If you missed Part 1, then click here to find out how character generation went.
So, anyway, young Gherkinette has got Daisy Appleblossom, her dryad bard, all worked out and ready for some adventures in Narnia under the White Witch’s rule.
Things kick off when one day, Daisy returns from her morning ritual dance (see Part 1) and finds her talking robin friend, Trill Scarlet, waiting for her in the branches of her apple tree. Trill has an important message, that’s being sent out by Mr and Mrs Beaver up at Beaversdam – but only for a few trusted individuals. There will be a secret meeting held tonight in a small clearing deep in the forest.
Daisy spends all day wondering with excitement what the meeting will be about. Before leaving for the meeting, she plucked some apples from her tree to take to the meeting and put them in a basket. (Well, because it’s always winter, this wouldn’t normally be possible, but I granted that she could magically call forth apples from her own tree).
At nightfall Daisy heads up into the deep forest and finds the secret meeting place. The beavers are there already together with a guest, a gnome called Erasmus Pebblegleam, who has some important news for everyone. Trill Scarlet is already there too.
Various other creatures start to arrive. This is an opportunity to introduce the skill check mechanic – use of Knowledge (Local Info) to see if she knows who these creatures are. As each creature arrives, I ask her to roll a d20 and add her modifier of 3 to the result – if she gets 15 or more, she knows who they are, and I give her a little information about them and where she knows them from. She can add 3 to numbers up to 10, but still counts up on her fingers to add 3 to a number in the teens. But she has no trouble with this, really.
One of the attendees at the meeting is another dryad, Rowena. It turns out that Daisy knows her well already – in fact I lowered the DC to 5 as she was one of her own kind, and this also demonstrated to my daughter the way that the number she needed to get varied depending on the difficulty. Rowena is a very shy, retiring sort of dryad and a bit less outgoing than Daisy.
One of the creatures arriving is a Minotaur. I show her the picture. I explain that this is a bit worrying as these creatures are usually on the Witch’s side. Rowena clings to Daisy in a nervous funk.
Daisy: ‘Don’t worry, he’s been invited so I’m sure he’s alright, though he is a bit scary’.
The Minotaur’s name is Brak. It turns out he is an old friend of Erasmus the gnome. He bows. ‘Delighted to meet you’ he intones in his gruff voice. (You can tell I had fun with this!).
A centaur arrives – Rollo Swifthooves. Another picture to show. It turns out that he is an old friend of Daisy.
The meeting gets underway. Erasmus, it transpires, is an escaped prisoner from the Witch’s dungeons. While there he met an old Storm Giant called Raxus. The Storm Giants of Stormness Point are by now only known in legend, all of them believed to have met their end at the hands of the Witch’s allies the Cloud Giants, or else petrified by the White Witch.
Raxus told Erasmus that in their caves on the heights of Stormness Point, the Storm Giants had a magic scrying pool that they used to communicate with Aslan. When the Witch seized power, Stormness was her first target. Cloud Giants who were guests of the Storm Giants treacherously seized control of the chamber to prevent anyone from using the pool to contact Aslan and tell him of what was occuring. More cloud giants then arrived together with the Witch and overwhelmed the noble Storm Giants.
‘So’ chimes in Mr Beaver, ‘if only someone could get to that pool, then they could send word to Aslan about what is happening here in Narnia -’
Without hesitation, Daisy suddenly and boldly steps forwards, interrupting Mr Beaver before he’s even finished, and declares:
‘I’ll do it! I think I can do it…I’m not sure, but I’ll try my best, and if I can do it, then I WILL do it!’
Everyone is impressed by Daisy’s bravery. Mr Beaver calls for other volunteers. Many of the talking beasts such as Merrick and Martha the hares and Oswald the Owl seem to be terribly busy and are very sorry but they really can’t spare the time right now…Rowena is terrified and tries to persuade Daisy not to go. Daisy tries to persuade Rowena to come with her (opposed Diplomacy check) but fails to overcome Rowena’s fear.
There are two other volunteers. Brak the Minotaur and Rollo Swifthooves the centaur. Erasmus is a wanted gnome so it would be unwise for him to accompany her – but he gives her a map made by Raxus the Storm Giant showing a secret way into the inner heart of the caves so that she can sneak past the Cloud Giants to reach the magic pool.
Daisy feels that she only wants one travelling companion. Rollo is an old friend. Brak, she’s not sure about. She starts trying to think of a polite way to turn him down. Rowena helpfully reminds her that maybe she should pick one of them to stay behind and guard her tree.
Daisy asks Brak to guard her tree, and Rollo to accompany her on her quest. Both happily agree. Rowena says she will keep an eye on Brak for Daisy and make sure he is doing a good job.
The meeting breaks up, and Daisy, Rowena, Brak and Rollo go to Beaversdam with Mr and Mrs Beaver and Erasmus to enjoy a supper of hot apple pie. Afterwards Daisy and Rollo head south back to Daisy’s tree and Rollo shelters under its branches for the night.
Daisy wakes early, as usual, and goes for her morning sojourn beside the frozen lake, then goes to dance with her fellow dryads. She tells them she is going away for a while, she can’t tell them where. They all wish her luck. She returns to her tree and finds Rollo awake and ready to leave. She climbs onto his back and practises riding – a Ride check to see how well she and Rollo work together as rider and mount yields a favourable result, so they will make swift progress.
(I give my daughter a map of Narnia and ask her to draw the route she wants to take from her home in the Western Woods down to Stormness Point. She gets a pencil and draws a route on.)
Daisy and Rollo set off. The adventure has begun!