This session Yael returned, so we had her help in the social scene with Krozier.
We return to the fight in the middle of the Bondmouse nest. Krozier leads the resistance against the talk of freedom. Meanwhile a sympathiser named Ketchup slips away to try and warn the rats, but Glenlivet spots him and gives chase. They dodge back and forth through the warren, and Ketchup nearly gives her the slip, but she catches him just in time and drags him back.
Meanwhile Behold and Merlot team up to argue with Krozier. They tell the Bondmice that if they don't seize this chance of freedom they may never get another. There is a doom coming, and the rats won't save them from it. Their argument is helped when Atrox arrives with Kameoleopardus, and Glenlivit drags Ketchup back. Krozier backs down and a wave of enthusiasm sweeps the slave Hylin — they might actually be able to escape!
Some of the other Bondmice still need persuading. Kindly, a wounded Fungus farmer, wants to help but isn't fit, and Kin, a young mother, had her pup stolen by Kree's mate. While Merlot tries to treat Kindly's injuries, Glenlivit swears she will get the pups back — and proves to be perfectly capable of doing so!
The party try to hatch a plan. They know that they need to spirit the Bondmice away while the rats are distracted; there is one obvious opportunity, Chardonnay will give Whiteclaw his fight. While the rats gather to watch, the others will escape through the spider tunnels, and then head for the vertical that leads to Black Dust. The others tell him that his plan is suicide, but he is adamant, and leaves to speak to Whiteclaw in front of the nest. He comes to the conclusion that Whiteclaw might let him live he he seems to be an honourable fighter.
Atrox proposes making a fake rat out of wood, fur, and rat scent, so that any sentry thinks that they are a work party. Marcus (recovered from his faint) paints Bond-marks on the players. Meanwhile the Bondmice prepare to move.
The fight and the flight are played simultaneously
The escaping hylins face a series of obstacles: tunnels full of spiders, guard rats, and then the long level until the safety of the vertical — they make all three look easy!
With the help of the Bondmice, and their own advance planning, they easily navigate the spider tunnels, then assemble their fake rat. It proves to be a good plan, since there a still a few sentries not at the fight. They see a number of marked hylins accompanied by what smells and looks like a rat (a rat stuffed with refugee hylins!) and let them pass. Then all that remains is a long dash through the level, coping with exhaustion, until they reach the vertical.
It would be the perfect escape — if only Chardonnay were with them — or so they think. They have just reached the top of the vertical when everything begins to shake ....
In front of the rat nest, battle is joined between rat and hylin — not an aged one like One-eye, but a rat Champion in his prime. It should be epic, a tale for the ages, but in truth Chardonnay is outmatched from the beginning. He manages to scratch Whiteclaw with Gilette, but the rat overbears him, clawing him badly and nearly ripping his throat out! Chardonnay dodges, trying to get behind the champion, but Whiteclaw is too quick! He bites Chardonnay again, putting him on the edge of death!
Chardonnay knows the fight is lost, but he refuses to go down easy! He rallies everything into one last attack (using the Determination rules) and slices Whiteclaw's ear from his head! Enraged, the rat raises his claws as Chardonnay collapses from the effort ....
At this point Chardonnay dies, having been reduced to 1 Life, he then takes 1 damage from the Determination. Since there is no one there to save him he's gone ... unless the other players agree to pay 3 Luck to save him. There are exactly 3 luck left in the game at this point, and the others agree, they will save Chardonnay! He still dies (as far as they know) but will somehow prove to be alive at a later date.
Whiteclaw rears for his attack ... and everything explodes! An incendiary bomb hits the house full on, and the Between collapses with a roar of dust and ash!
Will anyone survive?
- Overall the session flowed very well. We tried new rules for spending Luck on facts, and for Determination (which allows you to ignore all wound penalties for an action, and then take 1 Exhausted) and both work well.
- The fight with Chardonnay and Whiteclaw was tense, brutal, and totally fatal for the hylin. After weeks of discussion about whether any enemy could be hard enough for a specialised combat character, we saw that they most certainly could!
- Using the 3 Luck to save Chardonnay was perfect! (That's a rule I took from my own game Sun Keld and it was a great idea)