The Valbians were a people from a neighboring country who came to help.
SATURDAY AS A GODEGIAN
Once my Cregan was dead, I went to dress up as a Godegian alongside the person who had played the wannabe defector. We decided to be sisters, and to be the cousins of Jack, who had thus far spent much of the game being beaten down and tortured. We then entered the game by sneaking around the back of the buildings, trying to get to chapel where we thought we would be safe. I made it up there without being spotted but she was seen, and two of the Cregans came up to fetch us. I had a little dagger but it was easily knocked from my hands.
We were forced to kneel and then sent into the restaurant with the others. We then had an Out-of-Character break where we could eat dinner and chat for awhile with plans to re-establish our character ties and then set the game one week later.
My character ended up the pet of the new Cregan pyromancer. She continued to act skittish and insane and utterly broken, hoping to use that to survive. I also forged a lasting tie with another character who was my best friend in youth. We were both thugs in youth though mine preferred to distract with magic tricks while she did the coshing.
- The new pack was far more organised than the last, in part because they were designed as a group, rather than as a set of individuals with leverage points that the Godegians could use against us. This made them a very good end-game pack as there was less wiggle room with this lot.
- One of the Cregans found the apothecary’s doctor’s mask, wore it on his forehead and pronounced himself “Bird.” He took a liking to Jack and it was stated that each night he took Jack down into the cellar to torture.
- The Pup was still around and he kept trying to convince the Alpha to kill his father for his weakness, but the Alpha wanted that Cregan die in honourable combat and was giving him time as a Godegian “pig” to help him turn back toward the light.
- The Pup actually had mercy marks on his arms (marks that appear when you save a life out of mercy) which he hid all game. When I saw them, I asked the Cregans about what kind of tattoos they wore and the Pup so viciously condemned tattoos as likely to cause death that she went silent, not understanding but feeling there was something more happening there.
- The Pup was in love with an Arwinnian woman who was a travelling sex worker. He tried to woo her rather awkwardly with cloaks and flowers and special treatment. She knew about his mercy marks and felt somewhat sorry for him.
- We were split up into two groups, each guarded by two Cregans, and one lot cleaned the tavern while the other lot cleaned up the other rooms.
- When there were sightings of Valbian rangers (people from another country known for their poisons and sneaking), we were then forced together as a big group in the barracks where we told the Cregans jokes and made up stories to keep our spirits up. We found a note from a Valbian pressed up against the window that threatened the Cregans. As they were illiterate, we had to read it out to them.
- They gave us all numbers that we had to call out. Though my character was first in the queue she asked for the number “four” and was given it. We then had to keep sounding off here and there.
- While cleaning up the other rooms, we would make a lot of noise while doing it so that the Valbians knew where we were at all times. Although it was a rather pointless exercise that nearly got us all beaten, or worse, it *felt* important to have that little act of resistance.
- We ended up being hauled into the restaurant to wait. We mainly served the Cregans and sang songs in the corner, hoping against hope that we would survive until tomorrow.
- The half-Cregan butcher (a villager who had been recruited into the Cregans because of his lineage) went out and was startled by a ranger. Thinking it was the Valbian ranger (it was the Cregan ranger), he declared that he wasn’t a Cregan but a Godegian and wanted to help. Then he saw which ranger it was and tried to lie. The Cregan ranger reported on him to the other Cregans and then took him outside to be executed. Apparently when the Cregan ranger went to kill him, the butcher used a knife he’d hid up his shirt to stab him several times and the ranger fell to the ground, dying. The Valbian ranger finally came forward and when the Cregan’s eyes opened, he got to see the Valbian’s face and have a short conversation before being killed. Very cool.
- The Valbians ended up negotiating with the Cregans via our priest. If the Cregans left us alive and departed tomorrow morning, they would get to live. The Alpha agreed to that, though he was enraged at having to do so.
- My character inhaled a handful of dust to set off a realistic coughing fit, pleading to be taken outside as there wasn’t enough air indoors. This nearly caused the Alpha to kill her but the pyromancer happened to get up at the right moment and that defused the situation. While I coughed on the grass, staring off into the darkness, my friend headed off under guard to collect the required herbs and then we were all taken back inside.
- The Cregan Alpha sent two of the slaves off with the priest to the Valbians as a show of good faith.
- Later the Valbians and our Godegians who’d been sent off as a show of good faith, then killed the Alpha highborn on the way to bed. They then attacked the others through the windows of the tavern. The pyromancer grabbed me as a human shield and dragged me outside, positioning me between them and the Valbians / freed villagers. Luckily I was wearing a Valbian cloak that I’d pinched off a branch that had belong to the apothecary’s husband. That cloak attached at the throat via a clasp, and that was what the pyromancer had hold of, not the full robed coat underneath. So I slipped the clasp under the very tree that the cloak had once hung from, and fled toward the Valbians. That cloak saved my character’s life.
- I made it — they fled into the barracks. The last two remaining Cregans.
- The pyromancer set fire to herself in the barracks.
- The pup barely made it out alive. His father wanted to slay him, but Jack and the others stayed his hand. The pup had to leave at dawn, but the Arwinnian sex worker was willing to go with him.
- And thus ended the Occupation of Lilydale.
The Sunday mainly consisted of a few fun “Release the Godegian” scenarios, a hearty breakfast of delicious pancakes, and then a whole bunch of cleaning up! There were war stories aplenty as we all found out what happened, to whom and why it had went down like that. So much fun was had! Those little dot points barely cover off on a quarter of what I got up to, let alone everyone else. I can very much recommend that game!
Theatrical techniques were used to make situations look far more real than they were.
SATURDAY AS A CREGAN
We woke up early shortly after dawn and though several of us wanted to sleep in, as one rose so did others until there was a chain reaction of everyone getting up barring the Alpha and the Arvan slave. We were out before the Godegians were up. Dmitri, a trueborn Alpha who was more powerful than Rhaegar, arrived and we Cregans scrambled to keep him happy. He told us to awaken Rhaegar and so we did so.
Dmitri accused Rhaegar of being a weak dog, challenged him to an honour duel, beat him and then left him alive — taking him as a slave! Unfortunately Cregan slaves could still hold their original position so he remained our Alpha. My Arvan slave had made Dmitri a glorious silver greatsword which he used for the battle — he then broke off part of the crossguard and quietly gave it to me. He instructed me to kill Rhaegar should he kill any more Cregans or too many more villagers.
My Arvan slave then attacked Rhaegar, accusing him of being less of a Cregan than himself, but he was easily beaten down. I would have killed him myself, though I were proud of him, but Dmitri said we needed good smiths so instead I took him into the cellar to hurt him enough to make Rhaegar less angry with me. Since I was proud of my Arvan slave, I told him the scars would make him more Cregan and I marked him with a knife in the same places that pyromancer marks us before battle. I asked him if he had enough silver to make a small knife, and he said that he did.
- Having to be the more reasonable Cregan because it’s hard to tie consequences to causes when people were being randomly brutalised. Trying to convince the villagers to police their own by threatening their family members.
- Seeing Rhaegar attack and break the limbs of a Cregan who had refused to follow him — and going up to stab him a dozen times in the chest with the silver dagger. He was so shocked he writhed in pain without being able to draw his sword.
- Knowing that being a purely mortal and non-magical Alpha would get her killed, but feeling too duty-bound to avoid taking on that role after she slew Rhaegar. Then trying to maintain control with only four other known Cregans (only ones remaining from the original pack) with additional reinforcements coming who were unknown to her.
- My Arvan slave dying in the barracks, stabbed multiple times, when he came across a defiant slave who was trying to steal from us. He’d stabbed her once but she shivved him multiple times because he found her stealing from the chest. Seeing my favourite slave dead, my character had her tortured and horribly killed in front of everyone.
- Dealing with a Taelan merchant who came around to sell drugs. It was funny because I had played a Taelan High Lord in a previous campaign, so I felt out-of-character protective toward him and felt a real sensation of horror upon his arrival. Pushing those feelings to one side so that I could be ready to slay him easily — though since he wasn’t a Godegian he was given better treatment by everyone.
- The Avarician tax collector arriving and getting all my pack drunk while I was in the attic sorting out family trees for the entire village from the priest and mayor so that I could promise punishments to loved ones, rather than individuals, to reduce their feelings of bravery.
- The alcoholic torturer being found drunk at her post at the barracks and telling her off alongside a known war hero Cregan that had just arrived. She challenged the war hero with her dagger, he had a sword, and after she was critically wounded she refused healing and wandered off. When the apothecary confronted her by the cellar stairs, wanting to heal her, the torturer pulled away and the character fell down the stairs and died. No one really believed that’s what happened but Evzenia needing the apothecary as a replacement let her live.
- Finding out that the pyromancer and her baby were wanted by a head pyromancer of the priesthood who fathered it and that he had put out a bounty on both their heads. Deciding to instead kill the bounty hunter after speaking to a pack-mate…. Finding the Godegian priest had already slain the bounty hunter by snapping his neck (she’d thought the man had been pushed down the stairs).
- Getting the Taelan to escort the pyromancer dressed in the plain clothes of a scout to his ship. The official story is that he had promised a bounty for his freedom and that we had sent her to collect. The truth was that I wanted her to be able to escape. She was pretending to be a random Cregan and had to leave her baby behind which I promised to watch over.
- When someone asked what happened to the pyromancer, I told the Cregans that she had gone to collect a tally of surviving villagers in surrounding farms. A Cregan ranger said that he’d send someone to help her later on. When he was later found dead, I assumed it was due to the pyromancer and didn’t realise that we had a traitor Cregan in our midst.
- The pyromancer’s baby had his hair dyed black with charcoal wash and was given to the apothecary and the Valbian ranger to look after. It was claimed to have been picked up from a neighbouring farm.
- Being challenged by the war hero to an honour duel for Alpha, winning, and getting us both healed by the priest who had secret powers that involved transferring injuries to corpses. The war hero than had to head off to help control the outlying farms.
- Now down to only two trusted Cregans (one of them a pup) and a few random Cregans from elsewhere. I failed to maintain control of the pack or the village.
- Being told by the mayor that the new Cregan ranger and a suspicious slave were getting awfully close and that I should keep an eye on that. Telling the ranger that very rumour because I didn’t believe it. The ranger thought the apothecary and the Valbian had told the secrets he’d given them in confidence and so he slew them and was killed in turn. The Godegian he’d wanted to protect fled but was later slaughtered.
- Having the pyromancer’s dead baby brought to me (represented by a doll) moments after my remaining pack-mates telling me I needed to get the village under control. The baby had died in the brawl. Looking at the two remaining pack-mates plus the one random who spoke of desertion and realising that regaining control now was impossible.
- Hearing that the Alphas were coming to remove me, and assuming that I would soon be tortured for taking the position and failing to do it credit. Knowing I couldn’t defeat a full Alpha, I thought to prevent my torture….
- Taking the baby to a shadowy spot, laying it down to rest, pressing my spear into position in a tree and then trying to remove my cuirass for about ten minutes. I got down to two clasps that I just couldn’t remove on my own so I returned to the barracks, lied about why I needed it off, and then left the cuirass and gambeson there. Then I returned to the shady spot to throw myself on my spear.
- Kneeling with the spear in position as the pack of Cregans wishing to challenge me walked past without seeing me. The Alpha turned out to be a regular Cregan like my character but she was already dead. Waiting there for about twenty minutes until people were sent to find me and dragged my corpse to the yard before the chapel.
- As a corpse, watching the pup being forced to eat my heart after agreeing to serve the new Alpha. Watching his father refuse and be made to sit with the slaves. Watching the wannabe defector refuse and be killed. And that was the end of Evzenia’s story….
This is a pyromancer and not Evzenia. There were no cool pictures of Evzenia, unfortunately.
Evzenia’s story began on a dirt road, representing the path to Lilydale, with the rest of her pack while the villagers were searching for a local woman who had killed her violent husband. Our Alpha, Rhaegar, sent Evzenia and the Pup (a brand new Cregan who had yet to achieve his first kill) over to scout around to find out how many fighters were present. We were spotted almost immediately by a Godegian who was standing on the stairs to the chapel and who put out the call that Cregans had been spotted.
We legged it back to our Alpha, and then stormed the village as a group, striking down the guards. In order to assert dominance over the villagers, Rhaegar pulled Jack’s wife (a character doomed to die) to the front of the group and butchered her brutally before Jack’s very eyes. He then took the defiant Jack in chains and disappeared with him for more interrogation while Evzenia looted the remaining Godegians of their jewellery and coin and other Cregans threatened to kill them if they didn’t remove their necklaces quickly enough.
PLEASE NOTE: This game dealt with simulated torture and simulated combat only. This was typically dealt with through theatre-style punches that didn’t connect and the use of foam weapons that were reacted to as though they were real.
Later highlights that night included:
- Leaving the Pup to guard the villagers for ten minutes and he slashed the mayor’s face to prove his power. The mayor’s player put on a fake cut that she wore for the rest of the weekend.
- Being given a slave to break and being told that it should only take twenty minutes while my character, the Binding Wolf, knew it’d take weeks.
- Villagers being threatened and beaten for the smallest insults, even when doing so would make them poor workers on the farms the following day.
- Cregans literally getting in each other’s face to psychologically beat one another down. Sometimes it actually turned violent.
- Rhaegar having to kill a Cregan who refused to bend the knee to him. That Cregan also called him a coward for killing the last Alpha in his sleep.
- Searching for weapons that had been hidden about by the Godegians and finding nothing.
- Forcing the Valbian ranger to search for the missing key to the barracks by holding his wife, an apothecary, hostage.
- Making the Godegians carry mattresses into the barracks so the Cregans could sleep in the same room as all the treasure and loot.
- Being told to torture the Mayor while a brutalised Jack was in the cellar with us but deciding it would be better to coerce the Mayor into thinking me the more reasonable one. So I told her to feign torture and scream really loud, and I just hit her a couple times in the shadow of the cellar arch, while Rhaegar occasionally sat on the steps and listened. If he had actually come down, the torture would have had to turn true.
- Dragging my character’s Arvan slave around by the chains, knowing that he was actually loyal to us and typically treated as one of us, but whom we bruised and chained so that the Godegians would attempt to draw him into their conspiracies — allowing him to then inform on them to us.
- Being given a Godegian slave who had only recently been caught at around 11PM that night (player rocked up late) and having to deal with the pyromancer wanting to kill her because of how rude she was being. The slave was forced to cut her own cheek against a blade to show her compliance. The character was left to sleep in the cellar (the player was able to sleep in a separate dorm room away from everyone else).
It was an interesting role as we needed to mix up being really intimidating and controlling with providing opportunities for the other players — those of the Godegians — to get to do things and influence outcomes. They spent a fair chunk of time convincing us to kill Rhaegar by describing him as a madman who would kill us all. The apothecary had to keep running to her tent to get supplies to help those who had been injured by the Cregans. Her husband had some protection due to the need to keep her compliant. Rhaegar’s constant watchfulness was also interesting as he would occasionally loom out of nowhere to see what I was doing. Very cool.