Monday, December 1, 2014

Joy's First Adventure: Jody's Play Report

A Little Cave...

Hi Everyone! Jody here. We thought it would be fun for me to post on playing Joy in Wermspittle, to give a player's perspective on all of this. We played our first session the other night and I had a wonderful time! My experience with gaming has taught me that if I don't walk away from the table saying, "How are we going to get out of this one!" and if I don't wake up in the morning still gnawing on that same question, then I'm not really playing. I've done both with this one.

 Jim's already posted a bit on Joy's initial background and character development. She's a ten year old Mostly Human girl of average build for her age. Like many kids, she loves to explore, which is how she ends up one fine summer's day at the mouth of a little cave she found on her family's property....

Joy enters the cave, poking the ground in front of her with a stick to make sure she doesn't step on anything sleeping. It's cooler , leaf-covered, with some tracks, both animal and human, but none particularly new. There's no sound of movement from inside. After about 15-20 feet she feels something is definitely wrong and pokes at a spot in front of her. She finds a shiny bit, a gold hoop earring of the style a Wanderer might wear. She looks around more closely and sees signs of definite obfuscation. Someone's been carrying stuff back and forth a few times in this passage. She uses the stick to pick up the earring and drop it in her pocket.

Her curiosity piqued, Joy wants to explore further but doesn't want to use a torch. She does have the ability to alter her senses (part of being Odd, to be detailed in another post) and takes some time to adjust her vision to the darkness. A bit further in the passage branches in two. She takes the left branch, following the tracks. It opens into a chamber [A] containing six reddish pods, packed in leaf-litter. They're moist and look like large, people-sized milkweed pods, tapered on either end. They seem inert and there is a spell holding them quiescent. They make her skin crawl. As she stands on the edge of the chamber one of the pods splits open slightly and a small bit of foam slowly starts oozing out. She backs away from the chamber and it seems to stop.

She goes back to the split and takes the other branch. The ground is moist but undisturbed by human feet. After a short way it opens into a larger area [B]. To her left there's a small rise with some stonework at the top. Joy climbs to the top and finds its a sarcophagus. There are niches on the side that are full of debris and the top is caked with dust. She clears the top of the sarcophagus. It belongs to Elsbeth Winfree, a distant grandmother. Joy is saddened by the neglect of this ancestor's burial place and decides to clean it up as she has been taught to do for the rest of her family in the family plot. She clears all of the elaborately carved niches along the sides. Once she clears the top she notices it's chipped a bit, as if someone had tried to break into it. When she steps back to admire her handiwork she sees a mangy cat watching her. She says hello but the cat just watches her, as cats are wont to do. It has one gold eye and one not, so Joy decides to call it Goldie.

The tomb is clean but not decorated. Joy picks some pretty purple roses she noticed outside the entrance of the cave and puts them on the tomb. As she surveys the rest of the platform she notices picks and axes and crowbars and parts of skeletons embedded in the far walls. They look like they've been blasted into place. Joy congratulates Grandma Elsbeth on her defense and moves deeper into the cave.

A bit further back she finds a branch to her right that slopes deeply down to a still pool [D]. The ground is becoming muddier and the cave cooler. It looks like there are more shiny bits in the pool, maybe coins, but Joy decides they're not worth getting wet for so she leaves the pool alone.

To her left the passage widens and there is another rise [C]. At the top of this one Joy finds the skeleton of a winged monkey, curled up in a fetal position and covered in ochre. It is encircled by a chain belt on one side and three monkey-sized javelins on the other. After spending all that time cleaning up Grandma Elsbeth's tomb, and seeing what happened to those who tried to disturb her, Joy decides not to mess with the monkey's final resting place.

Further back the passage narrows and slopes down more. It quickly becomes muddier and muckier and slipperier. Joy has to work to find firm spots to step on or she'll be in the yuck up to her knees or maybe hips. The passage opens to another chamber [E] with a rise at the back. As she enters the chamber she smells something nasty. Realizing it's Soporific Aether she quickly works her way as high on the rise as she can before she succumbs.

Joy wakes up cold, wet, and hungry. She decides to head for home. Everything in the cave is the same until she peeks in on the pods. The one that had been foaming is now entirely open. There are tracks leading from the chamber that look like Joy's footprints, only barefoot. This freaks her out a bit and makes her want to get home more.

The entrance to the cave has lots of dry vines and leaves covering it, not at all like when she came in. Outside everything is definitely fall. Joy realizes the Soporific Aether had her out for quite some time. All of her landmarks are the same, though, so at least the Moundfolk didn't find her and take her somewhere else.

Joy makes her way back to the house. It's quiet. No lights, no smoke, no voices. One of the hives is missing, the rest are destroyed. The shutters are already on the house, some are half-open. Everything seems to be set for Winter, but neglected. It shouldn't be like this.

Knowing not to approach any of the doors when the house is Winter-prepped, Joy works her way to one of the family's hidden entrances. The tunnel brings her to the root cellar, where she hears a tiny voice singing a sad-sounding song. She opens the door to the root cellar and says hello, but the singing stops. There are some things left in the cellar, a box or two of cabbages, some old and questionable jars of preserves, but for the most part it's been cleared. Joy notices a stinky mass in the corner. It quivers and moves toward her a bit. She quickly heads for the stairs up but they've been locked into position as a ramp. Starting to panic a bit Joy throws her weight into the lever and is able to flip the stairs back into steps. She quickly climbs to the top and enters the kitchen.

All three hearths are cold. As she approaches the table a hand-fashioned candle lights. There are bundles of stuff and a note from her parents. The whole family has moved East to start a new farmstead. "It's just not worth staying here any more." She can try to join them, if she wants. Her uncles are supposed to come back "sometime." Her father left her the Ledger and the Key to the house. It's all Joy's, now. She's the last member of the family here.

Joy hears a slight rattling. Quickly, she goes to the window, grabs the pitcher on the shelf below it, and pours some water in the tin cup on the windowsill. She almost forgot the libation to keep the potato peeler still. She could have been flayed alive. So many little wards and traps and tricks to be aware of.

Joy eats one of the cans of peaches her mother left, gets into a clean, dry set of clothes, and lays down for a quick nap. She has a lot of decisions to make.

So that's Session One. I'm ready for Session Two!


  1. "She's a ten year old Mostly Human.."

    Only in Wermspittle. :) Sounds like an auspicious beginning.

    1. It went very well. I'll post some of the tables we're using once they are a bit more presentable. Watch out for Mound Folk...

  2. Good luck and I look forward to reading more of Joy's adventure.

    1. She's going to need it...
      We'll post updates as we go along, the Holidays will disrupt things a bit, but we'll be running this game into the New Year. It had helped to get some things better sorted out and solidified once and for all.

  3. That was fantastic - the write-up and the set-up, and I'm betting the session as well. The tone is the thing I think, following on from what Trey said, for how it dovetails with Wermspittle but shows the world from a very different perspective than we've had so far. Getting to follow this is a privilege.

    1. Thanks. This was a lot of fun for both of us. Joy will have to work her way towards Wermspittle. This allows us to explore a few things before getting immersed in the nitty-gritty of dodging the local authorities and life in the mean streets. Right now Jody plans on having joy become a Forager, but we'll see what happens between now and then...


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