The Devil’s Riddle: Session 1

The door opens on a packed and raucous bar. A large group of farmers are singing at the top of their lungs, every seat is taken and they have to push past people to get to the bar. The sounds of laughter and good natured banter fill the room. Not all are making merry though; Rufus notices a lone fellow, his cloaked face in shadow, sitting with his back to the wall, talking to no-one. Another man, elderly and with a patch over one eye, sits at the bar scowling into his drink.

Reaching the bar Rufus nods at the bartender, a tall rangy fellow with a shock of greying hair.

“Do you have rooms for the night?” the warrior enquires.
The bartender snorts. “Rooms? On the eve of Tylon Fair? Look around you stranger, does it look like we have a room? There won’t be an inn within 15 miles of Tylon with rooms free this evening.”

The warrior sighs, his eyes flicking to Lisandra then back to the bartender. “We are tired and in need of rest. We will sleep in your stables if needs be. We can pay our way.” He places a golden talent on the counter. The bartender’s eyes go round with shock, and his dismissive demeanour changes at once. He sweeps up the coin before any of the bar’s patrons spot it and smiles ingratiatingly. “But of course sir, I’ll see to it at once. Greta, fetch blankets at once for these fine folk! Now then sir, while Greta prepares your beds can I offer you a drink and some stew?”

Rufus and Lisandra are forced to stand at the bar to eat their stew, which they do in silence. As they do so a drunkard staggers over, waving his hands (and sloshing his drink) in excitement.

“’m gonna make a killin’, youshee if I don’” he slurs. “’m gonna be RICH!”

It turns out that he’s a trader specialising in books, which are something of a rare commodity in these parts. Tomorrow at the fair he expects to make his fortune. It also turns out that in these parts a fortune is a pile of silver. A single gold piece is enough to buy an inn like this one. Lisandra raises an eyebrow at her companion, who offers the slightest of shrugs in reply.

Their meal complete they retire to the stables, and are asleep in moments. But their sleep is not natural; their meal has been drugged by the bartender, who is intent on getting his greedy hands on the rest of the gold in Rufus’ purse!

Rufus is able to fight off the effects of the drug, coming awake just in time to see the bartender and his wife creeping into the stables, carving knives in hand!

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Seeing his helpless prey is not so helpless after all the bartender rushes in, stabbing wildly. But Rufus knocks his blow effortlessly aside, and that of his wife. Rufus’ own blade flashes out and the bartender staggers back clutching his side. Lisandra blinks awake, taking in the scene in a moment. She rises smoothly to her feet.

The bartender lashes out in panic. Rufus is obviously still suffering from the effects of the drug, as the clumsy blow slides up his blade and nicks his wrist. Lisandra points at Greta and white fire lances from her fingers blasting the woman backwards. She slumps motionless to the ground moments before Rufus sheaths his blade in the bartender’s throat.

“This is most inconvenient” scowls Lisandra. “I suspect it will prove difficult to explain these deaths. I suggest we leave at once.”

The pair gather their things and slip away quietly into the night, blinking away the effects of the drug and their own exhaustion.

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5 Responses to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 1”

  1. Q: Is the bar busy? EXCEPTIONAL YES
    Q: Is the mood cheerful? YES
    NPC Generator: Opinionated : Narrow-minded. Has startlingly grey hair.motto : Don’t ignore evil.
    Q: Do you have rooms available? EXCEPTIONAL NO
    Q: How about the stables? EXCEPTIONAL YES
    Q: has the coin attracted anyone else’s interest? NO
    Q: Does anyone attempt to start a conversation? YES
    Q: What does the drunkard say? A Large Amount of Excitement
    Q: what’s he excited about? Various Examples of Literacy, Get rest for the night
    Q: Do they get to sleep? EXCEPTIONAL YES
    Q: have they been drugged? YES
    Bartender: A: 1d8 W: 1d10 E: 1d6 Hits: 6 Knife (+1)
    Greta A: 1d8 W: 1d10 E: 1d6 Hits: 6 Knife (+1)
    -1 fatigue penalty imposed.

  2. The GM Emulator proved very well behaved for this session. Slightly too well behaved; there were no unexpected events at all. Regardless it threw up some potential future plot hooks and an unexpected murder attempt.

    I’m liking the USR system so far too.

  3. keep posting it as well Carl… its a cool read 🙂

  4. verdigris Says:

    Interesting how you threw up the drugged query; would have thought it from the NPC description – I was think a law-abiding citizen.

  5. Yeah, it was only the Exceptional Yes that the sleep query generated that prompted the question, and that drugging spun things off in a whole new direction. That GM Emulator is pretty cool for introducing the unexpected, even without random events.

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