Arms of the Chosen Playtest #3

We got the gang together again at Travis’ apartment. He’s a professional cook, and despite his awful hangover he whipped up some really amazing okayu for us. When we eventually got started, we picked up at the end of the previous session, with the farms behind the shrine under attack by unknown enemies.

While Icas and Ro were doing helpful things like warning the locals of the attack and trying to organize a fire brigade, Clovis went back to his room and donned his armor, because damned if he was going to charge in unarmored and get killed just to rescue a few additional farms and/or farmers. I mean, these things happen, right? By the Storyteller’s whim, all three of us managed to get organized for battle at the same time. I gave Ro a hand up so she could sit behind me on my horse, while Icas rode alongside on his magic deer.

As we descended the slope, we saw a pale, spear-wielding rider clad in furs emerge from the night and smoke, leading a horde of crudely armed and accoutered reavers. He directed his forces with orders barked in an unfamiliar tongue, punctuated by drubbings administered to those insufficiently vigorous in their pursuit of battle. At his instruction, half of his force drew swords and advanced, while the other half readied bows and sent volleys of arrows raining down on us as we approached.

From "Elric: The Balance Lost #3"

“Blood and souls! Blood and souls for my lady Mara!”

The initial charge went poorly for us. The arrow storm drained our combat momentum, as did our initial collision with the melee battle group. Spurred on by the enemy commander—who killed one of his own men to clarify the depth of his intent—the archers targeted us with another volley. Though the enemy swordsmen were caught by the barrage, wounding many, we’d lost nearly all of our combat momentum. Ro in particular had been left sufficiently vulnerable that the next volley would turn her into a pincushion.

Then Clovis unleashed his combat prowess. His sword sang as he slaughtered two dozen men in a span of seconds. Already reeling from their compatriots’ arrows, the enemy swordsmen broke before his assault and began to flee the field.

At this point, Ro unlocked one of the powers of her blade, calling forth a cloud of mist that engulfed the battle around us. Icas pulled her from Clovis’ horse onto the back of his own deer, and the two rode off into the fog to harass the archers with little fear of a concerted counteroffensive. Meanwhile, Clovis turned his horse to where he’d last seen the enemy commander, and fought his way through the archers until he reached his foe.

The end of the battle was quick and brutal. As Icas and Ro dispersed the remaining archers, Clovis laid into the enemy leader with a barrage of Charm-enhanced attacks. The effort exhausted him, however, leaving him with little willpower and absolutely no Essence.

At the end of the session, Clovis hung back at the edge of the mist while Icas escorted Ro to the battle-lines of the shrine’s priests—who had organized too late to participate in the battle—to speak to her father, who was none too pleased to discover that his daughter was Anathema. There was quite a bit of social influence bouncing around the table at that point, but I had to head home at that point and missed out on the conclusion.

The new mechanics for Clovis’ sword Evocations ran smoothly. They felt like Evocations rather than Charms, and they were cost-efficient, appealing options to spend motes on in play without stepping on the toes of the Solar Melee charmset. Only one of the low-level Evocations still needed revision, and I look forward to testing it out at our next game.

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