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22/03/2022 at 22:43 #170368
A game we played last week, imagined by a GM who invented the story and ruled the game for only one player (so it’s fair that me, the player, have to tell it afterwards).
In a previous game the son of a Pictish chief was killed – or so we believed.
In fact he was still alive, but dying. His father decides to go in search for the magical cauldron that could bring him back to life. This scenario was …very loosely… inspired by Welsh and Irish tales, and by the Gundestrup cauldron.
The gaming table is not very large (2,40 m x 1,20 m). To simulate a long trip the characters will travel all its length, and back again with changes of terrain, etc. a few times.
IT WAS after the raid where Lachlann son of Galanan was badly wounded and almost killed, that Galanan son of Talorc went to the north, and his druid, and his bard, and his warriors along with him, and a cart where Lachlann was asleep, and a female healer, and wanted he to find the magical cauldron that would heal the wounds of Lachlann.
And on their way they met a small group of monks, heavy wool robes on them.
Galanan did not like the new faith, that his sister who was ruling the clan worshipped, but not wanted he to anger a god early in his quest and he talked politely to the monks. The monks told Galanan to convert and to believe, and they insisted, and Galanan told them he would think about it after his return. The monks insisted again and again, and one of them hit the helmet of Galanan with a long wooden cross. Galanan pushed his horse forward to give a feeble blow as he did not want to kill the monk. The monk avoided the blow and hit Galanan again with the wooden cross, and said abuses to him, and the other monks waved sticks and drew knives to threaten the men of Galanan.
Galanan was angry of that and he told his warriors “Kill them all,” and the warriors obeyed to him.
A dying monk shouted a curse, and the druid made a spell against it. And on the bodies of the monks they found a golden cross, and that the druid kept.
And Galanan headed north again, and his druid, and his bard, and his warriors with him, and the cart where Lachlann was asleep, and the female healer, and farther they saw another group which was going towards the west; and they could see they were Scots, and female and male Pictish prisoners they brought to captivity with them. And Galanan recognised that these prisoners were a female cousin of his own family and her children that were with her.
Galanan decided to attack, and rode forward to encourage his warriors but his tongue was heavy in his mouth and he could not find the right words.
The druid tried to raise a wall of mist to protect the attack, but he also could not find his words and he only created a thin wisp of smoke.
“That is because of these monks,” said Galanan, “but now they are dead and far behind us, and we fight properly.” And thus they fought the Scots, and men fell on either side.
https://www.anargader.net/22/03/2022 at 22:46 #170369
Galanan and his two noble riders went forward and they threw showers of spears at the Scots.
The Scots who were guarding the captives ran from them, and went to take refuge in bushes, and Galanan followed them and killed some of them.
The Scots who were still alive implored Galanan to let them go. Galanan raised his arm and he pointed at some far hills in the west, and said he: “Go to these hills, and look for me if I be there.” And the Scots obeyed to him, and when they reached the faraway hills they looked for Galanan to see if he was there, and obviously he was not there because he continued his travel to the north, and his druid, and his bard, and his warriors with him, and the cart where Lachlann was asleep, and the female healer, and his cousins freed from captivity.
Farther on the path were high mountains, and warriors were standing on the high passes. Galanan rode to the mountain, and his druid along him, to reassure these people and he told them he was coming in peace, but they refused to hear him.
The warriors of Galanan were ready to climb the path to attack, but the warriors came running down the path, and some of them were naked. The bows and crossbow did not stop them, the swords and spears I do not say.
Having killed these men, Galanan, and his druid, and his bard, and his warriors with him, and the cart where Lachlann was asleep, and the female healer, and his cousins, went over the mountain, and from there they could see a village in the nearby valley, similar to other villages in the south but they thought it was a different world.
Female warriors were in this village, not were they threatening nor hateful. It was a village of women, and these women told Galanan that men were accepted in there only to give new blood to their race and otherwise the men were sent to the mountains because there was no need of them.
In the middle of the village a holy cauldron was hung in a tree, and Galanan stared at the cauldron, happy to fulfill his quest.
And Galanan looked at the druid, and the druid was staring at the female warriors.
And again Galanan looked at the druid, and again the druid was still staring at the female warriors.
And again Galanan looked at the druid, and the druid noticed that Galanan was looking at him, so the druid looked at Galanan, and Galanan looked at the cauldron, so the druid looked at the cauldron, and the druid said “No, doesn’t look like it,” and Galanan said “Oh…! Sheep sh*te.”
https://www.anargader.net/22/03/2022 at 22:48 #170370
Three young women were waiting inside a house, one of them was fair-haired, the second was dark-haired, the third one was red-haired; and the female warriors choosed one of the noble riders who was with Galanan and they sent him into the house; and when he was tired and had to come out they choosed the other noble rider; and after him the noble Galanan himself had to enter and to give his best; and all that time the bard was looking at the window so he could sing it later in the halls of the Pictish kings.
There was a feast near the cauldron tree, and the villagers shared drinks with everyone. On the morrow Galanan awoke, and ate breakfast, and mounted his horse, and went north, and his druid, and his bard, and his warriors with him, and the cart where Lachlann was asleep, and the female healer, and his cousins, and four female warriors that the village did lend to him. And they felt something strange in their heads, not being accustomed to the drinks they had in the previous evening; and they rode and walked in all directions at random, unable to stay on their path and to head north.
Only the four female warriors from the village did not seem worried. So told them Galanan “Walk forward, and we shall follow you,” and so they did. Also, Galanan and the two noble riders who had been in the house with the maidens noticed that their swords were blunt in their sheaths, and the druid said they should find a stone hard enough to sharpen them; and there was a standing stone fallen near the path, and it was the stone that was needed, and on this stone they sharpened their swords. And sometimes later they arrived in a forest where there was a small hut and an old woman living there.
A cauldron was on a fire near the hut, and Galanan looked at the cauldron, and Galanan looked at the druid, and the druid looked at Galanan, and the druid looked at the cauldron, and the druid said “No, too small for it,” and Galanan said “Oh…! Ewe sh*te.”
The old woman gave them a potion to drink, that eased their troubles. She wanted to be paid, and that one of the young female cousins of Galanan should stay to work with her till their return. And she said that the magical cauldron was farther north and that they would see something unusual.
Then Galanan mounted his horse again and went north, and his druid, and his bard, and his warriors with him, and the cart where Lachlann was asleep, and the female healer, and his cousins but one, and the four female warriors.
And far away they did see a magical hill, an ancient grave of some great warrior of the past.
They came near, and wanted to enter.
The druid tried to open the door, but open not did the door. The bard also tried, and succeeded, and said the bard “This story will be told by bards anyway.”
A cauldron and other pots and funeral thingies were along the wall. Galanan looked at these objects, and Galanan looked at the druid, and the druid looked at Galanan, and the druid looked at the cauldron and at all the other things, and the druid said “No, still can’t be it”, and Galanan said “Oh…! Ram sh*te.”
They made a brief ceremony and they prayed the deceased soul of that grave to pardon them for having disturbed him or her; then Galanan mounted his horse and went north, and his druid, and his bard, and his warriors with him, and the cart where Lachlann was asleep, and the female healer, and his cousins but one, and the four female warriors.
They came in sight of a large hill, and went near to it. There a giant was standing, fair his hair, and staring at them he was.
Galanan told the giant they were coming in peace, and the giant told Galanan to go away. Galanan told the giant he was looking for a magical cauldron to save his son, and the giant pointed at skulls on stakes behind him and he told Galanan that this was the destiny of anyone who came to steal his treasures. Galanan told the giant he could not leave before his quest was fulfilled, and the giant told Galanan to do something not polite.
Galanan, and his warriors with him, and the female warriors with them, went forward to fight the giant.
They surrounded the giant, and the giant killed a warrior and received two blows of spears. “Ouch!” said he, that had never met with a wound before. Another time Galanan asked the giant to let him follow his quest, and promised they would not steal anything.
The giant then agreed, and he let them walk up the hill. There they saw the wives of the giant and a large silver vat.
Galanan looked at the vat, and Galanan looked at the druid, and the druid looked at Galanan and he knew where he had to look at, so the druid looked at the vat, and looked again and again, and the druid said “This is the cauldron,” and Galanan said nothing.
When the cauldron was full with water they took Lachlann from the cart and they bathed him in the water. The druid, the bard, and the healer, joined their might to heal Lachlann, and it was not long till he rose up living.
Then they brought to the cauldron, one after the other, two warriors who had been wounded in the fights, one of them was saved, the other was not. Galanan asked the giant how they could thank him. The giant said he wanted nothing but they must swear not to tell a thing about this place. Galanan noticed that the giant had some golden objects and seemed to like gold, so he gave him the cross taken from the monks and he told him it had been won in battle and its bearer killed, which was quite true. The giant was happy.
So the great Galanan, son of Talorc, went back to his house by the same path, and his son, and his druid, and his bard, and his warriors with him, and the cart and the female healer, and his cousins, and all the way his heart was full of joy and also his mind was full of hope that nobody should ever talk to him about fe**ing old cauldrons again.
https://www.anargader.net/23/03/2022 at 14:26 #170393Darkest Star GamesParticipant
I love the “epic poem” style. Well done.
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."
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