This week I read:
Elric: The Sailor on the Seas of Fate by Michael Moorcock
Which includes the very first Elric story: finally, I know how it all began! It’s kind of a stark contrast, going from one of the later-written stories which features Elric and three other incarnations of the Eternal Champion (Erekose, Corum, and Hawkmoon) to the very first story, and seeing the change of writing style. While the first story was good, the writing is definitely worse than the later ones.
Now in Elric’s journey I’ve got to the point where the war between Law and Chaos properly starts (with Elric summoning Arioch of Chaos and breaking some ancient pact) and to the destruction of Melnibone (by Elric), so now I’m looking forward to some proper cosmic struggles.
Also, I’ve come to appreciate how apt the term “sword and sorcery” is for the genre. Elric has two tools—his magic sword and his sorcery—and he solves all problems with them.
The Halls of Arden Vul
No dungeoneering this week: the party went to the nearby town to sell a gem and some scrolls they found in their previous delve, and then spent the rest of the session searching around in the ruined city for that other entrance they think they’ve found.
They didn’t exactly find what they were looking for, but they did find a couple of other interesting features, which could lead them deeper into the dungeon more quickly than I expected, so I’m reading up on levels 5 and 6 in preparation.
This is great, I really like how interconnected Arden Vul is: the main entrance everyone knows about actually takes you straight down from the surface to level 3 of the dungeon, the surface entrance to level 1 is harder to find. And from level 3 there are passages leading to the surface, to several different dungeon levels, and to various sub-levels. Some passages are easier to find, and so fairly well known to the adventuring community; others are less well known (or even totally unknown) and so knowing where they are gives you some advantage. But that advantage comes with risk, because the less well known (and less well-travelled) parts of the dungeon are more likely to have wandering unintelligent monsters!
Despite being a dungeon, one of the most constrained environments imaginable, sessions are still really unpredictable. And that’s fun.
- (Re-)Running the Megadungeon
- (Re-)Running the Megadungeon – Part 2: Restocking the Dungeon
- (Re-)Running the Megadungeon – Part 3: The Players Take Charge
- Treasure Maps & The Unknown: Goals in the Megadungeon
- Breathing Life Into the Wandering Monster