If you'll excuse me, I'm going to skip doing the cast for this session recap. You can get the information for it (if you are interested) on one of the previous reviews, just click on the 'Greymoore' tag on the bottom and it'll bring them up. Also, this one is going to be a bit short, for reasons I will give at the bottom.
Note: Valos has, apparently, withdrawn from the game. Still waiting on official word, but it seems real life no oni has eaten him.
So, the session began with the PCs in the castle. Liam was receiving training in fighting from Sir Malik Hightower. Grenru was keeping an eye on Liam. Rab was recovering from his woulds gained in the tournament. Ilian was reading in the library. Finally, Darcy was doing what she could to be social and keep away from her horrible memories.
After about a week, the King finally made time to see them. Asking Ilian if he knew more about the prophecy that they had delivered in the previous session. They answered that they didn't know, but that Ilian had been having prophetic dreams since his mentor died. The King listened to the dreams, and asked the PCs to stay so they could help with further deciphering what was going on in the Kingdom of Cimerea. The PCs agreed, and as another favor the King asked Rab - as Tournament Champion - to teach his younger daughter the Princess Jasa.
Helping to find out what was going on for Ilian involved a trip to the tower of the Blue Rose, the King's magi. Given over to the care of some, sadly, less than fully capable but oh so sure of themselves members of the order Ilian was given a concoction to make himself more susceptible to prophetic visions. Resulting in a barrage of imagery, none of which was good for the coming future. The dreams set off Ilian's abilities, and for a few brief moment magic ran wild around him singing the feathers on his wings, not to mention the acolytes around him.
Back in the castle, Rab's training lesson with the Princess Jasa went well, though the princess he found needed to develop stamina. An attempt to get her to run was met with stern resistance in the "Princesses don't run" vein of things, though a compromise was made where she would gain stamina by dancing more. After the lesson, Rab finally met the Tameran princess Elise for the drink he owed her. There meeting in the hanging gardens leaving them privy to the rain storm that had come in during the day, and ending with Rab awake with a massive hangover in Elise's bed though what happened is still an unknown.
The next night, the rain still had not let up. Ilian, staying with the mages in the Blue Tower is beset by a dream. He is stalking through the castle, avoiding guards and working his way deep inside it. Coming to a room he quickly kills two guards and moves through into the King's chamber. Three stabs with a knife he recognizes as Darcy's, heart, lung, and throat, end the king's life and awaken him with a start. Just in time to hear the screams of alarm and a booming explosion coming from outside.
Monstrous creatures and filthy humans poured out of the ground and attacked the guards. In seconds several parts of the castle are ablaze, despite the rain. In their rooms, Darcy awakens to the noise and the realization that one of her knives is gone. The rest of their companions wake as quickly, though deliberation on what course of action to take slows them a little. The delay turns out slightly beneficial, allowing Liam and Ilian to make it over from the Blue Rose tower where they'd been staying, but the next delay proves quite costly. Opening the door to go out, Ilian gets grabbed by one of the attackers and slammed into the far wall almost killing him. Darcy lunges out to kill the enemy while Rab grabs Ilian, but it is too late. "Make them go away, all of them" Ilian says, and magic goes wild knocking everyone in the room out. Which is where the session ended.
Thoughts on it
I was honestly disappointed with this session. Not because it wasn't fun, the players had a good time, as did I. I just wanted to do more with it. The idea had been for the focus of the session to be on the attack in the end, and that ended up being a very small part instead of the focus of the session. The players did things, and that was good, I need to make sure that is clear. My disappointment comes from me, for some reason I couldn't get anything really going, my brain kept shutting down on me and numerous opportunities were lost.
The Blue Rose came across as incompetent because I couldn't get into a correct head space for them. Which is bad because, well, they are supposed to be competent but the ones near the tower weren't.
While I did get across some screen time for Elise, Malik, and Jasa, it was mostly minor. Jasa and Malik specifically didn't get much development like I planned to have for them.
I also wasn't able to bring the weather into play properly. It did rain, and thunder and I think that got something across if you held it in your head. But I didn't play it up right in my opinion. Which was something, going in, I had really wanted to do.
The session was a text book example of why having good players is so awesome. I as the GM bumbled fairly hard I feel, but the game was still a lot of fun because any time I did stumble the players grabbed onto something and ran with it, making fun and entertainment out of it. So I guess, I'm not necessarily disappointed with the session, so much as my performance in it.
I will just have to try and do better next time I guess.