The party: Ori the Construct, Rod the Exile
Rod emerged from secret waterways under the mountains and is wandering through a spooky forest of huge, ancient trees, riding on the bad of his trusty dog Tobit. One particular tree grows on the edge of a small hill, its roots spilling over the edge like a wooden waterfall. The roots start shuddering and splintering. As the roots break, a cavern behind them is revealed, and a strange group emerges:
- 12 Kobold Pokers with shields and spears.
- 12 Kobold Slingers armed with slings.
- A Kobold carrying a stack of large books on a frame backpack.
- A robot made of purple crackling energy and gold metal.
Ori: Hello, we recently arrived. Where are we? Which continent?
Rod: Were you in the waterways?
Ori: I was on the moon. It’s more inhabited than you might think.
Kobolds: We are the Anti Anti Moon Weapon Strike Team!
This lengthy name causes some confusion. See, there’s the Moon. Someone wants to destroy it with some kind of weapon, an Anti-Moon Weapon. The Kobolds won’t stand for that, so they are Anti-Anti-Moon Weapon. The double negative is completely justified! Other explanations and introductions follow. Rod just came through the secret tunnels under the mountains to the East. Those mountains aren’t visible because of the huge, dense forest. Ori and the Kobolds have been sent from the Moon to stop attacks against the Moon, but they don’t know where the attacks are coming from, and they don’t know where they are now. Ori figures that an astronomer or a library with a map would help him on his quest.
While everyone is standing around talking, a fairy flies out of the foliage and steals a ration from Rod’s bag. She zooms up to about ten feet above the ground and taunts Rod as he tries to get the food back. She pulls items out fo the bag, taking a bite and throwing them away in disgust. She flies into the forest and Rod follows, quickly getting lost in the maze of branches and undergrowth. Ori’s half-dead from powering the teleporter, so he has to stay put and use a repair kit instead of assisting Rod.
Rod despairs of regaining his lunch as the fairy makes a show of eating it on a high branch in sight but out of reach. He walks off, not sure where he’s going, and as he walks around a massive tree trunk, he sees someone from his past, poking at something under a bush! Rod grew up in some kind of evil laboratory, and here, in the middle of a forest, far from that awful place, he sees Brigid. Brigid was Rod’s handled, sort of a caretaker, although that word is a euphemism. She was mean and antagonistic, and enjoyed ruining Rod’s day for no reason. Here she is, same clothes, same tightly-braided hair. Rod immediately releases a lethal blast from his shock collar at his bitter enemy! The electricity makes Brigid’s body rapidly jerk into odd positions, but also into different shapes! When the bolt of lightning dissipates, the figure in front of Rod is no longer Brigid, but a suggestion of a humanoid, like something hastily formed from clay. It looks into the trees as if for confirmation, then forms brows to furrow angrily, turns its fists into hammers, and rushes at Rod. Rod dodges out of the way.
Ori and the Kobolds hear the thunderclap and rush to investigate! Ori urges calm and wants to talk about the clay person’s grievances. The clay figure pauses, but a voice from the trees shouts, “No, fool! Don’t listen to him!” Rod looks up and sees an orange-yellow fairy hiding in the branches. This is the one giving orders to the clay figure. More fairies emerge from the forest to join the fight and try to remove Rod’s shock collar. Ori appeals to this newly-reveled leader to end the fight.
Ori: Maybe you could be my master.
The fairy leader, named Marigold, orders the fairies and the clay figure to stop fighting. She and Ori introduce themselves.
Marigold: I’m always ready to accept reverence and obedience. Anyone else want to bow?
Ori clarifies that he hasn’t pledged his service to Marigold yet, but it’s on the table as a start to negotiations. He turns to Rod and tries to pledge to him very quickly, pushing a Talisman of Calling into his hands. Rod is ready to play along.
Rod: How dare you betray me, servant!
Ori: I’m trying to save your life!
Rod leaves. Marigold demands that the Kobolds leave as well, but the Kobolds don’t answer to Ori or Marigold. They won’t be dissuaded from their mission to protect the Moon on behalf of the Dragons! Marigold’s eyes widen. She had forgotten Kobolds, but she remembers Dragons, because she’s one of the Vampires the Dragons built the Moon to fight! She transforms into a large bat and orders her fairies and clay figure to attack the Kobolds!
Rod hears the sounds of combat from afar and activates the Talisman of Calling, teleporting Ori to his side, away from the fighting. Ori doesn’t want to leave the Kobolds to die, so Ori and Rod run back towards the sounds of combat to help. Marigold and the clay figure are fighting the Kobold Pokers, while fairies harry the Kobold Slingers. Rod engages Marigold with his sling and she turns on him. Ori wants to talk the clay figure down, and demonstrates his commitment to de-escalation by diving in between the battling parties, putting himself at great risk. He tells he clay figure that he has served a lot of masters, both good and bad, and that the figure deserves a better master. The figure is convinced and switches sides. Marigold is enraged and swoops in to attack Ori. Ori uses the clay figure’s “Aimless” stat to have it accidentally step in front of Marigold and block her attack. Ori’s still almost dead from powering the teleporter, and he’s between an enraged vampire and a phalanx of spear-wielding Kobolds. It’s too hot! He teleports straight up into the tree canopy.
The fairies steal the Kobold’s manuals and start yelling out instructions at random, throwing the rule-oriented Kobolds into confusion. These volumes are quite large, and Fairies are only 11 inches tall, so each volume is carried between two Fairies. Marigold moves in to attack the scattered Kobolds. Using his advanced sensors, Ori foresees her next move and tells Rod, who intercepts her with a sling bullet. Marigold calls for retreat! The fairies are slow because they are holding heavy books. Rod runs over and grabs the books back from them. They pummel him ineffectively with their tiny fists.
The vampire forces have been repelled! The Kobolds celebrate! Ori glides down from the tree branches now that it’s safe.
Ori: I didn’t expect resistance from Vampires so soon! Where to now, master?
Rod: I thought that was a joke.
Now that there’s time, Ori explains the Anti-Moon Weapon. Someone fired an energy projectile from the Earth to the Moon. Very accurate, but not powerful enough to threaten the whole moon. But that was only the first shot. Who knows what’s coming next? Ori and the Anti-Anti-Moon Weapon Strike Team want to destroy the Anti-Moon Weapon before it becomes a bigger threat. Rod wonders which way they should go. It’s hard to tell from inside the forest. They can’t even see the sky.
Ori: Is there a pressing reason for us not to go back through the tunnels you used?
Rod: I worked hard to get here. So you’re from the Moon?
Ori: Not quite.
Rod: Why don’t you know where you are? Didn’t you aim?
Ori: No, we took a teleporter and the other terminal was in this forest.
The Kobolds are impatient and set off to find and destroy Vampires. They don’t work for Ori, and he doesn’t work for them, so they aren’t concerned about sticking together. Ori and Rod let them go, and wonder how to choose thier own path. Rod enters Ori’s riding pod, and Ori starts climbing trees. If he slips, he glides safely down until he can catch another branch. Eventually, he reaches the canopy and can look around.
- In the distance to the north: a tangle of urban building. Hard to tell from this distance, but they don’t look organized into neat rows.
- To the east: high, steep, scary, snow-covered mountains. These are the mountains that Rod tunneled under to get to this forest.
- To the south: a dead forest. The trees look diseased.
- To the southeast: a mountain with a crack running through it.
Ori: Do you favor caution or swiftness?
Rod: Live your best life. Do what makes you happy.
Ori realizes that he can’t bring the clay figure along with him. Ori forged a Bond with the figure by talking about their shared experience of serving various masters. As long as it has a bond with Ori, it is Ori’s companion and will join the fellowship. If Ori directly causes the figure harm, damaging one of its stats, he will also break a bond. Breaking its only bond will remove it from the fellowship. The figure’s only remaining stat is Nameless, so Ori sends it away by giving it a name!
Ori: Farewell my earthen friend. I name you Seeker. May you know what you are looking for when you find it.
GM note: That’s . . . that’s perfect!
Ori and Rod teleport north to the tangled city. They arrive on top of a tower. An upside down clocktower rising out from the windows of a factory set on it’s side. Buildings of all functions, sizes and styles are piled around them as far as the eye can see at every possible angle.
End of session move: The party restores gear and health.