Ahh, dear readers, do you remember the scene from Goodfellas where the bar owner goes into business with Paulie, purely as a way to get the Joe Pesci’s psycho off his back. However, Paulie just runs the business into the ground without concern for the bar owner or his bar.
Henry Hill (narrating): “But now the guy's gotta come up with Paulie's money every week, no matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me.”
A similar situation happened prior to this story that you hold in your very eyes...
Players: “Where’s the story write up of the last adventure?”
GM: “Oh, I’ve had a busy time of it of late”
Players: “Fuck you, story”
GM: “Great news though, I have a girlfriend now!”
Players: “Fuck you, story”
GM: “But I've been single for pretty much my entire life and this girl is...”
Players: “Yeah, 'special'. Fuck you, story”
The day dawns bright and clear over the Gravin’s estate. There’s a hint of rain in the air as distant clouds...
CAMPAIGN BOOK: “Enough with the weather reports. They’re not picking up on the weather clues and they don't care, just let it go.”
The party sit down for breakfast in the great hall. To the north is the main gate, whilst to the south, the gardens...
CAMPAIGN BOOK: “And you're not writing a Fighting Fantasy novel, get on with it!”
Author hits fast forward.
...with Hektor tied up between them. The Dwarves keep an eye both on Hektor and the passing forest from the coach.
Waldemar: "Hang on, how did we get here?"
Troll Slayer; "Yeah, why are we in the coach all of a sudden?"
GM: "It's like with Sky, you hit fast forward after the adverts and miss the first few seconds of the show. I can't be bothered to rewind. You know how it goes."
Not having prepared Act II: The Menagerie, the GM isn't keen for the players to get back to the city anytime soon.
GM: "Troll Slayer, Waldemar, Jochen, all make observation rolls please. Add in 5 Fortune Dice because you're right there"
Waldemar: "I fail"
GM: "You notice Hektor take a sideways glance to the right as you... hang on, how did you fail that roll?"
Waldemar: "Just unlucky"
Troll Slayer: "He's up to something. I'm failing the roll too. Errr... I mean, I've failed"
Jochen: "Yeah, I'm failing too."
GM: "Err, Ichabod and Albrecht, make an obser..."
Ichabod: "We're on top of the coach and can't see the bandit, so we can't see your railroading bullshit."
GM: "The coach has a glass roof. Besides, Hektor has bells on his head and the sound makes you notice him look to the right."
Albrecht: "Come on..."
GM: "Before he was a bandit..."
Albrecht: "He was a soldier! We all heard you say it."
GM: "Yes he was. And the Averheim Garrison has a Morris Dancers division to cheer up the troops as they go into battle."
Darren: "He's not letting it go, just go with it. I don't want you guys here all night"
The party notice Hektor look briefly to the right as they pass a certain point on the trail. Ichabod notices and decides to investigate. They find horse tracks coming out of the forest and follow a small trail.
Once again, Albrecht sneaks ahead. The others stay close behind this time in case he manages to single-handedly clear out any danger.
Albrecht soon spots a camp, which is pretty good considering how distracting it is hearing Jochen stumble through the forest behind him.
Albrecht: "Are you even trying to be quiet!?"
Jochen: "I'm not a stealth wizard"
The camp appears to be deserted so the party investigate. Inside one of the tents, Ichabod finds a sleeping teenage girl.
Ichabod: "Who are you?"
Gertie: "I'm Gertie, what do you want!? I'm sorry, are these your tents? I was tired and wanted to rest"
Albrecht: "In the middle of the day? What are you really doing?"
Gertie: "I'm just picking apples!"
The girl's backpack does indeed contain apples. And a hunting horn.
Albrecht: "What do you use this for? We heard a horn blow the other day"
Ichabod: "I've got a question"
Ichabod: "When does this get good? We did the bandits yesterday and now we're back at their camp. This is like a filler episode of Star Trek. Will we have a 10 minute break next where we relive a fight the Troll Slayer had with the Giant?"
The girl's flimsy story starts to give way, much like the adventure, and she makes a break for it.
Albrecht: "I failed my roll to catch her, damn it!"
Jochen: "We could..."
The girl's head explodes like a ripe...
Waldemar: "Say 'melon'! Go on, say 'melon'!"
Everyone cheers. Not sure why?
As the girl's body ragdolls to the floor, Albrecht and Jochen turn to look at Ichabod, standing there with a smoking pistol.
GM: "Okay, Albrecht, Jochen, you're getting the Ill-Omened condition card"
Jochen: "WHAT!? We didn't shoot her! Why isn't Ichabod getting one?"
GM: "I'll deal with Ichabod later, but you two saw it happen."
Jochen: "This isn't fair at all. Now you're saying I have to roll 1 misfortune dice with every skill check until I lose the card!?"
GM: "Harsh that. Not as harsh as maybe say having your character drink vampire blood when they're a Light Wizard, which kind of totally invalidates the entire character concept."
Ichabod: "Oooh, he's not forgotten that! It's been nice knowing you Jochen. Goodbye!"
Jochen: "That's a different game, it doesn't..."
GM: "How about getting an Insanity Point witnessing a murder despite having a character who's just picked up the Jaded flaw and has the highest WP score in the group. No-one else got an IP."
Ichabod: "Come on this isn't confessions, move it along."
Jochen: "This isn't right..."
Albrecht: "I'm going to bury the girl."
Ichabod: "I'll help"
Jochen doesn't help as he's too busy whining.
GM: "Okay Jochen, you bury the girl in a shallow grave. You may discard your Ill-Omened card."
Jochen: "What? Why does he get to do that and I don't!?"
Upon returning to Averheim, Curd Weiss treats them all to a sumptuous meal. This let's Jochen discard his Ill-Omened card. It doesn't however let Mick discard the I'm Still Whining About It card.
Graf Friedrich von Kaufman comes in a thanks the party personally. He asks them to help guard his menagerie party on the morrow. The party asks about the creatures there. Apart from Jochen who's still whining.
To be continued...
(the adventure and no doubt the whining)