Classic Fantasy Ironsworn - Eilwen's Tale
I appreciate your feedback, Mark. I turned down the volume some at the beginning. Hopefully, it's easier to understand. And now, back to the game!

Episode 69
The arrows streaked towards her.

Face Danger + Edge to see if she can avoid getting hit by the arrows.
8 = 6[d6]+2

8 = 7[d10]+1[d10]

A strong hit. +1 momentum (now 2/10).

She rolled to the side and the dark barbs flashed above her.

Do any of the Redhall warriors turn and run? Here’s where I use rpgsolo’s awesome likelihood buttons, starting at 50/50 odds and then modifying them up and down based on circumstances: It’s dark +1, they’re scared of magic +1, they just saw a guy get severed in two by an unnatural horror +1. That puts it at Very Likely. But to bring it back down, they do outnumber Eilwen’s side, and they think they have a chance (-1), plus Willan screaming for them to stay and is shouting for order in the ranks, urging them to “kill the witch!” (-1). I think this puts it at Somewhat Likely that some of them run:
(Somewhat Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

Most of them?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

More than 5?
(Somewhat Likely | 4[d10]) No, but...

5 exactly then. That leaves them with ~fifteen warriors.

Okay, combat time. I have two options on how to handle this:

One is to do a Battle move (not a typical combat) and resolve this fight in a single roll, like how we did with the Battle of Longfalls.

The other is to do combat as usual, blow by blow, with the back and forth of initiative and all the nitty gritty.

Assuming the latter, we would have to consider the narrative effect of everything and how it affects the danger level of the various enemies.

These are trained warriors, so normally, on a 1 on 1 combat, a single warrior would be a Dangerous foe. Aside from Eilwen, we have five warriors in Eilwen’s honor guard, Thorgunna, Haf, and Gethyd. That’s a total of eight combatants. The enemy has a little over a 2 to 1 advantage even after losing some of their number. So the Redhall side vs their side, would raise the rank of the foe to Formidable.

But we also have to consider the two Horrors that appeared out of nowhere and what effect they’re having. Bonewalkers are individually a Dangerous foe. If they were combined against her group alone and allied with the Redhall group, it would be a second Formidable foe. But they’re mindless cutting machines, focused on death and are spread out, one is attacking her group, and the other is attacking the Redhall warriors. Those sort of cancel each other out.

So, I think how I could do this is:
  • Bonewalker attacking her side is a Dangerous foe.
  • Redhall Warriors attacking her side, due to numerical differences, would be a Formidable foe, but because a Bonewalker is attacking them, it lowers them, hampering them, and bringing down their combat effectiveness to a second Dangerous foe.
  • Once either the Bonewalker is destroyed or the Redhall warriors are driven out, then there will become a third Dangerous foe with some progress boxes filled in based on the narrative damage it takes, unless the Redwall warriors happen to kill the Bonewalker and then flee...

But should I do a blow-by-blow combat? I also have to consider her stats. They are currently:

Iron: 1
Edge: 2
Wits: 2
Heart: 1
Shadow: 3

Momentum 2
Health 3
Supply 3
Spirit is 0 (with the shaken debility)
Unspent XP 1

I might be able to avoid a lot of bad luck by doing it in a single Battle roll. Of course, there’s a lot riding on a single roll, and a Miss there can be pretty bad too...

Another option is to try and withdraw and fade into the woods, but I don’t think they can outrun the undead Bonewalker attacking their side who neither needs to eat, breathe, or sleep... Maybe they could try to get away from the larger combat and just deal with the Bonewalker in the woods or something and then re-evaluate.

Choices. Choices.

I’m leaning towards a single Battle roll.
Wish me luck. For a Battle Roll we have to state our objective. Originally it was to slay Willan and drive off or slay his warriors.

But, before I roll, I have to consider this happening. This is part of the negative match from episode 68, so it again changes things.

And then another voice shouted, somewhat behind them but off to the side. “It’s her! The witch with the sapphire pendant! Kill her and take it!”

She recognized that voice.

“Halig,” she hissed at the onrushing group of ill kempt men behind them, ragged and rough, the erstwhile prisoners of Redhall, intent now on robbery and murder.

This is the Pay the Price on the miss to Compel Halig in Episode 56 coming due. Back then, I ruled that Halig and his band were now bandits and wanted that gemstone of Eilwen’s. They were going to try and capture Valeri and her children and use them as hostages to get what they wanted.

Questions I asked back then and am revealing now:
Did they succeed in capturing Valeri and her kids? Normally, I’d say this is Very likely as there are more of them, and Valeri is poorly armed with only children vs a band of desperados. But she does have horses and could potentially outrun them, so, I’ll put it down to Likely.

(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes

Now back to the present, some other questions :
Halig would be on the north side of Redhall watching for Eilwen from the south. But she’s coming from further north now as she has essentially portaled behind him after her jaunt in the shadow realm. Is Halig aware of Eilwen’s current location? Unlikely since he’s not watching that direction.
(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

But the negative match from Episode 68 turns this around, and sounds of fighting and the beacon of sapphire light, draws Halig and his group to investigate, so his group also joins the fray.

Did Halig’s group see Willan’s group and manage to avoid them when they first approached? Halig’s group had captured Valeri and her children and had them bound and they were off the road, just waiting for Eilwen to appear when Willan’s group passed so... Likely.
(Likely | 6[d10]) Yes

Eiwen risked a glance over her shoulder. Her little band of warriors was already engaged with Willan’s troop. Halig would hew them down from behind. The only thing keeping them from being overrun was the pure terror from the deathladen eyes of the bonewalker that had slashed into Willan’s warriors with equal mindless ferocity.

Is Valeri still with Halig right now as he comes up behind Eilwen?
(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

So, Halig must have left her and her kids with some of his crew and then he came here with the others to investigate the light and fighting.

“Thorgunna!” Eilwen shouted. “To me! Behind us! We’ll lead them into Willan’s group and cut our way through in the confusion!”

Has the Bonewalker killed any of Thorgunna’s warriors yet? They’re well trained. So, even odds.
(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

Thorgunna and another of her warriors had managed to block or duck the bone-like scythe blades that slashed the night.

Okay. Now the Battle Roll for real.

Envision your objective and roll.
Our objective is to charge Willan’s group thus resulting in Halig’s group also crashing into Willan’s group, and then in the confusion that follows, cut our way to freedom with minimal loss, leaving the two opponent groups to handle each other and the Bone Walkers. This is pretty much using brute strength, Iron, her worst stat, to cut our way through and out, but that’s what the fiction dicates.

I’ll reveal the roll and the outcome of the battle after the narrative.

Eilwen led the way, the nimbus of light swirling around her. She cut through one Redhall warrior and then a second, with her spinning swords alight with light and death, the bluish white glow about her.

Thorgunna brought up the rear guard a few steps behind her, slashing at one of the bonewalkers, keeping it at bay, locking blades with it, then shoving it away. The creature beheaded one of Eilwen’s guards in an off-handed sweeping gesture.

Haf ran next to Gethyd, both in the rear.

The way was clear!

Then the bonehorror that had slain more than a few of Willan’s group reared up out of the dark, behind them, slashing down at Gethyd.

The lad screamed, raising his knife to block the blow, but he stumbled backward in the uneven ground. The serrated bone forearm slashed down.

Suddenly, Haf was there. He leaped in front of the lad and raised Eilwen’s bow she had given him, a poor weapon to parry such a brutal strike, and the slashing serrated bone forearm sheared the wood cleanly in two, and the force of the blow continued, little impeded, splitting Haf’s skull with a crunching blow that cut clear down through his collarbone in a spray of blood. Haf crumpled pitching forward. Gethyd moaned in horror and covered his blood-splattered face.

Then Thorgunna was there, she hacked at the creature, again and again, shattering part of its rib cage and pelvis, knocking it to the ground at the same moment that a serrated bone blade slammed into her midsection, spearing through her, the wicked blade extruding out her back, wet and dark with her blood. She gasped from the pain and fell to her knees, weapons dropping loosely from her grip, eyes wide and gasping from pain.

“My...Queen...” Thorgunna rasped between lips now red with blood. Then she slid down atop the fallen bone creature, surely dead with the bone-blade still jutting out of her.

“Thorgunna!” Eilwen cried and tried to rush back towards her guard captain, but amidst the press of bodies, a hand pulled her back. It was Kiari, one of her guards, the woman’s dark hair matted with blood, dainty nose marred by a cut down her face, which only accentuated Kiari’s fierce bearing.

“No! We must flee, my Queen!”

“But Thorgunna!” Eilwen groaned, the agony she felt rising from her gut to her throat.

“She’s dead,” Kiari shouted over the fray. “We can do nothing!”

“Gethyd!” Eilwen shouted again as bodies fell around her amid the din of fierce fighting.

Gethyd heard her above the noise, and the young man rallied, fear prompting him to his feet. His face was ashen white. He started towards her and made about ten steps before an arrow slashed out of the darkness and buried itself halfway up the shaft into the meat of his thigh. He fell to the ground, writhing in agony, hands clutching at the blood and wounded leg.

“Gethyd!” she cried out again. The swirl of battle pulsed around her still, one heartbeat of death following another as they neared the edge of the fighting in front of them. The screams and groans of wounded punctuated by the ringing and clatter of weaponry against shield and armor.

The remaining bonewalker continued its deadly dance of death.

She might be able to yet get away, or she could stay and die fighting next to Gethyd.

“Eilwen!” Gethyd cried, and she felt her heart tremble at his pained plea. His hand was outstretched toward her. Fear a cold white mask on his face.

Their eyes met and then a warrior stood above Gethyd, blade raised.


Then she couldn’t see him as more bodies and fighting pulsed between them as warrior strove against warrior.

Kiari pulled at her arm, and numb to the core she let herself be dragged away out of the battle into the trees.

Results of the Battle move:

2 = 1[d6]+1

14 = 5[d10]+9[d10]

And the battle goes ill. Uggg.
A miss. What a horrible action die roll!

(Miss count 15/24)

The rules say, “A miss on the Battle move should have dire ramifications on your character and your quest. This objective is lost to you. What does that mean?... Consider the situation and the intent of your foe, and Pay the Price. Make it hurt.”

So things don’t pan out as desired. They had hoped to cut their way through mostly intact and that didn’t happen. The intent of Willan’s group was to kill or capture my group. Plus Willan wanted to see Eilwen dead. Halig wanted to get his hands on the amulet.

Is Thorgunna killed?
(Somewhat Likely | 4[d10]) No, but...
Injured and dying.

Is Haf killed?
(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Is Gethyd killed?
(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...
Injured and probably captured? Eilwen might yet have a chance to re-save him.

Did Thorgunna manage to kill a bonewalker?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Did the other Bonewalker also get slain by someone?
(50/50 | 2[d10]) No
So, it continued hacking and chasing down anyone who fled. That means there’s one out there still.

Are all the other warriors with Eilwen’s group incapacitated?
(Somewhat Likely | 3[d10]) No

Is Willan injured?
(50/50 | 5[d10]) No, but...
Much of his group is wiped out from the Bonewalkers and the collision with Halig’s men, who surprised them, but Willan and a couple of his men did run away.

Did the Bonewalker chase after Willan?
(Somewhat Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Is Halig injured?
(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...
His group managed to catch Willan’s group completely by surprise and butcher those that the bonewalkers didn’t. He requisitioned their fallen gear and is now hunting for the witch, intent on that amulet.

But how many of Halig’s bandits died? There were 11 of them with Halig. He probably left at least 1 man with Valeri.

Percentage roll:
62 = 62[d100]
We’ll say 6 of Halig’s bandits are dead or incapacitated or walking wounded, who can’t really fight. So four people, including Halig, are now trailing after Eilwen.

Is Thorgunna captured?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 4[d10]) No
This means she’ll die soon without some serious healing.

Is Gethyd captured and healed?
(50/50 | 2[d10]) No
But his wound wasn’t mortal, though the Bonewalker is out there, and it could circle back and kill him and any other survivors on the field.

Does Eilwen lose health in the battle?
(Somewhat Likely | 8[d10]) Yes
I think she loses 2. (Health now 1/5)

Endure Harm
7 = 6[d6]+1
10 = 8[d10]+2[d10]

A weak hit. You press on.

For losing the battle, losing Thorgunna, and seeing Gethyd whom she has a bond with, go down in battle, she loses 2 Spirit. But not having any Spirit left, she’s forced to lose momentum. (Now 0/10)

Endure Stress:
2 = 1[d6]+1
11 = 3[d10]+8[d10]

A Miss. You suffer -1 momentum. (Now -1/10)
(Miss count 17/24)

And since she’s already Shaken, I need to roll on the table in the Endure Stress move and take the result.

40 = 40[d100]
You give into fear and compulsion, and act against your better instincts.
We’ll do that next episode.

Iron: 1
Edge: 2
Wits: 2
Heart: 1
Shadow: 3

Momentum -1
Health 1
Supply 3
Spirit is 0 (with the shaken debility)
Unspent XP 1

Always on the edge of dire defeat... We’ll see if she can flee. Getting away will not be easy, glowing as she is. She can hopefully outrun any pursuers and then circle back around and help Gethyd.

Until next time.

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Episode 70
Eilwen and Kiari flitted through the trees, and behind them they could hear the sounds of pursuit. Images of Thorgunna and Gethyd falling in the darkness filled her mind. Gethyd’s look of betrayal tore at her heart, mingled with images of Aron staring up at her, huddled in that corner, the bloody crown held in her hand, and then she saw the blades of the bonewalker shattering Haf’s head and with each stride of her jogging run, she saw Thorgunna speared over and over.
Behind them, they heard shouts and cries as warriors chased after them.

Face Danger with Edge to Outrun Pursuers
5 = 3[d6]+2
19 = 10[d10]+9[d10]

Another miss. Miss Count 16/24)

Where are they?

They had been running north to the foothills that rose up above them. Boulders and scattered trees surrounded them.

Does the mystic backlash light go out on its own?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

They ran until finally the glowing light around her faded, and blessed darkness surrounded her, hiding her shame and guilt. Tears of anger and frustration and guilt glistened on her cheeks, and she stumbled and fell to her knees behind a boulder. The sharp rocks dug into her knees, her side speared with pain from the long run as she gasped in ragged gasps of air.

“Haf...” she groaned. “Thorgunna...Gethyd...”

Would everyone around her fall to ruin? Who next? Kiari? Valeri? Caldos? And for what? Misguided love and loyalty? The doubts inside her writhed for release, but she drove them aside and ground her teeth. This was not the time for such thoughts. She would fulfill her vow to be queen!

The sounds of pursuit grew nearer. “The witch went this way! I saw her witchlight! We’re close now.”

Halig. She again recognized his voice, alive with greed. She wondered what had befallen Willan. When she had fled, she saw that Halig’s group had crashed into Willan’s troop out of the darkness on their flank.

“My queen,” Kiari returned jogging back to her, the other woman also breathing hard, as her dark eyes scanned the trees behind them, watchful, her spear held ready, her chest heaving. “We...must keep moving...Find a place to hide.”

Eilwen shook her head, breathing great gasps of air. She pulled herself up behind the boulder, and pulled out her bow.

Kiara spoke truly, but Eilwen felt if she ran another step, her legs would give out. They needed to rest.

“No, it’s that dog, Halig!” she growled her breathing gradually coming back to normal from their quick rest. “We stand and fight.”

“You are wounded, my queen. I will--”

“No! You will NOT throw your life away in some meaningless self sacrifice. We will fight together, do you understand? Together!”

Kiara nodded.

This is the ‘not acting in her best interests’ from her Endure Stress failure. 
She’s not in a condition to fight, being down to 1 health, and trying to hide would indeed be in her best interest, but she’ll fight instead. There’s Halig and three others. As established before, they aren’t trained warriors. Any one of them, one-on-one would be a Troublesome encounter. If all 4 were against just her, they’d be bumped up to a Dangerous encounter. But she has Kiara who is a handpicked warrior. So, they get knocked back down to Troublesome.

“Ready yourself, Kiara, we’ll ambush them from these rocks.”

Secure advantage with shadow
6 = 3[d6]+3
9 = 6[d10]+3[d10]

Weak hit, +1 momentum (up to 0/10 now)

They barely had time to get their weapons out and get behind the rocks before Halig and his three companions stumbled into the clearing, breathing hard, weapons and shields banging into rocks and boulders as their feet caught on the uneven terrain.

All of Halig’s crew had picked up shields and axes or maces from Willan’s group, but they wore no armor, not having time, given the speed of their pursuit.

“Where are they?” one of the now-bandits said, his shield held up warily, but he didn’t have the arm strength to hold it up long. “Those bone demons are still out there,” he said, his voice quavering.

“That won’t matter once we get that medallion,” Halig said. “It’s worth a fortune! And then we can be rid of this place. We can go wherever we want!”

Eilwen sighted down the shaft of Caldo’s fine bow, and when it dropped another three inches, she aimed and let her barb fly.

Enter the Fray with Shadow
8 = 5[d6]+3
8 = 5[d10]+3[d10]

A strong hit. Take 2 momentum and she has initiative.
(2/10 momentum)

Strike with Edge
7 = 5[d6]+2
8 = 6[d10]+2[d10]

Strong hit.

She gives 2 harm for a deadly weapon, and 1 more harm from the strong hit.

That’s 9 progress out of 10.
End the Fight

Challenge dice
8 = 1[d10]+7[d10]

Two arrows flew like striking adders from the darkness, burying themselves into necks and midsections. Kiara rushed forward with her spear and smashed aside a clumsy shield block and drove her spear point into the neck of another. In a matter of seconds three bandits lay dead.

Halig tried to flee, but Eilwen buried an arrow in his backside, and he stumbled and fell screaming, grasping at his non-lethal but painful wound. He twisted and scrabbled, reaching for the barb, arching his back, but crying in pain whenever he touched it.

Eilwen strode up the man and shoved him over onto his back with her foot. The arrow snapped in his wound as it ground upon the sharp rocks. He screamed in agony and his face went ashen. She pressed her boot on her chest, put up her bow, and drew the Sword of Myrddyn in a slow and scraping motion out of its scabbard. The greenish glow cast her face into angry sharp relief, like the Herald of Vengeance himself.

“I’m looking for my friend, Valeri?” she asked without preamble. She put the point to his neck.

Kiara stood and followed after Eilwen, her spear up and ready, her eyes watchful for danger.

“Who...? I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Halig moaned in pain.

“Did you have anything to do with her disappearance? Tell me truthfully, or you are a dead man! Speak truthfully, and you’ll live a natural life. You fear my witchblade don’t you?” She pressed the green-glowing blade slightly into his neck and a thin drop of blood welled up. “I’ll know if you’re lying.”

Compel with Iron
4 = 3[d6]+1
6 = 3[d10]+3[d10]

A strong hit and a positive match.
What’s the positive match?
Escort / Revenge

“Please. I--” tears leaked from his eyes, the fear cracking his voice into a squeak. “Please, don’t kill me! I... I can tell you where she is...One of my men is guarding her.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Guarding her? Why did you take her?”

“We...” his voice trailed off, and he looked askance at the glowing green blade, his voice a trembling parched whisper, “We were going to let her go gave us your medallion.”

“And if I didn’t?” she growled.

He didn’t answer, just closed his eyes and sobbed. “I’m sorry... I-- Please. Let me live, and I’ll tell you how you might get revenge on Yormid.”

“I’m listening!” she pressed.

“I... I know a secret passageway that leads into the heart of Redhall, into the bed chamber of Yormid himself.”

“You?” she scoffed. “You have such close information? How?”

“He...” Halig groaned in fear and disgust and... was it self loathing? “He took my younger sister through that passageway. Brought me too. Forced me to watch while he had his way with her...” His face grew paler, but she thought now with anger. “I could do nothing... Nothing! While she screamed for help.”

“You could have told me this before!” she hissed into his face. “When I asked you to help me before you turned on us!”

“You were nothing to me,” he said. “How could I trust to throw my life away in such a cause?”

“How could you not throw your life away for such a cause?” she rejoined. “Killing that man is something worth dying for, isn’t it? If not for yourself, then to avenge your sister?”

He made no answer, just groaned and looked sick.

“You will take me to Valeri!” she snapped, pulling him to his feet. He screamed from the sudden motion and subsequent pain it caused. She tied his hands with a bit of leather thong from her pack. “And tell me about this passageway.”

“Yes...” he groaned. “Of course.”

She yanked out the arrow from his buttocks, and he fell to his knees, swooning. She yanked him up again and forced him into a staggering walk. “You’ll not die. Not from that flesh wound!”

“I...can’t we--”

“Shut up and keep moving! My patience wears thin. And as we walk, you’ll tell me everything that happened at the battle.”

Well, that turned out much better than expected, I mean aside from the fact that Thorgunna is likely dead and Haf is dead, and Gethyd is wounded and possibly dead.

Iron: 1
Edge: 2
Wits: 2
Heart: 1
Shadow: 3

Momentum 2
Health 1/5
Supply 3/5
Spirit is 0/5 (with the shaken debility)
Unspent XP 1

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Episode 71

Eilwen motioned for Kiari to watch the man while she wrapped bandages around some cuts in her own leg and shoulder.

2 = 1[d6]+1
18 = 9[d10]+9[d10]

(Oh no! Another miss (Miss Count 17/24) and a negative match on double nines! Not good!)

Did Willan flee in generally the same direction as Eilwen and Kiara and Halig? If so, Halig was being chased by it, then the bonewalker would show up just about now, right?
(Somewhat Likely | 1[d10]) No, and...
Definitely not the bonewalker.

Something else. I’ll roll Action / Theme.
15 = 15[d100]

12 = 12[d100]

Oooo. Okay. Just had an idea...
What if the Herald that her family line is being hunted by finally caught up with her? Some background info and lore on the Heralds, specifically Nar-Shiv, is in Episodes 26 and 27.
Maybe. She’s been on the move lately, so I’ll say it’s Somewhat Unlikely.
If not, it’s something else

Is it Nar-Shiv, the Herald?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 6[d10]) No, but...

But it’s somehow related, and whatever it is, it comes with a bone-chilling fear (Raid / Fear). Well, the bonewalkers are related to the Herald. We’ve established that the Herald, Nar-Shiv, at least, can summon them, but it’s not one of those.

We also know that the iron priest, Delos, who she defeated in Episode 41 worshiped the Herald Nar-Shiv.

Another of his worshipers could have followed her through the Halls of Shadow (Shadow Realm)?

Is it another Iron Priest?
(Somewhat Likely | 2[d10]) No

Okay. I have an idea. I won’t pull it out just yet, but will wait for the opportune time... Buahaha

The bandages kept falling off, and she gave up, and they made their way back to the battle site.

Halig talked, spilling all he knew about the secret passage and the battle, eager to please, fearful for his life. He gave a heavy wince and a limp with each step.

Kiari watched with obvious loathing crossing her face at the one who had sought to rob her queen.

Eilwen found out more of the results of the battle as they walked. Willan and two of his men had apparently fled, chased by the surviving bonewalker. She didn’t know what had happened to Gethyd, though. She prayed he still lived.

Tired, scratched, worn in body and soul, Eilwen with her companions, Kiari and now Halig, arrived at the scene of the battle.

Is Gethyd there?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Is he still alive? Since the bonewalker was chasing after Willan and not him, it’s Likely.
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

Eilwen saw Gethyd. He sat on a log, tying a bandage about his leg. Blood soaked it through, and he cursed and tied on another bandage atop it. Bodies from the battle lay about him, the earth wet with blood and churned from the many feet. He started and nearly fell off the log when he heard their approach. He grabbed his spear and held it in their direction.

“Who’s there?” his voice called out, brittle and too high pitched. The tip of his spear wavered in the moonlight.

“It’s me,” Eilwen said just above a whisper.

She stepped out from under the shadows of the trees and into the clearing, and the moonlight fell upon her. Kiari and Halig also stepped out by her side.

“Who’s this?” Halig said. “I thought you wanted me to take you to--”

“Keep Halig quiet, Kiari! I must speak with Gethyd alone.”

“My Queen,” the other woman nodded, and she yanked Halig by his bonds away and shoved him down against a nearby tree. He fell down with a small whimper of pain.

“Gethyd,” Eilwen said as she came up to him.

“Eilwen,” Gethyd said, and his voice sounded hard and flat, pounded down like a well-worn dirt road, furrows packed hard as stone by the iron wheels of disappointment. She could see his pain was more than just the physical arrow that had pierced his thigh. He looked away and then looked down at his wounded leg as he started to work on his bandage again.

She suddenly knelt by him, and took the bandages from his hands tentatively, “Here, let me do that.”

Does he?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

His hands fell away. She felt him wince under the pressure of her work, and she began to re-tie his bandage. But she felt his eyes scour her face.

“I’m sorry, Gethyd,” she whispered into the night. She found she couldn’t meet his gaze, even in the relative darkness. “I’m sorry I abandoned you, but I--I came back, see?”

It sounded weak and timid. A part of her wanted to rage. To scream that she was queen and her decision final, and the Heralds could take all who couldn’t swallow her will, but it all rang hollow in her head somehow, especially seeing the bodies of the fallen:

Thorgunna lay dead at her feet, a massive hole through her middle. Her life-blood spent upon the grass.

Haf too lay dead--her own kin, his head a ruined mess. She felt raw to the bone, and a deep ache inside of her clenched her heart and lungs. She felt she might suffocate if she lost another friend or companion.

This is also a reflection of her current Spirit stat which is at the all-time low of 0 with the Shaken debility!

Anyway, she has a bond with Gethyd but now that bond is being tested.
Test your Bond, roll + heart

7 = 6[d6]+1

13 = 9[d10]+4[d10]

A weak hit. Envision what they ask of you and then do it or swear an iron vow.

“You left me to die,” Gethyd said, and the words hammered into her heart like iron nails.

“No,” she whispered, and her hands fell away from his leg, her head bowed and her hair hung limp and wet along her sweat-soaked neck and back. “I left you so I could live. But I didn’t want you to die. I--”

“It doesn’t matter what you wanted or hoped. You left me, and I nearly died,” he said. “Don’t ever do that again! Don’t you ever leave me alone like that, Eilwen! I thought we...” and she could hear the emotion catch in his voice and it grew husky. “I thought we were friends.”

For a moment she thought she heard her brother’s voice speaking to her, Aron’s voice hard and firm, unyielding in accusation.

Can a queen have friends? An imperious voice within her queried. Or brothers?

“I...” she swallowed and shoved the voice away. “We are,” she said. “For my part, anyway.”

“Really? You claim that you are Ironsworn,” he said. “And my friend? And yet, you, an Ironsworn, vowed to return me to my mother! Did that vow and our friendship mean nothing to you?”

“Of course they did!” she shot back, and her eyes flashed up at him and hardened for a moment, some of the steel starting to come back into her voice. “That’s why I came back! To find you. To help you.”

He glared back and his voice grew smaller as if he were falling down some dark hole. “I almost died, Eilwen. I was shot in my leg. People were dying left and right around me! Thorgunna is dead. Haf too. And others,” his hand swept the field around him, bearing witness to the odd angles of the limbs of the fallen. “It--it was madness!”

Seeing his haunted eyes, the steel she had tried to summon collapsed under the too-heavy weight of guilt. She kept seeing Aron cowering in the corner. Kept seeing the rim of that herald-blasted crown, darkly wet with her brother’s blood. She looked away again and knelt by him and twisted the clean bandages in her hands over and over and saw her hands trembling. The bandages fell into the dirt and blood, the white soaking them up, a symbol of her soul.

She stared at it and clenched her hands into fists.

“Then swear another vow,” Gethyd demanded quietly, his haunted voice piercing her again and again. “Swear that you will never leave me again until you see what’s left of my family safe from Redstone.”

“Gethyd,” she groaned. “I already swore that I would help your mother to be reunited with her family--” her voice broke when she thought of Gethyd’s father, her own arrow cutting him down. It had been a mistake, but the guilt piled on with the growing-heavy darkness. She tried to shake it away. “And that I would deal with Yormid. And I promise I will do that. It’s just that--”

“And that’s working out so well,” Gethyd interrupted, his haunted tone taking up residence with biting sarcasm.

Her regret and anger flared up, more aimed at herself now than at him.

“Fine! I swear it, Gethyd!” she said, bitterness firming her voice. She touched the hilt of her iron sword, and her voice grew louder, “I swear I’ll see you back to your mother. That I’ll never leave you again until you and your family are safe from Redhall. Happy? Is that enough for you?”

This sounds like a Troublesome vow. She’s probably pretty close to finding Valeri and it’s just a matter of clearing out once she does. There’s no one else to save.

Swear an Iron Vow + heart
She still has the bond so she gets to add another +1
3 = 1[d6]+2
5 = 3[d10]+2[d10]

A weak hit. Momentum goes up and is now 3/10.

The promise hung between them, an untested vow, brittle as the dried bones of the horror that marred the grass nearby.

“It’ll have to do,” he said, studying her face.

“Yes, it will,” she agreed, iron and regret intertwined. “For it is all I can give.”

They looked at each other, each weighing and considering.

“I am sorry too,” he eventually said. “For Thorgunna and Haf, I--I know they were friends of yours and--”

“It doesn’t matter anymore,” she said, gritting her teeth against the sorrow that she clenched away behind her heart. “Can you walk?” she finally asked him.

“I can hobble,” he said.

“Good enough for me,” she said. “Lean on me, and let’s go find your mother.”

He did, and she wasn’t sure if his closeness was comforting or unsettling.

Iron: 1
Edge: 2
Wits: 2
Heart: 1
Shadow: 3

Momentum 3
Health 1/5
Supply 3/5
Spirit is 0/5 (with the shaken debility)
Unspent XP 1

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“You left me to die,”
“No, I left you so I could live."

LOL, wat?!

Thanks for the new episode.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mark!
Maybe not my best writing.  Undecided
In Eilwen's defense though she's not exactly in the best state of mind right now.

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