Manaburst: Session 1, Part 2 (Broken)

Nero glided over the broken terrain like a shadow, moving with inhuman speed and catching Grrrk well before reaching the designated ruins. He snatched the goblin from his feet and tossed him into the deep shadows behind the wall before darting around to the sunward side where he danced up the stones as if he weighed no more than a feather.

As creatures followed, scrambling and seaching for footholds, Nero called back to Grrrk, who was effortlessly drawing up strength from the stones beneath him. The wall slowly began toppling over, while simultaneously the ground on the far side started to rumble uncontrollably.

Nero tried to leap free but had underestimated the goblin’s destructive capabilities and caught a glancing blow to the side, knocking the wind out of him as he tumbled away. The sunblights were not so lucky. The wall came crushing down, sandwiching them between the crumbling slab and the trembling earth.

Though all the blighted creatures in the immediate vacinity had been destroyed, more were quickly approaching and the planeswalkers swiftly decided to seek refuge in the building they had seen at sunrise. They hoped sheltering in the shadows would keep the creatures out.

The planeswalkers made a fighting retreat, moving as quickly as they could while keeping the creatures at bay. A trio of sunblights had pounced on Ada from out of nowhere, forcing the group to stop long enough to get her to her feet and moving again, though they soon reached the structure and the series of odd pillars that surrounded it. There was an eerie sensation as they passed between the pillars, not unlike that of moving through Ada’s earlier spell, and the planeswalkers soon realized that the creatures could not pass through them to follow.

Our heroes continued inside to find the large structure was one single room, and seemed to be untouched by whatever force devastated the rest of the plane. In the exact center of the perfectly round room, hovering roughly four feet off the ground, was what could only be described as a tear in the plane.

The gash was surrounded in concentric circles of a flowing blue ruinc script, each of which seemed to slowly turn around the tear itself.  A similar set of runes were carved onto the stone floor at a diameter large enough to encompass the rip, and after curiosity led Ada to get a closer look, the planeswalkers realized the runes on the floor were preventing anything from approaching the wound.

Since Ada felt the scar didn’t pose any danger to the PCs, and the sunblights outside definitely did, the planeswalkers decided to pass the night in the relative safety of the domed structure.  While the others settled down inside the structure, Nika heads outside to look around the building from the safe zone between it and the circle of columns a dozen so yards around it.

She watched the sunblights pace around the structure restlessly but saw nothing else for most of the night. A few times she would have sworn she saw something large moving out in the shadows between the larger ruins, but never got a clear look.

When night fell, the planeswalkers resumed their journey towards the nearest “pull” they had noticed earlier. A few hours later they discovered they had been led to a borderpost – one of the places where the walls between planes were weakest and crossing through the Blind Eternities was safest.

Nika voiced her interested in waiting around until sunrise was closer to see if the could catch sight of the shadow she had seen during the previous day.  The others agreed, and Ada volunteered to planeswalk to the other side of the borderpost to see what sort of plane was on the other side.  With a deft manipulation of the energies around the crossing, she simply took a step towards the post and vanished from the plane.

And without warning, the others found themselves pulled along after her.

* * *

Session Date: 9/5/2010

The main theme I was shooting for with this session was the “where he heck are we” feeling, which I think the players got. I also wanted to set up some facts for later games. Unfortunately this session posed a number of questions but provided very few answers. I’ve been in campaigns where every single session was like that and there are very few more frustrating types of games. To that end I need to make sure that the next couple sessions start provding answers before my players’ curiosity turns to frustration.

As part of character/setting creation, I had each of my players create plane as well. Broken, the plane featured this session, was not one of their creations. Similar to the question/answer issue above, I plan on using a player’s plane next. I know they trust me as a gamemaster or I wouldn’t be running this game, but I still don’t want them to get the impression that I’m not using the material they went through the effort of creating for the game.

My biggest regret of the game was not emphasizing the alteration of “party make-up” when the planeswalkers in the started the game. I had mentioned before I was going to be able to accommodate players who wouldn’t be able to make every session by switching out party members, but that it was going to be handled as part of the story and not via an alloy of handwavium. I think the players assumed it was the latter and didn’t really roleplay the issue much. I would have rather they had, but I wasn’t going to tell anyone how to play. So I’m going to have to make sure that more details on this setup are revealed in-game so the characters can react to it’s direct presence.

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