Just a note, this casting is from the beginning of the game. Most characters are at least 2 years older now (some are more due to time shenaniganry)
Liam Callahan - a 17 year old human farm boy who constantly has his head in the clouds (you guessed it. The Hero!). Liam hails from the "Road's End Villages" the far North Western section of the Kingdom of Cerimea, not that anyone particularly remembers that that is still a part of the country. Liam has since aged to 20 years old and is taking the first steps towards facing his destiny.
Ilian Holhan - A 19 year old apprentice mage Seraphim who has come down to the surface (accompanied by his mentor and master) to further his studies on the weather as well as several other studies for his magical pursuits.. The Seraphim are a race of winged scholars and magi who live high above the clouds.
Abar Dan Rab Beynonn - A 19 year old Azrian Sword Dancer. The Azrian are a tribe of humans that live in cities in the forests (think Sherwood from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves), they are some of the premiere sword fighters in the land, using a style that emphasizes grace and finesse over power.
Darcy Stanton - A Half-Elf Rogue who has been staying with Rab (Abar) among the Azrian for the last few years. She is as close as a sister to Rab, and helps him on the various jobs he undertakes for the Azrian. Despite her time with the Azrian though, Darcy prefers to fight with her knives rather than use a sword.
Genru Crabshall - A Dwarven caravan guard from the Dwarf's War Caste. Genru hails from the famed floating cities of the Dwarves, though it has been years since he has seen home. Assigned to a guard a caravan heading to the northern provinces of Cerimea.
Ornu Tana Dar - An experienced Elven Woodsman, Ornu is specifically trained to be able to counter rogues, spies, and assassins, and also in taking out larger groups of opponents as quickly and efficiently possible. One year ago (beginning of the game) he was sent to retrieve Darcy back to the Kingdom so that officials could speak to her on matters of some importance to the Elven kingdom.
Rather than go chronologically, I am going to go through the session on a character by character basis.
Grenru had perhaps the quietest session, spending the majority of the week spent in Bastion before the army moved out in the war room and helping to keep things organized and moving slowly. The dwarf is impressing many people with his knowledge of tactics, something many had not given him credit for having before, and he is directly responsible for at least a third of why the various armies are intermingling so well. When not in the war room, Grenru is making his time between the various camps, speaking to people and trying to keep morale up. He gets a good sense of feel for the soldiers that are around, and makes numerous friends amongst them. Finally, Grenru also uses his time to make a medallion for each of the PCs, signifying their journey together with each one showing them all, but customized for whose medallion it is. These gifts, obviously, go over well with everyone.
Rab spends the majority of his week working with Liam and the various armies on making a single codified set of signals so that there will be less confusion when the battle happens. This chafes the elves a little, who like their much more detailed signals, but everyone agrees that it is a smart thing to do and helps move it along. By the end of the week, instructions on these new signals are being dispersed throughout the armies. Rab also spends time in the war room, getting used to being one of the people in command, and as well to the fact that as the week goes on more and more people are looking to him like he is The King for humanity.
This reaction from others though seems to be chasing Elise away, and so after speaking to Darcy and asking her to get him some rings, he makes her way to Elise's room to speak one night. He introduces himself formally to the guards, marking the first time that anyone in the castle has heard his full name. Abar Dan Rab Beynon. It is the Beynon that quickly becomes the talk of the courts though, a word in an old language, a dead language. It means King, and was the royal line from Cimerea centuries ago before a problem with heirs caused a name change. As for the meeting, Rab manages to smooth things over, apologizing for the absence as well as for the entrance he and his friends made to the city. He also explains that he likes Elise, and goes so far as to propose. He doesn't care when she mentions how little they've actually seen each other, and she accepts. Her stated reason being it will solve problems after the battle if the remaining royal lines of humanity are bound together, though Rab hopes it is also partially as she likes him back.
Darcy's week is spent, work wise, with scouring through the armies for scouts and former thieves and spies who are good enough to hang with her if it came to a group outing. From the nearly 400,000 troops that are stationed around Bastion, she manages to find nearly 200 that are good enough and forms a unit out of them. Their role is to be unconventional warfare, and time is spent getting to know each other as well as working out some basic details with the more command-prone of the lot.
On the personal side, Darcy helps Rab along with getting the rings for Elise, but also - finally - gets motion from Liam. The young human presents himself to her one night, finding her in the army camps where she is helping to keep people's morale up. The two have a long conversation, about their journey, and about them. Liam says he'd like to spend time with her after the fighting, getting to know each other. Darcy responds with all the reasons that is a bad idea, Rab will always be her priority as her son, all the things she has done, all the things she is still willing to do. Liam accepts these all unconditionally, and says he would still like to try. Darcy agrees, and a kiss good night turns into an invitation to stay for breakfast.
Liam spends the first part of his week helping Rab with coordinating the signals. When he is not doing that, he also spends time delving into politics. Going around and ensuring that people understand that Rab is the high king for humanity, the leader of the race by birth, deed, and fate, and that he (Liam) is the general for the army, the single figure head leader. Somehow (more on this later), this doesn't ruffle too many feathers and people are generally accepting. Liam is a Dragon Knight, a line of great heroes, and if someone has to be the ultimate leader why not him?
Even still, it is not until after the fact that it dawns on Liam how badly his move could have gone, and how little tact he actually used. The realization jars his confidence in his political skills, fledgling as they are.
With the war details being taken care of, Liam also goes to speak with Ember about what is going on, and their lives. His sister speaks to him as she can, saying she likes his new 'take charge' way of dealing with things instead of all the 'poncing around' he used to do in other lives. Liam apologizes for taking her turn, and Ember waves it off as simple sibling rivalry, he'd done the right thing. He, not her, had always been the thinker, able to see long term and to the problems coming up. That if he hadn't done what he'd done, the world would probably be definitely going to hell in a hand basket. Liam also mentions Darcy, and Ember advises him to handle it the way he'd been handling everything of late. Just walk up and deal with it. (what happened with Darcy is above)
Ilian's week is spent teaching magic users the intricacy of real magic. He increases the numbers of his Seraphim mages by nearly another 200 from the ranks of elves, humans, and dwarves that have the gift to do some magic.
Ilian also spends time dabbling in politics. Inviting all of the leaders to his chamber for a meal, aside from Rab and Liam (though their groups are represented). At the meal, Ilian helps to smooth any ruffled feathers that Liam's proclamations are making. The leaders agree that a figure head for the army is good, and that if it has to be someone it should be the Dragon Knight. As far as Rab being king, the non human races do not care, but Elise says she will deal with any issues she has with it after the war is won. Problems now will benefit nobody.
His duties out of the way, Ilian also spends a lot of time with Raven. The seraphim girl from his prophetic dreams. She is constantly around him, helping with all his lessons, and having made herself sort of a defacto aide to her. Things go smoothly, if adorably awkward, until Ilian blurts out that just because he dreamed it doesn't mean it is going to happen. Raven asks what dream he is speaking of, and Ilian mentions that in some dreams he had he was married to her. He then goes off into awkward blundering trying to cover up what he is saying, when Raven makes a move. Asking Ilian to explain some detailed bit of magic to her, she lures him back to a bed chamber. The next day all the courtier's around the castle, which there are still some of, can tell that one of the two geeky Seraphim has finally made a move. The geeky tension now gone, replaced with the awkwardness of not knowing how close is socially acceptable in these situations.
Sadly, Ornu's player could not join us once again. We're hoping he'll be around for the last couple of sessions but Real Life has been claiming him of late.
The March to battle goes smoothly. After a week in Bastion preparing, the army heads out for the 3 week journey to Oscora for the final battle. Shortly before they arrive, Jasa and Darcy have a talk about Rab, his last name, and what is going on. Jasa asks if she can be moved to Rab's unit as one of his guards, explaining she would like to defend him against the people like her and Darcy. After a test, Darcy agrees to it and gives Jasa one of her knives. A knife she has never used, one specifically saved for defending Rab. Jasa accepts it wholeheartedly.
Jasa then presents herself to Rab, early one morning. He awakes to find her in his tent, kneeling and waiting for him. He makes her rise, and she agrees. She then swears fealty to him, removing her claim from the throne and asking to serve in his guard. Rab agrees, and welcomes her to his group. They part with a hug and Jasa heads back out informing Rab's bodyguard that the king could be dead. Rab is rather amused at the reaction, but also takes the time to smooth the feathers.
Game was called here, with 2 days march before the battle. The idea is to give the players time to prepare any last minute things they want to do, including speeches to rouse the army into a frenzy.
I enjoyed the session, like I said very few dice were touched. A whole lot of sex happened, but the build up to those moments had been a long time coming and paid off well in my opinion. It is also good to see the PCs looking ahead to after the battle, but still aware of what may happen if they're not careful.
Next session we run the majority of the mass battle with Unsung Heroes, and then move on to the real end game and the final dramatic confrontations as the leaders of both armies meet.