Saturday, 6 January 2018

Final Character Sheets

Pinterest for the campaign

Arjen - Fighter(Grimworld)(2). Damage d6, hit points 16.
Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
13 (+1) 9 (+0) 6 (-1) 7 (-1) 6 (-1) 7 (-1)

Alignment: Neutral: gain fame or wealth

Race: Human; worships Balinor; Survival

Moves: Armoured; Weapon Specialization: Two-handers; Battle-Ready; Combat Awareness; Sundering Blows

Equipment: Leather armour, short sword, spear, 40 gold coin, bedroll, adventurer’s kit, 12 rations; 40 gold coin

Appearance: 21 years old, 6’1”. Arjen is roughly-dressed in homespun brown peasant’s trousers and a leather hauberk (still bearing burn marks in places). He carries a shortsword.

Background: A lumberjack from near Wyr in Aundair. His parents were farmers; he lived in a rural community there during a period of decline, due to the Last War, the loss of the nearby Eldeen Reaches when it declared independence, and a loss of people due to urbanisation as the technology of the Five Nations began to change the way of life of ordinary people.

Personality: Arjen has always lived a rural life and is adventuring partly to escape from the changes that are eroding that way of life in his homeland. He is somewhat in awe of all magical and strange things; he shies away from a fight, and is more comfortable scouting ahead than joining the fight. Worships the Host, particularly Balinor.

Sakhisli - Channeler(3). Damage d4, hit points 26.
Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
11 (+0) 14 (+1) 16 (+2) 8 (-1) 9 (+0) 12 (+0)

Alignment: Chaotic: Use your conduit to cause great disorder or chaos

Race: Dwarf; conduit for flame, emanating from her fingers

Moves: Summon Elemental; Trickle; Channel; Techniques: Gout of Flame: blast, 2 piercing; Elemental Protection; Callus; Thread the Needle

Equipment: Leather armour; blanket; 0 rations; 40 gold coin; flaming spearhead (Awkward, Fiery); cursed dragonshard

Appearance: a stout dwarf woman; 4’0”, 49 years old. She wears red trousers and a leather hauberk, and carries an old dwarven forge hammer. She wears her black hair in a long braid. The left side of her face and left arm were badly burned recently.

Personality: She can be loudmouthed and her temper flares sometimes. Otherwise, she is happy to work as part of a group, and willing to do hard work without complaining.

Background: Born in the Mror Holds in north-eastern Khorvaire. She was a smith, born to a family of smiths, and has spent at least twenty years working a forge. She was forced to leave her homeland and her people for unknown reasons; she worked as a blacksmith in Atur for a while, but grew tired of such routine work and decided to seek riches by a faster route, joining the Clifftop Adventurer’s Guild around a month before the current expedition to Xen’drik was formed. She was badly burned by a fire mephit during the fire giants’ attack, and seems to have gained some ability with fire magic as a result of that exposure. Worships Onatar, of the Sovereign Host.

Kyorlin - Hunter(3). Damage d8, hit points 22.
Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
9 (+0) 16 (+2) 14 (+1) 15 (+1) 13 (+1) 11 (+0)

Alignment: Chaotic: Free someone from literal or figurative bonds

Race: Drow elf: When you undertake a perilous journey through wilderness, one job you take you succeed at

Moves: Revenge; Hunt and Track; Hunter’s Mark; I Wander Alone; Set The Trap; Hawkeyed; Lone Wolf

Equipment: Leather armour; shortbow; arrows(3); 1 ration; 80 gold coin; long hunting knife and a dagger; athame (magical, cancels or probes magical effects); giant-sized twilight mithril chain shirt

Appearance: 5’7”, 130 years old. Kyorlin is grey-skinned, slender, with white hair but a young face for an elf. He wears well-fitted leathers, made himself from his kills as a jungle hunter; his clothes are grubby from years of travelling the jungles of Xen’drik. He carries two long-bladed hunting knifes on his belt, and a shortbow on his back.

Personality: Kyorlin is intelligent and thoughtful; he can act in haste when required but prefers to have time to plan. The loss of his brother to fire giants has affected him, time will tell how. He hates fire giants, and resents their presence in Xen’drik far more than the outsiders from Khorvaire. A worshipper of Vulkoor, the scorpion god.

Background: He was born into one of the Vulkoorim drow tribes that populate the jungles of Xen’drik. Trained as a hunter from a young age, he has a hundred years of experience in the harsh and unforgiving wilderness; the only other civilisation that he has seen is the city of Stormreach. With his brother, he left his tribe some years ago for reasons yet unknown, and has made a living as a guide for Khorvairian expeditions through the jungle. His brother was recently killed by fire giants.

Arjen: Common
Kyorlin: Giantish, Common
Sakhisli: Dwarven, Common

16. Inheritance of the Sulatar

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 9
Scene setup: d10=9 (Altered scene)

This was going to be the scene of Sakhisli being interrogated, but instead we’ll start with Kyorlin.

Defy Danger(Con)(Arjen): 2D6(4 5) -1 = 8 Partial success.
Condition no worse, but no better.

No-one gets to heal, of course.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 5) +2 = 10 Success!
You slip your bonds.

Kyorlin sat, slumped, against the wooden stake to which he had been tied, back to back with Arjen who was in the same predicament. The drow had secured them close to their campfire, and one Sulatar warrior was watching them while the others gathered firewood or fussed over Sakhisli.

Discern Realities(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 6) +1 = 11 Success!
What is about to happen?
What happened here recently?
What here is useful or valuable to me?

The dwarf was unconscious and badly hurt, Kyorlin could see, but the Sulatar were taking great interest in her. They had done nothing for his own wounds, but they were binding Sakhisli’s wounds. The Sulatar commander was standing over her, directing the work. The dwarf’s fire magic must have caught their interest; we would be dead already otherwise.

Kyorlin’s was in pain down his side, and he had lost a lot of blood from the wound there, inflicted by the Sulatar this morning. His head still ached from where one of the Sulatar had bashed him with her shield. But he knew that he needed to keep thinking and working on an escape: the Sulatar would show no mercy to a follower of Vulkoor. He worked furiously with his hands, pretending to be in a daze while actually looking around the camp. After a few minutes, he had slipped his hands out of the bonds; he remained in place, with his back to Arjen, waiting for the guard to be distracted.

The Sulatar had now bound Sakhisli’s hands and tied her to a tree with chains; having lost so many of their patrol to her fire magic, they were not taking any chances it seemed. Looking around the camp, Kyorlin could see his bow and hunting knife, lying in front of one of the tents that the Sulatar had erected.

Wake her,” said the commander, in Giantish.

One of the warriors stepped forward, and backhanded Sakhisli across the face with their mailed gauntlet. After that failed to rouse the dwarf, they grabbed her hair and shook her until she groaned.

It’s time to answer for your crimes, dwarf,” said the commander.

Sakhisli’s head hung forward, and she struggled weakly against the chains.

Where are you from?” The commander spoke in Giantish, and one of the soldiers translated to Common.

“Sharn,” said Sakhisli.

Why did you come here?

Sakhisli was looking around now; she looked over and her eyes met Kyorlin’s. She bared her teeth, as if in anger; Kyorlin looked away. She tried to save me from them, and got caught herself; does she blame me?

The commander repeated the question, but before it was translated, Sakhisli replied—in Giantish. “That is in the past. I am here, and that is all that matters now.

Kyorlin was stunned; Sakhisli had never spoken a word of his language before, but she spoke now as if the words came easily—albeit with an odd accent. The Sulatar exchanged glances, and there was some murmuring amongst the soldiers. The commander raised an eyebrow, and continued, “You speak our language?

I speak it.

Your friend told us that you seek Kappefesting. Know that the places of our forefathers and their benefactors belong to the Sulatar; we will kill any outsider that seeks them out. Do you know how to reach Kappefesting?

Defy Danger(Int)(Kyorlin): 2D6(6 1) +1 = 8 Partial success.
You see what’s coming, but there’s so little time. Put someone in a spot

She doesn’t but I do. And she is going to tell them. The guard who was watching him was distracted, looking towards Sakhisli in surprise, so Kyorlin took his chance. He rose to a crouch and darted behind the guard, across to where his bow and dagger lay, grabbing them up as Sakhisli replied.

No. Esinor had a map, and Kalina knew it—but she died. Now only the Vulkoorim scout knows it.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 2) +2+1 = 9 Partial success.
You have a head start.
Defy Danger(Con)(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 2) +1 = 6 Failure!
But falter due to your wounds

Kyorlin bolted into the trees as heads turned towards him. There were several shouts, and the commander yelled, “Stop him!

Kyorlin ducked under some hanging vines and ran. The pain in his side made him stumble, but he stayed on his feet and kept moving, moving fast through the treacherous roots and creepers of the jungle floor. A glance back showed him that several Sulatar were in pursuit, spread out to try to encircle him, but they were slower than him and he stayed ahead of them at first.

But his strength faded quickly. The wound in his side was bleeding again, the pain jarring with his every step. He slowed and stumbled, grabbing at a tree and leaning there for a moment. He tried to set off again, but could only stagger a few paces before falling to his knees. The Sulatar quickly surrounded him, grabbing his arms and dragging him back to the camp.

Your friend has spirit—for a vermin.

Several drow had set off in pursuit of Kyorlin, but the commander and several guards remained facing Sakhisli. The dwarf met the commander’s gaze with disdain.

After a moment, the commander continued. “How did you learn to control fire?

Discern Realities(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 1) +0 = 5 Failure!
Put someone in a spot

At the forge. Perhaps if your channellers had done the same, they wouldn’t have died so easily.

The commander gestured, and one of the warriors jabbed the tip of their sword into Sakhisli’s side, through one of the rends in her hauberk. The pain got her attention, though.

Watch your tongue, dwarf, or we’ll cut it out.

Defy Danger(Cha)(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 2) +0 = 6 Failure!
Oh dear

Sakhisli is just really bad at social stuff. This isn’t going at all in the direction that I expected.

Release me, servant. My power is beyond your comprehension.

The commander turned to the soldiers and nodded. One drew a dagger, and they stepped forward; went to grab Sakhisli’s head.

Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(6 5) +2 = 13 Success!
Deals d8+d4=4 damage, 2 piercing; takes 2 damage.

And the tree is on fire.

Sakhisli didn’t let them reach her. Fire poured between her fingers, engulfing the base of the tree and the ground around her. The flames drove back the drow, but the tree caught fire from the intense heat.

The dwarf is mad!” said one of the Sulatar.

Do that again and you are dead,” said the commander.

Defy Danger(Int)(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 3) -1 = 6 Failure!
Sadly, she just isn’t very smart

But Sakhisli was too angry to heed them. She twisted, struggling against the chains; she released another burst of fire as if the flames could cut through the tree trunk and free her.

Fernia’s wrath! Kill her!” yelled the commander. One of the drow lunged at Sakhisli; she felt the pain drive through her chest. She slumped, still chained to the burning tree, as consciousness slipped away.

Last Breath(Sakhisli): 2D6(2 4) +0 = 6 Failure!
You die

As Kyorlin was dragged back into the camp, he saw Sakhisli still tied to the burning tree. She was clearly dead; the drow turned away, unwilling to look at the gruesome sight as her body was consumed by the flames.

The commander came over and stood before him.

You will not escape us so easily, vermin,” she said. She glanced over her shoulder at the still burning tree, then back to Kyorlin. “Your kind infesting the jungle is bad enough, but now you bring these outsiders to our lands—this one was little better than a mad dog.

Kyorlin was too weak to offer a reply; he was hanging between the two Sulatar that carried him back to the camp. He was starting to drift off into unconsciousness.

The commander grabbed his chin, lifting his head up to face her. “Yes, I think you are going to be very useful to us.” She let his head fall and turned to her soldiers. “Patch this one up—and bind him properly this time. Kill the other prisoner; we have no use for outsiders here.

Tomorrow we return to the Obsidian City. Praetor Shadan will richly reward us I think—at last, we will inherit the greatest of the fortresses of our benefactors, the citadel of Kappefesting.

And that’s it for the campaign; there’s no adventuring party anymore.

I hadn’t expected the final chapter to go that way at all—Sakhisli could have persuaded the drow to accept her, perhaps by sacrificing her companions to prove her allegiance. But she just failed every roll, so I went with her being too obsessed or mad to cut a deal. Poor Kyorlin is going to have a long imprisonment, and he probably dies in captivity.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

15. Ancient Legacy

First, we have to resolve Sakhisli’s Last Breath

Sakhisli was back in the Giant’s tower. The huge stone blocks were no longer marred by damp and moss, the mortar no longer pitted and worn; smokeless torches burned in sconces at intervals on the stairs, casting a yellow light and deep shadows around her. She was climbing the stairs, but she was tall, so tall that the steps no longer seemed huge, and the stairway seemed cramped. Sakhisli had to lower the long spear that she carried to avoid scraping the ceiling, bringing the flaming spearhead down to eye level.

She reached a landing, with a doorway standing before her. Opposite the doorway, through an arrowslit that was now at eye-level for her, she could see the night sky outside: the orange moon Aryth drew the dwarf’s eyes, burning brightly over Xen’drik this night, but there was another moon close to it that she did not recognise, dark and blue, hanging coldly low in the sky to the south.

She turned to the doorway and pushed it open. The room before her was much changed, but still recognisable: the walls were adorned with banners depicting fire giants, engaged in battle with creatures that Sakhisli did not recognise, and the room was well lit with torches—but the arrowslits looking out over the jungle were the same, as was the metal frame in the centre of the room holding the dragonshard, which glowed with its own golden light. There were seven giants in the room: not the wild, stupid giants they had seen at the expedition’s destroyed camp, but noble giants, tall and strong and with intelligence in their eyes, dressed in togas adorned with fire symbols and each wearing a red sash from shoulder to waist, each carrying a weapon like her own. All eyes turned towards her as she entered.

One of the giants spoke. “Welcome, warrior. Join us.

An elf, light-skinned and dressed in sackcloth, stepped out from the shadows near the door and closed the door behind her; the elf avoided her gaze, looking at the ground as she worked, and stepped back to stand quietly beside the door when done. Now that she looked, Sakhisli could see several more elves, similarly dressed, lurking in the shadows.

The giant spoke again, her deep voice echoing off of the thick stone walls of the tower. “Come, warrior, step forwards.”. Sakhisli realised that the giant spoke in her own tongue, and yet the dwarf somehow understood the words. Sakhisli stepped forwards, closer to the crystal.

While you are here, you are safe, daughter of fire. No dream crawler can touch you here.

What is this place?” asked Sakhisli.

A sanctuary for those fighting the Quori,” said another of the giants. Sakhisli turned towards him; he wore an eye patch covering one eye, and the edges of a scar led from under the patch, crossing his brow. “Your dreams are safe here. Sit, daughter of fire.

There were stone benches around the room. Sakhisli went to sit down, but pain shot through her chest suddenly, and she lost her balance, falling backwards over the bench and onto the stone floor beyond; the thud echoed through the tower.

Sakhisli pushed her self up, getting back to her feet uneasily. The giants were all staring at her with concerned looks.

Tell us your name, daughter,” said the first giant; she seemed to be the elder of the group, and her robe was richly embroidered with curling flames that seemed to flicker slightly in the torchlight.


I never heard of a giant with that name.” The elder’s gaze moved briefly to her followers; two of the other giants took out their weapons and began to move to flank Sakhisli.

Sakhisli paused, unsure of what to say, then surprised that she was choosing at all; the sensation was less like a dream now, and everything seemed too sharp, too real for dreaming. “I am a dwarf from the Holds.

How did you come to be here, dwarf?” The elder’s tone was threatening now.

I do not know.” The pain in her chest remained, and Sakhisli drew a hoarse breath.

Did you kill our kind to get here? How did you enter their dreams?

The giants approaching from either side were closing in, with swords drawn; Sakhisli shifted her weapon to grip it in one hand, opening the other and conjuring a ball of fire. She extended her arm...

Wait! Stop! Back, back—give her space.” At the elder’s command, the giants moved back, leaving Sakhisli standing alone. The dwarf relaxed a little, keeping the fire burning around her open hand.

How did you enter this dream?” asked the elder.

Discern Realities(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 6) +0 = 10 Success!
Who is really in control here? The dream originates from the dragonshard that you stole.
What here is useful or valuable to me? Learning anything about the fire faith of the giants and Sulatar may help you escape this situation.
Hold 1.

Sakhisli looked around the room; her gaze fell on the glowing dragonshard in the centre of the room. “I was here yesterday, in this tower. I took that dragonshard—how is it here again?

You took the dragonshard?” asked the one-eyed giant; there was anger in his voice, and stepping forward as he spoke.

How did you learn to control fire?” asked the elder.

I was a blacksmith; I have always worked with fire. But there was a fire mephit—it burned me, and since then I have been able to control fire directly.

One of the other giants spoke. “A fire binder amongst the lesser races? I have never heard of such a thing.

But now we have seen it,” said the elder.

Pain stabbed through Sakhisli again, and she fell to one knee. Her vision blurred momentarily; as it cleared, she realised that she had dropped her spear and was on all fours on the ground. She looked up to see the elder again; she was looking thoughtfully at the scarred giant.

This one is weak—near the end of life, I think. You have been through much to get here,” she added, turning back to Sakhisli.

Every hammer blow makes me stronger,” said Sakhisli in Dwarven—an old saying.

Who do you serve, child?” asked the elder.

I serve no one.

You have the gift of fire, and use it for nothing?

I use it for myself.

You will die soon—die with nothing done, nothing achieved. The gift of fire is wasted on you.

No!” Sakhisli rasped out the reply angrily, as the pain worsened. “I owe no-one—it is my power, I mastered it.

A power you have wasted. Why did you come here?

The wealth of giants was here, ready for us to take.

The elder stepped forward to stand before Sakhisli and took the dwarf’s head in her hands. “If your greed is all that you bring here, dwarf, then you will have died for it. Is that all? Does the fire mean nothing to you but profit? Will you sell all that you have gained—would you sell your power, too, if you could?

Sakhisli shook her head weakly.

The fire can save you, dwarf. There is no greater power than fire; it destroys and reshapes all that it encounters. We are its servants, and it grants us the power to smite our enemies and shape the world as we see fit. The dream creatures strive to overthrow us, but we will destroy them in the end.

The power was given to us to heal and restore the giants that came to this sanctuary. It has been long since any of our kind came, but it matters not: fire consumes all eventually. If you are a servant of fire, you may leave here, reinvigorated, with the strength of Fernia ready at your call. Otherwise leave here as you arrived; a failed thief, dying alone in the jungle.

Sakhisli had prayed to the forge god, Onatar, all of her life, but it had not occurred to her to pray to him for many weeks. For most of her life, the fire of the forge was something that came from the gods but, now that it came at her own call, she had felt no need to offer a prayer after making the campfire in the evening. Wherever this power comes from, it is mine now; I will not give it up.

As if sensing her thoughts, the elder spoke again. “Few ever gain the power that you have. You were given this for a purpose, Sakhisli. Show the world the true power of fire.

Yes,” Sakhisli gasped, feeling her strength fading. “Everyone must see what fire can do.

The requirements for a partial success on Last Breath are that the character must make a substantial sacrifice or have a life-changing shift of direction. Sakhisli is a convert to the faith of fire, followed by the giants in the Age of Giants and still followed by the Sulatar (and some primitive Giants) today.

Of course, that also makes Kyorlin her enemy now. She is turning her back on the reasonable, civilised faith of the Sovereign Host and embracing a fire cult. And this is a literal baptism of fire.

Very good. Go forth, daughter of fire, and spread the word. The days of fire are returning.” The elder pressed her hands together on either side of Sakhisli’s head, and suddenly all her sense of place was consumed in burning pain as fire washed over her.

Monday, 1 January 2018

14. On the Run

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 8
Scene setup: d10=9 (unchanged)

Grunferdfest, west of the Obsidian City, Xen’drik
Dravago 23, 997 YK

The sounds of shouting awoke Arjen, and he winced in pain as he lifted his head to look around the camp. Sulatar warriors began spilling out of the tents; Arjen tried to look around to see what was happening, but the pain in his chest was too great to twist around while he was tied up. He tried to stand, but as he struggled with the rope around his hands, one of the drow stepped up in front of him and put the tip of her sword to his throat, pushing him back to the ground.

Arjen had been asleep when the Sulatar first arrived, and in no position to fight them. The drow had dragged him out in front of the tower, where one of them—Arjen guess she was an officer, from the way that the others deferred to her—had given some orders and he had been tied to a stake in what became the middle of their camp. He had sat there as the drow ate their evening meal; nothing had been offered to him and, aside from a few glances, the drow paid him little attention.

The drow standing over him now was clearly distracted; other drow warriors ran past her, hastily belting on their swords, towards the shouting. Now that Arjen was not moving, she had taken her sword away, but kept it drawn as she looked past Arjen towards whatever was going on. It was still dark, with the sky just beginning to lighten towards dawn; the shouts were replaced by screams as of people dying. At first Arjen imagined that his friends were attempting a rescue; but after the screaming the sounds seemed to grow further away. After a while, there was quiet.

After about ten minutes, a group of Sulatar returned to the campfire in front of Arjen. The officer that had seen him earlier was amongst them; after talking to some of her soldiers, she came to stand before Arjen.

“Ninshusa, kom!” The officer was calling to someone behind him; another drow soldier was suddenly standing over Arjen, and hauled him roughly to his feet. This was another drow woman, one that must have been awoken by the commotion as she wore only a gambeson and the same dark trousers as the other drow. She had the narrow face and angular features of an elf but, unlike any Khorvaire elf, her skin was grey; in the torchlight Arjen could see that she had a deep scar across her left cheek.

The officer was still before him; her cloak, adorned with flame patterns, rippled in the breeze. She said something in her own tongue, which Arjen of course did not understand. The soldier holding him then spoke in common. “Who are you?” She spoke slowly, emphasising each word alone, as if unused to the words.


The officer spoke again, and the soldier then spoke to Arjen again in common—apparently she was acting as translator. “Why you come here, Arjen?”

Arjen shook his head and sighed, looking down at the ground. “For adventure.”

The soldier looked puzzled; her brow furrowed and she repeated, “Why you come here?”

She hardly knows any Common. “I, uh, was paid to come here. For money?”

“Money,” the soldier repeated. “gil.” The officer said something, and the soldier then asked, ”Which house are you?”

It was Arjen’s turn to be confused. “I’m just a farmer.”

The soldier shook her head, then grabbed Arjen and shook him; the pain in Arjen’s chest intensified. “Which house are you?”

“I have no house.”

“No house? Who gives you money?”

Parley(Arjen): 2D6(5 5) -1 = 9 Partial success.
You’ll need to give them real information to live here

Sulatar had gathered to stand around him for this interrogation; several of the warriors around him looked angry, and still had weapons drawn. They’re going to kill me, Arjen thought. There didn’t seem any point in dodging their questions. “A wizard named Esinor—from the Esoteric Order of Aureon.”

magere,” said the scarred soldier. “Where are you going?”

“Some Giantish ruins, in the mountains.”

“What ruins?”

“A fortress—I think they called it Kappefesting,” said Arjen.

Discern Realities(Arjen): 2D6(2 5) -1 = 6 Failure!
Deal damage: d4=2 damage
Do the Sulatar know where Kappefesting is? Unlikely (It’s called the “cloaked fortress”, though the Sulatar were allies of the giants so perhaps they knew of it).
Fate d100(92)=No

Okay, so the Sulatar now have a reason to go after Kyorlin and Sakhisli. Oh dear.

The officer reacted immediately; she stepped forward and grabbed Arjen by the throat, her mailed gauntlet squeezing his throat. Arjen’s hands were still bound and he could hardly struggle; she said something in the drow’s language, of which the only word he recognised was Kappefesting. After a moment she released him. Arjen hunched over as he sucked in air, with the drow soldier holding him up. After a few seconds, the officer punched him in the gut, and he fell to the ground in even more pain.

“Where is Kappefesting?” said the soldier.

“I don’t know,” gasped Arjen.

“Who are the others?”

“Just others from Sharn—others hired by Esinor.”

“What of the one with fire?”

Sakhisli. “Yes, she was hired by Esinor. She is a blacksmith.”

Since Arjen succeeded on the Parley and met the conditions, selling out his companions, he gets to live for now. Really he isn’t much use to the drow though, and he’ll have to make more rolls if he doesn’t escape or get rescued soonish.

The soldier translated this answer back for the officer, who gave Arjen a long stare before walking off. The other drow sheathed their swords and returned to their tents and campfires. Arjen slumped on the ground, glad of his reprieve—but he had a feeling that it was only temporary.

Tell them the requirements or consequences and ask: You can camp now, or definitely escape from the Sulatar.

The party chooses to camp: they have level-ups pending.

Make Camp(Sakhisli, Kyorlin): Kyorlin back to 15/22 HP, Sakhisli back to 21/26 HP
Level Up(Sakhisli): +1 Str, Thread the Needle

Also Sakhisli retrains her technique as Gout of Flame: blast, 2 piercing.

Level Up(Kyorlin): +1 Dex, Hawkeyed
Level Up(Kyorlin): +1 Dex, Lone Wolf

So Sakhisli now does piercing damage, and can do extra damage optionally (at some risk to herself) with that move from the Channeller playbook. She will be much more effective against the Sulatar now. And Kyorlin now rolls with +2 on his most-used stat, a big upgrade in his effectiveness—plus his damage is 1 piercing and has an extra +1 when he fights not at the side of an ally, thanks to those Hunter playbook moves.

Hunt and Track(Kyorlin): 2

5+18Partial success.You find Sakhisli, but don’t know anything about the approaching Sulatar

Kyorlin woke abruptly, blinking in the sunlight and shifting his head to get out of its glare. Rays of light cut down through the jungle canopy above, telling the drow that it was already late in the morning. He had gone to sleep in the hollow left by the roots of a tree that had toppled, and in the morning light he could see the brown and purple colours of the fungi growing under its uprooted stump.

He was thinking of his brother as he shook out and folded his blanket, stowing it in his pack, going through a morning routine that had hardly varied in the sixty yearsa since they left their tribe. Kyorlin had been a hunter for his tribe for fifty years when he was younger, and the time since had all been in the company of his brother; apart from occasional stays with other tribes, or in Stormreach, they had rarely been separated. Travelling with Kalina’s group had given him a distraction, but now he was alone and truly concious of it for the first time. Kalina and Arjen had been the two in the group that he had befriended, but now one was dead and the other a prisoner; Kyorlin was left to wonder what he was doing here.

He had barely made it away the previous evening, and had abandoned the dwarf to her fate after she drew the attention of the Sulatar. Sakhisli was tough, though, and her fire powers—the idea of an ally posessing such magic still made Kyorlin uncomfortable—were quite deadly, so he did wonder if she might have somehow escaped. Partly out of curiousity, partly to see if there was any signs that the Sulatar were still pursuing him, the hunter decided to go back and search for any sign that the dwarf had escaped.

Turn their move back on them: experimenting with your fire powers makes you even easier for the Sulatar to find.

Stay Sharp(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 5) +0 = 8 Partial success.
You become aware of the attack before it happens, but without time to prepare

Sakhisli already has an elemental summoned: we are arriving as she finishes retraining her elemental techniques, so I won’t roll the move since there was no pressure when she did so; control d4=3.

It took the drow less than an hour to find Sakhisli’s tracks. The dwarf was stocky, and made no attempt to disguise the tracks left by her heavy boots. Kyorlin turned to follow the tracks, taking care not to make his own trail too obvious; if the Sulatar did come, it would be better if they did not know that he had been here also.

The day was hot, but with a good breeze blowing that offered a lot of relief from the jungle heat; the rustling of trees and creaking of swaying branches masked some of the sounds of jungle wildlife.

Kyorlin saw something flicker through the trees ahead, and then a tree in the distance burst into flame. What is the dwarf doing? Kyorlin dropped low, approaching carefully to avoid revealed his presence.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Sakhisli): 2D6(5 5) +1 = 11 Success!
You dodge the archers, running for cover
Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 1) +3 = 8 Partial success.
Control reduced to 2; deals d8=6 damage, 4 after armour

Okay, there are 20 Sulatar still in action from this group; the commander holds back with some guards and the prisoners, so let’s say 15 are moving to attack, including the one remaining fire binder amongst them. That is a lot of enemies to take on; the party would do better to run here.

Sunlight flickered off of something shiny through the trees to his right; as Kyorlin dashed forward behind the trunk of a tree, there was shouting from that direction, and the sound of arrows whistling through the air. Peering out, the drow saw a fire elemental moving between the trees towards a group of armoured Sulatar that were rushing forward; they stopped their charge and began to spread out, but not before the elemental blasted them with fire; the drow’s shields gave them some protection from the fire, but there were cries of pain and they began to spread out to encircle the creature.

Discern Realities(Kyorlin): 2D6(5 6) +1 = 12 Success!
What should I be on the lookout for? A fire binder.
What here is useful or valuable to me?
What here is hidden? (to Kyorlin) Sakhisli.
Is the useful thing terrain? Likely (96).
Fate d100(No)=
Hunter’s Mark(Kyorlin):

Deal damage: 1 control lost on the elemental.

Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(6 6) +1 = 13 Success!
Deals d8=3 damage, 1 after armour

Kyorlin glimpsed Sakhisli, peering out from behind a tree about fifty feet to his left; she did not see him, as she was intently looking at her elemental—perhaps controlling it, the drow surmised. The Sulatar evidently had seen her and were trying to get to her; the first group, of four drow warriors, was busy with the elemental, but another five were circling around and heading towards her, and there was another group of drow with archers and a fire binder, their red cloak flapping in the breeze, further back. The fire binder would be trouble; Kyorlin took a moment to feel the direction of the wind and find a good line of sight to the binder, staying concealed while drawing an arrow from his quiver.

Defy Danger(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 5) +1+1 = 10 Success!
The boar stampede the archers and binder
Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(5 1) +2+1 = 9 Partial success.
Risk retaliation; deals d6+2+1=5 damage, with two piercing

Binder is at 1/6 HP.

Then something else caught his eye. A group of wild boar, startled by the shouting and fire, were moving away from the Sulatar towards his hiding place. In a moment, Kyorling swung his bow and shot an arrow into a tree in front of them; the boars panicked, turning and charging in the direction of the binder’s group. The Sulatar turned, surprised, jumping out of the way of the stampede. Kyorlin drew another arrow and shot the binder while they were distracted; and the binder staggered as the arrow struck them just under the arm, finding a gap in their plate mail.

Channel, Thread the Needle(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 2) +2 = 7 Partial success.
Deals d8+d4 (3, 2) =5 damage, 2 piercing, taking 2 damage from her Thread the Needle.

Deal Damage: takes 2d8k1+2+1 = 8 damage, 7 after armour from Sulatar attacks

Sakhisli is at 15/26 HP. She really wanted just a little more damage there.

Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 4) +1 = 6 Failure!
Elemental killed, and another 4 Sulatar are on their way to you. Put someone in a spot
Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(2 2) +2 = 6 Failure!
Put someone in a spot
Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(1 1) +2 = 4 Failure!
Deal Damage: 2d8k1+2+1=8 damage, 7 after armour

That drew attention to the hunter, however. Several Sulatar shouted and pointed in his direction, and two drow began pushing their way through the undergrowth towards him. Sakhisli was fighting too, now, shooting fire at the group of drow that had closed with her. Kyorlin drew back for another shot at the binder, but the two drow were too close. He hastily tried to shoulder his bow but dropped it instead; he barely had time to draw his belt knife to meet his assailants. He parried away a sword stroke from one of the Sulatar, but could not parry the other in time and took a nasty cut down his side.

Channel, Thread the Needle(Sakhisli): 2D6(6 2) +2 = 10 Success!
Deals d8+d4=11 damage

Let’s enumerate the Sulatar quickly: 5 warriors (closed with Sakhisli): 2 (that flanked her) are dead, the other 3 are at 1/6 HP each 4 warriors (defeated the elemental): 1,2,2,5 HP (/6) respectively. binder: 1/6 HP 3 archers (with the binder): 6/6 HP 2 warriors (fighting Kyorlin): 6/6 HP

Hack and Slash(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 6) +0 = 9 Partial success.
Deals d6+1=1 damage, negated by armour; takes 2d8k1+1 = 5 damage, 4 after armour

Kyorlin is at 4/22 HP.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 1) +1 = 5 Failure!
Put someone in a spot: stunned, knocked down

Kyorlin is in danger of becoming another prisoner. He is really no good once he gets into a close-quarters fight with these enemies.

The Sulatar on the left was a little taller than the other, and slower, so Kyorlin tried a quick strike against her, stepping to one side and driving his knife into a joint in her plate. But she saw his move and pivoted, so his blade scraped harmlessly across her breastplate—and then her shield slammed into his head. Everything went dark, and Kyorlin felt himself fall to the ground.

Sakhisli had been practising her control of a fire elemental when the Sulatar showed up. The dwarf had sent the elemental straight at the first group of drow that she saw, while she ran for the cover of a tree to avoid the archers; but there were over a dozen drow coming for her, and another group rushed her hiding place. Three approached her directly, and she scattered those with a blast of fire, but two more can around the other side of the tree; Sakhisli killed them both with fire, but not before one with his sword.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 5) +1 = 7 Partial success.
Tell them the requirements or consequences and ask: go slow and you’ll get there unharmed, but Kyorlin is at the mercy of these drow; or get there quickly but take a hit

Sakhisli chooses fast. Deal damage: d10=10 damage, 5 after Callus. That takes her to 7/26 HP.

She had glimpsed Kyorlin off through the trees to her right, and heard the shouts of the Sulatar as several turned and headed towards him. She now ran in his direction, seeing that he was beset by enemies. Sulatar were shooting at her again; the first group had overcome her elemental and were now pushing their way through the undergrowth towards her; but it was a bolt of fiery energy from further back in the jungle that struck her, the burning pain lancing through her side and causing her to stumble.

Channel, Thread the Needle(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 6) +1 = 10 Success!
Deals d8+d4 (4,2) = 6 damage, takes 2 damage

Sakhisli at 5/26 HP, Kyorlin at 4/22 HP. All three drow standing over Kyorlin are killed.

5 out of the 15 drow here are dead, lots more are badly injured, but the heroes are in trouble.

But Sakhisli kept going, charging at the three Sulatar standing over Kyorlin—who was lying on the ground—stretching out her hand and releasing a blast of flames. She strained to put forth as much power into the flames as she could, and she could feel the burning pain in her side worsen as she did so; the Sulatar were all caught in the blast, and their screams were cut short as they were all consumed. Sakhisli reached down and pulled Kyorlin up; the drow was bleeding badly from his side, and his face was bloodied and bruised, but he was able to walk.

“Come on, we have to get away from them,” the dwarf said; she grabbed the drow’s bow from the ground nearby and handed it to him. Kyorlin merely nodded in acknowledgement and they turned to run.

Aid(Sakhisli): 2D6(5 6) +1 = 12 Success!
Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(1 6) +2+1 = 10 Success!
Deals d6+2=6 damage, 4 after armour

Kills the fire binder.

Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(2 1) +2 = 5 Failure!
Deal damage: d8=8 with 1 piercing

Sakhisli is at 0 HP.

Sakhisli was not a fast runner, however, and not used to moving quickly in the jungle. Kyorlin sprinted ahead a few yards, then turned and loosed an arrow; there was a scream from off in the jungle behind them. He turned and ran ahead again; Sakhisli kept going, struggling to keep up; arrows whistled past her as she ran, and she could head the clanking of the armour of more Sulatar warriors chasing behind her, closing in on her. She turned, intending to unleash more fire on them, but an arrow hit her in the chest, and she fell to the ground.

Last Breath(Sakhisli): 2D6(6 2) +0 = 8 Partial success.
Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 1) +2 = 6 Failure!
Also captured

Sakhisli rolled onto her side, gasping in pain. She grasped the arrow with her free hand and with one sharp pull she drew the arrow out. The fresh stab of pain drew another gasp from her; fire oozed between her fingers, burning away the arrow shaft in her hands, as she fought to stay concious. She barely heard, and didn’t react, to the heavy footfalls as Sulatar surrounded her. A heavy blow struck the back of her head and she lost conciousness, lying amid the dirt and fallen leaves of the jungle floor.

End of Session(party): Sakhisli had met her goal over the last few sessions I think, creating chaos with her fire channeling.

Sakhisli replaces her bond with Kyorlin with: Kyorlin came to my aid when the Sulatar trapped me.

XP: Arjen: 1 failure; 7 XP.
Kyorlin: 4 failures; 11 XP.
Sakhisli: 2 failures, +1 goal, +1 bond; 9 XP.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

13. Children of Fire

Let’s find out what the Sulatar are doing. Random activity: d12=9 returning home. Number appearing: d12=10 Horde. Okay then, so it’s not just a few scouts; it’s a whole troop of Sulatar. Well, the party are in trouble.

On the plus side, the party has the high ground; it’s going to be hard for the Sulatar to flush them out of this tower.

Technically there is no move for noticing trouble coming when camping if there is no-one on watch. But Arjen is inside a ruined house, and there are so many Sulatar approaching that they do make plenty of noise. I’ll give him the chance.

Stay Sharp(Arjen): 2D6(4 2) -1 = 5 Failure!
Put someone in a spot

Grunferdfest, west of the Obsidian City, Xen’drik
Dravago 23, 997 YK

Descending the tower was much easier than climbing up had been. Kyorlin lightly dropped down from one step to the next; Sakhisli followed more carefully, sitting down and sliding off of each step to reduce the distance to fall. She had tied the fiery spearhead to her back with a leather cord from her pack, and she could feel the heat from the weapon through her leather hauberk.

Spend hold(Kyorlin): What is about to happen?
Who is really in control here?

“They probably saw our torchlight from below,” said Kyorlin as they descended. “It would have been visible against the night. Ilj dod! At least it will much slower for them to climb than for us to descend.”

He left it unsaid, but they both knew the greatest problem: there was only one staircase and one way out of the tower. The two of them had to go down and face the Sulatar; even if they could defend the staircase, they would still need to force their way out sooner or later.

“Perhaps we can bargain with them,” said Sakhisli.

Spout Lore(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 6) +1 = 10 Success!
Useful information

“The Sulatar never deal with the followers of Vulkoor,” said the drow. “We have fought over these jungles for thousands of years.” He hesitated for a moment, then added, “They worship fire, and revere its power. You must use your fire magic against them; they will be afraid of anyone who can wield it. At least, the soldiers will be; a group like this may have its own elemental channeller.”

They reached the level of the tower where the strange snake creature had attacked them. The creature’s body still lay there, glittering faintly in the darkness, its coils stretching down two flights of stairs and back into the room that it had come from. Sakhisli and Kyorlin had to climb over its coils twice just to get back to the room that it had come from.

Offer an opportunity, with or without cost: Less time to prepare an ambush if you stop to loot.

The crystal shard mounted in the centre of the room still stood there, with the tail end of the snake still wrapped around the pedestal in which it was mounted. Sakhisli turned aside and entered the room.

“We have to go, Sakhisli,” said Kyorlin from the doorway. “They will surely be coming.”

Spout Lore(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 2) -1 = 2 Failure!
Present riches at a price
Discern Realities(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 3) +0 = 6 Failure!
Introduce a new faction or type of creature: touching or disturbing the shard curses the bearer

This was at random from:

  • Shard holds up the tower somehow; removing it starts a slow collapse.
  • Misplaced blow shatters the shard.
  • Touching the shard curses the bearer.

“We came for the treasure, and I ain’t leaving without it,” the dwarf said. Clambering over the snake’s tail, she approached the pedestal. The crystal itself was about eight inches long, pink and seemed to glow faintly with an inner light; it was held in place by a rusty frame which was attached to the pedestal. Removing it would be difficult. She took a moment to study the frame, then took out her hammer and began to bash at the frame, trying to release the shard. The clanging of metal echoed loudly off of the stone walls around her, as the frame slowly buckled under her blows.

Since her discern failed, there’s no +1 available here.

Defy Danger(Str)(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 4) +0 = 8 Partial success.
Released, but you are too busy to help Kyorlin at first.

“Sakhisli, they are coming,” called Kyorlin softly from the doorway.

The dwarf paid him no attention. Having loosened the frame, she climbed up onto the pedestal and was able to pull the crystal free. It felt warm to the touch, but there was no time to examine her prize—she could hear the shouts of Sulatar outside. Sakhisli merely stuffed the crystal into her pack and hurriedly slung it onto her back.

Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 1) +1 = 6 Failure!
Turn their move back on them: The Sulatar have good armour and just Kyorlin harrying them isn’t enough; they reach the top of the stairs, trapping you in the room.

As she stepped down from the pedestal, Kyorlin ran into the room, bow in hand. Moments later two armoured figures ran into the room; they wore breastplates, greaves, helmets and shields, and black cloaks embroidered with swirling red and yellow fire patterns—fire worshippers, as Kyorlin had said. Kyorlin shot another arrow, which skipped harmlessly off the shield of the first Sulatar warrior.

Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 5) +1 = 9 Partial success.
Put yourself in danger; deals d8 = 1 damage, negated by armour
Summon Elemental(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 1) +2 = 4 Failure!
Introduce a new faction or type of creature: Sulatar fire-binders; control d4=3; choose 2 due to failure: lose 1 control, hazardous
Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 6) +2 = 9 Partial success.
Deals d8=6 damage, lose 1 control

Without thinking, Sakhisli lifted her burned arm to summon help. There was a surge of intense heat in front of her that made even the smith step back; the air seemed to catch fire, and in a moment a towering flame stood before her. The two Sulatar threw up their shields, halting their charge and falling back from the flames, and Kyorlin also backed away to the side of the tower. Kyorlin was dangerously close to the Sulatar, Sakhisli realised, and as she thought it the flame creature moved towards them and unleashed a wave of flame over the Sulatar; the drow screamed in pain as they tried to screen themselves with their shields.

Two more Sulatar soldiers ran into the room, coming to a halt just inside the doorway as they saw the fire elemental. A third Sulatar, armed like the others but wearing a read cloak and with their sword still sheathed, walked into the doorway behind the others. They shouted something in Giantish.

Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 2) +2 = 7 Partial success.
Deal damage: d8=4, 2 after armour, lose 1 control.

The first two Sulatar were falling back towards the doorway now, but Sakhisli gave them no respite. Willing the fire elemental forward, she reached out her hand and the elemental released another borst of fire, engulfing the two armoured drow; as the flames cleared it revealed their bodies lying on the ground, cloaks still burning.

Ha ild magere, dverg,” said the red-cloaked Sulatar; Sakhisli could only just make out the grey skin beneath the helmet in the dim light, but it seemed like a woman’s voice. “Forbaus val maznmagisk!” As the Sulatar spoke, Sakhisli suddenly felt the fire elemental shift away from her, its presence in her mind suddenly changing as if willed by another.

Maug ild! A fire-binder!” cried Kyorlin.

Hunter’s Mark(Kyorlin): On the fire-binder

Her control on the elemental fell to zero, so Monster move(Sulatar fire-binder): manipulate fire: the fire-binder just snatches control of it.

Let’s see if she can wrestle it back:

Defy Danger(Wis)(Sakhisli): 2D6(2 2) +0 = 4 Failure!
Put someone in a spot: they are on you; defend if you can
Defend(Sakhisli): 2D6(5 1) +2 = 8 Partial success
1 hold

Spend hold(Sakhisli): Halve damage to target Deal damage: d8=2 damage, halved to 1, 0 after armour.

The fire elemental had turned around now, and was flowing towards Sakhisli; the dwarf could just make out a shape within the flames, larger than a mephit but insubstantial, and its attention was now focused on her. The dwarf tried to urge the creature back towards the Sulatar, but her connection to it seemed to be lost. Seeing that it was about to lash out, she turned to one side, letting her burned side take the brunt of the flames that washed over her; she barely felt the fire at all, though her clothed were beginning to blacken from the intense heat of the creature itself.

Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(2 3) +1 = 6 Failure!
Show signs of an approaching threat: the Sulatar are no longer scared, their mage is in control

Kyorlin was shooting at the Sulatar fire-binder now, but his first arrow was deflected away off of the top of her shield. She had stepped into the room now, and two more Sulatar warriors entered the room behind her. The fire-binder shouted “Anfal kriggae!” and the warriors charged, their confidence returned now that their leader had control of the elemental.

Hack and Slash(Sakhisli): 2D6(6 2) +0 = 8 Partial success.
Deals 2 damage, takes d8=6 damage, 1 after Callus

Fire elemental is at 13/15 HP.

Sakhisli pulled her forge hammer from her back and took a swing into the fire in front of her. It seemed that she did reach the creature inside, and the elemental recoiled slightly at her blow; then it surged forward, engulfing her in flame. Sakhisli turned her head by instinct, as she might have done back in her smithing days if she had pushed too hard on a bellows and flames in the forge surged. But the expected pain never came: the flames cleared and, apart from being a little short of breath, the dwarf found that she was unharmed.

Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(1 4) +1 = 6 Failure!
Put someone in a spot: two Sulatar warriors corner you
Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(2 1) +1 = 4 Failure!
Deal damage: 2d8k1+2+1 = 9, 7 after armour

Two of the Sulatar charged towards Kyorlin with swords drawn. He shot as they approached, but his bow was little use against such well-armed enemies; the arrow glanced off of a helmet. He had to sling his bow and draw his hunting knife as one of them went straight for him. He tried to dodge aside, but the other came up to his side and he barely managed to parry her blow. Before he could pull back, the first warrior stabbed him in the side, and he staggered back towards the wall of the tower, bloodied.

Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 5) +2 = 10 Success!
Deals d8=2 damage, negated by armour

But that buys her some time. If she could free Kyorlin, things would get easier.

Summon Elemental(Sakhisli): 2D6(2 3) +2 = 7 Partial success.
d4=1 control; it will certainly be hostile later

That’s not good; there will soon be two hostile file elementals in this confined space.

The other two warriors moved towards the central pedestal, circling around to Sakhisli’s right to come at the dwarf without moving near to the fire elemental. As they got close, Sakhisli reached out her hand towards the elemental and then jerked it towards the drow; a wave of flame followed her gesture, and the two warriors fell back, cowering behind their shields. She then turned and, reaching out her burned arm, called forth another fire elemental near to where Kyorlin was standing.

Hack and Slash(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 6) +0 = 10 Success!
d8=3 damage, reduced to 1 by armour
Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 6) +1 = 8 Partial success.
Deals d8=6 damage, 4 after armour; lose control of the elemental

Golden opportunity, Deal damage: Sakhisli takes d8=2 damage, negated by Callus.

The drow hunter was fighting for his life, frantically parrying the blows of the swordsman in front of him. They did not realise that the red light dancing around them came from a new summoning, and the elemental drifted almost silently towards them, catching them completely by surprise as flames washed over them. Both warriors fell back, badly burned, and Kyorlin dashed between them. The whole room danced with red light as the two towering fire creatures moved around, casting flickering shadows across the stone floor.

“Kom ild, nul tuv forer,” said the fire-binder, their words echoing with power in the ancient chamber.

Once again Sakhisli felt her grip on the fire elemental fade. The other elemental, the first that she had summoned, had followed her, and another wave of fire burst over her, singing her clothes but, once again, she felt no pain despite how hot her skin felt. She had no control of either elemental now, however, and both were now turned towards her.

“We have to go, now!” she shouted to Kyorlin, as she began to run towards the doorway—where she could still see, through the heat haze, the Sulatar fire-binder. “Kill that mage!”

I am giving the party a lot of leverage here for their successful Spout Lore earlier: the Sulatar warriors are backing up any time Sakhisli uses her fire powers, but the binder is not afraid and keeps taking over her summoned creatures. It’s still a really bad situation: the two party characters cannot really beat this many Sulatar warriors in a stand-up fight, and there are  20 Sulatar camped around the base of the tower now. There’s no good way out of this.

Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(6 1) 7 = +1 Partial success.
d6+2=5 damage, reduced to 3 by armour; use up ammunition
Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(5 5) +2 = 12 Success!
Deals d8=3 damage, 1 after armour

Sakhisli ran as fast as she could for the doorway, taking advantage of the confusion of the other Sulatar warriors in the room. The heat rising from the floor slabs was intense but, like the fire of the elementals, she could barely feel it. One of Kyorlin’s arrows flew past her and the fire-binder staggered; the Sulatar caster only had time to straighten herself before Sakhisli was on her. The dwarf feinted with her hammer, then blasted fire from her other hand, but the fire-binder kept her shield up to screen herself from the flames, shouting in Giantish to her companions.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(5 3) +1 = 9 Partial success.
Put someone in a spot: you get across the searing floor and dodge the Sulatar warriors, but end up near the first elemental
Hack and Slash(Kyorlin): 2D6(1 5) +0 = 6 Failure!
Use up their equipment: drop that hunting knife

Neither Sakhisli or the fire-binder are doing anything except attacking; Use up their equipment: that half-rotted pack of yours isn’t standing up to all this fire.

Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 5) +2 = 11 Success!
Deals d8=6 damage, 4 after armour

Sakhisli’s hand was surrounded by flames now, and she tried to pull aside the fire-binder’s shield with her hammer to get at her opponent. As she did so, the fire-binder struck first, pointing with her free hand and releasing flames that rushed around the dwarf. Sakhisli staggered at the burning pain, the first that she had felt in the fight, but it barely slowed the dwarf; she extended her hand and flame rushed forward. The fire-binder’s shout became a scream as fire shot up under the edge of her helmet, and she fell to the ground, twitching in pain.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 1) +1 = 6 Failure!
Put someone in a spot: caught between two Sulatar warriors and a fire elemental

Deal damage: d8=5, 4 after armour.

Defy Danger(Wis)(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 4) +0 = 5 Failure!
Reveal an unwelcome truth: You can’t regain control of an elemental
Hack and Slash(Kyorlin): 2D6(5 1) +0 = 6 Failure!
Deal damage: 2d8k1+2+1 = 8, 7 after armour.
Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(6 5) +2 = 13 Success!
Deals d8=5 damage, 3 after armour
Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(5 5) +1 = 11 Success!
You dodge away from the fire elemental

She glanced back to see that two Sulatar warriors had blocked Kyorlin’s path; the drow tried to roll aside but was caught in a blast of flame from the fire elemental that dogged him. She reached out, trying to feel the force of the fire elemental as she had when she had summoned it, but there was nothing to hold on to. Kyorlin was fighting for his life now, dagger drawn, and took a nasty cut to his side as the swordsmen in front of him used their greater reach to their advantage; the other two Sulatar warriors were running towards him as well. Giving up on controlling the elemental, Sakhisli ran back towards Kyorlin, surprising the swordsmen from behind; as her flames engulfed them, both fell screaming to the ground. The two remaining Sulatar halted their charge, backing away nervously, so she and Kyorlin used the opening to run for the doorway, just getting clear of the fire elemental’s flames as it moved to pursue them.

Sakhisli 25/26 HP; Kyorlin 4/22 HP.

Well, Kyorlin is in terrible shape, but they did get out.

Sakhisli was slowed than Kyorlin on the stairs at first, clambering down one giant step at a time. The drow raced ahead, lightly dropping down each step and soon getting out of sight.

But she caught up with him after a few flights of stairs. The drow was leaning heavily against a wall, adjusting an improvised bandage on his arm; his hands and clothes were stained with blood.

“I thought you had left me behind,” said Sakhisli.

“I don’t leave people behind,” said Kyorlin, looking at the dwarf pointedly.

“No need to be sour about it. I did save your life just now.”

“Yes, you did—you have my thanks. Rang Vulkoor.”

“We have to keep moving.”

Defy Danger(Con)(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 6) +1 = 11 Success!
You get down the tower before any Sulatar come looking.

They climbed down in darkness, with only the occasional glint of starlight, and the slight red glow of the spearhead on Sakhisli’s back, casting any light in the stairwell; both dwarf and drow could see well enough even in the darkness, and neither wanted to attract the attention of the drow outside. Neither of them could move all that quickly, and the Sulatar behind them could surely have caught up to them if they wanted to. But there was no sign of them, so Sakhisli presumed that they did not want to risk another confrontation; she was more concerned about Kyorlin, but the drow, though limping and clearly in pain, managed to keep up with her through the long climb down.

It was Kyorlin that finally stopped. They were on a landing which, like all the others that they had passed in their descent, still had the giant doorway that, in the Age of Giants, would have led to the rooms on this level of the tower; now the empty doorway looked out down the hollow centre of the tower. They could see a faint glow of light below them, no doubt from a campfire just outside shedding light into the ground floor of the tower. Kyorlin glanced down that way, then crossed the landing to stand against the outer wall of the tower; above him there was an arrowslit, build for the giants that once defended this tower, faintly lit by moonlight.

“We need to take another look,” the hunter said. “Give me a boost up here, and I’ll see what the Sulatar are doing.”

Sakhisli braced herself against the wall, cupping her hands for the drow to climb up. Kyorlin was taller than her but much less heavy, and the smith had no trouble supporting his weight. She felt his weight lift away after a moment, and turned to see the drow scrambling into the open window above—made for giants, the arrowslit was easily large enough for Kyorlin to stand in. The drow moved deeper, out of the dwarf’s sight, though she could see his shadow in the moonlight on the stone above her.

Discern Realities(Kyorlin): 2D6(5 6) +1 = 12 Success!
What here is useful or valuable to me?
What happened here recently?
What should I be on the lookout for?

That might be a big roll—perhaps the roll that saves the party. They need a way down that doesn’t go through the Sulatar.

After a minute, Kyorlin reappeared, kneeling in the window above her. He spoke softly. “From here I can only see one campfire. There are surely more of them—they seemed like a large group from above—but not in sight of this side of the tower. I can make out some tents, and two Sulatar on lookout duty. I don’t see Arjen.”

Sakhisli had forgotten about the human. “He is either dead already, or a prisoner.”

“We are not leaving him behind, Sakhisli.”

“If I must fight the Sulatar, I will.”

Kyorlin held her gaze for a moment, then looked away. “There are too many of them. Even with your powers, I do not think we can win that fight.”

“Do we have a choice?”

“We can climb down the outside of the tower; we have a much better chance to slip away there than if we go out the front. But we are coming back for Arjen, Sakhisli—once I am recovered.”

Sakhisli needed the drow. She would not admit it to him, but she needed a guide to get back to civilisation: to Stormreach, or another port or settlement. Her fire could keep enemies at bay, but she would starve long before she found a way out of the wilds of Xen’drik. After a moment, she said, “Can we evade their lookouts?”

Show a downside to their class, race, or equipment

“They are looking out, at the jungle, not up. So we can get to the ground, at least; hopefully we can sneak away. Sulatar can see in the dark, but not so well as true drow. But you will have to put that spearhead away.”

Sakhisli turned her head slightly; she could feel the heat from it, beating on her back like an open forge fire. “I can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“It’s too hot to put in my pack; it would burn through it.”

“It’s glowing, Sakhisli. They will see it for sure. Perhaps you should just leave it behind.”


“Well, if you’re going down with that thing, then I’m going first—and getting away from the tower before you come out. If you want to die, I’m not going to join you.”

“Mockery’s blade!” cursed Sakhisli quietly; she turned away, glancing down the stairs. She was weighing up fighting her way out the front again.

“We don’t have much time before those Sulatar above get down here and raise the alarm, Sakhisli,” said Kyorlin from behind her.

The dwarf turned to face him again. “Deal with that lookout so that I can climb down, and I’ll help you rescue Arjen.”

“Damn you, dwarf. Is there no honour in those from across the sea? This man was your companion in arms, and you would leave him as a prisoner of the ildjotunbyrd?” The drow spoke with deep disdain, and for a moment Sakhisli was reminded of the contempt with which clan dwarves would speak of their ancestral enemies.

“You need my help and you know it.”

After a moment, the drow cursed again in his own tongue, then stood up. “Very well. Throw me the rope. And we need something to wedge in the opening here, something solid enough to hold your weight.”

In a few minutes, they were set up for their escape. They were only one storey above ground level, but in this giant-sized tower, that was still nearly fifty feet up. Sakhisli had to give up her hammer, which they braced across the width of the arrowslit to have something to which to tie the rope; the smith hated to leave it behind, but she could forge a new hammer when she got back to civilisation. Kyorlin climbed down first, while Sakhisli peered out cautiously to watch the guards.

The campfire below was around fifty feet away from the base of the tower below them, near the building near the front of the tower in which they had left Arjen. Two lookouts were posted near it, but one was facing away, and the other was clearly focused on the jungle around the base of the tower; there were no large trees here, but the undergrowth that had grown up in this area was nearly as thick as in the surrounding jungle. The lookout never looked up at where Sakhisli was perched.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 3) +1+1 = 9
You slip, and pull on the rope...
Aid(Sakhisli): 2D6(5 3) +1 = 9 Partial success.
You help but Show signs of an approaching thread

Kyorlin was about half-way down when the rope suddenly jerked, slipping several inches to one side on the edge of the arrowslit. Sakhisli looked back in time to see that the hammer had shifted too, and she grabbed the pommel and braced her shoulder against it, seeing that it had nearly been pulled free of the stone slab that it was braced against. She had removed the spearhead from her back before, and it lay next to her on the stone here, but Sakhisli’s sweat was nothing to do with the heat: she could feel the tension in the rope as Kyorlin climbed down, step by step, but could not move to look out and watch the drow’s progress. She offered a silent prayer to Olladra that they would make it away from here alive.

Her concentration on the task at hand was broken, however, when she heard some noises from inside the tower. There was a sound of metal scraping on stone from somewhere up the staircase, followed by something hitting a stone floor; now that her attention was turned to it, she could make out the sounds of heavy footsteps coming down the tower, and the clinking of armour. The two Sulatar warriors from above were descending, and would soon be on this floor of the tower.

The rope went slack, and Sakhisli breathed a sudden sigh of relief—then quickly caught her breath, aware that she had to be quiet. She removed the hammer from the arrowslit and moved deeper into the arrowslit—the outer wall of the tower was nearly five feet thick here. She glanced down but already could not see Kyorlin amidst the undergrowth. The spearhead, still lying on the stone, would give away her hiding place to the Sulatar; knowing that she had little time, Sakhisli grabbed the spearhead, and tossed out of the tower, hoping that the lookout wouldn’t notice it.

Hunter’s Mark(Kyorlin):
Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(2 1) +1+1 = 5 Failure!
Turn Their Move Back On Them

Well, that’s probably the move that loses the game. The lookout is alerted.

Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 1) +1 = 6 Failure!
Show signs of an approaching threat: the alarm is fully raised

But there was a shout from below, quickly followed by further shouts, all in Giantish. Sakhisli glanced out to see Kyorlin, now standing, sling his bow on his back and start running, as the first Sulatar scout gestured with their sword, and the second lookout also had their weapon drawn now.

Defy Danger(Cha)(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 3) +0 = 7 Partial success.
Worse outcome; Put someone in a spot

Sakhisli wedged her hammer across the arrowslit again, hastily pulling on the rope to check that it was secure. The two Sulatar from above came into view on the staircase above—one of them gestured with a sword and said something to their companion, pointing at Sakhisli in the arrowslit. Sakhisli bared her teeth in a smile, stretched out her hand and released a blast of fire in their direction; the flames did not reach all the way to the Sulatar, but it did make them stop their descent. While they hesitated, Sakhisli grabbed the rope and dived out of the arrowslit.

Discern Realities(Kyorlin): 2D6(1 6) +1 = 8 Partial success.
What should I be on the lookout for?

Answer: more Sulatar coming from the other side of the tower. Just run. Give an opportunity that fits a class’ abilities: the Sulatar are all armoured warriors; Kyorlin can outrun them easily in the jungle.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(5 6) +1+1 = 13 Success!
You can run and you are in the clear

The huge stone blocks that made up the outside wall of the tower offered few footholds, but Sakhisli had too little time to climb down. Instead, she just slid down the rope, controlling her descent as best as she could. The frayed cords burned against her hand, but it was her shoulder bashing against the stone of the tower that made the dwarf wince. There were many shouts now and, glancing down, she could see drow were spilling out from their tents into the light of the campfires.

Deal damage: d6=4 to Sakhisli

She hit the ground and staggered to one side, bouncing off of the wall and landing on her backside amid the ferns growing beside the tower. One of the Sulatar was only a few yards away from Sakhisli; the drow had her cloak thrown back as she rushed forward, moonlight reflecting off of her breastplate. Sakhisli staggered to her feet and sent a blast of fire at the Sulatar, forcing the drow to throw up her shield and back up. The energy she called upon seemed more raw and powerful than before, and Sakhisli felt the strain of keeping its power focused.

Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(4 2) +2 = 8 Partial success.
Take d4=2 damage; deals d8=3 damage

Present riches at a price: that fiery spearhead is on the ground near you, but if you delay...

Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 6) +2 = 9 Partial success.
Random : blast wave; deals d8=3 damage

Sulatar engaged so far are all at 6/8 HP (the lookout has 2 armour, the others have only 1 as they didn’t have time to don their platemail); Sakhisli is at 18/26.

Three more Sulatar were running forward to join the first now, and there was no sign of Kyorlin, but Sakhisli did not run yet. Stepping away from the tower, she looked amidst the undergrowth and immediately saw the spearhead lying only five feet away; she dashed over and snatched up her precious weapon just as the Sulatar reached her. With a sweep of her arm she tried to drive them back with more fire, but this time she did not control it, and the flames seemed to explode in front of her. The dwarf was thrown back and crashed into a tree, falling to her knees.

Another Sulatar fire-binder joins the action, and another commander, and two more Sulatar warriors are racing forwards. This group was rolled as a huge group, unluckily for our adventurers.

Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 3) +1 = 8 Partial success.
Put yourself in danger; deals d6=4 damage
Defy Danger(Dex)(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 1) +1 = 5 Failure!
Put someone in a spot
Hack and Slash(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 4) +0 = 7 Partial success.
Deals d4+d6 (1 4)=5 damage, 3 after armour; takes 2d8k1+2+3=12 damage, 11 after armour

Sakhisli is at 8/26 HP. A straight fight with 3 better warriors who are also armoured and have backup coming is a bad idea, even with the awesome spearhead.

The Sulatar recovered first, rushing her as the dwarf staggered back to her feet. There was the whistling sound of an arrow in flight and one of the drow warriors staggered, breaking their charge, but the other three surrounded her and struck quickly. Swinging the giant spearhead in her hand, Sakhisli knocked aside one blow, and the drow before her screamed in pain as it cut into her gambeson, the fiery blade leaving the rent edges burning. But Sakhisli felt one sword stroke connect with her shoulder, and another stab into her side, as the other drow struck home.

Hunter’s Mark(Kyorlin): Against one of the drow stabbing Sakhisli
Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(1 1) +1 = 3 Failure!
Put someone in a spot: Sulatar are on you
Hack and Slash(Kyorlin): 2D6(4 6) +0 = 10 Success!
Deals d6=4 damage

Tell them the requirements or consequences and ask: You can run, but that will separate you from Sakhisli for the rest of the fight. Or stay and fight these two Sulatar. Kyorlin chooses to disengage (which I’m allowing him to do since he got a success there so gets to have things go his way) and run; the Sulatar won’t catch him as already established, but these Sulatar are here to obstruct Sakhisli if she comes this way also.

Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 5) +2 = 8 Partial success.
Deals d8=2 damage, drives them back; unintended side effect

Monster move(Sulatar fire-binder): manipulate fire: the fire binder makes a fire elemental from the flames.

There are some low damage rolls going on for Sakhisli; but I guess that’s appropriate as she isn’t really a warrior. The four Sulatar near her are at 2,5,6,5/8 HP.

Sakhisli released another burst of fire, driving the drow back again. With the adrenalin rushing through her, struggling against pain and fatigue, the dwarf had given up trying to focus her power; fire washed over the foliage around her, and the plants and trees here were all ablaze—for a moment. Then the flames seemed to lift up and coalesce into a single entity; Sakhisli turned and ran, knowing that she had to get away from the drow, trying to find her footing amid the tree roots of the jungle floor.

Show a downside to their class, race, or equipment: dwarves don’t generally outrun elves. You need something to slow their pursuit.

Summon Elemental(Sakhisli): 2D6(2 6) +2 = 10 Success!
You seize control of the elemental; d4=1 control

Finally, a success. The elemental will slow down the drow pursuing her.

Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 4) +2 = 9 Partial success.
Deals d8=8 damage; lose 1 control


She could sense the newly-formed elemental behind her, and felt sure that another drow fire binder must be at work. And Sakhisli knew that she would struggle to outrun the many drow behind her. The previous fire binder had managed to wrest control of an elemental from her; could she do the same? She stopped for a moment, turning to see the creature floating forward to face her; it was gathering itself for an attack, and several Sulatar warriors were running just behind it. With her heart pounding in her chest, Sakhisli stretched out her arm and willed the creature to turn around—and it did. The drow had no time to react; the creature pushed out a wave of flames, the sudden bright light forcing Sakhisli to shield her eyes. There were screams as the drow were thrown to the ground. writhing in pain. Sakhisli turned and started running again.

Channel(Sakhisli): 2D6(6 5) +2 = 13 Success!
Deals d8=1 damage, forceful

Okay, I’ll give this to Sakhisli. With all this fire, and having killed 4 Sulatar, she has established herself as scary to this group; as she knocks these drow aside, they don’t try to pursue on their own.

She was close now to the thicker jungle that surrounded the settlement, but two Sulatar were there ahead of her and barred her way. Turning aside would let the drow behind—Sakhisli could hear the shouts of more drow taking up the pursuit again—catch up to her, so the dwarf simply charged at the two before her. They had their weapons drawn, but Sakhisli simply raised her hand and released another blast of fire, knocking them to the ground, and the dwarf simply ran past them and into the thicker jungle.

There were still shouts behind her, and Sakhisli was not sure whether the drow would continue to pursue her, but the shouts seemed to be getting more distant; glancing back, Sakhisli did not see any Sulatar chasing her. After a couple of minutes, she had left the shouting behind her, and found herself, for the first time, alone in the jungles of Xen’drik.

End of Session(party): Looted a notable treasure, overcame a notable enemy (Sulatar fire-binder), +2 XP

XP: Arjen: 1 failure; 6 XP.
Kyorlin: 10 failures, +2 session; 22 XP.
Sakhisli: 6 failures, +2 session; 13 XP.

Yikes, how did the party survive through so many failures? I don’t think I let them off too lightly; quite often the party were failing one roll to get into trouble, then succeeding another. It helped a lot that Sakhisli got a success to establish that the drow would fear her fire, and she shrugged off a lot of fire damage due to her Callus move—without that, she would surely have died, but, with it, she took nearly no damage until the slide down the outside of the tower. She only had 8/26 HP left; luckily the drow were mostly asleep so they reacted slowly and were worried about an ambush so were reluctant to pursue.

I think we killed about 10 Sulatar out of 30—not bad for just two adventurers.

Arjen: Sakhisli has been changed by her time in Xen’drik; watch her carefully.
Kyorlin: Sakhisli wields a dangerous power. Sakhisli cares nothing for her companions; I do not trust her.
Sakhisli: Kyorlin is wary of my power, for good reason. Arjen is weak and is holding us back.