I awoke about 5:30am the next day to find no one else had yet joined us. No matter, it made the earlier night’s experience more like camping and easier to get into things as I had not been camping like that in over 10 years. Needing more ice and before anyone else had woken up around 6:30am I went to get ice a few miles away at Fry’s grocery store. In my mundane clothing I grab a protein drink, a few fresh pastries, and a bag of ice for the cooler. Once back to camp, I filled my two coolers with ice and enjoyed breakfast at a nearby picnic table next to my tent. Others began to stir and the camp once again came to life.
Eventually, a large white van showed up and Michael Hatch (the chap who runs the NERO Phoenix chapter) showed up with his family and crew to get things started. After they unpacked and greeted everyone it was time for sign-in. Character sheet, which I had brought from a previous game 6 years earlier, were reviewed and needed updates were made. Plot camp, the place where the people running the game sit away from others and NPC hang out was established and setup. This was also when I was given any starter coin and tags for the physical items I had brought to the game. No in-game item exists without a written tag.
I wasn’t aware the game had yet started, but others soon got into character and garb and I meet a crazy mad man who was a Templar. I being a fighter who likes to play music broke out my drum and Irish flute in the tavern and began to practice and play. Eventually, the Templar came over next to me in the tavern and took over drumming as I played my flute. It lighten the mood a bit and made it feel a bit more medieval. After some time of playing 2 more vehicles showed up and it was announced that the Vegas NERO Chapter had arrived. Soon the numbers of the event more than doubled and it started to feel like more like an event. More tents were erected around the tavern and the Templar and I continued to hone out skills at forming a small two man band. As we played NPC (monsters) started coming out and into the town (basically where the tavern was established). I took a break from playing to help slay a few monsters, then when all was finished, I went back to playing. After awhile more monsters attacked the town as we sat playing music in the tavern, a Knight yelled out to us to play music for the battle as so we pick up the pace a bit and played a battle tune. Quickly, the monsters where defeated, the knight walked over to tip the Templar and I a gold coin that had been placed in front of us for such purposes. Our first in-game coin from playing had been made! Huzzah!
We played a few more tunes and then I noticed other out on the outskirts of the town searching for items. When they returned to town I inquired what it was they were doing, “Seeking Treasure and Adventure”, I was told. To help show me how it was down I went out with a cat faced Healer, in-game these cat like humanoids are called Sarrs. She was nice and showed me what to look for. Small plastic single colored plastic eggs had been hidden throughout the gaming area. Inside were small slivers of paper that indicated what you had found. Sometimes it would be an encounter, later to be acted out my real NPCs and the people who found it. Other times it could be a component used for making potions and spells or best of all treasure. On this outing we found a few items I of course found an encounter in my first egg. The healer instructed that we should go to the Plot tent and turn in what we had found. She had found treasure and components, while I the encounter. We were asked to return to the location we had found the encounter and wait. Eventually, two NPCs showed up with weapons over their heads, to indicate they were not yet in place (out of game). As they passed us they described what we saw. Two large green skinned Hill Trolls. When they came into game, they began stomping on the hill and yell for us to leave and to get off their hill. Not really looking for a fight and as they seemed to be able to out match us, we said OK and left. That was it for the encounter. I learned not every encounter was a combat situation where you had to fight. Alone, I continued to look elsewhere for treasure, but found none. On my way back, up from the ground came a giant scorpion and it attacked me with both claws and a stinger. I was able to outrun it and went to my campsite to put down some items I had found. The scorpion charged into town after me. I began attacking with my longsword and shield for defense. Eventually, others in the tavern heard the sound of combat and came to join in the fight. With help we quickly destroyed the giant scorpion and all was safe again, at least for awhile.
After adventuring and fighting, I went to the tavern to get a bowl of Shrimp Soup. As I sat enjoying my soup in the tavern, another healer or magic guy came into the tavern to heal the Templar I had played with other of his craziness and to remove some strange markings upon his face. The wisecracking healer began a long drawn out ceremony to first find the cause of the Templar’s madness. Once that was done, the Templar asked me to hold all his possession, and I being of honorable intentions, did so without trying to steal all his stuff. A spell was then casts that removed all magic from his being both internally and externally. The markings upon his face remained and it was eventually determined that he just had paint upon his paint and was just an idiot after all.
Goblins came to town looking for trouble. A local merchant named “Meb” instead got them to barter all their goods for cheap. The merchant gave them 6 gold for all their cure mortal wounds plus other stuff. After the goblins had left town the merchant informed some newly arrived adventurers walking into town that if they wanted to make a quick 6 gold coins, there were some goblins that had just left town and pointed in the direction they left. I sat there in the tavern watching events unfold before me. Eventually, the trickster merchant “Meb” hired the entire tavern to go and slay some hell hound like dogs and to collect their hearts. Everyone agreed and a large band of roaming adventurers left town, I along with them. The trail lead to an underground sewer complex. We quickly found the hounds were had come for, slayed them and got the components we had come for. However, instead of turning back, the merchant convinced everyone to continue on. He stayed with us for a bit, but soon disappear in between encounters. The party chose to continue to look for him. Deeper into the sewers we went. The party of about 10 adventurers next encountered a hive of Fire Ants. It took awhile and we fought a large onslaught of ants, but finally managed to find the queen any and destroy her. Still looking for “Meb”, we came across next a giant silver and stone golem and some huge unknown undead being that no one had seen before. Cautiously, we fought a hard battle with a few of our party going down, but not for long as he had a few healers on hand. After a long fought battle and quite a lot of magic use, we defeated all 3 monsters. Having survived that battle we chose to continue onward deeper in the sewers, but prepared for bigger and harder monsters ahead. Eventually, the sewers ended in a Goblin Den of unending goblin spawns. The party killed at least 50 if not more goblins before the stopped coming. With most of our resources expended and no sign of “Meb”, we returned back to the surface to the tavern in town. Above ground nightfall had descended upon the land and a campfire could be seen from town, beckoning those with coin to the fire. This night hot dogs were on the menu in the tavern and all enjoyed a quick meal. One problem with the sun setting is that the undead began to rise up out of the ground.
While most of the others left town to vanquish the undead I took a rest from the game. By wearing a headband that indicated I was out-of-game and just enjoyed sitting and talking to others around the campfire. As the battles raged on into the night lit only by the moonlight, I went to my tent to sleep. This night I would make sure to get more rest as I had quite the full day of my 2nd NERO event.