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L'amore tra i mostri: Session 3, Q4-6

Continued from HERE.

4. How can the fight be brought to the enemy, gaining ground for the heroic motivation? 

Be the PCs first: 
Encounter: pursuit
Place: Northern Wilds, the next morning
At first light, Orsini, Guglio, Don Pantaloni, and Ysabel head out past Hunter's Road and into the Northern Wilds toward the known clan trees of the usually peaceful phanatons.

Be the GM next:
Story Cube: pointing in accusation
Phanaton warriors, as armed as the squirrel-like race can be, appear in the forest all around them. Their leader speaks harshly in Elvish at the quartet, accusing them of being at fault for bringing evil to their tribes and to the Great Ficus of Deliciousness!

Be the PCs once more:
Don Pantaloni responds in Elvish to the phanaton leader, trying to explain that they have come to help, but he fails to gain their trust! Guglio immediately senses that the creatures are about to spring a trap. Orsini draws out his blade and intimidates the creatures with a dazzling display of sword prowess that effectively scares them away! Once the phanatons have fled, Guglio tells the others that he is familiar with local folklore and is certain he can locate the Great Ficus of Deliciousness, the source of the creatures' favorite figs.

5. How can any heroic gains from the results of Question 4 suddenly be undermined as new information about the true face/scheme/power of the enemy becomes known?

Be the GM first:
Story Cube: yelling
Encounter: betrayal & combat 
Place: Northern Wilds, a little while later
As Guglio leads the others through the forests of the Northern Wilds nearer to the Great Ficus of Deliciousness, they are suddenly attacked by a harpy! Such creatures of evil have never been seen so close to Avanti before, and the monster surprises the group. The harpy lands nearby and assaults the heroes with a song intended to charm them into turning on one another.

Be the PCs next: 
Orsini remains unaffected by the song and charges at the harpy with his sword. Guglio and Don Pantaloni fire their arrows at it, and Ysabel uses her sling. After exchanging blows, Orsini is savagely clawed, and Guglio becomes enrapt by a new verse sung by the beast! Fortunately, before the dwarf can turn on his friends, Don Pantaloni's next arrow hits home, and the hideous bird-woman is killed.

Be the GM once more:
As the creature dies, it cries out one last time, and the horrid sound is returned by other harpies nearby! [I decided to go with more harpies here as the "true face" of the enemy, hence the sound of others nearby, probably at the Great Ficus.]

6. How can the adverse results from Questions 4 and 5 be further intensified, forcing the heroes to commit to a do-or-die course of action in accordance with the heroic motivation? 

Be the GM first:
Story Cube: beetle
Encounter: intrigue & combat 
Place: Northern Wilds, same time
Before pressing on through the forest toward the Great Ficus of Deliciousness, from out of the woods emerge several fire beetles [yep - went literal] that first approach the harpy's corpse. However, these fire beetles appear more monstrous than usual - they are larger and rather deformed as if they've been mutated by something. Their chittering sounds similar to the gibberish of the infected phanatons encountered yesterday. Once the perverse creatures notice Orsini and the others, they immediately attack!

Be the PCs next:
The fight is an awful one. The beetles are almost overwhelming in numbers, and when their illuminating glands are struck, they actually explode! After a lengthy struggle, the heroes are victorious, but Ysabel and Don Pantaloni are badly injured [though neither is bitten more than twice, as per the Q1 infection rule]. The group rests and heals up as much as they can. Don Pantaloni realizes that the harpies are somehow responsible for the infection that has corrupted the phanatons, the fire beetles, and poor Liliana. Despite their injuries, the heroes know that they must hurry onward!

Be the GM once more:
In the distance, there is singing...

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