29 December 2012

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 10 - A Tear for Jaspree

This is the tenth Adventure Log in an ongoing series about Earthdawn.Introduction and Index.

Jaspree is the Passion of nature in Earthdawn, and has grown in importance since the ending of the Scourge. Many Namegivers have turned to Jaspree for help in reviving the corrupted landscape to what it once was, restoring farmlands and forests to support life. In turn, the Passion has aiding in restoring the land to what it once; Barsaive has steadily turned green and seen the bloom of life return in those years. The ideals of Jaspree are care of the land, growth, and love of the wilderness.

Most commonly referred to as "he", I also prefer to associate Jaspree in the form of a windling; in my game each of the Passions has a common Namegiver to be depicted as, when not in the form of the viewer or artist that is. When not a windling, he is invariably shown as half animal and the gender depends on the role - male most commonly for protector and female for nurturer. The common elements associated with Jaspree are farms, flowers, forests, seeds, trees - really, any indication of animals or plants growing and alive. Namegivers are not associated with Jaspree, that is the domain of Garlen.

While the text depicts Jaspree as valuing plants over animals, I prefer to have Jaspree involved in protecting the natural order over just plants. This generally means questors will lead solitary lives away from most other people, perhaps in small and dedicated communities, tending to a particular area and defending it violently from despoiling. They may be sought for advice regarding the land by those who respect their ways. More social questors will be actively involved in communities that owe their existence to the land and rely on the questor to help them ensure that balance is maintained between their needs and the land's needs. Others, generally adepts who have considerably more power, travel to enact Jaspree's will and spread his teachings. All questors prefer peaceful measures, but part of nature is violence and death, which they will not shy from if required.

Adventure Log – 10 A Tear for Jaspree

Recorded By: Jak’Tak the Weaponsmith


Date: 01 Doddul – 22 Doddul, 1506 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

Group Members
Elmod the Nethermancer(1)
Honeysuckle Sunspray the Windmaster(2)
Jak’Tak the Weaponsmith(3)
Sogun the Messenger(4)
Ting the Swordmaster(5)

Ting teaches her students and Jak and Sogun advance in circle. We return to Bartertown. Sogun receives a gift of living armor. Fastoon(6) brings us up to speed on the local color. Bleys(7) has cornered the espagra market(8). He is a clever dwarf. Honeysuckle bought a comfortable hammock. We visit a tailor “Hardly Fitz”. He needs us to check up on a possible espagra supply. The town “Safeway” has a tanner, Urzon. We agree to take the job. A consortium is forming against Bleys. Tol the Warrior gives advice about the scorchers around Ardanyan. Nine days into the journey, we are attacked by a swarm of espagra. We find a clearing with a statue of Jaspree and a white espagra(9). The statue holds a copper bowl, the water gives life(10). We heal the creature’s wounds. Someone approaches. Dwarfs. They go for our espagra, but they are insufficient for the task. They appear to be craftsman – peasants, not bandits. Safeway is a small village in the process of being fortified. The locals are friendly. The tanner’s wife tells he is missing. The tannery is deserted, with signs of a struggle. The innkeeper is friendly and gregarious; Ting and Elmod pump him for information. We track Thom to his home. The apprentice is there. He tells a tale of kidnapping. The local weaponsmith may be involved. He leads us to a farmer, who points us to some woods. Honeysuckle and Sogun are approached by a pretty elf who claims to be trying to get to the bottom of the espagra issue. The white espagra seems to like him. We regroup, then strike off to the forest. We find some dwarfs in the midst of tenderizing(11) an espagra. One challenges us to a duel, and Ting answers. The contest is over in one blow. Beogard’s brother has a plan: to poison small animals, thus weakening the espagra. He kidnapped the tanner to preserve the hides. Beogard leads us to the camp. We speak with the thief, and come to an agreement. The trappers leave and the espagra are released. The tanner is freed, the deal is brokered and we return to Bartertown.(12)

(1) Known associate of Fastoon Julari Makanth Phunkot of Iopos. Trained under Mestoph, if that information is possibly correct.
(2) An uncommon Discipline, particularly in this part of Barsaive, the Windmaster is a community guardian, similar to a Warrior, for Windlings of Glenwood Deep.
(3) Known associate of Maester Bleys and Omasu.
(4) Part of the Ayodhya Liferock and Brother of Omasu by the way obsidimen measure such things.
(5) Known associate of Tarr. Trained under T’Skee “the Magnificent”, Swordmaster of V’Strimon. See cataloged: Adventuring Groups: Exploration: Fourfathers.
(6) Fastoon Julari Makanth Phunkot of Iopos. Nethermancer and representative of the Denairastas within Bartertown. Operates a storefront.
(7) Maester Bleys, origins unknown. Warrior and Weaponsmith, operates the largest Forge within Bartertown. Suspected associate of Tarr.
(8) During this time there was a shortage of espagra skins due to a fashion trend originating in Iopos.
(9) Incredibly rare. Espagra are primarily blue in color, though variations have been found depending on the environment. Of those, green is the most common from jungle areas. White would be from the high mountains and there is rumored to be red around Death's Sea.
(10) Entirely uncertain what this refers to, but bears investigation.
(11) Is this an ork euphemism; investigate.
(12) Received and Edited by Zamirica One-Knee.

*     *     *

This session followed on the heels of what was the low watermark for the campaign and turned things around considerably. The pacing was tight, always something going on, the fights were interesting, and the overall events revealed more about the world as a whole and some nuances. It was an excellent session and it introduced espagra, who are one of my favorite creatures in Earthdawn. During conflict with them, the players realized they may be in over their heads. The final confrontation was diffused through social interaction rather than combat, which was a different kind of victory than this particular group was accustomed.

Events in Bartertown have started to develop and the stage is being set for a conflict that will begin brewing and getting ugly. Much of that is long-term and those events will span a considerable amount of time. Some NPCs get more development and details on the character is shared, along with hints as to the roles they will play in things yet to come. In all, there was a considerable amount of foreshadowing regarding future troubles that our intrepid heroes will face.

The creature trophies that were made for this session were my most ambitious project: espagra scales. To start with, I got variety packs of sequins. Those were sorted by color, including the slightly off colors (which are important). There were four types of espagra that I wanted to make trophies for: blue, green, red and white. The blue espagra used blue and purple sequins; green used green and a turquoise off-color; red were red and gold; and white were white opalescent and silver. The second color was to give some additional depth and variation to the main color, make them look more like something you may find in "nature". The sequins were sewn to cross stitch fabric in an overlapping scale pattern. That was glued to a piece of soft leather then cut out when dried. This gives it a tanned animal skin look and feel and protects the sewing from overhandling (having met my players, this was important). I think the end result looks great, though my players have only gotten blue and green skins thus far. Hopefully, they will meet some red espagra sooner than later - for me, hopefully for me.