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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Babes in London: From the Beginning… Again



Part of the process will be to go back over each part of the adventure, give it another edit, and see if it needs any tweaks I missed because I was too close to the project to notice. In a published adventure, there are usually a few neat things before this, such as an overview of the modules and rewards, but I’m leaving them out until I’ve finished they can be completed—which, of course, is around the time the adventure is completed. Look for them at the end of the process.

Background:

In the mythic age, the rise of taint led to madness amongst those of the race of dragons, and a rift between these and other creatures of the age. While entire broods lost their souls and minds to the insinuating evil, other broods escaped and began to research how the threat might be defeated. One such brood was known as the Lawgiver’s Brood.
Led by a dragon who had been known to take the form an Albion druid, an Atlantean lawgiver, and an Erebean Unicorn Maid, the brood also included a powerful seer known as the Seer of Cathach in Albion, the Lady of the Bower in Arcadia, and Shefru, Temple Dancer of Prophecy, in Keheb. It was this seer who learned that the main form of salvation for the dragons would be in magical items that would prolong their resistance to taint until such a time as the means of taint’s destruction could be found. To this end, the brood used the talents of one of its members, Havram the Gardner, to delve into the secrets of the plants, and to create places of karmic refuge, while another of its members, Lewistrom the Smith sought finer methods of crafting in which to incorporate the magic of the last member of the brood, Shillealagh.
Their research led the brood throughout the world, traveling along the leylines, and exploring the pooled power to be found where such lines met. In Keheb, it led them into direct conflict with the cult whose members called themselves the Servants of Set. In time, their conflict led to the cult sending assassins after them until they could find no peace in which to follow their research—or they would have found no peace if it hadn’t been for another small brood of dragons, the PCs’ brood, which happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Having encountered the cult, this brood set itself the task of eliminating the cult from the land, enabling the Lawgiver’s brood to return to its research. What items the Lawgiver’s brood discovered, and whether or not it had begun down a path that would lead to the final destruction of taint is unknown, for magic was bled from the world before the brood members had decided to share what they had found.
Now, like all dragons, the brood has been reborn and its members are slowly waking to discover their human form contains more than the fantasies of a child.
Of the five members of the Lawgiver’s Brood, Anika Lawgiver (now Collins) was a toddler when magic swept into the world. She has just reached seven years of age. The Seer of Cathach has been reborn as Leyila Andrews, currently a lonely ten-year-old prone to daydreams, and Lewistrom the Smith has only recently returned and reached the grand old age of two. These three live in the city of London, and have only just begun to discover who, and what, they are. The two remaining members of the brood, Shillealagh and Havram the Gardener, do not appear in the modern age of this adventure sequence and their present forms are yet to be revealed.
Anika has always had an overblown sense of fairness, and the stubbornness of will to see that justice is done. Some of the things she came out with as a three-year old were far beyond her years, but nothing to compare to what she has been coming up with lately. You see, Anika is writing her own Book of Law—and living by it.
It was not until she started school, that she discovered the presence of a girl that drew her like no one else—an older child, Leyila Andrews. They are strong friends, and almost inseparable when not in class. The depth of their friendship sometimes worries their parents, but its depth is put down to an incident that happened a year ago.
Leyila was being stalked by a strange, but friendly, woman that she met in the children’s reading group at the local library. At first it was nothing sinister, but then Leyila noticed the woman would sometimes be walking in the park at the same time as she and Anika were playing there, and that the lady always had something for them. Usually it was sweets, but sometimes it was a trinket, or the name of a particularly good book that she was willing to lend.
Leyila began to sense something was wrong, and Anika noticed that the favours she and her friend received were never extended to the other children in the reading group.
So it was, that when the woman called them over to her car, one day, by waving a book she had promised to lend Leyila, the seer experienced a foreshadowing of gloom. She hesitated, and the woman became impatient. At the same time, a man who had been walking his dog, around and around the park, began to move towards them.
Lawgiver that she had been, and prone to noticing the little things that didn’t add up, Anika reacted. Knowing they’d be caught before they could reach the safety of their homes, Anika dragged Leyila towards the park’s public toilets, hoping to lock them in safely, until their parents came looking.
What transpired when the girls weren’t able to lock the cubicle door is not known, but the man’s dog refused to enter, and the noises coming out of the toilet block were enough for nearby residents to call the police. When the police arrived, Anika was standing near the man, who was lying on the floor. Every time he moved, she kicked him. The woman was huddled in a corner unable to take her eyes off Leyila.
Neither child seemed to have suffered more than a nasty fright and a bad bout of temper, but the grown-ups they had cornered were terrified. The children said the two adults had tried to force them into the car, and, were interviewed before being delivered to their parents. Police investigations then found that the man and woman were part of a paedophile ring, and that the children had had a lucky escape.
Since that time, Leyila and Anika have been inseparable, with the younger child taking her lessons in Leyila’s classroom and only leaving Leyila’s company to go home with her parents. Both the school and parents have put this strange attachment down to the trauma of the attack, but the parents are now having second thoughts. Such a close friendship can’t be natural, they reason, and so moves have begun to separate the pair.
It was the job in Australia that became the catalyst for this adventure sequence. Leyila’s mother found employment in Melbourne, and her father was offered employment with the same company, with the company also agreeing to cover the cost of moving to Australia. The parents plan to leave for their new home at the end of the month.
At the beginning of this sequence, the two girls have decided to run away together, especially now they have located a third member of their brood. Their parents are worried since the pair have been ducking school for a purpose they refuse to explain—in truth, the girls have been looking for a place to hide out in, while they spy on Lewistrom the Smith (now Lewistrom Beam) and his mother.
The PCs, meantime, have been looking for an item they remember from their horde. It comes in the shape of a torc made up of the entwined bodies of serpents rendered in silver, platinum, bronze, copper and gold. Its other distinguishing feature is an oak leaf made up of alternating pieces of ruby and emerald in a setting that locks and unlocks in the middle, and which connects the heads. All the PCs can remember is placing the item in the care of the Seer of Cathach, but where she is, what she was, and where she might be now is beyond them. 
The only clue the PCs have to Seer’s whereabouts is that she frequents this park and children’s playground.


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Well, that's all until tomorrow. So far, so good. Happy gaming, all.

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