This week we played another playtest session. You can read the first one HERE. The players had been back in Tenochtitlan for a week. There had been terror in the city of Tenochtitlan during this time. It is now almost winter and the warring season is about to enter full swing. Nobles and high-ranking members of the military had gone missing on foggy nights. During these nights, terrible moans could be heard through out the city and those caught in the fog disappear, never to be seen again. A handful of nobles and pochteca (merchants) have gone missing in a number of weeks. The players sought to investigate this.
This session had Tlalli the Eagle Warrior return along with Matlapaltic the Jaguar Warrior. Izell the Eagle Warrior and Tecuhtli the Nahualli joined the investigation this time as well.
The group convinced a merchant in the markets to loan them a slave which the players hoped to use as bait for whatever this entity was. They investigated the noble's calpulli (district) and Tlalli was able to find strange tracks in a side alley. The tracks appeared to have two handprints and then it looked like a large drag mark in between. Tecuhtli determined that this is a mythical monster said to be sent by the gods to remind men of their mortality. The investigation continued and the tracks lead to the home of a noble named Xipil. Xipil is one of the nobles who went missing. The group talked to his wife, Xitlali. She said he was preparing to lead a campaign against Texcoco (this game is taking place before the triple city alliance when Texcoco was still an enemy).
The group was uncertain what to do, so they went to converse with Tepalcoatl, a mentor of theirs from the last session. Tepalcoatl was sympathetic to them with a reaction roll that was in their favor. He knew it would be taboo, but he offered the players a cloak of his that is designed and permitted for only nobility to wear as the players wanted to dress the slave as a noble to lure this beast in the fog.
That night, they did just that. Matlapaltic gave a great pep talk to the slave tellign him this is his change to protect the city and for glory. With a reaction roll, the slave was encouraged and while sacred, did not flee what was about to come.
They lured the beast in around 1 am or so on the morning. The fog rolled in and they heard terrible moaning. The players had set up an ambush among the rooftops of the nobles in the area. The slave, dressed in Tepalcoatl's cloths was in front of the home.
Through the fog, the players could see a strange shape dragging itself along the ground. Moans seemed to come from all sides and at irregular intervals. Just then, 3 figures rushed the slave from either side. They were armed. The creature stopped.
Tlalli jumped from the roof and instantly knocked one unconscious with the flat of his macuahuitl (taking human enemies alive gives more status points or essentially XP in the game). Matlapaltic and Izell did the same but were unsuccessful in their strikes.
Combat ensued. Tlalli was struck with a weapon and Tepalcoatl, though now old, stepped out of his home in his Jaguar Warrior war suit and engaged in the melee as well. Just as the combat was about to really pick up, a different more hollow moan which sounded as if it was coming in every direction could be heard. 3 enemy warriors were sucked into the fog and disappeared. Tecuhtli took the form of an owl in order to fly up and see if he could see anything. He saw a pale hideous creature with no legs tearing apart the bodies of the warriors. It was on top of one person who had a sack around his legs (clearly a man impersonating the monster he was now being killed by). The creature was using it's mouth and hands to rip him to pieces.
Meanwhile, the other warriors engaging the players attempted to flee in terror. Izell killed one with his bow and Matlapaltic incapacitated another with a charge. They quickly dragged the unconscious foes back into the home and tied them up. Tepalcoatl warned them not to pursue the beast as it would surely kill them.
The players questioned the warriors. The warriors said they were impersonating the monsters of legend in order to capture nobles and others as prisoners for sacrifice. This served another purpose of disrupting the war efforts of the Aztecs. These captured warriors are not destined for sacrifice.
The players judged that they should return the slave to his master and that his bravery would bring great honor to his master's household. Perhaps enough that his debts and service would be considered fulfilled. Seems in the coming sessions, some attacks against Texcoco will be planned in revenge.