Savage! – Game Session – 001

Game summary for October 13, 2015, Savage! campaign; PCs included Blazing Sun (Kau human sage), Singing Mammoth (elf soldier), Spirit Walker (Naci human assassin), Standing Bison (giant soldier), and Wolf Spirit (Kompache human priest).

The campaign began in the tent of tribe vidutana, Rides-the-Moon:

The sweet smell of tioye lingers in the whirling smoke filling the tent. The long feathered pipe has been passed about and all have drawn deep from the invigorating leaves burning in the bowl. A crackling fire lends its heat to the night as its smoke mingles with that of the pipe and drifts through the opening above. More fires burn outside, and the shadows of many harii, champions of the People, waiver on the stretched skins of the tent wall.

Your mentor and war leader, Laughing Horse, sits cross-legged on the ground, his eyes sharp. The pelt of a great jaguar is draped over his shoulders, and he slowly twirls his coup stick, its many trophies dangling, around in his hand. Next to him sits a man whose long hair has turned silvery gray, and deep lines etch his face. Rides-the-Moon, respected elder and vidutana, finishes a hymn of thanks to the Great Ancestors and to Sun and Earth. The flickering light dances along the resplendent feathers adorning his headdress.

He regards each of you through the smoky night air. The faint crackling fire somehow seems deafening within the tent. Each crack and pop makes you start with pent up energy and nervousness. The elder at last speaks. “So young, and we have lost so many. Your training ends early. The Tribes call you to take up the mantle of the harii. Three days ago, our scouts watched as the Dawning Eagles were ridden down by Nemtlac and his Nightmare Company. The Eagles’ horses were swift but no match for the crimson raptors of Nemtlac’s riders. They were captured or killed with none escaping. The Nightmare Company made camp and they… they ate the captives one by one. The Dawning Eagles were the last band we can spare in this region. The Tribes must move once more, but our work, your work, is not done.”

The Mecatl elder pauses to let the fate of the Dawning Eagles sink in. These men were mighty warriors, some even friends. Such a dishonorable death at the hands of one of the Taken fills you with sadness and smoldering rage. Rides-the-Moon continues, “Children, you know the power of the Keepers of the Gate and their masters the ghula. Our People are hunted and dying before their onslaught. But there is hope. Long ago, our Father Sun and the Great Ancestors created a barrier called the Dawn Seal. Through trickery, Uncle Moon found and shattered the seal and fathered the ghula. They are not of this world and have no claim to it. If the Dawn Seal could be reassembled, the power of Father Sun may yet drive the ghula and their dark medicine from our Mother Earth.”

Again, Rides-the-Moon pauses. A strange sensation washes over you. After a moment you realize it is an emotion you have never felt. Hope. If what the vidutana speaks is truth, there could be a way to break the power of the Keepers of the Gate and banish the ghula! The elder puffs the tioye once more before continuing, “The lands of Tuwa can be cleansed, but it is no small thing to assemble the fragments of the Dawn Seal. It is said the Keepers of the Gate have scattered its pieces and set fearsome guardians over them. It is also said one of the fragments may be hidden near here. Long ago, the Tocatl Order, a group of spider-loving Keepers, was entrusted with one such fragment. They took it to a place they called Tocatlmayana, a labyrinth beneath the earth filled with spiders and other horrors.”

“Finding Tocatlmayana may be the most important task before the Free Tribes, and I would task it to the Dawning Eagles. My Children, I have no choice but to hand this task to you. You are capable but untested, and I pray that Wakanachi the Peacemaker watch over you. There is one of the Taken, a man named Paqpopoca, who was once a member of the Tocatl. He now grows fat and rich in the City of Bones and has recently purchased one of the Keeper mines. Our spies tell us even now he travels toward his new purchase and is thus exposed. His trek will take him through the Speaking Lion Ravine which is a day’s travel from here. He will arrive within two days. Children, you must capture Paqpopoca and learn from him the location of Tocatlmayana. Then, you must get word of the location to our scouts while making haste to infiltrate the complex to find the Dawn Seal. The fate of all Tuwa and the Free People rests solely in your hands. Laughing Horse has trained you the best he can, and you have the greatest equipment we have. You must strike this blow against the children of Moon and bring hope back to us all.”

“Now go, ride swift under the cover of night, and be watchful for Nemtlac and the Nightmare Company. If he catches you, there will be no mercy.”

The team headed toward the ravine and discovered some brown tioye they harvested for their supplies. They likewise discovered the tracks of a raptor, likely one bearing a rider. While stopping to water their steeds, they were attacked by a mob of stone-spitting octoroks! A few stones hit various party members, but the most serious injury was done to Standing Bison. An octorok ripped a plug of flesh out of him and hurt him very badly. The team was able to muster and win the day, however. They harvested some parts and moved on, progressing further toward the ravine.

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