Classic Fantasy Ironsworn - Eilwen's Tale
Episode 56
“Gethyd!” Valeri cried, and her voice quavered with anguish. She took a few steps into the trees to follow after.

“Valerie, remember your young ones! They need you,” Eilwen said.


“Stay with them! And free those prisoners. Arm them with the weapons. Hide them in these woods. I’ll bring back your son!”

“Don’t hurt him!” Valerie pleaded as Eilwen followed after the young man. “He’s not himself!”

Eilwen didn’t respond as she crashed into the forest after Gethyd.

She’ll try to chase him down before he gets too far away or runs into guards
Face Danger + Edge
5 = 3[d6]+2

9 = 8[d10]+1[d10]

Leaping over fallen logs and ducking under slashing tree limbs, she finally caught up to young man.

Action/Theme for general area description

“Stay back, witch!”

He spun, and put his back against a large block of stone. Behind him a tower, half stood, half crumbled in a clearing with thigh-high grasses. The blackened stones that lay about them bespoke a fiery fate many years ago. Vines and creepers now half-covered the blocks in verdant growth.

This could be the ruins in Episode 32

Gethyd’s ribs jutted visibly through his tunic as he sucked in air. Eilwen also felt somewhat winded, and she bore scratches on her arms and face from the branches from her pell-mell run into the forest.

(Loss of Health now 3/5)

Endure Harm
8 = 5[d6]+3

9 = 1[d10]+8[d10]

Weak Hit. You press on.

“Calm down,” she said. “I’m not here to hurt you, boy!”

Boy...she studied him. He was actually about her age, perhaps a year younger. He had stubble on his chin, but other than that seemed younger because the gaunt cast to his cheeks and his obvious lack of nourishment.

“You speak lies!” he hissed. “The shades of the dead twist about you like a cloak of darkness!”

“The shadows will not harm you,” she said. “I summoned them to free your mother and siblings from Willam and his men. Would you have him harm your family?”

“She’s just another shadow! Some illusion you conjured up to trick me!”

“She is quite real, I assure you. I’ve come back to help her free you and your father and deal with Yormid. Come back and speak with your mother. You will see. Together we can stop Yormid.”

Compel with Heart
6 = 5[d6]+1

9 = 3[d10]+6[d10]

A weak hit. He agrees but asks something in return.

“How can I trust you?”

“Oh I don’t know,” she said. “I could’ve just turned you into a toad and boiled you in a pot for my dinner, but since I haven’t done that yet, maybe you can start there.”

Her sarcasm actually made him relax a little, and he gave a small grin and relaxed some. “You really are a witch though?”

“My mother taught me a few tricks with the shadows,” she said. “That’s all.”

“You promise you will save my father and deal with Yormid?”

“I have already sworn I would do so...on Iron.”

“You are Ironsworn?” his eyes raised and she shook head and gave a disbelieving laugh. “But you’re just a girl.”

“What does that have to do with anything? Cannot a woman be Ironsworn?” she gave him a regal look.

“You, a woman? You’re too young.”

“I’m older than you.”

“Not by much,” he huffed. “You’re what? Seventeen?”

“Eighteen,” she raised her chin.

“It’s hard to tell with those...shadowy things about you.”

She ignored that. “What about you?”

“I’m seventeen,” he said as if he’d bitten into a sour berry.

She smiled.

He grunted, “Who are you anyway?”

“I’m Eilwen,” she inclined her head to him.

“You already know my name,” Gethyd said as he put away his knife and came near her, watching the shadows twist around her. “If you’re really a witch, can you conjure me some food. You do that and we have a deal!”

“Help yourself,” she smiled and tossed him some dried berries and meat from her pack.

(-1 supply now 1/5 -- This is what he requested for his condition to be compelled)

This fulfills two boxes on the progress
(2/10 for her vow to rescue Valeri’s family and deal with Yormid.)

She looked about them as he tore open the package and began shoving food into his mouth.


He just looked at her then back at his food and continued chewing.

“What is this place?” she pointed to the crumbling guard tower.

Does he know anything about it?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Has it been completely looted?
(Somewhat Likely | 1[d10]) No, and...

“Father took me here a few times,” he said between mouthfuls. “Hunting for venison. I’ve been inside. There’s strange markings all over on some ironwork inside. One time, we found a hidden room.”

What is Gethyd good at?


Detect/disarm traps

Animal lore

He took another bite and licked his fingers and continued. “It had some old musty books. They fell apart when we touched them. But inside a sealed iron box, we found a map case.”

“A map?”

He nodded.

“To where?”

Did he ever find out?
(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

“I don’t know. Father tucked it away, and I don’t know what happened to it.”

Eilwen grunted and stared at the dark hole that led into the tower then she watched the clouds scudding overhead, painted silver from the moon. She had memorized the markings on that very map.

“Does Yormid know about it?”
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

“Yes, but...”


“Nothing,” he said.

“You can tell me.”

He shrugged.

“You look hungry still,” she dug in her small pack and handled another pouch of rations.

His eyes fixed on it and he licked his lips.

She held up the rations. “Tell me more.”

“Well, Yormid didn’t know--” he licked his lips his eyes on her hands about the package of food. “He didn’t know about the hidden room of course or the passageway under that.”

“Passageway?” she asked and tossed him the ration.

He nodded as he tore into the second package, practically inhaling its contents. “There’s a passageway under a trap door in that hidden room. Iron gate and a large iron lock.”

“Locked you say? Rusted?”
(Likely | 3[d10]) No

“No, and that’s what’s strange. All the other iron in that place has fallen to time, but not that lock.”

“That is strange,” Eilwen said and wondered at the secrets held under the tower.

“How far away are we from Yormid’s dwelling?”

“About an hour by foot,” he said. “We’ve been working these foothills every day looking for the black iron.”

“What has him convinced it’s here?”

Does he know?
(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

“No idea,” he said. “People don’t ask anymore. Old man Tuong called Yormid mad six months ago to search for it, and Yormid had him beheaded and his corpse hung on a pole for the worms to eat. People don’t ask. But Yormid is driven. He works all the slaves to the bone.”

Eilwen stood. “We better get back to the others.”


Eilwen and Gethyd talked as they took a more sedate pace back to Valeri and the prisoners.

“How is your father?” She asked.

Does he know?
(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

Lovingly / Magnificent

He shrugged as he bit off a tough piece of jerky and chewed with gusto. “He misses Mom in a big way, but other than that, he’s hanging on all right. I can’t believe she’s back!”

“Valeri said that Yormid has you and him working in the hills looking for iron?”
(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

He nodded. “Yormid is convinced he’ll strike it rich with black iron.”

“How big is Redhall?”

“We’re a circle of three different settlements. Yormid is clan chief, of course. He’s cruel but honest.”

She frowned at that strange combination of traits.

“Why is it named Redhall?”

“A large hall, now a throne room, I guess, for Yormid. It’s from some reddish stone imported from some mountains south of the Havens.”

“He built it?”

“No, it was a gathering hall built by the first founders of Redhall long ago. But he had it converted into his palace, I guess you might call it. But it holds new meaning now,” he frowned.


“ from all the beheadings, you know. From the blood painted on the walls and beams.”

Eilwen clenched her jaw at the vivid picture. “He will be dealt with.”

“I hope you brought a warband with you,” he said. “You’re going to need one. He is never without his guard.”


“Valeri?” Eilwen called quietly.

“We’re here,” Valeri said. 

Eilwen followed the sound of Valeri’s voice and saw that the oder whoman had the dozen erstwhile slaves of Redhall hidden behind a dense thicket. Some of them gripped the few remaining weapons from their guards who had fled. They jumped when they saw her and she heard whispers of “witchspawn”.

“Gethyd?” Valeri cried when she saw Gethyd.

“Mother!” he said and they gripped in a fierce and emotional hug.

“Getty!” her siblings cried and rushed to hug him.

Eilwen smiled but receded to the side to give them some time alone. The family spoke in hushed but loving tones and held each other, smiles mixing with glistening eyes. She watched Valeri stroke Gethyd’s arm and lean against him. She ached, thinking about her own family: Arwed, her mysterious mother; Aron, her lost brother; and Cadfael, her proud father. What of them?

She sighed and studied the ragged group of freed prisoners. Then she walked over to them. Their eyes darted nervously to the shadows flitting around Eilwen, and as a group they shuffled away from her, some even held out weapons in her direction.

“Hold! I’m not your enemy,” she said. “I’m here to help you. How many of you have weapons?”

No one answered.

She picked the closest one.

“You, answer me!” she said, the note of firm command in her voice. “How many?”

“Five of us,” one of them said after a moment.

Is he a warrior?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

“Your name?”

“Halig,” he said. He had his hair pulled back in a ball and tied with a leather band, his shoes were little more than tatters on bleeding feet. He held a spear in one hand.

“I am Eilwen. The rest of you, get some stout staves,” she ordered. “Halig, use this axe to cut them down,” she held out Willan’s axe.

He slowly took the weapon, but held it in a limp grip to his side. “What is that to us? And what do you hope to accomplish by arming us?” he asked, cynicism thick in his voice. “I’m no warrior. Yormind commands an entire circle and his own warband! His guards will be back soon and in greater numbers. I don’t intend to be around when they do.

“Do as you will, Halig,” Eilwen replied. “But know this. I will deal with Yormid.” She pulled out the pendent from under her tunic and let it glitter with its otherworldly sapphire hue, the shadows twisted about her causing the faint light to flicker. “If you stick with me, you stand a better chance of success. What say you?”

Her speech had attracted Valeri and Gethyd who drew near.

Compel + heart

4 = 3[d6]+1

15 = 9[d10]+6[d10]

A miss. New miss count 2/24.
They reject or make a demand that costs you greatly. Pay the price. (I’ll do that later)

The Redhall citizens hissed and muttered, some in fear at her light show and some in open greed at the wealth openly displayed upon her breast.

“Yormind is too powerful” Halig said, tearing his eyes from the gemstone glittering on her breast, and his tone hardened further, becoming insolent and scornful. He tossed the axe back at her feet. “Cut your own staves, Witch! I’ll have none of it. Come on!” he said to the others.

The other in his band grumbled as well and shuffled their feet. None would meet her regal gaze as they followed after Halig, leaving her alone in the clearing.

“They’ll be trouble,” Gethyd muttered as he watched them go.

“You may be right,” Eilwen said. “But there’s nothing to do about it now.”

She placed the amulet once more under her tunic. Gethyd watched her with open curiosity.

“What is that strange necklace?”

“A family heirloom,” she said.

“A wealthy family.”

“After a fashion,” she responded.

Eilwen faced Valeri. “Take the children and head back to Thorgunna and the guards. Take both horses, you’ll move more quickly,” she handed Valeri the reins to her mount. “I mean no rudeness, but Gethyd and I will be able to move more easily and will stand less chance of being noticed without you and the other children.”

Does Valeri see the wisdom in that?
(Likely | 3[d10]) No

“No, I’m coming with you!” Valeri insisted, striding nearer. “My husband is there. I want to help!”

“The best way you can help is by not putting your other children in danger.”

“Yet you’re taking my Gethyd and placing him in danger?”

“That’s different. He’s older.”

Does Gethyd agree with Eilwen?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Does Gethyd want to go with Eilwen?
(Likely | 5[d10]) Yes, but...
...but he’s concerned about his mother and siblings

“He’s weak and hurt and--”

“I want to help her, Mother,” Gethyd said. “And Eilwen’s right. The little ones will only get in the way. We need to be able to move quietly and quickly. I can do this.”

Does Gethyd manage to convince Valeri?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

Valeri frowned but then finally nodded and took the reins to Eilwen’s horse in one hand. “I don’t like it, but we’ll do as you say. Be careful, both of you.”

“You too,” Eilwen said. She quickly embraced Valeri and their foreheads touched. “Remember, I have vowed on iron. I will do all I can.”

“I know you will,” Valeri whispered. “But the fates are never certain.”

Valeri then hugged her son for a long time and whispered something Eilwen couldn’t hear.

“Time to go,” Eilwen said finally.

Gethyd nodded and turned to her. “Will they be safe?” he asked as he watched his mother and siblings disappear into the night.

“I believe so, if they move quickly and don’t wait for Yormid’s men to reappear. Your mother’s a strong woman.”

“I know she is.”

Eilwen is armed with an axe, a spear, and one dagger.
Gethyd has her other dagger.
Go forth oh mighty warband of two!

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I feel like your writing has improved since you started this. It was always good, but the rhythm, imagery, and dialog are becoming more vivid and tight.

The pictures you create have movement that one can visualize. This creates an interesting effect when presented in the context of the randomization tools.

It is like I am engrossed in a movie and all of a sudden the camera backs up and I am now behind the scenes watching how the clockwork mechanisms of chaos effect the lives of both the observed and the observer.

It is interestingly enjoyable. I feel less like I am being pulled down some derived narrative, but instead, I am a participant in the discovery and exploration of the events unfolding for the characters in a world that has not been destined to any certainty. But then again, maybe it has.

Thank you for sharing your stories.
@mark, thanks so much for your feedback and kind comments! That really made my day, and inspired me to keep going with this! And thanks for making an awesome site to share our stories!

You are correct when you wrote the "world has not been destined to any certainly". Much is up the fickle and capriciousness of the die rolls, as we've seen. Well, that, and the creative interpretation of oracle results. She's my character, and I'm trying to keep her alive to fulfill her vows as best I can. But time will tell her final tale.

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Episode 57
Eilwen and Gethyd moved down the rocky trail. Trees along the trail grew close together with dense foliage rising up around them. As they descended down into the valley, the trees gradually gave way to a smattering of homes nestled among their dark boughs. Smoke from cook fires rose up into the night. The number of homes grew as they moved down into Redhall proper, and they began to mingle with normal foot traffic moving towards Redhall’s walls.

Eilwen’s torch became a smoking ember which she put out in the dirt as they drew near.

Do they see any of the guards that fled?
(Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

Do they see other Redhall guards as they get close to Redhall?
(Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

Does it look like the guards have heard about the “witch”?
L:ikely as the guards who fled ran back this way.

(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

“They have a wall? You didn’t tell me it has a wall,” Eilwen said as she studied the situation.

“You didn’t ask,” Gethyd shrugged.

Redhall, the largest grouping of dwellings Eilwen had ever seen, straddled across the road and the entire base of the valley in collections of dozens and dozens of homes. A smattering of houses were outside the walls. But travelers bearing goods either from north or south had to pass through the settlement, the terrain being too dense and rugged for wagons or carts.

Guards with torches, short bows, and spears peered at each traveler who drew near a large iron gate, questioning them with rough actions and words. Others patrolled the walls, their flickering torches gusting from the brisk mountain air.

“We can’t go this way,” Eilwen hissed. “Do you know of another way into the settlement?”

Does he?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Lovingly / Delicate

Gethyd nodded. “There’s a large tree on the east side that reaches over the palisade. Some of the branches are a little thin, but they should carry our weight. We’ll have to move up into the hills more and then cut back down towards the wall.”

“Fine,” Eilwen said. “Show me.”

She whispered and moved her arms, and the shadows moved around them as they moved off the road.

Are they in danger of being spotted? +1 the guards are looking, -1 there are other travelers, -1 it’s dark and they’re at a distance, -1 Eilwen has shadows up and about) = Unlikely

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...


They moved off the road, taking game trails Gethyd knew about up into the foothills, and about a half hour later, they had circled around to the east side of the Redhall and stood at the base of a huge tree that jutted out of the side of a rocky escarpment that overlooked the town.

They climbed up into the tree and from their vantage point, studied the streets of redwall.

Are the guards inside the town patrolling the streets? (50/50 | 3[d10]) No

What’s something unusual or interesting they notice.
Gracefully / Warm

The smell of freshly baked bread wafted through the air and lines of people stood about.

“Smells good,” Eilwen whispered.

“They’re called ‘Yormid Loaves’,” Gethyd said. “He rules with an iron fist, but he also holds their stomachs in that fist.”

She looked at Gethyd, eyes wide. “You mean, he controls their food?”

Gethyd gave a grim nod. “Any hunting or growing on his lands occurs with his permission. He’s very effective at maintaining control.”

“I’m surprised the people don’t rise up and strike him down or simply leave!”

Have they tried?
(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

“Attempts have been made,” Gethyd whispered back. “But they all end the same: in blood, death, and broken hearts. The people are trapped, broken, and spiritless.”

“Is that his home? His palace?” she pointed to the large rectangular stone-block structure of red stone, lit with torches and patrolled by stony-faced guards.

He nodded again and pointed.

Is the palace walled?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

“And your home? Is it close by the wall once we’re over?”
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

“No, it’s further in but more toward the southern collection of homes.”

“Alright. Let’s get over it. Then take me to your home. We can rest and plan there.”

Is the tree branch they cross over in danger of collapsing? They’re not carrying a lot and they’re not heavy individuals either, so -2, but +1 since the branches are on the thin side, so SU:
(Somewhat Unlikely | 3[d10]) No


They stepped into the small dark kitchen and dining area. Polished pots and pans and dried herbs hung from the ceilings and walls. Eilwen imagined it would be quite cozy with a fire or a light. She drew the shutters as Gethyd lit a small candle.

“I don’t dare risk more light nor cook fires in case Willan and his guards are looking for us,” Gethyd said.

Eilwen nodded and started pawing about cupboards and drawers.

“What are you looking for.”

“Supplies...anything that might help.”

“We don’t have much,” Gethyd muttered with a frown at her invasion, “but please, help yourself.”

Resupply Move
7 = 5[d6]+2
7 = 6[d10]+1[d10]
A strong hit.

His sarcasm was not lost on her.

“Look, we need to be rested and alert and that means fed. The saddle bags have what’s left of our food and those are with your mother. I wanted her and the children to have the last of it.”

“Fine,” he said.

She found a rough sack and dumped out a half-wheel of cheese and some old crusty bread that seemed serviceable.

“Old ‘Yormid Loaves’?” she asked.
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

“They’re not terribly flavorsome when they get hard like this, but they’ll keep us going,” he said and broke off a chunk. “There’s fresh water in the clay picture there.”

Further rummaging through a chest revealed...
Damaged buckler
Excellent force field generator
Ammo bandolier

...a broken shield, an elegant set of armor with masterful artistry, complete with a full breastplate, vambraces, and leg greaves, all in excellent condition. She also pulled out a full quiver of arrows.

“No bow?”

He shook his head. “It was taken by Yormid’s men when we were put in the mines.”

“Some fine armor,” she mused, holding up the dark leather to the candlelight, turning the armor over in her hands. “Where did you come by it?”

Bravely / Mysterious

“Something my father found in those ruins. He can’t wear it of course. Yormid or his men would take it from him if they saw him in it.”

“Put it on,” she said. “We’re not planning on being seen tonight, and it might do you some good.”

Does he want to?
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

He grinned and put it on, tying laces and fitting buckles.

It fit him well.

“Looks good on you,” she said. “Are you any good with weapons?”

“I can hunt with a bow,” he said. “My da taught me that much, but axes and spears and knives against grown men?” he shook his head, “Not so much.”

“Hopefully you won’t have to,” she said. “I know a few things about fighting with a knife. Let me walk you through some basics.”

She sent the shadows twisting to the corners and together they practiced with wooden spoons for knives until the candle burned low and their arms were sore. Sweating and tired, they sat down next to each other and drank the cool water from the clay jar.

Is he picking it up?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

He sat down breathing hard, “I don’t know if I’ll ever get it,” he said.

“You are getting it. Faster than most do actually. Good work!”

He smiled back at her.

“The trick with a knife is getting in close,” she said. “Most people will have a weapon with longer reach, but if you can get to them from a flank or from behind with a knife, well... that’s all you need sometimes.

“You had swords too,” he said in a wistful tone. “Too bad you gave those to that guard of yours.”

“Indeed. I misjudged the situation,” she said with a frown. “Thorgunna didn’t look too happy either.”

“Are you really a lady?” he asked. “Sometimes you seem like you’re from some noble line, but other times, you seem... I don’t know...” he shrugged, “like me, I guess.”

“I’m just a person with some different skills and a different background,” she said, and she pulled the shadows back towards her. They circled around her, and she studied one of the shadows how it moved into the firelight unhurt and then back out.

Does he want to know more?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

“Can you tell me how to do that with the shadows?” he asked.

“I thought you said I was a witch,” she gave him a sidelong smile.

He grinned back, clearly interested now.

Her smile disappeared, and she gave a slow shake of her head. She wasn’t overly interested in having him repeat Haf’s mistakes. “You must understand. Magic in these lands is old and strange and...dangerous. I have some aptitude for it. In addition, my mother taught me since I was a young child and--”

“So it can be learned?”

“Yes...” she said slowly. “If you have the aptitude.”

Slowly, she chanted and drew a glowing Skaed rune in the air with her finger. It hung in the air for a moment, and the shadows swung to it flowing off of her toward it as if drawn to it by some strange magnetism. The shadows then hung in the air, a ball of twisting, churning, darkness.

Then she touched his forehead.

She’s trying to determine his aptitude for such things. Does she have the skills to know?
(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

He tensed under her touch as she rested her hand on his forehead, still warm and a little clammy from their knife practice. She whispered a word her mother had said. A command of divination.


She felt his pulse under her hand, and she slowly withdrew her touch. “For now, I think you had better stick with knives and bows.”

“So I can’t learn,” he said.

“Why do you want to?” she asked.
Gratify / Inside

“I...I don’t know. It just seems useful. And I’m curious now instead of just scared. You seem to be okay with it. I always used to think magic was evil all mixed up with the powers of the demons, but seeing you...”

She sensed a deeper reason he wanted to know, but he wasn’t telling her.

“It is dangerous,” she repeated again, this time with an edge to her voice. “There are unplumbed depths that even I do not know about. But why do you really want to know.”

Does he tell her?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

“I want to be useful, to help my family. father.” he looked down and twisted the wooden spoon in his hand. “He thinks I’m careless and irresponsible, and he doesn’t trust me. I--I want him to love me like he used to,” he hung his head.

“What do you mean? Like he used to. I’m sure he still loves you,” she sat down next to him.

Has something changed in his father’s nature since he’s been digging about in old ruins? Maybe he picked up more than just an old map and some cool leather armor?

(Somewhat Likely | 3[d10]) No
So not that. It’s probably just normal teenage / parent oddness. Fun.

“He’s always saying I’m lazy,” he grunted. “All because sometimes I don’t do my jobs, and I go spend time with my friends, and--”

“So, what you’re saying is sometimes you are lazy,” she said.

“Hey, that--” he cut off when he saw her smiling at him.

He gave a sheepish grin. “Sure. I guess. Sometimes. But hearing my dad say it, just...” he shrugged.

“I’m no different. I got in trouble repeatedly from my father and mother when I went on extended hunts instead of helping mother bake bread or do laundry or,” she scrunched up her nose, “all that typical womanly stuff,” she shrugged. “I guess it’s part of growing up,” she said.

“But you seem grown up.”

“I’ve...been through a lot,” she said. “That has a way of making you see the world differently.”

“Yeah, for some reason, I can’t imagine you washing clothes,” he grinned.

“Mine could use some laundering now...” she said. “Look, I don’t think you’re lazy,” she said and nudged his arm. “You’re growing up. You’re nearly a man. It’s natural to want to make your own choices.”

He stared at his hands and the awkwardness stretched. “I wish my dad could see it that way.”

“It’s not easy to live so closely with those you love. Too often, we see only their faults.” She thought of her mother. What did she see now in her mother? What of Aron? She sighed. “Give your father some time. I’m sure he’ll realize what he’s got.”

He looked at her, unsure.

She stood and touched his shoulder, “Come on. Let’s get some rest. We will deal with Yormid soon enough and then things can be set right with your family.”

Gethyd, with the stub of the candle lighting the way, showed her to his sister’s bed. She watched as he lay down in his own bed in the same room, his arms folded on his chest. She tucked her cloak over her like a blanket and lay down.

Gethyd shared his memories of his family, his parents and siblings. He spoke quietly of his brother who had fallen off the bridge near the Greenhome. His voice choked up, and she heard him wipe his nose.

She in turn spoke of home, of Frostbridge, of hunts with Aron and Father. Of Mother and freshly baked bread of meat sizzling on the hearth plate from her first doe she had brought down on her own. Not the painful details, but the good memories. It felt good to talk to him. He didn’t see her as a queen or a great lady. He just saw her as another person trying to make her way in the world. She liked that. That would change once details of who she really was came to light. But for now, she enjoyed the simplicity.

The shadows she had summoned earlier receded to the corners of the room when she commanded them, and she and Gethyd watched them shift in and out of sight, as if in time to their slowed breathing.

Then the candle died, and they slept.

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Episode 58
Since they’re in a settlement, they’ll try to get some aid from others. Since Yormid’s guards aren’t actively patrolling the streets, I think they can move about the town without issues as long as they don’t go near the gates where the guards are or near the palace.

The next day, they breakfasted on cool clay-tasting water, pungent cheese, and stale bread. Eilwen saw with some surprise that the shadows had waited for her, ready to heed her command.

She pushed the cowl of her cloak up to cover her face and they stepped out onto the streets. She followed after Gethyd. He dressed in his father’s armor but kept his own face cowled. In fact, many of the people in Redhall had a desire to have their faces hidden. She felt they all looked like old iron priests moving about with cowled robes ready to show their strangely tattooed faces.

The shadows that heeded her, hid in her cowl, content to share their darkness with her, shrouding her face from passersby.

Gethyd met with Sigebert, an old man two streets over. He was a peasant who worked the fields in the southlands but came north seeking a fortune and instead got caught up in Redhall. Prone to raging fits of vitriol when drunk, as he was now, they had to keep him quiet; for when he cursed, Yormid’s name hotly and nearly brought the guards down upon them.

Once he calmed somewhat, to a sputtering growl to eat some bread that Gethyd shared with him, Sigebert spoke of a an old half-burned church tower in a hill a few streets south where they could find a good vantage point to watch the comings and goings around the palace.

An hour later, Eilwen and Gethyd sat on half-rotted beams, peering out a shattered and shuttered tower window with naught but mice and bat droppings for company. Two streets to the north, they watched the pattern of the guards and the movements of Yormid around his palace.

Sojourn Move
7 = 6[d6]+1
14 = 8[d10]+6[d10]

Weak Hit

I’ll choose Plan. Her momentum goes up by two and is now 4/10.

Does Yormid live in the palace?
(Likely | 6[d10]) Yes
What does he leave for?
Open / Prison
Punish / Extravagance

How appropriate.

They saw Yormid leave on horseback flanked by a guard of six armed men who looked like they knew their business.

“Is that him?” Eilwen asked as she watched the man. He was a hulking man with a braided red beard that grew long and was tucked into his belt. He wore supple leather armor and on his back he bore a large axe. Twin daggers were belted at his hips, their hilts glinted in the pale sunlight. He seemed to know his way about a saddle.

“That’s him,” Gethyd tossed a bit of rotted wood out the window to where it fell the the tall weeds below the ruined church grounds. Eilwen wondered what god the chapel had been built to worship...

“Where is he going?”

“Every day he goes to the prison...that building there,” Gethyd pointed to a low, flat, single-story, gray building that frowned up at them, burdened under moss and time and death and pain. “He goes there each day to torture someone. My da and I spent a night there before being assigned to the mines.” he said in a matter of fact manner, though his face twisted at the memory. “Yormid...enjoys it. And he’ll often publicly execute those who are too ill to work as motivation for the other town-folk.”

Eilwen ground her teeth and she felt her cheek muscle spasm. “How can such people exist?” she asked the silent gods. But she knew they wouldn’t answer. The gods didn’t listen anymore, even if Aron had seemed to believe in them somewhat more than most.

She didn’t expect an answer to her query from her tower-mate, but Gethyd surprised her. He glanced at her and shrugged, brushing at the old droppings as he shifted where he sat and leaned back against a vertical beam. “Mother says evil is found in all quarters of the world. That sometimes the weak are not strong enough to hold it back.”

She watched Yormid as he rode to the prison and dismounted.

“Your mother is wise,” Eilwen said, even as a mocking voice asked, ‘And what of your mother and her evils? What legacy has she left? What legacy do you leave?’ She shoved the thought away and then suddenly restless, she stood up.

“You okay?” Gethyd watched her as she paced back and forth.

“I’m going to burst just sitting here. I need to get closer to get a better look at his movements anyway. Stay here...but keep watching. I’ll give a raven call when I get close so you know it’s me.”

“Be careful,” Gethyd warned.

“I will,” she said and climbed down the rickety ladder that led to the ground floor.


She moved out into the streets, moving past the townsfolk who went about their business. Dozens of bakeries owned by Yormid and his men baked more loaves of their enslavement. Already the lines were forming. Eilwen ignored those. They still had some bread and cheese left.

Wagons bearing grain and other goods flowed in from the southern gate. Furs and bones and pelts and wood and silver and iron flowed out the same gate moving toward the Havens.

Eilwen approached the street that led near the prison. Keeping under shadowed stories and alleys, she crept up nearer the prison.

Secure an Advantage 
9 = 6[d6]+3

13 = 8[d10]+5[d10]

A strong hit. Take plus 2 momentum. Now 6/10.

Did he take his guards inside the prison with him?
(Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

His guards must’ve gone in with Yormid as they were not out by the prison gates.

She needs a bow. Is there a guard passing by with a bow?
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Eilwen saw a large wagon clatter by. She caught glimpses of weapons under a canvas wrap, including a bundle of roughly carved but functional bows. It passed her, enroute to the north...possibly to the palace. It clattered along the dirty mud-ridden streets, a sour-faced man with a large nose and white bedraggled mousy hair bore a mace at his hip and a shield on his back. Its design, a green griffin on a yellow field, was not familiar to her, perhaps it was the design of a southern settlement. So much of these more populated lands were unfamiliar to her.

She turned and followed after the wagon, moving after it casually, but gaining ground on it as it clattered down a different street to avoid traffic.

Are there guards on this street?
SL as it approaches the palace.
(Somewhat Likely | 1[d10]) No, and...

She took a quick glance about, but thankfully didn’t see any guards immediately around her. The wagon paused at an intersection to let five wagons bearing barrels of some goods or other pass by. She needed a bow... Maybe, just maybe she’d get lucky.

She made her decision and increased her pace to catch up to the rear of the wagon before it moved.

As she approached the shadows, flowed out of her cowl, blurring and masking her, and she slipped out her dagger, cutting the ropes and pulling out the chosen bundle.

Face Danger + Shadow
6 = 3[d6]+3

4 = 1[d10]+3[d10]

A strong hit! Her momentum goes up by 1, now 7/10.

Her luck held.

She pulled the bundle loose and slipped it under her own cloak as she moved back down an alley. Rather than push her luck, she moved back into the flow of traffic and slipped back to the church tower.

With the simple bird call of a raven, she approached and returned up the ladder. She opened the bundle and found three bows tied together with a leather band.

“Stay here and watch Yormid. I’ll get back to the house and get those arrows,” Gethyd suggested handing her back his bow.

“Be careful,” she said.

He gave a lopsided grin and nodded. “Raven’s call again?”

“Sounds like it’s our signal,” she smiled as he disappeared, clambering down the ladder.

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Episode 59
Does Gethyd make it back okay?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Did Yormid leave before Gethyd returned? SU as he likes his torture sessions it sounds like.
(Somewhat Unlikely | 8[d10]) Yes

A half hour later Gethyd returned, breathing hard, hands on knees. He took a deep breath and tossed the quiver of arrows up the ladder to her. Then he climbed up still breathing hard.

“Everything okay?”

“I’m fine. What about Yormid?”

“He’s already gone back to the palace,” she said and fit the string to the bow then tested the draw.

They split the arrows between them. She took the quiver and slung it over her back.

Is there a public execution today?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

I just had an idea and asked a question on it. I’ll reveal the answer in a bit.

The bell started tolling. Eilwen thought it sounded mournful. Gethyd cursed.

“What is it?”

“Another execution,” he muttered.

“When are they?”

“Usually at sunset.”

“Where do they hold them?”

“In the square outside the palace, there,” he pointed. They had a good view of the palace and square.

Is it in bow range?
(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

It’s probably a good 3 hours to sunset.

“What’s the plan?” Gethyd asked her.

“When Yormid appears and is about to execute the prisoner, if we have a shot, we kill him. You do know how to use that bow, right?”

“Hunting is one of the things my father does praise me for,” he smiled.

“Good,” she said and smiled back. “And you’ve hit an animal on the run before then?”
(Likely | 6[d10]) Yes
He nodded again.

“Very good. When the fighting starts, they’ll shoot back. We stand a good chance of not being hit or noticed if we stay under cover here. Once Yormid is dead or once his guards rush our position--and they likely will--we’ll need to move like lightning and get out of Redhall. We’ll fall back to the same tree.”

They waited and the sun dipped lower, painting the red stone of the square a beautiful burnished gold. All in all, she would have appreciated the beauty of the sunset more had an execution not been on the agenda.

Two groups of warriors came out. One group moved out from the palace and shoved the people back. Another group came from the prison and led a bound group of a dozen prisoners forward to the square. The prisoners hobbled forward, falling and scraping as their captors whipped them, yanked them to their feet again, and then shoved them to keep them moving. All in all, about a score of guards were present, most of them forming a rough rectangle around the square.

One of the prisoners fell and cried out, and Gethyd hissed as he shot to his feet, slamming his head on a half-burnt beam. He winced, but he hardly seemed to notice.

“What is it?” Eilwen asked.

“It's my father,” he whispered, his face going as white as a snow owl at dusk. “They’re going to kill my father!” He slumped and fell to his knees, tears on his face.

“Not if we can act first!” she said and grabbed his arm. “Look at me Gethyd! Does Yormid do the executions himself?”

(Very Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Gethyd nodded, his pale face looking ghostly white. “Yes... all of them.” He swallowed. “Every one.”

“Then the plan is the same. We just have a little extra incentive to stop him before he gets to your father.”

“Incentive?” Gethyd’s voice rose an octave. He looked like he was going to be sick.

“Focus!” she said. “I need you present. Here and now! I need you to become the hunter, do you understand?”

The guards yanked the prisoners forward as Yormid strode out of the palace, flanked by his usual six bodyguards.

He began a shouted speech. She only caught snatches of phrases.

“...guards assaulted by a witch!”

“...prisoners were freed. And now these families...

“ the price...”

Eilwen quickly counted. “There’s about twenty-five warriors out there. We are going to have to kill him fast!” she said and then get out even faster she knew. She grabbed his arm and nodded at him sternly showing her confidence in him. “You can do this!”

His Adam's apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed anxiously.

“Bows up!” she commanded.

As one, they raised their bows.

“Nock arrows!” she ordered and felt the smooth grain under her fingers. “Await my signal. Yormid dies this day...” she whispered.

Here’s the question I asked before:
Are they going to execute Gethyd’s father? I think it’s Likely they would gather the family members of the prisoners and put them under threat of death to lure back those who fled the other night.

(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

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Episode 60
Is his father the first execution? Because it’s narratively interesting, I’ll say it’s SL.
(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

“Now, they die!” Yormid shouted, and he raised his axe. “One by one! Bring them forth! That one first!”

“Draw,” Eilwen commanded, and she felt the fibers in her hand, the smoothness of the fletching as she drew the string to her cheek. Light glinted orange and red off armor and weapons from the warriors. The crowd barely stirred, somber, reverent, and docile. Such killings must’ve become commonplace, a part of Eilwen’s mind considered.

Two guards shoved Edyard, Gethyds father, forward, wrists bound with leather bands that cut into his arms. His legs were also hobbled with a rope that he could only move in a slow shuffle. He fell on scraped knees before Yormid.

“Father...” she heard Gethyd whisper.
She’ll also be taking extra shots... she has to declare this first. She’ll suffer -1 supply but can reroll any dice.

Is Yormid’s rank Formidable? I think so. I think even alone he’s Formidable. So I’ll say likely.
(Likely | 4[d10]) No, but...
Wow. That was nice. So, he’s just a Dangerous foe then. Maybe he usually is Formidable but not today due to an injury from a hunt or something...or because Gethyd is helping.

Enter the Fray move + Shadow
5 = 2[d6]+3

17 = 8[d10]+9[d10]

A miss!

“Aim,” Eilwen hissed, and she sighted on Yormid’s chest.

Edyard’s face was proud and defiant and he struggled to stand. He stood up in front of Yormid blocking their shot. He cursed and spat in Yormid’s face.

But from my Shadow Walk ability when ambushing, she can re-roll any dice. I’ll reroll all of them. They have to hit first!

7 = 4[d6]+3

10 = 3[d10]+7[d10]

A weak hit. On a weak hit, prepare to act and either take +2 momentum, or take initiative. We have to take initiative to save his life, but they’re waiting for a clear shot

Yormid cursed and backhanded Edyard, sending him flying onto his back, blood gushing from a shattered nose.

“Fire!” Eilwen said and she let fly.

Now she does the Strike move
7 = 5[d6]+2

18 = 9[d10]+9[d10]

No no no! A miss on double 9s!!Not good. What I wouldn’t give for ten momentum!

On doubles, there’s a narrative twist and something bad in this case and the higher the numbers the worse the twist. The first thing that comes to my mind is that I hit Edyard instead. Hmmm...
Miss Count 3/24

Let me roll up an action / theme to get an idea of how her miss happened, because up until now things were going quite well...

Swear / Desolation

We pause the camera and zoom in on the back of her neck. Sweat glistens in the sunlight from the pores of her skin. Wisps of fine hairs stand out on her neck. And there we see a black and red spider-like creature, its poisonous stinger glints wetly in the shaft of afternoon sunlight (Desolation).

Hmm. Is it a normal size spider?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

Ah...hah, so it’s the giant variety eh? Apparently, this thing must’ve been a little nest up in this ruined chapel, in the top of the steeple, and it was biding its time! Fun fun fun.

Rewind and Take 2!

We pause the camera and then go ultra slow-mo: The camera and the angle show Eilwen from the front, bow pulled to her cheek in a three-fingered draw. We zoom closer and catch her slow exhalation. We see her intense concentration, composed and confident, the lithe form of a consummate warrior. Perspiration glistens in the sunlight from the pores of her skin, wisps of her dark hair catch a gentle breeze.

The angle shifts upward, and there at the edges of darkness, we see the barest form of something foul and loathsome, a massive...multi-legged shape drops from the shadows above her....It passes through a wide shaft of sunlight and time slows further as it is is bathed in the golden sunset. We see glittering in the light the black pattern on its red carapace, its poisonous stinger glints wetly, a promise of desolation. (It’s some unholy combination of an ant and spider, maybe -- hence the poisonous stinger instead of in the mandibles)

All this time, it must’ve crept stealthily, descending soundlessly on a web from the tower above her.

Detritus and flecks of charred timber fall slowly with the monstrosity through the shaft of light.

Does this affect Gethyd too?
(Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

Time slowed. A heartbeat before Eilwen released her bowstring, something large and sleek with multiple hairy legs and multi-faceted eyes slammed into her, throwing off her aim. She caught a glimpse of red and black before detritus and debris fell about her. She uttered an oath as she skidded across the mossy planks and rolled into Gethyd.

Gethyd remained standing but slammed against the wooden frame of the window, knocking out bits of masonry as his arrow careened forth.

Does Gethyd shot hit Yormid? I’ll say unlikely, given that he’s distracted by her rolling into him and the big scary spider that emerged:
(Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

Does he hit a guard?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

Does he hit a civilian?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Does he kill him/her?
(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes

His barb buried itself into the back of an old woman, and she collapses forward with a cry, clutching vainly at the point protruding from her chest.

Let’s see what manner of foe Edyard might be. I think it’s SL that he’s Troublesome?
(Somewhat Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

Eilwen’s errant attack gives two harm. We’ll end the attack on Edyard after this harm as if he were a foe that she is trying to slay. So, that’d be 6/10 progress boxes. If the 6 progress boxes beat the two challenge dice, he’s dead. If not, he’s only wounded. 

That’s six boxes vs challenge dice:
3 = 1[d10]+2[d10]

Nope that is indeed a killing blow... And we can’t use momentum on progress moves to change this.

Does Yormid have counter snipers set up?
Probably not. I’ll say unlikely.
(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...
In fact, he doesn’t have any archers immediately with him.

What about Halig and his group that fled the clearing last night? Do they show up and try anything? I’m going to say it’s Very Unlikely given something else I rolled about them earlier.
(Very Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

Eilwen’s arrow lanced out of her bow. It moved in slow motion. Yormid’s axe raised to strike Edyard. It glistened in the setting sun, turning it blood red--a portentous omen. But her arrow came first, and it slashed through the air and buried itself up to its fletchings into the side of Edyard’s neck, pinning him to the ground.

He gurgled, clawing at his throat as his life’s blood poured out.

The crowd gasped. Yormid, eyes wide in shock, took two steps back, and his guards raised shields and closed in about him. Then his cruel green eyes narrowed as he scanned the buildings.

Does he see the forms struggling in the tower? 50/50 given that there’s a big hairy insect making a racket there.
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

“There! In the church tower! By the dying breath of the gods, but they’ll feel my wrath!” he swore, and his spittle hung in the air. “Kill them! Kill them all!” 

He pointed with his axe, and his guards charged forward. About twenty-five warriors, including Yormid, began to cut their way through the square, shoving, and cleaving the people in front of them in their haste to get through to the tower. As they passed, they left a wake of destruction, of...desolation.

Does the crowd scatter?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Wow. What a horrible change of events! Quite the kerfuffle!

(Note that it’s been many days from my initial writeup here, and I noticed while editing this prior to posting on RPGSolo that I forgot to apply her Archer ability to spend an extra supply to reroll any of the dice on that Strike. That could have changed things significantly. But since I’ve already written some 40+ pages of content in subsequent episodes based on what happened here, I’ll just run with the double-nines. Bad things happen! Note to self, remember character abilities!)

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Episode 61
Eilwen hasn’t seen the effects of her shot yet. So we’ll get to that when she finds out. For now, it’s survival time.

I’ll do an Enter the Fray. I'll use the stats of the Harrow Spider. It’s a Dangerous foe. This one is a different species I guess, since it has a poisonous stinger but normal pincers.

Ambushed roll + wits

6 = 4[d6]+2

11 = 6[d10]+5[d10]

That’s a weak hit.

She will take initiative.

The large spider-like monstrosity hit her, throwing her, and she felt herself slam into Gethyd, debris floated down around her, and she saw the huge insect scuttle towards her. As it came, she reached into her coat, and in a fluid motion, she flicked her dagger towards the creature. It spun end over end...

Strike + edge

8 = 6[d6]+2

8 = 1[d10]+7[d10]

A strong hit! +1 harm in addition to her +2 harm from hitting with a dangerous weapon. That’s three damage and fills up 6 boxes since you give two progress per harm against a Dangerous foe. (Progress is 6/10)

The creature hissed and scrambled backwards, kicking out with its legs, collapsing backwards, the dagger protruding from its abdomen.

Did Gethyd see what happened to his father?
(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...

No, but he saw his shot hit the old woman and then he saw the spider-thing.

What about the spider? Has he seen anything like this in the wild before?
(Unlikely | 7[d10]) Yes, but...
But it was a dead one... okay. Well that’s something. I’ll say that lessens the chance of him being totally useless from fear. SL he’s paralyzed with fear.

(Somewhat Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

Gethyd shouted in horror as his shot took down the woman. Tears formed in his eyes. Then he heard the unnatural hiss and saw the spider bumping into the wall, trying to brush the barb out of its body. Gethyd backpedaled away from it, eyes wide, trembling hands dropping his bow. He scrambled out onto the window ledge. Standing on the ledge, he gripped the wall and looked at the ground below him, his feet inches from the edge.

The guards dashed across the street. They’d be here in moments. “Eilwen! The guards are coming!” he shouted. “Hurry!”

With the creature knocked off balance and hurt, it gave her the time she needed. She twisted into a crouch and yanked out her handaxe, hefted it, and threw it at its head.

Strike + edge again
6 = 4[d6]+2
9 = 1[d10]+8[d10]
A weak hit. 2 more harm.

(Progress is now 10/10 but she has lost initiative)

The spider turned at the least second, and the axe cut through one of its legs, slicing it deeply before the weapon clattered to the floor.

Then the creature dashed at her, screaming its rage, dragging one useless leg behind it.

Does she have time to grab the spear and meet it head on before it gets to her?
I’ll say likely since she’s forced it back with two successful hits.

(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

She leaped to where her spear rested against the wall and shouted her defiance as she raised it, just as the creature slammed into her.

Clash + iron
6 = 5[d6]+1

9 = 8[d10]+1[d10]

A weak hit. She gives Harm but its boxes are already full, so she just needs to end the fight.
(Progress is now 7/10)
She has to pay the price.
I’ll envision two negative outcomes and make one likely
Does she take damage (likely), if no, then her spear break
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

The spear drove into its body as the creature slammed her against the wall. The collision caused her head to ring. Dazed and seeing white starburst patterns, she felt the sting of the serrated pincers bite down into her flesh, slashing into her upper left shoulder and lower left abdomen.

She takes 2 harm. Health is 1/5 now.
Endure Harm
7 = 6[d6]+1

11 = 2[d10]+9[d10]

A weak hit. You press on.

Does Gethyd help?
(Unlikely | 5[d10]) No

Did he see his father now, lying in his gore?
I think it’s SL now that the crowd has largely scattered.
(Somewhat Likely | 7[d10]) Yes
And that explains why he’s not helping.

Eilwen gasped from the sudden pain, but her adrenaline kept the worst of it at bay.

“Father!” Gethyd moaned and sank down onto the ledge. He hugged his knees, letting his bow fall and clatter to the floor of the tower. “No. No. No...” he rocked back and forth.

Eilwen still had the spear in her hands. It had driven entirely through the creature, and wet ichor slimed her hands. She gagged from the nauseating stench. The thing pressed against her. It’s pincers holding her in place.

Can it sting her with the spear through its body?

Unlikely given its damage and the spear.
(Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

It tried to get its stinger into position to strike her but her spear through its abdomen made that impossible, and the poison covered barb dragged uselessly across the floor.

What does it do? I’ll use the Combat Oracle
81 - Attack with precision

It released its hold on her, readjusted its pincers to grab her neck. Once free of its grasp, Eilwen tried to slide under it.

She’ll Turn the Tide here to steal the initiative and risk it all to finish this. I probably should have done that sooner.
She gets a +1 on her Strike with iron

8 = 6[d6]+2

11 = 3[d10]+8[d10]

Weak hit.

The pincers slammed into the wall where her head had been. She heaved and tore the spear out in a spray of ichor, and the spider screamed a loud chittering screech and backed away nearly to the ladder.

She raised her spear and shouted, “Gethyd! The bow!”

Mad with rage and pain, the thing darted towards her again.

The spider thing attacks--95 on the Combat oracle. Attack with power.

Is Gethyd spurred to action to help her?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 6[d10]) No, but...

No, but he’s starting to come out of it.

With shaking hands, Gethyd picked up his bow and loaded an arrow, blinking away tears of sorrow and rage. Muscles twitched on his face as he clenched his jaw. Below him, he saw that the guards had made it across the street and began to approach the overgrown chapel courtyard.

The spider-like creature rushed at Eilwen again, and again in a fury it came, barreling towards her, pinchers opened wide, its legs slamming down around it, trying to trample her.

The pain from its bite throbbed and burned. She felt blood warm seep through her clothes and her vision swam again. As it charged, she faked feinted left but instead darted right, trying to come around it.

Secure an Advantage Danger + Shadow for the deception
7 = 4[d6]+3

11 = 6[d10]+5[d10]

A strong hit.

The spider slammed into the wall again, but Eilwen was not there. Now on its flank, Eilwen saw her chance, she rammed the spear home.

With that strong hit, she can End the Fight now.
10 progress boxes vs.
10 = 8[d10]+2[d10]

A strong hit.

She shouted and drove the spear into its back and pinned the creature to the wooden floor through its head. It screamed its last, and its legs twitched and curled under it. She yanked the spear free.

Are the guards at the chapel now?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Gethyd finally had his bow up and an arrow in it and he climbed down from the ledge. He stared out the window, misery written on his face. “My father...” he said. “He’s dead!”

“What?” Eilwen said, and she felt the power of her iron vow tremble.

Did Gethyd recognize that it was her arrow in her father?
I’m going to say unlikely given the distance and the other hacked bodies nearby.
(Unlikely | 5[d10]) No

“He’s dead!” he sobbed. “He’s lying in his blood there with the others.”

She darted to the window and peered out. She saw the bodies, saw her own arrow in Edyard’s lifeless body, saw the pool of blood. She felt like she might be sick. She leaned against the window and sucked in a deep breath of air.

This is the first time one of her vows cannot come to completion. Her vow was to rescue Valeri’s husband and son.

So we have to do this move:

Forsake a Vow
When you renounce your quest, betray your promise, or the goal is lost to you, clear the vow and Endure Stress. You suffer -spirit equal to the rank of your quest.
Since it was a dangerous vow, she loses two Spirit, so it’s now down to 1/5 now.

Yormid’s guards were there. Some were readying spears to throw into the window. She heard others running through the ruined lower floor beneath them, trying to reach the ladder.

Does she see Yormid. He was charging the building with his guards, so I’ll say it’s L she sees him out in the courtyard, if not, he’s underneath, about to come up.
(Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

Behind the spear throwers, she saw Yormid stalking forward, his massive two-handed axe out, shouting orders, clearly in a rage about an attempt on his life. A few heavily armed and armored guards stood around him, shields up, protecting their master.

“There they are!” Yormid roared and pointed with his axe. “Kill them!”

Spearheads glistened in the sun and lanced towards them.

“Get back!” she shouted, and she rammed into Gethyd to get him out of their line of fire.

Face Danger + Edge
5 = 3[d6]+2

11 = 9[d10]+2[d10]

A weak hit. Success but she loses one momentum.

They tumbled to the ground together as multiple spears clattered about the window, some passing through it to hit the far wall. She scrambled to her feet as the shouts of other warriors drawing nearer to the base of the ladder.

They only had moments to flee. She now felt the numerous scrapes on knees, elbows, and hands. She tried to ignore the pain as she picked up her bow and slung it on her back. The blood from her side and shoulder felt wet, warm, and sticky.

“I’ll kill them!” Gethyd snarled and raised his bow and stepped towards the ladder, living with anger. “They killed my da!”

“Listen to me!” she grabbed his arm with one hand and spun him to face her. “We need to get out of here, do you understand?”

“They killed him!” his tears of fury tore at her heart as much as the untruth of his statement. “I’ll--”

“I...They--” she shook her head. No time to explain. If he believed that they were to blame, so much the better. She had to get him focused. She shook him and shouted into his face, “And they’ll kill us if we stay here! We need to leave, Gethyd. Now!”

She heard the guards climbing the ladder and more shouts from the grounds outside. They were hemmed in. Trapped.

There was only one way to flee.

She started to utter the words of power under her breath as she drew the Skaed rune. The blue angled lines hung faintly in the semi darkness of the tower. She told herself there was only one way, and she chose to believe it.

Shadow-walk Ability
10 = 6[d6]+4

8 = 5[d10]+3[d10]

A strong hit! Take +1 momentum (and another +1 momentum from the third check on that asset). Her momentum is now 8/10.

The shadows poured forth and blanketed them, obscuring them in comforting whispers. They churned and swam about her, a pool of inky black. And in that darkness, a twisting hole formed as the blue lines of the Skaed rune grew larger, twisting and stretching, they formed into an odd doorway of sorts, blue lines in impossible angles. Around it, a vortex of shadows with flecks and swirls of red and black, colors of the dead spider, colors of her blood, mixed with the orange streaks from the setting sun.

Does she finish before the guards get to the top? Since she got a strong hit, I’ll say somewhat likely:

(Somewhat Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

Time seemed to slow.

“What is this?” Gethyd whispered, amazed. Fearful.

“A way out,” she replied. “The only way out.”

She grabbed his arm, and stepped through the strange doorway pulling him after, just as she saw hands from the guards grip the top rung of the ladder.

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Episode 62
Do the guards chase them before the portal closes?
People are suspicious of magic in general, and twisting whispering shades of the dead make this Almost Impossible, but there’s still a chance.

(Almost Impossible | 1[d10]) No, and...

Sounds like they’re running the other way once they see it... And a giant spider corpse at the top of the ladder staring at them probably didn’t help their will to follow either.

She looked behind her and saw as if through a dirty filmy substance, the guards backing away. Some fainted, others dropped weapons and leaped out the window. She heard Yormid shouting commands, the words muted and indistinguishable somehow.

She willed the doorway behind her shut. The darkness of the shadows enveloped them.

Is there light in here?
(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

Utter darkness, nearly palpable, consumed them.

“Eilwen,” Gethyd choked and she felt him grab her arm. “Where are we?”

Is it echoey?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

His voice echoed about them. She pulled out the sapphire pendant that hung about her neck, and it glowed a faint blue. It revealed Gethyd’s face, his eyes wide as a snow owl.

Sounds like they’re in a cavern?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Is it a natural cavern?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

She released his hand and held the sapphire pendant high. The dim light of the sapphire did not carry far, but as her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she could see a bit further. Behind them, she saw a wall. She walked to it and put a hand to its surface. It felt completely solid.

“I think we’re underground,” she said.

Hewn stone?
(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

“But not made of stone,” she whispered.

Is it wet from moisture?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

She brushed her hand against a cold wall and felt flecks of metal break under her touch. Iron. Flakes of it drifted slowly to the ground in the blue light. She pressed harder and a streak of rust clung to her skin wet to the touch.

She brought her wet finger to her nose, sniffed, and gave a tentative touch with her tongue.

Wet with water?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

Her footsteps flaked iron under foot, iron made up the ceiling above her. She wondered what she’d find if she drilled a hole through the wall.

“Or underwater,” she muttered.

Is the air humid?
(Somewhat Likely | 1[d10]) No, and...

“Underwater?” Gethyd hissed and stared about him. “By the Heralds! How is that possible?”

Oddly, the air in the room felt dry as a bone.

She didn’t answer but turned and saw the faint light flickered off something large, tall, and metallic, perhaps two score paces away. Was it a wall on the other end or something else?

“This way,” she said, and Gethyd followed close behind, bumping into her. They drew closer to the tall shape. In the center of the room, it resolved into a tall iron obelisk that stood atop a narrow plinth. Its faceted faces bore more blocky runes.

Is the pillar also rusted?
(Somewhat Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

It seemed similar to those iron pillars she had seen on the surface of her lands, though this pillar, in this strange place, was pocked and rusted from time and age. She traced a finger across the blocky runes etched into its surface and more iron dust fell away into darkness after passing briefly by the light of the pendant.

Can she understand the runes?
I think it’s Very Likely, given that it’s part of her ability to travel through the realm of shadow, and she didn’t fail her roll (yet). If she cannot understand them then she must have some other way of traveling this road of shadow.
(Very Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

She felt something. After a heartbeat, her pendant flared star-bright for a moment, the light receded, but the flaring of understanding remained in her mind.

“I understand these runes,” she said and looked at the pillar in awe. “But who made all this?” she asked. “And how is any of this possible?”

In the brief flare of light, she had seen that beyond the pillar multiple pathways branched in pocked-iron metal that twisted away into the darkness. Some spiraled downwards out of sight, others circled upwards in rusted ramps. By each corridor, a short stubby pillar with thick runes stared back.

“I don’t know,” Gethyd said and he hugged himself, rubbing his hands on his arms. “But it’s dark and dismal here. You can get us out, right?”

(I admit that I’m channeling a bit of Robert Jordan’s setting of The Ways.)

“We’ll find out,” she said and moved her pendant near the pillar again, studying the runes.

Undertake a Journey.
I’ll say this is a troublesome journey. She’s not going far, just trying to get to where Thorganna is.

Roll + Shadow
8 = 5[d6]+3

13 = 8[d10]+5[d10]

A weak hit. Journey progress (3/10).

They moved to a few of the stubby sign posts next to passageway entrances.
“This should take us north. I think, to another Iron pillar on the surface,” she rubbed her finger over a small bump on an iron faceplate with lines and etchings in the plate that she thought might represent mountains or rivers.

She held out an unlit torch and some flint and steel from her small pack to Gethyd. “Light that,” she said. 

It flared an orange glow. She put the pendant back under her tunic and lit her own torch.

Now, with better light, they continued their journey. They trudged for what seemed like hours, taking twisting turn after twisting turn. Gethyd was right. Perhaps at one point it had been awe inspiring, but now with the darkness and the still air, it felt like a tomb.

“This place,” she muttered and felt her palms go clammy. “Something about it...”

Take Stress 1 (Spirit is now 0/5)
Endure Stress
2 = 1[d6]+1

14 = 6[d10]+8[d10]

(Miss count 4/24)
Choice time. I can accept this and lose 1 momentum (bringing me to 7) and then take the Shaken debility because I’d be at 0 spirit, or I can spend my 8 momentum to turn this into a weak hit and just be at 0 spirit. Is it worth it to not get the Shaken debility?

I’ll take the Shaken debility (momentum is now 7/10)

What is the milestone like?
Clash / Tool

Still in a room or passageway made of iron?
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Any bodies?
(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...

The iron passageway they had followed finally opened to a broad interior cavern-like room filled with an iron colonnade that stretched into the darkness. Their foot falls gave a hollow bong as they walked.

“Who made this?” Gethyd asked.

Eilwen had no answer, and the question hung in the dry air. They couldn’t see the walls and their voices echoed distantly. Her shadows swirled after her, obediently distant, but ready to swirl to her need.

Gethyd’s torch flickered off pillars that passed by them out to the left and right, streaks of red rust created little piles of dust at the base of each pillar. She wondered if the pillars were weeping.

Their torchlight reflected off a dozen or so broken wooden carts that had once been full of tools and weapons that looked like they had been hacked apart. They glanced among the carts, and Eilwen had her bow up and out. Gethyd had his dagger out with the torch held up. But they saw and heard nothing. No sounds save their own tense breathing. They didn’t see any bodies, but they saw scratch marks in the iron floor near the carts and streaks of blood.

Are the carts old? (VL)
(Very Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

The blood looked quite old.

“See if there’s anything useful to find,” she said in a whisper that sounded too loud to her ears, and they picked among the carts.

Resupply Move
3 = 1[d6]+2

15 = 9[d10]+6[d10]

Another miss. (Miss count 5/24)
I will burn my 7 momentum to turn this into a weak hit.
She can get up to +2 supply at -1 momentum each. But after burning the momentum it resets to 2 so -2 momentum more would be 0. She’ll do it through. She needs to heal and supply is good for that.

What sort of supplies do they find?
Control / Adversities
Move / Joy

Among the supplies they found some old clothing in a half broken chest and from the ruined carts they were able to make some more torches. Some of the clothing they found had been torn and ruined but a few garments still looked in good shape.

In another cart, she found an intricate figurine carved from dark wood into the form of an animal, a horse perhaps or something very nearly like it anyway. It had little wheels on the bottom. A toy for a child...

But who would bring a child into this place? It looked like a caravan had passed through here long ago and had been attacked.

Does it look human size?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Fashion wise, does the clothing belong to the humans Ironlanders?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

Has she seen this type of clothing before?
(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

“What kind of clothing is this?” Gethyd asked, pulling out a vest half covered in iron dust. “It has a strange cut.”

Yieldingly / Beautiful

He was right. She fingered it. It felt like the silken underside of some leaves she’d felt in the mountains or like the velvet coat of an otter, and it could certainly fit a human, but the fashion was unlike anything she had seen. Her hands fingered the golden thread and silver buttons inlaid with pearls on a striking green gown.

Perhaps it was ceremonial or religious?

Are there symbols on it?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Can she understand them? I’ll say somewhat unlikely since these aren’t from Ironlanders garb.
(Somewhat Unlikely | 5[d10]) No

The golden threads came together in unfamiliar symbols along the hem.

“I don’t know.” She put a set of clothing in her pack, a gown that looked decidedly regal. And then from among another set of clean clothes, she cut up the cloth for bandages and set about cleaning out her wound.

Heal Move
2 = 1[d6]+1

14 = 9[d10]+5[d10]

Miss count (6/24)
Man, she has had a horrible string of rolls! No momentum to change anything. For the pay the price, I’ll cut myself some slack and say she loses a supply.

She felt frustrated. The bandage wouldn’t set right. It kept coming loose. Perhaps due to her shaking hands.

(Supply now 4/5).

She balled her hands into fists to clench the trembling.

“Are you okay?” Gethyd asked.

She tried to nod but instead shrugged. “This place is getting to me,” she said.

Does he try to comfort her?
(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

He gave a tired nod and let some more debris fall with a clatter. “Me too,” he said.

She winced from the pain of her wounds as she picked up a wooden plank. “You look tired, and I know I could use some rest. We have plenty of wood we can burn from these carts. Let’s make a camp here,” she suggested.

“Is it safe?”

She shrugged. “It might be safer than pressing on,” she said. “Help me get this fire going.”

Gotta get something up.

Make Camp move
8 = 4[d6]+4

7 = 3[d10]+4[d10]

Finally a strong hit!

She’ll take Recuperate +1 health, and Partake +1 health -1 supply (supply now 3/5, health now 3/5).

They rested, and Eilwen shared some of her remaining bread with Gethyd. The fire felt warm. She set the bandages again and rubbed a small poultice from some herbs she had found into the wound.

Gethyd didn’t want to talk, and she felt herself turning inward too, reliving the fight with the spider and her errant arrow shot that had slain Edyard. Could she have done anything different? She shook her head, frustrated and angry, but resigned. Her hands shook less, but they still trembled slightly when she looked out into the vast dark and the iron pillars that bled dark streaks of rust.

As she struggled to sleep, she imagined the pillars closing in around them, weeping their blood upon them, burying them in piles of red dust, never to see the light again.

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Episode 63
When she awoke, the fire was mere embers. But she felt rested. Gethyd stirred and grabbed her hand when she gently pushed his shoulder to awaken him.

“Easy,” she said in the near darkness. “It’s just me. Time to get up.”

He gave a grunt, and they packed their things. After another breakfast of half-moldy bread and cheese under dim torchlight, they pressed on.

Undertake Journey + Shadow
6 = 3[d6]+3

12 = 8[d10]+4[d10]

A weak hit. (Journey progress now 6/10)
Endure Stress. She’s at 0 spirit so has to mark momentum as -1/10 now

This might get bad now that she has 0.
3 = 2[d6]+1

9 = 8[d10]+1[d10]

A weak hit. You press on.

What does she see at this milestone?
Capture / Memory

After moving through the darkness for some hours, they passed over a wide iron pool. In the middle a dark tree made of iron with leaves rusted and falling. And inside the pool, instead of water, she saw dark shadows moving about. They cast back her reflection, and moved under a surface, like a mirror made of oily black pitch.

“What is this?” Gethyd asked, holding his torch over the swirling shadows.

Her own shadows moved about her. She slowly put her hand forth and touched the pool, willing one of the shadows under her control to go into the pool of shadows.

What happens?
Desert / News

It did and was lost among the others. She pulled out her hand, and a different shadow clung to her and stretched like tarry goo.

Is she doing the capturing?
(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

“I don’t know,” she said. She shook her head. “I feel odd... like...”

Gethyd slapped her hand away from the pool. “What are you doing!” he swore.

She blinked at him.

“You’re the one who said magic was dangerous, but here you go putting your hands into the Heralds own maw!" He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. "You’re the only one who can get me out of this place!”

Face Danger + shadow to retain the memory
9 = 6[d6]+3

11 = 2[d10]+9[d10]

A weak hit.

She shook her head. Something... something about her mother. Something she needed to remember. She blinked her eyes, focused them on Gethyd.

“Eilwen!” he sounded frantic.

“It’s okay,” she said slowly and then backed away from the strange pool.

“You’re sure?”

“Yes... It tried to take a memory from me, and--”

“Eilwen,” he said alarmed, backing away from the pool and grabbing her hand.

“What?” her eyes still felt out of focus slightly.


A creature made entirely of shadow or tar or...something had climbed out of the shadowy pool. It moved about on four stubby legs and had a thick neck and a bulbous head. It opened its maw and a tongue of shadow darted out, extending and thickening like a vine of dark slime to engulf them.

They ran.

Face Danger + Edge to get away
3 = 1[d6]+2

8 = 3[d6]+5[d6]

A miss. Miss count 7/24)

Does it catch up to Eilwen.
I’ll say SL as Gethyd is good at running. She is too but he might be better.
(Somewhat Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

When she heard the strange skittering screech of an insect mingled with this hissing of shadows growing louder, Eilwen looked over her shoulder. In the gloom, this terrible blend of realities that chased them now had six legs and moved rapidly across the iron floor, kicking up iron dust in its dark wake.

Eilwen turned to face it. She set an arrow into her bow, moving backwards, struggling to see it in the faint light.

Does Gethyd who has the torch slow to help?
(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

Gethyd continued to run, his torch bobbing away in the distance.

“Gethyd!” she shouted and spun, squinting to see the thing in the increasing gloom. “We have to stand! It’s gaining on us! I need light!”

Does he hear her?
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

He stopped, paused, and began to jog back.

Enter the Fray
I think this is a Troublesome fight as it’s only a single shadow. But as a unique creature of the shadow realm, it will have unique abilities. We know it can shift its shape so that’s its primary feature. I’ll call this a Shadow Horror. I’ll use the Delve book as needed to generate aspects of this creature as needed. Here’s what I have so far for the current one:

Shadow Horror
Rank: Troublesome
  • Fears the light
  • Initially amorphous
  • Morph Shape
  • Misty shadow becomes shadowy flesh
  • Fleet of foot
  • Grow limbs
  • Tongue of tar and pain
  • Spiderwalk
  • Ensnare the body
  • Feast on memories
  • Snatch the soul
  • Lurk in shadows
  • Spring from darkness
  • Pin and feed

Roll + Heart
5 = 4[d6]+1
13 = 6[d10]+7[d10]

A miss (miss count 8/24)

Something wet and sticky, wrapped around her bow and yanked.

Face Danger + Iron or lose bow
4 = 3[d6]+1
8 = 1[d10]+7[d10]

A weak hit

Sacrifice resources -1 supply (now 2/5)

She held onto the bow, but it yanked the arrow out of her hand and flung it into the darkness. She cursed and shouted for Gethyd again.

Gethyd’s bubble of light grew brighter, and there at the edge of her vision, she saw the strange horror step into view. Its tarry-like tongue retracted, like some black viper, into a mouth that opened into six sections, under each section spike-like teeth. Darkness and shadow oozed and flowed about the thing.

What does it do?
79 - Attack with Precision

It hissed and screeched, and its mouth opened again, and the snake-like tongue weaved back and forth as if tasting the air. Then the tongue darted at her, snake like, the tongue's tip opening up into multiple suckers and teeth, a loathsome net of shadow and pain.

She dove to the left to avoid it.

Face Danger + Edge
5 = 3[d6]+2

9 = 4[d10]+5[d10]

A weak hit.

It whipped over her shoulder where she had been, but the suckers, latched onto and ripped open a section of her pack, spilling its contents.

-1 supply again (now 1/5)

She scrambled to her feet.

She needs to get initiative! Grrr.

What does it do now?
Intimidate or Frighten

It rose up on its hind legs and opened its mouth and trumpeted a blast of noise. She felt air, cold and irksome to her soul, wash over her. Goose flesh rose on her arms making the hair on her arms and neck stand on end.

Endure Stress 1

6 = 5[d6]+1

10 = 9[d10]+1[d10]

A weak hit. She doesn’t have any more spirit to lose, so she loses momentum (now at -2). She presses on.

She panted and took a step backwards.

Is Gethyd frightened?
(Somewhat Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

What are the results of that? Is he paralyzed in place (likely)
(Likely | 3[d10]) No

Gethyd gave a ragged cry, spun, and darted away, the torch flaring as he ran into the darkness, the light streaking away with him.

“Gethyd!” she shouted. “Stay with me!”

Does it go after him?
Unlikely as it hates the light.
(Unlikely | 4[d10]) No

There’s no way they can outrun it unless she can wound it somehow.

For a moment, its strange eyes stared after the departing light. In its moment of distraction, Eilwen slowly moved behind a column of iron, quietly and cautiously attempting to get out of its field of view.

Secure an Advantage with Shadow

8 = 5[d6]+3

5 = 2[d10]+3[d10]

Finally a strong hit.
She’ll Prepare to act and will take +2 momentum getting her back to 0/10

She felt the iron column at her back and struggled to control her fear, and with trembling fingers, she pulled out the pendant. Its soft blue glow gave some faint illumination. She bowed her head and touched the iron pillar.

“I will find you and see you returned to your mother, Gethyd. This I swear on iron...”

Swear an Iron Vow
Notice, she didn’t say alive... Smile You have to be careful with how you word these vows.

Troublesome vow, I think (I hope)
Roll + heart
2 = 1[d6]+1

15 = 8[d10]+7[d10]

(A miss... Of course. What a horrible roll. Miss count 9/24)

You face a significant obstacle. Envision what stands in your way.
Well the creature she’s fighting is the obvious answer. But that was already there so this is something else. I’ll ask the oracle.

Action / Theme
Affect / Greed

I immediately think of her amulet and someone trying to steal it. But Gethyd isn’t going to do that, especially since he ran--he’s more concerned about his life. Those who might try to steal it are on the other side of the shadow door, in the real world, so there’s virtually no possible way someone could be here who would want to do that in context of their situation--very few people can travel the ways of shadow. So, in context, I think her and Gethyd’s presence are affecting the greed of stealing more memories...

In the distance, she heard Gethyd scream just as she felt something wet and sticky drip onto her face. She looked up and gave a hoarse cry.

-2 momentum (now back down to -2/10)

Well, that didn’t work out... I hope this is not the end of the road for our heroine.
But with her momentum so low, spirit at 0, supplies down to 1, and health already damaged, she’s in for a world of hurt. We shall see.

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