Saint Nicholas has no relation to Christmas in Russia. It had for a Ears Up System Armed Dog Shirt period in the late 19th–early 20th century, but that was clearly a German/French/English influence. We have Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost) and his granddaughter/assistant Snegurochka (Snow Girl, literally “Snowlassie”), and they are the New Year characters. New Year is the only secular and non-ideological holiday in Russia, and the only truly universal one, although in its commercial streak it is similar to the Western Christmas in its current shape. Russian Orthodox Christmas is, in the last 100 years, a purely religious holiday, and due to the difference of the Gregorian calendar (official since 1918) and the Julian calendar that Russian Orthodox Church still uses in its defiance to 1917 revolutions, it’s not on December 24–25th but on January 6–7th.
That concludes a “story arc” then you spend another 10 hours or so prepping the Ears Up System Armed Dog Shirt arc, doing the same process but upping the stakes this time, re-using NPCs that survived, and building off how the players resolved the previous story arc. I am now introducing a neighboring kingdom that is at war with their barony. They will now be tested in full warfare against an enemy state. That’s how the next arc in the campaign is developing. Eventually I’ll bring in demons and extra planar nonsense when they hit the higher levels. But I’ll worry about that when we get there.
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When we start hitting Adult Dragons, though, it’s a problem. Most PCs can’t keep up with the Ears Up System Armed Dog Shirt at all. Dragons can fly 80′ on their turn, then on the PC’s turn use a Legendary Action to move another 40′. A PC must be able to fly and cover 120′ in a turn to even keep up with the dragon and attack it, meaning melee is not going to be very helpful. Archers are what are effective. And this is before Dragon Fear — any characters with bad Wisdom Saves are not even gonna be able to move closer to the dragon. A Fighter *might* be able to solo an adult dragon, if he’s level 11 and geared to the gills and prepped properly. They might be able to burst it down in a round or three, and can survive a couple of rounds of Legendary actions and breath. Probably. Higher level makes it easier, and a level 20 fighter can probably easily dispatch an adult dragon in one round, which is important because if he doesn’t catch the dragon in 1 round it could just kite him flying around waiting for his breath to recharge. Fighter would need to be decked out with flying gear — an Eagle Whistle would help catch up to the flying dragon and shoot it down.
“The Fugitive” is an older man, Ben who plays with the local kids and Ears Up System Armed Dog Shirt almost magical powers. Old Ben’s favorite of the children is Jenny. He carries Jenny home (she walks with a leg brace), where she lives with her abrasively unsympathetic aunt, Agnes Gann. As they approach the row house, Ben causes his roller skates to de-materialize. This phenomenon is observed by two men who are watching the house from across the street. They enter the apartment building, identify themselves as police, and question Agnes about Ben. Jenny overhears the conversation and limps upstairs to Old Ben’s apartment to warn him. Old Ben takes on the form of a mouse, fooling the men into thinking he has left his apartment.Jenny takes the “mouse” back to her room. Old Ben tells Jenny that he is an alien from another planet, and that his appearance is only a disguise, as he is a fugitive from justice. Old Ben says he must flee to another planet, but before departing he uses a strange device to heal Jenny’s leg. The two strangers run into Jenny walking down the stairs without her brace.