Our 13th “Unlucky” IRE harkens back a quarter century to one of the most stunning events in Hockey, or any other sports, history. The unheralded, plucky US Hockey team beat the defending Olympic champion Russian team (enroute to eventually beating Finland for the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics). This story of David versus Goliath is the fodder for this outing’s IRE.
So many ways one can handle this, the “David and Goliath” theme is one that has numerous possibilities.
I like the idea of taking the theme to a war setting, let’s use Amber just for the heck of it this time. A belligerent Golden Circle-area (although not member) shadow decides to eat some lebensraum from a smaller, unassuming shadow. No even match like, say, Begma and Kashfa, the ostensibly weaker shadow looks destined to become a satellite (or worse) of the first shadow’s empire.
But then the impossible happens. In the field of battle, by strength of arms, courage and perhaps something else, the smaller shadow defeats its behemoth rival and sends the enemy army home packing.
How did they do it? The Player characters, if they are hooked into plots in the Golden Circle, might be intrigued enough to visit this unheralded world, looking for their secret. And just what might that secret turn out to be? A power source of some kind? Plucky determination? An unheralded scion of the family (perhaps unknown even to herself) who led the defense of the land of her birth?
Or, alternatively, the PCs might visit the belligerent nation, and see why they failed…or having been brought down a peg, the PCs might be inclined to add insult to injury (say, if this shadow has threatened areas the PCs are interested in).
A bardic character might want details of the battle itself for song and story. An artistic character might want to do a depiction of the epic battle. A martial one, might want to know what strategies were used.
And so on and so forth.