My SO had run a game once in the past, which went poorly. The other night I made a 1400 Quest character, a goth warrior lady called Kayne for a solitaire game, but at some point asked "hey can you run a game for me? Like fantasy stuff." and she just started improvising. We played around 6 hours over two day I think, maybe a little more, and it's been a blast. Here's what happened and some thoughts (from the player's perspective this time).
Let Me Tell You About My Character! (it's a fighter)
Kayne is a gothic lo chick in her late twenties with a cliché mercenary/child soldier background because I initially planned to use her for something more like modern 5e fantasy. She's very good at fighting and athleticism, rolls her eyes up while sighing "whatever" at stuff but has a good heart.
- Kayne woke up at the foot of a fortress in the mountains - she remembered her job as a courrier, to deliver a letter to the soldiers in Havrenoir, which supposedly would be this fortress. But nobody was around.
- Exploring the place, she found it deserted, except for a feisty little girl accompanied by a bunch of goats and three great pyrenee dogs. Ellin (that's her name) explained how the soldiers left a few weeks ago, and then a week later her village was attacked and she hid here according to her father's instructions, while waiting for him to come back to get her.
- Above the fortress was a remote tower that the kid hadn't been able to access. Kayne made good use of ropes and an axe to get inside, only to discover the place had been used by an evil wizard/alchemist type dude for wicked sacrifices and torture. She grabbed his remaining notes and some expensive looking books, threw the bloated corpses and body parts through the window for the vultures to take care of, and left, telling the kid never to go up there.
- The following morning, Kayne went to explore the village, finding out through clever environmental storytelling about what had happened: an axe jammed in a table here, a church barricaded from the outside with the smell of rotting bodies oozing from it, a burned home with a letter. The kid's parents had escaped alongside some of the villagers before a group of soldiers came to raze the village while looking for the sorcerer. Hector, the father, assured her kid that he would come back for her. At this point I decided I would have to go get the kid and bring her along with me to the military camp to keep her safe, and let the commander know that nobody was at Havrenoir.
- We got to the camp safely, noticing another burning town nearby on the journey there, and after leaving the kid to a mother's care (who was already handling like 10 local kids), I reported back to the commander, warning him about the soldiers' attack as well as the whole sorcerer thing. He was surprised and shocked, and decided to open the letter he had sent for Havrenoir, telling me it came directly from the Emperor. In the letter, it was revealed that the old man was trying to bring his dead wife back, by any means necessary, and that the local sorcerer was an apprentice of the Court Alchemist. Also Commander Hopkins knew Hector and sent a messenger to him so that he could come back and find his daughter safely at camp. I offered to help find the sorcerer back, and Hopkins told me to be ready next morning for a recon mission: alongside Captain Merle and a Spy named Pasarola, plus about fifteen trustworthy soldiers, we'd go and try to make contact with the imperial soldiers that had been burning down villages.
- The next morning I met with the Captain and her troop, and we went on horseback towards the second burning town. On our way there, we found strange metallic residues sprinkled on the ground at certain points on the road, as well as more and more traps: caltrops and bear traps. We assumed the soldiers that had deserted were hostile, and decided to camp near the road for the night, and send a small troop (Merle, Pasarola, two trackers and Kayne) to investigate the town and see where the deserters would be if they were still around, quietly.
- We snuck through the deserted town, noticing the church was barricaded from the outside. Eventually we found the soldiers' camp a bit outside of town, and snuck into a watermill to spy on them for a day. They were led by an uppity rich kid from the imperial family accompanied by a veteran commander, and two weird teens with hooded robes. Later that day there was a big ritual with chanting and the likes, revealing that the whole company of deserters were religious zealots following an old local faith, worshipping the "Holy Couple", a God of Wrath and a Goddess of Fertility. The teens then brought lightning from the sky, striking all the places that had been covered with the metal residues.
- Before we snuck out, we tried taking some prisoners but nearly got caught and had to kill three soldiers. We managed to save the people from the church (those of them that were still alive at least) and brought everyone back (minus one scout and half a horse) to Camp, where Kayne got paid.