Our situations were pulled from the God-Kings of War Oracle:
The mutiny and revolt of a prestigious cavalry company.
A great army's marching orders, passwords, and signals, and the unfortunate aide who lost them.
A hard-won victory with many dead on both sides.
A bitter and unseasonable cold, caused by warring elementals.
Zohar the unfortunate aide, played by Andy
Drago the opportunistic throatslitter, played by Jere
Ekurzakir the warring elemental, played by Josh
Arman the dead soldier, NPC
Kalin the officer, NPC
Foom, the warring elemental, NPC
Shanda, the mutiny leader, NPC
Kalin disgraces Zohar for losing the marching orders, passwords, and signals, and plans to execute him. Zohar, however, convinces Kalin to let him take his sword and try to regain his dignity by killing the mutinous cavalry's leader who turned against them mid-battle.
Drago is looting the bodies of dead soldiers when is confronted by Arman, who wishes to kill him for desecrating the bodies of his fallen brethren. The struggle and Drago escapes.
Drago returns to Shanda's camp where the celebrate, torturing and humiliating the former cavalry captain. Motivated by greed, Drago tries to convince Shanda to ride on Kalin's camp and kill the remnants of their battered forces. Shanda agrees to let Drago take a dozen horsemen with him to kill them himself.
As corpses freeze and crackle around them, Ekurzakir and Foom argue and insult each other, clearly tired of several centuries spent exclusively in each other's company. Foom leaves in a huff.
Zohar walks across the battlefield with the intent to kill Shanda. He comes across Arman, a fallen comrade. Arman tries to convince Zohar to stay with him and guard the carrion field with him, watching over the bodies of their dead sword-brothers. Zohar promises that when he kills Shanda he will come back and stay with him.
Drago rides across the battlefield with the horseman and comes upon a towering ice creature - Ekurzakir in one of his elemental forms. Ekurzakir sees that Drago is wearing a necklace that he seeks and takes it back while Drago freezes to the ground. Drago pleads with Ekurzakir not to leave him, but the elemental is unmoved.
Drago hears the voice of Arman who taunts the freezing soldier before slitting his throat. In his final moments, Drago is inspired to lead a better life, and then dies.
Ekurzakir finds Foom and tricks him into wearing the necklace. The necklace burns with the light of the sun and Foom melts. Ekurzakir is pleased and leaves.
Zohar comes upon Shanda's camp. He tries to fight his way through the sentries but they tackle him to the ground. Shanda, amused, agrees to fight him one-on-one. In one of the most brutal fights I think I've ever described in a roleplaying game, Shanda gets her eye gouged out a chunk of her leg hacked off. Zohar gets his arm dislocated, a broken nose, a tooth knocked out, and a sword driven through his back before Shanda shoves her fist down his throat and suffocates him. As she's lifted upright by her men, Shanda cries.
The game worked really well. The rules are simple, and the negotiation system let us come to some agreements about some cool resolutions. In the final scene Shanda was dominating the conflict and we hit negotiations and Andy said, "I'll offer Zohar's death if Shanda is emotionally affected by it." Bam. Awesome.
The elementals were a weird sort of comic relief, which I think made it even more horrifying when Ekurzakir casually killed a dozen men for a necklace and left Drago to die. And then went back to bickering with Foom before tricking him. I thought it was awesome how this story about pissy elementals totally fucked up Drago's shit.
It was a lot of fun. The stories were kind of seperate and I felt a little worried when Jere stated reading Burning Empires during someone else's scene, but it wasn't too bad. Josh left because he had to go to work early immediately after Ekuzakir's story concluded, but I think we were all invested in the fight between Zohar and Shanda. I really want her to come back sometime as this remorseful, one-eyed, limping warrior woman. She really was the most hardcore character in the whole session.
Ekurzakir and Drago went on the Owed List, so we'll see them again. This was the end of Zohar's story, though.
Badass. This is, from now on, my go-to pick-up game. We played in two hours and it was such a cool session. And it really was a wicked age.