Cortex Prime: Missing in the Southern Forest
Yesterday, I ran another Cortex Prime session for Anya. We were in town overnight and she brought out her Cortex Prime rulebook and asked me to GM for her. Because I did not bring her Agent Walker character sheet, she played a new character. So for the first 15 minutes, we brainstormed a very simple fantasy setting…
- Alexandra “Alex” Purplecat – Mythical Creature Protector
The Sunday Morning Crisis
It was a Sunday morning at the outskirts of the village of Bluehorn in the realm of Green Home. The two suns Bee and Moth had just risen from the west. Bluehorn was one of the villages that surrounded the city of Green Tiger. The city and its surrounding region was the only place in the real safe from the deadly Mythical Creatures that roamed the land. To the north were icy wastes. A searing desert was to the west. A treacherous mountainous region awaited travellers to the east. Meanwhile, the Southern Forest was a dangerous obstacle to the south for hundreds of miles.
Alex Purplecat lived in a wooden house with a red roof and white walls. She was a mythical creature protector who went to save endangered magical creatures or protect people from lethal ones. Her dream was to create a sanctuary for them. This Mythical Creature Hotel sanctuary could not be built yet as she has not enough resources to build one.
Alex went to Zak the baker’s shop for some cupcakes. Zak had a freshly baked tray of unicorn cupcakes that Alex was happy to buy. That was when a woman rushed in looking distressed. It was Brenda Pinkhair the woman who owned the lumber company in Bluehorn.
“Please help me, Alex,” she said. “My son wondered off last night into the Southern Forest and he hasn’t come back!! You are an expert in mythical creatures, so I thought I would ask you to help look for him.”
The last time 7-year old Bradley Pinkhair was seen was 10 o’clock the previous night. When asked, Brenda told Alex that Bradley’s favourite food were chickie nuggies.
In return for her services, Brenda promised some lumber for Alex to build her sanctuary. Alex’s Hotel was right on track!
The First Bake Off
First of all, Alex returned home to cook a bagful of chickie nuggies. (She rolled a 9 on a 6 difficulty, with d10 effect die.) Her idea was to find a flying mythical creature for aerial reconnaissance while using the chickie nuggies’ delicious smell to catch Bradley’s attention.
Once they were done, it was time to search for Bradley.
The First Sortie
With her bow [d6], shield [d6], dagger [d6], survival gear [d6], rope [d6] and chickie nuggies [d10], Alex pushed south through the thick forest. There were instances of massive redwood trees that dwarfed even the tallest normal trees by ten times. She walked through the two gigantic obsidian boulders. Soon she was on a lakeside beach with a forested island a mile away.
There was a rustling of leaves behind her. Alex readied her shield. Suddenly, another woman popped out of the foliage behind her. She was dressed for the forest and looked like she had been travelling for many days. Alex said, “Hi. Have you seen a 7-year old boy lost in the forest?”
The woman said, “No.”
Then Alex asked if she saw any flying mythical creatures around. The woman said she had not, but she told Alex what best attracted flying mythical creatures near the lake: banana croissants! Then she took her leave.
Alex asked, “What’s your name?” The woman replied, “Lily Yellowhorn.” She smiled and disappeared into the greenery.
The Second Bake Off
Alex spent an hour jogging back to Bluehorn. It was 10 am. She headed home and spent an hour successfully making three banana croissants (but because she only had Bard + Reason dice in her Pool, she only acquired the default d4 Effect Die.)
She ate one croissant and headed back to the lake, double time.
The Second Sortie
There was no one else on the beach. With the croissants and nuggies in a waterproof bag, she swam out to the lake where she though a flying mythical creature might reside. But when she was 200 yards away from the island, she heard splashing behind her and saw tentacles bobbing in and out of the water. She dove under and saw a kraken, swimming to attack her.
There were also a lot of fish which gave her an idea. She then drew her dagger to stab and catch the fish. If Alex got ten fish, the kraken might go after that instead of her.
(She created her dice pool with Warrior d6, Vigor d8 and Dagger d6. If succeed, then roll Effect dice to see how many fish caught. She had three rounds to catch ten before the kraken reached her.)
She surprised herself with her first swing of her blade, which skewered six wriggling fish. Her second swing (using Hinder on her Warrior, down stepping to d4) got her only a single fish. The kraken was close now. It would grab and eat Alex in the next few seconds. A final swish of her dagger successfully struck three fish!
She then hurled the mass of dead fish to the kraken and swam for the island. Thankfully, her plan worked. The kraken spent its time devouring the easy meal Alex left for it.
Burst at the Lake
Alex reached the beach on the island. After catching her breath, she cast her Talk to Animals spell to summon a nearby mythical creature. (The dice pool consisted of Druid d10, Grace d10 and Talk to Animals d6.) A short while later something burst out of the water into the air and landed beside Alex.
It was a giant turtle with wings, the size of two huge horses. It was a skyturtle!
She named the skyturtle Burst [d10] because of how it burst out of the lake. Burst happily gobbled up one banana croissant, and allowed Alex to climb onto its back. Alex whispered what they had to do, and Burst soared into the air flying in a search pattern.
The Missing Boy
As Burst zoomed over the treetops, Alex opened her bag of chickie nuggies. They were cold, but still smelled delicious. Ultimately it worked.
After a while, they spotted Bradley (who also had pink hair like his mother) in a clearing. When Alex landed, Bradley rushed for the chickie nuggies and ate them heartily. As Alex told him who she was and what her mission was, she also fed Burst another piece of banana croissant. Bradley was relieved to be rescued.
That was when Alex noticed something. She spotted Lily Yellowhorn in the bushes. She was about to shoot an arrow at Bradley! With a quick magical word, Burst burst up into the sky and slammed down into the ground behind Bradley (with Burst’s Effect Die of d10 helping AND spending one of Alex’s two Plot Points). The arrow ricocheted off its tough shell harmlessly. After that, Lily Yellowhorn disappeared.
“What just happened?” asked Bradley. “Did someone shoot an arrow at me? Why did your skyturtle land behind me?”
Alex told the boy, “Because someone was trying to kill you. Firstly, I met her in the forest. She was really nice, until I met her again here. She wanted to kill you. So that’s why I sent my skyturtle to protect you. Also, my skyturtle’s name is Burst, but you can call her, like, Thunder or something. Or maybe Skyler…”
Alex, Bradley and Burst landed at Brenda Pinkhair’s front yard near her lumber factory. Brenda was grateful that Bradley had safely returned home. She gave Alex the lumber she needed to construct her Mythical Creature Hotel.
Still some mystery remained. Who was Lily Yellowhorn and why did she try to kill Bradley?
To be continued.
- The trait set for this campaign were Roles (Bard, Druid, Thief, Warrior and Wizard) and Attributes (Courage, Grace, Guile, Reason and Vigor)
- Irfan could not join us as he had a lot of coding to do for his assignment.
- We did character generation Saturday evening, and played the session Sunday morning.
- There was a coterie of various animal (and Pokemon) plushies standing by to become mythical creatures beside us.