Friday, February 1, 2013

The Path of Kane - A Solomon Kane Actual Play Volume 1

 In partial anticipation of resuming some of these games, and partially so that I can archive them on the blog "just in case", I'm gonna post some more of my Savage Worlds actual plays. Most of these are from circa 2009, but me and my one Solomon Kane player have talked about resuming it, and thanks to actually having these actual plays, we can pick up where we left off. Anyway, enjoy.

The Path of Kane

Set-up: So my friend Tommy wants to play Solomon Kane, and has bugged me for a couple of weeks about making a character. I relent, and he starts making a rich, foul-tempered sorcerer named Jonathon Winthorpe. A whim strikes me, and I make his twin sister – Christina Winthorpe, and NPC Wild Card fencer, and their Extra allies: Roger Therrien, their butler and Tenzan, a samurai sworn to protect them. Each had encounter Solomon Kane in their past. When Jonathon was younger and on a daring adventure, he stumbled into a cave where he encountered a rat the size of a small cow! Solomon Kane saved him from that rat. Kane also rescued Christina after she was kidnapped by hooligans who wanted to ransom her back to her family. She watched Kane dismantle a dozen men, fighting with two blades at once, and was forever awed. Tenzan was pulled from certain fiery death by Kane, who walked fearlessly through a blaze to rescue the trapped warrior. Roger doesn’t like to speak of Solomon Kane and his connection, however.

The four have been sharing mysterious dreams, and have found themselves drawn to the small village of Torkertown…

[Note: Spoilers for the Path of Kane plot-point will certainly follow.]

Arriving in Torkertown late in the afternoon, the Winthorpe party passes a funeral as well as a grieving woman in black, whose belongings are being loaded onto a cart.

Passing the cemetery, they can’t help but notice that several of the graves are very fresh.

Coming to the local inn, The Lamb, the Winthorpe party heads inside, seeing the patrons all sullen and quiet. Jonathon scoffs and asks what the drab cloud over the town is, but his attitude rather puts off the innkeep. Christina has a little more luck, and they discover that local merchant John Prestwick passed on the other night…and he’s the fourth such to do so. All were found dead, pale as a sheet.

Jonathon’s curiosity is piqued, and he inquires about libraries or town records, and the innkeep directs him to the church, a Protestant church overseen by Rev. Jeffrey Timothy.

Jonathan sets out immediately, and meets with the Reverend…though that quickly goes nowhere as once more, Jonathan’s attitude sours things for him. Reverend Timothy instead directs him to Squire Hardwicke’s estate, and Jonathan actually runs into Hardwicke on the streets. Claiming to be writing a book, Jonathan tries to get Hardwicke to cooperate with his investigation, but Hardwicke refuses to work with a sensationalist.

Rebuffed at every turn, Jonathan returns to the inn and tells his much more personable sister to see what she can’t learn.

As Roger, Jonathon and Tenzan are sitting down for a meal, Christina returns with news from the Squire that Hardwicke ruled the deaths to be caused by alcohol. She can tell something else is up, but she can’t say what.

Roger politely rises and asks Jonathan to accompany him to the Squire’s home, where he forces his way inside when Hardwicke opens the door. Roger quickly Intimidates the missing information from Hardwicke: That all the bodies were covered with tiny puncture wounds. Hardwicke relents and allows Jonathon to search all the records he has on the town. Scanning the reports, records and details, Jonathon discovers all the deaths are linked by certain things: namely state of the bodies and that all were merchants, and he can’t help but notice that a Roger Ivens, another merchant, died a month earlier, falling to his death in his home. Hardwicke does mention that the lot of them were known to gather socially.

Leaving the Squire’s house, they see Christina and Tenzan exiting the church, and Christina tells her brother that the Reverend was going on about puncture wounds and drained blood…Jonathon says that Squire Hardwicke says much the same…and Christina says that the Reverend believes the town is under assault by a vampire! The Winthorpe party heads to the cemetery with Reverend Timothy to exhume the body of Roger Ivens! Jonathan is BESIDE himself when his sister and Tenzan begin doing the digging, and only gets worse when Roger joins in. He finally decides to be useful when they strike the coffin, and begins whittling a stake as Tenzan draws his katana.

Christina slowly pulls the coffin open…and Jonathon nearly loses it, while Roger stumbles away in horror: At the rotting corpse. Just to be safe, at Jonathon’s suggestion Christina stakes it and chops off its head anyway.

The four decide to pay a visit to the Widow Ivens, waking her in the middle of the night. They do find out from her that her husband was swindled by his friends and a fifth man, Alfred Dawlish! She vehemently denies playing a role in their deaths however, claiming only that she did visit each of the four merchants to plead for a loan and was rebuked. The Winthorpe party quickly moves to the Dawlish home, where they find the master of the house is actually expected to be returning tonight, by the cemetery road!

Hurrying to intercept him, they find a scream FROM the cemetery, where Dawlish has been cornered by a creeping red mist! Christina, Tenzan and Roger move in, drawing their weapons, but none can find purchase in the cloud! Jonathon spots a tendril snaking from Ivens’ grave to the cloud and begins casting a spell on his kodachi, attempting to enchant it, but failing.

The cloud creeps toward Dawlish, who is paralyzed with fear, but also begins to feed on Christina! She snaps out of the attack with a vengeance, and strikes the cloud, somehow harming it! Jonathon again attempts to enchant his blade, and again fails. As he finally casts the spell, the enraged Christina lashes into the middle of the cloud and somehow disperses it!

Dawlish thanks the Winthorpes repeatedly for saving his life, and Jonathan immediately takes that gratitude and turns it around on Dawlish (with a little backup from Roger) as they point out that ugly things can are spawned by greed, and those things don’t necessarily die.

Jonathon convinces Dawlish that until he makes retribution to the Widow Ivens that the red cloud could well return, and they wouldn’t be there to save him again! Dawlish tearfully agrees and says he will make it as right as he can this very evening!

That night, while sleeping, all four are visited in their sleep by N’Longa, who tells them that they have been touched by the Path of Kane, and now a beast, no The Beast is rising…The Beast has many names…Satan, Apep, The World Serpent, and he tells them to seek out six gems of power, scattered around the world…

Notes: My friend really wanted to play Solomon Kane, and I came up with the NPC ideas for his character, so we decided to play a game after finishing our Deadlands game earlier in the day. Since I had nothing else to go off of, I ran the first adventure in the Plot Point game and my friend loved it to death, so now I’ll PROBABLY be running THIS on and off as well.

In other games, he plays Socks (Necessary Evil), Tontchay (Deadlands: Crooked Branch) and Jubae (Deadlands: Shanghai West) so it is kinda cool seeing him play something I’ve never seen him do before: A Rich, Mean Sorcerer. The twin NPC and the Samurai are there to do the heavy lifting in combat, while Roger is an Intimidation monster and not much more.