Friday, 5 August 2016

1. Dura

Sharn, Breland
Therendor 14, 997 YK

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 5
Scene setup: d10= (skipped)

Spout Lore(Lavias): 2D6(1 5) -1 = 5 Failure!
Reveal an unwelcome truth Blur the line between magic and technology

The wind whipped at Lavias’ cloak; feeling the chill, he drew it more tightly around himself. It had been noticeable even in Middle Dura, but it had been a half-mile ride up in the lift this morning to reach Clifftop and, at this height, the wind was both strong and punctuated by sudden gusts. Looking over the bridge parapet, he could see other bridges far below, and the many cranes lifting goods up from the docks into the middle and upper city. Lavias pulled back quickly; he had only been in Sharn for a week but would need much longer to get used to the sheer height of the City of Towers.

As he reached the end of the bridge, a pallet of crates floated into view to one side of the bridge, levitated by an arcane crane hanging off of the side of the tower ahead—a single thread of magical force held the pallet in the air. The crates were stamped with the symbol of House Ghallanda. Lavias had heard that Sharn was built in a manifest zone of some other plane, where everything was air and there was no gravity at all, and that—somehow or other—made it easy to build the city upwards rather than sideways. He wondered what was worse: living up here, with the fear that whatever magic held this all up would one-day fail, or living below with the fear that it would fall on you.

Is our potential employer one of the Esoteric Order of Aureon? Somewhat likely (it’s one of only three major factions in this district).
Fate d100(16)=Yes

A sign over the archway ahead told him that he had reached his destination: “The Esoteric Order or Aureon”. Lavias had not heard of the group before yesterday when he saw a notice in the market in their name calling for “able hands and sharp minds” for an expedition.

He walked in, glad to be sheltered from the wind. The foyer was tidy but spartan, the only adornment to its clean white walls being a large white banner depicting an open spelltome. A gnome woman sat behind a desk—at human eye level, so she must be sitting on a tall stool, Lavias thought—and there was one person in front of the desk talking to her already.

“Trade?” she asked. She was wearing good-quality travelling clothes; it was not much like Lavias would have imagined a wizard.

The man she was talking to was human, slender and scruffily dressed. “Herbalist” he replied.

“Lift this sack please.”

Defy Danger(STR)(Random Unnamed 2): 2D6(5 1) -1 = 5 Failure!

Well, there ends his career. Deleted.

There was a hempen sack to one side of the desk. The man grabbed the top and heaved and, after some huffing and puffing, he held it, straining, off of the ground. Judging from the clinking sound as it was lifted, Lavias guessed that it just contained some bricks.

The gnome was unimpressed. “Not interested. Next please!”

The man sighed and walked out, shaking his head; Lavias stepped forward.

“Trade?” The gnome did not even look at him; she was staring at a paper on the desk.


She looked down from her high stool. “Be specific, please. Herbalist, apothecary, midwife—”

“Healer’s guild.” Lavias held up his ring for her inspection.

“Oh! My apologies, sir. Are you a member of the Clifftop Adventurers’ Guild already?”

Will they waive the entrance fee for a healer? Very likely (Jorasco healers are the gold standard for healing in Eberron).
Fate d100(82)=Yes
Discern Realities(Lavias): 2D6(1 2) +1 = 4 Failure!
Show signs of an approaching threat


“Well normally there is a fee of thirteen gold pieces, but for the Healer’s Guild we waive the first year’s fee.” She handed him a brass signet ring—bearing the symbol of a sword and tower—and made a note on the paper before her. “Up the stairs, first door on the left.”

“I don’t have to lift the sack?”

She looked at him again, and after a moment said, “No, sir. You can go straight through.”

The first door on the left turned out to be a lecture hall. There were thirty or forty people here when Lavias entered, and more continued to trickle in over the next hour. The wooden benches were not too comfortable, but it was at least clean. It was a motley group of people: some ex-soldiers, some people that looked like better-off tradespeople, but mostly they looked like labourers or those down on their luck, like Lavias himself. There were a few conversations going on, but some were keeping to themselves.

He sat next to a dwarf with a heavy hammer attached to her belt; she turned out to be a blacksmith from Tavick’s Landing. Sakhisli had joined the Guild last month—“Their fee is much less than the Morgrave Outreach Society!” she declared, clearly pleased with herself—but this was the first time she had been invited on an expedition.

Is the expedition to Xen’drik? Somewhat likely (Xen’drik is the gold-rush of the age, in adventuring terms).
Fate d100(33)=Yes

So it’s probably a race: they are trying to loot one of Xen’drik’s ruins before some other group finds it.

Event: Move towards a thread: Carelessness of possessions
Towards so it has to help their goal: I guess this means there is a lot of unsecured loot lying around at the destination, if they can get there.

It was nearly midday when the organiser finally arrived. That turned out to be Esinor, a wizard of the Order. She was a tall human and looked around forty, and was dressed in almost ostentatiously wizard-like garb: a high-collared cloak decorated with arcane sigils.

“Thank you all for coming.” She spoke with the clear and confident tone of someone used to addressing groups of people. “I am Esinor Guhnen. As you will all know, an opportunity has arisen to explore a previously-untouched ruin in Xen’drik, and we are gathering willing and able volunteers for an expedition to discover secret knowledge and artifacts that may be present therein.”

Is their guide from House Tharashk? Somewhat likely (Tharaskh carries the Mark of Finding, so quite suitable, and they organize treasure-hunting expeditions. They also have a base in Clifftop.).
Fate d100(98)=Exceptional No!

I love how terrible this expedition is: their only criteria for hiring adventurers is being able to lift a sack of bricks, and they have no guide at all. Even Monty Python’s expedition to Kilimanjaro had guides...

Will we even reach the dungeon? It’s so incompetent, the organiser probably tells them the location right now; half the city will know about it tomorrow.

Esinor continued in a lecturing tone. “The legendary ruin of Kappefesting was once believed to lie near in the mountains east of Mel Aqat. But I have long considered that a location here”—she activated an image projector at the front of the hall, displaying a map of a large continent; Xen’drik, Lavias assumed—“in the Titan’s Teeth, was more likely. Recent evidence from returning travellers supports my theory, including eye-witness—”

“When do we get paid?” The interruption came from a tall man on the other side of the room; he wore a fine travelling cloak and had put his feet up on the bench in front of him. There was some snickering from the back of the room.

Esinor collected herself. “Of course,” she said, staring pointedly at the interrupter, “I should have said that anyone with questions can feel free to interrupt at any time. One hundred gold will be paid to each person that helps us work through the ruins, plus a share of the value of all artifacts found. That is paid on our return to Sharn, or in Stormreach for any that wish to remain in Xen’drik. If anyone wishes to leave early, they get a reduced amount based on our findings to that point.”

“What should we bring with us?” asked Sakhisli.

“Oh, we will supply all the, ah, usual things: picks, swords, armour, rations, torches.”

Discern Realities(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 5) -1 = 5 Failure!
Use up their resources: hey, it would be pretty funny if the wizard doesn’t think to bring any rope

“Do you think there will be any fighting?” asked a half-elf, who was wearing battle-worn leather armour.

“Well Xen’drik is a lawless land, but sparsely populated. As we are taking such a large group, I doubt that we will have much trouble.

“So, as I was saying, we expect to find a wealth of Giantish artifacts in the ruins. The wealth of the world’s first great civilisation lies in the ruins of Xen’drik: ancient tomes of knowledge, works of art dating back 50,000 years, magical artifacts and, of course, gold. I’m sure that all of you have heard tales of explorers coming back from Xen’drik rich with treasure. But I would remind you that it will be a long and arduous expedition: I expect it will take three months at least, four including the return passage. Anyone not willing to work long and hard should walk away now.”

Esinor paused and scanned the room. Lavias looked around and saw others doing the same, but no-one stirred from their seats. She continued, “We depart on the Horn of Balinor, from the Cliffside docks, tomorrow at noon. We do not wait for latecomers, and there will not be space for personal cargo. Any other questions?”

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 6
Scene setup: d10=8 (unchanged)

Let’s say that the ship’s crew are reasonably competent, at least. We’ll give them a +1 for the Undertake a perilous journey rolls.

Navigate(party): 2D6(3 4) +1 = 8 Partial success.
Random The going is slow, or you wander off course.
Scout Ahead(party): 2D6(3 3) +1 = 7 Partial success.
You notice sign of a nearby Danger: Shargon’s Teeth

Okay, so we get there, but slowly. Secrets of Xen’drik details all the different modes of passage and travel times; Sharn to Stormreach is a well-travelled route.

Does Esinor pay for a better-than-normal ship for the passage? 50:50 ().
Fate d100(66)=No
Event: PC Positive(Dornien): Ambush of magic
A positive ambush? Let me give that a minute.

The voyage to Stormreach took over a month. Once they were out of The Hilt, they were in the open waters of the Thunder Sea for ten days with no sight of land. Lavias had never spent more than a few days together on a boat before, and this was a very different experience to a river boat.

The Horn of Balinor was a packet ship, which made the journey to and from Stormreach every two months. Forty-one of the Adventurer’s Guild had joined the expedition, and there were five apprentices from the Order and Esinor herself as well. They were more altogether than the ship really had space for; some of the less fortunate had to bunk down in the hold, where some cargo space had been cleared for them.

Give an opportunity that fits a class’ abilities

The sea was rough at times, and most of those on the expedition were no more used to this mode of travel than Lavias. Lavias discovered early that he could use his Dragonmark to relieve his seasickness, so he had an easier journey than most. He could have helped others too, but he could not possibly help fifty people every day, and having to pick and choose could easily cause trouble; so he kept his trick mostly to himself.

Crammed together as they were, the expeditionaries soon got to know each other better. In the absence of direction from Esinor—who cloistered herself in her cabin in the stern for much of the journey, and was rarely seen—they organized themselves, forming their own cliques and picking, by chance of whoever was least seasick, their own leaders. Lavias had learned within a few days of sailing that, while everyone here was in the Guild, all had joined it recently, so no-one had much experience with this kind of mercenary work.

His own group was quartered in the forecastle. Sakhisli, the smith, was here. There was a half-elf called Termer, a hayward from Aundair who mostly kept to himself. Kalina was a Cyrean refugee, apparently eager to leave Khorvaire for strange lands and adventure. And lastly Dornien, the tall man who had interrupted Esinor’s lecture in Sharn.

Establishing the main party. There are too many in the expedition to roll stats for them all, so I’ll keep six or seven as actual party members and the rest are a pool to replenish them as they die. It’s Funnel World.

Dornien rolled CHA 17 at creation, which is higher than a level 1 DungeonWorld character would normally be able to get: exceptional charm even by the standards of heroes. And he randomly got the benefit of that event just now, which I think comes from Lavias.

Dornien was quite the talker and soon established himself as the captain of this little group. It was he, after a few days at sea, that talked Lavias into revealing that his Mark could relieve seasickness—and, of course, persuaded him to help out his friend as well. Thus he strode confidently around the ship while most of the others were still finding their sea legs. He also spent much time in the forecastle, pressing a damp cloth to Kalina’s head and commiserating with her on her own sea-sickness; Kalina was tall, young woman and probably considered attractive amongst humans, Lavias supposed, so it did not take much thought to see his friend’s motivation there.

Lavias spent his time on deck when the weather permitted. He was at the prow of the ship when they sighted Shargon’s Teeth: an array of huge pillars of rock, jutting hundreds of feet out of the water, barring their path. The ship had come too far west, the sailors said, and must sail around. The Teeth covered a huge area of ocean, hundreds of miles across, and they spent the next two weeks sailing around, with the Teeth always in sight off the port beam.

Is it Termer that is mostly on deck with Lavias? Somewhat likely (We explained what two of the others were doing already).
Fate d100(32)=Yes

Termer has INT and WIS at 13, so he’s one of the few smart(er) ones here.

Sometimes Termer would join Lavias on deck; the seemingly endless sea around them did not seem to trouble the half-elf at all. They were on deck together one day, perhaps a month out from Sharn, when they had left behind the Teeth and were finally beating their way towards Stormreach.

“What brings you out here?” Termer asked.

The question struck Lavias as odd, but he answered; “On the expedition? Money, like everyone else. Life in Breland is expensive; they said things would get better after the war, but I’ve seen no sign of it.”

Discern Realities(Termer): 2D6(4 2) +1 = 7 Partial success.
What here is hidden? Show the devastation of the Last War

“Well of course; we could all stand to get paid. But there are other jobs, even risky ones, that don’t entail travelling beyond the edge of civilisation.”

“‘Civilisation’ does not have much going for it, right now. The Five Nations have barely stopped fighting each other as long as anyone remembers. Xen’drik can hardly be worse.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that.”

“So why are you here?”

“No family, and farm work bores me. Some would join the army, but we have seen enough war to know that plenty don’t come back from that. And I have other reasons to want to be out of Aundair.”

Lavias was curious but did not question further. Instead, after a pause, he said, “Well, I hope this is where we both make our fortunes.” He held out a hand to the half-elf.

Termer had been looking out to sea; he turned back to Lavias, nodded, and clasped his hand. “I hope so, friend.”

End of Session(party):

I’m keeping the number of character moves down until the characters are directly in danger, as I don’t want the villagers levelling up without facing some hazards. Given the disaster unfolding here, that won’t take long.

XP: Lavias 1/5, Sakhisli 1/5, everyone else on 0.

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