I ran the first full session of my Magic Earth campaign on January 16th (check it out here). This session stars Dennis K. as Jacques Allard, a holy warrior from France recently recovered from a disastrous Crusade against the Fae, and Tim O. as Rosaleen Quinn, an occultist Irish Traveler with a demonic heritage. Jacques and Rosaleen know each other from a chance encounter: both had attempted to stop The Hands of Everlasting Darkness, a cult, from summoning a demon into the world. They stopped the cult and the summoning, apparently, but at a great cost of life.
First, a quick wrap up of the mini-adventure and events leading up to this session:
A week later, they met with another associate at a pub for a drink and debrief. During their nightcap, a bar patron began antagonizing them. This quickly escalated as the drunk began to change and they found themselves trapped in confined space with a werewolf. After a brief but harrowing combat, and with a little help from the pub’s owner, Jacques was able to slap silver manacles on the werewolf.
Wounded and fleeing the Queen’s Guard, they escaped into the night. Their course eventually returned them to where Jacques had been making his residence in London: the Catacombs beneath the church of All-Hallows-by-the-Tower.
Act I: Rude Challenges
Jacques and Rosaleen awoke underground in tunnels converted for habitation. As they took stock of their surroundings, they realized they were in a medical bay. Two rows of neatly lined, immaculately made cots decorated the room along with the accouterments of the medical profession. At the end of the lane of cots was a small desk at which sat unshaven middle aged gentleman determinedly writing in a journal.
The man turned out to be the Doc, Jacques recognizing the him from an earlier stay. Rosaleen, in unfamiliar territory, put her back up against a wall like a cornered animal. Neither Jacques or Rosaleen recalled how they arrived at the Catacombs, but Jacques is able to allay Rosaleen’s concerns…at least temporarily.
Medically cleared, Jacques leads them to quarters. However, their rest is rudely interrupted by Jacques fellow knights looking to burn “the witch”. Jacques questions them and, through force of personality, is able to convince them to answer the accusations against his companion in accordance with the code of chivalry. Jacques is escorted to answer his accuser, a knight briefly under his command during the raid against The Hands of Everlasting Darkness, while Rosaleen wisely awaited the knights departure.
Jacques is lead to the training grounds within the Catacombs. Rosaleen, urged on by curiosity, begins to explore the lower levels of the Catacombs using her powers of invisbility; she finds the lower levels to be mostly unused. seemingly used for storage. Jacques answers his accuser who, clearly mad with grief, challenges Jacques to a duel to which he obliged the engaged knight.
The senior-most knight declared it a duel to first blood, a fight that Jacques won handily. Having lost interest in exploring, Rosaleen made her way to Jacques by following the clamor and din of knightly combat. She arrived to Jacques prevailing in the duel, only to have to batter the aggrieved young knight down when the man cowardly attempted to take Jacques life.
Before things could grow any more out of hand, possibly forcing Rosaleen to reveal herself, the Knight-Commander of the Holy Knights of Saint Michael the Archangel arrived. He ordered the disgraced knight removed, dismissed the crowd, and offered an apology to Jacques while cryptically asking him to remain in the Catacombs by eluding to another task Allard could perform for them. Leaving them alone in the training grounds, Rosaleen drops her invisibility.
Rosaleen wanted to go, but Jacques convinced her it would be wise to stay until the Knight-Commander could make his intentions known. But, as they headed towards their quarters, a new challenge would make itself known with a howl.
Act II: Flight from the Catacombs
Jacques and Rosaleen where preparing to head down the winding staircase that lead to the floor their quarters were on, but paused as the baying of werewolves created them from the stairwell. Using her demon-touched nature, Rosaleen saw the stairwell was cram packed with dozens of lycanthropes. Seeing no other recourse, the tiefling broke into an enthusiastic sprint. Jacques, however, had a different plan in mind and with nerves of steel he used his shield (and position at the top of the stairwell) to bash the werewolves down the stairs. This created bottleneck as the enraged beasts climbed over their downed fellows to attempt to reach Allard.
With the lycanthropes stalled, and having done all he can, Jacques beats a hasty retreat. Werewolves are right on his tail. Having no where else to go, the two of them make a desperate dash to the infirmary on the same floor. They make it, barely, with a little help from the Doc and his strange (and powerful) rifle. Only problem was, they were trapped, the wolves battering at the door.
Oddly, the Doc seem entirely unperturbed by these developments. He continued working at his desk, writing in his journal as Jacques and Rosaleen attempted to formulate some kind of play. As the door began to splinter, the long clawed fingers of the werewolves peeking in, the Doc casually mentioned that there was a trap door in the corner of the room that led to underground tunnels. Unwilling to stand and fight a veritable horde of lycanthropes, they took the tunnels (leaving behind the Doc and the disgraced knight recovering in the ward at the Doc’s insistence).
Once in the tunnels, it became clear that they were used for some sort of outflow. The path was windy and dark, but Rosaleen’s eyes saw clearly and guided the pair. Everything was going fine…until the werewolves caught up with them in a vicious ambush. A fierce, but short, battle ensued, and through cunning tactics and great lung capacity they were able to disengage the werewolves enough to flee. Reaching a staircae leading to the surface, Jacques used his shield again to devastating effect allowing them to escape with thick slammed door between them and the werewolf horde.
Escape they may have, but things on the surface were almost as bad.
Act III: London on Fire
The church was on fire. The Tower of London was being licked by flames. All around them, pandemonium reigned. The Holy Knights appeared to be smashed and the Royal Army was nowhere insight. Jacques wanted to attempt to rally what remained of the knights, steeled and girded to defeat the lycanthrope menace. As Rosaleen surveyed the carnage, her keen senses saw a wild man looking on from the roof of a nearby building.
Unsure if she saw what she saw, Rosaleen and Jacques decided to investigate. The building was abandoned, but untouched by the fire. They met no resistance, taking the stairwell up. They were cautious, they readied themselves for whatever might await them…they were not prepared!
Rosaleen found herself flung through the air, over the lip of the building. Jacques turned to face a foe, but quickly found himself disarmed and overpowered. Dangling in the air, faced by the wild man who seemed to suggest he was the cause of the chaos below, Jacques was powerless to stop him from biting the templar and discarding him.
Rosaleen, calling on the unnatural dexterity of her inhuman parentage, flung herself back on top of the building in time to find a wounded Jacques. With the city burning around them, their next move unclear, the session came to a close.
Tune in on February 13th at 1 pm EST/6 pm GMT for the continuation, The Wolves of London, to discover the fate of Jacques and Rosaleen…and of London!