This week’s session centered mostly around what would happen with the forge. We also see the return of Ilsa, the occasionally-present. Her player is currently thinking of making a new character (he finally got a copy of BW Gold, so he might burn up a human for the next time he can make the game).
Ilsa and the Binders
Of the three humans that are visiting the hold two are female. Ilsa decides to go have a chat with them to see what she can learn. She doesn’t quite trust them yet.
She finds Koru standing outside the entrance to their quarters. He’s polite, but he seems a little awkward, like he’s not sure how to act around a female dwarf. After a bit of small talk, Ilsa asks to see the other humans and Koru directs her inside.
Inside the two women are just finishing getting dressed. They’re a little shy at first, but quickly warm to Ilsa. They introduce themselves as Sara and Claire..
They chat a bit and Ilsa finds out that they just have the one room assigned to them, which was why Koru was standing outside while the women were getting ready. Ilsa says she’ll get that remedied by talking to someone. They don’t want her to go to any trouble for them, but she insists.
Ilsa expresses her curiosity as to why they’re here (it’s not common knowledge). The younger one speaks up, excitedly, to say that they’re going to help light the forge by binding a fire spirit like there was before — it’s going to be her first major binding. She talks about how Flint & Kardin had brought them here so the forge could be lit. Ilsa asks a few more questions, becoming increasingly uneasy and eventually excuses herself to go see Grahm.
Flint & Kardin are seeking out the supplies that Koru requested for the binding. There’s all sorts of different things on the list, so they’re having to make the rounds to get everything together. They’re eventually able to get everything together, but not without spending a little more than they were hoping (failed Resources — Gift of Kindness and 1D tax).
With the supplies in tow they return to Koru. He inspects what they bring in and verifies he’s got all he needs. He pushes for when they can complete the binding so that they can get back to their tribe. “Can you be ready tonight?” Flint asks.
“Yes, of course.”
“Perfect. We’ll do it then.”
After talking with Koru, Kardin decides to track down the new “Rutger” that Grahm told Flint about. His primary concern is making sure there’s no loose ends. On the way he tracks down Vern and Marrow, the two dwarfs that were there went Rutger was killed on the way to the human camp.
Kardin finds the dwarf under a drinking tent with a bunch of other forager dwarves, passing drinks around the table. He inserts himself into the circle and takes a drink and stares down Rutger. He looks like Rutger. He sounds like Rutger. There’s no flash of recognition whatsoever in his eyes when he sees Kardin or the two host dwarves with him.
Kardin questions him a bit trying to catch him in a lie, but is unable to do so. This looks and sounds like Rutger in every way, but that’s as far as it goes. Kardin is starting to get frustrated and decides the only thing left to check is for evidence of a scar on his chest where he caved it in with an axe in the forest.
He decides to start a brawl with Rutger. It becomes apparent that he’s quickly outmatched, in strength and skill. Rutger completely throws the fight and lets Kardin put a pretty brutal beating on him, which gains him some sympathy from the onlookers (failed Brawling). Kardin does manage to rip Rutger’s shirt off in the scuffle and finds no evidence of a scar. But his beating of an apparent innocent dwarf (out of game we find out that the “dwarf” has grey-shade strength, so there’s definitely more going on here) earns him a lot of sour looks.
Arak and Koru
Ilsa decides to track down Arak. She wants to get a read on what he thinks of the humans being here. She finds him grabbing a drink at lunch. He seems to be in pretty rough shape — his hair, beard, & uniform are all pretty unkempt. He’s taken the loss of Halel’s interest pretty badly apparently. Ilsa tries to cheer him up a bit, but starts in about what the humans are doing here. Arak seems uninterested at first until she mentions Kardin & Flint. “I might have known Kardin would be involved.”
“I told you! Let’s go talk to them, I want you to see for yourself.”
They go to see the humans and they confirm what Ilsa had told Arak and even point out that they’re planning on doing the binding that night. Arak doesn’t seem too interesting in what the humans are doing until he gets an idea “Wait, if you can do things with spirits can you do things to minds?”
“I, uh. Well, I suppose so. That would be a question for my chief.”
“That’s it, then! Kardin must have had something done to Halel so she would fall in love with him. That’s the only way it makes sense!”
“Arak, what are you talking about, we have to stop the binding. It’s not right. We have to go talk to Grahm!”
They head off to find Grahm, but Arak’s focused on the idea that Kardin has done something to Halel. Or had the humans do something.
Falur the Forge Master
Meanwhile Flint’s been spending some time with the forge workers. It’s been a few days and Falur & Fergus have been totally unsuccessful in lighting the forge (as he knew they would be). The forge workers have been released early for the day. He falls in with them to get their read on the situation. They’re pretty neutral about it. They’re surprised they can’t light the forge, but they’re not going to take an early day for granted.
Along the way Flint starts going on about what kind of Forge Master can’t get a forge lit. It’s not long before someone runs off to tell Falur. “Hell, I could light that forge!”
He shows up a while later to confront Flint.
Falur is obviously pretty frustrated with his failures, especially with Flint calling him out on it.
“You think you can light the forge?”
“I know I can if you’d just give me the chance.”
“Alright, if you can light it, I’ll walk away from being forge master.”
“That’s not what I’m after. I don’t care what you do, I just want to light the forge.”
They argue back and forth and eventually Falur’s stubbornness and Flint’s reasoning wins over the forge workers and artificers that have gathered to watch (successful Coarse Persuasion vs. Persuasion) and the artificers decide to strip Falur of his Forge Master title, giving Flint the room he needs to let the humans bind the fire spirit and light the forge. Flint heads off to the forge to wait for the humans.
Ilsa & Grahm
On the way to Grahm they pass Kardin, unknowingly, in the tunnel — Kardin decides to stay unseen (successful Stealthy test). Kardin goes in to check on Koru and the women. They’re upfront and say Ilsa and Arak had been taking interest in the binding and mentioned going to see Grahm. Kardin thinks it’s best to move up the binding and asks them to go ahead and come along to the forge.
Arak & Ilsa find Grahm and Halel discussing something. Arak’s kind of nervous to see Halel, but Ilsa starts telling Grahm about what she’s found out about the humans. Grahm is pretty blunt with her, “Listen, I’ll be honest. All I care about is getting that forge lit. We need the forge. We need the morale boost and we need the supplies. I don’t really care how it gets lit as long as it gets lit.”
“But to be beholden to humans? They’ll have control of a dwarven forge?”
“I’ll be honest I don’t like that prospect.”
“I heard that Fergus, the Chronicler, thinks the forge could be broken up into something smaller and more manageable. Maybe even multiple forges.”
“That’s an interesting prospect, that might be worth checking out.”
The Fate of the Forge
The forge becomes much more crowded as everyone seems to converge on it. Flint and Fergus immediately start arguing about what to do with the forge. Flint just wants to make sure the forge gets lit, whatever means necessary and Fergus wants it broken up into smaller forges.
“We have to get this forge lit, and the only way to make that happen reliably is to just break it down into something more manageable!”
“Your ideas are as old and outdated as you, Fergus. Give me the night and this forge will be lit and heating up by morning.”
“You don’t know what this forge is capable of, it would be our downfall!”
“You talk in mysteries, Fergus. We need the forge lit, and I have the means to do so!”
In the end Fergus bows under the onslaught of Flint’s words (Duel of Wits with no Body of Argument loss on Flint’s part).
Fergus stalks away, defeated and muttering while the humans begin preparing to summon and bind a spirit to the forge/forge key.
End of Session
We didn’t even get to touch on the spiders. AGAIN. But that’s okay, some great stuff got introduced. Definitely something fishy with the Rutgar clone. Our assumption is some sort of demon, but we really have no idea there. The fire spirit will be summoned and bound — at this point it’s just color. The original plan had been to require some sort of roll on our part to help the humans, but with everything leading up to the DoW climax, the GM didn’t think anything else was necessary.
Next session should begin with a scene of the forge being lit, after which we’ll be able to move on to our little spider problem and probably end another story arc and do a bit of fast-forwarding.