The Saving Throw
Most Dramatic Gaming Moments Dec. 15, 2005
These are the moments of true drama, where the players were truly drawn into the game.

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Fire and Dreams
  contributed by Jerry Swain

   The following is my first real adventure in a PnP RPG. The game we played was a modification to White Wolf's Hunter: The Reckoning where in we played it in a situation and time period similar to Vampire: Dark Ages. Thus it is named Hunter: Dark Ages. The idea for the first night was for the Gamemaster and each player/character to have an introduction scenario that would best show what they are to the rest of the group. It took a while, but in the end we all knew much more about out characters than probably would have been gained in a shared adventure.

Anyway, here's the meat of my story.

Character Details
Name: Galen "Xelox"

Concept: Bastard Swordsman
Nature: Heartless
Demeanor: Brooding
Creed: Martyr

Weapon of choice: Great Sword

Character History:
   In brief, my character is the son of a Gaelic woman and a Roman General. However, he is illegitimate, as the Romans had conquered the village, and the General, well, did the unspeakable to Xelox's mother, as most Romans did to the "inferior" peoples of the time. Eventually, his mother was killed by the same Romans, and this drove him into a rage that finally ended when he killed his father in a feat of stunning stealth and creativity, seeing as the General was in the middle of a fortified Roman outpost. From that day on, Xelox never spoke again, and has hunted Romans every single day. It consumes him to a fault.

The Story
   This is where his new journey begins.

Xelox is heading north, after hearing about a Roman outpost that may be located there. A prime target, indeed. He heads into the village for supplies and information, and settles on a little place that people seem to be gathering in. He sits. He listens. People try to talk to him, as he is a handsome man, but as usual, his lack of speech drives them away, in the end. Xelox wouldn't have it any other way.

Finally, he overhears a conversation. The men say that it's time for the periodical Roman resupply. Xelox also hears that they go to different farms around the area, but that they frequent this one farm owned by a man called, "the mizer." Seeing the opportunity to kill some Romans without a lot of risk, he departs for the farm, which lies to the north.

As he arrives, Xelox notices a few odd things about the farm. It's well endowed, but there aren't any people working the fields. Noting the fields as a possible ambush spot, Xelox approaches the main house. Inspecting it, he finds that all the windows are boarded up. He cannot see a thing. He listens, but hears nothing except silence. He attempts to open the door, and he finds that it is barred shut from the inside. A loud yelling begins and footsteps approach the door. Quickly, Xelox hide around the corner of the house. An old man, presumably the mizer, come out the door, and is cursing up and down in more creative language than Xelox has heard in quite a while.

The man looks around, and heads toward Xelox's corner. Xelox, not wishing to be seen so close to the arrival of the Romans, runs into the fields of human-height crops. The old man's yelling is heard for quite a while, though Xelox isn't followed too far in. Finally, the old man leaves.

Xelox inspects the farm, looking for good vantage points for an ambush. He picks the nearby barn as a staging area, then head back into town for the night. The Romans arrive tomorrow.

Xelox returns to the farm, and takes his place in the second story of the barn, which hasn't had its windows barred up. Finally, he sees the Romans coming, and waits. They arrive, knock on the door, the mizer curses until he opens the door, and then they all go into the house. Xelox returns to the ground, noticing that the barn is full of pitch. So, he surrounds the house with it, and puts a lot on the door. Finally, Xelox stands in front of the house, and tosses the torch at it.

As the house catches fire, Xelox hears screaming. Finally, some soldier pops out of the house. Xelox dispatches him easily with his great sword. Afterward, he hears a scream, unlike any of the screams he's heard before. Something is rampaging through the house, and manages to break through the back wall. Running around the house to see it, Xelox only gets a brief glimpse of someone, or something, running faster than any animal Xelox has ever seen, off into the fields. Before he can chase after it, three Romans come out of the house. These are unscathed, though a bit frazzled. They try to attack Xelox. The Romans' knives just bounce off Xelox's armor, and he dispatches two of them before the final one runs in fear. Overall, this was a very successful strike. Xelox wonders what he saw, however. Sensing that it's about high time to leave, he walks off, away from the farm, sword wrapped up and sitting on his shoulder, as the house blazes behind him.

Later that night, Xelox dreams. It's pitch black, but for some reason, a comfortable pitch black. He hears a woman's voice, warmly speaking to him. It is his mother's voice. A normally startling realization, considering his mother is dead, Xelox remains calm in the void. This voice tells him to go to Westhaven, where he will meet others who are like him. He begins to wake up, just as the voice is telling him something.

"...the sword that can slay a god..."

Awaking, Xelox must make a choice. A half day back to town, with a chance of being spotted, for resupply, or a day of travel to the next town. Being the survivor he is, he chooses the latter.

Eventually, Xelox makes it to Westhaven, just as a group of unusually large boars is rampaging through the town. Two of them attack him, and he is mauled, but manages to take them out in the end. After the battle, he notices there are four others who stayed to fight these beasts.

They all stand in a circle.

These are the chosen.

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