Crash! Els and Roman Dragonshield are awoken by the sound of something breaking, something big. Bang! The castle walls shake as something bashes into them. They rush outside to see what’s happening. Squeal! The Caledonian Boar has broken its chains and is rampaging around the castle. Villagers are panicking and running away.
Roman Dragonshield leaps into action, literally. The Boar charges Roman, but he positions himself in front of a sturdy piece of castle wall, springs into the air and watches as the boar passes beneath him and crashes into the castle, knocking itself out.
[Roman tests Running and Jumping, and passes]
“Oh dear!” says King Andy “It seems we don’t have any chains strong enough to hold the boar. Els and Roman, I need you both to go to the village of Fairview. There’s a smith who lives there called Dumonin. I’ve heard that if anyone can make chains that will hold the boar it’s him. We’ll do our best to keep it under control until you get back.”
And so Roman and Els set off on their next adventure, aiming for the village of Fairview. First through they had to pass through Rover’s Wood.
Remembering what happened last time Els took care to keep an eye out for traps. And she didn’t have to look hard to find one. Hidden in the bushes were a dozen or so bandits, all carrying wooden clubs. Disappointed to see that the bandits had gone back to their rotten ways the two heroes sneak up on them, then spring out. Roman lifts a bandit clean off the ground in each hand, and Els sets her Husky Snowflake on them.
[Els tests finding things, and passes. Then Roman tests strength and Els tests fighting monsters, both pass.]
“Oh no, it’s them again!” shout the bandits as they recognise our heroes. Bandit Bill, now badly disguised with a hat and moustache tries to explain that they don’t know how to do anything apart from be bandits. Our heroes can’t really work out what to do with the captured bandits, so make do with giving them a stern warning and carrying on.
They arrive in Fairview to be greeted by Gary, the town guard. “Are you Roman Dragonshield and Els?” he asks “I’m such a big fan. I know all about your adventures with the Lion and the Boar. I’m your biggest fan!”
Gary is delighted to be able to help two real heroes. However all he can tell them is that Dumonin has left, heading for the Lonely Tower.
Roman and Els decide to head for the lonely tower. They briefly discuss going via Mermaid Beach, but Gary tells them that people who see mermaids are taken away and never seen again. Our heroes decide this is a problem they’re not interested in investigating and set off cross country for Wrecking Cliffs.
When they arrive at the cliffs they see that the lonely tower can only be reached by travelling along a very narrow path and climbing across the cliffs. They set off together, keeping a wary eye on the ocean below. They’re about halfway across when Roman Dragonshield slips and falls. He shouts for Dragon Piet to come and catch him, but Piet is too slow. Roman lands in the water just as Els throws him a rope. Looking around he sees that the water is full of sharks and they’re coming for him!
Roman grabs hold of the rope and Els pulls him clear, leaving the sharks biting the air behind him. The two regain the cliff path, and then decide to try and progress further by exploring one of the caves along the path.
[Roman fails a climbing and jumping roll, and falls. Then he fails a dragon riding roll. Els passes her climbing and jumping roll, and then makes an exploring roll to throw Roman a rope. Finally Els passes a climbing and jumping roll, and Roman makes a strength roll to avoid the sharks.]
Creeping through the caves Els spots a strange triangle with unusual letters carved into the wall. As they approach it starts to glow. After a discussion they decide to carry on past it, and further into the cave. When they do so the ceiling shakes and trembles – the cave is collapsing. Roman leaps to safety, but Els is cut off behind the falling rocks!
[Els passes ‘Finding things’ and finds the magical sign. Then Els fails on Running and Jumping, while Roman passes.]
Realising he’s cut off from Els Roman starts digging in the rocks to try and find her. Meanwhile, Els fumbles about in the dark, lights her torch and spots a tunnel that has been opened up by the collapse. As Roman digs a way out Els goes further and discovers a cave, inside which, surrounded by a circle of unusual letters is a beautiful golden harp.
[Els rolls Climbing and Exploring, and passes, Roman rolls Super Strength, and passes]
Els and Roman looked at the harp, looked at the letters, looked at the collapsed tunnel and decided to leave well enough alone. Instead they carried on to the door to the lonely tower, and knocked on it.
There was no answer and the door was locked. Roman flew up on Dragon Piet to see if he could see through the windows, meanwhile Els tried to get the door open. Something went ‘clunk’ and Els suddenly a bucket of slop was dumped on Els! As this happend Roman was sure he saw someone at one of the windows.
[Roman passes dragon riding, Els fails finding things]
The two of them decided not to force the door, and instead climbed in via the windows and found themselves in a comfortable looking room. There was a bed, and a cupboard and lots of books. A fire was burning and there was a tasty smelling stew on the table.
Els was sure she could hear something in the cupboard. Roman opened it.
It was a very short, stocky man with a big beard.
“Hello. We’re not going to hurt you” said Els
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh. Monsters!!!!!” shouted the man.
Calming him down took some time. After all, even if they weren’t monsters that was very definitely a dragon they’d brought with them. Eventually though they found out that the man they’d found was in fact
“Dumonin the brave. Dwarf and smith.”
Roman tried not to laugh. He didn’t do very well. There was a long conversation about dwarves, bravery, Dumonin’s bravery in particular and why hiding in a cupboard wasn’t a particularly unusual or cowardly thing to do.
Eventually Els got a word in and asked about chains for the boar.
“Sorry. Can’t do it.”
“Can someone else do it?”
“Nope. I’m the best chain maker in the kingdom. I promise no chains can hold the Caledonian Boar. Only the Golden Harp can calm it.”
“The Golden Harp. It was made by Elves. Playing it will calm the boar down. But no-one knows where it is.”
“It’s over there in a cave.”
“Can you read these squiggles?”
“They’re Elvish. Yes I can read them. These ones say ‘Danger, falling rocks’. Why do you ask?”
“Because they’re over there next to the cave where the harp is. Come on Roman, let’s get the Harp. You should come too Dumonin!”
And so Els and Roman Dragonshield returned to the cave with the harp, and nothing bad at all happened when they picked it up. Before they returned to Andrew’s Castle Dumonin told them that the Caledonian Boar and the Molten Cat were just the first two of four magical creatures that would appear and destroy the kingdom. He thought that the third creature might be a Kelpie, but he needed more time to do research. He said he’d stay at the tower and promised to send word if he learned something more.
Roman and Els thanked him and set off back to King Andy. When they got back the boar was beginning another rampage, but a few notes on the harp calmed it down immediately – and made everyone else feel like going to sleep. King Andy was very grateful, but rather concerned to hear the news from Dumonin. “On the other hand”, he said, “That’s two more magical beasts for the zoo!”.
Notes : This game was a good bit shorter than the earlier sessions, I think because it was nearly tea time. Had I written a story seed for this story before starting it would have been
“The Caledonian Boar is rampaging. The king sends the heroes to find a smith to make chains. Twist – the smith can’t do the job himself.”
In the back of my mind at the start of the game was that the smith would need some special materials to make the chain. But then Els got stuck in the tunnels and having her find a magic thing on the way out seemed like a good idea. The kids though were very sceptical about a magic harp just lying around, and ignored it. So ten minutes later it seemed the most natural thing in the world for Dumonin to explain that the thing to stop the Boar rampaging was the harp.
Dumonin’s news that there were going to be four beasts was very exciting for the kids. It also meant that I was going to need to think up a bit more over-arching plot before the next session…