Friday, 5 August 2016

4. Children of Xen'drik

Stormreach peninsula, Xen’drik
Eyre 23, 997 YK

The main party did not encounter Ketazi, of course. On the first night, and the second, after the half-orc was lost, Kalina prayed to Olladra that their lost companion would make it back to Stormreach safely. In truth though, since Ketazi did not speak Common, she was little missed.

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 7
Scene setup: d10=2 (Interrupt!)

The plan was for the next significant scene to be at Last Chance, the next staging post on their journey south.

Event: Move Towards a Thread: d100 (5)=Recruit, d100 (7)=Allies

Well, that’s about as clear as a random event could possibly be. Allies are tricky, though, when the mission is plunder; in Xen’drik the most friendly encounters that you can expect are other expeditions, and they are still competition. But, one of the Eberron GM moves is Offer Aid from an Enemy, Opposition from an Ally.

Is it another exploring/looting expedition? Very unlikely (Why would they ally with the competition?).
Fate d100(83)=No

The next thing that comes to mind is native scouts.

Do they get an opportunity to recruit native scouts? 50:50 ().
Fate d100(61)=Yes

Random weather: unsurprisingly, it’s hot.

Defy Danger(CON)(Arjen): 2D6(6 6) -1 = 11 Success!

On the following day, they continued along the road, which now turned south-west, staying near to the coast of the Thunder Sea. The weather was hot and still, with only an occasional bit of sea breeze to relieve their fatigue. Kalina had lived all her life in Khorvaire until now, and she had experienced only a few days this hot in her entire life. When Arjen reported back in at midday, he was sweating heavily and complaining of the heat—it never got this hot in Aundair. But, after a little rest, he was ready to resume his scouting duty.

That night they rested without a campfire, finding some relief in the cool night air. The night was the only time that Kalina’s group were with the main expedition; the main group was around forty people, including Esinor and her four remaining apprentices. The camp was a scattering of tents that they set up in a clearing, around the two wagons—levitating wagons of course, since wheeled wagons would be useless once they got into the jungle further south.

Stormreach peninsula, Xen’drik
Eyre 24, 997 YK

The following morning, a little before midday, they spotted a group coming towards them on the road. Raenros and Arjen were out scouting in the jungle ahead but had not come back to report anyone on the road. Kalina did not halt, maintaining their march until they came up to the strangers.

Spout Lore(Kalina): 2D6(4 6) +1 = 11 Success!
Useful information

As they drew closer, they saw that it was a pair of drow scouts, casually walking up the road. Petovar and Sakhisli were both starting to put hands to weapons, but Kalina calmed them: drow were the main inhabitants of Xen’drik and, while they might be hostile to outsiders, there was a better chance that they would live and let live if the outsiders did not act hostile themselves.

“Who goes there?” asked the left scout. The two looked very alike; brothers, Kalina guessed. Both had bows slung on their backs and wore belt knives.

Parley(Kalina): 2D6(1 6) +1 = 8 Partial success.
Proof/exchange required

“Explorers come from Stormreach,” said Kalina. “How is the road to the south?”

“The way to Last Chance is clear at the moment,” said the first brother. “And no more dangerous than it ever is. How is the way east?”

“We encountered a strange area of jungle, with magic that tricks travellers, just outside of Stormreach.”

“A gul lang magisk.” He turned to his companion as he said it, then faced Kalina again. “Dangerous, to those that have never seen them, I am Kyorlin, and this is my brother, Kluthlin.” Kluthlin nodded his head to them, then returned to watching the jungle around them.

Kalina(Investigate): 2D6(5 2) +1 = 8 Partial success.
Vague idea

“Kalina.” Kalina wondered if these travellers knew more of the way ahead of them.

“Where are you headed, Kalina?” While speaking to her, Kyorlin glanced sideways at Petovar, who was shifting around nervously.

Kalina was not sure how much she could say—Esinor had impressed on them all the importance of not revealing their destination to others. But it must be obvious that they were an expedition, at least once the main group came into view.

“We are heading south into the mountains.”

Are these drow separated from their tribe? Somewhat likely (They are working for outsiders).
Fate d100(46)=Yes

“A long way to go.” Kyorlin’s common was accented, but clear enough. “Do you have guides?”

“We have a map.”

Kyorlin: Drow Scout

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
(3 3 3)=9(3 6 4)=13(6 5 3)=14(6 4 5)=15(6 2 5)=13(2 6 3)=11
+0 +1 +1 +1 +1 +0

Spout Lore(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 3) +1 = 7 Partial success.
Vague information

Kyorlin cocked an eyebrow and said “That is at least eight hundred miles, well beyond the inhabitation of those of the Nations beyond the sea. I would not trust to any outsider’s map to find a way so far south.”

There was more movement on the road behind them now. Kalina looked past the drow, to see a group of four travellers approaching from the same direction as the drow. The brothers spoke to each other briefly in a strange tongue, and then Kyorlin said “Our current employers. They have been through the ruins at Hjelglang.”

Hmm, there is an Adventurer enemy type in DungeonWorld .

Are the adventurers hostile? No way (I mean, why would they just murder another group of travellers on the road? What adventuring party ever does that? ;-)).
Fate d100(76)=No

Time to roll more random NPCs. A trend is emerging: every NPC that I rolled in this game so far has been a woman. (The drow I rolled as PCs.)

The adventurers drew close; it was four women, three humans and an elf, all of them armed and carrying heavy packs.

“What is it, Kyorlin?” asked the elf.

“We are just asking these travellers about the road ahead,” the drow replied. “There is a manifest zone in the jungle nearer to Stormreach, they say, but otherwise the way is clear.”

Kalina was not about to let the drow just go on their way without trying something. “You should join us on our journey south, Kyorlin—you and your brother. I am sure that Esinor would pay well for your assistance.”

Defy Danger(CHA)(Kalina): 2D6(6 5) +1 = 12 Success!
Get what you want

“We will be looking for another expedition when we reach Stormreach,” said the drow. “Joining you would save time—and some expense in the taverns of the city.” He looked to his brother and began talking in their language again.

“These guides are paid for, girl,” said another of the adventurers. “If you want to wait for them, so be it, but for now they work for us.”

“You are only a few days from the city,” said Kalina, “and I’m sure that adventurers like yourselves would have no trouble finding your way from here.”

“Relax, Elske,” said the elven adventurer. “I can find the city from here with no trouble.”

There was a brief discussion between the adventurers and the drow; they appeared to settle things between them, and the drow received their payment. Then Elske turned back to Kalina.

“If you are going to Throne’s Gate, I think your time will be wasted; we have explored all of the dungeons there.”

“We are going further south.”

“Then may your fortune be as good as ours.” The four adventurers turned back along the road and headed north, leaving Kalina’s group and the drow together.

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 6
Scene setup: d10=3 (Altered scene)

Esinor did offer Kyorlin and Kluthlin employment with the expedition, which they accepted gladly. They were assigned to Kalina’s troop; Raenros and Arjen would have others with whom to split their scouting duties now.

At camp that evening, as well as the drow to increase their numbers, Esinor also came to join Kalina’s group. Usually the wizard kept mostly with her apprentices, rarely mixing with the hired hands, but tonight she had questions.

“What do you know of the way south to the Titan’s Teeth? Is there a path through the jungle?” Esinor addressed herself to Kyorlin.

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

“We have been that far south once,” said Kyorlin. “The road goes only as far as Last Chance; beyond that lies only thick jungle. You will find it difficult to make a path for the wagons.

“The greater obstacle is the Umed river; the river is broad and hard to cross for a hundred miles east of its mouth. But we know of a crossing point.”

That was actually a pretty big roll. I’m using the Xen’drik map for the general geography, so the river was sure to be an issue; the further inland they had to go, the closer they go to the Obsidian City, which greatly increases the chance of encountering hostile drow. Knowing of a crossing—which I’ve decided in response to the roll—makes life easier.

“Have you ever seen the ancient ruins of Kappefesting?”

Do they know where it is? Very unlikely (Kappefesting is Giantish for “Cloaked fortress”; my idea is that it is hidden, hard to find).
Fate d100(12)=Yes

Maybe this expedition isn’t doomed after all.

Kluthlin looked up at this, and started talking in the brothers’ language; they talked between themselves for a minute.

“What language is that?” asked Kalina.

“Giantish,” said Esinor.

“Do you understand them?”

“A little, though I am better at reading it.”

Kyorlin turned back to them, speaking once more in Common. “My brother knows of it; neither of us has been there, but he has spoken to those that have. We should be able to find it.”

Esinor got our her map; she and the drow talked for a while about their directions. Kalina and Raenros looked on with interest; the others relaxed, glad to rest in the cooler night air.

End of Session(party):

XP: Arjen 2, Kalina 3, Raenros 2, Sakhisli 1, everyone else at 0.

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