‘Henchmen’ Campaign – System: Fate Accelerated by Evil Hat Productions
In a fantasy world with strange races, magical powers and a hierarchy of heroes and villains, we are Henchmen – soldiers for hire and underlings to an evil Lord.
Plans fall apart, a Griffin plays fetch and old allies are recruited against their will.
At the end of Gameplay Session 2 – Part 3, the Henchmen were waiting at the Highborn Tavern for Brutalicus to lead them through the hidden tunnels into the heart of the Silver Citadel to stop the King’s unholy ritual. But Brutalicus was late, and did not show up at sundown, as they had planned. The characters waited an hour, and prepared to return to Brutalicus’ mansion, when into the tavern stumbled the beaten and bloodied form of Brutalicus’ Champion.
The Champion is gravely wounded and barely able to talk. Tim the Wizard tried to heal his wounds, and was successful, even managing to heal some of the brain damage that the warrior had sustained in the past. “Our compound was attacked by the Golden Shield,” the Champion explained, “Brutalicus was taken. I managed to fight may way free. None but me were left alive.”
With the midnight deadline to stop the ritual fast approaching, our Henchmen heroes were in a serious bind. Without Brutalicus, the Henchmen had no-one to guide them through the hidden tunnels, as the Champion did not know where the entrance was. Their plan looked as if it was falling apart, until somebody suggested a solution. Perhaps Elon, the Toadlord’s former Man-at-Arms, might know of these secret tunnels. But Tim and The Knife had tried to kill Elon, and chased him away from the party on the road to the city. How could they find him?
Quinn had the solution: Tim’s pet Griffin could get Elon’s scent from the money pouch stolen by The Knife after the raid on the weapons convoy. With its keen senses, the Griffin could fly across the land and locate Elon, wherever he may be. Tim the Wizard took to the air on his Griffin mount, and within the hour he had located their former companion.
In the mountains outside the city, a weary man could be seen approaching a rustic mountain cabin. A warm, inviting light could be seen within, and as he approached the door swung open, revealing the silhouette of a woman and a small child. “Elon? Is it really you?” the woman’s voice called from the soft light of the doorway. Elon smiled and made to approach the cabin, but before he could take a step, the powerful Griffin swooped down on him, grabbing him by the shoulders, and whisked him away towards the Capital.
When the Griffin landed outside the Highborn Tavern, Tim herded the angry and confused Elon inside. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he yelled. “I haven’t seen my family in years!” After explaining the problem to him, Elon seemed to calm down a little, especially when they explained that the Golden Shield might have the Toadlord captive to be used as part of the ritual. With the slight hope of rescuing his former Master, Elon agreed to lead the henchmen through the secret tunnels and into the Citadel itself.
The abduction of Elon was my absolute favourite moment of the entire campaign. In the beginning, I had made big plans for Elon, and even had a potential plot point for Elon to have betrayed the Toadlord and sold him out to the Golden Shield. Since I had such big plans for Elon, I was very frustrated when my players instantly decided that they wanted to kill him, and it was only by chance that he managed to escape from their attack.
When the players suggested that Elon might know the tunnels, and Quinn suggested that the Griffin could follow Elon’s scent and hunt him out, I was handed a fantastic way to change several insignificant occurrences into important events that happened for a reason. The entire scene was improvised, and I even had the chance to stir up some emotions by having Elon abducted from within sight of his family and home. Some players laughed, some pitied poor Elon, and everyone had fun.
Check back soon to find out how the Henchmen fared in their trip through the tunnels below the Silver Citadel. Would they make it in time to stop the King’s ritual? Find out in the next post, Gameplay Session 3 – part 2.