Ghostly Moon and Starry Citadel

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Some other projects and real life issues have created the long delay between posting the last set of Mission Sheets and these, for the ninth phase of our Band of Blades campaign. As usual, this post includes some additional notes on meta-game events that affected play. This phase (and these missions) took place in the Talgon Forest.

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

Note: further posts in this series may not occur for some time. There were only five more sessions in the campaign from this point and I either only have partially-filled sheets or did not prepare any sheets for those sessions.

Those sessions were: the entry to Fort Calisco, and two additional phases spent at Calisco to gather supplies and find an easy way out [partial sets]; the penultimate session following their escape from Calisco, which they used to rush through the Maw [none]; and the defense of Skydagger itself, which is run differently than normal, therefore no mission sheets.

Given the long stay at the monastery, the Legion hurries to make up the time and moves immediately to the Talgon Forest. Since they had completed an earlier project allowing them to spend blackshot in the same way as horses, and with the amount of blackshot available to them, the players weren’t too worried, expending a bunch to knock the very high Pressure down.

We did narrate some interesting things happening to Zora’s appearance, and the expression of her powers, after her training by the monks; and also that the command staff (except the new Lorekeeper) had become wary of the Chosen, which would factor into future decisions.

Our Spymaster’s player was a no-show again. This would be their character’s final session, as they let me know afterwards they were dropping out of the game. Given this command role’s importance in the narrative so far, the group decided to keep the position but turn it over to one of the other players. Their command staff character would then fill both roles. It was an interesting narrative twist — the new Lorekeeper also became the Legion’s new Spymaster.

This meant he took over a ‘special missions’ long-term project, which had finished and factored into available mission choices in the Talgon. I had written up thumbnails for three missions, and the group chose to replace a mission with the Lunar Crown special mission. The replaced mission was about Hexed legionnaires fleeing into the forest to report to a coven of Shadow Witches, so that bit of fiction didn’t happen.

This was the mission the group did not choose. They felt they had more than enough Intel at the time and could safely skip a mission with no major penalties. Being as they left the Talgon immediately after this set of missions, doing so did not specifically affect anything else. However, the forts the Black Oak built could influence later campaigns when and if the Western forces attempt to retake Aldermark.

The secondary mission undertaken by the Star Vipers. It did not go well. The players later decided to ret-con this mission using a flashback: removing an enemy from the field in a way that also improved Zora’s chances during the fight outside Calisco, explaining how the survivors made a deal with the Hag that the Legion would attack Breaker and count on her help to destroy the Storm Witch. This was made possible by the specific intel the Legion had gathered about the internal squabbles and politics of the Broken over the course of the campaign.

The primary mission. The choice of squads for this one was the Ghost Owls. It turned out I wasn’t as prepared for this mission as I had thought: there were ideas in my head about what should happen here, or what sorts of things could happen here, but it ended up feeling like they hadn’t geled enough to really work. Puzzle-solving missions can be hard.

Even still, one of the players expressed to me later that it was one of their favorite missions. At the same time, another of the players expressed frustration that they kept being talked over during the mission (which I had noticed happening, and unsuccessfully tried to redirect). Unfortunate on multiple levels — socially, and that player had figured out a solution.

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