Monday, December 2, 2013

Finchbox Play Report - Session 1 - A Tower was Crumbled.

Scab Grinder. A Red Cap

Below is the bragging story of Scab Grinder, about his exploration, with several other destitute wanderers and castoffs, of the newly fallen tower of Grimsgate's lord protector .  The Scab Grinder is a forest spirit that stumbled into Grimsgate recently.  The entity seemed harmless enough, and since the lords are vanished and the capital has fallen, there is no one to say it should be driven back into the woods. Worse there is no one to drive the foul intrusion of the magical back into the woods,but it seems willing and even delighted to do menial labor (especially butchering) for table scraps and stale beer. Scab Grinder is a Red Cap, a twisted elemental brute of animate burl and root that crudely copies the ways of man.  As a PC Scab Grinder is a Lvl 1 dwarf played in Brendan’s “Finchbox” inaugural session.  He acquitted himself well, but did little besides acting as a guinea pig for gasses and spotting hidden doors.

There was sun above the rich earth, and the vibrations of the people below, the questing touch of growing things.  This was.  Then there was movement and the light of sun amongst the forest, and it was good to be inside the growing thing.  Time existed and also self.  Self begat knowledge of that outside self, and such knowledge is not quickly found standing still.  The ambition for more knowledge of the world cannot be served by standing alone in the deep dappled woods.  That is how the root wandered.  The root found others and others were different then the root, softer and loud, calling themselves men.  The root took a name, Scab Grinder, as those were in the words of the others and sounded strong. Scab Grinder was brought most powerful sensations in the test of the Root’s form against those of men.  Squashing, pulping and looking at their inner workings – such color, worthy of a hat for Scab Grinder.  Still ambition demands more than simply wandering the woods and crushing the men found there, dipping his hat in the red water that runs from their still forms.

Scab Grinder now lives among the men, he enjoys their foods and mostly their drinks, as the sun does not give what it once did.  The Thorp of Grimmsgate is small but more exciting than the woods.  Scab Grinder sees the respect paid men who wear metal. Scab Grinder makes and finds a big metal hand, it is good for crushing, harder than the root.  Grimmsgate respects Scab Grinder, they will give him drink to frighten strange men, or to dance, or to smash and tear up animals to eat.  Still the thorp becomes slow, as empty of the new as the woods were when the root decided to wander.

Things change, the tower of the wizard of Grimmsgate, a man that could speak to Scab Grinder’s people, and compel them even, is cracked, silent and attracts the most interesting men – as a dead food creature attracts flies. Scab Grinder joins the men and travels to the cracked tower, where he senses his people, both their toil in the tower’s construction and their play in laying it low.

The doors are locked, but the iron hand breaks them.

A mud strewn chamber, rutted by wagons. Gates mark each of the four sides and Scab Grinder’s companions choose to go East. A thing is soon found scrabbling on long brass legs. Most marvelous, a spider of glass, brass and green ichor. A man of power makes it slip on itself, tumbling and sliding into the spears of the Scab Grinder’s fellows.

Walking on there is the possibility of a door in the wall. A trigger is discovered and the room beyond contains pipes and spigots. Of the three spigots one sprays pink gas, it is pleasant and smells of flowers. One blue gas that makes Scab Grinder sneeze, and the last one green and glowing fumes that otherwise offer no new experiences.

As Scab Grinder and the men sample the gas, there is noise, and one of the Scab Grinders people stumbles up into the air from the stone floor. It is not of Scab grinder’s clan, or race, but a vermin, angry and alien, insensible to reason. The men strike at it and it strikes the men. Scab Grinder hits it with the hand and the stone vermin loses one of its six flailing limbs. It strikes one of the men and breaks him, but another man touches him and calls life spirits back into the body to repair the broken man. To Scab Grinder this new seeing and sensing of the man herding the life spirits into the other man is very novel. The vermin is destroyed by one of the other men, the one that smells like the forest.

The group goes on, Scab Grinder is happy to lead, it is nice to see things first. A room of discarded weapons awaits and Scab Grinder takes a shield and crossbow. The more metal one wears the more respect there is. Others also equip themselves with this find. The remaining weapons are moved to the door of the tower.

North of the armory is a strange space, where things vanish when they go through. Dirt and an arrow are thrown through the space and cannot be retrieved – a curious experience. Beyond is a great diamond shaped room, the ceiling feeling incorrectly low to Scab Grinder, the floor rutted and on the North wall a gated arch leading back to the tower’s entry. A stair leads down from the diamond room, but it is filled with rubble, which also feels wrong to Scab Grinder.

Returning to the armory there is a room of papers to the South. The broken man, now fixed, claims he was a tax collector. Another man, the one with all the glass bottles, reads some papers. Apparently the wizard of the tower forbade his men from making noise when the earthquake destroyed his tower. They also ate figs then, Scab Grinder has heard of figs, he would like to try them, as they sound quite novel. Scab Grinder will settle for the rugs on the floor, which another man, the one who brought the life spirits, points out. The room smells of roses, like the pleasant gas in the room to the North. The rugs are carried off and the gas avoided.

Beyond the paper room is a kitchen. Strange chemics, for scouring, drips into a huge cauldron.  Looking South the possibility of a door presents itself and the darting man, like a hot lizard, again finds the latch and Scab Grinder rushes into the pantry beyond.  There is a bejeweled samovar concealing a keg of ale, Scab Grinder drinks the ale and others take the samovar, other then the ale and the jewels there is only beans and rice, dried and in huge sacks in the room.  The quick man finds another hidden door, it leads to a room for speaking, but that is boring when Scab Grinder has ale.  To the East is another room, it is for storing cauldrons.  Taking the rugs, weapons, ale and Samovar the men and Scab Grinder return to Grimmsgate. It was unfortunate that even with the fighting there was no red water to color Scab Grinder's cap.


  1. Taking the rugs,even? Now, that's good treasure-hunting.

    1. We left the furniture, pots and pans though. We did ask about its quality in our defense. I remember trying to heft fancy couches across a rolling boulder trapped ravine. Large chunk of game time spent describing pulley systems. Still, like the rugs monster couches were worth some GP.