Dune 2: The Next House

I’ve just finished doing House and Character creation for my new Dune campaign.

As ever a lot of interesting ideas from my players. Some of which I expected, some of which I did not. But plenty of hooks for me to use in my plots. :smiling_imp:

Allow me to present House Sindri

House Minor
Major House: Ezharian
Primary Domain: Industrial Production (High quality rare ores)
Secondary Domain: Science Understanding (Working in extreme environments)
Traits: Extreme Miners, Tenacious

House Sindri hails from the world of Cheruf. A tectonically active world it has many active volcanoes which bring a wealth of rich ores to the surface, though accessing them in such hostile conditions is not an easy task. House Sindri is one of the few who have the knowledge to do so, in fact their founder was the chief engineer for the former House Minor who ran the operations several centuries ago. Until they were all wiped out in a series of suspicious accidents of course.

They have a close relationship with the Spacing Guild due to their being one of the few reliable sources of rare earths that are needed to ensure the continued operation and maintenance of Heighliners. So much so that one of the members of the House, Aria Sindri, is considered an Honorary Consul on Cheruf.

Their relationships with other House Minors on Cheruf are not so close. Many of the other Houses are clustered around the more fertile lands of the extinct volcanoes and so have little in common with House Sindri.

The current ruler is Lord Lucas Sindri. A rather hands-off ruler he prefers to spend time with his long term mistress amidst other distractions, leaving the actual running of the House to his Brother and Uncle.

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Nice work! I love the family tree idea. :clap:

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We have just completed our session 0.5 (first one was online) and the campaign “Dune: The Sindri Chronicles” is now running.

In the Minor House Sindiri on the Planet Cheruf intrigue is afoot.
With the mysterious death in a 'thopter accident of the House Warmaster the players are tasked by the House Seneschal, Armand Sindri, to find out what is behind the accident.
With fractures with in the House beginning to stir, can the players uncover what is happening and what will they do if they succeed?

Cast

Lady Aria Sindri
Younger sister to the Lord and the Guild honorary consul on Cheruf.
The Lady Aria is the diplomatic member of the siblings, soothing over issues and dealing with the Guild to such an extent that they trust her implicitly.
But with intrigues in the House rising to the surface her loyalties may be pulled in more directions than even she can handle.

Drives

  • Duty: 8 (I know my responsibilities)
  • Faith: 4
  • Justice: 7 (Family First)
  • Power: 6 (I get what I want)
  • Truth: 5

Skills

  • Battle: 5
  • Communicate: 6 (Diplomacy, Persuasion)
  • Discipline: 5
  • Move: 6 (Logistics)
  • Understand: 6 (Linguistics)

Talents

  • Binding Promise
  • Guildsman
  • Dual Fealty

Kaeo Vriani
The newly promoted Strategist to House Sindri. With the Warmasters death things are shifting in the House. Can the mentat Kaeo manage to handle her new responsibilities even as she uncovers fissures within it’s very structure?

Drives

  • Duty: 7 (The House will endure, no matter the sacrifices that need to be made)
  • Faith: 4
  • Justice: 5
  • Power: 6 (The price of power is vigilance)
  • Truth: 8 (The truth will always be uncovered, no matter how many lies it is buried under)

Skills

  • Battle: 7 (Tactics)
  • Communicate: 4
  • Discipline: 6 (Observation)
  • Move: 5
  • Understand: 7 (Data Analysis)

Talents

  • Improvised Weapon
  • Mind Palace
  • Putting Theory into practice

Carolyn
The Suk doctor of the House. Trusted to minister to the very highest in the House, but what will she uncover in the body of the Warmaster and does it have a connection to a death in her past?

Drives

  • Duty: 8 (See no harm comes to those in my care)
  • Faith: 5
  • Justice: 6 (Justice comes to all in the end)
  • Power: 4
  • Truth: 7 (Some secrets should stay that way)

Skills

  • Battle: 4
  • Communicate: 6 (Neurolinguistics)
  • Discipline: 6 (Precision)
  • Move: 5
  • Understand: 7 (Psychiatry, Infectious diseases)

Talents

  • Imperial Conditioning
  • Subtle Step
  • Rigorous Control

Bastion
A quiet man who always appears to be in the background. Bastion has been devoted to the House since it accepted him after his fathers exile. He will not betray that trust, but to who exactly should it be owed?

Drives

  • Duty: 8 (I owe everything to the House)
  • Faith: 5
  • Justice: 6 (Support our allies, harass out foes)
  • Power: 4
  • Truth: 7 (Strategy requires facts, not assumptions)

Skills

  • Battle: 4
  • Communicate: 5
  • Discipline: 7 (Espionage, Infiltration)
  • Move: 6 (Unobtrusive)
  • Understand: 6 (Data Analysis)

Talents

  • Subtle Step
  • Hidden Motives
  • Passive Scrutiny

I still have the final players character to finish, but she wasn’t able to make it tonight.

  • The daughter of the dead Warmaster. Can she find the truth while fighting the grief of losing her mother? Her insight may be crucial, if she can ever truly grasp it.

This character will technically break the rules by having the talent Failed Navigator while not being part of the Spacing Guild. The reasoning behind this is that they were considered for training but washed out of the program. House Sindri’s close ties allowed her to return there but she is considered something of an embarrassment by many in the Guild who would rather such a loose end was tidied up.

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Seems like a solid cast with well developed drive statements. I’d love to see updates on your campaign!

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Carry on posting updates as id love to know how it unfolds!

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First Proper session tonight.
I’ll update on how it goes but in the meantime one of my players drew the House symbol. :slight_smile:

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I love that! Kudos to the artist!

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The story begins…

The players met with the House Seneshal, Armand Sindri, the uncle to the current Lord. He was concerned that the recent 'thopter crash that killed the House Warmaster was not the accident that it was being attributed to. He asked his niece, Lady Aria, to quietly investigate the circumstances and identify if there was a threat to the House that would need to be dealt with.

The party immediately split themselves (of course :pensive:) with some investigating the crash site and others going to where the debris and body had been taken.
The pair at the crash site quickly determined that a set of the 'thopters wings had come away in mid-flight and landed separately. The mentat did become confused by all the recovery vehicle tracks however (rolled a natural 20) and proceeded to spend a lot of time studying their tracks and is convinced a non-house vehicle was present.
Meanwhile Lady Aria and the Suk doctor Carolyn investigated the Warmasters body, determining that the cause of death was blunt force trauma from the crash. Toxicology results were uncertain though (Another complication!) with the request possibly tipping off someone that investigations were ongoing (2 threat added to my pool).

With the party reassembled they studied the remains of 'thopter and Obtained Information with their previous momentum to identify that:

  • An explosion from within blew off a set of the wings causing the 'thopter to crash suddenly killing the Warmaster.
  • This was an unplanned trip with the Warmaster heading to the Lords estate without warning and when no other members of the House would be present.
  • The charges came from within House stockpiles held in the palace armouries.

Returning to the palace they narrowed the time that the sabotage could have taken place to within the hour before the Warmaster left. This gave them a short list of suspects who would have been alone or unnoticed on the 'Thopter pad.

  • Galen Sindri (The Lords brother)
  • Lady Olivia Sindri (The Lords BG trained wife)
  • Pelias Sindri (The Lords Heir)
  • Captain Anita Kovak (The Lords eldest illegitimate child)

Some further investigation also revealed that Warmaster had been investigating the House mining operations. Someone has been tinkering with the financial records and the Warmaster had been spending a lot of time at various mining operations investigating something.

We called it at that point, with the reveal of a plot within the House. But what the Warmaster had uncovered and who sabotaged their 'thopter still unknown… :smiling_imp:

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Cracking stuff, what a start to a murder mystery! How long did that session take, and how often are you planning on running your sessions?

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We started a bit later than usual so this session was probably just under 2 hours.
Normally we would aim for about 3 hours once a week.

We used to do 6 hour sessions once upon a time before children. :sleepy:

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Yeah… I’ve got that problem now, and my gaming group play a wide variety of games, so I might be lucky for once month!

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Another investigation focussed session this week. Though the party splitting up almost entirely did slow things down. Will have to try and keep them together more in future.

They decided to pay a surprise visit to one of the mining operations that the late Warmaster had been interested in.
Flying in for an inspection unannounced and putting the frightners up the local garrison commander.

While Bastion and Carolyn slipped off to investigate the clinic and offices the Lady Aria and Kaeo met with the site manager, Jiro Naver, to find out the official side of things.
Jiro was very accommodating and known to be a rising star in the House due to some backing from higher up. Whilst he did his best to distract the party Kaeo dug up some evidence that funds that should have been invested for safety and equipment were being diverted to a project elsewhere.
Lady Aria insisted on a tour of the facilities, which was arranged though with heavier security than would be expected.

Meanwhile Bastion and Carolyn were getting stuck in with the locals. Literally in the Suks case as she helped out the local docs when a group of badly injured miners were brought in after another accident. This won her the trust of the docs and she was invited along when they went to grab food and help out at a local church.
At the church the local priest, Father Ontoya, was helping out the locals with food & clothing. Then starting up a sermon on how the locals were being taken advantage of & how the House demanded of them, but didn’t give back what was deserved. It didn’t take long for the crowd to be riled up and decide to take out their frustrations on the local dignitaries convoy that the priest somehow knew the route of…

Despite knowing of the attack ahead of time they decided to let it go off and use the resulting riot and embarrassment of the site manager to manipulate the situation.
Providing funds for the widows of those miners who had died in accidents and ensuring that repercussions for the riot were mild the Lady Aria managed to gain a reputation of caring for the people who had come to believe the House was ignoring them.

They had now gathered more than enough evidence that Jiro was embezzling funds on behalf of someone else in the House to take him down.
naturally they left him in position so as to not tip their hand that they knew things were happening. Why take out the pawn when they are aiming at the chess master?

As to Father Ontoya? They may be visiting a friend in House Karasu soon to find out more about the monastery he claimed to be from…

The players are still building up their understanding of what they are up against. Though now that they have started to find some of the strings the people they are connected to may start noticing their actions and take steps themselves.

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Great wrap up of your session. Looking forward to seeing how it progresses :slightly_smiling_face:

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The next session started with some follow up on what they had found at the mining operations and setting in place plans for the future.
The Strategist discussed what they had found in the finances with the House Mentat. And rolled a 19 & 20. (This started a series of bad rolls for the player this session) Both of them now couldn’t understand what they had as none of the accounts were matching up. Cue the Strategist ignoring a growing commotion as she tried to get to the bottom of things.

The growing commotion was due to Bastion finding that a couple of local rich boys had gotten into a fight the night before and been killed. One of them had an unregistered House Sindri access card in his purse and the other ones purse was missing.
This led to some tracking of the gang that had attacked them and the discovery that they were tearing the city apart trying to find one of their missing gang members who had apparently fled with something of great value to them.
Our 'thopter pilot decided to go looking for information in the bar that the rich boys had been in. Eventually getting themselves kidnapped by the gang when they let slip that they worked in the Palace.

This then led to my attempting an espionage conflict turning into a warfare scene as the gang and House forces both tried to find the gang member & keep/retrieve the pilot.
It was partially successful. The players had fun (which is always the most important thing) but I’m pretty sure I tripped over some of the rules in places and there was a fair amount of confusion. (Both in game and out :laughing:)
It ended up shifting from Espionage to Warfare fairly quickly with a separate skirmish kicking off down at the South Gate transit hub where an enemy agent who had been waiting for the gang was discovered and after a brief fight with Bastion fled the scene.

It eventually ended with the players successfully getting the asset back to the Palace and the 'thopter pilot not only escaping her captors but killing off a car load of them in the process.
Analysis of the cards has revealed that they are master key cards for an unknown Pentashield door, somewhere in the Sindri family estate.
The doors are manufactured by House Dhal, but who created the key cards is currently unknown…

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We have the final character!

Lethe Driscol
The daughter of the dead Warmaster. Her memory of the past is hazy, but she knows that it was related to a secret mission for her mother. Is what she was doing related to the current situation the House finds itself in?

Drives

  • Duty: 7 (All I have is the Family)
  • Faith: 8 (I’m sure my mother had a plan)
  • Justice: 5
  • Power: 4
  • Truth: 6 (I will find out who I was)

Skills

  • Battle: 7 (Evasive Action)
  • Communicate: 5 (Charm)
  • Discipline: 4
  • Move: 7 (Pilot)
  • Understand: 5 (Smuggling)

Talents

  • Failed Navigator
  • Subtle Step
  • Unquestionable Loyalty

The party began the session trying to save the life of their captive asset who had been poisoned with an insidious double poison. While the Suk doctor failed to save his life they were able to connect the poisoning to one from several years ago which targeted a bad influence on the Lord. Someone no one was sad to see die, but very few people would have had access to at the Family Estate.

As so many connections seemed to tie to the Estate the players followed up some leads there. Identifying the Pentashield door that the master keys accessed. Though before they could gather more information the Strategist accidently wiped the doors memory. (Seriously how many 20s can 1 player roll? She has switched out her dice after this)
In order to throw off any suspicions Lady Aria continued on to a liaison with her lover from House Karasu. Setting the staff gossiping but concealing that the rest of the group had disappeared off to the project where the diverted funds had been going.

Bastion snuck around and acquired plans for the building as well as noting that a mysterious group were apparently basing themselves out of the site for some reason. Having no interaction with the rest of the staff who had been instructed to leave them alone on pain of death.
Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour Bastion left a deeper investigation on them to one side for now.

At the final scene some investigations that the Strategist had set in play early finally came to fruition. Revealing that a lot of House military equipment had been quietly signed out to ghost regiments over the past 6 months and was no-where to be found.
Signed out by the Warmaster herself…

  • While all this seems to be fairly dry investigative gaming we are coming to the end of the initial opening of the game. The main plot lines have been laid (even if they have not always been recognised) and it is now open season on how the players react to the events of schemes they have started to uncover.
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Short session as we needed to see Dune at the IMAX (Priorities)

The players mostly spent the session piecing together all the plots and threads that they had identified in the previous sessions and coming up with theories about what the missing pieces were.
They have now realised that the Warmaster was building a hidden army. What they don’t know is why. Their current top 3 theories:

  • The Warmaster needed a deniable force for a dangerous mission against an external enemy
  • The Warmaster was working with someone within the House to perform a coup
  • The Warmaster was about to go rogue and take over the House (Considered unlikely)

Bastion and Kaeo followed up the missing weaponry and tracked them down to a research facility on the coast where House Sindri and House Tethys have been working on a joint underwater mining project.
Noting a higher than normal injury rate for a research facility the Suk doctor pulled some strings and arranged for the local medical facility to request her assistance, giving them cover to go there and infiltrate the rest of the base.

While this was being arranged the Lady Aria paid a visit to her brother, Gallen, to discuss the irregularities they found at the mining operations.
He was clearly shocked that someone had been misappropriating funds, especially when he revealed that Lord Lucas was building a new estate. Putting 2+2 together they realised that the Lord was behind some of misappropriation so he could get a shiny new house, though it didn’t explain who else Bastion had seen there.
Gallen several times expressed his annoyance and distaste at Lucas and the Heir Pelias. Believing them to be risking the House with their behaviour. Carlos, the younger son, might be worthwhile and Gallen was considering having Carlos work with him to try and instil some sense of Duty into the boy.

While Gallen and Aria traded family gossip she learned that a marriage proposal was being seriously considered from a House minor with close links to the Lady Olivia’s former House. Gallen did not approve, but Aria was willing to entertain it with some changes to the marriage agreement.

Aria also let slip that the Warmaster’s death had not been an accident. That definitely drew Gallens attention and concern. Upon Aria leaving he insisted that she keep him in the loop about what she found out.

Next session: the infiltration of the Research facility.

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So my players are deciding to hold fast to the whole avoid combat where possible. This episode was slightly more comedic than the previous ones due to some choices early one, but also managed to have one of the best character/NPC interactions so far.

Using the invitation to the Suk doctor the party headed down to the Alnor Bay Research Facility. The first surprise came when the Air traffic controllers welcomed Captain Lethe Driscol back (made more amusing by the fact the player wasn’t present)
As they hadn’t mentioned that Lady Aria would be accompanying them the aide who came to collect the Suk didn’t realise who she was. This was the start of a long running trend.
Discussing matters with the Chief Doctor, Aysha Lang, they discovered that she had been handling a lot more injuries that were being listed as bar room fights, but to the parties eyes looked more like training injuries. The facilities were also better equipped and supplied than you would expect for a simple research facility.

With the Suk, Caroline, keeping attention firmly on her the party split up to search for clues.
Bastion infiltrated the Administrative block and found that records were being doctored to hide the number of people who were coming through the base.
Kaeo took a stroll round the facility studying the people. She swiftly identified a pair that had the distinctive gait of House Tethys marines. In itself not too suspicious, they knew that House Tethys did have researchers here as well. But these marines immediately seemed suspicious of her and we had a tense moment of watching each other for the first move. At which point the player remembered that she wasn’t certain of where Lady Aria was…

Lady Aria had been taking full advantage of the fact that as no-one was expecting her she wasn’t being recognised. Taking herself off to the local dive bar to try and find out if the rumours of fights were accurate she found herself being hit on by two of the local staff. Finding this amusing she played along, all three getting steadily more drunk until Kaeo burst in and extricated her with the promise that they would meet up with the locals the following day.
Up until this point they had been a very useful source of information about how peaceful the base was and how there were no fights.

The following day, nursing a hangover and amused by the fact that Lady Aria had been bunked in with Kaeo while Carolyn got the good suite they headed to a meeting with the Facility Director, Ojah Solidar, who also failed to recognise Lady Aria. (Seriously I don’t think I rolled below a 12 on any of the attempts)
Only appointed about 12 months ago (a common period for a lot of subtle changes occurring in the House) he was initially dismissive of the reports of injuries. Waving it away as part of the staff blowing off steam in a high pressure work environment.
As Kaeo became more challenging he became more aggressive in his defence, leading to some wonderful RP between the player and I, culminating in Kaeo dramatically revealing that the person he had dismissed as a mere aide was actually the Lady Aria herself.
Rallying, he maintained his defensive arguments, but the characters were able to spot that he was Loyal to House Sindri but covering up for someone in the Family, most likely his direct superior, Gallen.

Due to Aria’s meeting with the Spacing Guild Envoy the following day they decided to head back, but not before taking a wide route to see if they could spot any encampments set up near the facility that might be concealing additional personnel.



So once again my players swerve my plans. I had intended for them to sneak into the facility and uncover shenanigans like an armoury and maybe plans, but it was not to be. We got a good session out of it and I have some notes and detailed maps which I may be able to reuse elsewhere.
I was able to present the overall facility map at least.

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I really like your maps are you using a designer or making them yourself?

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Heh, my map making skills aren’t that good. :joy:

The map of Irkalla was from one of the online city generators. You can change names on it and manipulate it around.
I then added the images which came from various web searches and put on the links between them to show how they connected. (And by I what I mean is my wife who is a decent artist unlike me)

The Alnor Bay map is a butchered version of the Hatfield Marine Science Centre.
I have a whole stack of stuff like this in folders on my PC for the various games I run. My TORG campaign has a massive stack of maps, images and sundry handouts I use to help sell the plot.

I used to use photoshop, but it’s now some fancier version that my wife got. I use about 2% of its functions. Paint would probably be as good for my level. :grin:

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After a gap of a couple of sessions due to badly timed illness we met back up again. This time for a slight diversion I’d wanted to run, though it still tied in to the main plot.

Lethe used her Failed Navigator talent to try and identify where the forces that they had identified being supplied from Alnor Bay were based. A hat pin to a map landed on a flat plateau not far from the base, but the party felt that the meeting with the Spacing Guild Envoy was more important so put off investigating this until later.

Lady Aria met with the Guild Envoy Samana at the palace and was given a request from the Guild to meet with the new ruler of House Sors and escort him and his people to a Guild Heighliner. A War of Assassins between House Sors and House McDaniel had gone badly for them and he was looking to trade the House Atomics for sanctuary on Tupile.
While the Guild was open to this they did not want to tip their hand before the Count and the Atomics were safe. As a trusted 3rd party the Lady Aria could enter the situation and be gone before anyone realised what was happening.
A bit of digging by the party revealed that the war between Houses Sors and McDaniel had turned increasingly bitter in recent years. Resulting in the deaths of most of the noble children of House McDaniel in a fuel lighter ‘accident’ and the House McDaniel subsequently throwing almost all the resources into the fight and invading the homeworld of House Sors, Sahabi.

As time was tight the party ‘borrowed’ a couple of space lighters from the Sindri transport department (“It is better to ask forgiveness than permission”) and departed to Sahabi at once.
When they arrived the spaceport control told them they were early and directed them to a specified docking bay. A bay which held a large consignment of weapons all apparently paid for by House Sindri.
The foreman misidentified Lethe as her mother (Amusingly the player had said she was wearing her mothers coat and symbols as part of a different plan she had been considering) and had her sign receipt of the cargo so it could be loaded.

While some of the party remained to supervise the weapons being loaded Lady Aria, Carolyn and Bastion left for their rendevouz with the Count.
Bastion did some investigations along the way and found out there were several groups searching the port and being generous with their bribes and threats. Naturally this led to the player adding a few rumours to the mix and getting paid for them.

Count Marcus Sors was holed up in another bay with what was left of his intelligence force which he had been in command of before his sudden elevation to the Countship when the other contenders were killed in the war.
He expressed a fair amount of distain about the former House leadership, accusing them of being idiots in their decisions. But he carried out the orders, even if some of them ended up causing this whole mess.
A large case of shigawire reels containing the locations and details of the House Atomics was handed over to Lady Aria. The Count described it as literally everything in the House vault, he wasn’t even sure exactly how many were in it, he just cleared the place out. The decryption codes would be handed over once he and his people were safe about the Heighliner.

It was at this point that matters began to accelerate as the searching groups got closer to the party and their new companions.
A fight erupted as they made their way through the port to where their lighters were. Lethe piloting the first one out of it’s bay as House McDaniel commandos blew through into it.
The second one laid down covering fire as Lady Aria, Carolyn and the Count raced for it closely followed a fully shielded woman hurling curses and threats of vengeance at the Count.

Whilst they were able to take off without most of their pursuers at least one made it aboard and immediately threw herself at the Count in a fury.
After a short brutal battle she was eventually taken down by Kaeo using a tranquiliser coated hair pin supplied by Carolyn.
The Count advised disposing of her via an airlock, someone carrying that much thirst for revenge wasn’t likely to give up simply because he will be out of her reach. The players weren’t quite willing to kill her in cold blood and so decided to keep her drugged, drop her off at a safe location and be somewhere else when she woke up.

As agreed the Count handed over the decryption codes for the shigawire reels before he left to Guild security.
The players were now left holding the locations and access codes for a Major House’s Atomic stockpiles. Along with the knowledge that no-one was certain exactly how many were in there.
A spirited discussion erupted as to whether they should hand them all over to the Guild or if some should happen to ‘go missing’.
Despite Kaeo being very tempted to acquire at least one Atomic the call came down that they would hand them all over to the Guild. Lady Aria did not want hidden Atomics as a Minor House nor did she wish to betray the Guild.


Phew, we packed a lot more into this episode. Possibly to make up for the unexpected gap in games.
After an eventful side trip the players are now owed a favour by the Guild and also have a sizeable stockpile of weapons. They also have a lot more questions over who ordered them and where they were heading.
Oh, and a member of House Major who may not know who they are yet, but does know that Count Sors escaped her vengeance with their assistance…

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