Sand Fragments

Sand Fragments

This is a session one. All the player characters are daughters or sons of farmers, except for one of them, who comes from the "castle", which is rather a fortified house.

the stage

The village is a network of farms. There is a main road going through it from northeast to southwest.

There is a central farm with the house of the blacksmith. The smith works mainly on horse shoes and farming tools. He can make spearheads, but he has never made any other sort of weapons.

A chapel is placed closed to the center, it's not that big. During the main ceremonies, when the whole community is gathered, about half of the people have to stay outside. Of course, the children make sure to be part of the outside half.

The other farms orbit around the center, spaced by fifteen minutes walks. Each farm has a pair of big dogs policing its surroundings.

The village is arrayed on the slope of a hill, exposing its flank to the south. The north ridge is crested by a forest. At the highest point of the ridge, hidden in woods, is the fortified house. The foot of hill is also forested and there is a ten to fifteen feet wide river watering it.

The center of the village is on the middle of the slope and is crossed by the road that goes southwest - northeast, linking the two towns. Our village depends on the northeast town, at half a day on foot.

The farms are spaced in order to maximize agricultural production. A household usually consists of two families, patriarch family, younger son's family. The other sons usually migrate for opportunities elsewhere. There are male and female servants, 15 to 30 years old, scraping money to set themselves up, later, somewhere else.

The farms are not fortified, only the castle is, and lightly at that. There haven't been wars for the last century, but the inhabitants still have the "run for the hills" reflex.

Most of the farms use the three-field system, but one of them is experimenting a focus on cheese production, the other farms are watching (betting on their failure).

A farm is composed of living quarters, a barn and a stable. Poorer farms consists of a single building combining the three functions, richer farms have a building per function. Some farms have a pigsty, always as a seperate building.

There is a farm with a mill by the river, with a bridge next to it, leading to the southeast.

the characters

Each of the players is assigned a character, the son or daughter of a farm, a sixteen something barefoot explorer, usually flanked by a younger brother, sister, or cousin.

Each character receives pieces of information a) about the village, b) about his farm c) secret "family" information adults don't know they know...

All the characters share the common information about the village, but each character has specific pieces of information and incentives not to share them.

Seasoning: there is a feud between two families. In normal circumstances revenge cannot be exercised, the common good of the village prevents it, but the grudge is still held by the ancients, maybe it contaminated the children.

The characters share a common "geographical view" on the village, but some characters know about shortcuts and hidden houses.

the transition

As mentioned above, when religious ceremonies are held in the chapel, not all of the community can get in. The children stay out and quickly, organize in bands and go play elsewhere.

As the young people go back for dinner (or lunch), they find that the first farm on their way back has been pillaged or is desert.

From now on, the youngsters have to assess the situation and react then, possibly, overcome.

Something is clearly affecting the village, it's time for a blind chess match against that something, or is it really chess?

The youngsters have shared information, mostly the geography of the village, each of them has secret information, whose disclosure may endanger their position and the position of their families (in a regular context). Each youngster also commandeers younger siblings, swift of foot, with various levels of brightness.