Oruka – Session 0

It is the 10th day of the 6th month of the year 458 of the 3rd Age of the Retribution Cycle, and our story begins with three unsuspecting people from three totally different paths of life all merging towards the same point: Alafia.

By early afternoon, Calec had reached the city and was following an instinct given to him by the seedling. That was until he reached an out of the way courtyard, where upon he was surrounded by a few thugs hoping to catch a young one for the slave trade.

By gentle coincidence, a tall, tan-skinned man, with two sabres at his waist, stumbled out of one of the alleyways. At the same time, a hooded figure appeared at another entrance, an odd glow emitted from beneath the fabric.

With a little more fluff, this is how I began our Session 0. Technically it should be Session 1, but we had spent the first hour or so just catching up after so long a part, and then discussed a few ideas and changes to rules.

Once that was all done, our heroes faced off against their first foes, and it didn’t go too well…

A little inspiration taken from Studio Ghibli: Tales of Earthsea

Amongst the old courtyard, with a ledge overlooking some parts of the city and a little overgrown in places, one of the thugs shouted out to the two approaching figures, warning them to leave. Obviously, this annoyed Kaden; “how dare you speak to such a renowned pirate?!” He stepped forth and slew the nearest slaver where he stood.

Solina’s turn was where shit went wrong. A simple firebolt, AC 12, and it still missed. It was that slaver’s turn now, and I rolled a natural 20 on a shot against Solina… Sorry! At level 1, the PCs have standard HP, but that crossbow bolt just did it.

One of the remaining thugs rushed forward to take down Kaden, missed, and was in turn killed the next round. While all this was happening, Calec had had a net thrown over him, and when it came to his turn, the crossbowman who took down Solina was crushed to death as one of the stone benches were catapulted his way. The final slaver moved forth to Kaden and managed to knock him unconscious, then turned his attention back to Calec.

Off to the side, an observer rushed over to stabilise Solina. When he noticed her rich clothes and appearance (remember, there aren’t any other tieflings in these lands), he began to tie her up and drag her up.

Calec, the last one standing, gruesomely gutted the slaver focused on him and turned his attentions to the observer. I had pointed out earlier in the session that this guy seemed ordinary, but now paying closer attention, he could notice how similar the garbs were to those that they had just slain.

This slaver, holding the tiefling girl hostage, tried to back away, but Calec was not having any of this; the player described how his PC looked: a young teenage boy dripping in blood and with some kind of vine daggers coming from his arms, slowly walking towards him and threatened him to release her. Hell yeah he fricken released her, wetting himself as he fled.

In the distance, heavy footfalls were heard and fast forwarding a little bit, we come to the introduction of the city watch. They brought them back to guardhouse for healing and questioning, introducing Captain Jaco of the Cliff Precinct.

Cap’ Jaco interviewed them one by one, and came to the conclusion they were on the right side. He asked them for help; the slavers had been more proactive of late, and he believes the Black Thorn Trading Company to be behind this. He can’t prove it though. They have ties high up in the politics and have half the city’s guard precincts bribed. But perhaps if someone off the books could investigate, find some clear evidence, then maybe he could get the permission needed to raid the BTTC and uncover their dirt.

Oruka Campaign – Meet the Players

So this next post I wanted to introduce the characters. I’ve asked the players to write up a short description, but it’s another thing if it will actually be done hah! For now, I’ll write something up from my perspective, and they can change it further down the line.

Well, lets cover them: Calec, Kaden, and Solina.

Calec is a young human male commoner, who has spent his childhood in a borderland village. His father left early on, recruited into the Lord’s Army to invade the elvish lands of Idoti, leaving their family destitute and struggling. Calec roamed the forests, hunting for their food and collecting various herbs. That was until elves retaliated and attacked the village, killing many of the adults and abducting the children.

Calec returned from one of his trips to find his house in ruins, mother killed, and brother kidnapped. He left to follow the elves, but soon lost sign of their tracks and became lost himself. After succumbing to exhaustion, he awoke to find a vine burrowed into his skin, but when he tried to remove it a scream howled through his mind. Kalec stopped, and a sense of gratitude, relief, and hope filled him. A glow filled his vision and pointed him dawnwards, and away he went.

From a mechanics perspective, Calec has chosen to be the druid class, which we’ve customised (homebrewed) into a style that utilises the vine entity as his druidic focus, and instead of shapeshifting into an animal, he can shapeshift into a “tree” where the vine becomes armour (essentially the barkskin spell) and can be used as a weapon and shield.

Kaden… well, really all I need to say is he is Jack Sparrow reincarnate; he is a middle aged human male pirate. As a child he was sold into slavery on a pirate vessel, and as time passed by he learnt the skills needed to survive. After an encounter with his slave master, he made a deal with a black market lord for his freedom, and after accomplishing this task, he was given command of the ship and the crew. From there, he spent years plying his trade across the seas, but he refused to partake in slavery.

In recent times Kaden’s luck has run out, and he has found himself crewless and aboard a small skip, slowly sinking as it sailed into port. Yes, I really did mean Jack Sparrow. Imagine that opening scenes of Pirates of the Caribbean and you will know exactly how his story begins in this adventure. Good day port royal Mr Smith.

From a mechanics perspective, Kaden went with the swashbuckler rogue class, though he is still only level 2, so none of the rogue class abilities yet. 

Solina is a young tiefling female sorcerer. She was a tough one to figure out how she fit in the world, as I had actually taken tieflings (and various other races) out of these regions, and tieflings in particular I hadn’t even accounted for in the universe. So, stealing a little inspiration from Matt Colville, I went a long the lines that tieflings were actually created beings, made by the Holy Order of Oorun, as “Relics” or conduits of his powers.

She is the eighth of nine Relics that have so far been created, and once reaching maturity, she was tasked with travelling to the continent of Yarrawong, and survey the political and military infrastructure, in preparation of a coming Purge. Accompanying her on this journey was three Scorched Knights, ordered to protect her and make sure she doesn’t stray from her path. Of course, she does… And this is where our Session Zero began for Solina.

From a mechanics perspective, Solina chose the UA sorcerer class; the phoenix (why is it not spelled pheonix!?! English!). But unhappy with the exact mechanics, we altered them a little to make it a little more flavourful and balanced (I hope – we are yet to fully see). 

Next time I will do a recap of Session Zero, and perhaps Session One.