Tonight we played Palanquin by Jason Pitre with a full complement of Bearers successfully escorting the Heir to an overthrown queendom, Princess Ulkualzi, to her Aunt Baru’s house. In order to escape the palace, Illic the Shadow convinces a patrol of soldiers searching for the princess that we too were part of the coup and haters of the royal family. When we emerge from the secret tunnel, we find a police brigade blocking the exit. Malani the faithful tries to obscure our escape with shadow, but we’re too noisy and Periani the Hunter unsuccessfully tries to convince the police they’re needed to quell the unrest in another part of the palace. Finally, Ulu the Veteran takes matters into her own hands and cuts through the brigade with skill and ease. As we emerge from the castle, thousands of unquiet souls of the long dead rise up from the castle to threaten us, but Malani the Faithful steps forward again and puts the spirits to rest through a prayer that washes over them in blue light.

A dark-skinned woman in a cloak with an upraised hood glares off to the left in front of a fiery moon. Palanquin a roleplaying game of escape & trust is printed on the right side.
Image courtesy of Genesis of Legend Games.

After we enter the Purple Jungle, we’re threatened by giant jackals. Illic the shadow tries to throw them off our scent by creating a false trail but there are too many of them. So, Thanalor the Magister weaves a spell that reverses time and turns the jackals into harmless pups who accompany us on our journey. Next we encounter native wild ones who worship Devotita, but Periani the Hunter travels with the rare magical beast that is the symbol of Devotita and, being born with her mark, convinces the natives to lead us through the jungle growth. As we come to the jungle’s edge, a band of brigands seeking to ransom the princess to the coup-leaders surround us. Illic the Shadow attempts to outflank the brigands but the brigands cordon is not breached. Periani the Hunter then uses their magical companion to open a gap that allows us to slip past the brigands and escape to the Holy River.

As we pass through the village at the mouth of the Holy River, we learn that the temple at its center contains a powerful magical artifact that would endanger the princess if the priests complete their ritual. Illic the Shadow slips inside the temple to steal and replace the artifact, but a priest simply walks up to him and takes it back. Malani the Faithful sacrifices a jackal pup in the river and chants a spell to imprison the priests within their own minds, but the temple’s defenses dissipate his magic before it can take hold. Ulu the Veteran storms the temple, but her blows do not injure the priests, so she retreats in frustration. Periani the Hunter leads us to the river so we can escape, but the fisherman guarding the boats notice us and sound the alarm. The Heir decides to take the matter head-on, as we’ve done effectively throughout the journey, and walks up to the head priest and challenges him to take her or let her go. When the priest accepts and grabs her, Tanalor the Magister must save her by casting a spell that infuses the temple’s statues with demonic energy. The statues destroy the temple and carry the artifact back with them to hell, freeing the princess.

Finally safe now at Aunt Baru’s house, Princess Ulkualzi weighs the loyalty and contributions of each of her Bearers. She gives Illic the Shadow a steed and a week’s rations and suggests he use them. To Periani the Hunter, she offers a favor to be fulfilled at a future date. Malani the Faithful is allowed to stay with Aunt Baru for a month before he must return to the capital. Ulu the Veteran is rewarded for her long service with enough gold to retire in peace. And Thanalor the Magister is given the Heir’s sincere thanks.