Dual Duel of Wits and Dangerous Stakes

Released

  • Chase, Margaret, and their sister Julia were released from Inquisitor Cedric’s captivity.
  • Peter received an order for a cake delivery in two weeks. An important client whom he couldn’t disappoint.
  • Margaret and Peter argued about leaving promptly to the family’s village…after all there was a wedding that needed to happen.
  • Eventually, Peter agreed to enchant the cake so it wouldn’t spoil.
  • Peter was going to extract the immortality essence of the slain imp, with the goal of enchanting the cake so it wouldn’t spoil until cut.
  • Peter worked diligently, while Chase and Margaret gathered information about the dwarf.

About the Town

  • Chase and Margaret learned the dwarf’s name: Brick.
  • Brick was marauding through all of the taverns, inciting destructive bar brawls.
  • With a bit of investigation they found the likely location of Brick’s next tavern.
  • Back at the bakery, Peter was successful in his extraction, enchanting, and baking. I can only imagine what the failed consequences of a failed enchantment would’ve been when using imp’s blood as a component.
  • That evening, Peter, Chase, and Margaret went out for a night on the town.
  • Peter, Chase, and Margaret decided to stake out each of the taverns.
  • Margaret worked to circle up someone who had been tortured by Inquisitor Cedric…and failed, invoking the enmity clause.
  • As the tortured man came into the bar, Brick also came into the bar.
  • Margaret quickly gathered her siblings to return to the bar.
  • Brick was drinking…Chase joined in the drinking…and Margaret approached the tortured man.
  • Margaret attempted to seduce the tortured man, which failed, but did increase her Will from B5 to B6.

Duel of Wits – the First

Margaret: “I want you to tell me everything you know about Cedric and work with me to bring down Cedric’s.”

The Tortured Man: “Eat something I cook then go away.”

Duel of Wits: Margaret vs. The Tortured Man
Margaret The Tortured Man
Volley Action Disposition Action Disposition
1 Feint 6 Obfuscate 11
2 Point 6 Avoid 11
3 Avoid 6 Point 11
4 Obfuscate 6 Obfuscate 11
5 Point 6 4 Rebuttal 11 9
6 Avoid 4 2 Rebuttal 9
7 Feint 2 Obfuscate 9
8 Rebuttal 2 Obfuscate 9
9 Obfuscate 2 Rebuttal 9
10 Feint 2 Avoid 9 6
11 Rebuttal 2 Obfuscate 6
12 Feint 2 0 Rebuttal 6

Compromise: Julie agreed to eat some of his food, in exchange for information about inquisitor Cedric.  She learned that he works directly under the regent, doesn’t go out, part of failed noble house, lives in the barracks with the guards. Of course the tortured man poisoned her.

Meanwhile

  • Chase is drinking with Brick Redguard, son of Clay, son of Loam (a bit of ancestral improv that I suggested).
  • Brick mentioned that Julia was at the bakery.
  • Brick was pushing drinks very fast. With Chase’s accelerated metabolism, due to his magic blue box, he was quickly knocked out.
  • We had an interesting exchange, how to resolve the poison Margaret was administered. Eventually we settled on opening “Resist Poison”, a Forte-based skill. The obstacle was OB3, doubled to OB6 for beginners luck, to resist the B7 wound.
  • Margaret failed her test by one, and took the Midi.
  • As Chase was collapsing into unconciousness, Margaret was convulsing from poison (stand and drool for 4 actions).
  • Peter attempted to pursue the poisoner but was unable to pursue in a timely manner.
  • As the siblings fell, the bar room situation began to degrade into a ruckus.
  • Peter and Margaret attempted to move Chase, but in their weakened condition were unable to extricate him.
  • Margaret and Peter solicited the help of some passerby’s, succeeding a Resources linked test, then persuading them to help.
  • With some stranger’s help, they managed to drag Chase back to the bakery.
  • Peter, mustering all of his apothecary and herbalism knowledge, along with Margaret’s Guts-wise, were able to treat the Midi wound, but it would be 9 weeks until it fully healed.

A Sort of Homecoming

  • Brick arrived early in the morning and drank copious amounts of coffee.
  • Brick would travel with the family to their home, to ensure that Julia was delivered.
  • Margaret opted to commandeer Chase’s blue box on the theory that time passes twice as fast for the wielder.
  • The siblings cajoled Claudio into traveling with them…apparently he missed conversing with others.
  • The trip home passed uneventfully.
  • Once home, the siblings looked up Julia’s fiance, William.
  • William was excited to see Julia…but delicately alluded to his engagement.
  • The siblings, Brick, Claudio, and Zoe went to William’s parents.
  • Brick was diverted by Margaret insisting on him going to the tavern. Margaret forgot that the tavern was owned by her brother.
  • Realizing the problem, Margaret closed the store and attempted to convince her brother to close the store.
  • Brick intimidated Margaret’s brother into opening the tavern, and Margaret failed to block William.
  • Margaret quickly caught up with the others as they approached William’s parents
  • They were let in, and a horrific duel of wits began…fighting to marry off Julia.

Duel of Wits – the Second

Chase, Margaret, and Peter: William will marry Julia in a week.

The Groom’s Parents William will not marry Julia.

Duel of Wits: Chase, Margaret, and Peter vs. the Groom’s Parents
Chase, Margaret, and Peter The Groom’s Parents
Volley Action Disposition Action Disposition
1 Incite 9 Obfuscate 9
2 Feint 9 7 Point 9
3 Point 7 4 Point 9 5
4 Feint 4 Feint 5 4
5 Obfuscate 4 Dismiss 4
6 Point 4 Point 4 0

There was insinuation that each party had staged Julia’s abduction, that family honor had become diluted with each passing generation, and that William had chosen Julia. After inciting anger, lies, and horrible persuasion, William’s parents agreed that Julia would marry William, though her dowry would be increased.

It was an ugly duel of wits, with a relatively painless compromise. Now only if Julia and William hadn’t been privy to the whole duel.

Observations

The Duel of Wits created pivotal moments, as they should be.  Margaret found information vital to her beliefs, at the cost of a Midi wound.  Julia would be married, at the cost of a cordial family relation.

The Midi wound is a blessing for character advancement.  Margaret can now easily get Difficult and Challenging tests for advancement.

I am engaging in a careful balance of advancing Margaret’s Will, spending Artha on Will tests, and not opening Will-based skills. If this balance can be achieved, Margaret will be on the cusp of opening numerous Will-based skills at G3.

Liberating the Village only to Stumble into the Dungeon

Liberating the Village

  • The characters agreed to march into the town and confront the restaurant owner, whom we all believed held the village under mental control.
  • The characters had a hostage, whom we let go.
  • Upon arriving the village, a large mob of quasi-catatonic villagers followed us to the restaurant.
  • We didn’t really have a plan.
  • The kitchen was guarded by two quasi-catatonic unarmed villager thugs.
  • Peter attempted to go into the kitchen, but the guards blocked his way.
  • Margaret approached, attempting to flirt with them, but was thrown to the ground…I was hoping they’d throw a punch or something.
  • At this point, we were considering rushing the kitchen, but the mob was entering the restaurant…we thought they had remained outside, but the GM clarified
  • Peter began using his wand to stack chairs and obstructions so no more villagers would come in
  • Chase (PC), Ryan (NPC), and Zoe (NPC) was keeping an eye on the situation, with bows drawn.
  • Margaret brushed herself off, and pushed her way past two men (B4 Power vs. B5 Power, and Margaret won).
  • Margaret burst into the kitchen, and barricaded the door.
  • In the kitchen, an assistant and the cook were preparing a stew.
  • Margaret approached the cauldron, hoping, with touch of the ages, to determine more…it was 35 years old (B4 Perception with 1 Success).
  • Margaret helped chop some of the meat.
  • Margaret conversed with the cook, and knew he was up to no good…he didn’t know the name of his assistant.
  • Margaret left the kitchen, and as she was leaving, drew her dagger…never turning back.
  • Margaret opened the door, and turned.
  • The cook cast “The Fear” affecting the assistant, Peter, Margaret, and two serving maids.
  • Peter was immune, and Margaret made her Steal test.
  • Margaret threw her dagger, missing.
  • Peter cast “Spark Shower” and inflicted a B9 on the cook…he took a Traumatic wound and was down.
  • The restaurant erupted in a bit of a panic, apparently the spell wasn’t yet broken.
  • Several attempted to grab Chase, but he narrowly escaped.
  • One of the guards attempted to grab Margaret, but she squirmed away.
  • Another guard punched Peter, inflicting only a glancing blow.
  • Margaret got away, turned, and cast “The Fear” sending her pursuers away.
  • Then mercilessly Margaret disemboweled the cook, breaking the spell.
  • Margaret found a few rings on his person.
  • There were several cookbooks, several of which were very unsavory, and magical in nature.
  • Margaret and Chase ransacked his quarters, and didn’t find the cook to be part of any grander plot.  They did find a huge chest of gold.
  • Margaret and Chase gave a non-to-convincing oratory about restoring the village, and distributed the wealth evenly…after all who knows who’s money all of it was.
  • Peter discovered that the cook was named Dormond Rheinholt…and was using people as part of the ingredients.
  • The mayor’s wife was asking around about her husband, and though the characters weren’t able to find his remains, they did know his fate.
  • Margaret and Chase consoled the mayor’s widow, though eventually Margaret verbally confronted her with some Ugly Truth, saying that the widow would need to move on quickly, because that money wouldn’t last.
  • The characters then departed the town, to make their way home.

Returning from Whence We Came

  • As they approached the border crossing, Margaret and Chase attempted to disguise themselves, but without proper tools and training, were only nominally successful…there was an outstanding warrant for both of them.
  • Passing through the border fortress, Margaret was noticed, as was Chase.  Margaret surrendered after she refused to doff her shirt.
  • Margaret and Chase were detained, though Peter, Klaudio, Ryan, and Zoe were free to go about their business.
  • Peter insisted on staying with the wagon, and threw his wife’s family name around, attempting to verbally bully the guards.
  • The border magistrate packed up Margaret and Chase to send them to the capital for questioning.
  • Peter made sure that Margaret’s crossbow and dagger as well as Chase’s sword and bow were brought along.

Falling into the Wrong Hands

  • The characters arrived in the capital, Peter went home to his wife; Klaudio to his store; Ryan and Zoe joined Peter; and Chase and Margaret were thrown in the dungeon.
  • Margaret’s quarters were dark and dank amongst the murderers and rapists.
  • Chase had nicer quarters.
  • The inquisitor badgered Margaret and Chase for further information…Mack the Butcher, the Brotherhood, sorcery, murders of civilians, cult daggers, a marauding dwarf, and our sister.
  • Margaret learned the inquisitor’s name…Cedric the Inquisitor.
  • After twenty minutes of the “in-game inquisition routine,” Chase relented and gave a mostly complete recounting of the exploits.  He learned that the dwarf was in the capital and that Chase’s other sister, Julie, was being held in the capital.
  • We wrapped up the session…and everyone was awarded a Deeds point for liberating the village.

Session Wrap Up

I modified Margaret’s beliefs…”Inquisitor Cedric must pay for what he has done to our family. I will get the dwarf involved in my revenge!”

Margaret now has the requisite Deed point for Grey shifting her Will.  I will be pounding on this mercilessly, so I can Grey shift the stat before I open many of her Will-based skills…and here-in lies another aspect of the game.

Thus far, I’ve spent 9 Fate, 4 Persona, and 2 Deed points on Will.  I’m clearly going to need to open-end every Will test that I make.  And if I’m going to have enough Persona points, I’m going to need to make actionable Beliefs…and revenge is very actionable.  Time to find a dwarf and work hard to convince him to help in my revenge.

And in pushing for a Grey shifted Will, Margaret is going to become a dangerous social combatant…which is not the direction I thought she’d go when we first started the campaign.  Of the three player characters, Margaret is by far the least capable of influencing and affecting others.  She has however proven indispensable with her powerful divinations.