Several playtests down the line, there have been a number of improvements to the ruleset. This session covered the whole game in 4 hours. The Broken Angel is a young adult story about a rag-tag band in a faded realm who need to imprison the broken angel by empowering the moon amulet...
Chris - Khel: A 17 year old street performer, acrobat and sometime thief. He wears darker reds with patches of other colours. His strength is that he is a great acrobat, but his weakness is that sometimes he is too impetuous for his own good. His touchstone is his mother and sister. He gives them the money he earns, but he wants more for them.
(Can’t remember what he likes about Sabo and what he wants from Georgie)
Alex - Georgie: An 18 year old young woman with mousey hair. A bit too skinny through malnourishment. She likes wearing yellow, but is self conscious of the scar across her right eye. Her strength is iron determination, her weakness is that she fiddles with things, and her touchstone is her sweetheart Brian Cooper, with whom she has had one chaste kiss.
She likes Khel because he makes her laugh. She wants to learn the ways of romance from Waverley who sings about love so beautifully.
Patti - Waverley Stone: Only 15 years old, she is 5’6” with long brown hair and a slight build. She loves to play the lute and sings beautifully. Her strength is her unabashed hope, and her weakness is that she had lost her family and that can bring her down. Her touchstone is that she will have a new found family around her.
(Can’t remember what she likes about Georgie and wants from Sabo)
Dorian - Sabo. A scrawny, wiry, nimble 17yr old. Short hair and lots of scars. His strength is that he is highly dexterous, a climber and explorer. His weakness is that he is reckless and overestimates his own ability (hence all the scars!). He likes wearing grey and isn’t an optimist. His touchstone is his younger siblings, his younger sister and younger brother. He wants to protect them from the broken angel.
(Can’t remember what he likes about Waverley and wants from Khel)
They come from a small shanty town nestled against the ruined remains of a huge city. Nobody remembers exactly when the cities fell, but legend says that everything crumbled in one night. People wear bright colours - but not blue, which is the colour of the broken angel. The market squares are full of bustle and lively sound, but if you move into the old city the echoes quickly die away and are replaced with the drip of water and sound of your footsteps. There is a smell of mould and stagnant water as you move further from the inhabited areas.
Chapter 1 - on the journey
They remember how they started their journey in the dusty library, where they had played as children, deep in the ruined city. But now as older teens they came with more purpose in mind.
Georgie ❤️ had been first in through the door, and was taken aback by the sight of someone already in the room. A shaft of sunlight through a broken window illuminated his golden hair and shone off his knightly armour. It was Sir Robert, a stout and wise knight. Georgie chatted with him and found that he too was committed to undoing the evil of the broken angel, and would join them on their question.
Sabo ♣️ was sure that he knew just where the right book for them was, and he had swarmed up the bookshelves like a little monkey - but the old shelves were not as firmly fixed as he expected, and a whole set of shelves collapsed on him, spraining his ankle.
Waverley ♦️ had seen a small chest behind the ruined shelves. After retrieving it and opening it, she found a lovely necklace. Putting it on, she found it was a crystal of memories, and it allowed her to occasionally see a little bit of someone’s memories.
With Sir Roberts guidance and some help from the book that Sabo had retrieved at some cost they decide to press on. It was then that they met another fellow traveller that Khel ♠️ invited to join them - little did we know at the time that Roderick the fanatical sadistic swordsman was going to cause us much pain in the future.
Story Vignette: We see in other parts of the world city walls and buildings suddenly crumbling further into ruins, as the power of the broken Angel spreads further across the land.
Character Vignette: We remembered Georgie and Sir Robert walking side by side, and she was hanging on his every word and twirling a lock of her hair in her fingers.
Character Vignette: We remembered Roderick offering to train Khel in the use of the sword, but he is harsh and brutal. At one point Roderick stabs Khel in the upper arm, and while Khel cries out Roderick just tells him to “suck it up” because “He’ll experience worse in a real battle”
Chapter 2 - into the wilderness
Do you remember how we followed directions in the wilderness to the crumbling tower? We had heard that it was a key point on our journey. We could see that it was covered with huge webs, and as we crept through the front door we could see spiders as big as dogs on the walls.
Khel ♣️ with his characteristic impulsiveness had charged further in and fell down through a rotten floor. It turned out that the giant spiders we had seen were just the babies, and in the basement there were truly tremendous spiders! Mandibles gaping, they had charged at him!
Luckily Sabo ♦️ had seen something sparkling with a magical gleam and he grabbed up the stone of warding and despite his sprained ankle leapt down to protect Khel. Again and again the spiders venomous mandibles stabbed at them, but glanced off an invisible wall produced by the stone of protection.
While Sir Robert and Waverley♦️ lowed a rope down to help them escape, Georgie ❤️ was bitten on the shoulder by one of the large spiders in the entrance hall. She had shrieked and batted it off. Instantly Sir Robert was by her side. His strong hands tore down the shirt by her shoulder, and quickly and tenderly he sucked the venom from her wound.
Story Vignette: Elsewhere, we knew that cultists of the broken angel who had been displaced from their villages had started to band together and range across the land, looking for those they could capture and sacrifice to their insane master.
Character Vignette: Georgie remembered that evening, sitting with Sir Robert with a funny fluttering feeling in her tummy, and a tenderness in his eyes that she had hoped for days would be there. They held hands a little.
Character Vignette: We remembered that Roderick had been strangely absent in the battle with the spiders, and he closely questioned Sabo about the stone of warding. He had wanted to hold it, to have it, but Sabo had kept it safe.
Chapter 3 - secret paths
Aware of the roving bands of cultists across the lands, we had decided that we had to take a secret way from the tower, and that way took us through the flooded catacombs.
We had lit our torches, and Georgie ♦️ had led the way bravely - despite the dark, thigh-deep water. Malign whispers surrounded us all, speaking of doom, death, and decay, but she stayed firm. She said that Sir Robert couldn’t go first in his heavy armour in case of hidden depths, but she could lead the way.
Khel ❤️ remembered helping Sabo, who was still feeling a little unsure on his twisted ankle. At one point Sabo tripped and the stone of warding nearly came loose.
Waverley ♠️ said that was when she saw Roderick lunge forward and grab the stone - then lost his footing and fell sideways into deep water and fell into the dark depths, taking our precious stone with him!
Sabo ❤️ said I didn’t mind seeing the back of that rotten person, he was so untrustworthy. Not like the person we met the other side of the catacombs! Do you remember how we came out at the edge of a gorge, with water tumbling down into the depths? We wondered how we could get across when we had the great good fortune to spot Pierre the other side of the gorge. The fierce, compassionate, swashbuckler saw us and took pity - he soon rigged up a rope and swung across, and then transported us one by one across the gorge. Sir Robert had to take his armour off and send it across separately. Georgie thought that he looked great without his armour on.
Story Vignette: In our minds eye we could see the army of ordinary people who were making their way to the lair of the broken angel. Farmers, shepherds, carpenters, armed with their honest tools rather than the tools of war, but determined to rise up against their oppressor.
Character Vignette: Pierre was impressed with both Khel and Sabo - they were nimble and quick, and he told them that he saw a younger version of himself. He started to train them both in his swashbuckling style, and he was a better teacher than Roderick had been - and a much kinder one.
Chapter 4 - a welcome break
The next evening they found themselves in a withered formal garden, overgrown with weeds while most of the ornamental trees had withered and died. Pierre had shot a rabbit and Georgie ♣️ remembered that she was the one cooking the delicious rabbit stew - but also the one that ruined it! Curse her clumsiness! She had turned round, caught the pot with her sleeve and the rabbit stew tumbled out onto the dry dirt. They scrabbled around to gather it up, and made the best of the dirt encrusted morsels, but it didn’t make Georgie feel any less guilty.
As the evening wore on and the stars came out, Waverley ❤️ prepared her lute and sang them a lovely song that lifted all their hearts:
When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose
Khel ♣️ (I can’t remember)
Sabo ♣️ (I can’t remember)
Story Vignette: Unfortunately the brave little army of farmers had been defeated by the growing number of cultists. When next we see them in our minds eye they are being herded into great cells, and guarded by supernatural creatures.
Character Vignette: Georgie snuggled up to Sir Robert while they listened to Waverley’s beautiful voice. Part of her mind was saying “No, think about Brian” but in truth she was thinking mostly about Sir Robert.
Chapter 5 - desperate times
At last we had found our way to the ancient battlefield, still littered with corpses from the previous attempt to unseat the broken angel, whenever that had been. We could see bands of cultists wandering across the battlefield looking for something, and awful flying gargoyles circling overhead.
Georgie remembered that lucky moment ♦️ when she stumbled across the case containing the mirror of truth. Looking in the darkened reflection in the mirror, there was one place where the mirror showed a shaft of moonlight shining down on the battlefield. Guiding them with the mirror, she was able to lead them to a mound of corpses.
That’s where I found the moon amulet Waverley cried ♦️- it was horrible digging through the pile or corpses, but we found both the amulet and the secret book that told us how it had to be used, how it had to be empowered and brought before the broken angel.
It was just as well that we had Pierre with us, Sabo remembered. He was as good with the bow as he was with the sword, and he shot down those winged gargoyles that came for us, while Sir Robert, Khel and I vanquished the cultists who came close.
I remember, Khel said ❤️, that as we passed the moon amulet amongst us I was thinking of my mother and daughter back home, and how much I loved them… and when the amulet was passed to me it burst into life with a pale glow like moonlight. It was empowered by my love! I decided to wear it and gird my loins for the final battle.
Story Vignette: We briefly imagine the serene face of the broken angel suddenly whipping round with anger and a touch of fear - he sensed that the moon amulet had been empowered!
Character Vignette: (I don’t remember)
Chapter 6 - the final battle
Our journey had ended at the base of the eroded colossus - a towering statue of an angel, two hundred feet high. There was a gate open at the bottom near its feet, and erosion had carried away one of its wings and left a gaping hole at it’s side. We knew that we had to make our way right up to the head in order to face the broken angel in his lair.
Waverley remembered how we started making our way up the spiral stairwell in the inside of the colossus, with Pierre in the lead and Sir Robert bringing up the rear to defend us from cultists below.
Sabo ♠️ said what a shock it was when we rounded a corner and saw Roderick standing there, grinning evilly! Pierre launched a spirited attack, but Roderick still had the stone of warding, now recharged again, and Pierres sword skittered off the invisible protective field while Roderick savagely advanced. Pierre glanced back at us, said “remember me” and threw his blade as a distraction before bull-rushing Roderick back, back - and then they both tumbled out of the side of the collapse. We heard Roderick laughing madly on the way down - but he didn’t realise that the stone of warding would be of no help here, and they both died in the field of rocks below.
Georgie ❤️ remembered how we burst into the chamber at the top, and we saw the broken angel looking fierce in his sky-blue robes, that hated, forbidden colour! He sent his gargoyles to attack us but Sir Robert bravely stood to beat them away, and I stood by his side, helping as much as I could to defend us.
Waverley ❤️ started singing, her young voice carrying clearly across the chamber, filling our hearts with hope.
That was when Khel ♦️stood forth, his heart swelling with the music and voice and the memory of his beloved family! The broken angel staggered away as the glow from the moon amulet grew! Then on one side Sabo grabs his hand, and Waverley grabs his. On the other side Georgie grasps his hand tightly and Sir Robert grasps hers. The love of our little family flowed into Khel and bolstered him even more - the glow of the amulet became too much to look at as it filled the room, captured the angel in it’s glare - and then was sucked into the amulet, taking the angel with it. It was locked in the amulet resting upon Khel’s chest.
Victory Vignette: We remembered the prison gates shattering and the brave farmers and others running free
Victory Vignette: We remembered the cultists, throwing down their robes of blue and horrible symbols, repenting of what they had done
Victory Vignette: We remembered the crumbled walls of our ruined cities which had fallen into desolation in a day reforming and becoming as their once where! A world restored!
( I can’t remember the fourth vignette)
For homecoming there was a point where people were deciding whether to keep or donate their last remaining card. Once decisions were made and cards donated all in one go, we found that Khel had one red card (much to his surprise, he was expecting a dreadful ending), Georgie had one black card, Waverley had two cards, and Sabo had no cards.
Georgie came back and rushed to see her touchstone, Brian Cooper… only to find him in bed with another wench! The bastard! She decided that she had no life here now with the likes of him, and asked Sir Robert if she could join him on his questing - a request which he gladly acceded to. She lost her touchstone, but did find happiness.
Khel had been feeling the Angel struggling to escape from the moon amulet all the long journey home, and he had come to peace with the idea that his life would be lost in guarding it. But to his surprise as his mother and sister rushed out and their love engulfed him, he felt the amulet strengthened even more, and the angel rendered powerless as long as he stayed with them. He returned to his touchstone, having saved them, and found that they in turn saved him.
Poor Sabo. He had set out on the quest to stop the broken angel to give a life of safety to his younger sister and brother. When he came home he asked after them here and there, but saw only sad faces. Then it dawned upon him. Hurrying to find the tents his family lived in, where they should be he could see only a monumental wall. Restored to its former glory, yes… but reappearing in an instant, it had entombed his beloved siblings within it. Lost forever.
Waverley wrote a ballad of the broken angel, immortalising their quest in words and music that stuck in the ear, but filled you with love. It was celebrated and remembered for centuries to come, and Waverley grew to become legendary among the people. Her touchstone was her team, and she made sure they would be remembered forever. Furthermore, the colour blue was redeemed, and her family name became not stone but bluestone once again.