Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Warren, Session 2: Go the Rabbitohs!

Second session of The Warren! The previous session ended on a big cliffhanger, but I went ahead and let everyone pick another character move. They were:

  • Belladonna: Outran the Black Rabbit
  • Veggie-mite: Ace in the Hole
  • Thump-tor: Thumper
  • Muddy: Swift Runner

The session begins with all of the rabbits realizing that the cane toads had hopped off with the gun. Thump-tor and Veggie-mite resist panic over this turn of events, though Belladonna is a bit freaked out by it. After discussing the situation, the PCs as well as Ash and Dusty decide they needed to go tell the Queen about the cane toads' new power.

Buck-tor allows all of the group in to see the Queen, who usually doesn't see visitors. She is a very large rabbit, with pure gray fur. She speaks with a weak voice and is unable to sit up on her bed of straw. Muddy takes the lead in explaining what had happened. The Queen is upset, and tells them that human weapons are cursed because humans use them to hunt rabbits. She declares that everyone who had touched the gun would be banished from the warren. Muddy had, of course, already admitted to holding the gun, and had implicated Ash and Dusty. Thump-tor and Veggie-mite truthfully deny having used the gun, but Belladonna has to speak plainly to convince the Queen that she hadn't held it. Buck-tor then escorts the three outcasts away from the warren.

Once outside the warren, Ash and Dusty decide they needed to steal the gun back from the toads, in order to redeem themselves and protect the warren. They tell Muddy that if he helps them, they would forgive him for trying to steal the gun. The three rabbits trail the toads to a swampy area near a stream. Muddy tries to sneak up on the toads to see what they ware doing. He spies a large group of toads confronting a smaller group, one of whom is holding the gun in its mouth with its tongue around the trigger. The toads spot Muddy's ears sticking out of the weeds. Muddy is able to bolt back to Ash and Dusty and warn them about the large group of toads. The three of them then bolt away, and hear the toads begin to fight behind them. During the toads' fight, the gun fires.

Back at the warren, the remaining PCs decide that they needed to lead the remaining rabbits to a new place. They decide to try to get to Flopsy's homeland on the other side of the River Jordan. Veggie-mite speaks plainly to the warren and convinces them all of the plan. The only rabbits who decided not to go along are Buck-tor and Hop-tor (the latter being a Knight Emeritus of Moloch), who both feel that their place is to stay and defend their Queen until the last. Veggie-mite tries to convince the Queen to come with them, but she says she is too weak to travel. But she gives her blessing to Veggie-mite and the litter she would soon give birth to.

The warren packs up and sets out for the river. They send a young squire of the Knights of Moloch, known as Bran-squee, to find the outcasts and invite them to join the new warren. But the outcasts had already decided to make their own way to the river, and so Bran-squee could not find them. That night, both parties have to dig shelters and resist panic caused by the hoots of owls in the woods.

The next day, Muddy, Ash, and Dusty reach the river first. They see a bridge with lots of car traffic upstream, and an island in the river downstream. Various trash lies along the river, including a plastic bag bearing a picture of lettuce but filled only with black slime. Dusty deems this a bad omen, so Muddy uses Strong to push an old truck tire down the beach a bit so that it would form a shelter while they wait for the others.

The rest of the warren comes onto the edge of the river just upstream of the tire. When Muddy pokes his head up to see them, he also sees a human fishing in the river near the bridge. This human is wearing a red and green shirt with a white rabbit on it. Muddy decides that this human must be a servant of Moloch. When the fisherman begins to approach the rabbits, Thump-tor successfully resists panic, but Veggie-mite does not -- leading her to lose control. She freezes, and the man scoops her up in a fishing net. As he goes to take her back to his car, Thump-tor bites him in the foot, then again on the hand when he reaches down to grab the offending rabbit (custom moves on Strong). The man throws Thump-tor and Veggie-mite in a big metal tackle box and latches the lid. Muddy sees a sticker on the man's car with the same white rabbit, so he decides to sneak in and ride along. The man gets in and drives away with three rabbits in the back seat.

Belladonna, meanwhile, had resisted panic at the man's approach, then decided to head into the water to get away. She also resists panic at the wide river, but is not as successful at swimming (custom move on Strong). She, along with Ash and Dusty, is swept downstream and washes up on the island that they had seen. Coming out of the water, they are confronted by three cane toads. In broken rabbitish, one of the toads identifies itself as a member of the Slimy clan. He explains that they share a common enemy, as the Warty Clan had stolen the Slimy Clan's land just like they were trying to do to the rabbits. He says that the Slimy Clan has acquired a powerful weapon that he calls the Slayer, but it is out of ammunition. If the rabbits will help the Slimy Clan get more ammunition for the Slayer, the toads will help them cross the river.

Dusy and Ash are unsure about this deal, but Belladonna speaks plainly to them. They agree to accept the deal, but only if Belladonna takes the first ride on toad-back across the river.

The car carrying the other three PCs eventually stops at a house. Muddy sneaks into a hidden corner of the car while the man opens the back door and picks up the box containing the other two rabbits, then bolts out before the door is closed. The man takes the tackle box over to a chicken wire hutch that is attached to the side of a shed, and puts Thump-tor and Veggie-mite in it. The hutch is several feet off the ground, and has a wooden nest box located inside the shed itself. He gives them some lettuce, then leaves in the car. When Thump-tor pays attention to the hutch he comes up blank, but Veggie-mite recognizes the smell in the hutch as having a familiar resonance.

The two caged rabbits offer Muddy some lettuce to do some scouting around. After paying attention to the surrounding area, he reports that the shed islocated behind a medium-sized one-story house and next to a sizeable vegetable garden. The shed itself has a door that is old and cracked enough for a rabbit to slip inside. In the shed are a variety of garden tools, a metal tank with a picture of a crossed-out cane toad on it, and up on a work bench, some cardboard boxes with pictures of a gun on them.

Meanwhile, Belladonna, Ash, Dusty, and the three cane toads have crossed the river and come to a road. The first toad who tries to cross is flattened by a car. Belladonna resists panic, but is less successful when she attempts to bolt across the road. She is clipped by a car and takes a scar, giving up her "Engineer" move.

The toads and rabbits make their way to a house where the toads believe some ammunition can be found -- which turns out to be the same house where the other rabbits are. Muddy resists panic and Belladonna explains the deal she made with the toads. They realize that the boxes Muddy saw in the shed are ammunition boxes. Thump-tor goes into the nest box and uses his strength to break the top off the box so that he can get out of the cage and into the shed. In doing so, he takes a scar and can no longer sneak. He uses his strength again to move the tank close to the workbench, allowing him to get up onto it and knock a bunch of the boxes of ammunition onto the floor.

At this point the man returns, accompanied by his 8-year-old daughter. All of the PCs resist panic. The man picks Veggie-mite out of the hutch and hands her to the girl, then grabs Muddy as well. Belladonna is able to sneak away, while Thump-tor bolts. Seeing the mess that Thump-tor made in the shed, he gathers up all of the ammunition and brings it inside, along with the two rabbits.

Inside, the girl sits down with Veggie-mite to watch TV. On the screen, she sees a bunch of humans wearing shirts with the white rabbit on them, ramming themselves repeatedly into another group of humans. It turns out that the man was just a big supporter of the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby team!

Meanwhile, Belladonna pays attention to the outside of the house, discovering that there is a good place to hide near the door that will allow her to run inside quickly when someone opens the door. As she waits for her chance to do so, Veggie-mite decides to birth a litter of 6 kits. The girl is alarmed, and the man finds a shoebox to nest the babies in. He takes the babies and their mom and shuts them in a guest room in the house.

The man leaves to get supplies to take care of the babies, which provides Belladonna with her opportunity to sneak into the house. She hides from the girl (who is now holding Muddy), while signalling to Muddy to ask where the man put the ammunition. Muddy points out the cabinet in the living room where it was locked up. Belladonna moves down the hallway and finds the room where Veggie-mite has been put. They agree that Veggie-mite will scream, creating a distraction so that Belladonna can chew through the window screen to let Thump-tor and the two toads into the house. They do so.

Returning, the man sees the two toads hopping in through the hole in the window screen. He runs to the shed and grabs the tank of toad poison. Inside, Thump-tor uses his strength to bust open the cabinet, spilling bullets everywhere. Each of the toads grabs a big mouthful of bullets and hops back out through the screen. Belladonna uses her swiftness to dive through the window and throw herself in front of the poison spray, protecting the toads at the cost of her own life. (Or so it seems, as she can Outrun the Black Rabbit). Thump-tor, meanwhile, attacks the man again and gives him a good bite on the foot (as he has exchanged his fishing waders for thongs).

The man is now thoroughly fed up with rabbits. He tosses Belladonna's apparent corpse into the bushes, then grabs the box of Veggie-mite's babies and does likewise. veggie-mite and Muddy bolt out of the house. As they do so, they are met by Bran-squee. He explains that he has just come from the warren, where the Warty Clan has injured Buck-tor and collapsed the entrance, seemingly trapping Buck-tor, Hop-tor, and the Queen inside to slowly starve.

In the bushes, they agree on a plan. Thump-tor will remain with Belladonna's body to hold a vigil over it before he buries her. Muddy has decided he likes the comforts of life with humans, so he will work his way down the street until he finds a home that will accept him (thereby retiring the character). And Veggie-mite will return to the warren with the toads. Ash, Dusty, and Bran-squee will help her carry the babies.

Arriving back at the warren, they meet up with several other members of the Slimy Clan, including one who has the gun. They load the gun, and the Slimy Clan takes aim at the Warty Clan. The gun kills several toads and drives the others off. But in the process a shot mortally wounds Buck-tor, who along with Hop-tor made a sneak assault on the toads from the warren's secret back entrance. With the toads gone, the other rabbits bring Veggie-mite in to see the Queen just before she passes away, handing over leadership to Veggie-mite.

Days later, Thump-tor returns to the warren to resume his post as Knight of Moloch, along side Bran-squee (who has been promoted to Bran-tor, a full Knight). The other rabbits from the warren have also returned. After being left in a shallow grave, Belladonna revives, and decides to join the Slimy Clan as an honorary cane toad.