Episode 1: Hunger
Raven, Watch Captain in charge of the clan’s defences
Herbmaker, healer and apothecary, recently returned to the clan from travels abroad
Shaggy, the clan shaman, older brother of Raven
Characters present: Raven, Shaggy, Herbmaker, Broken Stone (a young warrior)
At the main gate of the Roaring Water stronghold, named for the waterfall that plunges through a cataract within its walls, Broken Stone comes running up the path from the foothills to the west, panting with exhaustion.
He tells Raven that a band of horsemen have attacked one of the clan’s outlying farms and set fire to the crops. Food is scarce this year, and the loss of this harvest could have serious consequences. Raven assures Broken Stone that she will send someone to the farm right away and tell the Chief herself.
(1 drama token to Raven from the kitty)
Characters: Raven, Hillwalker (the Chief)
Raven goes to the Chief’s chambers, which are carved into the mountainside. She tells the Chief about the attack on the farm. Hearing that the attackers were horsemen, he concludes the Horse clan are to blame.
He scolds Raven for coming to him when she should see to the incident immediately herself. But Raven sidesteps the issue and evades responsibility, promising instead to go now.
(1 drama token to GM from kitty – Hillwalker wanted Raven to assume responsibility for responding to the attack)
Characters: Raven, a dozen clan warriors
Raven takes a band of fighters down from the mountain to the farm. The attackers are in the midst of setting a fire in the farmhouse while the crops around it burn. The horsemen are too many to take on directly, but by creeping through the wheat, obscured by the black smoke, Raven and her men are able to creep up on a straggler as the raiders ride away, and take him prisoner.
Characters: Herbmaker, Hillwalker
Time: shortly before the arrival of Broken Stone at the gate
From a crag above the stronghold, Herbwalker observes the initial attack on the farm in the valley below as he collects rocks to make a plant-growth potion.
By the time Herbmaker picks his way down the mountain, Broken Stone has arrived at the stronghold. As Broken Stone gives the news to Raven, Herbmaker shows Shaggy the bag of rocks he has collected. Shaggy is unimpressed, so Herbmaker goes to the Chief’s chambers.
Hillwalker is initially dismissive, but Herbmaker wins him over and the Chief agrees to have some of the clan help look for magic rocks, and to collect leftover food to make crop-growing potions.
(1 drama token to GM from kitty)
(Shaggy) ** Yes, I got the order wrong. No one seemed to notice.
Characters: Shaggy, Herbmaker, Hillwalker
Shaggy strides into the Chief’s meeting chamber and proceeds to tell the Chief that Herbmaker’s outsider ways (learnt on his travels away from the clan) will lead them astray.
He rebukes Herbmaker for picking up rocks while the fields burned, though Hillwalker points out this is not Herbmaker’s responsibility. Nonetheless, he seems somewhat swayed by Shaggy’s dire warnings that “no good will come of this”.
Rather than outright reverse his earlier words to Herbmaker, Hillwalker dismisses both the healer and the shaman.
(1 drama token from GM to Shaggy)
Raven has returned to the stronghold with her captive, who wears the shiny plumed helmet of the Horse clan. She and her men are tired, and blackened with soot from the fire.
The whole clan gathers in the centre of the fort, surrounding the captive. Hillwalker calls upon Shaggy, who knows the language of the Horse clan, to interrogate the man. Shaggy retires to his hut and puts on his shaman’s regalia – ornate headdress, face and body paint, magical staff with beads and fish bones, etc.
He puts on a grand performance, questioning the captive and roaring declamations to the waiting crowd, rousing them to anger.
Raven and Herbmaker urge restraint, wanting to keep the man alive to follow the Horse clan raiders, and to find out why they would attack without looting anything or taking captives.
However, egged on by Shaggy and the expectant crowd, Hillwalker draws his sword and cleaves the prisoner’s head from his shoulders in one mighty blow.
“We will follow the Horse clan and take our revenge,” says Hillwalker, summoning his senior advisors as he storms towards his chambers.
(1 drama token from Shaggy to GM, 1 from GM to Herbmaker)