Never enough of these to go around...
Never cut a deal with this guy...
Hey guys! This is my first session post ever and I couldn't think of a better game to make my first sessions post about!
This is a session report on Knight of Destiny: An Arthurian Quest for the Grail for Four Against Darkness. This book is very unique in the world of Four Against Darkness.
It utilizes absolutely no random dungeons or maps of any kind for that matter. I love this approach for this game because it completely immerses the player as the grand and epic adventure happens on a single sheet of paper and in the player's own mind!
Players will assume the role of only one Paladin, instead of the usual four characters. However, through the course of the quest, the Paladin can employ up to six retainers to from a holy crusade!
Most of this adventure takes place in the great outdoors, so there is no Marching Order and the only time a Lantern will come into play is when battling Minions during the night!
This game introduces a few new things to keep track of:
Piety Points: This is a measure of how Holy you are. Sometimes, you will gain them and be asked to test your Piety, using your points as a guide to see whether you pass or fail. You are playing the role of a Paladin and sometimes you might have to commit an Act of Dishonor, that will affect certain things dealing with Piety.
Rebellion Level: This is a measure of how the evil forces at work are working to corrupt the lands. You have a Rebellion track with numbers ranging from 1-5. If the Rebellion Level is ever at 5, you lose the game as the world around you plunges into darkness!
Rumors Tally: You can spend these in the game to modify the results on the Encounters Table. This is crucial to your success!
Another highlight of this game for me was the tables for Random Name generation! Everything name that you see in this session report was randomly generated through these tables and nothing more! Fantastic!
In this play session, each turn is a different journey of my Paladin and will be denoted by a number in bold, followed by what occurs in Italics. Occasionally I will "break" character to tell you about certain conditions in the game as they unfold.
What my Paladin starts out at Level 3 with: 9 life points, a sword (hand weapon), heavy armor (plate mail), a Shield, a lantern, a packing mule (in which to hold treasures I might find), and 40 Gold Coins.
Initially, I wondered if I should include the term SPOILERS in the subject of this thread or perhaps a spoiler box around the play through of it. I decided not to though, for there are so many ways this game can go and I do not believe reading this report will spoil anything in your game of it!
This is a game I will definitely come back to again and I hope you enjoy reading this long session of Knight of Destiny!
Backstory: The age of King Arthur was a high medieval world, rich with chivalry, monsters, dragons, witches and deadly knights, who are always ready for a challenge.
The Kingdom is in decay, Lancelot has left and King Arthur has fallen ill! Traitor Knights, led by the vile Morgana and her unholy child Mordred have rebelled. Only the Grail can heal Arthur and end the evil, but it is a race against time. The traitors are hunting Paladins to stop the quest for the Grail! If the Grail is not found in time, all will be lost to darkness...
From the Journal Entries of Sir Dagonet, Paladin...
1. At a crossroads, I turn right and happen upon a Village of Poverty and Famine, unfortunately with my modest coinage of 40 gold coins, I am powerless to really make a difference here. With a heavy heart, I continue along...
2. Bypassing the Red Bear Inn, I hear that a questing Paladin has been killed by traitors in a distant location! I had best hurry!
This makes the Rebellion track increase to 1!
3. I can't believe I could get lost so easily out here. Maybe the recent news of that questing Paladin is getting to me? Trying to collect myself, I hear in passing that Laamorz the Wizard lives in a nearby enchanted tower. He is apparently draining the life forces of anything nearby! Not under my watch! May God give me strength to serve my King and country!
It is as if Laamorz knew I was coming, for he was waiting for me outside of his tower! His constant barrage of fireballs soon followed. A barrage of flame that nearly killed me! However, I did gain the upper hand and even forced him to retreat back into his tower. I promptly followed...What a mistake that was!
This was a trap he was sending me into. For now, with the aid of the enchanted tower I could only fight at half my former strength! Still though, after a long and bloody battle, I was able to vanquish him and thus, break his enchantment he cast to the tower.
I found in his possessions, a Unicorn Horn. This fetches a hefty sale price in most Inns and I could also use it to scare away certain dog like beasts! A great find indeed! I also found 22 Gold Coins and some Silver Cutlery and Goblets that I could probably sell later. What a day!
Current Life: 1
4. At a crossroads, I come across the Hound and Hog Inn. Impressed with my recent exploits, they gave me free food and lodging. They also told me that there are people around looking for work and would love to be employed by me at half their normal payment! I was able to almost heal up to my former self! I met Bendinet the Streetwise, Gueloc the Merchant, and Wulfmund the Brute. I was able to hire all three of them! I bought all three Heavy Armor and Bandages. I bought Gueloc a shield and sword, because the knife he had wasn't enough for the dangers that may lie ahead of us! I asked Wulfmund to be the Latern Bearer at nightfall, which he promptly agreed!
During my stay we discover a rumor! I was even able to sell those Silver Cutlery and Goblets for 28 Gold Coins! Gueloc hears of a religious relic for sale. The asking price was 70 Gold Coins! The well being of my newfound company was more important to be than a relic which may or may not be fake. The 70 Gold Coin asking price seemed suspect to me. I thanked Gueloc for the advice and that was that.
Current life: 7, Rebellion Level: 1 Rumors Tally: 1 Gold: 25 Paladin Level: 3
5. Lost again...Gueloc purposed a shortcut, that sounded good to me. Getting back on track, we pass upon the scene of a recent battle that took place. Thankfully no Paladins were found amidst the bodies...
6. We come across a village full of death and despair. The Plague has struck here! I decided to help, even if doing so would kill me! My faithful companions stuck by me every step of the way. In the end, thank God, we were able to do what we could to aid the sick and dying! God Bless!
Piety Points: 1
7. During the day, we were attacked by Five Redcaps! These dwarfs cursed at us in every step of this battle. Their blood soaked caps had some strange enchantment about it. It was as if it doubled their defenses! Wulfmund the Brute and I made quick work of them. Unfortunately, Wulfmund did not leave this battle unscathed. He promptly applied a bandage after the battle and was shortly back to his former self!
The Redcaps were guarding what appeared to be the fabled Spear of Longinus! It could be a very good fake though...Well, at least it is a fine two handed slashing weapon. I gifted it to Wulfmund for his courage in this battle! In time, we'll see if this is the genuine relic!
8. A new day a new battle! 10 Forest Outlaws tried to surprise us but failed miserably and we quickly caused to disband! They left behind some Silver Cutlery and Goblets.
9. We happen upon Castle Perilous, or so it's called by the locals. Inside we see a White Knight, one Sir Andred, was guarding the Shield of Evalach. This Shield is known throughout the lands for its superior protective capability.
Normally, is it customary for a Knight to issue a challenge. However, he did not. He explained that this would be a one on one fight to the death, where no quarter will be given or asked for! He gave me no choice but to accept, as we immeaditly when one the offensive! I thought Knights were supposed to be honorable.
The fight was bloody, long, and brutal! I was badly wounded in the end, but the Sir Andred lay dead at my feet. The Shield of Evalach was now in my possession. It is indeed vastly superior to my current one and will serve me will in future combat! I learned a lot from this battle and I can feel myself getting stronger!
Paladin Level: 4 Life: 4
10. We visited the Three Arrows Inn. The innkeeper was very talkative indeed! He told us about some local rumors. I was able to fully heal back to my normal self! I had just enough gold left to rehire my current company. I sold my Silver Cutlery and Goblets, in addition to my old Shield for 19 Gold! I buy myself a Bandage for later use. Before the left the Inn Bendinet tells me of another rumor he heard about late in the night...
Current Life: 10 Paladin Level: 4 Piety Points: 1 Rumors: 3 Rebellion Level: 1 Gold: 14
11. Utilizing the rumors that I learned of, I realized that what we heard earlier nearby in an expanse of trees had to be the Questing Beast! We made with haste! Unfortunately, it was too quick for us and was gone before we could pursue it!
Rumors Tally: 0
12. We find a fellow questing Paladin, Sir Ywain. He was mortally wounded. Before he died, he gave us some information...
Rumors Tally: 1 Rebellion Level: 2
13. A ship made of wood from the tree of life is at shore! The inscriptions on the side of the boat say, "Only the righteous may enter!" I'd like to thank I am, but am I really? (Breaking character here, I had to take a Piety test to find out, I needed to roll a 1 to pass and surprisingly I did just that!)
Aboard the ship I find The Sword of the Strange Belt. It is a magical sword. When I picked it up strange inscriptions suddenly began glowing on the scabbard. "Minions...A Challenging Knight...A Personal Quest...A Challenging Knight..." Could these be prophecies?
14. In the dead of night we were surprised by ten Wolves! Despite the fact that they had the upper hand...they fled...strange...
15. "Sir Agravain! How dare you approach me and issue you challenge to me! You traitor scum! Send Morgana this message from hell! I can't believe you even bothered to ask me for quarter when I had the upper hand. You deserve nothing more than a slow and painful death, you coward!"
These were my thoughts during the violent fight that ensued. I almost died in the process. Even though Sir Agravain was an agent of the vile Morgana, it was very dishonorable to not grant him quarter when asked to do so. Furthermore, their was nothing about that fight that I could be proud of... I must atone for my sins before I or others can consider me to be a righteous Paladin of the Legendary King Arthur again. I must go on a pilgrimage...
On his person, I found the Gem of Giramphiel. I could wear this on a necklace in the future to better avoid fire based attacks. It also acts as a light source during night. Bendinet should be pleased that he can give the lantern a rest now! We also found in his stash 35 Gold coins...
Current Gold: 49 Life: 4
16. At the Black Unicorn Inn, a pickpocket tried to steal gold from us. Thankfully he failed in this attempt. I was able to heal some, thanks to some sleep and my old Bandage. I paid my loyal company for their service. I even had some extra coinage to pay for another person to join us, but sadly there were none looking for work. I sold my old sword and my Unicorn Horn for 606 Gold coins! We heard yet, another rumor! Bendinet told me of a religious relic on sale nearby for 110 Gold coins. I bought it, even if it's a fake, I could re-sell it later for profit.
Current Life: 7 Paladin Level: 4 Piety Points: 2 Rebellion Level:2 Rumors: 2 Gold: 520
17. During my pilgrimage, I met other pilgrims who told wondrous stories of their journeys and they even offered me to drink with them. I needed to keep my wits about me so I politely declined.
I visited lawless areas filled with many bandits, trying to spread the good word...
Unfortunately, I also heard another Paladin has been killed!
At some point I came across a dense forest, which slowed me down for a bit, but I did find myself at a shrine where I prayed for forgiveness. My prayers were indeed answered! There was even a person there selling another religious relic. I politely declined, after all, I already felt blessed enough on this day!
Piety Points: 3 Rebellion Level: 3
18. Sir Garlon, another of Morgana's agents challenged me. I accepted. I told myself, if he asked me for quarter, I would grant it. I could not believe he initially tried to fight dirty by turning himself invisible! However, my magical Sword of the Strange Belt prevented him from doing so. "Sorry Garlon," I said, "this shall be a fair one on one!"
He still hurt me pretty bad! I was however, able to best him and lo and behold, he did ask me for quarter...I granted it to him. For my mercy, he gave me 70 Gold Coins!
Paladin Level: 5 Gold: 590 Life: 3
19. At the White Dragon Inn, a pickpocket stole 10 Gold coins from us! I do suppose it could always be worse. I was able to heal up a great deal! I paid my men and looked for more potential hires. I met another Brute name Leofmund! I promptly hired him and bought him some Heavy Armor and a bandage. I made a profit off of that religious relic I bought awhile back. I was able to sell it for 580 Gold Coins! I heard another rumor and for once Bendinet didn't hear of any more religious relics for sale!
Current Life: 8 Paladin Level: 5 Piety Points: 3 Rebellion Level: 3 Rumors: 3 Gold: 1,110
20. I revisited Castle Perilous and meet someone known as The Wanderer. He's apparently over 1000 years old! He looks good for his age, I'll give him that. He asked me to follow him to a crossroads, where we talked for a few hours and then he bid me farewell...Rather strange fellow...Before I could ponder the meaning of this encounter, we saw twelve Forest Outlaws in the distance! We waited... They approached me and my men and asked for a bribe of 36 Gold coins...I asked Gueloc to retrieve it from the packing mule. I figured they must be in a desperate situation. After payment, they made haste along their way. Today was such a strange day...
21. Another mortally wounded Paladin, Sir Safere, passes on information before succumbing to his wounds... There surely is not much time left at all!
Rebellion Level: 4 Rumors: 4
22. Utilizing the recent rumors, we learn of the location of a Castle that is rumored to possess the Holy Grail. Surely, this has to be speculation!
As we approached this castle, I could help but notice that it was shrouded by a beautiful heavenly light and I could hear what sounded like angelic music coming from inside! Strangely, my fellow company could not see this or hear the music...
Inside, we find an old and maimed Fisher King. "Greetings travellers," he says, "I've got a couple questions. On of which, this grand party of five must work hard to divine!" The Fisher King turns to Wulfmund and says, "Ah...if it isn't the genuine Spear of Longinus...This will surely guide you to the answers you seek! That is, if you know how to receive them!.
Turning back to the party as a whole, he says, "Question One, what is it that you seek?"
"The fabled Holy Grail," I told him.
"Ah...yes...indeed you feel you are worthy to possess it! Question Two. You can waste it, make it, kill it and take it. But...like the tide, no King can break it. What is this that I speak of?"
I glanced over at my fellow companions, all of which looked confused and defeated... "Dear Wolfmund," I asked, "May I hold that spear?"
With the Spear of Longinus in hands, I shut my eyes and waited for a sign...Suddenly, in my mind's eye, I could see images of a daytime sky turning to night and back to day. I had my answer! I returned the spear to Wolfmund as I proclaimed confidently, "Time!"
The Fisher King's eyes pierced through my soul and he exclaimed, "Blessed Be! The Holy Grail now belongs to thee!" With a wave of his hands the Holy Grail now appeared in mine! We must make haste at once to Camelot, before it's too late!
23. Upon entering Camelot, I find King Arthur. He was drained of energy and near death. With the Holy Grail in hand, I approached him and asked him to drink from it. When he did, almost instantaneously, he was back to his glorious old self!
He stood up and unsheathed his fabled sword Excalibur and said, "Sir Dagonet, you are indeed the greatest of my loyal Paladins! Will you help me bring this war to the traitors directly and usher in a new peace that these lands have never known?"
"Indeed, I will my liege!" I exclaimed proudly.
In four months time, employing the services of my faithful men, we helped King Arthur do just that! This surely is a heaven on Earth! God Bless!