Somewhere in the forests near Watchtower, Amara and Flint (the fisherman she rescued) try to get him back to safety.
As we Undertake a Journey back to Watchtower, we’ll set the difficulty to Dangerous. For the first waypoint, we get a strong hit! Deep in this corrupted forest, the branches claw at our characters and eerie screams echo in the distance. Amara moves at speed (spending supply to boost momentum). ((I also make a mechanical error in this section, forgetting to use the extra momentum from her Wayfinder asset.))
Continuing the journey, trying to get away from the damned cavern, we get another strong hit and continue to move at speed. They’ll need to forage soon but at least our momentum is almost back to the default (reset) value.
A weak hit slows us down a tiny bit. Amara and Flint use up the last of their supplies. Although they’re in a blighted section of the forest, they need to forage for food and water. On a Resupply we get a weak hit which gives them what they need but puts us back to null momentum. This also feels like a good opportunity to check on how Flint is feeling. The oracle says his disposition is “cooperative” so I think he’s feeling better. If we need to forage again, maybe he can help.
We return our attention to the journey home and roll a weak hit. The water isn’t lasting us as much as we’d hoped, but we’ve finally found ourselves once more in the rich farmlands. Almost there!
This segment, though, yields a miss with a complication. As we Pay the Price, our momentum drops back into the negative range, but what else?
A new danger or foe is revealed. I don’t know what this could be, so I’ll ask the Oracle for an action and theme:
Oppose / Disease. While we’ve been gone, a plague of some sort has befallen our home. Amara certainly believes this is related to the demon or that accursed legacy. We need to hurry!
We’ll try the last leg again and get another miss. The plague has reached our location more concretely, somehow infusing the land itself. Flint falls ill and Amara needs to try to get him in travelling shape. She uses her herbs to Heal him, yielding a weak hit and burning through the last of their supplies.
As the pair Reach Their Destination, a weak hit indicates an unforeseen complication. Kalima has returned home, but she also has come down with this disease!
This Fulfills the Vow to free Flint, which becomes a weak hit. There’s more to be done, certainly. We earn 1 XP and entrust him to the care of the local healers, overwhelmed as they are.
I also think Amara Forges a Bond with Flint and his family. Regardless of the outcome of this plague, she has brought him back to them at tremendous personal risk. We roll a strong hit and restore our momentum to 0.
As she spends time in Watchtower, the Sojourn move yields a strong hit giving us three total actions. We choose the following:
That quest requires an Iron Vow, but rather than swear on the clapper in the town bell, she swears on her Warden insignia…
Wait, let’s put that on hold real quick. Amara should get a promotion to full Warden for her adventure, but when we try to Forge a Bond we roll a miss. This doesn’t represent a rejection: Kalima succumbs to the plague before the oath can be administered. (That’ll also drop her Spirit of course.) This is a dark day for Amara and will have knock-on effects into the future.
Returning to her quest, then, she Swears an Iron Vow upon her apprentice marker for this Dangerous quest to find a treatment for the plague upon Watchtower and we roll a weak hit.
That implies a need to Gather Information and the result is a strong hit with opportunity. The oracle for Action / Theme says
Bolster / Land - as we suspected, the land itself is suffused with infection, not just from the demonic corruption but also from the legacy forerunner that inhabits this place.
Some sort of ritual must be needed. Kalima is the only one who might’ve known it around here, but even if she did, she’s gone now. Amara has to find a way forward and this will require finding an elder mystic then convincing them to carry out the ritual. We’ll need to find Chandra, a conceited trickster who lives in a
Civilized Lair. That sounds like an hermitage, and in fact I think our third background bond fits here too.
This requires Amara to Undertake a Journey again ((and this time I’ll remember the Wayfinder benefits!)) I set the difficulty to Troublesome and roll a miss straight out of the gate. She’s waylaid by some perilous event and I’m going to ask the oracle again. Is she trying to resist the infection (likely) or will she need to fight something?
Yes, it’s the infection, so we’ll roll Endure Harm and take -2 health. This is a weak hit and we press on.
Let’s try to continue the journey with a weak hit. Despite the progress, she uses up more of her supplies. The land here is already ruined and things look bleak.
Again we roll a weak hit and use the last of her supplies. Amara is alone this time and will roll a Resupply as a weak hit, turning 2 momentum into 2 supply.
Miss! This journey has been so difficult. Momentum drops and she will Endure Harm from this disease, reducing health by 2 again and rolling a weak hit. We’ll press on: Chandra is waiting, we hope.
On this segment we get a weak hit as only her medicines keep her going. But we’re here, and Reaching Her Destination gives us a strong hit. Before I forget, I mark progress on that vow to find treatment. The situation favors us: Chandra is indeed here, and we’ll take +1 to Test Our Bond, calling upon her to help. This is a miss at a critical moment. What has happened? Does she believe she’s above all this? The land here is
isolated, but is she really unconcerned with the suffering of Watchtower?
Our oracle says
Defy / Direction. Amara came on too strong and presented the request as an order rather than a plea for help. Very well: what must she do? This is a Compel based on trying to pacify the mystic, and we’ve lost that bond: weak hit. She will want something in return and not do it simply because an upstart child to do so. In fact, this is a test: she wants to see Amara’s backbone, and making demands based on an old friendship wasn’t it. ((I’m playing up the “Conceited” descriptor I rolled earlier.))
Chandra’s goal, according to the oracle, is to
create an item so she’ll need some ingredients for the ritual’s focus. Maybe we can even reforge the bond if it goes well!
That adventure will have to wait until our next session, however.