Classic Fantasy Cyenannore (A Kage Gordain Story - Tunnels & Trolls)
#1
CHAPTER 1: GATHERING

[Prologue]

        As it was most nights, The Hare’s House Inn was alive with patrons. The bar was lined with rowdy men and women regaling each other with their tales of great deeds (though most of them dealt with mundane tasks such as finding a great sale at the store, building a chair, and many other “adventures” that kept them within the walls of Baybrook.). Tables were filled with parties either sharing a meal and drinks or playing a hand of cards or dice. Amongst everyone strode lovely barmaids and dapper servant boys taking and fulfilling orders.

[Image: AIL4fc8z1ppfGtA4rnauRl1Ht-Nxa779KZ2ym9mj...d68s=w2400]
The Hare's House Inn

In a back corner, four figures sat at a round table. Kristopher and Dalen the dwarf sat across from each other, their hands filled with cards. Nen the halfling and Tozhug the Urook filled the remaining seats on either side.  On the table were more cards grouped into sets of various colors and pictures. At the adjoining table, the warrior woman Kelseen sat on her own.

“Do you have a tower?” Dalen asked, looking into Kris’ eyes.

Kris narrowed his own eyes, studying the dwarf.  Slowly, he plucked a card from his hand and passed it to his opponent.  Dalen took the card, thought a moment, then confidently pulled three cards from his hand and laid them on the table: a green sword, a blue circle, and the red tower he just received.  Immediately, he turned to the Urook, awaiting a response.

The Urook looked at the card, gave a grunt, and shook his head up and down while Dalen smiled in victory and Nen chuckled in excitement. Kris just sighed.

“You guys are idiots,” Kelseen commented from the other table before taking a drink of her ale. “Why are you humoring them with that stupid game?”

“You don’t like “Urook Hunt?” Nen asked.

“The game is just “Hunt” with stupid rules because you couldn’t teach Tozhug how to play.”

Kelseen wasn’t wrong. Nen created the card game a couple of weeks ago after trying to teach the Urook how to play. (See the Epilogue to Kage Gordain) The simple game required you to make matches of four cards, either of a single symbol with different colors or vice versa. Tozhug, however, often tried to play the wrong number or combination of cards.  When Nen attempted+ to correct him, Tozhug would get angry and insist the set was a valid play. Nen, being roughly a third of the size of the imposing giant, eventually gave in. Instead of being a spoil-sport, Nen created a game of it and was eager to teach it to his friends.

“Tozhug determines if your set of cards scores a point?” Kelseen continued. “For no rhyme or reason. Who would put their future in the hands of an Urook?”

The three stared back blankly, knowing that, as close friends and teammates, Kelseen has put her literal future in Tozhug’s capable hands many times.

“It’s the unknown . . . the anticipation that makes it exciting!” Nen tried to explain. “You need to try it!”

“Give me your swords,” Kris broke in, getting back to the game.

Dalen handed him two of his cards. Kris placed one in his hand and laid the other down with two additional cards that matched its green color: a square and a shield. 

“Naog!” Tozhug barked, shoving the cards back to Kris agitated.

[Image: AIL4fc_APo9rqt9XKRZYrugrFG9Hhx3tUCUnE_yP...U0FE=w2400]
"Naog!"

“What do you mean ‘no’?” Kris yelled, jumping to his feet. “You let him play three. Are you bribing him, Dalen?”

Kelseen shook her head.  “I told you. Stupid!”

Just then, a young man in a serving apron approached the table and handed a note to Dalen. The dwarf thanked him and waved him off before opening the note and reading.

“This game will have to wait.  We being summoned . . . without delay.”

Kelseen finished the last of her mug and stood.  “C’mon Tozhug.  You and I will go first.”  The Urook followed the amber-haired woman across the room where they paused momentarily before entering a door to the tavern’s storeroom.  After a few minutes, Nen followed them.

“After you,” Dalen said to Kris when sufficient time had passed.

Kristopher got up from the table and, like the others, walked over to the door.  As he did, he glanced side to side to see who might be watching. His concern wasn’t someone harboring nefarious plans, but one of prudence. The storeroom door was not in direct sight of the main sitting room and its usage would rarely raise any suspicion, but several individuals entering one after another might spark someone’s curiosity.  Certain that no one was paying any attention, Kris grabbed the handle and nonchalantly walked through.

The room was nothing special as storerooms go.  Shelves lined the walls. Crates formed piles here and there. Corners were used to house barrels of all kinds of spirits. None of this interested the ex-outlaw. He walked past the wares and turned a corner. Along the furthest wall was a tall shelf that housed old worn-out supplies, like half-used candles, stained clothes, bent silverware, and dented mugs.  Kris approached the shelf and reached around the side.  His fingers found a latch and the unit pivoted forward, revealing a dark passageway.

The dark-haired man entered, pulled the shelf behind him, and continued down the tunnel that led to the basement below the Dragon’s Hoard Thrift Shop, the secret meeting room of the group of adventurers known as Kage Gordain.

CYENANNORE:
A Kage Gordain Story

<This is a solo roleplay using the Tunnels & Trolls ruleset (primarily version 5, mixed with changes from later versions and homebrew additions. Basically, whatever works with my style and solo play.)  This chapter is mainly narrative.  Mechanics, along with notes and explanations of the gameplay, will begin in the next chapter.
This is a continuation from my previous campaign “Kage Gordain.” While not necessary, you may want to read that adventure here. >

[Scene 1]

The basement was dark, lit only by a few lanterns hanging from hooks around the room and a single candle sitting on a plain rectangular table located toward the front side of the room.  The table was sparse with only a few pages of parchment. In the wall behind the table was an opening that led to a stairway up to the thrift store.  To the right table, in the corner, stood a mirror. In front of it was a wire stand holding three orbs of different gemstones: a ruby, an emerald, and an amethyst.  With the stones, a person could use the magic mirror to contact others attuned to it, but currently, it sat dark and untouched.
Behind the desk stood Garlan Notliegh, the owner of the Dragon’s Hoard and organizer of Kage Gordain. Garlen was a pudgy man with stringy black hair and a thin goatee.  He was dressed in a mildly dirty shirt and rough pants, typical of what a working shop owner might wear.

Facing the table are a couple of rows of simple wooden chairs. In them sat most of the members of Kage Gordain: Dalen Dimflayer, Kelseen Havensorrow, Nen Goldmore, and Kristopher Miglward. At his usual place in the back of the room, near the tunnel entrance from the inn, stood the Urook Tozhug Maat. The only member missing from the group was Sylralei Lumnum.

“Welcome,” Garlan began. “Sorry to call you here so suddenly.”

Kris was a bit surprised that the meeting had begun without all members present. He took one more glance behind him to see if the attractive, platinum-haired elf had silently entered through the tunnel. He had only attended a few of these meetings, but, as the leader of the ground, Sylralei was always present.

Not seeing her, Kris turned back and scanned the room again.  That’s when he noticed the group wasn’t alone. Hidden by the shadows in the corner to the left of the table was a hooded figure.  This unknown person sat silently. Kris wondered if they might be a new member of the crew, but if so, why were they not seated with the rest and how come he had never heard of them?

[Image: AIL4fc_aoyu0I4CgAji2_CxuMHqFjg6OlWJSkztd...J3Gk=w2400]
Dark Hooded Figure

“Our next mission is a bit different in a couple of ways,” Garlan explained. “For starters, it is personal.  Second, the client is here.”

The mysterious figure stood and stepped out into the light, drawing a slight gasp from Nen who had not seen them previously.  They raised a hand and pulled back the grey hood to reveal their face. 

The group stared questioningly into Sylralei’s eyes.

“Good evening,” she began, taking over the meeting. “I have decided to return home to Cyenannore. The journey can take more than two weeks and, while well it is mostly along well-used roads, circumstances can be unpredictable.  For that reason, I am hiring Kage Gordain to accompany me. Those of you joining me will be Dalen, Nen, and Kristopher.

“We shall leave at first light the day after next. That gives everyone tomorrow to gather supplies and make final arrangements. This journey has no special missions or additional information you need to know. It is a straightforward escort mission.”

Kristopher knew little about Cyenannore. Like most people, all he really knew about the town was that it existed primarily to support the Academy of Magic, from which the town took its name. Technically, the Academy provided a full education, but magic was its selling point and almost no one attended Cyenannore unless they were training to be a magician.

“Wow! I’m finally going to see the Academy!” Nen perked up. “How long are we staying?”

“The rest you may return once we have arrived,” Syl told them. “The next day if you want. I will be staying. My plans are to assist my father with the school.”

“What do you mean will be staying?” Kelseen asked suspiciously. “I thought you were running away from your father?”

“Over the past few months, I have realized that the Academy is where I belong. It is the  best way for me to develop and use my talents.”

“Galen! You are allowing this?” Dalen asked, searching for some reason.

“I know it’s sudden, but Syl and I have discussed this and, while I hate to see her go, it would be worse for me to insist she stay. She’s made up her mind and we all need to accept it.”

“Enough!” Syl called. “It’s getting late and we have preparations to make.  Thank you, Galen. This meeting is adjourned.”

With her final words, the elf turned from the group and retreated back to the corner where she was joined by Galen.

The group was stunned. The team was full of questions but knew better than to ask Syl when she was as direct and determined as she was now.  There would be time later, tomorrow or, most likely, during the journey.  One by one, each person stood and left out the passageway in the rear of the room.

Everyone, except Kelseen. Once the others had left, she stood and walked over to Sylralei and Galen.

“Am I not skilled enough to protect you?” she asked, the question more challenge than curiosity.

“I’ve made my choice,” Sylralei responded.

“I’m perfectly capable.  You just don’t want me with you!”

“Don’t be silly. I’m not going to leave Galen alone without someone to handle the jobs.”

“Any of us can do that. It’s me! Admit it.”

“Now ladies,” Galen interrupted. “I’m sure it’s nothing personal . . . “

“Galen!” Both Syl and Kel turned on their benefactor, but it was Syl who finished the thought. “You can leave.”

“But . . . “

“Go!”

Knowing that further debate would amount to nothing, Galen headed up the stairs to his shop. Once he was gone, Sylralei resumed the discussion.

“If you must know, Dalen is obviously positioned to become the team’s leader. It only makes sense that I use this journey to prepare him for this new role. Nen is young and eager to learn.  I thought he might pick up some pointers from a trip to the Academy. He can’t afford, nor have the status, to attend, but he can certainly talk to some of the professors and students and accelerate his knowledge of magic.”

“And Kristopher?” Kel asked. “Why his sword over mine? Is it more than just protection?  Does Ilmis have plans for the both of you?”  This last comment was a reference to the Ilmis, the Lady of Light, God of Life. As a child, Kelseen was brought up to worship the deity, a belief she has held onto with great passion.

“Your superstitions mean nothing to me. Kris is new and needs the experience. That’s all!”

“So you say, but your anger tells another story.”

Sylralei glowered back, not saying a word.  The two women stared at each other, unspeaking and unblinking. Eventually, Syl slumped her shoulders, let out a sigh, and turned away.

“What are you running from, Sly?” Kel asked. “You are . . . were confident and cocky. You don’t run. Except, of course, from your father . . . who surprisingly you want to return to now. You’re not making sense.”

“Confidence. Pshew” Sylralei expressed. “You were closer with cocky.  Shemar is dead because of me. I nearly got us all killed on Crossbones Island. Who knows how many close calls or injuries people have sustained because I threw caution to the wind? I am a danger to this team, possibly to myself. If your god is real, maybe she’s telling me I’d be better behind the Academy’s large ivory doors where my actions affect no one.”

Kelseen took a moment to respond.  “Do you really believe that?”

Sylralei didn’t answer.  Instead, she turned to head up the stairs.

“Are you not even going say goodbye?”

Syl turned back to Kel. “You’re probably glad I’m going.  You hate me.”

“You frustrate me.  I question your morals. But I don’t hate you.”  The warrior paused before continuing. “I . . . respect you. In fact, sometimes I consider you a friend . . . after Tozhug, of course.”

Syl let a brief smile escape her lips. “In that case, maybe it’s good I’m leaving. There’s no possibility I will kill you, too.”

With that, the elf wizard continued up the stairs, leaving Kelseen alone in the dimly lit cellar.

===============
Imagesource 1Imagesource 2Imagesource 3

Gen. 28:20-21
Reply
#2
Hey Teviko! Glad you're back and with a continued tale to boot. Btw, I think I mentioned before that I own T&T but haven't ever played it yet. Anyway, welcome back.

(Enjoying my content? Want to show your support? Consider joining my Patreon at Roll, Ponder, and Play!)

Reply
#3
CHAPTER 2: Early Troubles

System: Tunnels & Trolls 
Tools: d30 Sandbox Companion ; LitRPG Reads ; RPGSolo.com 

<Author’s Note: For this campaign, I will be using the Tunnel & Trolls rule system.  Since I have used this system already in my previous Kage Gordain campaign I will not spend much time explaining the rules, other than give a quick TL: DR version. However, if you are interested in learning more, please check out my prior campaignIt’s also a good background for this campaign.

I am actually playing a hybrid version of Tunnel & Trolls.  Starting with version 5 of the game, I modified it using updated rules and clarifications found in several quick-start guides and other references. Of course, I’ve also come up with several homebrew rules, primarily to accommodate solo play and better facilitate my gameplay/storytelling style.

I expect much of this adventure will be a hexcrawl.  Generally, each day the party will be able to travel 3-4 hexes on my map (adjusted up or down due to distractions and events). For each hex, I will randomly determine what major thing(s) they find or encounter. To determine this I will be using the extensive hexcrawl mechanics found in the d30 Sandbox Companion.

For each hex, I will roll for natural features or phenomena, settlements, and encounters.  After figuring out if the party runs into anything of note, the tables can then be used to fill out the details. I will consider these results guidelines only, feeling free to adjust (or disregard) as necessary to best fit in with the flow or logic of the adventure.

One last word before I start. I am going back to RPGsolo.com to use as my oracle and primary answer/description generator.

Characters

Sylralei Lumnum - Lvl 2 Female Elven Wizard
STR: 12  CON: 19
DEX: 12  SPD: 8
INT: 15  WIZ: 26
LCK: 15  CHA: 20  Total Personal Adds: 3
WEAPONS: Magic Quarterstaff (2 dice, reduces WIZ cost for spells); Bich’wa Dagger (2 dice + 3)
ARMOR: Blue Leather w/Silver highlights, custom fitting (6 Hits); +1 Cloak
      (1 Hit)
TALENTS: Balance (+1 DEX); Marksmanship (3 pt. bonus to missile attacks);
          Well-Connected(Might know someone who can help in certain
          situations.)
LANGUAGES: Elven, Common, Serpentine, Simian
SPELLS: (LVL 1)Detect Magic, Lock Tight, Will-O-Wisp, Knock Knock, Oh There
        It Is, Take That You Fiend, Vorpal Blade, Oh go Away, Teacher,
        Hocus Pocus (LVL 2) Poor Baby, Magic Fangs, My Wish Your Command,
        Glue-You
---

Dalen Dimflayer - Lvl 2 Male Dwarven Rogue
STR: 23  CON: 20
DEX: 13  SPD: 7
INT: 14  WIZ: 6
LCK: 17  CHA: 9  Total Personal Adds: 17
WEAPONS: Broad Axe (4 dice); +1 Sax Dagger (2 dice + 5 + 1[magic])
ARMOR: Scale Mail (8 Hits); Target Shield (4 Hit)
TALENTS: Roguery (+4 INT); Literary Knowledge (+4 INT); 
          Well-Connected (Might know someone who can help.)
LANGUAGES: Dwarven, Common, Trollish
SPELLS: (LVL 1)Oh go Away

---

Kristopher Miglward - Lvl 2 Male Human Rogue (Outlaw)
STR: 17  CON: 20
DEX: 13  SPD: 12
INT: 12  WIZ: 10
LCK: 17  CHA: 14  Total Personal Adds: 11
WEAPONS: Scimitar (4 dice); 2 Dirks (2 dice + 1)
ARMOR: Leather (6 Hits)
TALENTS: Roguery (+4 LCK); Endurance (+4 CON); Search (+4 INT)
LANGUAGES: Common
SPELLS: (LVL 1)Oh There It Is

---

Nen Goldmore - Lvl 1 Male Halfling Wizard
STR:  6  CON: 14
DEX: 11  SPD: 8
INT: 14  WIZ: 171114  Total Personal Adds: 6
WEAPONS: Dirk (2 dice + 1); Sling (2 dice, 100 yds)
ARMOR: Leather (6 Hits)
TALENTS: Ambidextrous (Ignore DEX for the second weapon; Nightsighted (can see in
        dark)
LANGUAGES: Common, Halfling, Ursine (bears, wolves)
SPELLS: LVL 1)Detect Magic, Lock Tight, Will-O-Wisp, Knock Knock, Oh There
        It Is, Take That You Fiend, Vorpal Blade, Oh go Away, Teacher,
        Hocus Pocus>


[Scene 1]

The next day Sylralei and the party prepared for the journey.  Weapons were sharpened.  Armor and clothes were patched. Kage Gordain’s supplies were perused.

<Everyone is starting with healing potions, but since I don’t know how many potions the organization has, I asked how many each adventure be able to take. “Who has 2 healing potions?” (Likely)
Syl: Yes…and.  She has 3
Kris: Yes…and. He has 3
Dalen: Yes + event (Intolerant/Emotions)
Nen: Yes + event (Truce/Randomness)>

[Scene 2]

The following morning the day was clear and without a cloud in the sky <per d30 companion>. Then four adventurers going on the journey, as well as Garlen and Tozhug, gathered just inside Baybrook’s northern gate. Garlen typically didn’t make a special show of seeing the group off on missions, however, this time was different.  He was saying goodbye to one of their members. In fact, he had come to treat Sylralei as a daughter, and now this might be the last time he ever spoke to her.

“Where’s Kelseen?” Kris said to Dalen as they gave Garlen and Sylralei some privacy. “Isn’t she coming to say goodbye?”

“I think she’s a bit pissed. Syl just sprung this on us.”

“But Tozhug is here.”

“The two are close, but they’re not inseparable. Tozhug didn’t come with us to Crossbones Island.”

“No,” Kris agreed. “But that was a job. This is . . . well, this is the last time Kel might get to see Syl.”

“She’s hard-headed. . . and stubborn.”  <resolution of event Intolerant/Emotions>

With farewells complete, the travelers mounted their horses and started off through the city gates.

<Below is the starting map for the journey.  The map came from the fantasy world generator found on Donjon. [https://donjon.bin.sh/fantasy/world/] I had an idea of the general shape of the land’s coast and browsed the options on the site until I found something that worked. I added Baybrook’s location and the main path to Cyenannore.  Additional features (roads, locations, names, etc.) may be added as the campaign goes on. As mentioned above, a single day’s uninterrupted journey will cover 3-4 hexes.>

[Image: AIL4fc8OJaQxIWzjhRCIcKbyZOa9fE4I12x-M0u5...RjdM=w2400]

Sylralei led the group.  Next to her rode Dalen.  This was by design. As next in seniority, Dalen would be taking over Sylralei’s role as leader of the group, unofficial as it was. They planned on using the travel time to discuss Kage Gordain and the transition process. A small ways back rode Kristopher and the halfling Nen. They weren’t far enough to get separated, but they did leave enough distance so that their own conversation wouldn’t disturb the elf and dwarf. <resolved the event Truce/Randomness.  “Truce” to mean that Kris and Nen can build their friendship. “Randomness” to mean adding order to why they are riding in each position.  To be honest, this was a lazy resolution as I had already considered this order.

Hex check: Nothing for Features or settlement. Attacked by 3 individuals.>

Barely a mile from the gate, they rounded some trees and were out of sight of the city walls. A rope (hidden under the dirt of the road) snapped up taught right in front of Syl and Dalen and pulled back. The two were caught off-guard as the rope tightened against their chests and dragged them back off their mounts. <L2SR DEX,  Syl: 3 (automatic fail under 5)  Dalen: 10+13Dex=23 fail>

Out from hiding among the trees alongside the road stepped three human individuals. Two of them were armed with bows and had them drawn and trained on Kris and Nen, who were still on their horses.  The third man stood between and slightly in front of the other two.  He had a roughened face and was a bit more muscular.  He did not hold a weapon but had his hand ready on the hilt of a sword hanging from his belt.

“Good day, travelers,” he said, mainly addressing Syl and Dalen who were still on the ground.  “I am so glad to see you out for a ride today, but I must inform you that this road requires a toll to be collected for its use.”

“What are you talking about?” Dalen asked. “This is not a toll road.”

“I am sorry, you must be mistaken,” the bandit continued.  “This road has gotten pretty dangerous and extra funds are required to keep the county’s citizens safe.” His mouth turned up in a conspiratory grin. “If the four of you would kindly pay the 20 gold coins a head we will be happy to let you go on your way . . . unharmed.  Otherwise, my friends and I might just have to rough it out of you.”

“Don’t be an idiot,” Sylralei said. “You are not a tax collector and we are not fools. There are four of us . . . trained in fighting, by the way . . . and only three of you.  Your best move here is to just step back and let us leave.” <L3SR CHA (30): 5+20CHA=25  Fail>

The man laughed.  “Girl. We would cut you down before you stood up.” He drew his sword from its sheath and the other two pulled their bowstrings a little tighter. “Now you be smart and pay up!”

Suddenly, Nen spoke up, addressing the bandit leader. “I think you should listen to the woman. She knows what she is talking about. Listen and Oh Go Away!”

<”Oh Go Away” is a spell that allows the user to make the victim leave.  To adjust the spell for solo play I roll a d6 for each, adjusted for the following comparison. The combined IQ, Luck, and Charisma of the caster is compared to the same stats for the defender or their Monster Rating (MR), whichever is appropriate.  If their totals are greater than 2 points apart, the higher total gets additional dice based on how much greater their total is.  Each person’s highest die is compared. If the caster wins, the victim is turned.

Nen and the bandit are close enough that each only roll 1 die.  N: 6  Bandit: 1.  Nen wins>

The bandit leader looked at Nen and Kris on their horses, then at Syl and Dalen slowly getting to their feet. He let out a grunt as he turned and walked back to the hiding place among the bushes, resheathing his sword.  The two bowmen, having noticed the leader turn, glanced at each other questioningly.  They quickly turned back to the two on the horses -- a warning to stay in their place -- then looked back to their leader. One of them offered a shrug, then lowered his bow and followed the leaving man.  The second took one quick look back at Nen before doing the same. <Do the bowmen follow? (Likely) Yes>

Syl got to her feet.  “Quick.  Let’s go.”

She and Dalen mounted their horses and the four of them trotted down the road before Nen’s spell wore off.

[Scene 3]

<Hex check: Nothing for Features or settlement. Encounter came up positive for another attack, but for variety, I decided to use one of the encounter tables found at LitRPG Reads.>

“That sure helped us out back there,” Kris said to Nen and they rode along. The four settled back into the same order they rode in as they left Baybrook, with Sylralei and Dalen at the head and Kris and Nen a little ways back.

“You’d be surprised how many times a successful ‘Oh Go Away’ spell can avoid a horrible disaster. I used it many times against my classmates when I was younger.”

“Younger? Do you come from a family of wizards?” To date, most of Kristopher's conversations with Nen were superficial.  If they weren’t about Kage Gordain business, they were little more than small talk about daily life. Now with nothing but time on their hands, it gave Kris a good opportunity to learn a lot more about the halfling.

“Oh no,” Nen said.  “In fact, my dad couldn’t do a simple coin trick without someone spotting the gold piece tucked in his palm.”

“Then why magic?”

“Necessity, of course!  You see, when I was growing up in school . . . Hey! What’s that?”

Without finishing his thought, Nen kicked his horse forward to catch up to Dalen and Syl.  They had stopped by the side of the road and were peering down at a heap on the side of the road.

“What’d you find?” Nen asked as he rode up.”

“Not sure,” Dalen admitted as he slid off his horse and walked over to the heap. 

It was clearly some kind of animal, about the size of a large dog.  The fur was primarily brown with streaks of white and was matted down, covered in crusty blood that had come from several large gashes.  Using his axe, the dwarf poked at the corpse’s head in an attempt to tell what it was.

“My best guess is that it was some kind of rabbit,” he said.  “The ears look rather long.”

[Image: AIL4fc8u0y2i2pTIv1q-8gwv2dm68zyz4r4spOZO...1bu4=w2400]
Some kind of rabbit

<The encounter table roll above resulted in a dead rabbit on the side of the road.  Is it normal sized? (50/50) No. Can it be identified easily? (Slightly unlikely) No.  A L1 SR on INT resulted in Syl and Dalen being able to determine what it was.>

“That’s a mighty big rabbit!” Nen exclaimed. Glancing around he added, “That looks like it was attacked by a wild animal.  Do you think it is still around?”

“Perhaps,” Syl answered, “But the corpse looks old.  Whatever did this is probably long gone.”

“Unless it lives nearby,” Dalen corrected.

<Killed by a person? (50/50) No, but . . . you can see footprints.  Signs of a struggle? (50/50) Yes.  Only human footprints? (50/50) Yes, but . . . they are old, this happened a while ago>

“Looks like there was a struggle,” Kristopher said as he reached the group. “They are faint, but you can still see several footprints around. The grass is matted, too. Maybe it was a fight. Or they were also attacked by the beast.”

Mostly out of curiosity, the four dismounted and made a cursory search of the area.  Most of the area was a large field,  Here and there broken blades of grass and churned-up soil could be seen.  <L1 SR on Luck: Everyone passes to find another place of struggle> Nearly a hundred feet from the mauled rabbit the sight of a struggle was clearly seen.  A large portion of the ground was torn up and a few small plants and bushes were crushed.  Dark brown stained the ground, the dried remnants of the bloody battle.

“Skat!  Get out of here!”

Everyone turned to the sound of Dalen yelling as what appeared to be a dog ran away through the grass, away from where the dwarf was standing behind a shrub.

“I think I found one of the people who were attacked,” he said.

Everyone joined him to see a partially decomposed leg sticking out of the ground, exposed to the knee.  Except for the area just around the lump, the ground seemed neatly patted. Having spent most of his life collecting and telling stories, Dalen did his best to interpret what he saw.

“If I had to guess, I would say another group of travelers came upon the rabbit while it was being attacked by a wolf or a bear or another animal. They attempted to scare it off, either to save the poor creature or even take the meat for themselves. Whether their efforts worked or not, the attacker came back and attacked the group and they ran. Unfortunately, one of them, this one here, didn’t make it and was killed while the others got away.”

“So why is the body buried?” Kristopher asked.

“I suspect the rest of their group either eventually scared off whatever attacked them or, more likely, waited until it had left. They tried to give their friend the best burial they could. That dog I just scared off must have smelled the body and was digging it up.”

Tired of the delay, Slyralei decided it was time they moved on.  “There’s nothing here and we wasted too much time already.  Rebury it and let’s go.”

The elf turned and headed back to the road, leaving the other three behind to take care of the remains.  The rest stood motionless until a distant growl reminded them that wild animals might come along at any time and it would just be easier for them if they had moved on.

[Scene 4]

<Hex check: Nothing for the third hex.

The fourth and final hex for the day revealed the remains of an unknown demi-human.>

The group rode late until the afternoon when they decided it was time to make camp, no inhabitable village or town in sight.  For safety and privacy, they traveled about a mile off the main path to look for a clearing. They found one alongside a small brook and began to lay out their bedrolls and prepare a simple meal of their rations. 

Dalen took the lead in scouting the area.  Just beyond where they stopped he noticed something on the ground covered by overgrowth and filth.  It was a skeleton, worn clean by years in the open.  Many of the bones were scattered around the area but he could tell they belonged to a human-like creature.  However, it certainly was not a human.  The hands appeared to be elongated, perhaps tipped with claws, and the front of the skull stuck out like an elongated snout or face.  Among the sharp teeth were a set of longer fangs.  Dalen’s best guess was that it might have been a lizard-man.

[Image: AIL4fc8ChKoIq16SMK44otYm_kZkYpTkQMIq8fmT...Mh5A=w2400]
It might have been a lizard-man

Besides being old, the remains did not appear to be damaged or broken as they might have had there been a struggle.  Most likely, whatever it was had either died of natural causes or some superficial wound that left no sign on the bones.  Regardless, this finding did not raise any immediate concerns and Dalen headed back to camp.

<Are there any signs that the being was executed? (50/50) No>


Imagesource1; Imagesource2
========
Judges 18:5-6
Reply
#4
Nice hex map. Was that randomly generated or did you hand craft?

Also, cool character names.
Reply
#5
On the DonJon link I posted above, there is a generator that makes this type of hexmap. However, that site also has a large number of pre-generated maps. Since I already had a vague idea of what the continent looked like based on my previous campaign (primarily land mass and shoreline), I looked through the pre-gen maps until I found something that fit. I thought it would be faster than just generating map after map until I got something that looked like my world.

Thanks for name comment. They are all carry-overs from my first T&T campaign. It's been a while, but likely I lightly used FantasyNameGenerator to randomly generate lists of names till I found something I liked, occasionally modifying spellings or combining names.
Reply
#6
CHAPTER 3: Jonik and Fiddlestix

System: Tunnels & Trolls 
Tools: d30 Sandbox Companion; LitRPG Reads; Eposic RPG T&T Character Generator; Wizardawn (While no longer available online, easily usable server files are available for download); UNE; RPGSolo.com 

[Scene 1]

<There were no random encounters during the evening.

Move 5: Per d30 Sandbox Companion:
Features: 19 none
Settlement: 28 ruins (description to be revealed in narrative)
Encounter: 17 Traveling 23 Party of adventurers>

The party rose early, packed up camp, and continued on. According to Sylralei, she expected to be coming up upon some heavier woods to their south and some foothills to their north by the end of the day.  Each person took up the same order they rode in yesterday: Syl and Dalen up front with Nen and Kristopher lagging back. Things were quiet for the first hour until they rounded a large thicket of shrubbery.  Standing about twenty feet off the dirt road were an odd pair, their horses grazing near-by.

Standing upright was a medium-sized man with blond hair.  He was dressed in sturdy traveling clothes with an interesting club hanging from his belt.  It was made from a flat piece of wood and lined with spikes <a tervutje>. Syl was the first to notice the point of the ears, identifying him as an elf. The rest of the group missed this, as they were more interested in the second person.

Standing on the elf’s shoulders was a small girl. She was dressed in pants and a shirt that were mostly green. Her brown hair was cut short.  Around her waist was a leather belt with various pouches, and a large leather book hung over her shoulder by a leather strap.  She held one hand flat up to the forehead, shading her eyes from the sun while she looked out over the plains. 

Being at the front of the group, Dalen and Syl could hear some of their conversation as they approached.

“Do you see anything,” the man asked.  “You know, you do get heavy.”

“I don’t see anything,” the girl replied. “But I’m sure it’s this direction.”

“Hello,” Dalen asked.  “Can I ask what you are looking for?”

The girl spun around and lept to the ground startled. “Oh!  Hey!  Look Jonik, people.”

“Yes, I see that.  This is a road. People travel on roads.”

“Yeah, but they don’t look like travelers,” the girl said, scrutinizing the group’s armor, weapons, and mounts.  “They look like they might be expecting danger!”

Taking a closer look, the party could now tell that she wasn’t a girl, but a rather short, adult or young adult woman, only about three feet tall.

“Is she a halfling?” Kris whispered to Nen, the two of them not quite caught up.

“No,” Nen said, a hint of disgust in his voice.  “She’s a leprechaun.  You can tell by the green tint to her skin.”

“You don’t sound too thrilled.”

“I’m not.  They’re a nuisance and a pain.”

It’s unclear if the Elf was being quietly cautious, or if he just couldn’t get a word in edgewise, but the excited leprechaun was doing all the talking.

“His name is Jonik.  I’m Fiadhinellianna Stinatinia-Merryflicks.  A mouthful, I know.  That’s why all my friends call me . . . Fiddlestix!”

“Of course they do,” Nen groaned.

His reaction caught Fiddlestix’s attention and she noticed him for the first time. “Oh look!  He’s my size!”  In an instant, she disappeared. At the same moment, Nen felt a weight land behind him on his horse, a small pair of arms began to wrap around his sides.

“Aahh!” yelled Nen and vaulted over the front of the horse. He landed prone on the ground and quickly spun to sit up facing his mount.  “Don’t do that!”

“I was only saying hello,” Fiddlestix giggled.

“You can say hello from over there. Now get off my horse!”

<As a leprechaun, Fiddlestix has the inherent ability to cast the 4th level spell Wink Wing at a reduced cost of 5 WIZ points (instead of the usual 14).  Wink Wing is a teleportation skill (up to 50’).  This is what she used to appear behind Nen.

I used UNE for the next bit of conversation.  First, I determined Jonik’s and Fiddlestix’s mood.  Jonik: cautious  Fiddle: neutral, however, the bearing of the conversation was friendly.  They talked about a celebration regarding fame.  In this case, a location that honored a famous person.>

“I am a bit curious,” Dalen asked as Fiddlestix jumped off the horse. “What were you two looking for out over the field?”

“The Crypt of Mindrek,” she said as she stuck out her hand to help Nen up.  He brushed it away and got up himself as Fiddlestix shrugged and continued back toward Jonik.

“Maybe we shouldn’t say too much, Fiddle . . . “

“What’s the Crypt of Mindrek?” the interested Dalen asked.

“Mindrek is . . . was a head priest of Zeriel,” Fiddle continued, ignoring her partner’s warning. “You know, the god of Creativity. The church in Millhelm is paying us to find it and bring something back for them.” <Does Fiddlestix openly talk about their current mission?  Likely Yes.>

“Oh, So you’re mercenaries,” Sylralei jeered, finally speaking up.

“We prefer the term ‘Hired Help’,” Jonik corrected her, noting her sarcasm.

“So servants then?” Syl retorted.

“I assure you, we are very professional,” Jonik assured Syl.  “Fiddle and I are experts at using our skills to accomplish tasks that are too difficult for those who need them done.”

Syl smirked and rolled her eyes.

Behind them, Kris leaned over to Nen who climbed back up on the horse. “Isn’t that what we do?”

“Shhh. It’s better to let her go with it.”

Despite sensing Jonik’s hesitation, Dalen’s desire to learn some history and collect more stories led him to continue questioning the girl.

“Mindrek? I don’t think I’ve heard of him,” he asked.

“You probably wouldn’t have,” Fiddlestix answered, still ignoring Jonik’s concerns. “He was only well-known it the area surrounding Millhelm.  But he was a big deal there. Maybe a hundred years or so ago, he was the head of the Zeriel Church.  According to legend, the God of Creativity gave him a pair of blessed gloves: the Gloves of Original Beauty. <Random object from RPGSolo>  These gloves bestowed upon the wearer the ability to create perfect works of art: paintings, sculptures, and such.  Each one far surpassed anything made using traditional tools. Mindrek would use his creations in his sermons and lessons as an illustration of Zeriel’s work is creating all the world’s beauty. The priest was so associated with the Gloves of Original Beauty that when he died it was agreed that the artifacts would be buried with him. Some kind of offering to the God when Mindrek entered the heavenly realm.”

“So, what does this have to do with the two of you?” said Dalen.

Jonik steped into the conversation, possibly hoping that if he can’t stop Fiddlestix he can at least try to direct what was being shared. “The Church of Zeriel isn’t what it used to be.  Membership is dropping.  Influence is low.  So the current leadership had the great idea that if they had the Gloves they could impress the people. They first sent several of their acolytes to retrieve them from the crypt.”

“But they couldn’t do it,” Fiddlestix jumped back in.  “They couldn’t get pass the trolls.”

When she didn’t continue, Dalen asked, “What trolls?”

“They returned to Millhelm with stories of a family of trolls that took up residence within the tomb,” Jonik explained.  <What was their main obstacle? C.Q.  Communicate/ A plot  The acolyte’s story was that a family of trolls had settled on the plot of land> “They couldn’t get any further than the entrance.  The monsters didn’t attack them, but, as the acolytes got closer the trolls became more agitated and readied sticks and weapons.  Of course, the acolytes couldn’t speak troll and couldn’t tell them their intentions, so they just left.”

“That’s why they hired us,” Fiddle took over.  “We’ve dealt with trolls before.  They don’t scare us. And searching an old, empty crypt.  Hah. Child’s play.”

“Hopefully it’s empty,” Jonik reminded her.  “We really don’t know.”

<To determine the truthfulness of the crypt situation, I will use my favorite Rumour Table found on the Alea Iactanda Est website . A roll of the dice reveals how truthful a rumor is and possibly the consequences.  The timing of when you roll the dice depends on the situation.

The first rumor was that the Gloves of Original Beauty could be found in the crypt. Since the only information about the gloves comes from stories over a hundred years old and anything could have happened to them or the crypt over time, the complete truthfulness will be determined once they reach the location where the Gloves will be.

The second rumor is that the acolytes were scared away by trolls.  I’m considering this a rumor as only the acolytes know the true story. They could have made up the troll story to hide the fact that the real danger was minor, or they were simply too scared to complete the task.  Since the priests who heard the story could hear the tone of voice, ask follow-up questions, etc. I assume they have an idea of whether or not the acolytes are telling the truth.  In this instance, I rolled one of the two dice to help determine the final outcome. The second die will be rolled at the entrance of the crypt.  The roll was a 3.  This eliminates “completely true” but can still be as good as “mostly true”.  Based on that and the fact that they are religious and are expected to be more honest than your average villager, I’ll assume the priests believed the story and didn’t give Jonik or Fiddlestix any reason to think it wasn’t true.>

“This is fascinating,” Dalen said. “I like to collect stories and would love to know more about this priest.”

“Why don’t you join us and see the crypt for yourself?” Fiddle exclaimed, excited to have some company.  In fact, everything seems to excite her.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” Jonik warns. “The priests only hired us.”

“If they want money, they can take whatever they find in the crypt,” Fiddle suggests.

“You know our contract states we can only take the Gloves,” Jonik reminded her.  “We can’t take anything else.”

We can’t take anything else. But that doesn’t stop anyone who’s not under contract from wandering in and taking whatever they want.”  Fiddle smiled conspiratorially at the loophole.

“I agree with Jonik,” Nen piped up, wanting to escape the leprechaun’s company. “It’s probably not a good idea.”

“But part of our pay is whatever we can find along the way,” Kris reminded the halfling.  “At the least, Garlen would love some new items for his shop.”

“Enough!” Sylralie shouted.  “You were hired to accompany me to Cyenannore.  Have you forgotten that?  We do not have time to explore some dusty old crypt just because it sounds interesting.”  She glares at Dalen to add emphasis to this last part.

Turning to Jonik, she continued, “We won’t keep you any longer.  C’mon, let’s go.”

Sylralei prodded her mount to continue down the road, expecting everyone else to follow.

“It’s for the best,” Jonik said to the dejected Fiddlestix. “If there is any trouble, the last thing we need to be doing is protecting a bunch of amateur treasure hunters.”

Despite Jonik’s intention to keep his remarks between him and his partner, Syl clearly heard the elf’s words.  Obviously, this mercenary had no idea what he was talking about. From her earliest days with Kage Gordain she’d fought ruffians and criminals, explored forgotten ruins, stole gems from beasts, and even faced a dragon. (To be fair, they ran away before the creature attacked, but still, she saw it.) She’d even led a team that helped free an island from the control of pirates (See the last campaign).  Sylralei never gave anyone the impression that she wasn’t up to a challenge, and she wasn’t going to start backing down now.

“On second thought,” she said, turning back. “Kristopher is right.  Our benefactor is expecting us to obtain any unique items and other wealth we might find.  To be honest, like the both of you, we are often hired to . . . how did you put it … ‘accomplish tasks that are too difficult for those who need them done’.  Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up needing our help.”

Fiddlestix leaped, grinned broadly, and clapped her hands.  Jonik just sighed and closed his eyes.

[Image: ADCreHe777egCltRiUPMtTrJFh3Rq4ryjvVktSaM...eH84=w2400][Image: ADCreHexe2WnXxOjXifZkkdImUQlXOm0gQq-bn7j...Hw4o=w2400]
Jonik                                    Fiddlestix

<I used the Eposic RPG T&T Character Generator to assist in creating Jonik and Fiddlestix, changing stats, items, and other aspects as necessary to best have them fit the roles and levels I envisioned.>

Jonik Urilen - Lvl 3 Female Elven Rogue
STR: 10  CON: 15
DEX: 15  SPD: 16
INT: 19  WIZ: 29
LCK: 45  CHA: 27  Total Personal Adds: 27
WEAPONS: Terbutje (3 dice + 5 adds); Magical Hunting Bola (tangles on an odd roll, can change stone beings or monsters to flesh {10 charges})
ARMOR: Lamellar (10 Hits)
LANGUAGES: Elven, Common
SPELLS: (LVL 1)Take That You Fiend, Teacher,(LVL 2) My Wish Your Command,
        Glue-You, Little Feets

Fiddlestix - Lvl 3 Female Leprechaun Wizard
STR: 6  CON: 12
DEX: 17  SPD: 9
INT: 21  WIZ: 24
LCK: 45  CHA: 11  Total Personal Adds: 30
WEAPONS: Javelin (2 dice); Haladie (2 dice + 4)
ARMOR: None
LANGUAGES: Common, Gremlin, Dwarvish, Giant, Ursine, Equine
SPELLS: (LVL 1)Detect Magic, Lock Tight, Will-O-Wisp, Knock Knock, Oh There
        It Is, Take That You Fiend, Vorpal Blade, Oh go Away, Teacher,
        Hocus Pocus (LVL 2) Poor Baby, Magic Fangs, My Wish Your Command,
        Glue-You, Hidey Hole, Cateyes, Mirage, Whammy (LVL 3) Curses Foiled,
        Hard Stuff, Rock-a-Bye, Dis-Spell, Blastign Power, Freeze Pleeze, Fly
        Me, Healing Feeling, (Lvl 4) Wink-Wing {inherent in Leprechauns}
ADDITIONAL ITEMS: Magic Wand {5 charges} and Enamel Gem (10 charges)-each   
                  gives the user 7 WIZ points to use that round. 
                  Serpentine Gem (9 charges)-teleport wielder and equipment up
                  to 50’                                               

[Scene 2]

“I noticed you are caring a rather large tome,” Dalen asked Fiddlestix, referred to the heavy, leather-bound book hanging from a strap over her shoulder. “Are those… spells?”

The two rode alongside each other as the party of six headed off the main road and made their way though fields, bushes, and small copses of trees.  Fiddle, the unofficial navigator of the group, believed they would find the crypt several miles off the road.

“Some pages are,” Fiddle told Dalen. “Most is just my notes about jobs.  Things we need to do or have done.  You never know when you need to refresh your memory or something from your past can help you now.”

Dalen’s mind salivated. A book full of such information was, to him, a treasure trove of stories.  Who knows what he might learn from it?  The dwarf decided to probe further.

“You know, I’m a bit of historian myself.”

“You teach in a university!” Nearly anything could excite the leprechaun.  “Oohh, do you stand on a box?”

“A box?”

“So the student’s in the back can see you?  I know people don’t always see me in a crowded tavern.”

“No,” Dalen said, thrown off-guard.  “I mean, no, I’m not a professor.  I’m more of a storyteller.  I like learning about the world and hearing new tales.  Then I share them with others, mostly children.  I enjoy seeing their reaction and watching the world open up to them.”

“Oh,” Fiddlestix quips, thinking about this. “Sure, you can take a look at my book if you want.” 

She removed the volume from over her shoulder and handed it to Dalen. He took the book in front of him, laid it on the saddle as best he could, and opened up the first few pages.  What he saw was not what he was expecting. Instead of pages filled with handwritten text (a little girl’s scrawl was more what he was expecting, to be honest), he saw picture upon picture filling the pages.  They ranged from simple stick figure cartoons to miniature works of art.  One page might be a small vignette depicting some event.  The next might picture lists of objects.  All in all, the best he could do was guess at what each depicted, as they had no titles or captions.

“Interesting? Fiddlestix asked.

“Uh, yes. It’s very interesting.  I only wish I knew what I was looking at.”

“Isn’t it obvious.  That’s the legend of the black ox,” she said pointing to a scribble that could have been a bull. “Those were special stones we had to retrieve from a group of bandits.  That’s the recipe for a love potion . . . at least that’s what the old wrinkled lady told me . . . and on the next page was our shopping list from when we went to the marketplace in Ravenmond.”

“Amazing.  How you remember all that?”

“It’s simple.  I don’t know why everyone doesn’t write this way.”

Elsewhere, Nen rode near the front of the group with Kristopher and Jonik.  He was doing his best to keep as much distance between Fiddle and himself while also looking for more stimulating conversation than the moody Sylralei who rode at the back of the line.

“Why would the church build a crypt way out here?” Kristopher wondered.  “Wouldn’t Zeriel’s followers want it closer to the city where they could visit and provide upkeep?”

<What does Jonik know? 1: Keep it hidden from thieves. 2: Tradition  3: Superstition 5: Interrupted plans to move  5: Doesn’t know  6: Roll twice (unsure, but has some ideas)  Roll: 6  Reroll: 5 and 2>

“The priests didn’t tell and I didn’t ask,“ the elf admits.  “I know many of these sects have their own traditions.  Perhaps it was built on a sacred plot of land, or it is a way of spreading news afar of their god, even after death.  But I really don’t know.  Understanding isn’t always part of the job.  What was that?”

Jonik stopped suddenly and examine the low bushes that they were riding though. 

“What’s up?” Kris asked, his hand instinctively dropping to his scimitar.

“I think I hear some. . . “

Before he could finish, a large, dark-red scorpion slightly bigger than a large dog shot out of the bushes beside them. Shouts of warning behind them indicated that more of the creatures appeared there as well.

<Random encounter Roll: 1  I created a small table to determine the type of encounter and I rolled “scorpion”.  I used the monster lists from the now defunct Wizardawn to generate 3 huge scorpions.  Each has an MR 40 and if they roll two 6s, a character is poisoned.>

[Image: ADCreHcbLa4LJGEnEajI6XKmMfj5vBdgjSeIyRPR...tRIk=w2400]
Large, dark-red Scorpion

Dalen was fumbling with Fiddlestix’s book, trying to set it aside, pull out his ax, and dismount all at the same time.  Unfortunately, one of the scorpions slithered out right next to the dwarf and he counldn’t avoid a jab in the leg by the stinger.  Pain climbed up his leg as the poison begun to take effect.

At the same time, the scorpion also snapped at Fiddlestix with its pincer, however, it barely reached and did little more than scrape her leg.  The leprechaun barely noticed because her attention was focused on a third scorpion.  She sent a blast of Take That You Fiend at it while a similar blast flew past her from where Syl, riding behind her..

<Combat Round 1:
Nen led off with a slingshot, but failed his L2 DEX SR. (9+11DEX=21)
Scorpions: 15 dice + 60 adds = 117  (three 6s)
Party: 11 dice + 48 adds + 36 spell damage (Syl and Fiddle) = 136 (two 6s)

Party wins by only 19, but the full spell damage is applied.  I randomly determined the two spell attacks were directed to the same scorpion. After damage for the two 6s, the remaining scorpions have MRs of 4, 38, 40.

Because the scorpions rolled at least two 6s I randomly determined Dalen was poisoned (I based poison on all dice. In hindsight, however, I think I should have rolled individually for each monster and only use an individual’s 6s to determine if they used poison.) The poison damage for the scorpions as published were a bit harsh for my game, so I modified it. A poisoned character must make a L3 CON SR to negate the poison. The first two turns they fail they fight at 1/2 effectiveness.  The third fail, they fall unconscious to -1.  Each fail after that, they roll on my “Death Table” until they either succeed the SR or die.

Dalen’s first SR is 24. Fail>

After missing with a slingshot, Nen pulled out his dirk and leapt off his horse. Jonik and Kris had already pulled out their weapons were down attacking the large arachnids. Even Sylralei dismissed a second magic attack in favor of her staff, pouncing on the scorpion attacking Dalen.  Fiddle was the only one of the group who stayed mounted and let another Take That You Fiend fly at the scorpion closest to her partner.

For the most part, the group easily handled the scorpions, with Kris dispatching the scorpion wounded by Fiddle and Syl’s first attack.  Unfortunately, with one lucky strike, the scorpion facing Jonik was able to slide its tail through and inject the elf with its potentially deadly poison.

<Combat Round 2:
Scorpions: 10 dice + 41 adds = 73 (five 6s)
Party: 13 dice + 62 adds + 21 Spell = 119 (no 6s)

Party wins by 46. One scorpion is killed and the remaining MR are 7 and 29.
Dalen’s poison check: 28 fail 
Jonik is poisoned. check: 27 fail.  He is now at 1/2 efficiency.
Jonik takes 3 points and Syl takes 2 points from the scorpions five “6” damages>

Combat round 3

The party’s adds alone will kill the scorpions, so I won’t even roll except to see if the scorpions get any 6s, which they don’t.
Dalen’s poison check: 28 fail and is unconscious with -1 hp.
Jonik’s poison check: 17 fail.>

Jonik faltered back, feeling the sting of the poison rush through his body, as Kris slices through the scorpion with his scimitar, ending its life.  Nen finished the remaining bug as Sylralei rushed to Dalen’s side, who had just fallen unconscious. 

“What’s wrong with him?” she yelled.  “He barely has a scratch.”

“I think . . . it’s poison,” Jonik barely spoke before falling to the ground himself.

“Ugh!” Syl yelled at Fiddlestix.  “I thought you two were professionals?  Look at this mess!”

“We’re tomb hunters,” the leprechaun shot back.  “Not exterminators.  My friend’s down, too.  You deal with your dwarf. I’ll deal with Jonik.”

Sylralei starts to open her mouth, but Fiddlestix turns away and administers to Jonik.  Syl lets it drop and kneels down next to Dalen.

“Okay. What spell do we have that can stop the poison?” Nen asked, joining Syl.

“Nothing.  I can temporarily heal him with Poor Baby, but if his body can’t fight the poison he’ll just keep getting worse.  Hey, do you know Too-Bad Toxin?” She called to Fiddlestix, asking the leprechaun about a spell that cures poison.

“Unfortunately, that’s a little too advanced for me.”

“Not surprising,” Syl mumbled, totally dismissing the fact that it was too advanced for her as well. “No antidotes?”

“Nope.” <Do Jonik or Fiddlestix have antidote?  Unlikely  No, and . . . they don’t know how to stop it.> “Right now we’re playing a waiting game.”

“One I hope Dalen wins,” Nen adds.

<And it is a waiting game. For better or worse, this is how I handled the poison.  On each turn, Dalen and Jonik will roll to make their L3CON SR.  If  they succeed, they will be unconscious at 0 hp.  Each time them fail I will make a roll on my Death Table to see how many h.p. they lose (-1 min.) Less then -10 h.p. is death.

Turn 1:
Jonik: 3 fail, drops to  -1 h.p.
Dalen: 27 fail, drops to -2 h.p.

Turn 2:
Jonik: 27 fail, drops to -2
Dalen: 31 Success

Turn 3:
Jonik: 30 success>

The next several minutes were tense as all members anxiously awaited any sign of recovery from the downed men.  The first to stir was Dalen.  As soon as she thought it will help, Syl cast Poor Baby and Dalen opened his eyes. He looked around, dizzy.

“Stay still,” Syl told him. “Those scorpions hit you with some nasty poison.”

About five minutes later, Jonik started showing some signs of life and Fiddle attended to him with her own Poor Baby spell. Kristopher and Nen had been scouting the area for any signs of any more scorpions or other creatures, and had just returned.

“All looks clear.  I think it’s best if we rest here and let Dalen and Jonik recover a little more.”

There were no objections.

<Do the NPCs have healing potions? (Likely) Yes.  I’ll roll 1 d4 for each.
Jonik: 3  Fiddlestix: 2

The group will take the next 6 hours or so to rest.  Sylralei and Fiddlestix will use Poor Baby to raise up Dalen and Jonik’s h.p.  In addition, Jonik uses 1 healing potion.  Both are brought back up to full health. Syl also performs a little healing on herself with the WIZ points she has left. (In hindsight, with the rate of WIZ recovery, over the six hours everyone could probably have been healed and the wizards up to full WIZ without the need for a healing potion, but I left everything as is.

In the 6 hours, there were no additional random encounters.>

Imagesource1; Imagesource2; Imagesource3
========
Leviticus 19:33-34
Reply
#7
CHAPTER 4: THE CRYPT OF MINDREK

System: Tunnels & Trolls 
Tools: Wizardawn (While no longer available online, easily usable server files are available for download); Random Encounters, Vol. 2, No. 8 by Epic Werkes; RPGSolo.com

[Scene 1]

“Nothing!  I don’t see any trolls.”

Nen peered from behind a dense copse of bushes at the partially sunken crypt of Mindrek. The ground around the structure was rather uneven, a possible sign of a small earthquake or sinkhole, causing the building to drop several feet into the earth. The portion that still sat above the surface was little more than a marble building about the size of a shed.  It had carvings adorning the walls and eaves that were once highly detailed, but now worn, chipped away, and overgrown with crawling vines and other plants. Only the top three or four feet of the door opening was visible, but any actual door was long removed or destroyed.

“Do you think the acolytes would have lied, do you?” said Sylralei, hinting at sarcasm.

“Perhaps,” the hired elf replied. “There’s a possibility that the family of trolls have since moved on.  But I agree, that’s rather unlikely.  Instead, I would expect they found exploring the tomb more than they were able to handle.”

Still skeptical, Slyralei offered another suggestion. “They probably never even came. They just hung out somewhere for a week or two, had a good time, then made up the whole thing, so the Priests would think they did the best they could.  I mean, aren’t Priests supposed to be super trusting?”

“Understanding, Yes,” Jonik corrected. “But that doesn’t mean they trust blindly. Even so, I don’t think the acolytes just shirked off their responsibility. Their desire to please their god Zeriel, and not to mention the priests, would compel them to complete their task if possible. It was more likely they entered and came across something that was too dangerous or complicated for them to overcome.”

“Why not just tell the truth?” asked Nen.

“Embarrassment.  They were in a holy crypt dedicated to their deity.  Zeriel was supposed to give his acolytes the protection, strength, and courage needed while they were inside to overcome any evil. The acolytes may have felt it was more respectable to say they were prevented from ever entering than admit they were too scared or weak to continue.  If they admitted they were too scared, that would mean that either their faith was weak or Zeriel had abandoned Mindrek’s resting place, neither of which they would want to admit back in Millhelm.”

“So much for relying on your god for strength.” No one acknowledged Sylralei’s snark.

<When the party reached the crypt, I rolled the second die on the rumor table (the first roll was 3). This roll came up 2 for a total of 5, or “Deliberately false”.  This is only my character’s speculation, but my interpretation is that there was never a group or family of trolls living here when prior acolytes came to retrieve the gloves.  Instead, there was some other reason inside the crypt that frightened them off. The story about trolls, however, was more self-respecting or believable than what they actually encountered.  Assuming that is true, that would mean there was a good chance the party would encounter something in the crypt and they would probably come across it sooner than later, so I upped the encounter chance to 1-3 on a d6 until the first encounter.

I devised a small table to determine what creature/monster they would encounter on any positive roll.>

As they approached the sunken tomb, they could see that the ground around the doorway had been excavated enough to allow someone to enter without crawling through on their belly.  The vegetation growing over the ground indicated it wasn’t dug recently, but still thin enough to appear to be only a few months old.

“Perhaps this was dug by the acolytes?” Dalen said.

“Or graverobbers,” Kristopher suggested.

“We just have to see what is inside,” Jonik admitted.

<Did the entire ground shift? 50/50 No, but +Intolerance/Bureaucracy (See Syl’s comments below) Is there signs of excavation inside the tomb?  50/50  No, but +Ambush/Extravagance  (Later)

The map and all the images below came from Epic Werks’  Random Encounters, Vol. 2, No. 8.> 

[Scene 2]

Jonik and Fiddlestix led the way into the crypt, followed by Kris and Dalen, Syl and Nen bringing up the rear. Just inside was a staircase, or what was left of a staircase, leading down. The first twelve or so “steps” were little more than chunks of rubble mixed in with natural dirt and stone.  One of the rocks shifted under Jonik’s foot and he tumbled several feet down the passageway, causing Syl to smirk.. <Jonik failed a L1 DEX SR to not fall and took 3 damage.> The elf stopped at the top of the intact portion of the staircase. At that point, the walls and stairs appeared to be undisturbed. There were no signs of additional excavation, but small scratches and critter trails could be detected. <the “no, but”>

“Only the top portion of the ground must have shifted,” the dwarf Dalen said, examining the walls and stonework. “I wonder if the crypt is located just at the edge of whatever caused the ground to shift.”

“Why would the church spend all kinds of money to build marvelous crypts, and then let it all fall apart?” Sylralei asked disgustedly. “I thought they were all about helping people.  The cost to build this could have probably gone a long way to helping those living in the slums of the city.”

“Kelseen would be quick to remind you that it is her god, Ilmis, who teaches compassion, not Zeriel,” Dalen said. “The Zeriel church is much more likely to spend their money on gaudy decoration.”

“What do you have against beautiful buildings anyway?” Fiddlestix the leprechaun chimed in.

“Nothing,” Syl answered bluntly. “As long as they’re taken care of.  The church obviously doesn’t care about this place. It’s just a big waste, probably built to make them look more devoted than they actually act.”

“Come on down.  There’s a door down . . . Ahhh!”

The group suddenly looked down the stairs at the sound of Kris’ voice.  No one had noticed that he ventured further down while the rest were distracted by Syl’s rant.  They bounded down the stairs to find Kris swatting his scimitar at a spider about the size of a small dog. Jonik and Dalen joined in and quickly dispatched the creature.

“That thing came out of that crack. Got me good on the leg, but I should be all right.”

<Are there any creatures in the area? (Likely) Yes. (not sure why, at the time, I used the oracle instead of a dice roll to determine any monsters)  I rolled up a single spider of MR50. The group's combat adds alone were enough to kill it, but it did roll 3 sixes which I felt would thematically go to one random character: Kris.>

[Image: ABLVV86zxjj1oEOUhXin2v1vGDacVo7tcKYTRhcq...MQug=w2400]

At the foot of the stairs stood a four-way intersection.  The south and east directions were block by stone doors with abstract patterns carved in them. To the west, the hall extended another five or six feet before ending in the cave wall which held the crack from which the spider emerged.

Jonik motioned to the south door and Fiddle, following a routine they have perfected over time, examined the lock and delicately searched it for traps. <L2 INT SR 5=21=26 Success!  Is there a trap? (Very Unlikely) No, and . . .>

“It’s clear,” the leprechaun announced. “Not only that, the lock was clearly destroyed. Someone forced their way in.”

“The acolytes?” Kris postulated.

“Doubt it,” Sylralei quipped.  “They probably ran when they saw the spider.”

“Whether they did or not, this mechanism has been broken for a long time,” Fiddlestix said. “I’m sure it was already damaged when they got here.”

Jonik pushed past his partner and opened the door. The room on the other side was decorated by ornate frescoes on the walls. An alcove was cut in one wall and housed a small wax-spotted alter. But the most urgent in the room were five animated skeletons that roamed around aimlessly. <1 in 3 encounter check: 1  Five Skeletons, MR25 Each>

The skeletons were mostly bare, with a few remnants of leather armor or adornments hanging off their bones. A couple held rusted blades.  Fiddlestix, Dalen, and Kris barely had time to enter and pull their weapons before the undead noticed them and turned to attack. Syl flew in, blasting one skeleton with a Take That You Fiend  spell before engaging another with her staff. Nen held back, flinging stones at the bony beings with his sling, a futile exercise as the stones passed harmlessly through their rib cages. Scimitar, axe, and terbutje easily smashed through rusted weapon and bone, dispatching the dead warriors before they could do more and inflict a few small scratches.

<The battle was over in two rounds.  RD1 Skeletons 104-Party 150;  RD2 Skeletons 62-Party 170.  The only hits to the party were two 6’s which went one each to Syl and Dalen.>

“Judging by the decaying packs, pouches, and rusted weapons and trinkets, I think these were the remains of a previous group of wealth seekers,” Dalen said.

“There’s not much here,” Nen added, looking through one of the pouches.

“Who, or whatever killed them must have taken anything valuable,” Jonik said. <Is there anything worthwhile in the adventurer’s packs? (Unlikely) No, and . . .  Event: Change Weather (To be saved for later)>

[Image: ABLVV85ImDYl8oZN4dl0fUmYfcu8N-86Vlz4f1tr...PKGw=w2400]

While they examined the skeleton’s belongings, Kris looked around the chamber. Besides the two columns supporting the ceiling and the altar in the alcove, the north and south wall were adorned each with a large fresco. The south wall featured a middle-aged man dressed in priestly robes. He was being addressed by a strange creature that floated several feet in the air.  The creature was dressed in robes similar to the priest’s and its face resembled the man’s.  The bottom half of the creature was cloudy and not well-defined, but appeared to have the shape of a large winged bird, such as an eagle.  Kris thought the priest might be Mindrek, but had no idea about the other figure.

The outlaw turned to the north wall to see the same two figures.  In this image, however, Mindrek stands behind a table, his hands molding a lump of clay on its surface. Watching over his shoulder is the same creature, except that the bottom half of its body was more representative of the rear and legs of a deer or gazelle.

“Is that Mindrek?” Kristopher asks, aware of Dalen standing next to him.

“I would assume so. I’m obviously not familiar with the priest, but this is his crypt.”

“And what is that creature?”

“I believe that is Zeriel, the Deity of Creativity.”

“Why does he look like Mindrek? And why do his legs change? Do they not know what he looks like?”

“From what I’ve learned from reading various church texts, Zeriel being the God over creativity, is himself creative in nature.  There is much written about how he is ever-changing, always taking on the appearance of whoever is standing the closest to him. As for his lower half, it also changes from one type of animal to another.”

<I’m planning on exploring the religious system of Barisea later in this adventure, but since I felt that two of this world's gods resembled a human man and woman, I wanted the third, Zeriel, to be something else.  I used the Age of Fable’s Creature Appearance table to figure this out.  Using several rolls, I came up with a creature whose top half took on the appearance of whoever was standing closest at the time and a bottom half that was a plume of smoke. I interpreted this last bit to mean that it was always changing and never the same.

INT SR check to see if anyone was familiar with the purpose of the altar.  L3 for Kris, Syl, and Nen.  An easier L2 for Fiddle, Jonik, and Dalen, as they might have some previous knowledge about the purposes of crypts.  Jonik is the only success.>

“This must have been the preparation chamber,” Jonik said while he examined the wax spotted altar. “Acolytes and other visitors to the crypt would take time at this altar to prepare and purify themselves before continuing further.  They would burn candles and pray to Zeriel, as well as send up honors to Mindrek, believing the priest was watching them from the hereafter.”

To the left of the door they came through was another closed stone door. Again, Fiddlestix examined it before Jonik entered to be sure there were no traps. <L2 INT SR for traps. Fiddle rolls 44 indicating she will detect any traps if they exist.  Do they? (Unlikely) No>

Assuming the builders of the crypt were mainly concerned about protecting the way into the crypt and not impeding movement once the crypt has been entered, I will determine that none of the doors further on are trapped unless something happens (i.e. random event) that would indicate otherwise.

Additionally, the first group the church sent probably encountered either the skeletons or the spider, so from here on out, the chance for a random encounter will drop back to 1-in-6.>

[Scene 3]

The door opened onto a short hallway that ran north to south.  After about five feet in either direction, the hall turned to the east.  Just south of the doorway stood a carved marble pedestal that was topped with a dry, dusty basin. Jonik explained that this was probably used for ritual cleansing before entering the actual burial room.

[Image: ABLVV84SGCjAYUlulQAedMd7_NVMkU3TICljtMNp...dwrk=w2400]

<No wandering monsters and I randomly rolled to head south.  Is the door locked? (Unlikely) No, and . . .>

Just around the south corner, easily visible from the door the group just came through, was another doorway partially blocked by the remains of a bashed and broken stone door.

“It looks like someone has also been through here,” Fiddlestix said.

“You mean you don’t think the door just fell apart by itself?” Nen ribbed the leprechaun in reply to her stating the obvious.

“No. They usually don’t do that,” she replied matter-of-factly, unaware of Nen’s sarcasm.  The halfling rolled his eyes.

The hallway split once again, one branch continuing straight east, the other south. Jonik and Fiddlestix led the way east.  The passage made several right-hand turns until it met back up with its original starting point at the damaged door.

[Image: ABLVV85ga3qV1Vt_RP9kjWtxxhGkfI5uMHC0_Y5d...3R_k=w2400]

“What do you think the purpose of this hallway is?” Kristopher asked Jonik. “It seems rather pointless.”

“That it does, which suggests there must be something more.”

Before Jonik had finished his answer, the others had begun backtracking and checking the walls for any hidden buttons, handholds, or anything else that might reveal a secret opening. After some searching, Fiddlestix called out as she pressed a portion of the wall, revealing an opening to the space that lay within the hallway's perimeter.

<Since this is an odd configuration for no reason at all, I’ll consider the idea for a secret door rather obvious and have everyone make  L1 INT SR to consider looking for one.  Anyone who succeeded will try to make a L2 INT or LCK SR (whichever is higher) in order to find it. Everyone but Kris thinks to look for a secret door.  Jonik and Fiddlextix will immediately find it due to their LCK (45), but I did roll for each character to determine how many adventure points they receive.

What is in this room? RPG Solo CD: Wildly/Faded  What is its purpose?  CQ: Abandon/Disruption>

Fiddlestix cast Will-O-Wisp to light up the room more brightly than the group’s lanterns. Before them were arranged all kinds of art, the room’s secrecy preserving them from any potential tomb robbers. However, they were clearly not made by skilled artisans.  Instead, they appeared to be the work of a child or children.  Most were paintings or charcoal drawings on parchment, but there were some sculptures and other trinkets scattered throughout. Despite being undisturbed, the material was low quality and showed a lot of wear.  Many of the paintings were faded, some crumbling or eaten by bugs at the edges.  Wooden items were rotting and everything was covered with dust or cobwebs.

[Image: ABLVV87Pi_jhr3fh9dImRTqD6Np-LUgNzY_rwd2k...78kE=w2400]

<Everyone needed to make a L3 INT SR to determine if they knew, or could figure out, what this room was for. Dalen would use his Literary Knowledge skill (bonus +4). Nen could use his Puzzles skill (+1, why not). The only character who succeeded was Jonik, of course.  He seems to know a lot about crypts and/or religious practices.

How does Jonik know about this room? 1: Past experience  2: Told by the priest  3: Jonik had researched crypts and religious practices  4: Just a really, really good guess.  Roll: 1 He knows from past experience.
Everything else I determined about this room I will explain after the narrative.>

“This must be the crypt’s Ward,” Jonik stated.

“The what?” Kris asked.

“The Ward.  A room of protection.  In the Zeriel religion, they believe that artwork created to honor the god has about it a ring of protection.  The younger the artist, or to put it another way, the more innocent, the greater the protection.  When Zeriel’s followers built a crypt they would include rooms filled with such works of art, mostly done by children, in order to form a bubble of protection over the crypt and keep away all types of evil.”

“How do you know this?” Kris inquired further.

“From when I used to work for the Church of Ilmis.”

“Ugh, I knew you were no good,” Sylralie expressed, thinking about Kelseen and her annoying obsession with the Goddess of Life.

“I said I worked for them, not worshiped with them,” Jonik explained. “When I was just starting out in this line work, before I met Fiddlestix, one way to get practice and experience was to join one of the Ilmisian Assistance Teams.  The church’s goal was to offer help where needed, and many tasks were assigned to the Assistance Teams. The local Zeriel Church hired one of these teams to help maintain one of its crypts. Nothing big, just head in once every few months to repair any damage or clear out vermin that may have taken up residence within its walls.”

“Looks like they could have used one of those teams here,” Syl said.

“Our guide on one of those trips took us into the Protection Room.  He explained what it was and how they were hidden in secret rooms to keep them from being disturbed from anyone who might enter, including those who were rightfully there. Really fascinating stuff.”

Dalen listened intently and jotted some notes to add to his journal when they got back on the road.

“I doubt any of this has any real value beyond its religious aspects,” Kris commented.

“Even so, I don’t think the priests would appreciate us desecrating the crypt’s protection,” considered Jonik.

“But you said we could take what we want?” a confused Nen asked.

Fiddlestix quickly answered the halfling.  “Any treasure out in the open, that’s fair game.  As far as we know, grave robbers stole them . . . that is basically what you are. Right?” She cast a cheeky look at Nen who returned it with a threatening glare of his own. “But taking away the crypt’s protection, especially when it was specifically hidden to keep it secure?  Now you’re messing with the power of the god itself.”

Sylralie harrumphed as all turned to leave the room.

<Is it common for this exhibit to be in a secret location? (50/50) Yes

Wandering monster checks on both the art room and the hallway around it were negative.

Also, there is a secret door in the hallway that branches north and south (you probably saw it on the map).  I did ask the oracle if anyone had thought to look for a secret door (unlikely) and the answer was no.>

========
John 19:38-40
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)