After a brief resume of the previous adventure, the girls settled down for the climax of their tussle with the Goblin King.
Queen Leanan was furious at the audacity of the Goblin King and summoned a full sitting of her high council to debate the response of Brightwood. All day Knights, Ladies, Animal Lords and Wizards arrived from the four corners of her forest and met in a ancient wooded ampitheatre outside of the village. Leanan explained that by actually trying to cause mortal harm to the Knight of Swallows, the Goblin King had broken the most ancient law of the Great Forest. A law that was older that the tallest tree and the deepest root. They had two choices - they could fight back to protect their forest or they could submit to this afront to them and carry on as normal. If they did the latter they would abandon the baby Princess to the Goblin King but they would not themselves break the law. If they attacked, they could rescue the Princess but they would break the Most Ancient Law and they would stand to lose their immortality.
Debate raged across the chamber, with the amassed Knights claiming that might would make right and the Ladies of Flowers claiming that they cannot just leave the baby alone but they also cannot risk their immortality. There was a heated debate going on between Jennifree and Sarah as well - Sarah, predictably, following a more martial solution to the problem, whilst Jennifree was trying to conjure something a little more cerebral! Finally she suggested to the Queen and the Captain of the Guard that they could turn the Goblin King's trick against him. If he had caused a distraction to allow his men to kidnap the Princess, maybe the faeries of Brightwood could themselves cause a distraction and snaffle the Princess back!
It was decided that this was the best plan and the inhabitants of Brightwood began their preperations. Meanwhile, the Queen met with Jennifree and Sarah and some of her most trusted advisors; The Captain of the Guard, the bravest Mouse in Brightwood Sir Squeek and Midgens, her royal magician (another portly and eccentric gnome). A plan was concocted (by the girls!) that they would travel to the borders of Darkwood with the Guard and then proceed alone. As Sarah could turn into a mouse herself, they would use a map (provided by Sir Squeek) of the small places in the Goblin Kings black tower and use that to find the baby. When they did they would place a silver wristband on it and say the magic word ('Leanan') to bring them all home safely. After gathering some provisions (including buttercup butter, acorn soup and blackberries) and a sturdy axe and shield for Sarah, they set off to save the Princess.
They travelled quickly through Brightwood, passing the Raven Rock and the house of the Old Hag and into Darkwood. They moved quickly, knowing that they were being followed by Rat-Things, spying on them from the shadows. Eventually they came to a crossroads being guarded by a two-headed night ogre!! The ogre (called Bigg'un and Little'un) challenged them as they approached, and was ready to bash them. Sarah decided she would distract the ogre by ducking through it's legs whilst Jennifree found her pipes and lulled it to sleep. The lulling worked, but not until Sarah had received a good thumping from a well placed club and was sent spinning across the forest - and nearly relieved of all of her essence! Moving passed the slumbering ogre they pressed on, eventually realising that there was nowhere safe to bed down for the night in the black oppression of Darkwood.
As they moved on, their path lit by faerie light, they realised - from the smell and the sounds of slurping gloop, that they were surrounded by Smelly Things (the elite spies of the Goblin King). Realising that they could not fight their way out, they decided to barter for their freedom. They tried to offer the leader of the Smelly Things food, but as it was all fresh, he wasn't interested. He asked what else they had to offer and eventually they got his interest with their map - him being a collector of secrets. They gave up their map and he let them go - but now their secret entrance was lost and they would have to pass through the Goblin Kings Riddle Gate.
At the Riddle Gate, the giant toothed maw in the door asked them the following riddle:
I am the sound of an animal and the skin of a plant - what am I?
Eventually, after some deliberation, they came close with 'baa' and the door winced at how close they were which twigged them on and they finally answered 'bark!'. The door laughed and swang open to reveal... the chief of the Smelly Things, Goblins, Ogres, Trolls and the Goblin King himself. Waiting for them!
(Meanwhile in the forest, the faeries of Brightwood began their distracting attack, dropping sticky blueberries on things, tying shoelaces together, making flowers grow from noses and purposefully tidying ogre dens!)
The faeries were captured and imprisoned in the Goblin Kings dungeons. Originally I said that they were behind a locked door but Emma decided that she needed some more Essence so she added the complication that it wasn't a door - it was a massive boulder, so massive that even she couldn't move it. Fair enough. She then (obviously having caught on to how the game works!) prompted Lara to spend on of her remaining Essence to have Granite (the troll champion) and Rocknose (his little son) appear in the prison room. OK... She then used her BOON over Granite to have HIM roll back the stone and set them free!!! Sneaky little bugger!
Rocknose was excited to see the faeries but Granite knew that he was going to get into trouble so he let them go but gave them a minutes head start - they ran!!!
As they made their way hurriedly through the castle, they noticed that everyone was streaming towards the central chamber. Sarah turned into a mouse and scooted in to see what was happening. In the chamber she saw hundreds of bad faeries gathered around a pool of bubbling sulphurous mud and on a dias in the middle of the mud stood the Goblin King and the baby Princess. Something was up! Sarah decided to make her run at the Princess whilst Jennifree somehow held off Granite.
However, things are not that easy - the Knight of Wolves smelled the faeries and a massive 'club the mouse' session started. The mouse, however, has Body 5 and Agile and was easily able to avoid the blows.
Meanwhile Jennifree confronted Granite and rather than fight him, used her Boon over him to get him to help Sarah!! Sarah turned into a Frog so that she could jump across the mud, but failed her roll horribly and sploshed into the icky mess, only to be scooped out by Granite and dumped on the dais. The Goblin King turned on her and tried to stab her with his wicked curved dagger but she dodged, snapped the bracelet onto the Princess and shouted LEANAN (scaring our cat rigid as a result!) and teleporting all three of them back to Brightwood.
Queen Leanan was ecstatic and after the Court brownies had check the child she transported everyone to the human lands and presented the Princess back to the King and Queen. They were overcome with joy and Leanan presented the two faeries who had so bravely rescued the baby - and announced them as the Princess' faery godmothers! They each gave the baby one of their Gifts to share - Jennifree gave the baby the Gift of Musical and Sarah gave her the Gift of Agile. And thus ended the first story arc of their game
As an ended, I explained that the Goblin King was furious but embarassed and that he would keep himself to himself for the time being. The next set of adventures would not involve the Goblin King. They hadn't discovered where Flynn was yet, and he wasn't with the Goblin King so where was he? That was something to discover. They were also allowed to either have 1 point added to a stat, 1 extra Gift or 1 charm. Sarah chose to increase her mind from 2 to 3 so that she was cleverer. Jennifree added the Clever charm to her already impressive array of cerebral talents.
They resolved that they would like the next set of adventures to have something to do with Silverwood and also to have something to do with their families, which have never been detailed yet. Emma wants to change her characters name so we discussed how this could be the outcome of the family storyline and she seemed happy with that.
So, has the roleplaying experiment worked? Absolutely - they are still loving it, still getting very into the characters and the adventures and still seem energised afterwards. If anything the person who needs to get more into it is me, as sometimes it just seems like one thing too many to be doing. However, once I get down to doing it, it's brilliant. We'll be on a short hiatus for now and then back again, maybe before GenCon. Oh, and I have orders - have to buy some faery's tale dice for them both! *rolls eyes*