[OD&D] S40 The Revenirs | Nemain’s Train | Boot Hill S06

System: Original Dungeons & Dragons/Boot Hill 1e
GM Malchor

Jameson as Elestar Half-Elven / Ellis “El”
Dwight as Hodge, Bane of Cannibals / Hal

NPCs (and player’s not in attendance):
Clint the Marshal
Nemain the Witch
The Pianoman
Yolo the Finway
Sebastian the Slinger “Seb”
Al the Accompanist

Session 40 “Nemain’s Train” or “Ellis and Hal Strike a Balance”
Location: Bridge out of Blackbird, Alternate Reality (Boot Hill 1e)
Time: Dusk
Quest: Return a D’Derga deity to fight our allies, the Dwarves

Surrounded by horses ridden by Humans that look similar to Yolo, Al and El; Nemain standing as if to speak; Sebastian about to stop her. She smirks at him and faces these horsemen, “Has my sister sent you?”

They look confused.

...GM lost Internet....
Why didn’t I take the Sheriff's badge?

In an altered Elvish, Ellis asks the horsemen, “What news?”

“Medicine Woman says the time is coming where Europeans will pay and be driven out.”

Ellis and I both look at each other thinking the Medicine Woman is Nemain’s sister. We discuss Sebastian’s concerns (disliking this land, wanting to go home). El thinks she is our only way back however he also believes this is a dream. I suggest we may simply wake up back home whether we succeed or fail at the quest.

Al strums his fiddle absently.

One of the horsemen say,“The horse eaters are active at night.”

Apparently there are ‘larger than a horse’ burrowing creatures with shells that sound a lot like myths I’ve heard about Land Sharks back in our world. These horsemen hunt them religiously. The beasts have been around as long as anyone remembers.

One of the horsemen questions the odd weapons (swords) in our group and wants one. El and I joke about it but ultimately El sacrifices his weapon and gives it to the man who now calls himself “Sword-Bearer.”

Sword-Bearer mentioned he wants to go back to Hole In The Ground however his people are leery of the flashing light beckoning our approach. Behind us, the town starts to light up with lanterns. El and I feel the pull of the mine. Fate.

The horsemen are nervous. I say, “Don’t worry, we’ll protect you.” This ruffles their feathers a bit and they bluster.

We head to the Mine and find two ladies with guns eyeing us suspiciously. I greet them, “We’re not from the town.” They ignore me.

Nemain rises and they lower their guns, “Are they with you Neigh Neigh?” She nods.

They had hoped she was with us which is why they flashed us. I look for some beads to give them.

Twelve women and nearly double that in children inside the Mine who have nearly run out of food. Nemain turns toward the town and starts chanting,

“Bring me thunder, bring me steel, bring me coat of iron mail
Bring me diamond hardened will and let my courage never fail.
Bring the lightning to my sword, lashing, living in my hand
And bring warning to the horde that here the Battle Crow stands!”

The earth erupts and some creatures burst upward and tear the town apart.

I interrogate the ladies a bit. They’ve been up here a week and have their own wagon with what remains of their food. The sickness affecting the town was primarily directed at men but also a few women who turned on Nemain.

The Townies accused her of being a witch and thus she cursed them.... Like a witch.

Nemain pretends to be nice to a child but we know better at this point. She tries to meet my gaze however I’ve kept my tattoo covered up and avoid the witch. We sleep.

In the morning we see the town of Blackbird is nothing but ruins and holes in the ground. The horsemen offer to adopt the women and children into their camp.

Clint feels obligated to protect them but prefers going to Brownstone. Nemain enthralls them into joining the horsemen.

El voices a concern to me that we’re being toyed with like pawns in a game. I see a visible annoyance on his face and support his thoughts on the matter, even encouraging him that this is not a good direction for us.

“Sidhe. You’re not an Elf, you’re Sidhe.” utters the maniacal witch to El and maybe the other Elves. Who knows with her.

She regales us with tales of Dwarves, Elves and D’Derga getting along before the Aesir brought a conquering Dwarf army to Baylor. Probably that trickster Loki. She questions if we’re with Loki but El and I sort of dodge the question with weak denials.

I ask her what plans she has and she plays it with nonchalant ignorance. El asks if she’s coming with us which she readily agrees to, like it’s part of her plan.

I ponder aloud, “What happens when you’re reunited with your sisters?” Again she feigns ignorance.

I try to quietly ask the ladies from the Mine if they’d ever seen Nemain injured or sick. I’m curious if she can even be harmed since those of Blackbird simply imprisoned her, probably incapable of killing her. The ladies of the Mine think me odd and pull away from me.

Nemain now even claims ignorance of any curse she laid as the ladies defend her humanity in vain.

The horsemen are ready to leave and push us for a decision. Clint wants to head to Brownstone and telegraph his superiors while leaving our payment at the bank. Nemain seems to manipulate things so that he comes with us to the Horsemen camp by leaning on his obligation to see the women and children to safety.

I question how his people deal with the landsharks. The rich from the East hunt them via train and ‘Bulette’ guns. The carapace is useful for crafting items. They have a weak spot below the triangle fin and can be chased off with a canon.

So, one of the ladies, Em stole their wagon from the town previously and between their wagon and our wagon we can transport everyone. How fortuitous.

We travel two days North-East to the Horsemen Camp, led by Sword-Bearer. Nemain is well behaved on the trip and we are unable to determine if she can be harmed. I sidebar with Sebastian to touch base and sympathize with his desire to leave this world and go home.

Clint, Sebastian, Pianoman and myself are given oblique looks. We may not be quite as well received as expected. The women are welcomed in. Not sure what will become of the children. Hopefully not like the D'Derga stories of drowning Dwarven kids. Their leader, Plenticoups, speaks with El. El and I are on the same page and as I urge him to ask about the Medicine Woman he has a brief smile showing me he was thinking that exact thing.

We are told an alarming prophecy about vengeance against Clint’s people similar to something I learned on Baylor. Nemain has already laid waste to a town of ‘father’s and sons.’

Sword-Bearer bestows El a horse and they bond a bit.

Plenticoups preens about how heroic it was that Nemain washed away a town (Blackbird) that caused so much trouble. He leads us to Macha, a women with raven-black hair and skin like Clint’s people (maybe paler).

“Sidhe? Here? What brings you here?”

El responds, “We travel with your sister.”

“Are the Isles at peace? Did the D’Derga send you?”

El tells her of war and vampires. I direct the conversation toward the Vampire Queen as a mutual enemy. She understands me and speaks Common.

“Tuatha De Danann; Children of the Danube; you walk with the warriors. Taranis is like a cousin-brother. Interesting that one warrior god would send you to find another. Or did Loki send you?”

I scratch my left shoulder and ask “Would we be able to identify Loki if we saw him?”

“One day the great spirits of war will unite and release them from their struggles. The war caused ‘Discord.’ The Dwarves are not evil but have too much ambition much like those here in this world.”

I drop into thought over her words and my own actions leading up until this point. I think on how Taranis is no innocent god as he takes brutal sacrifices. Who is right? Can there be peace? Should we choose a side or strike a balance in the middle as mercenaries. Wasn't there a story of mercenaries switching sides when the island was at war in the past? What if the D’Derga were defeated?

El and I discuss options. We recall how when we started in Carcino the Dwarves there worshiped non Aesir, Manammaneclear. You know, the ones who hide in their temple once a month.

El speaks wisdom, “Whatever we decide, we decide as Revenirs. The only thing that matters is making it out together.” He believes in balance and not picking a side. We talk about whether this is a dreamworld or land of the dead. Some sort of ‘balance’ is struck between us that seems to be like a puzzle piece falling into place.

Side Note: It seems like we’re dealing with some parallel where Clint’s people are considered invaders to Sword-Bearer’s people as the Dwarves are considered invaders to the D’Derga (although it had Dwarves and Elves already there – plus the Orc invasion put down by the Dwarves – Orcs held the Elf stronghold once and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mor Toc is coming back). Both worlds seem to have duplicitous prophecies of wiping the invaders away in ways most horrific.