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.

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