provide an experience cohesive enough between 7 people.

New Season.  Same Plot.

So what happened on Friday?  The players escaped the cocoons they were placed in and Vane was confronted with a vestige of himself, spawned from the fluids of the cocoons they were ..cocooned within.

This sets a lot of precedent and the question that a lot of folks may ask, or assume, is that I let the players walk away just because it was late.

The answer to this is a resounding no.  The story could have been either way.  It could have been a case of them being trapped within the cocoon world for another session or two, but I can always revisit that.  Maybe if Thunder had been captured from the get go I wouldn't have worried about the release of the players, and kept everyone in the dark; as it stands, I felt it would be just as interesting to make the objective of the session to escape, even if leaving ultimately was a scripted occurence.

Now that the players Have experienced what the Brightwoods are capable of they have to ask themselves if they are prepared to deal with the 'threat' or if the Brightwoods are in fact even a threat.

What is the story with that family and what are they attempting to achieve?

Meanwhile of course, the highway construction awaits the return of its civil defense.  Despite the routing of the barbarians, the highway construction is anything but safe as the barbarians are hardly the only predators in the valleys of the West Cloud Spires.

This Friday

We will be examining the relationships of the peoples of the Royals Peak with the introduction of a veiled, ever present threat that may or may not be a threat.

The Brightwood influence is not yet understood, or truly experienced.  The only portion of the Brightwood threat that has even been experienced is their retaliation in the face of a house attack.

OMG, 7 people.

It doesn't matter how many people are at the table so long as everyone gets a chance to be involved.

The challenge for me is giving everyone a meaningful role in the sessions, and providing enough combat and story momentum for everyone to have a piece.

These last few sessions have been crummy for pacing and this last one was especially bad for multiple reasons.

While it could be argued that an hour was lost, I feel like the things achieved in the span of time we had were terrible.

Being more mindful of achievements, objectives, etc is one thing. having a simpler plan, I think is paramount.

OMG, 3 storylines.

I've got three branches to the story running at the moment.  The focus of the story evolves with each session but the three branches are the West Cloud Spires Highway, another is the Brightwoods influence and finally there's the mines at the head of the highway.  To refer to each of these as a 'separate storyline' is a bit of a misnomer, because "everything is connected."