Crimson Lions and Chosen Wolves

Sunday, June 20th, 2021

More Band of Blades campaign Mission Sheets from one of our groups, written and designed for the fourth phase of the campaign, set again in Plainsworth. Plus some additional notes and thoughts about each, meta-game events and influences on play and GM rulings. There are only two missions this time, as the third mission (Chosen Light) was a carry-over from the prior phase.

General information and a full archive of previously posted sheets can be found on this page.

During the fourth phase, the Legion remains camped at Plainsworth, preparing, however, to move out soon. They’ve made the decision to advance at the end of this phase, no matter what happens, feeling fairly prepared and supplied for the long road ahead.

[For Mission Sheet, See Previous Phase]

Chosen Light, from the last phase, was the primary mission. Which ended up being one of the pivotal missions of the campaign. The players had waited on this one in order to gain Supply, which they then spent to Acquire Assets, so they could head out loaded for bear.

This was also the last session the player of our Lorekeeper was going to be with our group, so we had built up the fiction around that forthcoming event over last two sessions — with the Lorekeeper making mysterious preparations, and freeplay scenes with the Commander (his oldest friend) — and the player-knowledge the Lorekeeper was going to die on this mission.

The player and I discussed if the Lorekeeper was going to accompany the squad as a PC or NPC, and he decided to run him as one of the Specialists assigned to the mission. He filled out a playbook, using prior fiction and recent events from freeplay, and made him oathbound to the Legion — thus the Engagement roll penalty did not apply. The Morale penalty for losing him would, however. So the group went into it knowing there was going to be a -1 Morale penalty at the end no matter what else happened.

Other tidbits of interest:

The mechanics of the ritual Zora meant to perform consisted of finishing a 12-clock while the squad held off a steadily increasing number of Gaunt (etc). If completed, there would be a Fortune roll to see how it went (1-3: ritual fails; 4/5: Karlsburg’s flames are quenched, but Zora is drained and badly injured; 6: the flames are quenched; Crit: the flames are quenched and the site is cleansed).

The plan had been that the Lorekeeper would burn up his Weave helping Zora out here…but the best laid plans… Instead, we decided he used it “in a doomed battle” to cover the squad’s escape.

I also hadn’t pre-determined the nature of the Circlet. When the Medic put it on, I asked everyone for ideas of what a cool thing would be for it to do? They came up with a “fight an opponent as an equal at the cost of corruption” idea (see the story missions on the Blades forums for details).

The group had briefly considered simply allowing the Medic to be skewered (having taken a spear from a Threat 3 enemy), but then decided we weren’t quite ready to see her story end, so we also used this to save the Medic. That the Medic just happened to Trauma out right after putting on a relic of Aldermark’s Twin Gods made tying that Trauma to the Circlet in the fiction a no-brainer: a dark twin following her, which only she could see and hear! (“Haunted”, quite literally!)

Between retaking the shrines and rescuing the guardsmen and civilians trapped at Deikart’s Wall, the Commander chose the wall as the priority. When the Engagement roll here came out a 4/5, owing to the fiction around the mission, I thought it might be interesting if the squad and Specialists took points of Corruption and Blight instead of Harm and death. We discussed the idea, but finally settled on just doing it the normal way (the latter).

The Legion ignored this mission. There were no specific additional penalties to deal with here, or additional story elements. The narrative surrounding and developed from Chosen Light was the be the main spotlight, so we went with the very easy: “Many of the more devout legionnaires and camp followers are upset, and Breaker’s forces have gained an unshakeable foothold in the area.”

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