Burning Song Stones
From Burning Wiki
Number of Sessions: 5
- Alassë Elanessë - Elven Sword Singer Princess, youngest daughter of Dínendal Elanessë
- Gwindor Séregon - Aged, learned Loremaster and special operative for Dínendal Elanessë (think Giles from Buffy crossed with Elrond from the LotR movies)
- Tarí Elanessë - Allasë's Aunt Tari, sister of Dínendal Elanessë. Walks the Path of Spite and created the Twisted Death plague
- Captain Erelith - Captain of Alassë's Elite Honour Guard
- Fiandra Dorthonien - Gwindor's love. Once a custodian of the Hall of Memories, now works for the Protectorate as a librarian and archivist.
Circled up Contacts
- Astion - personal aid to Alassë
- Gethin - Old 'Elven MI6' friend of Gwindor living in Tulipon. Has a patch over one eye.
- Dínendal Elanessë - Etharch of the Aeondriel, father of Allasë, boss of Gwindor
- T'lath - Ship's Captain of the Northern Star
- Baelon Maernanea - Lord Protector of The Protectorate
- Captain Celedriel - Young, dashing Captain of the Protectorate in Port Tulipon. Led a patrol that was ambushed by Orcs.
- Loremaster Merilyn - Wise and knowledgeable yet slightly eccentric. Studies Man as if they're animals (he probably has a Man-Husbandry skill...). Wears glasses with no glass in them!
- Cam'Ron - Harbour Master of Port Tulipon
- Rhavaniel 'Rhav' Telladon - Young elven girl, daughter of the slain singer of the now broken Song Stone of Bristlecone Creek. Now travelling with Allasë and Gwindor under sufference. Has a very high Grief (8 or 9) and is very sombre, quiet and withdrawn - just wanted to stay by the broken Song Stone near her father.
- Bryan - Human, dishevelled, dirty. Fought with Orcs against Celedriel's patrol. Lied to Allasë about his involvement. Interrogated by Gwindor/Allasë and left in Tulipon to be executed by the Protectorate.
- The Ghost of the Wood - old Wolf with subtly colour shifting fur spoke with Allasë, offering his aid to "The daughter of Dinendal the Caretaker, saviour of the land, as foretold by the ancestor spirits"
- Link to map (still in progress)
- Bryton - City of Men on the coast to the East of Port Tulipon. Has a large Song Stone (still working!). Once great, is now dirty and more of a shanty town since the coming of the Twisted Death and the Elf/Man/Orc wars.
- Estellon - Besieged city in the North
- Port Tulipon - The main Citadel/Capital of the Protectorate. 98% Citadel/Wilder Elves, 1% Etharchal, 1% Other. The once white towers are a dusty grey. Has no Song Stone hence no (or very, very few) Men present.
- Song Stones
- Talrathon - Crumbling ruins of the old Etharchy capital. Destroyed by the Human Insurrectionists during the Elf/Man/Orc wars 320 years ago. Location of The Hall of Memories. Sits atop the Talar Plateau. It was said that from atop the great tower of Talrathon you could see as far as the Four Fingered Isles.
- The Hall of Memories
- Bristlecone Creek - Small village on the way to Estellon. Former home of Bryan, the Twisted man-orc.
Answer's to Lukes Questions
What's the Big Picture? What's going on in this setting that makes it ripe for adventure. What's changing, evolving, declining?
Many years ago the Elves and Humans lived quite happily together, with the ever young, eternal Elves benevolently ruling over their short lived brethren.
Then came a god awful plague, known as the Twisted Death and created by a particularly spiteful Elf, perhaps by the first ever spiteful Elf. The plague affected all sentient races apart from the Elves, i.e. just the Humans. Most of the population became infected, half of those died, the other half were driven mad and mutated into twisted shadows of their former selves - Orcs.
The newly created Orcs battled with the Humans and Elves. Factions within the Humans resented the ruling Elves 'you said you would protect us!', blamed the Elves for the plague and fought them. Destruction everywhere.
The Elves, realising one of their own (albeit a spiteful soul) was behind it and despite all the battles fought, felt responsible for helping the humans and sought a cure. Unfortunately they were unable to eradicate it completely. The best they could do was create a Spell Song, the Madrigal of Suppression, which when combined with the amplifying magical power of the Song Stones, halted the effects of the plague, but only while heard.
In the centre of every remaining pocket of civilisation their finest Star & Stonecrafters built the Song Stones. Every day & night the stones sang the Madrigal to keep the plague at bay. Encased within (or under) every Song Stone is an Elf (or a few Elves in the case of large cities), in a song induced eternal trance, giving of themselves to save others.
The Elves, having the constant reminder of their greatest triumph & greatest failing split into two factions. One faction, the majority of them, retreated back to their homelands across the sea. The faction that remained became The Protectorate, continuing to look after their Human brothers, albeit with an increasing yoke 'for their own good'. Of those Elves that remained, most stayed in the cities to rule over the humans and be near their loved ones in the Song Stones. Others formed new communities in the wilderness away from the constant song. Others still travelled in great caravans, transporting goods and food between the pockets of civilisation, being the only race (other than the Orcs) able to survive extended periods away from the Song Stones.
500 years have passed and one by one the Singing Stones are either going silent or singing a slightly different song, one that fills the people with despair, rage and anger.
What's the world's culture? What are the cultural analogs? Analogs can be taken from historical earth, current events or fantasy works.
- Elves in the happy hippy faraway land -
- Protectorate Elves - militant rulers of the humans, enforcing a nanny state. Very low numbers but with far superior training and equipment
- Oppressed humans - dark age Britain post Romans
What's the conflict in which the characters are involved? What are the sides? What's wrong?
What physical place does this conflict take place in? What ecology, environment, place?
Deep in the human lands. Amidst the human shanty towns built atop the ruins of the once great Elven cities.
What's the name of the most important place in this setting? Not the capital or any dumb shit like that, but THE PLACE where all the action goes down?
The main continent with it's cities & villages of Men and the Protectorate,
What's the name of a faraway place that folks talk about, dream about or mutter under their breath about?
- Aeondriel, the island home of the Etharchy, many months travel to the South.
- The Great Chasm far to the North, a sheer chasm many miles across (on a clear day you can just about see the far side) that stretches East & West as far as the eye can see and is many miles deep
Who are the antagonists? Who is opposing the goals of the characters?
- Tarí Elanessë - Sister of Dínendal Elanessë, walks the Path of Spite, created the Twisted Death plague
- Spirit Guardians - released by the Humans from The Hall of Memories & wreaking havoc far and wide
- Human Sorcerer insurrectionists - oppose all Elves
- Orcs created by the Twisted Death roam the ways between the pockets of civilisation, out of earshot of the Song Stones
Imagine all of the characters are standing a room/ruin/field with the antagonists or their minions. What do the antagonists want from that meeting? What do the characters want from that meeting?
What type of magic exists in this world?
- Elven Spell Songs
- Human Sorcery
- Orcish sorcery & Death Arts
What character stocks are in play in this world? Which are restricted and why?
Elves, no restrictions.
What cultural traits apply to the characters of this game world? Pick three character traits for each culture.
What's your Resources cycle? 1 month, seasonal, 6 months, annual? What's the game world's currency? Who collects the taxes? What do people do for work? What's the major economy?
Material world: What weapons and armor are available? Are some weapons and armor restricted to certain cultures or character stocks? What property is available? Are resources and gear otherwise restricted?
For the PCs, all Elven gear and property is available.
For the general human population, superior quality arms/armour is very rare. Some trusted humans higher up in the society have access to Elven gear.
The Protectorate have all Elven gear but limited Elven property - alot of it was destroyed in the earlier wars and they haven't had the resources to build back to their previous grandeur.
Actual Game Play
Session One: Character & world burning.
Session Two: The two Elves met with the Etharch to discuss the journey back to the human lands. The Etharch demanded that they take his ship and a full honour guard for Alassë, and annouce themselves to the Protectorate when they arrived. Gwindor did not like this idea, and attempted to persuade the Etharch otherwise. (DoW) The Etharch was not dissuaded, however he did concede that Gwindor could arrive unannounced and slip off stealthily without having to engage in the state greetings etc.
The two sailed to the human lands to the north. Upon arriving they were met by a rather surprised delegate from the the Elven Protectorate of the harbour city. They didn't really inform the official why they had come.
Once the initial greetings had been done, Alassë insisted that they go and defeat the monster she had heard was lurking by the town gates. She ordered Gwindor to locate one of his old contacts in the city (circles) and to have him guide them to the location where the monster was said to dwell. Gwindor found his old friend Gethyn in the tavern they both used to frequent. Years in the human lands had taken their toll on Gethyn, who now sported a patch over one eye. He agreed to help his friend locate the monster.
They exited the city as the sun sank lower in the sky. The gate guard warned them to be back before sun down or they would be locked out.
Reaching the spot, the elves were immediately set upon by a huge Troll. Gwindor unleashed his bow at the monster as it bore down on them, and took the brunt of its early attacks. Alassë, shaken and stunned by the sudden sight of the twisted creature, had fallen from her horse and lay unable to act in the mud for several moments (utterly failed Steel).
Gwindor dropped his bow and went for his knives, as the Troll attempted to pound him into the mud. Luckily the elf was far too swift for the lumbering but powerful creature, and managed to avoid its attacks, whilst scoring several hits himself.
Regaining her composure, Alassë joined the melee. Attacking with her spear, she wounded the Troll many times, but neither herself nor Gwindor could put the creature down with a single blow, both lacking the strength to inflict more than minor wounds through its tough hide. The combat continued. Alassë using her spear's long reach to keep the Troll at bay, whilst the two of them slowly brought the creature low with repeated attacks. Finally they defeated the Troll. Neither elf had been wounded.
And there the session sadly ended, as it was midnight and all the players had to be up early the next day :D
Session Three: Alassë finished off the Troll with her spear, at which point the reality of the fight hit her and she fell to her knees wretching and vomiting (failed Steel test again) Once she had got over the shock and horror, Alassë and Gwindor returned to the city. On the way back in they encountered an Elven raiding party who had also been out fighting against the creatures of the Twisted Death. Alassë spoke to the young Captain Celedriel who lead the force and they then offered some help to the wounded. One of the prisoners who had been brought back for questioning was a human called Bryan. Alassë became very interested in this fellow and began talking to him, convinced she could help him somehow. Celedriel and Baelon (who had now turned up) told her not to bother as they would be taken away, interrogated then executed. Alassë forbade this, stating that the humans are like the Elves children and it is the Elves duty to protect them. Lord Baelon was not particularly impressed by the Princess's reasoning, but agreed that Bryan would not be executed immediately, and that Alassë and Gwindor could speak to him tomorrow in the cells.
Later that evening, Alassë and Gwindor went to the castle for the grand reception with Lord Baelon. The Princess dined in the banquet hall with Baelon, Loremaster Merylin and the other nobles of Tulipon. Gwindor ate in the soldier's mess hall with the members of the Honour Guard and the soldiers of the Port. Tension between the Honour Guard and the regular soldiers of the Protectorate mounted until a fight broke out. The Protectorate soldiers resented the sudden arrival of the Princess and insults were flung around, followed by blows. Gwindor observed this with amusement, but did not intervene. Word of the altercation reached the banquet hall upstairs, and the Princess and others went down to see what was going on. Alassë managed to stop the fighting, and attempted to win over the hearts of the Protectorate soldiers, explaining the nature of her mission, but they were unmoved by her idealism.
Session Four: The next day, Gwindor and Alassë returned to Lord Baelon's castle to speak to Bryan the human prisoner. Alassë attempted to reason with him, urging him renounce his evil ways and to turn against the Insurrectionists, but he would not. (more to come)
Session Five: Still to come...