Sunday, May 29, 2022

Season 16 Finale (Episodes 14-15)

Episode 14: Trail of the Lloigor

Channeling their eldritch energies through a trans-temporal nexus, the Lloigor are trying to use the Cardiff Rift to break the quantum barrier that imprisons them in a single continuum. Racing against Time itself, Penelope must reach 2024 to prevent the realization of the sinister entities’ master plan – but her old enemies are determined to throw her off-course…

Episode 15: Cwlwm

Having (at last!) arrived in 2024 Cardiff, Lady Penelope must deal with the traitor at the Torchwood Hub, before facing the primal might of the Timeless Lloigor as they prepare to wreak havoc on our reality (not to mention solving the mysteries of the National Eisteddfod). A climactic conclusion to the Power of the Earth story arc – and the end of another season…   

Aside from a dramatic dimensional showdown with the Lloigor, this definitely Welsh episode also featured the historical character Iolo Morganwg and the pseudo-historical character Geraint the Blue Bard. If you’ve never heard about them, check them out on Wikipedia – their story is just fascinating!

And so concludes the sixteenth season of Lady Penelope’s Odyssey – a season which was split in two because of the aforementioned Not So Great Hiatus. And perhaps because of all this, it will definitely fill a special niche in my memory as a veteran (nah, grizzled) GM. Aside from all this, the interruption actually allowed me to steer the direction of the season finale in a completely different direction than what I initially had in mind (and hadn’t quite managed to foreshadow yet, so all this reshuffling happened off-stage, unbeknownst to my dear player and compagne).

When I immersed myself back in my old notes and re-read the blurbs of episodes 1-8, I had something of a brainwave (no, it was not another stroke…): the whole “Power of the Earth” theme, which had been running like an underground river in the background since Penelope’s latest regeneration in season 15, was definitely the way to go and gave me a perfect opportunity to bring back Penelope’s arch-enemies, the Lloigor, with some unexpected revelations about their origins and answers to some very old questions about Penelope’s father, the Time Lord Morrolan… old and new, past and present, the perfect way to end up the seventh Penelope’s second season!

So what about the other idea, the one that I dumped for this Big Lloigor finale?  Well I’m not telling (since Sylvie is reading this blog) and I’ll keep in store… perhaps for season 17? 

See you in a few months – and thanks to those who sent me words of support and kindness. 

La vie continue…

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Season 16: Episode 13

Episode 13: Last of the Wampanoags

New England, 1774. Answering a call for help from an old friend, Penelope discovers two communities in turmoil. As tensions flare between colonial settlers and Native Americans, dark forces from a forgotten past are awakening in the depths of the Earth. With the help of allies from each side, the Time Lady must once again face her old arch-enemies… the Lloigor!

As implied from the title and the blurb above, this scenario mixed a somewhat Lovecraftian vision of colonial America with a strong ‘Last of the Mohicans’ vibe and some elements from Algonquin folklore. It also involved several key ingredients from our own continuity about the Lloigor, different time continuums and the telluric Power of the Earth. The “old friend” mentioned above was Alicia McLaren née Maddox, a psychic / time sensitive first introduced in “Stolen Pasts” (season 9, episode 7) and later seen in “Hellfire” (season 10, episode 7) and “Cry of the Banshee” (season 12, episode 1).

As is often the case, actual play brought its fair share of unexpected turns and twists – including a very amusing ‘oops’ moment by Penelope herself during the initial reunion with Alicia ; the NPC had just mentioned the Boston Tea Party – a reference which was not understood by either of Penelope’s companions, so the Time Lady explained that this event was “the first step leading to the birth of the United States of America”, which caused Alicia (whose husband Sean had joined the ranks of the American rebels) to shed tears of hope and joy: “So we ARE going to win!  This changes everything!”  What made this especially funny is that Penelope had, mere minutes before, sternly warned her companions about the dangers of meddling with history and judging the past with the benefits of historical hindsight…

We had a GREAT time. The episode marked a high point in the current season; it was quite epic, with a constantly rising dramatic tension, some very moving moments and quit a few memorable scenes. “Fantastique!” said Sylvie, right after the end…

As the antepenultimate (I love that word…) episode of our current season, “Last of the Wampanoags” also opened the doors to the final diptych, in which the Lloigor will, of course, play a prominent part… See you soon for the penultimate episode!