Home > Between the Lines, Game Development, Jointhesaga.com, OtherSpace > Between the Lines: The Lost Missionaries, Part II

Between the Lines: The Lost Missionaries, Part II

Part II of The Lost Missionaries picked up just minutes after the showdown between Jaswinder and Thayndor, with the group setting aside their differences for the time being and delving into the jungle in search of the missing Opodians and the lost rescue party.

In my original vision of this adventure, I had anticipated a more extended period of jungle exploration. However, knowing how some folks felt about each other behind the scenes, I decided it probably wouldn’t be a great idea to prolong the situation any more than necessary. Besides: Encountering trash mobs in the middle of the jungle would just dilute the story that I wanted to craft. Instead, it didn’t take more than a round of poses for the group to come upon a cave entrance flanked by two of the newly discovered “Aukampires.” Razorback also detected noise coming from the direction of the shuttle landing site.

This was soon followed by the first reveal of the evening: The two Aukampires killed the other night? They were back, cranky, and rather persistent about wanting their crystals returned.

More of the bloodsuckers emerged from the cave, led by a female named Auri. Dialogue ensued between Auri and the offworlders as they sought to learn more about the fate of the seven missing people. Auri indicated that the four Opodian missionaries were dead and that her people had dined upon the first search party. She explained that they were no threat to the general Kamsho population, because they only hunted during their “season” and only within the confines of the jungle around their lair. Jaswinder suggested getting the corpses back to prove that they had at least done a job worth getting paid for. Razorback agreed. Auri told her minions to fetch the cadavers, which were delivered rather quickly. Six bodies were lined up on the ground. Kestrel was the first to notice a corpse was missing.

Further inquiry led to the revelation that the Aukampire leader had been a little sneaky: They still had someone alive, saving them for dinner later. At first, I thought the survivor would be the leader of the Opodian missionary group. However, that would mean Auri was an outright liar – and, although the character was just a couple of hours old, I did not think she would do worse than lie by omission. That got me thinking about a survivor from the search party, which consisted of two Gankri and a Tupai. Initially, I thought about having a Tupai survivor. But then I thought about the crystals, the Tupai village that the missionaries had been searching for, and – at that moment, not a moment sooner – had my “conclusion” for the adventure. The survivor had to be one of the Gankri. After all the violence, the OOC drama, and the tension of the evening, I figured it would be ideal to have another comic relief moment.

So, out of the cave came Zig, a spastic, fast-talking, motormouth of a Gankri, who leapt on Razorback, proclaiming his undying love and adoration. Auri dismissed the release as a good thing by noting that Zig was driving her people crazy and might have been thrown out into the jungle anyway (a quick homage to O. Henry’s “Ransom of Red Chief”). Her people reclaimed their crystals and started filing back into the cave. Razorback mentioned something about the Tupai village to Jaswinder. That got Auri’s attention. “Village?” she asked. “What village?” At this point, Razor’s player was kicking himself because he thought he had made some colossal mistake, revealing the existence of a new food source to the Aukampires.

The party returned to the shuttle, prepared to fly back to Ope’mot and claim their reward. Razorback had other ideas, though. After making sure that Zig did not get to fly the shuttle as he so desperately wanted to do when he wasn’t bouncing between the cockpit and the cargo bay, Razorback asked Jaswinder to fly them to Ralakai, the Tupai village.

Thayndor started questioning Zig about what happened, what he saw while he was in the Aukampire cave. Zig talked about how mad Auri became when the Tupai in the search party managed to get a crystal away from one of her people. How mad she got when the Tupai smashed the crystal on a rock wall. How mad she got when this other Aukampire exploded in a cloud of smoke and ash. The Tupai was killed, of course, but that didn’t satisfy Auri. Apparently, the Aukampire who died was someone of great importance to Kamm’s Children. She ordered her people to travel to Ralakai to exterminate the inhabitants.

(About 10 minutes into the event, I was on the director channel talking to Colchek about how I didn’t yet know how players might be able to kill these otherwise immortal Aukami. Tying their fate back to the crystals really worked for me because 1) it gave them more importance than just being the equivalent of an Urbanspoon iPhone app for Aukami, 2) matched up with Chekov’s rule about making sure that a gun shown in the first act goes off by the third, and 3) served as a callback to the role crystals have always played in the machinations of the Kamir.)

As the shuttle arrived overhead, Razorback was able to confirm that the entire population of the settlement had been slaughtered – not for food, but for vengeance. He then asked Jaswinder to take them back to Ope’mot – and that’s pretty much where we called the scene for the night, due to the late hour.

We didn’t have any combat during this segment. The only taskrolls were for detecting the cavern and the sneaky Aukampires returning from the shuttle. It became more of a strange diplomatic showdown, which I really liked – especially since the ulterior motive for this plot was to introduce the potential of Kamm’s Children as a playable sect of Aukami.

When the event started, as I alluded to earlier, I did not have a specific ending in mind. I was satisfied to watch what the players did and spin things this way and that based on their actions. If they had opted for a violent solution, I would have allowed it. If they had wanted to call in reinforcements from Ope’mot, I would have allowed it. I thought it was interesting that they opted for a tentative diplomatic solution. I have to admit that I was secretly hoping that they might follow Narai’s advice and crack one of the crystals so that they could find out through something other than exposition from Zig how to kill an Aukampire for good.

On the topic of Narai: I was excited to have him along for this adventure because he has shown an interest in helping to expand the lore of the Opodians. As the one Opodian in this search party, he had a unique perspective to bring to the adventure. During the first day, I thought this worked out great. Unfortunately, people didn’t always seem to listen to what he had to say. I’m not sure if that contributed to his performance on the second day, but it really seemed sometimes that he was distracted and not invested in the scene. I have to accept that this is probably my fault for not doing enough to engage him during the event and, really, the best thing he could do in a jungle full of people who wanted to snack on him was lay low and try not to look tasty.

Overall, as arc events go, I think The Lost Missionaries has been a success in keeping with the preferred model of “smaller stories with broad implications.” We’ve learned a little more about the Opodians, discovered Kamm’s Children, and introduced a new villain (Auri) and potential recurring character (Zig).

We’ll wrap up with an epilogue tonight.

Edited to add: This link to the log.

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  1. Razorback
    February 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Yeah, what to do with the vampires was quite a quandary. We did have the ability to go in, guns blazing, and destroy every single one of the Aukami (with the help of action cards, of course). But … I was rather reticent to use a card that takes someone a number of years to acquire. It rankles both me, and Razorback, to leave them running around to wreak havoc. But Razor will probably at least wait to see what the Opodians are going to do with the situation.

    • February 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

      Well, the choice you made wasn’t necessarily a bad one. Even if you wiped out THAT enclave, there’s every possibility that more exist elsewhere. The implications are interesting to me.

  2. Rar
    February 22, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I have to get this in before anyone else:

    Wes Platt:So, out of the cave came Zig…

    Take off every ‘Zig’!!
    You know what you doing.
    Move ‘Zig’.
    For great justice.

    • February 22, 2010 at 10:41 am

      He’s in your base, flying your ship!

  3. Rar
    February 22, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Wes Platt :He’s in your base, flying your ship!

    What you say?!

  4. Anshera
    February 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Rar :

    Wes Platt :He’s in your base, flying your ship!

    What you say?!

    ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.

    • Dean
      February 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      If anything, Razor, you should’ve used a card against Zig right when he opened his mouth.

  5. Razorback
    February 23, 2010 at 12:26 am

    I really don’t think it would have taken that…

    • February 23, 2010 at 12:29 am

      And now he’s your pilot! VAROOOOOOM!

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