Hi all,

In my last game, due to a nasty botch, the characters shipwrecked on the coast of Galicia, just north of the border of Portugal. The characters are 2 mages plus a Hrool (magical ferret-like creature from Calebais). They have nothing but the clothes on their back and a small bag of supplies (which does not include food.) One mage has a medium wound, and the Hrool has a heavy wound. They've decided to walk north to Santiago de Campostela. It is early Autumn, and the terrain is a rocky moor of scrubby grassland.

The next session I'm going to slow the passing of time way down, and focus on getting through each day alive. Eventually they should hook up with the N/S "portugal route" of the Way of St. James, and will find some Pilgrims willing to help them. But until then, I want to create the tension of simple survival.

I wonder if you have any thoughts of obstacles to put in their way for 3-4 days of hoofing it at half speed (due to wounds), hungry, cold and tired.


Well, you mentioned the basic ones. Finding food, warmth, and shelter. In most stories, this is stuff that's glossed over, but make sure to remind them in painstaking detail with little penalties what it means to be hungry, wet, tired etc. Depending on the Arts of the magi, covering the basic necessities could range from the extremely easy, to the extremely hard. Even if it's easy, I would not downplay it: it gives a sense of satisfaction to see that your magic can save the day even when saving the day means something as simple as finding the next meal and warding off a torrential rain.

An interesting twist is to provide the magi with a moral dilemma. Maybe it's hard for them to find food honestly, but it would be easy to steal it from some dirt-poor farmers. Do they stay honest? Do they try to ask for the food, if asking will make stealing much harder in case of a refusal? Will they just steal?

Another twist is to tempt the magi with some "treasure" (say, vis) that would be easy to gather normally, but that would require them to take a few extra days on the road, dangerously over-extending themselves.

Bandits are another obvious possibility, and a very realistic one close to the pilgrimage roads.
As are dangerous animals: a large bear or a much nastier pack of wolves.
And of course, what happens if they stumble into the domain of some haughty petty lordling that does not like them at all?
All these three encounters are made much nastier by the effects of the Gift. Make sure to stress how bad it is!

I would add one thing. It's sufficiently important that I think it deserves its own post.
I've seen a large number of threads that basically ask the same question: "How can I challenge my magi in a given situation?" This is one of those threads. The basic answer is: it depends a lot on the magi in question. Without more details about their main areas of strength and weakness, their personalities and goals etc. answers will be vague and not that effective. The more details you provide on the magi in question, the better the answers you'll get!

Hey what Galicia is that!? I'd never seen it!

Google "galicia naturaleza" images: Galicia is one of the most wet and rainy places in Spain, with a lot of forests and hills even in our age, which probably were a lot thicker in the middle ages. If it's autum expect a perpetual gray sky, pretty much rain, fog, noisy streams, packs of wolves in the forests, boars, bears, wild horses... roads therer are thin and twisted (travelling from one village to the next is a mess going up, down, circling around the side of thick forested hills, jumping over streams) so medieval paths probably were quite challenging: expect a huge lot of fatigue rolls and expect to get lost everytime. And then there is all the meiga's stuff: you can expect witches in huts, faeries meddling, regios here and there, and well, Diedne covenants ruins. Everything odd can happen in Gallicia, specially until you reach St. James Way and the Dominion takes over the fun stuff.

Ouroboros --
Thanks for the clarification on Galicia. I started researching the area two nights ago, and realized my off-the-cuff description of the area was waaaay off the mark. Since the characters have only been walking along the coast, I'll just say it was an isolated strip of coast that is flat and grassy.... Once they head inland it will get into the "real" Galicia. I'm thinking the characters may encounter a celtiberian ruin. I hadn't thought of bringing some Diedne magic into it; good call. Maybe a hedge wizard.

Also -- what does "meiga" mean? Online it says it's a portuguese word for "sweet." I wonder if it's a typo, or something else? Thanks!

Fafnir --
I'm happy to provide more info on the mages.
One is a greek necromancer about 10 years out of gauntlet. He specializes in rego and mentem, and his spells all relate to talking with, controlling, and animating the dead / spirits. He carries a bag of bones that he animates when he needs a servant. He has a helpful ghost warder named Basil. He's nocturnal, and also has a problems during the daytime (cyclic magic). He's prudent, in general, but supernatural stuff perks up his curiousity. He's a Bonisagus.

The other is an Ex Misc Elemental magician from Provencial. His main influence is water, but he's starting to spread out into the other elemental arts. He's got weak parma and flawed parma, due to hedge upbringing. He is immune to drowning due to an early-life encounter with Merfolk. The player hasn't developed too much of his personality yet, but he is more daring, and therefore gets into more trouble. He's has a major wound due to the shipwreck.

The heavily wounded Hrool is an NPC with magic sensitivity and a knack for swordsplay.

At the end of the last session, the characters have decided to leave the fishing village they sheltered in, and head north to the covenant of Duresca, which was their original destination.

If they find the N/S Way of St. James, I'm thinking of an encounter with a holy pilgrim. This saga hasn't had a lot of Divine realm stuff, so I was thinking of a way to bring that in here. Since the Necromancer has killed with his magic, perhaps the pilgrim encourages him to do a true pilgrimage. Or perhaps the Hedge magician is encouraged to leave behind his heathen ways in return for the True Power of God.

Also kicking around the idea of having one of the fisherman tell them of the "hawk witch" who lives in the mountains. She's a hedge wizard of the Diedne tradition who is gifted with animals, and can heal the Hrool before his broken leg develops into a permanent limp. She could be pretty old, and know about some of the rumors of Duresca's past,and/or the history of the Diedne in these parts. Or perhaps it's a loner wizard of the order, an Animal specialist or Bjornaer. Again, can give some history of the Iberian Order from the perspective of someone who distrusts the current politics.

In general, I see the first part of the adventure to be about pure Survival. Then some roleplaying with an interesting encounter, then on to Duresca, where they players are going to get involved in some of the politics of the Order.

Meigas, in Galicia, means a wicked wich who do evil to animals and signs pacts with the Devil. And there are supossed to be also bruxas, which are good and are allegedly capable of undoing the maledictions and evil doings of meigas (in mythical terms I guess that would mean not just one but two witches traditions, one infernal and evil, and the other good). There is an actual saying still in use in Gallicia which says: "I don't believe in meigas, though they do exist".