So it was a quiet day for Savage Worlds. Eric was busy with a garage sale. He told us that he needed to be at the sale to make sure his wife didn’t sell any of his good stuff. Daron had some prior engagements, and Loren and Robert were still gardening. Hmmm.
Sue, Gavin and I sit around for a while talking politics on the national level, and Mike looks bored, then tired, then impatient. He walks out and tells us to let him know when we are done with talking politics and he is ready to play. He disappears into the hobby shop and we continue to talk politics. Mike comes back several times, but Sue is just getting started. Mike realizes that he needs to wait longer. Mike comes back seven or eight times, and finally, we get the idea that we should be playing games, not talking politics.
So the players that were playing today were Gavin, Sue and Mike. Gavin and Mike had new characters. Mike was still emotionally invested in his poo flinging simian. He created Cornelius’ brother, Winnie (the Poo). Gavin rolled up Otto, a German mercinary.
So Sue was heading through the forest, trying to make good time after killing the Baron. She may not be from this time, but she figured that there was no good way to explain killing a noble, even if he was massacring his people by crushing a score in their own private Iron Maidens. But that was last week.
Sue was heading on the path through the Black Forest, and came upon Winnie. Now Winnie was being held as a candidate for another time jump by the people in the future. These people were registering some basic data from the party, through their timeline warp. When Cornelius’ scan buffer registered that no more data was coming through, and the rest of the party was still transmitting, Winnie figured out that his brother had died. Winnie went berserk, demanding that he be sent into the machine to avenge his brother. After the series of poo incidents at the lab, the overseers were only too happy to put Winnie into the machine and get rid of him.
So Sue is approached by Winnie, and Winnie demands to know how Cornelius died, and what was done with his brother’s body. Sue explained what happened. Winnie was inconsolable. He demanded to go and retrieve Cornelius’ body and extract revenge. The fact that everyone who was involved in Cornelius’ death were dead was immaterial to Winnie.
So Winnie goes to the town and finds Cornelius crucified. Winnie climbs onto the cross and cuts down his brother’s body and takes it back to the forest.
We had some discussion about what a post apocalyptic funerary rite would be. Bury, burn, let the vultures scavenge? After some discussion, we decided that the post apocalyptic world would use fire to destroy the corpse. That made sense. No icky goo that could poison wells or cause disease.
So Winnie and Sue built a funerary pyre and laid Cornelius onto the pyre and lit it. Winnie hoots, howls, dances, and flings poo at the sky as Sue moves back, way back. Now, I feel it is important to note that the DM does not have an unnatural obsession with poo. That is all Mike.
Enter Otto. A German mercinary. It is dark. Otto sees a funerary pyre in the middle of an intersection of two roads, with a hairy ape dancing, screaming and flinging poo, and a woman standing nearby. The obvious answer is a witch is summoning a demon in the forest. He screams “Demon” at Winnie, he then calls Sue a “witch”.
Otto wants nothing to do with this. He calls out to the evil in the forest, trying to banish it.
As an aside, Sue speaks her native language from the post apocalyptic setting, along with German, Russian and several other languages. Winnie only speaks his native language from the post apocalyptic world. Otto only speaks German. Otto hears Sue talking to Winnie in the post apocalyptic language, which confirms for Otto that Sue is in league with the demon.
Things are getting tense. Otto is thinking of killing Winnie, then Sue. Winnie wants to go back to the town that killed his brother and burn it to the ground. He takes two burning branches from the pyre and starts marching towards town, with Otto screaming for the demon to stop.
Then someone shoots an arrow at Winnie from the forest. The arrow almost hits Winnie, but misses. Winnie, Otto and Sue all look towards the forest, trying to see where the danger is coming from. The forest is dark. Winnie stops, deciding that it may be better to not burn the town down in the face of the new threat.
Another arrow is shot from the forest, then the party hears a crashing sound as someone runs away. They pursue, and eventually come to a path with fresh tracks. The sun is rising, so they are able to see better. Every time they stop, another arrow is shot at them.
At one point, Otto stops, and Winnie comes up nearby and pulls out his bow and notches an arrow. As Winnie draws to fire, he fumbles, bad. His fingers slip on the string, and the string causes serious rug burn on his inner arm, ripping out a large chunk of fur. Howling in pain, Winnie causes the party to completely lose their stealth. Sue, Winnoe and Otto continue along the path, following the boot impressions in the soil.
After quite a while, they come to a small clearing. Inside the clearing is a very tall, exceptionally ugly man, sitting on a wooden chair that is covered with animal pelts. Behind the man is a two post tent. In front of the man is a fire pit, with a boar roasting on a spit. The man welcomes the party, and introduces himself as Grindust. He also tells the party that he is the King of the Ragged Banners, and he is the ruler of all that he sees.
The back and forth took a while, but eventually, the party figured out that Grindust was quite mad. When Otto asked what he was king of, Grindust replied that he was master of all he sees. When asked what his borders are, Grindust says, when he walks, he is the master of everything he sees there, and it is best when he gets onto a hill and he can see more of his domain. When asked about what he rules over, Grindust replies that he rules over the trees, Sky, clouds, animals, everything he sees.
Now Winnie is hungry. Really hungry. He keeps looking at the roasting boar. When Grindust asks the party why they have come to his domain. Sue, being very smart, figures out that she needs to endear himself to the mad King. She tells him that they are here to learn the recipe to his roasted boar.
Now, Grindust is only too happy to divulge his recipe. You take a boar, put it on a spit, and you roast it. Sue wants to know what herbs are used. Grindust appears to be confused. Boar, spit, fire.
Winnie wants to eat… NOW. Grindust explains that they need to wait, because it is always good to cook the meat to the point where the worms are dead. After some more questioning. Grindust explains that he is a good and just King. He never kills his subjects. This makes Sue ask for more detail about the boar. Since Grindust says that everything he sees is his, how does cooking the boar fit in with this.
Grindust explains that the boar was already dead. He wanders through the forest, sniffing for recently dead meat, picks it up, and brings back the cadaver to cook up. If he is lucky, he gets the cadaver before it has rotted too much, so it can be roasted without falling apart. Sue notices that the roasting boar is wrapped in wire… This one may be one of the ripe ones… Maybe the discussion about cooking the worms is really relevant.
Now, Otto decides to question the authority of the King. The King indulges Otto for a short while, then proceeds to pull out a small bag, pulls out a psychedelic mushroom, eat it, listen to Otto’s heresy then pulls out a large battle ax and charges at Gavin screaming obscenities.
The King misses in his strike. Otto tries to back up, the King takes two swipes at Otto. Sue and Winnie just quietly leave Otto to his fate. Otto runs like crazy trying to get away. The King throws his ax and misses. Otto continues to run. The King retrieves his ax, and comes back as though nothing happened.
Then they feast on roast boar. At least Winnie does with the King. Sue politely pretends to eat the boar.
After the feast, Winnie requests an animal skin, to remember the King by. The King is very pleased, and grants Winnie a wolf pelt of fine quality.
After Winnie and Sue leave, they find Otto hiding quite a ways away. They go back to the funeral pyre and are approached by a very short man. This man is about three feet tall. The man claims to be the real King of the Ragged Banners, and was run out by Grindust. The man tries to explain that he was trying to goad the party into attacking Grindust. The party was having none of this. They were pissed about being shot at. The party left the short man to find his own way to get his throne back.
They continued along the forest path and find an abandoned castle. A quarter mile away was a small, evidently prosperous town. The party decides to head into town. The town has a tavern, stable, smith, mill, tanner, leather shop and several houses. The people are not totally freaked out about the newcomers, but Winnie does get some odd looks. For perspective, Winnie is wearing leather chest armor, and nothing else. Everyone sees the monkey bare ass and full Monty.
The party goes to the tanner and asks if they can get the wolf pelt sewn up into a cape. The tanner asks what payment he can expect. The party has no money and asks what they can trade instead. The tanner explains that if the party kills off the wolves that are attacking the cattle and occasional people then that would be pay enough. Kill the wolf, or wolves and bring me the pelt, and I will create the cape for no cost.
So Sue asks for more information. The tanner explains that the wolf attacks are particularly brutal. The wolf seems to only kill critters, children and people, and eats only some of the meat. Take for instance the lovers who were found this morning. The lovers left the safety of town and were found this morning near the edge of the forest. They were found near each other, maybe a few hundred feet apart. Their throats were torn out, and their chests were ripped open. Ribs snapped, and their hearts eaten. Nothing else. This is mighty strange activity for Wolves.
Sue asks how many attacks there have been. She is told that the attacks began several months ago, and there are several weeks between attacks. First it was just cattle. Then it the wolf or wolves broke into a home and massacred several children in bed. The funny thing was that the wolves broke into the house without damaging any doors or windows. The parents of the children died about four months ago in a freak logging accident. The children were being raised by an aunt who came from far away. The Aunt is distraught, knowing she must have left a door unlatched, letting the wolves in while she slept and the children were eaten by the wolf or wolves.
The attack last night on the lovers was particularly gruesome. The wolves made no effort to take the bodies.
Sue remembers that two nights ago was the first night of the full moon, where the Baron killed people in the iron maidens. Last night was the second night of the full moon. For some reason, Sue thinks there is a connection here…
The tanner also tells the party about Von Staler’s castle. Von Staler was the local lord. A Godly man, a good man, until his horse fell, causing the lord to hit his head on a rock, blinding him. Von Staler became mean, cruel and petty with his sight robbed. Anyone who made noise immediately met the noose. There was no excuse for sound. The town is still frightened of noises and still remains quiet, four years after the lord was killed one night by a tall gaunt man in a large hat.
Some adventurers have gone to the castle. There must be something of great evil in there. The last adventurers who went in only had one return. He told the town to be wary of the silent scream, then he died. There were no barbers in town, but the priest declared that the man died of fright. His humors were all out of sorts.