Snuggle Nook

Robail's W.F.R.P. Adventure

PacioJay Meadri's Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Campaign (2nd edition)

Robert Bailey’s WarHammer Fantasy RolePlay Campaign (W.F.R.P. 2nd edition)

In Flagranté Delecto

The story so far: Bloody Sunday Campaign Days 1,2,3 and 4.
Maxen (Gorion Galadrid – an Elven scout, who chose his career out of exile), Conan/G.I.Joe/Jane (Grief Farwhisper – Dwarven messenger, ex blood-bowl failure), and Garag/Zemiah/Tehlu (Edgar Fleetfoot – Halfling layabout, er, vagabond rather), set out on an adventure full of surprise and discovery. They begin by meeting in Slugspond, a small, backward village on the north-eastern border of Bretonnia, a weeks ride west of the Grey Mountains. Slugspond’s one and only Inn in the village – The White Spawn Inn – is 5 days north-by-northwest of Parravon. After discussing it, the players intend for Nuln, their only feasible route is through the Mountains.
Once in Nuln they hope to uncover the mystery of a set of 6 bear kegs delivered to the White Spawn some weeks ago, from an unknown benefactor. The landlord of The White Spawn, Mal E Alebeard, suspects the kegs were a gift from his estranged brother – Mash E Alebeard, also a brewer, but he needs his brothers whereabouts and “lifestyle” confirmed before he gives any of the mysterious brew to his customers, in case the kegs are poisoned, or worse… (Though the brothers separated on good terms, Mal worries that his brother may have fallen to the depredations of evil – as that often happens to anyone who goes travelling).
The kegs themselves have the hammer and anvil symbol etched on their sides, (the symbol is used in Nuln as a mark of inner-city commerce, also found on the Nuln “hammer” – the colloquial name for the local gold coin), but there are no other indications of origin.
The players set off, and after arguing heatedly about the quickest, safest route – an argument of little sensitivity but plenty of real roleplay – they find a path that leads up and east into the mountains. Here they come across a monastery that rears out of the landscape, looking thoroughly out of place, but I’m running it off the bat, so what the heck.
The monastery bars their passage, and is built in Nulner style – two broad metal doors (uncharacteristically for a Morrian monastery: shut) with a tall cylindrical chimney billowing a disturbing red smoke into the stark air, and large birds circle high above. The players are suddenly alerted by a small handful of lazy, roaming ghouls that leer out from behind pillars of weather-worn stone. Quickly they lay waste to the ghouls, but not before Farwhisper has most of his leg mangled and badly poisoned – leading to much discomfort and a return to Parravon for medical curatives. The place where the players were staying in Parravon suffers a poorly planned robbery around this time, and the players are thrown out of town under heavy suspicion of involvement.
Returning to the Morrian monastery several crossed words later, the adventurers meet and talk with a Priest at the entrance. He bids them “welcome, and journey lightly through these caverns.”
The players learn from him that a couple of his initiates working in the lower cloisters have gone missing, and the players incorrectly deduce that they were the ghouls they met before, though at least they’re barking up the right tree.
After Gorion dices athletically with a falling lift and thereby sunders a fate point from his breeches, the players dust themselves off and move further below, where the caves become a complex system of lava-flows, under-ground geysers and Morrian prayers. It is here they first encounter Saemus/Maggie (Shifty McStabalot) whilst battering a modest cadre of Demon Imps. McStabalot is a dwarven miner with a deep hatred of greenskins and a rich knowledge of the ores to be found hereabouts. He fosters an interest in developing complex magnetic-ore based weaponry to better unleash bloody rage at range, preferring to choose his targets based primarily on their green hue.
What follows is an outline of the locations, monsters and other people the PCs have since encountered, and how those might be played out by an enquiring GM, map included. Chronology is sidelined from this point, with the most memorable actions and consequences in parenthesis.

The Morrian Monastery of Leig-uaft
Built into the mountain, the Monastery is connected to a network of larva-heated tunnels. Something is amiss, naturally…
The crematorium represents the final purging of the dead body, but the heat used here is magical in nature – so that mourners then bury the bones in the usual way, after the souls are cleansed. The reason this magical heat is used is that the Morrian monastery was cursed by a long-dead Necromancer, causing haunting and other mishaps, but more importantly, causing those who are brought to the temple to occasionally reanimate post death. (It is here the players first meet Jalid, and learn from him the nature of the fires used to cleanse the dead).
The necromancer actually cursed the river water that runs under the caves, so that for those drinking it, it causes a slow dulling of the mind and penchant for eating brains. The first swig is very sweet and players must succeed a very hard -30% WP test to resist drinking it on sight, modified by what they learn…

Those that remain are:
Chaplain Voldem Orhsten, the guardian priest, has explained to the players that there is a river that runs beneath the caves that is tainted with heavily alcoholic properties, causing his initiate employees to commit clumsy acts like letting ghouls out from their cells. In fact the ghouls are the missing staff. The players have discovered the water is potentially dangerous, giving them a total of -25% to the WP test.
Ws Bs S T Ag Int Wp Fel
27 39 27 33 32 32 34 28
A W SB TB M Mag IP Fp
1 13 2 3 4 0 1 0

Skills: Ackno – History, Ackno – Theology, Charm, Heal, Perception, Read/Write, Spk – Classical+Reik. Comkno – Empire, Gossip.
Talents: Excellent vision, Strong minded, Lightening reflexes, Public Speaking, Warrior Born.
Trappings: The usual plus robes of Morr. Leather Jerkin. Keys to exit and double doors at C.
Armour: body 1.
Chaplain Voldem is actually running a cover operation for Harbrand the Necromancer. Voldem will try to persuade the PCs that this is a noble house of Morr:
“We all do the simple work of our patron here at [Leig-uaft]; sending the grateful dead on their way to his realm in peace.”
If the players have spoken with Jalid (below), they will want to question Voldem, probably asking things like “why is Jalid scared, what did he hear?”
“I suspect Jalid’s ears were deceiving him. He is long overdue for a sabbatical.”
Players passing a tricky -10% perception test will notice something a touch insincere in his tone. He will address this player with:
“You do not believe me sir, I can see. Well then let me offer you this key as a sign of my faith. It will allow you to enter the deeper recesses of our under-chapel beyond the cloisters, where you will see we have nothing to hide.”
If threatened at knifepoint, Voldem will reveal that:
“May Morr forgive me! Jalid was right to be concerned. This is no ordinary monastery. It was; long ago it used to be a place for purging unclean souls with the holy element of fire, but long ago an old colleague turned from a faithful servant of our order into a Necromancer – a wielder and abuser of Dhar (Dark magic) – and the forbidden search for power of death over the living. He has cursed the water that runs through the base of the cavern, and now those who drink it become …infected." After a pause during which players may have questions he finishes fairly calmly:
“We normally admit only one initiate at a time, and anyway, all who arrive are ‘encouraged’ to drink the water. It quickly turns them into a servant of the Dark powers, flesh-eating ghouls, or worse. My master wishes to prolong his own life…with their poor unfortunate souls. He is a most dangerous enemy. If you spare me I can help you to catch him.”
If the players want to know why, he will say:
“I know these tunnels, and there are traps that only Harbrand and I know how to disarm.”
Learning all this makes the WP test to avoid drinking the water routine (0%). If pressed further, Chaplain Voldem will offer a pouch containing 30 silver pieces in exchange for his life. If they later dispatch the Necromancer he will give them a small bronze badge of Morr in gratitude, worth 12gc (well hidden in the secret passage).
(The players talk to the chaplain and obtain the key without learning of the traps that lie after its door, having been gentle with Voldem, so they learn nothing of the skeletons at this point).

Having only been on site for a few weeks, Friars Olivier Mondue and Antoine Furchar know nothing of Leig-uaft’s true purpose, and have been disgraced for letting out the 3 ghouls from the crematorium, and now wander the cave system disconsolately, having been rejected by the players. They will return at point A on the map…hungry for the living. The next encounter with them is as one full-blown ghoul, while the other has enough sense to say “bad water” if questioned before being dispatched. (Adding 5% to WP test). He will cower, retreat and sit moaning, giving the players an opportunity to talk to him. If the players get too close to him – within 2 feet – and fail an opposed Fel test while he’s cornered, then he will attack on a failed WP test of 35% or less. For Ghoul stats see page 94 of the bestiary, adding 10% to their Ws and Int. They have 81 brass pennies between them.
(The players quickly realise the two lingering priests are unwell – a “sympathy trap”, and put them efficiently to the merciful sword.)

Rector Jalid Fulist (encountered again at point B) carries powerful heatproof Morr-blessed gauntlets (that have a basic Enc value of 200 that drops to -50 whenever carrying dead or undead creatures, or lifting caskets and coffins. Valued at 45gc, the gloves are in good condition, and can be re-appraised and bought for 70gc by either a wealthy priest of Morr or an Amber wizard. In combat they have the slow and pummelling qualities, and do SB-1, or SB+0 v undead, but not magical). Jalid has a healthy respect for the dead, and a constitution blessed by Morr, so has no trouble drinking the water, unlike his unfortunate colleagues. If asked about the water by the PCs, he can improve their WP test by a further 10% by telling the players that he knows of several priests who have died as a result of drinking it, though he does not know why. (Jalid has now joined the party as a stout hearted NPC, ever on hand to help with religious matters, theological enquiries and the staunching of blood).
Ws Bs S T Ag Int Wp Fel
38 39 29 33 40 42 34 36
A W SB TB M Mag IP Fp
1 13 2 3 4 0 0 0

Skills: Ackno – History, Ackno – Theology, Charm, Heal, Perception, Read/Write, Spk – Classical+Reik. Comkno – Empire, Gossip.
Talents: Excellent vision, Strong minded, Lightening reflexes, Public Speaking, Warrior Born, Petty magic – blessing of protection, + blessing of healing.
Trappings: The usual plus robes of Morr, Gauntlets have crow symbol, 2 holly sprigs.
Armour: 1 to all except head.

Jalid is happy to reveal that he has not been happy in his purging work since he has come to regard there being “something altogether sinister” about the collection of bones in the long tunnel. An easy (+20%) Fel test elicits the following:
“My work here is as a cleanser of the bodies that get left in the Crematorium. They come in caskets, from I know not where, but I prefer not to ask. Morr’s business is his own and best left that way.”
If the PCs succeeded the Fel test by more than 15% or offer convincing reasons for wishing to learn more, then he goes on:
“Between you and me, there was one occasion when I was coming up from the Kitchen, when I heard a most peculiar sound; it might have been the noise of bones and laughter rattling together, though such a notion unsettles me so much I daren’t give it much credence. I would rather not talk more about it, just please don’t tell Chaplain Voldem I told you. He doesn’t like…gossip.”
It is to be expected that the PCs will now want to question the Chaplain at this point. (See point 1, above). He can be found in the deserted bunk room, closing the secret door as they enter, which any PC will spot with an easy perception test. Opening the secret door requires his co-operation, as it is sealed with a minor incantation, which cannot be repeated by a PC. If they attempt to do so, they must succeed a -10%WP test or conjure a poltergeist, which will annoy the players until they leave the complex, spoiling any chances at gaining surprise.

Harbrand Fiegler, the Necromancer, used to work with the other priests, but took an unhealthy interest in their demise, and so was exiled. He returned along an old and secret tunnel, and has made his lair there, sleeping in the mortuary. He has 9 skeletons that act as his personal guard, 4 at point C and 5 at point D including the chief. Skeletons stats are on pages 108 of bestiary.
Harbrand owns a ring that gives the wearer a plus 5% WP whenever commanding undead, but cannot be used without Dark Lore – Necromancy and Spk Arcane Lang – Necromancy, worth 28gc on the black market, or 19gc to a priest of Morr or 10gc otherwise. If worn by a priest of Shallya they have their T and Wp and Fel reduced by half until removing it, gaining no other benefit. (The players failed to acquire this ring, as Harbrand has long since boiled it along with himself in molten larva).
Harbrand is encountered at point E on the map, and will aid his remaining 5 Skeletons in defeating the players. If they make a run for it, Harbrand and his bones will pursue them as far as the lift. Once Harbrand is defeated, all his denizens simply drop lifeless to the floor, and the poltergeist, if extant, vanishes.
Harbrand’s stats:

Ws Bs S T Ag Int Wp Fel
48 44 42 39 40 47 36 26
A W SB TB M Mag IP Fp
2 18 4 3 4 0 4 0

Skills: Ackno – History, Ackno – Theology, Ackno – Necromancy, Charm, Heal, Perception, Read/Write, Spk – Classical+Reik. Comkno – Empire, Gossip, Spk Arcane Language – Magick + Daemonic, swim.
Talents: Aethyric Attunement, Armoured Casting, Dark Lore – Necromancy, Seasoned Traveller, Excellent vision, Strong minded, Lightening reflexes, Public Speaking, Strike mighty blow, Dark Magic – hand of dust + Invigorating vitae + re-animate (pp162 core), Lesser Magic – Silence (pp 149 core).
Trappings: The usual, magic ring, Sleeved Mail Shirt, leather leggings, leather skullcap. Key to Mortuary, key to exit. Armour: 2 body, 2 arms, 1 Legs. 1 head.

(The PCs do of course encounter the skeletons, (Many shots from Garag’s sling double the clickity-clacking skeletons over in a rambunctious cacophony of breaking bones) and Harbrand the Necromancer, who after sending the last of his bony cronies in and letting off a “hand of death” spell on the humble Jalid, then dashes immediately for the heat sink (see below) then escapes the PCs clutches, and whisks the gauntlets from under Jalid’s nose on his way, much to McStabalot’s consternation.)

Locations:
Heat Sink
“As you go down the first set of curving stairs, the heat becomes almost intolerable. Sweat begins to pour freely from you, loosening your grip on your weapon, and you shield your faces with your free arm. The landing to which you descend opens into a boiler room; the wall opposite you is convex, made from large metal panels that do little to protect you from the heat of the bubbling lava you can hear churning on the other side.”
While in the boiler room, all players suffer –15%Ag and can only use weapons that require one hand. All attempts to attack are at –20%Wp and –25%Bs. Players who wish to investigate the panels more closely must take a WP test for each 10feet nearer to it they get, getting harder by degrees of 5%, or turn back and leave.
PCs who get to within arms reach can make out symbols on the panels, but will not recognise them without Trade (engineering). They are instructions for periodic maintenance. Players passing a hard perception test (-20%) notice a circle of 10 large holes in a configuration that looks set to receive gauntleted fingers. For details of how to open the panels, the players must consult Jalid, who tells also tells them exactly what they’re for:
“The panels are part of an ancient network of strong pipes that channel the heat of the mountain into various underground communities, some much like Leig-uaft. Naturally the energy is used to cook and heat; we also use it as part of the purging of the dead as you’ve seen. I’ve heard Amber wizards sometimes use the heat for magical purposes. Every ten years for the last three centuries, Morr allows the lava that pours down the channel from Mount Garadek to slow and cool enough for our builders to come and check the integrity of the panels. I wouldn’t be tempted to open them while the lava is flowing – it would flood the whole temple in a single turn of the sand.”
Note that Harbrand cannot wear Jalid’s gauntlets, as they are Morr-blessed. If the PCs look like they’re going to defeat Harbrand, he’ll attempt to kill Jalid and then re-animate him (or any player wearing the gauntlets, to make them do the job for him. It takes that character no more than 2 rounds (20seconds) to travel from the stairs to the panels. He then presses a series of locks (1 round), after which he and the players will want to leave! After one more round the metal panels begin descending from the top, and the lava begins pouring out immediately. Anyone caught by the splashing lava (within 10 feet) must lose d5+4 wounds that ignores armour but not toughness. It travels at a move rate of 12 feet per round, gradually melting the whole complex. Lava does d5+4 damage that ignores armour and toughness for every round the players are caught in it. If the players can get to the exit they will be ok.
(All make it through except Farwhisper – unfortunately now an NPC – who chased after Harbrand the Necromancer, and was immediately swallowed by roiling larva – so heroically sacrificing himself for the greater good of the party by slowing the larva a little, all the while frothing at the mouth about how unfair his gammy leg was being for “holding me up”)…

Kitchen.
“Thick animal hide hangs in strips in the doorway, which you swing easily aside. Next to the long worktop are open cupboards stocked with a modest amount of food, most of it moving towards stale. A tap is leaking steaming hot water into a round metal basin to your left, and the shelves pinned to the wall on your right are for crockery and cutlery.” (The players demonstrated an understandable relief in discovering something so simple as a kitchen).
Players who investigate the tap water or basin must now take a WP test to resist sampling the sweet smelling water. Any player who drinks the water must find a powerful priest of Shallya within 2 days or become a ghoul and be forever lost to the dark powers. (Or spend a fate point). (Mcstabalot was the closest call, but was – hidden dice – fine, as the GM didn’t fancy risking losing a player at this stage).

Mortuary
“After unlocking the door, it sticks a little, but then swings easily open. The foul stench of rotting flesh mixed with fresh carnage fills your nostrils.” On entering the Mortuary each player must pass a difficult (-20%) WP test or gain d10-6 insanity points, to a minimum of 1.
“Once inside you see a sight that would churn the stomach of the hardiest priest of Morr. The walls are thick with the lacquer of recently sprayed blood. Shelves, cupboards, writing desk; every surface is the same – sticky and dark red. Dismembered bodies lay in a chalk circle around a large bed in the centre of the room, the four upright wax-covered supports of which are decorated in carvings of skulls, scythes and hourglasses.”
(Jalid promptly hurls, followed in short order by Fleetfoot all over his fleetboots. Lots of Insanity handed out. Laverly!)
Players who search the desk find a curved dagger (Now owned by Shifty) with a skull pommel for opening letters. Any character whose patron is Shallya should shun the artefact for role-play xp, though it is actually harmless. Sitting on the desk is a short letter that can be deciphered by anyone with read/write, and Academic Knowledge Necromancy who passes an average Int test. It reads as follows:

Use your imagination…smaller pieces…use your imagination…

Again, any player reading this who passes a routine (+10%) Int will understand the implication behind “smaller pieces” as being of flesh, and must take a challenging (-10%)WP test or gain one insanity point as a result….text of a CLASSIFIED nature previously occupied this space…

The Ossuary
“The bones that fill the end of this corridor are of all sizes and shapes, mainly humanoid in origin, and collected over many, many years. None look recent.” Players who search the bones will find 5 silver schillings and 24 brass pennies. If they pass an average perception test by more than 20% success then they will also find a bottle (worth 3s, enc 2) containing two doses of sub-standard healing potion that when taken knocks the character out for 1d10 hours, while curing d10 minus 5 wounds, to a minimum of 2. If they find the bottle they will also disturb a family of 6 snakes (core rules page124). (The team delight in McStabalot’s decision to set the whole lot on fire, including the snakes, which he succeeds in doing by making sparks with his axe across the floor…into some dry straw…nice).
The double doors (at C)
“Upon unlocking the doors, you find yourself confronted with five leering skeletons, who attack you with their swords, red eye sockets glowing madly.” Chuckle.
Skeletons are on page 231 of core rules. (Game preceded slowly at this point, my first real combat challenge, but I kept it in check by asking Maxen for lots of help with stat-hunting, and allowed my novice skills as an improviser to be tested to – swearing lightly – point.
As soon as the players look set to defeat the Skeletons, Harbrand will make an appearance coming from the direction of the old chapel (F). His first action (which will be automatically successful) will be to re-animate the nearest Skeleton. The GM should roll for casting behind his hand. Re-animate takes a half round per corpse. (Casting number is 8; Harbrand has a Magic characteristic of 4 – see page 162).
Players should quickly realise that if he can be killed, then the skeletons will stay dead.
If it looks as though the party is having it too easy, then the GM should bring in a further 5 skeletons from F, and one of these uses a bow. (Useless in practice – not a clever monster). The chief has 10 more WS, 5 more wounds and 10 more Ag than usual. Page 231 has skeleton stats.

The Pressure plate (at D)
The first Player to turn the corner and walk down the corridor towards the door at E without caution or without the help of Voldem will step on a pressure plate that releases 10 darts. (Maxen has here brought in his new character, another stout hearted beardy, and shifted to using Gorion as an NPC. His new Dwarf – Varagon Voltaire, a thick-muscled student of magics and religion, elects to carry the ailing Elf across the plate…and succeeds heroically before later leaving pointy ears to die…) They are allowed a hard (-20) Ag test to avoid being hit. Each ½ degree of failure means being hit by 1 dart rounding down, so for example a player with Ag 34 who rolls 45 has failed by 31%, or 6 darts.
Each dart does d2 damage cumulatively, which ignores armour but not toughness. Any Player wounded by more than 5 darts must take a challenging (–10) toughness test or suffer an additional d5 wounds from light poison. The worst outcome would be to lose 20 wounds (minus toughness) then another 5, though this is unlikely, and the PC can use a fortune point to retake either the Ag test at challenging (-10) difficulty, or the toughness test at average (0) difficulty, and then re-roll for poison.
(End of sessions recap:
Handing out experience was a touchy subject. I should have been more relaxed really. Tiredness set in a couple of times on my part. They were long sessions altogether, and both fairly intensive.
Arguments over combat mechanics were uncomfortable, but again, with more confidence this will pass. TPK – total party kill – was dramatically averted; the tunnel flooded with hot lava but the players and their companion the Morrian Priest escaped alive. Grief Farwhisper was unfortunate in being swallowed by the roiling Lava. All the players – Grief, Edgar, Maxen and Shifty – got heavily involved, and enjoyed themselves for at least two hours…which is good!
Grief’s determined arguments about the right way to do things occasionally proffered useful tactics for the party as a whole, but wasn’t very Dwarven, Edgar’s slingshots were amusingly powerful against the skeletons inside their ribcages and he found this energising, Maxen prayed effectively to the gods for blessing and lifted a fallen comrade, and Shifty allowed his hunger for shiny objects to take hold, chasing after the priest who wore snazzy gauntlets, only to turn around and run back the other way when the larva came after him!

All the players were helpful to me in various ways, from looking up stats and numbers, which kept the battle with the skeletons from grinding to a halt, being philosophical and amusing, and demonstrating different manners of enjoyment in the game for its own sake, which inspired us all to learn to do the same.
The adventure was far more demanding than I expected, but I managed to run it pretty well, all the same. Nobody got especially bored, nobody got particularly cross, and nobody got distracted for long.) Three is a good, optimum number of PCs, I’ve decided.

Bloody Sunday Campaign Day 2 – Our intrepid travellers have escaped the challenge of the first Lava dungeon of Leig–uaft (the Morr temple overrun by a necromancer and his curse), with a few nasty wounds, a few less rations, a few madcap mushrooms, and a few more coins, and a little more weaponry. They have also acquired the letter to Harbrand Fiegler from “X” (Classified) (carried by Shifty), clues to the contents of which can be found below…Jalid Fulist continues to help the party as an NPC, and will reveal what he knows about Harbrand if the players ever ask about the necromancer: (D6+6xp to the party).
“I had always thought of Harbrand as a loyal, even devout priest of the raven-god. When I saw him running from behind those skeletons, at first I didn’t recognise him, then I was sure he would help us, but…” He trails off, if the players ask for more, they will get it:
“It seems I was mistaken. Yet still I cannot believe it, I met a few of the folk in his care when I was working as an actuary at Morr’s temple in Paravon only a couple of months ago, and they always described him as very caring and kind. The ghouls we saw – their corruption was so rapid, and Harbrand’s transformation was so…utterly shocking. I cannot accept that the cursed water was his doing. If anything, I think he was another victim.”
This may be correct, it may not, but it is all the players will have to go on for now. With any luck they will believe Jalid, and surmise that something else even darker than petty necromancy is at work in the caves.
Further notes on the mysterious letter are as follows: any player who asks about it again should be told by Jalid, (if he is still alive): “Translating it for yourselves, you’re probably going to need to be well-read in dark magic, which is far from legal outside of the few universities where magical protections are in place. I would leave it behind if I were you.”

The Madcap Mushrooms induce a state of frenzy; see the frenzy talent in the core rules, for d10 rounds. They also make the player lose d3 wounds unless he passes a toughness test, and spend the next 24hours feeling queasy, reducing Fel by 15% due to his irritability.
As they travel up the shaft and into the next section of tunnel, their first obstacle will be a blocked tunnel. With the lava slowly creeping up behind them, their first challenge will be to get through.

Lastly, the unconscious Elf is a hindrance. He begins the adventure completely out of it, and all your initial efforts to bring him back to consciousness fail. He is very weak from the blood he lost from the sword that cut his chest, and although he is no longer bleeding he needs plenty of rest if he is to begin the long road to recovery.
Jalid offers “Our Elf friend needs uninterrupted rest, i.e. sleep.”
How the players choose to deal with him is an opportunity for some challenging roleplay. They will most likely not want to ditch him if it can be avoided. And should be awarded 5xp for every time they implement clever and sensible ways to keep him alive and unharmed.
After recovering 1 wound in the course of 24 hours of uninterrupted rest the Elf will be able to rejoin the party as a contributor. This is going to be hard for Max to stomach I suspect, but if he deals with it well without resorting to the rules he can be awarded d10+3xp at the end of each 24 hour period of adventure time.
(This is roughly the point when Max decides to leave his NPC Elf behind, who then perishes from his wounds).
A and B – The Blocked Tunnel
¬ The remains of the wooden door slams shut behind you and slows the boiling lava for barely a moment before it is swallowed in the rolling red heat. The tunnel winds ahead of you, sloping gently upwards. It snakes off into darkness, broken only by the angry glow of the lava that pursues you steadily upwards. As you continue to run on, your legs begin to tire and you fear the heat will never end.
At this point have one of the players stumble, on a piece of loose rock. Establish running order, then have whoever is second from the back fail an agility check, but make it look random. Players with any sense will help this fallen comrade, and gain 7xp+1d10 for doing so.
You run on, your aching legs keeping you safe. As the tunnel levels off you are relieved to see the larva slowing. You soon realise this is because there are thick gulleys cut into the rock on either side of the floor of the passage that siphon the lethal liquid away and down into the mountain beneath your feet. However, just up ahead an old rock fall fills the tunnel; many of the rocks are large, around 3 feet high in diameter. Larva continues to march inexorably toward you.
A routine perception test (10) reveals:
You spot what might be a small opening between the topmost boulder and the ceiling high above you,
Any player can climb the rocks with an average (0) St test; (challenging in the case of halflings) any players with the scale sheer surface skill can do so. Any player who tests to climb the rock fall unaided and fails by more than 30% must take d3
1 damage, and falling players are required to lose one point of effectiveness from whichever piece of armour they land on. Players who fail the test by more than 45% will hit the larva and should either spend a fortune point to re-roll or take d10-1 damage that ignores Toughness.
Players who make imaginative use of their rope, or who state explicitly that they will assist their comrade’s gain a further 10 to the St test, and gain a further 2d10xp.
As they near the top of the climb I’ll tell them: the gap at the top is no more than the breadth of a small child. When you reach the top you cannot see far, but far enough that you can make out that the tunnel widens, supported by rickety wooden struts.
Assume that the halfling will have no trouble clambering through and will not notice any loose boulders, whereas Dwarves and Humans will have to pass a successful Ag test to wriggle through, and notice the boulder is loose on top on a routine perception test. Players who fail the Ag test get stuck, and are considered helpless until they can pass a successful strength test, one each round. Pulling the fallen Elf through earns the players another d5xp for each directly involved, and requires a challenging (-10%)Strength test. With at least one character behind and one in front, pushing and pulling respectively, the test is average (0) using their combined strengths/2, once per round.
One boulder at the top can be shoved forward with a combined Strength test of 8 plus d10, negating any need for agility tests to get through. Tying rope to the boulder and pulling from the front adds 2 to the roll, however any players immediately in front of the boulder must either state (20) that they are getting out of the way of it or pass a successful hard (-20%) Ag test to avoid being hurt by it for d41 damage, which again damages any armour it hits by one point, being knocked over for d3 rounds by the falling rock.
(By now I’d introduced too many variables, and so Maxen and Edgar got bored with all the dice rolling – “Hey man, we just climb up the F*****G rocks, okay?” I was disappointed that they didn’t use more imagination, but let them off fairly lightly in favour of our shared wish to get on with the adventure.)
If the shifting boulder method is used, or any players get stuck at the top for more than 3 rounds, then this will alert a trio of rats (S 2, T2, W4), who will attack the nearest player in the confined space at the top of the rock fall for 3 rounds before scattering. (Helpless players are automatically surprised and hit), and attacks against the rats are at –25% in the confined space.
Any player who gets past the rock fall without taking any damage is blessed by the gods and receives d5xp. If the halfling volunteers to go first through the gap he will be awarded d5+5xp, regardless of weather he is wounded as a result.
Bruised and shaken you descend to the floor and peer into the dusty gloom.
Dwarves with trade skill (mining) who pass an easy Int test (+10) will recognise the type of construction of this tunnel as: typical for an area of a mine that was designed for travel through the mountain, rather than for searching for precious ores.
The tunnel broadens and the ceiling is lower on this side, perhaps 6 feet high or so. It curves to the right before opening out into a cross roads, which you know by feeling along the walls in the pitch black. The larva no longer poses a threat.

C + D – The New Excavation and Section of hard rock
Without being able to see, you feel your way cautiously into a wider chamber on your right.
[By this time the players can be assumed to have used Edgar’s tinderbox to make a couple of torches, using spare timbers from the mine, though they are probably limited to using strips of cloth from a blanket, or lengths of rope wrapped in cloth strands and such. Allow them to make torches that will burn for 3d10+10 minutes or so, and award D5+4xp for doing so.]
(After heavy hints about pieces of broken timber lying around, Varagon and Edgar finally cobbled together four torches, each with 15 minutes burn time.)
If they still haven’t made fire for some reason then: any player who suggests the other members of the crew stand and wait, and occasionally speak a word or two will gain d10 xp. Players who suggest that other party members remain quiet will gain d4xp. Members who suggest tying the party with rope or holding hands gain a further d6+4xp.
Your footsteps/comrades voices echo back at you from the chamber, giving you a vague sense of size – the cavern in which you find yourself is roughly circular, with a gently sloping floor that dips towards the centre. As a whole the room is perhaps 200 feet in diameter.
Again, any Dwarf with trade who passes a challenging (-10) Int test should be read the following:
Feeling along the walls, your hands catch on many small sharp edges, and the quality of the dust in your hands suggests that this cave was recently mined; the hue of the dust hinting at rubies.
Any player can take a sample of the dust, which can be later identified by either a Gold Wizard or Alchemist, (though both will charge 5gc for the privilege) as from a vein of ruby that runs through the mine. The sample should be restricted to 5enc, worth 35gc or 45gc to an Amber wizard, and is: Red and sparkles beautifully. Give 3+d5xp for sample taking.
If any player wishes to attempt to chip a chunk from the wall, they must first roll a very hard (-30%) perception test, (average with torches, the roll done in secret). Regardless the roll, the player convinces themselves:
You find what you suspect is a small vein of potentially lucrative ore.
The player now needs to pass a routine (10) agility test to chip it from the rock. They can use a dagger, a knife, or similar, in combination with a hammer or axe-head, but if they fail the test by more than 15% the smaller weapon is broken. If they passed the perception test by more than 10% then they find a single ruby worth 64gc, otherwise all they get is a hunk of worthless rock, but give d84xp either way. If anyone does manage to release a ruby from the rock, then they also a release a spray of larva, in which case they are allowed an average agility check or be damaged for d3+1 wounds, which ignores toughness but not armour.
If any player states that they are specifically searching the far side of the chamber, they will find a section of particularly smooth rock, which if lit can be seen to bear the mark of a broken pickaxe in chalk, suggesting that this section is too hard to mine
(The players do indeed succeed in procuring one or two nice gems.)

E – The Old Excavation
Players who pass an hard (-20%) perception test – plus twenty if player has excellent vision – notice markings on the walls before this cave in blood, which anyone can identify as implying danger ahead. The shape is of a large circle with a skull at its centre.
This enormous cavern has a roughly domed ceiling around 60 feet high, and the whole cavern is potholed and jagged from earlier mining. The cavern is visible by a soft light that emanates from within a circle of rocks at its centre some 400feet away. The rocks are about 5 feet high.
Players asking about the rocks or the light inside will notice it isn’t a giving off any smoke if they pass an average perception test, so if it’s a fire it’s burning some very old, dry wood.
If any players ask Jalid Fulist what he thinks:
“There’s something a little unnerving about a fire without smoke. I’d rather we leave it well alone and move on.”
Players who approach within 100 feet of the glowing rocks must then pass an average (0) WP test, (Note that Halflings get a further 10% to their roll. Players who noticed the sign on the wall who communicate their fears, adding 10% to further rolls, and gain d6+d3xp for doing so.) Or:
You find there to be something peculiar about the hue of the light, as seen through the translucent rocks. If player asks what exactly then:
The colours range from rich azure blue to bright yellows and reds, shot through with bright emerald shards that seem almost to move as the light flickers from the far side.
If any player approaches the rocks then other players can attempt to physically restrain them – opposed Strength tests with the victim having a plus 10% to his roll.
Any pc that reaches the stones should be read the following:
You realise that the light comes not from any fire, but from within the stones themselves.
Allow players one further hard (-20) WP test now, modified by their description of how they choose to interact with it. If they fail then:
You feel compelled to reach out and touch the rocks, and on so doing you feel a gentle warmth passing up your arm and towards your chest. You feel a surge of strength course through your veins, but no sooner has the moment of elation passed, it is replaced by shooting pains that convulse through your heart.
Player must take a challenging Toughness test (-10) or take d6+1wounds that bypasses armour but not toughness. If they lose more than 3 wounds they should roll an average T test to avoid falling into a state of shock for d10+number failed by in minutes.
After being thrown back by the sudden pain, you no longer feel drawn to the rocks, and turn from them in disgust, your mind filled with images of broken glass. You are in shock.
Irrespective of wounds incurred, the player immediately takes D3-1 insanity points, the implications of evil rocks of power represent a serious challenge for anyone hoping to keep a grip on reality. The first time this player enters combat in the next 48hours, he must pass a challenging
(-10WP) test or be: compelled by a bitter fury to bludgeon your enemies into the dust, and then again on the second combat, the player will attack the nearest ally after other opponents are dealt with, in an unhinged rage, for d5 rounds of Strength 10%, WS-10%.
Jalid can attempt to subdue this player using strike to stun. Prayers, and other ideas will help calm the player too. Players who succeed in the subduing should be given d10
3xp.
Players who attempt to chip the rock will be thrown back in a similar way, but not damaged themselves if they avoid touching it, but should also take a –20 to their WS (-10 for halflings) for the next d5 rounds in which they attempt to use that weapon as: it seems whatever malign magic infected the rock has transmitted some kind of an after-shock to your weapon, making you clumsy with it as you try to bring it back under your control.

Whoever touched it has a week of bad sleep, resulting in – 5 to all stats on his main profile until the fifth night when his stats are no longer affected. This is just irritability at the contact with the rock and nothing more…honest…
(Varagon suggested the party should avoid the rock with his modest knowledge of dark materials – chaos – but Shifty went ahead, failing his WP test, then curious for precious ores – naturally – after which he passed a second WP test but decided to chip at the rock anyway, so comes away from this incident with a small green rock, which he understands is dangerous, and so wraps it in cloth).

Searching around the cavern reveals the signs of struggle – one rusty and worthless knife and one equally useless short sword, a few splashes of blood, and the remains of a large chip of the leg bone of some humanoid. You also discover a pickaxe (Enc 75, requires two hands to wield so at half WS for anyone without the Specialist weapon group (great weapon) talent, SB, impact, piercing, tiring, slow) near a pile of ash in one corner.

Players who manage to avoid the temptation of the rock can be awarded d10+2xp. Players enticed can be awarded d10+7xp for good roleplay. If any player takes the pickaxe and later uses it before selling it then award the party d3xp+1.

F + G1 + G2 – The Secret Tunnel entrance, Dwarf Hold and Precious Ore
Players travelling the length of this corridor who state they are looking for alcoves, or searching for similar protuberances are allowed a behind the hand perception roll as a group. Note if they say they are making a combined effort to look they get a (10) modifier and d52xp each.
If even this fails, then have the Dwarf with trade (mining) notice a change in rock type at F on the map on a successful Int test (regardless of whether he is searching).
You notice a shift in the quality of the rock here, for about two feet along the stone looks somehow out of place, as though put their deliberately…If they have the pickaxe they can attempt to chip at it, (an axe can be used but will be badly damaged by it) and after doing 24 wounds to it (T10),
…The rock gives way enough for one of you to squeeze through easily, revealing a narrow passage that leads steeply down to a small, stagnant smelling chamber that curves sharply to the left…
…At first you clearly make out a steady drip…drip…dripping noise, then your eyes adjust to the darkness within, your torchlight bouncing off damp walls and a wet floor at the bottom. It seems you have discovered a small underground cistern. Getting in to this room gains the party 3xp for each one who explores it.
It is slippery too, and any attacks are made at –15% WS as a result. Players concerned with flooding chambers can be re-assured by the Dwarf with trade (stonemason) (though I should make the roll for him) that the chamber looks safe to explore; the water runs away as quickly as it seeps in.
The Cave Eel
You feel a sudden flash of movement around your feet; – you are not alone! The shallow puddle of grey grimy water beneath you erupts in a splash of algae. A nine-foot long twin-headed snake rears up on the seat of its tail to strike you!

Ws Bs S T Ag Int Wp Fel
39 0 37 41 52 22 49 11
A W SB TB M Mag IP Fp
2 23 3 4 5/8 0 0 0

Skills: Hypnotism, Swim,
Talents: Frightening, Lightening reflexes, Natural Weapons (teeth), Resistance to poison, Strike mighty blow, Flee! Keen senses.
Trappings: None. Eel flesh is worth 50gc. (Enc 100), a whole ruby (the precious ore, discovered if the players split open the carcass), covered in digestive juices, and worth 87gc.
Armour: 2 to all
Poisoned attack: Any attacks that cause damage do an extra D2 damage if the pc fails a toughness test.
Hypnotic attack: Instead of attacking a pc with a standard attack, the Cave Eel can spend a full round attempting to hypnotise a player. This can only be attempted on players who are suffering from fear already. Hypnotise is an opposed WP test. If the Cave Eel wins, the player will be under its control for that round, and will get between his allies and the snake in an attempt to shield the snake. The hypnotism effect must be re-rolled each round, and is broken if the player is physically hurt by more than 2 wounds, or no longer suffers from fear.
The Cave Eel will attempt to grapple any player that does more than 7 points of damage to it in a single blow. If the Cave Eel is reduced to 9 wounds or less it will attempt to flee, sliding down the well around the corner at G2.
Killing the Eel or otherwise incapacitating it nets the party d20+d12xp, with an extra d5+1xp for the player who lands the first blow and 2d4+1xp for the killing blow.
Players who explore the alcove or chase the Cave Eel at G2 can be told: You turn about to your left and see a small pool of much darker water, your torchlight suggesting it is much deeper than the rest…Depending on how chatty the players are about exploring it…It seems to be a long narrow well formed naturally from the rock. It is no more than 18 inches across; and the water is deep. Evidently your twin-headed Cave Eel has its lair somewhere in the black depths.
If players have not killed the snake and are stupid enough to put a hand in, they will get it bitten clean off unless they pass a hard agility test (-20). See critical tables on 134, under “6”, plus take d4+1 wounds that ignores toughness. Players who wish to fish for gold and treasure will lose d10-2 feet of length from their ropes if the Cave Eel is still alive. If any of the players attempt to fish for the Eel, they will have to wait 2+d2 hours for a bite, and they’ll have to put out their torches, and offer a chunk of flesh weighing at least 50 enc. Success gives the player who suggested it 2d6+3xp, and the players who execute it get another d4+d5xp each.
(If memory serves me correctly, none of the PCs went fishing, but they did scare off the snake without any real trouble. Perhaps I should’ve used two of them.)

H – The Rock Fall Trap

Players who approach “H” from “I” are allowed a perception test each, with bonuses given to players who make their way slowly along the corridor, and those who state they are listening. Again, establish running order and formation. Those that pass are told:
You hear the noise of large rocks scraping against each other above you. Act quickly! Players are allowed a half round to act: Players are allowed a routine agility test (10) to dive clear of the falling rocks. Players who didn’t hear the rocks are allowed an average agility test, modified further if any players shout: “run” or “falling rocks” or some close variation (they are awarded D82xp), and players who physically shove their comrades clear are given 2d10+4xp. The rocks fall in an area 8ft around, landing near the middle of the passageway, which is 11ft wide. The rocks do d6+4 damage if caught within 2 feet of the centre, and D6+1 if character is nearer the perimeter, as I see fit. If any player takes 4 wounds or more from damage after armour but not after toughness, then their armour becomes less effective by a factor of 1.
Surviving the rock fall nets the party d10+3xp, and dealing with it imaginatively nets individuals d4+6xp.
This section of tunnel leads fairly steeply down and to the right, natural steps in the rock formed perhaps by periods of uneven and sudden igneous activity. The air that rises to meet you as you descend smells very slightly sulphurous. (See J below).
(The players escaped the rock-fall unharmed, but fortune points were spent.)

I1 – The narrow Tunnel
You are fortunate enough in your exploring to catch sight of a small gap in the main tunnel that leads off to the (left). This narrow fissure looks like it cuts back some considerable depth; looking into it you can see there are some stretches where the walls are very close together. If you are to proceed through the gap, it seems you will have to walk sideways, the proximity of the faintly glittering walls making free movement impossible. (Players in the tunnel count as having minus 20ws and minus 30bs, can only use their leading arm to fight with, and are not allowed to use combat related skills without heavy modifiers, although particularly descriptive turns of phrase can be awarded with d8+3xp each).
(Players chose marching order at this point – a sensible precaution.)
If anyone asks the dwarf with trade (stonemasonry) about the glittering walls or if he asks award d6+4xp, and have him take an easy (+20) Int test. Degree of pass indicates the following information.

Fail by no more than 20%, possibly free info: You can just make out in the yellow torchlight that the glitter is greenish brown, (and to Shifty – but you cannot recall having seen it before).
Fail by no more than 10%: Although you are unable to recall its name for the time being, you do remember that the sparkling stone is semi-precious in powder form, but so incredibly sparse relative to its distribution over the hard rock as to be worthless. (Give d4xp).
0-9: This glitter is part of a narrow vein of a (relatively) softer rock type, not intrinsically metallic in nature. (Plus d3xp).
10-19: Boron is made from the combining of Borax (a type of rock salt) and Carbon, a laborious process that requires immense heat…(Plus d5xp).
20 – 29: … It is a base element that when combined with Adamantine results in a strong metal with magnetic properties… (Plus d6+2xp for interesting suggestions at this point).
30 – 39: …It would be impossible to separate this element from rock into its pure powder form without the use of immensely high temperatures…(Plus d2xp).
40 or more: …although Lava might conceivably have done it in the past. (Plus d5xp).
(Shifty was given most of this info, and the team correctly deduced the likely importance of magic and larva therein).
If the players (probably including Shifty) conclude that whatever bored through the rock did so with an instrument of immense heat, possibly lava-like or magical in nature, without a good Int roll, then award an extra 2d8xp, to any player for explicitly sharing this info or explicitly asking Shifty about it.

I1 – The narrow Tunnel
You are fortunate enough in your exploring to catch sight of a small gap in the main tunnel that leads off to the (left). This narrow fissure looks like it cuts back some considerable depth; looking into it you can see there are some stretches where the walls are very close together. If you are to proceed through the gap, it seems you will have to walk sideways, the proximity of the faintly glittering walls making free movement impossible. (Players in the tunnel count as having minus 20ws and minus 30bs, can only use their leading arm to fight with, and are not allowed to use combat related skills without heavy modifiers, although particularly descriptive turns of phrase can be awarded with d8+3xp each).
(Players chose marching order at this point – a sensible precaution.)
If anyone asks the dwarf with trade (stonemasonry) about the glittering walls or if he asks award d6+4xp, and have him take an easy (+20) Int test. Degree of pass indicates the following information.

Fail by no more than 20%, possibly free info: You can just make out in the yellow torchlight that the glitter is greenish brown, (and to Shifty – but you cannot recall having seen it before).
Fail by no more than 10%: Although you are unable to recall its name for the time being, you do remember that the sparkling stone is semi-precious in powder form, but so incredibly sparse relative to its distribution over the hard rock as to be worthless. (Give d4xp).
0-9: This glitter is part of a narrow vein of a (relatively) softer rock type, not intrinsically metallic in nature. (Plus d3xp).
10-19: Boron is made from the combining of Borax (a type of rock salt) and Carbon, a laborious process that requires immense heat…(Plus d5xp).
20 – 29: … It is a base element that when combined with Adamantine results in a strong metal with magnetic properties… (Plus d6+2xp for interesting suggestions at this point).
30 – 39: …It would be impossible to separate this element from rock into its pure powder form without the use of immensely high temperatures…(Plus d2xp).
40 or more: …although Lava might conceivably have done it in the past. (Plus d5xp).
(Shifty was given most of this info, and the team correctly deduced the likely importance of magic and larva therein).
If the players (probably including Shifty) conclude that whatever bored through the rock did so with an instrument of immense heat, possibly lava-like or magical in nature, without a good Int roll, then award an extra 2d8xp, to any player for explicitly sharing this info or explicitly asking Shifty about it.

The narrow tunnel is silent and dark apart from your guttering torches.

Any players wishing to look ahead will be awarded d10xp for snuffing out their torches in order to espy anything further along. A soft yellow light is visible at the far end of the tunnel from 90 yards or so.

I2 – The Dwarf Stash
You enter into a natural cavern with a smooth flat floor, the soft light that you saw is from a pair of ember burning braziers set either side of the cavern. (Players who suggest reasons for this probably formed when lava settled out into it should be awarded d8+3xp and given a plus 10% to their next perception test). The walls glitter in much the same way as the walls of the fissure, (giving the players another opportunity to make observations on it, see I1, above. Towards the far side lies a large heavy looking, flat metal chest, about 10 feet long by 5 feet wide and stout at 2 feet high. On its lid you see depicted the raven of Morr, hammered out in profile. The eye of the raven is round, and painted bright white, and your friend, Jalid Fulist, reads aloud the words “costly burial” that are engraved beneath it in the language of Morr.
You cannot see any latches or obvious means of opening it, though there are hinges along the back edge. Players are awarded d4xp for asking Jalid how to open it or d8xp for pre-empting him.
“Though of course I am familiar with the symbol, this is an unusual shape for a coffin. My teaching strongly forbids disturbing the dead once they are put to rest, but if you are determined then you might perhaps try placing a coin over the eye of the bird and trading with him the fee of passage. Again, I wouldn’t recommend it.” He offers up a silent prayer.
This doesn’t work unless they use a ruby, which they can later retrieve with a very hard strength test. (D6xp). Attacking the chest with an axe or pickaxe (d3xp) takes rolling an 8 or more for damage on the first strike, and requires the player wielding the axe to hit just between the lid and the main body of the chest, a straight Ws test at 5% test. Any other hits that miss simply result in tiny scratches appearing on the surface.
In order to open the chest easily, a player must place a wick or other heat source over the eye at which point you hear a click and then the lid slowly rises on springs. Getting the chest open awards the party d5
2xp each. (The players struggle to open the chest, but then succeed, full marks for effort.)
“Morr is watching us closely, comrades.” Says Jalid as it swings up. Inside you can see the bones of a tall, black robed humanoid, a roll of parchment clutched tightly in his dead hand. Over each of his eyes you see a silver coin, and around his neck you see a chain (worth d12gc but conferring no other benefits) with a small eagle (the symbol of the Gold order) painted in white over the black pendant.
Jalid advises “leaving the coins” in place, “unless you feel that Morr will be lenient when you take your final rest.”
Using his intelligence Maxen can attempt to decipher the text of the parchment:
Free: Most of the parchment is covered in old but not ancient lettering, some of it faded over time, and some worn away by the running of the priest’s vapours through it after he died. The rest is barely legible but what little you can see is in old Reiklander. You can clearly make out the words: Chamon, the term for the Golden wind of Magic, and further references to Alchemical Thaumaturgy, (that is the use of heat and cold and other chemical processes to create substances of a magical and or valuable nature) and also the word magnetism, but beyond this, the meaning is unclear. (D3+3xp)
0-8% dos: you get the impression that this paper was a missive from the Golden order to the Morr priest who held it, asking him to desist from further research. (D4+3xp)
9-13% dos: Drawing hard on your memory you are just able to decipher the following text, with patches that are simply too badly run to read: “Concerning the dangers …and of powerful…outside of our noble houses…is regarded seriously as…you not a man of peace? Since …long establish…an order with…her heart…we give you exactly 1 month to…your…stone is a myth and shall likely…It trails off. (D4+5xp)
14-23% dos: At the bottom of the letter you can just make out what looks like the beginning of a prayer to Morr, written in a tongue more ancient than the rest, and therefore too difficult to read literally, but the gist is one of begging for forgiveness. (D3+5xp)
24-35%: Your reading this brings to mind the old Morrish proverb about a Magister of the Gold Order, one Metru Nenuik, who was slain by his own order for being in league with the dark powers. Metru died ranting that he’d found and then hidden the mythological Lodestone, a mythological container made from particularly rare and magnetically charged alloys. More importantly, in the story of the Lodestone, it was supposedly filled with pure liquid Chamon by the Golden Magisters in centuries past as a means of safeguarding their Aethyric investments. Nenuik thought that by seeking Morr’s co-operation he could cross into the realm of death and return safely if he gave Morr the Lodestone, a bargain that Morr refused. (D5xp+6xp)
(I had such fun imagining all this that I decided to share it all with Maxen and the others without any real demands on Varagon’s Int score.)
36% or more: You recall that in the story Nenuik failed because Morr regarded Chamon as a living substance, and therefore he could never accept it as legal tender in his realm. If the player asks Jalid what he knows: >>“Yes, I remember it was a favourite story of my mother’s every Saturday when the market was out in full force. I never expected it to be more than an old myth, but here we may have evidence that someone believed it could be done. To return from Morr’s realm indeed! My mother spoke of it being more likely for a witch hunter to pass through a mutant’s spare eye than for a Chamonic Magister to enter Sigmar’s holy realm with nought for the boatman but the usual two silver coins of crossing. The foolish Magister should have known he would fail. I’ve always believed it is not only pointless to try and trade with Morr, but potentially damaging to one’s…long term prospects. It may be that this man’s spirit lies here still, unable to rest.”
(D10+6xp to party).
Maxen is particularly cunning in his attempts to ascertain more info from me or from Jalid, so is allowed to subtract 4% more to his roll and should be awarded an extra d8+d2xp.
If any player states that they are examining the coffin by removing the dead body, hand them the piece of paper with “Morr forgive me” written at the top, saying: it seems you are not the only one interested in uncovering dangerous mysteries, and hand out 2D4+2xp to that individual, The Morrish priest will not be impressed with this action, however, and if forced at any point to heal the party, will not that player until last.
If nobody searches the coffin, have the Morrish priest notice the second scroll sticking up from under the dead man’s shirt, and share it with Varagon (Maxen): “What’s this? It is not written in a language I am at all familiar in. You might do better to keep this, Varagon, being as you are the student here.” It is written in the ink of magic, meaning Varagon will be the only one to understand it, but he is encouraged to spell it out to the others.
While the players attempt to translate Shifty’s letter, Jalid will attempt to cast blessings upon them and himself as a means of protecting them from whatever is within, though he will do so from a safe distance, setting up a perimeter of lights and incanting positive rights.
“I suggest you be quick if you are to avoid whatever malign influence is held within from detecting you. I will spend some time incanting a right of Morr’s blessing; feel free to join me.”
(I should have been less forthcoming about just how potentially dangerous this blessing was.)
If any players can translate Shifty’s letter in less than half an hour, they should be awarded 4d8+8xp each. If it takes the party less than one hour they can have 2d8+5xp each. Unsuccessful but enthusiastic attempts can be awarded d8+4xp each.
(The players managed to translate most of the letter over a two hour period, and in the event I gave them the full translation, rewarding Shifty with more xp for particular effort).
Upon translating it, the soul of the dead man is released as a spectre: if the players joined the priest in setting up his prayer, or in offering up their own prayers, or managed to translate it within an hour, the ghost will not a attack. In any case it releases a shrill cry of anguish as it rises from its prison and into the aethyr. You also hear a thunderous laugh that is so loud you are knocked to your knees clutching your bleeding ears (toughness test or lose d2 wounds), though the sound doesn’t seem to come from the spectre as such, but rather from within your owns heads. (D2 insanity points each).
(The players decided to translate the letter and then leg it to a safe distance. I should’ve seen that coming! The spectre simply faded after going BOOM, which was probably sensible given the players had no magic weapons at this point.)
Spectre stats are on page 110 of the bestiary. Players standing within 4 yards of the priest will remain unharmed by it. If players took a long time translating Shifty’s letter then they will need to write a letter of supplication, written in the same tongue (i.e. roughly translatable by me and Jalid). He will then use this letter to ward off and send away the spectre. Removing the spectre ends the adventure if time is getting on. Award the players 2d20+3d10+4d6+5d5+1d12+6xp (averaged and divided equally) if they do so. Cue dramatic rescues!

J – The Slippery section.
You find yourself at the top of a natural landing, and the tunnel curves slowly round to your right and then gradually down a slope that is wet on it’s leftmost edge; water trickles steadily down along a natural gutter in the 35 degree slope from a small cleft in the rock above you on the left of the landing.
Players who make educated guesses about the source of the water or where it runs to can be awarded d6xp for the party.
As your approach the middle of the slope you notice a flow of warm, moist air rising to meet you, and can see dull white light leaking from the cave at the base of the slope some 100 yards away. At your feet you see the gutter shallows out to nothing, and the water flows from its end on the left and spreads across the whole slope, where moss grows in abundance.
Players are given (d8+3xp) for imaginative use of rope or other climbing techniques. The walls of this section provide no handholds.
Agility checks made in abundance; give Edgar the benefit of a low centre of gravity combined with the fact that he’s carrying less than the dwarfs. If the players continue down the slope: You begin to slide down…surfing the moss! The slope levels off at the end of the tunnel.
(Edgar does a good job of skiing down the slope, and shouts up to Varagon that all is safe. Shifty had not yet arrived to play, and so the form of the adventure required killing time before he arrived, so I threw in a half dozen rats to keep Edgar and Maxen on their toes, which felt messy. Again, better to play with 3 Player Characters from the outset.)

K – The Natural Spa
The tunnel comes to an end in an open archway, which opens out into a wide, conical shaped cave lit from high above by daylight that pours through a round opening. The smell of salts and mild sulphurs rises slowly in the air above a large roughly circular pool of warm water that has a faint yellowish tinge to it.
Players may wish to test the water, but it has no effect besides being more buoyant than ordinary fresh water, although if they stay in it for more than 10 minutes or so, there skin will start to wrinkle much more severely than it usually would. Drinking the water is dangerous! Anyone who does must pass an easy (20) willpower test, or keep drinking for dToughness/10 rounds, and for each of those rounds s/he must take a toughness test, starting at easy (20), and increasing in difficulty each round. If that player fails a toughness test they will have 48hours to find a priest of Shallya, or turn ghoulish.
The water tastes bitter, the mixture of salt and sulphur churning your insides, but it is very thirst quenching, and you find the urge to continue drinking irresistible.
Players not drinking the water are allowed an opportunity to notice the drinking player with a routine (10) Int test. If by the penultimate round they still haven’t spotted that their comrade is drinking greedily, then: Your comrade has taken on an insatiable thirst, and wishes to drink the pool dry. It is to be hoped that they will physically restrain him from drinking any more before it is too late. (D53xp). OR
You feel sick with the water flooding your gut; yet still don’t stop drinking it. Eventually you throw up your last ration into the pool, (d6+2wounds that ignores armour), and collapse by its rim, gurgling with dissatisfaction.
They may wish to clean their weapons in it, but this will abrade the weapon, giving it a 5% chance of breaking (if a fumble is rolled, then roll again and on a result of 01-20% the weapon breaks).
If there are any new characters joining the party, now might be the time to introduce them. If the players have not already encountered the Cave Eel, or have encountered it but not killed it now would be a good time to have it re/introduced:
As you approach the pool, relieved at having found a break in the darkness, a ten-foot long water snake rears up out of the pool, keen to defend its young, who can be seen wriggling under the surface of the warm water. It hisses madly at you as it slithers towards you, and its scales make a horrid rustling sound across the stone surrounding the pool. The snake looks to be in the advanced stages of shedding its skin; chunks of blue flesh hang from it like thick vellum.

(The 3 players now all present, they climb out of the cavern, or rather attempt to do so, by hoisting up a rig to the hole in the top of this cave. They then overpower the second snake, Shifty doing some particularly heroic jumping down on it. Edgar’s slingshots are going off too well, and so he cracks it’s skull. I was disappointed with myself for making this encounter so easy, but Shifty remembers it favourably. Maxen goes for a suicide pact with Edgar from restless boredom, and they try to drown themselves intentionally in the sulphurous rock-pool, diving after a flipping hand-axe, for heaven’s sake. I make it difficult for Maxen, then argue with him about so-called drowning “rules”. Luckily Shifty pulls Varagon to safety with his last breath, and Varagon coughs up a light couple of wounds).
If the players have already encountered the water snake and have killed it, then have them encounter another with more ghoulish stats, as follows:
Ws Bs S T Ag Int Wp Fel
39 0 37 41 52 22 49 11
A W SB TB M Mag IP Fp
2 29 3 4 5/8 0 0 0

Skills: Hypnotism, Swim,
Talents: Frightening, Lightening reflexes, Natural Weapons (teeth), Resistance to poison, Strike mighty blow, Flee! Keen senses, poisoned bite (2damage on failed toughness test), fearless.
Trappings: Impressive fangs.
Armour: 2 to all
Any player who rolls Ulric’s fury may then add +1 damage when fighting this creature, owing to its tender underbelly.
Players can cast blessing spells or prayers over the water, and this will add another 12 hours to the time it takes someone to turn into a ghoul, but this must be done before the water is drank. (D8
6xp).

(The session ends here, with my nerves thoroughly frayed from arguing rules with Maxen. [GMaxen says: sorry P.J.! I mean it!] He incurs a dip in xp for arguing using player knowledge of the core rules. I dish everyone out about 100xp in the event, and feel thwarted as a GM for allowing myself to be so manipulated. I am pleased that in the end the adventure was reasonably well executed; all three players appreciated my attention to detail and my evocative narrative of the caverns and religious/magic back story. I left the session believing I had been over prepared, and intended to run the next session much more on the fly, thus better allowing me to navigate the choppy and changeable waters of improvisation.)

Latest session – 01/05/2011

So, the players leave the cave system at the eastern edge of the Grey Mountains and find a small village – Clithorpe – on the far side. Here they buy a meal or two for 6 brass each, and some rations (2 rations for 4brass pennies, 8 rations for 12bp or thereabouts, as well as some iron tongs for handling Shifty’s green stone, and meet the human Roadwarden called Zunryu, played by newcomer Valraven. Edgar is out of play, so the party – including the ever-reliable Jalid (pronounced Yalid), leave Edgar Fleetfoot in Clithorpe, and begin the 3 week hike, north to Nuln, following the river along a tow path, Les’ light warhorse in tow.
To kick things off, talk in Clithorpe concerns the nature of Shallya, Goddess of Mercy, when Varagon talks to Jalid over a pipe and an ale. I award Maxen the academic knowledge – religion skill, after Varagon demonstrates considerable understanding of the “Old Faith”; a conglomerate of paganism, healing and the positive spirit inherent in all nature. I (or rather Jalid) express the development of Taal and Rhya as modern embodiments of a similar religious type; nature inherent in spirit, bifurcations of fertility and fecundity. More reading for me! I want Varagon to trust that his conversations with Jalid reveal genuinely useful information, so I will study Taal and Rhya further. Varagon originates in Norse country, where Taal is more predominant as the masculine embodiment of the warrior-like nature typical of the Norsemen.
Shifty is directed by a Clithorpe resident to find one “Johann Fletcher” who works out of a store in Nuln called the “Flagrant Vagrant”, a pub at the front and weapon store at the back, the latter open only on weekends. Johann Fletcher (not yet encountered) also has a keen interest in weapon modification, thus allowing Shifty to pursue his weapon designs further down the line. Any sketches he wishes to draw/notes he wants to make between sessions will result in more rapid weapon creation…
I talked then with Les about his first and new character, Zunryu. We agreed that his parents travelled from far Cathay some years before he was born, far to the East of the World’s Edge Mountains, even further east than dune-swept Araby, hence Zunryu has swarthy skin and long lashes that cover slanting eyes. He has for the last 8 years or so been a Roadwarden who aided and oversaw the protection of Clithorpe’s eastern road; it has become increasingly quiet with the general retreat of beastmen and other menaces further north over the last few months.
The party moves out at day break, and by ten or so in the morning they top a rise and meet the main river flow heading east-northeast, where they quickly espy a trade barge carrying two Dwarves; Paul McByers, the boats owner and captain, and Gretchen, his companion and aide. Zunryu raises his pistol at them immediately, his wariness presumably a first jolt of anxiety at being so far west outside his homeland, but Jalid stays his hand in order that they might parley, and so the party engage the new duo in chat. Cue much thickly accented speech and easy roleplay.
It turns out that the Scotch sounding Paul and Norse sounding Gretchen have lost a number of crew to passing brigands, and so they grudgingly offer the PCs a schilling a day each if they will help protect the barge, crew and (lumber & coal) cargo from theft or damage until they reach Nuln, with a further 90bp on arrival if successful. Varagon is adept in bartering.
All obliging, the barge sets off. The day passes uneventfully, the barge travelling at a moderate 2 or 3 knots, and although slightly slower than walking, is certainly a stylish, relaxing way to travel. The players enjoy the undulating scenery, and are also given meals and bunks. Les’ horse walks alongside, tethered to the front end of the boat.
Around dusk the steam-powered barge moors on the Northern bank of the 30foot wide river, and the horse is tied up securely for the night. Varagon takes first watch alongside Jalid at the helm, and the others while away an hour gambling around a table in the fore of the barge, opposed intelligence checks against the dealer – Paul – who finishes better off than Shifty or Zunryu, while Gretchen kneads bread for the morrow’s breakfasting under the failing light of a gas lamp over the kitchen area half way along the boat.

All at once, Varagon raises the alarm. He has heard the horse whinnying at something, and so alerts his comrades before hopping easily to the north bank and tow path, pulling out his trusty axe. He can now hear a chittering laughter and ugly scratching noises coming from beyond the wall on the land-side of the bank. First to respond to the alert is Gretchen, who dashes out and recognises the sound as goblinoid scum. She dashes for Zunryu’s horse, in order to free it in case anything goes awry, but Zunryu shouts “Leave my horse and take the goblins!” She obliges as Shifty reaches the helm, whereupon he fires a sure shot into the first visible Goblin’s chest, splitting its heart in two!
Paul makes for the helm, and Jalid runs to the left onto the first coal caravan, preparing to let the goblins advance before striking. Varagon is up and on the wall and determined to go straight into the pack of uglies, narrowly dodging a reactive slice by the deceased’s nearest comrade. The next greenskin to make himself known shouts an angry curse at Varagon, but can do little to reach him quickly in the tall marsh grasses.
Gretchen leaps the wall easily and is down on the head of the nearest goblin before it can say “Stunty woman break my skull”. Zunryu leaves his pistol aboard, swaps to his dagger, and runs to help at the break in the wall where Varagon stands readying his attack after Gretchen.
Varagon launches his first strike, swinging his axe wildly towards the shoulder of the nearest foe. His aim is wide as he is still atop the wall, and so after only nicking the greenskin’s arm, Varagon’s stout body follows and he drops down into the fray. Paul moves to the link between the main barge and the cargo, hoping to defend his livelihood as a good captain should.
After a moment’s hesitation and snivelling, the goblins launch a counter-offensive; they spread out, one moving to another break in the wall to the right, hoping to flank, while the others close on Gretchen.
McStabalot wants to fire again but would risk hurting Gretchen or Varagon, so drops his crossbow at the helm and switches to his axe before dropping to the bank. Varagon launches another angry strike, this goes wide, but pushes the goblin back, who stumbles in the marsh, leaving it vulnerable. Gretchen howls in glee and buries her dagger in it’s quivering throat.
Paul stays put, and Jalid prepares a pistol shot. He is not proficient, but he is desperate. Zunryu reaches the wall behind Gretchen and hops up ready for action.
The horse is badly panicked, and so has got tangled in the rope and fallen down on the tow path, prone, and now the flanking goblin leaps onto the wall above the horse, a greedy glimmer of hunger dripping from its hatred-filled nostrils. Shifty sees the danger immediately and moves in, anger powering his speedy advance.
Varagon is frustrated by the thick grasses, and cannot move quickly enough to engage the enemy. He tries to charge, but his strike is hindered and goes low, chopping the grasses down to size. Gretchen has the look of a thousand grudges in her fierce eyes as she slices again at the nearest goblin, this time only making it angrier. Luckily for her, immediately after it hews at her leg, Jalid’s pistol shot passes low over Varagon’s head and breaks the goblin’s face.
There are now only three goblins left. The first sees the others falling and decides to break for freedom, narrowly avoiding the dagger that Zunryu brings up where it’s chest was a moment ago.
The flanking Goblin jumps down and buries it’s dagger deep in the poor horses thigh, narrowly missing its heart. Shifty charges in and launches a fierce attack on the horses death-bringer, catching it squarely under the arm in an upward arc. He separates the goblin’s arm from it’s ugly body, and it goes down squealing. The last remaining goblin struggles to reach Gretchen, unaware that he is totally outclassed, but Varagon moves forward and beats it back, burying his axe in its scrawny hip, which turns to pulp. The battle is over and the party heals up fine. The horse undergoes some reparative healing, but is still deeply traumatised and bleeding slowly, so will need to rest for at least two whole days, then after perhaps be sent back to the stables in Clithorpe for a time. It certainly cannot bear the weight of a rider for a week or more, at least not without seriously powerful healing draughts.
The team set the ugly, broken bodies of the greenskins on fire. Unfortunately this attracts a couple of curious and hungry orcs, a big ******* and his scrawny mate. They are soon dispatched and scared off respectively, (retribution, anyone?) and the session closes soon after Zunryu finds some poison darts, along with a few coin which is shared amongst the others. He then hacks off the gauntlet of the lead orc, which has similarly poisoned claws. Xp was given for outstanding heroism, good fortune, death-dealing, barter, gambling, watchfulness, and of course most importantly inquisitive and intentional roleplay, as always.
A good session.
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Max is running a new character, an ashen-haired young Human mercenary called Valdes, who begins the adventure with plenty of stories about dispatching Orcs. He helped keep them at bay when they repeatedly attempted to raid his home town, a …fort many miles inside the Empire’s western region of Ostermark. Of course Valdes understands the value of making a reasonable living killing poorly organised squads of greenskins, but in his heart he feels a growing suspicion that violent conduct is not necessarily the most fulfilling way of going about things. But, like a typical Ostermarkan, he tends to keep these feelings to himself.
Following the apparantly ceaseless trail of orcish blood, Valdes finds himself south and east of the Grey Mountains, where he first encounters (NPCs) Varagorn, Zunryu and Zunryu’s injured horse by the river side, and they spend a little time talking, Valdes ascertaining their plans. It turns out that Varagorn and Zunryu are on their way back to Clithorpe to rest up and heal the steed fully, or more realistically replace it, before heading back west to the lofty Grey Mountains to unearth whether stories of a new and potentially dangerous cult could be substantiated. (Max kindly accepts the hints that this adventure is for another time…)
After also hearing from the two travellers that a trade barge bound for Nuln lost all of its wood cargo in a second raid in three nights, Valdes decides to try and catch up with the barge to see if he can help rebuild and restock it. Having bought a few meagre rations from Varagorn, Valdes reckons he has enough supplies to last till he reaches the moored barge providing he’s careful, and so begins the three days hike west along the river Altek.
After a long day’s lonely march over low hills on the north side of the river, Valdes comes across a herd of 2 dozen cows swathed in early evening mists, filling their bellies by the grass-banked river. The cows are fenced in on 3 sides of a large field, which measures roughly 2 hectares, and a modest farm building sits at one corner of the land, smoke ambling from its brick chimney.
Valdes is already getting hungry, and as he lacks any real skill with regard to hunting or foraging in the wilds, so he approaches the dusk-lit building and makes peaceable conversation with the farmer, Milo, in the hope of earning enough food and further rations to continue.
Milo tells Valdes that ‘me and the wife Kerry have lost a few cows to thieves recently’, so Valdes offers to keep watch for them over night, as well as helping to milk in the morning, both in exchange for food. Naturally Milo agrees, and then swans off to bed, leaving Valdes with enough dry timber for a fire and beef gruel to keep himself warm. Valdes pitches up in the corner of the field opposite the farmhouse, but instead of making a fire, he eats hungrily and draws his thick cloak around him.
Just as he is trying not to doze off, Valdes hears a disturbance from outside the farmhouse. Warily he investigates, his crossbow at the ready, but it turns out to be Kerry, who was being kept awake by the cowbells. She unhitches the offending articles and goes back inside with a nod to our hero-in-the-making.
Valdes then hears another kerfuffle coming from the hay barn ‘round the back, where he uncovers a single very angry, very large spider with chitinous armour. It attempts to bite through Valdes boots and fails, bending its teeth. Valdes slices a couple of its legs off, it tries to flee, but then he runs it through with his sword. The blood sizzles as the cat-sized spider dies, the fluid creating deep holes in the hay. Some kind of acid, perhaps. Valdes steps back in disgust, his nose curling. Woken by the noise of Valdes’ surprise, Milo comes out and swiftly hoists the spider’s corpse into the river with a pole-arm, before explaining that the hay barn was ‘infested with the bloody things back in summertime. That was probably the last of them’, Milo says, but in any case neither of them bothers to suggest finding out for sure at this ungodly hour.
After an otherwise restful night, Valdes sets off in the morning with the couple’s gratitude; 20 silver, a quart of milk and another of grog, and 2 days fresh beef rations. He wishes them well in finding the cattle-thieves and continues along the Altek.
Before long he reaches the barge – The Birch Belle – and it’s there that he meets Shifty Mcstabalot for the first time, a Dwarven Shield breaker, who has been manning it while the Dwarven captain, Mcbyers, his first mate, Gretchen and a Moorish priest – Jalid, have gone north in search of timber to reconstruct and then replace the wood that was cut adrift in a raid by greenskins some four nights ago (or 7 months in real time!)
Shifty and Valdes attempt to reconstruct the last float of the barge from the remnants of what was left, but they are hampered without the proper tools and only a passing knowledge of carpentry. They discuss moving north to find the 3 other members of the crew, but neither are happy about this because according to the map on the barge, the nearest trees are three days north and that would mean leaving the safety of the barge.
The good news is Shifty has acquired a storm lantern from the barge’s hold, and so, after it becomes obvious that stocks of food on the barge are running dangerously low, he and Valdes take a short walk to hunt for fresh rabbit, staying in view of the barge in case the goblins return. The sun is setting when they begin exploring the surrounding fields.
Hunting rabbit is a fairly straightforward task for someone who knows how to create a snare, but since neither of them are particularly skilled at this, they decide to team their imaginations together to bolster their chances. They are in luck, soon finding a warren of twenty or so rabbit living in the cleft of a nearby field. The two hunters suggest that rabbit might get scared of bright light, but instead of running, might simply stop dead in their tracks, making them easier to shoot. I like the idea and run with it, so they succeed in sneaking close enough before Shifty opens one side of the lantern in the eyes of a rabbit, who panics and freezes. Valdes shoots this one down with a single bolt of his crossbow, before the rest high-tail it, and the hungry heroes walk back to the barge for stew.
While Shifty and Valdes were out concentrating on their supper, the 3 other crew members return with some timber. They haven’t brought enough to finish the reconstruction, but at least they have a hunk of fresh venison and a big sprig of herbs and berries to help things along. Mcbyers says that ‘one more trip into the wilds for the last of the necessary wood will have to be undertaken before the barge can continue its journey to Nuln’, but at least Valdes has a good meal for a change, and he’s now also in the employ of Mcbyers for much needed cash.
Bloody Sunday Campaign Day 6. The Badger Cull. Date 18/12/11. Present: GM, Luke Calloway, Josh, Simon and Robin.
by Rob Bailey
The night passes uneventfully. Early the next morning Drummond is up looking to help the Dwarves find Thorbane, but they have slipped away west into the mines around Grey mountains already, following their incorrect assumption that Thorbane… loves being underground. Adz enjoys a lie-in, and is awoken by the landlord, who insists that food and lodgings are on [the Inn-keepers] basis, and breakfast time has long since passed. Reluctantly Adz leaves the tavern, and goes to the general store in search of fresh rations. On his way he sees Byers and Gretchen waiting with their supplies already purchased. Adz enters ‘The Mellifluous Magi’, and meets the shopkeeper – a dark skinned and haired Arabian, with a well-travelled accent to match. Goodness gracious me!
After purchasing a little food, Adz attempts to steal back the silver that just crossed the Arabian’s palm. He fails, and the Arabian – Mista Ford – shouts at him to leave immediately and not come back. On Adz way out he spots a trinket…a lamp. Yes – one of the magic variety! Ford goes into a gesticulating panic when he sees Adz quickly give the lamp a rub, so Adz nips out the door onto the street and Ford slams the shop door behind him, barring it from the inside. Pale green smoke siphons from beneath the shop’s door, and after ruining his new hand-axe trying to get back in, Adz waits for the smoke to solidify.
It’s Genie time! This genie is portly, has blue skin covered in bright red freckles that emit more of the smoke, and wears his hear in two pig tails. He is taken as a temporary (n)pc by Simon, granting Adz ONE wish! This could be any GM’s worst nightmare, but in very adept fashion Simon plays the: ‘you can have one wish, but I will interpret it in any way I like’ game. So, what would YOU wish for? Of course this is a difficult one to get right, and that turns out to be a great measure of the fun of it. With Adz’ fondness for the good life, so decides (at the fairly heavy cost of a single fate point), he wants a purse of priceless parsimony, and this is exactly what he gets.
The Genie says ‘if anyone ever asks you for money, you will find it in exactly the right quantity inside your purse.’ This leads to much hilarity, with Luke playing within the bounds of player knowledge, so he pretends not to be aware that the added caveat invented by Simon is that all the coin be in brass pennies! The imagined result is of the purse overflowing, bulging endlessly with coins on request. We all really enjoyed this, but being a GM occasionally comes with a price – sometimes one has to step in and make things just a little…rounder, shall we say. I imposed two additional caveats on Adz’ purse which Simon will only now be aware of. Namely that this occurrence was limited to a maximum of thrice daily, and that the purse itself is limited by it’s size to a maximum of three hundred coins. As 240 brass is the equivalent of 1 gold coin, this purse is effectively a nice little earner without being a hazardously powerful toy. Also, it works for anyone who acquires it, motivating Adz to take good care to conceal it’s powers. Sadly I am unwilling to negotiate the correctness of this; my standpoint is likely to remain fixed. At least…if they can re-acquire the now heavily guarded lamp…then who knows? Simon now owns use of the Genie as a currently dormant NPC.
So, after grabbing the shopkeeper and demanding food, Thorbane acquires 3 weeks good rations, and he uses this as barter to join the group. Drummond is naturally more than happy to accept…They all set off east towards the barge at 11am. In the middle of the afternoon they meet Varagon, Zunryu and a badly injured horse coming the other way, and after some confusion, a spilled sack of coin and some offence which is best forgotten, the main group continue eastward, Varagon’s eyes boring needles into Adz’ back.
After a long march along the north bank of the river, they make camp at dusk…Adz volunteers to take first watch and all is quiet…initially. But then…Robin arrives and takes on the role of Gretchen. Luke is now playing Byers as well as Adz, while I continue to run Jalid as a source of light healing and religious wisdom. Drummond attempts to teach Jalid a little Tilean, but Jalid is too tired for languages. All but Adz go off to sleep, Thorbane having fallen into a contented, wine-induced snore.
An hour or so later, Adz hears a scrabbling, grunting noise coming from the bushes some 20 yards away. He nudges Drummond awake, who listens and determines wild boar as the source – generally only unfriendly if provoked…which is exactly what they do! First off, Adz raises the alarm when a larger, hairier creature flies in from the left and attacks the three wild boars. The heroes stand ready for attack, Jalid grabs a flaming stick, and Drummond loads his six-shooter.
One boar screeches off and away, it’s short tail curled down. Another of the boar is mauled to death by what turns out to be a giant badger with a club for a tail. Drummond assumes (correctly) that the club is a racial feature, rather than a mutation. In any case he fires a shot as the 10 foot long badger piles into view playing with a recently cleaved four-foot tusk. The third and last living boar skitters out from behind cover of the brush, and Gretchen plays entirely within character, immediately cleaving at it with her sword as it tries to run past. This brings the boar to a sudden halt, jarring its neck. It turns on Gretchen just as Thorbane launches a high attack on its flank which only slashes it.
The giant badger is set upon by Drummond’s pistol shots and Byers’ sword. Adz throws his knife at it, which sticks in its flank. Then Jalid throws his flaming torch, which falls short. The boar stabs his tusks at Gretchen’s middle, but she gets off lightly to begin with – is only badly bruised, and steps back. Another of Drummond’s bullets causes the badger to go into a frenzy, and it becomes a whirling mass of black and white hair. It lashes out at Adz, who got too close and promptly loses his left leg to its claws just below his hip joint. He collapses in shock and Luke chooses to expend his second and last fate point in order to remain alive. By doing so, the burning stick (that still lies where Jalid landed it) is kicked up by the whirling wild badger, spins through the air and lands smack bang on Adz bleeding stump, staunching the blood immediately.
Gretchen meanwhile has taken a sorry goring from the wild boar, also losing her left leg from below the knee. She chomps at the bit, and lets loose a cackle of adrenalin-mad laughter. The boar and badger are put down. The badger pelt is carved off by Drummond. After cleaning it in the river he folds it over his frame as a hairy, white striped cloak. Being of Kislevian descent, Drummond knows a thing or two about keeping warm!
Healing and experience are handed out, Adz then takes the loose tusk and whittles out the thick end, using it as a replacement leg. In four weeks or so of game time he will be comfortable walking on it, but for now Luke suffers heavy penalties to Move, Weapon Skill and Agility stats, inevitably. Gretchen is in a similar position.See more
20 December 2011 at 11:04
Campaign Day 7 – Hunting Goblins. Present: GM (Jalid, Byers, Gretchen, Thorbane, Valdes), Luke (Adz), Josh (Drummond), Matt Sampson (Shifty Mcstabalot), Matt (Elina). Date 08/01/12

Play begins by rolling up Matt’s new character, the halfling field warden, Elina. She has an inquisitive way of going about things. After leaving The Moot – akin to Tolkien’s ‘Shire’ – with a powerful case of wander-lust, which is just what every adventurer needs to give them a kick up the arse, of course. She tends to take the ‘wander’ part of the expression fairly literally.
After some years travel west through the fields and by the rivers, miraculously untroubled by beasts of the dark dells…she finds herself footloose in Wissenland, and happens to meet the other adventurers at the moored barge, The Birch Belle. Shifty has been keeping a close eye on things with Jalid the Morrish initiate bearing a reactive receptivity. Also on board is Gretchen, the purple-eyed, yellow haired, wild hearted Dwarf, who is in a foul mood owing to her lost leg and incumbent disabilities.
The Belle’s captain Byers and fellow hire-lancer Valdes had been back once again to Rorhausen to get loan of a horse and cart for the transporting of fine pinewood timbers back to the Belle from nearby Fluorn Forest. Valdes decides to stay in Rorhausen a few days, however, to better acquaint himself with the fine maiden who works the tables of The Clithorpe Inn. (In Wiltshire possibly – ed).
Thorbane is given to repairing the Birch Belle, but this goes awry as he is out of good timber. So he travels alone, North to the woods, carrying a map given to him by Gretchen and an axe to get started. The rest of the crew hear nothing from him for a couple of days.
Shifty has elaborated upon his weapon designs in some detail, and the results are intriguing. For example, he wants to include the fashioning of carrier-bullets in the design, intending that these should hold small amounts of different potions; liquids that burst through the front of the bullet by means of extra weight at the back of each one that force through into the bloodstream on impact. He suggests these include poisons, strong sleeping draughts, and even healing shots. This could well prove to be an important and adaptable weapon in the heat of battle. Naturally it will be costly to source the potions and especially the metals – most likely the fine, dwarf-hewn ‘Gromril’, a strong and flexible substance. Also he still needs to find and meet his best contact in Nuln – the weapon seller Johann Fletcher, owner of the Flagrant Vagrant Inn. As well as selling some good quality weapons and sharing an interest in weapon modification, Johann is bound to know a good blacksmith. If said blacksmith happens to be educated in the ways of alchemical processes, so much the better. Shifty states clearly that his designs are drawn in a way that only he can decipher, making it impossible for others to copy his handiwork. A nice touch.
Byers returns alone to the Birch Belle. He is very pleased to see Gretchen, but is as frustrated by her injuries as much as she is pained by them. Drummond is sympathetic to their plight, and offers all his help in finding the Goblinoids who got them in this mess, so that he can fix things for them. Byers agrees that his help would be valuable indeed.
Adz is also badly injured, so decides to stay with Jalid and Gretchen to recuperate and assist in keeping the Belle from ‘cough’ harm. Byers, Shifty, Drummond and Elina decide to hike north for good timber to mend and replenish the barge, duly setting off for Fluorn Forest early the next morning with the horse and cart. Any Goblins they get to kill along the way is all to the good.
After setting off and leaving the others, Byers and Drummond stop briefly for lunch in the dell of a wide valley, while Shifty looks for wild game for his empty stew pot, Elina following him at a meandering distance, hugging the trees…literally. Evidence of a recent encounter with the fairy queen, perhaps? Drummond sensibly checks his tools and weapons for wear and tear and enjoys his food, then sees that Byers is still upset by the fate of his drinking-mate Gretchen, so enquires if there’s anything else he can do. Byers says he’s concerned about the fate of the Belle as well as Gretchen, and that eating quickly so they can be on their way is the best thing.
Further ahead, Shifty has spotted two young boar. He approaches cautiously, keeping low, and gets to within range, loosing a shot from his crossbow. It falls short, but is close enough that they get spooked and flee through a small gap in a nearby hedge. They sprint off up the hill out of the valley, westward towards a woodland at the top of a rise, whereupon the two boar meet a worse fate by arrows shot from unknown archers from inside the woods. Three small greenskins run out to collect their bounty, all wearing armour above the waist. One of them still has an arrow notched, trained down on the hedge where he knows someone is hiding. As the other two greenskin scum start dragging the dead meat up to edge of the wood, Elina runs up behind Shifty and asks what’s going on. Shifty signals her to keep low and quiet. Still, the goblinoid spots Elina; He is about to try and thwart her attempt with her slingshot when, seeing the gobo is distracted, Shifty fires another bolt over the top of the hedge which buries in its green leg, tearing lethally through a major artery. The other two goblins leg it, so Shifty collects his seven rations of fresh boar meat, and the quartet turn back east towards Fluorn Forest, Byers in a more jovial mood.
Meanwhile back on the Barge, Adz is busy practicing his handstands with the intention of overcoming the problems involved in owning three limbs. His agility while upside down proves surprisingly useful in not knocking the barge to pieces! He also engages the morose Gretchen in a subtle variation of ‘higher or lower’. It is engrossing, but although Gretchen is grumpy and already three sheets to the wind, they both still finish having done no more than break even. Really Luke deserved to win more from that exchange – I should have awarded him a couple of Silver pieces for Gretchen’s thick-headedness. If you’re reading this, Luke, feel free to mark Adz’ coinage up.
The quartet travel for another four hours, during which time Adz and Jalid converse aboard the barge on religious matters, agreeing that any suffering that can be avoided should be avoided before entering Morr’s dark slumber most peacefully… while Gretchen snores loudly from her bunk.
Shifty, Byers, Drummond and Elina reach the edge of the woods and decide to use the last of the daylight to head inward. They move unperturbed through the sparsely wooded broadleaf of the southernmost tip of Fluorn Forest, before making camp at the edge of the more densely packed pines a few hours later.
The night is uneventful, and by 10am the four lumberjacks discover a clearing amongst the pines where signs of a recently abandoned camp lie in evidence. The wood here is ideal for their purposes of barge-repair, but the four are wary of fresh goblin raids, so investigate further and find an old stone tableau which appears to have been desecrated by greenskins for the purposes of bloody amusement.
Beyond this they find a slope leading down to a cavern. It is here that they meet Thorbane, who was glad to see them, though he has seen no sign of Goblins. Shifty decides he has would better abscond himself from further battles that day in order that lady luck stay on his side, so he returns to the scene of their last camp and waits it out, watching for attacks from the south. They will call on him if they actually get into trouble, or otherwise when they come back up and are ready to begin cutting timber. He uses the time to whittle four bullets from the harder tissue of the slain boar’s tusks.
The four scouts head down into the cavern and find nothing of any value, but do espy a deep shaft that plummets down into the dark earth. After much rope-twisting and some considerable forethought on Drummonds part, as well as some tricky climbing, the four are able to reach the bottom. Experience is handed out at the end of another intense and rewarding session.

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