Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ganakagok: Dawn to Morning

Thursday we finished out Ganakagok story, The Frozen Jungle. All in all, the tone was very different than the last few times I've run this game. It still had the underpinnings of mytho-poetry, but it felt more like a roleplaying game than it usually does - the actions were more immediate, scene followed scene more tightly. I suspect that's because three of the five people playing were younger and less experienced, and so there was less of a chance to get weird with our interpretations of the cards. But for all that, it was a cool story, and a good introduction for my daughter into more narrative games. This was also the first time I've run Ganakagok where no one had a bad ending, but that was mostly down to me forgetting that there are only supposed to be two reaction rounds.

Last session here, if you want a refresher.

Cheyenne's Turn: The group walked through the forest to get to the Forbidden Tree and meet with the Old Man of the Forest, guided by Kit's magic necklace. But then Nanaka saw movement in the trees. The group came to an expanse of rushing water - a river that hadn't been there before, but remember that the jungle was thawing. Keromet tested it with his staff, and a spear flew down from the tree and lodged in the ground. The group turned and saw Kotolikituk, one of the assassins that had split off from the group after Keromet talked them all down from murder, up in a tree and wearing a mask that looked like the Old Man of the Forest. He wasn't interested in letting them go on. Nanaka and the others talked him own (Skia using her Hare's Leap to jump up into the tree and face him), and he finally agreed to come with them and see this through.

Will's Turn: But the river remained. Keromet tried to vault over it using his staff, but he missed his footing and the current swept him away. As the cold water gripped him, he saw the last few stars remaining, and tried to stay awake. The others tried to help him, but the ice beasts of the forest resisted, wanting Kit to move on. Kotolikituk, too, didn't help, because he hates Keromet anyway. Finally, though, Karget tossed him a vine and Keromet chose to come back to his people rather than floating away and becoming lost in the stars.

Al's Turn: They arrived, at last, at the entrance to the Man's lair. He came to greet them, but then Kotolikituk drew back his spear to kill the Old Man of the Forest. They kind of dogpiled him, and Kit's necklace let out a blast of energy that knocked him back, and finally they overpowered him.

Michelle's Turn: Skia turned to Kit, and showed her the geode. Kit told the Old Man that she was willing to give the necklace and the stone knife to him, but they were all she had to remember her parents by and she wanted to know what happened to them. The Old Man nodded, took the items and place them in the geode, which bloomed like an immense stone flower, saturating the area with light. The skulls fixed to the trees fell, and beings made of light stood up. The Old Man's horns fell off, too, and he looked more human. He pointed to the light and said, "Answers."

Skia walked into the light. The others tried to follow, but the Man blocked the way. In the light, Skia found a vast plain, and a barely-seen creature moving toward her. She resisted her instincts as a hunter and didn't shoot it, and it turned out to be a man - the First Man of Ganakagok, the founder of the Nitu. But now, the Man said, it was Morning, the Thaw was happening, and the Nitu would have to change.

Morning: With that, all the Stars were gone. Morning came, and we assigned Final Fates.

Ganakagok experienced a massive flood as the ice in the jungle melted. The waters rushed toward the Nitu village (more on that later), but in the aftermath, new and vibrant species arose, plants bloomed with color, and the owl from the Land of Owls flew to the trees.

The Nitu banded together to survived the flood, putting aside their stupid questions of leadership and succession and treason to the People. They learned to live in the jungle, eventually, becoming a tree-dwelling and owl-riding people.

Skia went on to marry Kotolikituk, and became a hunter and leader of the People (7 of Stars).

Karget put his understanding of gathering and plants to good use, cataloging and study the new flora of the jungle and becoming a wise man and herbologist (Woman of Flames).

Keromet left the Nitu to wander the Spirit Plain, becoming a true shaman and spirit explorer (4 of Storms).

Nanaka reconciled with her father and helped the Nitu work toward a better, more functional government - the Triumvirate Council was dissolved.

Kit talked with the Man of the Forest, and he led her to the Oldest Tree. At the top was a hut, and inside were her parents, alive and well. They eventually taught the Nitu to build their tree-homes (Child of Flames).