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.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

12. In Need of Treasure

Grunferdfest, west of the Obsidian City, Xen’drik
Dravago 22, 997 YK

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 9
Scene setup: d10=4 (Interrupt!)

Event: Move away from a thread(Kappefesting): Proceedings Illness
Okay, something that makes it even harder to get to Kappefesting—as the party wasn’t going to have a hard time doing that already. Let’s say that Arjen’s wounds, from the fight last time, are a problem; something that will not just heal on its own.
Make Camp(party): Arjen heals to 12 HP, but...
Level Up(Arjen): +1 Str, Sundering Blows
Level Up(Sakhisli): +1 Cha, Callus

Show signs of an approaching threat

In a ruined building in the shadow of a giant tower, three adventurers huddled around a small campfire. Sakhisli had gathered wood and lit the fire—using flame produced from her burned hand when Kyorlin was not looking—while the drow attended to Arjen’s wounds.

Arjen’s jerkin had given little protection against the creature’s acid. A band of skin around his chest was partly burned away, too much for Kyorlin’s needle and threat to easily stitch back together. All that Kyorlin could do was clean and bandage it.

After a while, the drow moved back, his work done for now. He sat by the fire, looking across it at Sakhisli.

“That wound will not heal on its own.”

Sakhisli glowered back at him. It had taken some effort to persuade her that they could not explore the tower immediately, and now it seemed that her companions did not want to proceed at all.

“We came here for treasure, and treasure awaits us if we climb that tower.”

“Arjen may live for a week or two, but he will weaken as time passes. If we are to reach a healer, we need to go now.”

New bond for Sakhisli. I’ll restate them below.

I like Sakhisli. She is becoming a badass and really doesn’t care about any of these average fools that she has ended up with. But Adventurers struggling together she has to stay with them for now, not least because she would quickly starve here if left alone.

Show a downside to their class, race, or equipment: You lost Lavias before you even left the city.

“There is probably no-one of the Healer’s Guild closer than Last Chance, or probably Stormreach—hundreds of miles north. It is nearly two weeks since we left Last Chance. He will die before we get there.” She glanced over at Arjen; sweat beaded on the man’s face and chest and he was breathing slowly, clearly pained. He looked at her anxiously.

Spout Lore(Kyorlin): 2D6(2 1) +1 = 4 Failure!
Reveal an unwelcome truth

So, what’s the unwelcome truth? Since Kyorlin was already about to say that Vulkoorim healers are closer, I don’t plan to change my mind and say that they are further away.

Is Kyorlin an outcast? Somewhat likely (It explains why he is working for outsiders).
Fate d100(92)=Yes

Fortunately, that was not an exceptional yes, or he would have been the shoot-on-sight sort of outcast

Okay, so Reveal an unwelcome truth: Kyorlin is not able to ask them for help. And Sakhisli wields fire, which means they will hate her if they find out. The party is in trouble.

“Your healer’s guild is not the only place where one can find healing,” said Kyorlin. “There are Vulkoorim tribes living scattered throughout Xen’drik; they might offer healing if you can persuade them.”

“If I can persuade them? Won’t they offer you help, dekhel?” Sakhisli sneered as she said it.

Kyorlin did not know dwarven, but he took the hint that it was meant to be insulting. However, he did not snap back; instead he looked down at the fire and frowned. “I have not been amongst my people for many years. They will not aid me. It will be up to you,” he said, looking between Arjen and Sakhisli, “to plead your case.”

“I plead for no-one,” said Sakhisli.

“I will plead for my life,” said Arjen, wincing in pain. “I know little of your people, Kyorlin, but I hope they would help a stranger in need.”

“My people care for little outside their tribe,” said Kyorlin. “They may trade, though, if you have something of value to offer.”

“I have nothing to give them,” said Sakhisli, just as Arjen said “I have gold...”

“Gold does not mean a great deal to my people,” said Kyorlin. “Certainly not to tribes this far south, who hardly ever trade with outsiders.”

Sakhisli saw an opportunity. “We should search the tower first. Perhaps it contains something of value that could be traded.” She did not want to trade anything away without getting something for herself, but it seemed like a good excuse to persuade her companions to continue with searching the tower.

Kyorlin looked across the fire at the dwarf; she had already made clear that she wanted to explore the tower, and his mistrusted her enough to guess at her real motive. But then he looked to Arjen and said, “It is your life, Arjen. We take a chance either way.”

Discern Realities(Arjen): 2D6(6 3) -1 = 8 Partial success.
What here is useful or valuable to me?

This is a hard one for the GM to answer; your party member hopes you die so she doesn’t have to pay to heal you. The tower might contain loot, and it may not take too long to explore, it might be enough to keep Sakhisli in a good mood and she might use it to pay to heal you and you might live long enough to see it happen. Okay?

Arjen’s bond with Sakhisli changes. Let’s restate the party’s bonds.

Arjen: Sakhisli has been changed by her time in Xen’drik; watch her carefully.
Kyorlin: Sakhisli wields a dangerous power: I do not trust her.
Sakhisli: Kyorlin is wary of my power, for good reason. Arjen is weak and is holding us back.

Arjen looked down, then looked at Sakhisli. “Go on then. I hope you find something. I’ll wait here for you.”

It was well into the evening as they stepped back into the entrance of the tower. Sakhisli led the way this time, her hammer hanging at her side as she stepped under the great archway. Kyorlin followed her with his bow in hand and an arrow at the ready, looking as much behind them as ahead this time. The inside of the tower was dark now; the same acrid smell still hung in the air here.

Sakhisli held up her hand again and a flame sprung up, lighting the ground level of the tower; the bronze flame on the statue stood out in the sudden light. Green pools of ooze still lay between the broken paving stones. Sakhisli gave only a glance to the statue, then headed towards the stairway.

Introduce an Element From Ages Past

The stairs were made of huge stone slabs, with steps sized for the giants that built the tower in ages past. Each step rose nearly as high as Sakhisli’s shoulders, and it took some effort to haul herself up onto each step. The stonework was less weathered here than outside, but the steps were covered in moss and were damp from water running down the inside of the tower.

Kyorlin followed her; when she looked back, she saw that he was watching her as much as their surroundings, eyeing her summoned flame suspiciously. Sakhisli did have a torch in her pack, but did not consider taking it out—this power was hers, and the drow could think what he liked of it.

Random d12=11 Unique, discovery & danger. Discovery is a Random altar, which fits with my idea for the unique element; the danger is squabbling creatures. I rolled some gulls, and a huge water beast with unusual abilities. Oh goodness.

Discern Realities(Kyorlin): 2D6(2 2) +1 = 5 Failure!
Introduce a new faction or type of creature: Quori creations. The creature knows you are coming.

Adventuring is a bad idea, folks. Just don’t do it.

They had been climbing for over half an hour when they heard some noises further up the tower; it sounded like birds squabbling, and a faint vibration seemed to pass through the stairs as the noise stopped. Kyorlin gestured to Sakhisli to be quiet, and they listened for a moment but could hear nothing. With a few gestures, they agreed to continue to climb, but did so quietly now, afraid that there might be something up here to alert.

They soon reached a broad landing with a doorway leading to a large chamber. They had passed doorways at lower levels, but the floors there were all gone, the wood having long since rotted away; but, at this level, there was a floor of stone slabs that seemed solid, if damp and weather-worn. There was a faint blue light beyond the doorway.

Sakhisli extinguished her flame, approaching the doorway slowly. There was a slight sound from the room beyond that she could not place. Kyorlin, at her shoulder, was wide-eyed and had his bow at the ready again. They advanced to the doorway and peered inside.

The room was a large chamber, fifty feet tall and a hundred feet across, with a large pedestal at the centre bearing a large crystal of some kind. There were larger windows into the chamber than there had been on the lower levels, though it was dark outside now. Instead, the light came from a large creature that lay coiled around the centre pedestal—a giant serpent, with coils a foot thick and probably fifty yards long. The serpent was almost transparent but its near-invisible scales glowed blue, lighting the stone of the pedestal and the stone slabs around it. It appeared to be sleeping.

Sakhisli hesitated. She had no idea what the creature was, but the crystal on the pedestal looked valuable if they could get to it. Greed fought against caution, and she unconsciously rubbed together the fingers of her burned hand, itching to summon flame.

Kyorlin tugged at her shoulder, and gestured for them to continue on past; the stairs continued up to another level. Sakhisli took one more look at the crystal and then moved to follow him. We can always get it on the way back.

Think dangerously. Put someone in a spot: the creature is behind you now, blocking your escape. And you cannot run away because the stairs are too high to climb fast.

Okay, so let’s make a dream serpent. Moves: Lulling Gaze, Sleep Poison, Knows Your Fears. d8+1 damage (bite or crush), 16 HP. 1 armour (scales), stealthy, planar.

They climbed as quietly as they could, slowly ascending the next flight of steps. They had turned the corner and climbed two more steps when they heard a hissing sound behind them.

Defy Danger(Wis)(Sakhisli): 2D6(5 2) +0 = 7 Partial success.
You are not lulled entirely, but you don’t get time to summon your elemental and attack before the creature is on you
Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(5 6) +1 = 12 Success!
Deals d8=6 damage

Sakhisli turned just as the giant serpent flowed around the corner, lifting its huge head up to face them. Its silver eyes glowed brightly, seemingly the most solid part of its otherwise transparent form. It stared at Sakhisli, meeting her eyes, and something about its gaze seemed strangely soothing, almost mesmerising. Sakhisli’s alarm overcame the effect, and she stepped back, pulling her gaze away from the creature’s eyes. She looked down just as Kyorlin’s first arrow sunk into the snake’s thick neck, causing it to hiss in pain.

Summon Elemental(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 2) +2 = 7 Partial success.
d4-1=2 control

This is a bad spot for Kyorlin; it’s a close space, and the huge creature can easily reach up to him even if he tries to climb away.

Defy Danger(Dex)(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 4) +1 = 8 Partial success.
Separate them

The snake struck at Kyorlin, lunging forward with surprising speed for such a large beast. The drow threw himself sideways, moving away from Sakhisli on the huge step; the dwarf suddenly found the snake’s head alongside her. Leaving her hammer at her side, Sakhisli called on the flames again, and once more a fire mephit appeared above her outstretched hand. The stairway was flooded with red light, and the snake recoiled, staring with evident surprise at the creature that had just appeared.

“You like that, eh?” said Sakhisli, gesturing forward. The mephit flew out towards the snake, unleashing a burst of flame. The snake was faster, however, moving its sinuous form aside; it lowered itself and struck forwards again, this time at Sakhisli

Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 1) +2 = 4 Failure!
Put someone in a spot: it dodges your mephit friend and recognises that it must go after you, the summoner
Defend(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 6) +2 = 11 Success!
Hold 3; defending herself

Spend hold(Sakhisli): Halve damage to the target Spend hold(Sakhisli): Deal damage equal to your level =2

The dream serpent is at 8/16 HP. Deal damage: d10+1=3 damage, halved to 1, 0 after armour. Since the attack is negated, the poison doesn’t take effect either.

Sakhisli had her hammer out, now, and held it with both hands in front of her to block the serpent’s bite. The serpents jaws, though they seemed insubstantial, closed on the haft of the hammer with a powerful grip, trying to pull it from her hands. Sakhisli turned the monster’s strength against it, moving with the pull and slamming the snake’s head into the wall. The monster released its grip, though it was hard to see if it was wounded, or even dazed.

Defy Danger(Wis)(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 1) +1 = 5 Failure!
Monster move(Lulling Gaze): You’re mesmerised and out of action.

Kyorlin had climbed up to the step above, and was just drawing another arrow when the creature looked up at him. Those silver eyes were now turned on the drow, and he paused in the act of putting the arrow to his bowstring; the arrow dropped from his fingers, falling to the floor as he stared dumbly at the creature.

Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(2 5) +2 = 9 Partial success.
-1 control, deals d8=7 damage

The beast is at 1/16 HP.

Volley(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 3) +1 = 7 Partial success.
Less damage; d8-d6=2-5 no damage

Then the creature broke its gaze, letting out an agonised hiss as flames washed over it. Sakhisli had willed the mephit up behind the snake’s head, unleashing its flames directly over the creature. The snake’s huge body thrashed around in the stairwell, causing the steps to rumble as it bashed into the walls below them. Kyorlin, freed from its gaze, shook himself and loosed another arrow at the creature, but it seemed to glance harmlessly off of the creature’s transparent scales.

Elemental Attack(Sakhisli): 2D6(3 5) +1 = 9 Partial success.
-1 control, deals d8=2 damage

Feeling her control slipping, Sakhisli urged the mephit once more towards the head of the beast. Flames engulfed the snake’s head once more, burning at its eyes and into its open mouth. The fight seemed to be gone out of the creature now; its coils lay over the steps below them, running around the corner and out of sight, writhing as the head jerked from side to side. Whatever control Sakhisli had had over the mephit was gone now, and the flying creature hovered over the dying spectral snake, blasting it with fire again and again and seeming to watch with amusement at its death throes.

Uvar maug!” exclaimed Kyorlin. “What was that thing?”

“A bloody great snake.” The dwarf sniffed disdainfully. “It died to fire, though.”

They continued their climb in silence. As on the lower floors, most of the doors from the stairway opened into just open space, the wooden floors having long since rotted away, leaving the tower mostly hollow. Birds had made nests in the stairway in places, and Kyorlin was able to grab a few eggs once he scared the birds away.

Forage(Kyorlin): 2D6(1 6) +1 = 8 Partial success.
Worse outcome: just d4=2 days of rations
Defy Danger(Con)(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 4) +2 = 7 Partial success.
Weak for wielding a weapon only

They had been in the tower for over an hour by the time they reached the upper floors. Even Sakhisli, with the strong arms of a smith, was feeling exhausted after hauling herself up over so many of the giant steps. It was a relief to finally reach a huge iron-bound doorway.

“That is the only door that we have seen in this place; it looks like the door to a strongroom,” said Sakhisli, holding up the flame in her hand as she looked up at the door.

Discern Realities(Kyorlin): 2D6(3 5) +1 = 9 Partial success.
What should I be on the lookout for?

“For the wood to have lasted so long, it must be magically protected,” said Kyorlin. The drow had his bow ready again, looking around once more for potential hazards.

“Here, if you stand on my shoulders you should be able to reach the handle,” said Sakhisli. “Hmm, let me light a torch.” Retrieving a torch from her pack, she lit it and extinguished her own flame, propping the torch up against the next step.

Kyorlin shouldered his bow again. Sakhisli moved to stand by the door with her hands cupped, and Kyorlin stepped up to stand on the dwarf’s broad shoulders.

“There’s a lock,” he said. “Shift a little to the right. No, other way.” The drow was light enough that Sakhisli had no trouble supporting his weight, even as he shifted around to take out items from his pack.

“I hope there isn’t a magical warding as well as the lock,” he added. Sakhisli couldn’t see what he was doing, but could hear the scraping of metal on metal as he tinkered with the lock.

“Perhaps I should just burn the door down,” said Sakhisli.

Spout Lore(Kyorlin): 2D6(2 5) +1 = 8 Partial success.
Worse outcome: it just takes more time and tools

There is no move for slow, skill-based activities in DungeonWorld ; it has no skills system. Instead, I’m letting Kyorlin fictionally position himself into being able to do the lock by reference to his ancestors.

“These Giantish locks were not made with small hands and small tools in mind,” said Kyorlin. “There are legends from the rebellion of how the early elves broke out of their cells by working the locks with stolen tools.”

This is a great moment to bring Kyorlin’s broad-bladed dagger into play. It is magical and can cancel the magical warding on the door. Its effects are random though, so: d3=1, the first effect is Probing.

There was a sudden light from behind her; as Sakhisli turned her head, Kyorlin wobbled above her and then jumped down. The door was now covered in a dim pink light, faintly illuminating the aged stone of the stairwell.

“Magical warding,” said Kyorlin.

“That’s good,” said Sakhisli. “That means that no-one has made it into that room since the tower was abandoned. We’ll be the first to loot it.”

“Only if we can get past that warding, and it doesn’t kill us.”

“What did you do to make it appear?”

“I was just probing the lock,” said Kyorlin, holding out the broad-bladed dagger that he held in his hand; the runes on the dagger seemed to stand out in the arcane light.

“Maybe you nearly have it.” Sakhisli put her back to the door again. “Go on, get back up there!”

Shaking his head, Kyorlin nevertheless did step back up to continue to work the lock.

Magicbane d3=3 Cancel.

After a few seconds, the light from the door flickered out; Sakhisli felt the door move behind her. “Got it,” Kyorlin said as he jumped down.

A shaft of flickering light cut across the chamber, and there was a sound of scraping metal as the hinges of the door moved for the first time in 40,000 years. Sakhisli held the torch high as she pushed the door wide open, revealing the dusty room beyond.

The chamber was large for the dwarf and the drow, though it would not have seemed so to the Giants that built it. A large wooden table and cabinet stood against the wall on one side, and another desk was against the other wall, both with giant-sized chairs next to them. The far wall contained a large opening, floor-to-ceiling, which opened to the outside of the tower and looked out at the platform that floated alongside the tower, twenty yards away. The opening was covered in a shimmering magical barrier of some kind; rain was falling again outside and, as the rain played upon it, the barrier shimmered slightly as it screened the chamber from the weather.

This is, in a way, a classic wizard tower, with the wizard absent. Following the DungeonWorld loot rules, I took the damage die for a giant, applied the various modifiers (magical, hoarder, lord, ancient and noteworthy), and made the roll: 2d8k1 + d4 + d4 = 5 + 1 + 4 = 10 for a magic item or magical effect, plus a strange (possibly magical) item. So we have some magical loot to decide here.

Random Twilight armour Random Fire weapon

Both D&D and DungeonWorld lean towards magical weapons in their magic item lists, due to the sort of games that they are, though there were plenty of non-weapon choices on the list that I composed and randomly chose from. The Giants were at war at the end of their empire, so it’s reasonable that the treasure in their lab here is weaponry.

Of course, fiction first: these are Giantish items so they are sized for giants. I think, to help our characters out, for the weapon at least

“There is a light up on the table,” said Kyorlin. He hauled himself up onto the seat of the chair; unlike the rest of the tower, the contents of this room seemed untouched by the passage of time, and the polished wood of the chair shone in the torchlight.

“What is up there?” asked Sakhisli.

Kyorlin was frowning. “A weapon of the Giants.”

Impatient, Sakhisli climbed up as well; as she was shorter, she had to jump up and grab the edge of the seat and pull herself up onto it.

On the table stood a large blade, perhaps three feet long, made of steel—but the surface was mottled with a red glow. It rested on two iron ingots laid on the desk and, even from here, Sakhisli could feel the heat emanating from the blade. The base of the blade had a socket instead of a grip.

Sakhisli is strong from her days as a blacksmith, and Callus makes her near immune to damage from fire and heat. She can wield this.

The weapon is Awkward, at least for now, and Fiery (not an official equipment tag in the game, so I will have to figure out what that means as I go along.

“It’s a spearhead,” Sakhisli said. Clambering onto the edge of the table, she walked over to where the weapon lay and grasped the socket confidently, ignoring the heat, and held the blade up before her. It had been designed to be mounted on a thick spear haft, and the blade was broad and unwieldy held in the hands of someone her size, but she gave it a couple of swings and nodded, feeling satisfied that it would work as a weapon.

“Be careful, dwarf—the weapons of the giants can burn the wielder.”

“They don’t burn me. And Giantish artefacts are why we are here; this will fetch a good price in Stormreach.” As she said it, though, Sakhisli realised that she would never sell this weapon; the fiery blade belonged in her hands. Looking past the drow, she added, “There is a chest in the corner over there; let’s see what else we can find.”

The chest was not locked, but lifting the heavy lid was difficult; they had to drag one of the chairs over to it, and Sakhisli stood on the chair holding the lid while Kyorlin groped inside. The drow dragged out the contents: a large chainmail shirt, made for a Giant, that glittered darkly in the torchlight.

Spout Lore(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 4) -1 = 4 Failure!
Introduce a threat from a new faction or type of creature: I rolled for a random danger, and got a creature: Random Sulatar.

That’s really bad news. The Sulatar venerate the giants; anyone stealing from a Giantish ruin is going to be killed on sight. And Arjen is outside, at risk of capture. The torchlight shining out of the portal in the side of the tower on a dark night has alerted them to someone’s presence there.

Sakhisli climbed back down and looked at the chain closely. “This is not like any metal that I have seen—but it is as light as mithril,” she added, as she lifted a fold of the huge shirt. “It must be valuable.”

Discern Realities(Sakhisli): 2D6(1 5) +0 = Failure! Reveal an unwelcome truth: nothing else of value, no way across to the platform.

And Reveal an unwelcome truth.

While Kyorlin was folding up the shirt and stuffing it into his pack, Sakhisli took another look around the room. There were more of those bronze coins inside the chest, but the dwarf knew that those would have little value. A small bookcase contained some dusty old tomes that might have been better than gold to Esinor, but Sakhisli had no interest in such things. She picked up her torch again and walked to the opening in the side of the tower, looking across at the platform; as Kyorlin had said, gems and gilded patterns glittered on its surface, a wealth of treasure if they could have reached it. But even if the magical barrier could be lowered, Sakhisli could see no way to cross the twenty yards of air that separated the platform from the tower.

Dissatisfied, the dwarf glanced back at Kyorlin as he shrugged on his backpack again. “There is no way across. We have found all that we can get, here.” She took one last look across at the platform, then glanced down towards the ground—and started in alarm. “Traveller’s curse!”

Around the base of the tower were clustered a number of point of light. Humanoid figures carrying torches were clustered near the base of the tower; it was hard to tell from up here, but the light seemed to glint off of the figures as if they were wearing helmets or breastplates.

Discern Realities(Kyorlin): 2D6(6 5) +1 = 12 Success!
What happened here recently? Hold 2

Kyorlin stepped up beside her, looked down, and cursed. “Maug ettin! The Sulatar have come.”

End of Session(party): They defeated a notable monster and looted notable treasure, +2 XP

XP: Arjen: 0 failures, 1 bond resolved; 3 XP.
Kyorlin: 3 failures, +2 session; 10 XP.
Sakhisli: 3 failures, +2 session; 5 XP.

There is no opportunity for Kyorlin to camp and level up, however.