After a slight delay, we played another session of QfR on Monday, accompanied by fresh oatmeal cookies, a not-at-all bad bottle of homemade white wine, and the requisite number of cats.
(Comments in italics)
The first session ended with the characters (Derek, Odette, and Joan) gathered together outside a convenience store in St. Collens, NB, in the company of a pair of strangers. The last lines of the evening were Odette asking, “Who are you folks?” and one of them answering, “We’re the Fair Folk.”
Monday’s game began with a monstrously huge man charging out from the alley next to the store and everyone piling into Odette’s car to drive away as fast as they could. The two strangers (who would later be introduced as Gabriel and Cobweb) weren’t very forthcoming with explanations, although they did tell them that the thing that was chasing them was called the Spriggan. Eventually, after they were fairly sure it was far behind them, they paused at a gas station to gather their wits (and, in Joan’s case, smoke a joint), whereupon they were joined by a third stranger, Corbin. Corbin merrily climbed into the car with them all, making it rather cramped, as they agreed to drive to Derek’s house for explanations.
It would be a night of much exposition: I would have preferred to avoid being quite so info-dumpy, but at the same time, it’s hard to avoid that in an introductory session.
The trio explained that they were emissaries from the Seelie Court, tasked with finding champions for an upcoming contest against the Unseelie. Their court, they said, brought happiness and prosperity to an area; the other one brought pain and misery. Whichever court won the contest would determine the fortune of the local lands for the next seven years, but the nobles needed mortals to compete—hence the recruitment of champions. In exchange, the champions would see wonders, be given gifts, and would know that their actions turned the luck of everyone around them.
Joan agreed immediately. Derek hesitated until he was sure that someone would take care of his father while he was off on the adventure. Odette was the last to decide; while she was thinking about it, she noticed that her brother (and Joan’s boyfriend) Travis had left her a message asking where Joan was. When she phoned him back, he told her that it was a mistake, that Joan was with him, and that he was going to come over to Odette’s place.
I think everyone decided at that point that Travis had been found by the Unseelie Court, and was either in danger or had been persuaded by them to join their team of champions.
In any case, Odette finally decided to join, but wanted to be assured that they could go back to find Travis once the three had gone through whatever formal induction ceremony they were supposed to. The Seelie emissaries agreed readily, then ushered them off into the Otherworld through a magical portal.
In the forest-like realm of the Seelie Court, each character was allowed to choose a patron from among the nobles of the court. Joan chose The Piper, a forest trickster who granted powers involving beasts and mischief. Derek chose Mother Coal, whose gifts are sanctuary, healing, and imbuing objects with emotion. Odette nearly followed the Blue Maiden, embodiment of ice and sorrow, but backed away to choose Father Stone—with powers of storms and mountains—instead.
The NPCs used the fact that Odette was an injured dancer to encourage her towards her eventual patron. While it wasn’t initially clear why a mountain fae could make her a better dancer, the nimble goat-legs of Father Stone’s representative may have made that clearer. I think she’s still suspicious, though.
While the evening was fun and I think the players enjoyed it, it was still a bit GM-heavy in terms of how we used our time. I’m hoping that the next session will give people more of a chance to take the reins, have their characters interact with each other more, and generally be active.