Campaign Log: Strangelight! Sessions 1 & 2

I’m currently playing catch-up on my logs of the new “Strangelight!” campaign. It’s set in the Iron Kingdoms, and uses the Savage Worlds rules. I’ve already posted the premise of the campaign elsewhere, so I’ll save the internet a tiny bit of space by not re-posting it here.

We made the characters way back around the end of November, but only just recently started actually playing the game, as the holidays and various familiar commitments prevented us from being able to meet again after character creation.

  • Drake as “Mishka Starov,” a Kossite ex-Widowmaker who deserted the army after seeing many ghostly visions of his possible future deaths
  • Emma as “Rosalynd Hutch,” a Caspian Arcane Mechanik, recently graduated from the Mechanikal Studies school of Corvis University
  • Robert as “Gregory Vascalho,” a Tordoran ex-watchman, fired for sticking his nose in places where the bureaucracy felt it didn’t belong
  • Robin as “Captain Branduff Scully,” a Thurian river smuggler in search of his missing eye, which was stolen along with half of his soul by a wicked imp
  • Ryan as “Quinlan Bralazzi,” a Rynnish Noble Wizard with a secret hobby of Infernalism and a sour attitude toward his lessers

In our first session (four or so weekends ago), we introduced all of the five main protagonists. All of them had been contacted through various means by a wealthy Magi from Five Fingers named Unger von Grendelbach. The Magi had recently acquired franchising permission from the Ceryl-based Strangelight Workshop, which focuses its efforts on the investigation and sometimes eradication of supernatural hauntings. Von Grendelbach sought out the five characters for his own reasons, and all of them accepted his offer.

Quinlan and Rosalynd hopped on board a riverboat owned by Captain Branduff, traveling from Merywyn (in war-torn Llael) and Corvis (in Cygnar) respectively. Branduff’s usual trade took him frequently up and down both the Dragon’s Tongue and the Black River, so he was in a prime position to get the two of them and bring them back with him to Five Fingers. After a quick combat scene in which the basics of the rules mechanics were introduced to the new players, the session ended with them arriving in their new city and meeting up with Mishka and Gregory, both locals.

At the beginning of the second session, after handling some basic administrivia, they were met by Urk, the fat goblin manservant of their new patron (von Grendelbach). Urk brought with him a magically-written message offering them employment should they be able to accomplish a training mission. According to the message, von Grendelbach had arranged for the purchase of a building which would serve as the perfect Chapterhouse headquarters for their new operation. However, there was a catch: the house in question was haunted by an entity most foul. Once the new recruits rid the house of the menace, it would be theirs to use.

After getting some alchemical healing for the wounded Captain and dropping off some basic supplies at the Rose & Thistle Inn (their benefactor had arranged for a week of lodgings for them there), they went straight to the old decrepit house. The Applebry manor was a two-story affair built on a gently sloping cliff, reached by following a lonely rocky path off the Beacon Trail Road on the eastern of the two Porpoise Isles.

They reached the house at night time, and the only lights around were the flickers from the two lighthouses on the far ends of the island. After a bit of investigation, they were quite sure that some malicious entity was infesting the house, and set in motion a plan to eradicate it.

24 hours later, after consulting with an insane “grymkin specialist,” hiring the services of a crabby pregnant goblin, and chopping out the steps of their staircase, the heroes manages to rid the place of the grymkin (called a Trapperkin) infestation. How did they accomplish this, you might ask? Why, they just showed the Trapperkin the power of a mother’s love – goblin love can pierce the spirit veil and save the day, after all.

They were officially commissioned by von Grendelbach to establish the Five Fingers chapterhouse of the Strangelight Workshop, and given an initial stipend and promise of weekly salaries. Now this is where the story really begins…

My Observations

The group took to the investigation process with baby steps, which I expected, since this is the first time we’ve all gamed together. Running games with a high amount of investigative content can take a few sessions to get into a steady rhythm with new groups, as it can take time for everyone to get used to each other’s gaming styles and preferences. On the whole, the sleuthing went pretty well. Most of the group consists of players that I’ve not gamed with before, but I think that I catered to a variety of styles and wants pretty effectively in that first adventure.

Follow-Up

It’s been a couple of weeks since I started this writeup, and we’ve had two sessions since then and moved to a Wednesday night schedule. The very next session after this one was mostly administrivia and shopping, and also saw Robert leave due to scheduling conflicts. I’ll write more on the last two sessions soon enough, but all things considered, this game is going well.

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