Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ganakagok: The Frozen Jungle (Twilight to Dawn)

First session here.

Al's Turn: Karget decides to venture into the jungle to investigate why the jungle is changing. Skia, the questing hunter, and Keromet, the concerned shaman-in-training accompany him, along with some of the other hunters and gatherers. Kit, the brave orphan, sneaks out of the village and follows. As they leave the village, part of the wall collapses. Karget asks some of the party to stay behind and fix it. They enter the jungle, and Karget finds what he suspects to be the spoor of a great beast. They follow, but then Katya, Skia's husky, spots something and tears off after it. Skia and Keromet follow, but Karget spots Kit sneaking along and confronts her. He picks her up to take her back (over her protests), but they look up and see an ice jaguar stalking them.

The beast attacks, but the others hear the commotion and return. Keromet sees the Man of the Forest approaching, and his hand reaching down toward Kit. Between the huskies, Skia's arrows, Karget's knife (largely ceremonial, as he doesn't hunt animals), and Karget's own pet tiger, they fell the beast. He grants the skin to Skia upon their return to the village. Kit is punished for her indiscretion.

Michelle's Turn: Skia dons her new leopard cloak and finds Karget, Keromet, and their friend Tergk. She wants to return to the jungle - she suspects that the beast they were tracking is, in fact, the Man of the Forest; she's seen the Man in her dreams and believes him to be as much beast as man. They set out and follow the tracks deep into the forest, until the reach the forbidden area. Tergk is afraid to enter, and Keromet gives cryptic advice, but finally Skia plucks up her courage and enters.

Inside, they find skulls of various beasts adorning the trees, each marked with a sigil. Keromet touches one and it starts to rattle, and then speaks to the shaman. It says they tell the story of Ganakagok, and asks if he would like to "contribute" (the implication being with his own skull). He says he would, but only if he can clear his family's name. The skull responds that this is possible. Skia says that she wishes to speak with the Man of the Forest, and all the skulls rattle.

The Man appears, and sits down to parlay with them. He reveals a massive geode gnarled in the roots of the Oldest Tree, with crystals red and black. Skia recognizes them - Kit wears one on a necklace, and her new knife is made of the black crystal. The Man agrees to help the Nitu survive the coming Thaw...if his goods are returned to him.

Teagan's Turn: Kit is doing chores as punishment, and meditating on her actions, when her necklace starts to glow and tug her toward the forest. Feeling that her destiny is at hand, she sneaks out again, but this time is observed by Nanaka, the headstrong heir. Nanaka follows her into the forest and calls her name, but Kit refuses to come back and scampers ahead. Nanaka catches up with her and tries to convince her to return, but Kit refuses - and the necklace glows.

The beasts of the forest approach and bow to Kit (or maybe the necklace). The rest of the group finds them and tries, first, to talk Kit into giving up her necklace, but the Skia says that Kit has earned her right to be here and it is her destiny to continue. The group moves deeper into the forest, toward the forbidden area, surrounded by all the beasts of the jungle.

The sky grows lighter in the east, and an eerie calm overtakes the forest. The Man awaits...but we haven't heard the last of the assassins from the village.

Next week, the exciting conclusion!