Classic Fantasy Ironsworn - Eilwen's Tale
#61
Episode 40 
Thankfully, the herbs accelerated Aron’s healing and kept the infection at bay. After three days of resting in the tower, her brother admitted he was ready to travel. In that time she had also tried to minister to her own wounds.


Heal move, but against herself, she has to use her lowest stat between Iron and Wits.


5 = 4[d6]+1


6 = 5[d10]+1[d10]


A weak hit. She succeeds but loses -1 momentum (now 1/10) but her health is restored to (5/5).


After three days, she climbed atop a crag to survey the road ahead and possibly to see the glint of an iron spike in the frosty morning sun. She wondered if Delos would even be at the iron pillar.


She’s trying to get information about the road ahead.


Secure an Advantage, roll + wits


8 = 6[d6]+2


17 = 7[d10]+10[d10]


A weak hit. Your advantage is short lived. Take +1 momentum. (now 2/10)


The road looked clear and she could see over the crest down into the valley on the other side of the pass. She was not about to give up on the quest.


She rejoined her brother and had him mount their remaining horse, though he protested.


“I’m going after Delos, but you’re hurt, Aron. I think you should go back to Seith and the others.”


Does he agree?
(Unlikely | 4[d10]) No


“I’m alright,” he said, but his wince told her it wasn’t entirely true. She worried he’d rip his wound open again. “I’ll continue to mend. Let’s see this through.”


With a sigh, she ranged out ahead, while he followed behind a few paces as their remaining horse plodded through the winding rocky pass.


Do they see their lost horse
(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...


They didn’t see their lost horse that had bolted up a few days earlier. They saw hoof prints from tie to time, but those were soon lost. There were numerous side paths or game trails it could have followed and ran foot of something foul. Maybe it had run off a cliff in that lightning storm. 


For the last three days, the rain had been followed by snow, the snow had stopped and thawed and then refrozen and then it snowed again. At least it was a sunny day. But it was frigid this high up and it left the trail a mixture of ice-encrusted mud and rocks.


Undertake Journey (current progress 6/10)
5 = 3[d6]+2


12 = 4[d10]+8[d10]


We make progress so now we’re 9/10 but suffer (-1 supply from the weak hit. We don’t have supply, so I have to use something else. I choose momentum -- back down to 1/10)


She had brought some meat she’d hacked and dried from the half-frozen boar carcass, but she no longer had her bear-skin cloak, and the frigid wind numbed her hands. She shivered, hugging herself, her hands under her arms to warm them. They pressed on and eventually made their way down and out of the valley.


The lower elevation brought warmer temperatures, and soon, they were traversing another meadow, bedecked with rain drops from a rain storm that had preceded them, leaving a glistening array of tiny diamonds of water clinging to the knee-high grasses.


According to her rudimentary map taken from Highcrag, this is where the iron spike should be.


I’ll try to End Journey (I have 9 progress)
8 = 7[d10]+1[d10]


A strong hit. The situation favors you. Choose one:
Make another move now and add +1 or Take +1 momentum.
I’ll see what the situation is now before deciding that.


Her pants were heavy with water as she plodded ahead. It was mid afternoon, when in the distance, the ground rose up to a fold in the land, and she could see down into a slight depression, as if a giant had pressed his thumb into the ground and then stuck an iron needle in the center.


Has Scratch returned?
(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...


She dropped prone and studied the situation, peering through the grass down into the depression. She had left Aron a few hundred feet behind as she had scouted ahead. She also scanned the sky, but didn’t see any sign of the small wyvern. She hadn’t seen him during the three days they had rested. She hoped he was alright. Maybe he had left for good.


Is Delos here?
(Somewhat Likely | 9[d10]) Yes


Hooray, I get another quest milestone, so Iron Vow/Quest progress is 6/10


Is there anyone else with him?
(Somewhat Likely | 9[d10]) Yes


His undead minions?
(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...


Is he involved in some kind of ritual?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes


She saw the iron spike in the center of the depression, perhaps a couple hundred paces from the edge where she lay now. The sun glinted off its surface as it moved across the expanse of blue and white above them, shifting to early afternoon. Though the sun shone down, it felt as if the light tried to cut through a greasy sheen that shimmered in the air.


Delos wasn’t alone, however. He stood, touching the portal, his head bowed as if frozen to it. She saw perhaps two dozen others with him, standing in a ring around the pillar. They stood still as statues, their right fists pointed at the statue. She couldn’t make them out from this distance, but she wondered if they were maybe acolytes of his, like the one they had faced in Longfalls?


Okay, at this point, I’m going to spend some of my XP. I’ve been saving 3 points for a while, to purchase the Companion talent and get Scratch more active, but I think it’s time to spend two of them. I’m going to purchase this addition to her Shadow Walk talent:


[ X ] When you perform this ritual, add +1
and take +1 momentum on a hit


Why now? Well, she lost her bow so she needs to get close. She’s also hoping to get rid of Delos stealthily without involving his minions, and this gives her the best chance to succeed in her sneaky stuff. And finally, it adds into her momentum which she needs to keep in the positive score, especially now that her supply is 0.


So, there we go. It’s purchased, and she’s now at 1 unspent XP. (You need to 2 XP to upgrade a talent and 3 XP to purchase a new talent.)


She backed away and returned in a low crouch to where her brother stood next to the horse.


“I found them, they’re at the pillar, but...”


“What?”


“You’re not going to like it.”


“Then you better tell me and get it over with.”


She explained what she had seen. “And I need to go alone,” she said, and then explained her plan about using the shadow magic to get close to Delos.


“You’re right,” he said with a frown. “I don’t like it. Remember what happened when you did that when rescuing Father. You started to glow?”


“I do remember, but what else can we do? If I had my bow, we could maybe hit him from a distance maybe. But... I don’t.”


But is he willing to let her go alone?


(Unlikely | 8[d10]) Yes


Well... that’s unusual.


“But, I do see your point,” he said, scratching the rough-cut blond beard on his chin. “If you can get in close and dispatch him without being seen as you claim, it seems the best way to rid ourselves of him. You’ve always managed to move stealthily. I’m as stealthy as a braying mule in mating season.”


She coughed and nearly snorted with laughter at that. 


He gave a wan smile in return. “What happens if you’re spotted?”


“That’s when you ride in to rescue me or create a distraction.”


“Ah, the galant brother to save his sister?”


“Something like that,” she smiled.


“Right...Something like that,” he sighed. “Be careful, sister. I’ll be watching from a distance.”


She nodded and stepped away to prepare.


Did Delos bring a horse?
(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes


She dug into her belongings and pulled out the set of thin circular discs with their angular writing. She studied the runes and reviewed the motions in her mind and then replaced them into her pack and then studied the layout of the men and Delos’s position. He still hadn’t moved.


Secure an advantage + wits


8 = 6[d6]+2


3 = 1[d10]+2[d10]


A strong hit! I’m going to take the +2 momentum since it’s so low. (Now it’s 3/10).


Satisfied, she knelt in the wet grass and concentrated, focusing on her motions and the words she chanted softly under her breath.


[X] When you cloak yourself with the
gossamer veil of the shadow realms,
roll +shadow. 
She gets to add +1 from her new upgrade.


7 = 3[d6]+4


16 = 8[d10]+8[d10]


(Failure count: 18/24)


Hmm... Well that didn’t work out. What happens? And a negative match too. Ugg. I’ll roll on the Mystic Backlash Oracle:


100 = 100[d100]


Oh boy. I’m scared to look...
Okay, it’s roll twice more on this table. Both results occur. If they are the same result, make it worse.


Super lame.


70 = 70[d100]
You are tempted by dark power.


37 = 37[d100]
You alert someone or something to your presence.


Something was wrong. She felt it the moment she finished the ritual. But hadn’t she said the word and traced the runes right? She had prepared! She had studied them! She had done it right, she was certain. She clenched the pommel of her sword. But... but maybe. Maybe it was this place? Maybe Delos was somehow interfering, twisting it?


Out of the ground they came, hundreds shades made of sticky black goo that oozed out of black roots, the dark soil. Her own shadow joined and melted with them whispering her name as it did so.


She heard a ragged shout from further down in the depression and spotted Delos, he pointed up towards her. “Intruders! Kill them!”


And from behind her, she heard Aron’s voice. “Eilwen! Where are you!”


But soon she couldn’t see, couldn’t speak. Shadows churned around her then joined together, forming what looked like to her was a high circular wall of opaque shadow or mist. Above her she could see a small patch of blue. Then in front of her, a rectangular doorway opened showing a long dark road, mysterious and heavy with possible ill-intent, yet strangely compelling as well.


And in the doorway stood a woman she knew. Mother.


“Daughter,” the woman smiled at her. It looked just like her mother had looked before the end, before she had fallen sickly, only there was a stain of shadow that clung to her skin. But Mother didn’t seem perturbed. She seemed perfectly at ease. 


“You are finally ready,” Mother said.


“Mother? I--”


“You have activated the pathway as I once did! Well done, Eilwen!”


Was this her mother? If not, how did it know her name?


“Join me, and learn the deeper secrets you’ve barred from your mind. The secrets my mother taught me. The mysteries of the queens and the ancients.”


“The mysteries,” the shadows whispered and several of them bowed before Eilwen. “Our queen!”


“Hail the queen of shadows!” Others added.


Mother looked on, a proud smile on her face. “I always knew you could do it.”


“Do... I didn’t do anything. I-- but what of Aron?”


“He cannot come with us. In fact, right now, he cannot see us. This place... and its mysteries, it is a thing between queens alone.”


“I--” she didn’t know. It felt wrong, but at the same time, she would have a chance to question mother. “I don’t know.”


“Daughter, Delos is coming for you, and his minions will find and kill you unless you come with me now. Please! I beg you. Come!”


She wanted to. Oh how she wanted to, but...Aron. He needed her. Curiosity pulled at her, and she took a step towards her mother, towards the dark door.


Face Danger + heart


6 = 5[d6]+1


7 = 5[d10]+2[d10]


A strong hit! Nice... whew (Take +1 momentum, now 4/10) 


But Long Falls needed her. The Ironlands needed her. If she walked through that gate, who knew what would happen.


“No mother,” she said, finally, shaking her head and backing away slowly. The shadows swirled behind her as if angry. 


Mother stared at her, saddened. “I am so disappointed in you daughter. Together...we will do great things, you and I, but perhaps you are not yet ready.” Her mother turned to walk through the door.


“Mother! What did you become in the end?” she asked her voice ragged, her eyes shining with unshed tears. “Do you serve the death magic?”


“Such things I cannot speak of here, Eilwen. If you came with me, I could. But,” she shrugged as if unconcerned. “There are rules here in this mortal place, you know. So many restrictions. You choose not to come, so there’s little I can do. So be it. Perhaps... Well, perhaps next time. Farewell.”


She turned and walked through the door. The moment she did, the shadows collapsed, shrunk and withdrew into the plants, the roots, their normal places.


Aron suddenly saw her. “Where did you go?”


“I--”


“Nevermind! Look!”


He pointed and those who had surrounded the pillar were nearly upon her. Many ran on all fours, others ran more upright, sometimes dropping down to four limbs to lope across the rolling grasslands. Their arms had grown unnaturally long, with clawed hands stained with darkness she realized as they drew nearer and nearer. Their teeth were barred wide and had been filed to points, and from their eyes, she saw a sickly glow emanating from eyes, an inky black, swimming in turbulent shadow.
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#62
Episode 41


In just a few deep breaths, they would be upon her.


“Aron!” she shouted, drawing her sword and knife. “Back to the horse! Lead them away, I’ll go for Delos!”


Does he heed her?


(50/50 | 4[d10]) No


He grabbed her shoulder. “No Eilwen! We must flee!”


“Do as I say!” she shouted at him, regal command in her voice. “There’s no time!”


Compel Move roll + heart of 1 + her bond of 1


8 = 6[d6]+2


8 = 6[d10]+2[d10]


A strong hit.
Take +1 momentum.


He grimaced but gave a curt nod, and ran back to the horses. Eilwen darted after him. 


“Go, to the west! Lead them away and circle back!” 


Does he draw most of them away
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...


Okay, all of them. Good.


Aron mounted quickly and Eilwen darted past him. He slashed the reins down across the horse and dug his heels into its side. The horse reared back, it’s front hoofs smashing one of Delos’s minions in the face and chest. Then the horse raced to the west, and the crowd of minions chased after him.


As he darted off to the west and north, Eilwen dove to the ground and let the grasses hide her. She peered up and then slowly began making her way south east and then back to an angle that Delos wasn’t looking. She kept to the grasses, obscuring her form. As she drew nearer, she slowed her breathing and walked cautiously, quietly. She moved closer and closer, hoping to surprise the man.


Curiously / Fancy


Defiantly / Horrible


His manner of dress was curious, he wore a long black robe made of some fine fabric. Small silver bells were sewn into its hem at feet, arms and head, so that when he moved, he made a tinkling sound. He was perhaps in his mid-forties but his hair was nearly white. It stood in stark contrast to the black of his robe. His face and arms were horribly scarred with red ribbons of fresh scabs crossing them. Some of them oozed blood. His face was defiant and determined.


Is he holding anything in his other hand?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes


Is he holding a weapon?
(Somewhat Likely | 9[d10]) Yes


Does he have the look of a trained warrior?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 2[d10]) No


Is Aron staying ahead of his minions, and still keeping them busy?
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...


Eilwen will attempt to get within striking distance without being seen. 


Face Danger + Shadow.


8 = 5[d6]+3


19 = 10[d10]+9[d10]


A miss! Failure count 19/24. I wanted to use her Cutthroat ability. Oh well. If she can at least get to him, he shouldn’t be too hard, probably Troublesome himself.


She moved through the grasses, but something snapped underfoot, and Delos turned, looking right at her. His left hand touched the pillar. His right hand held an iron staff. He didn’t have the look of a trained warrior, but his eyes narrowed with dangerous intent.


“Please,” he whispered, his eyes closing, groaning from some internal strain. The pillar’s runes glowed with a similar sickly green light.


Now we enter combat. 


Is he more than Troublesome?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes


Dangerous then, I’ll say. I guess that makes sense, maybe he’s getting some otherworldly help...


He sucked in breath, and his brown eyes began to glow a pale green as something moved into him from the pillar. Eilwen rushed at him and he started to chant. She felt her hackles rise as if some dark portent were to make its debut.


Enter the Fray move (Face off against your foe roll + heart)


3 = 2[d6]+1


8 = 2[d10]+6[d10]


A weak hit. On a weak hit, I can either take +2 momentum or take initiative. I’ll take initiative.


As she approached, she felt uneasy about drawing too near. She slowed, switched her sword to her offhand, her father’s knife in her right. Then flipping the knife , so she held the blade, and she threw it at him in a practiced move.


She’s attacking at range rolling + edge


6 = 4[d6]+2


15 = 8[d10]+7[d10]


Pay the Price -- I’ll say she loses the knife completely. She only has two others now.


He saw it coming and raised his iron staff. The knife arced end over end, but instead of hitting him, it simply vanished a pace away from him, as if the night had swallowed it whole.


“No!” She gasped, nonplussed and stopped. That had been Father’s knife... 


The air about her tasted of wet iron, wet grass, and something vile.


Delos smiled, but his barred teeth held no warmth. “So, it is you,” he said, white hair wisping as if from some internal and infernal breeze, his eyes narrowed further, stretching the ugly scars on his face. “He has shown me your face. He is not pleased that you are here.”


I’m going to roll on the Combat Action Oracle to get inspiration for what he’s going to do.


16 = 16[d100]


Provoke a reckless response. 


“Who?” she asked.


He said nothing, only removed his hand from the pillar and strode towards her, gripping his staff in two hands, it started spinning. The man didn’t have the arms of a warrior, but it spun as if a blur, and its after-image a shimmering fan of green light.


She didn’t have time to draw her other dagger, she waited until he drew near and leapt at him.


Clash + Iron of 1
4 = 3[d6]+1
19 = 10[d10]+9[d10]


A miss.
Failure count (20/24)


She held her sword in two hands and brought it down in a left and then a right sweep. He blocked it easily both times, and the second time, his staff caught her blade. 


“What dark pact have you made?” She said between gritted teeth.


“Dark? You are blind to the light of His majesty. The only darkness is your unbelief. And you will believe. You will see in the end!”


Then still holding back her blade with his right hand, he pointed his left at her and uttered a word of power. Something...crashed into her. It felt as if a giant invisible hammer slammed into her midsection and lifted her up. She flew backwards, blasted off of her feet and rolled in the grass ten paces away from him, gasping for air and from the pain in the wet grass.


(Health is now 3/5)


Endure Harm roll + health


8 = 5[d6]+3


11 = 5[d10]+6[d10]


A strong hit!


I’ll take shake it off and lose two momentum and regain two health


Momentum now 3/10 and Health now 5/5.


“You think to profane this temple with your blasphemous existence,” Delos muttered striding forward. “You have not made sacrifices! You and your line are not worthy!”


She lay on her back in the wet grass, dazed as he came at her again. Even in the blue sky above, she saw stars. She shook her head groggily and groaned. The pommel of her sword held loosely in her grip. 


He strode nearer, using the staff like a walking stick.


She grimaced, blinked back tears of pain, and drew in a ragged breath, then staggering to her feet with a cry, she whipped out another dagger, and attacked in a blurring strike of whirling blades.


She got initiative from her strong hit on Endure Harm and does Strike move


So she does Strike + 3 with her Duelist bonus


6 = 3[d6]+3


4 = 3[d10]+1[d10]


A strong hit! She gives +4 harm total (so 2 from her weapon, 1 for the strike, and 1 for Duelist) that’s 8 progress boxes.


He parried the first and the second, eyes narrowed and then widening at her sudden vehemence and speed. He grimaced. He was fast, but she was faster. The weapons clanged as they fought, and at the end, she beat through his defences and her dagger bit deeply into his side between the ribs. She yanked it free, and he staggered backwards, gasping from pain, going down on one knee. He staggered to his feet, struggling to keep his footing. He hugged his left side with his left hand, backing away, warry, gasping in pain.


“You are the one blaspheming this land with your foul arts!” she said, breathing hard. “What have you done?”


He smiled and wiped blood from his lips. “His house of stone will not be barred forever, little one, and when he resumes his hunt, your line will finally be extinct!”


Her line? Her heart throbbed from a sudden cold inside of her. He knew...


He smiled a bloody smile, head tilted to one side, bells jingling slightly. “It frightens you, yes? Well it should. He is not a kind god.”


With a cry, she attacked again with both blades.


Strike with Duelist
6 = 3[d6]+3


16 = 9[d10]+7[d10]


Miss! (Failure count 21/24)


He pulled away his hand dark with his blood and faced it at her, palm forward and shouted as she came at him. As before, his staff lept into action and the staff blocked her attacks, seeming to move of its own accord. The sound of iron on iron resounded off the metal pillar. On his final parry, he uttered another word, and green energy coursed towards her, along the length of the iron staff and traveling down her sword. 


Anxious to not let it touch her, she dropped the sword. Where it fell on the ground, the grass about it, all along its length, in an instant hissed, grew brittle, and then turned to dust. As it lay there, it continued to glow with that greenish light.


Due to the miss, she’s separated from her sword.


Delos smiled a look of satisfaction warring with the pain from his wound. His iron staff arced through the air towards her. She rolled under it, attempting to come up behind him.


Face Danger + Edge


6 = 4[d6]+2


8 = 4[d10]+4[d10]


A strong hit and a match!


+1 momentum (now 4/10)


I’ll say the positive match puts her in a very good position (giving an additional momentum +1 now 5/10).


She pulled out her third and final dagger, and with two daggers in each hand, she attacked with another cry, attempting a strike from behind.


Strike + Duelist 


3 = 2[d6]+1


6 = 3[d10]+3[d10]


A miss and a poor roll and negative match. No, thank you! I’ll spend my 5 momentum to turn it into a...


Strong hit! (momentum resets to 1 instead of 2 because of her “Unprepared” debility in Supply)


She fills in the boxes 10/10 with her 4 more Harm. 


End the Fight move


7 = 6[d10]+1[d10]
Vs the 10 boxes.


It’s a strong hit.


Delos tried to turn, but she moved with grace and precision, moving under his staff, sweeping his legs. He got tangled in his robes and fell on his face. In an instant, she plunged both daggers into his back and yanked them free. He screamed, arching his back in pain and rolling over and over as green energy spilled from his wounds, like some vile fire inside of him, searching for an escape.


When he faced her, she drove the blades down into his chest and left them there. Blood seeped out one side of his mouth and he gave a final gasping breath, disbelief and pain etched his face. Then, with a final gasp he lay still, the green energy ebbing from his mouth, nose, and eyes.


As it did so, the green energy around her sword and the glowing runes on the pillar also faded away.


She knelt over Delos’s body and bowed her head. His power had finally been broken.


Final Quest milestone completed 10/10 progress boxes on the quest.


Fulfill your vow. 10 progress vs
17 = 9[d10]+8[d10]


The troublesome quest is complete and she gets 1 XP.


Unspent XP is now 2.


Health: 5/5
Spirit: 2/5
Supply: 0/5 (UNPREPARED)
Momentum: 1/10


Debilities: Unprepared
Failure Count: 21/24
Unspent XP: 2
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