Classic Fantasy Roses & Wyght (Adventurers!) Ch10 Posted
#11
CHAPTER 6

Game System: Adventurers!
Tools: rpgsolo.com solo engine; playeveryrole.com solo engine; UNE; alea iactanda est: Rumours Table; other random generators

Setup

Using the Rumour Table I came up with the story that Tristan told the PC’s. The details will be presented in the narrative.

Per rules, a single night of sleep is sufficient for the PC’s to recover back to full END.

[Scene 1]

The following morning the Rosemights and Harper Wyghtwing sit around the breakfast table at the Faint Mule Hostel as Naglen, the halfling innkeeper, serves them a hearty meal of hotcakes and ham. Following their battle with the Huntsmen the previous day, the bard Tristan was able to catch the attention of one of King’s Guard, a friend of his, and vouch for the PC’s innocent involvement in the altercation. The Guard took note of the group, but, being aware of the Huntsmen’s reputation, did not detain them.

The four then went to a nearby tavern to discuss what Tristan knew about the assassin’s guild. Much of the information was not new. However, the bard did claim to have a particular lady friend named Cherry who was a “working girl” at the Snowflake House, a local brothel. According to Cherry, many of the girls, including herself, have entertained the Huntsmen at one of their safe houses. Furthermore, there seemed to be an increase in the number of Huntsmen visiting the city in recent days. Tristan passed on the location of the house based on what he was told, as he had never been there himself and is only relying on Cherry’s word. (Tristan’s reaction roll on the Rumour Table was enough to warrant the first Truth Die roll, which was a 3.)

As the three eat breakfast, they discuss what they know in hushed tones.

“How much do we trust Tristan?” Leira asks.

“Him I trust,” Harper replies. “It’s Cherry’s story I’m more wary of. Tristan can’t confirm it first hand and she’s in a profession that is based more on acting and fantasy than reality. She could just be trying to impress Tristan.”
“Why don’t we just go to the King’s Guard and tell them about the Huntsmen?” Bhartram suggests.

“And tell them what?” Harper asks. “The Huntsmen are no secret to them. If they had some solid grounds, maybe they would put them in jail already. Right now we have to assume they don’t.”

“We know they have something planned soon.” Leira perks up. “Rod said Shylock was in town for something important. The conversation Bhart overheard at the gem cutters, as well as the possibility that there are more Huntsmen in the city, both suggest that something is planned for this week.”

“But what? We have nothing except rumors.”

“Why don’t you ask someone who might actually know something instead of just whispering among yourselves?” Surprised at the new voice, the three turn to see Naglen standing with her hands on her hips, staring at the group. Bhart, Leira and Harper share a guilty look.

“Don’t be so surprised. You three are terrible at keeping a secret. Your ‘whispers’ can be heard all the way to the kitchen.”

“How much have you heard,” Bhart inquires.

“You’re in town looking for the Huntsmen. Not a very smart endeavor, if you ask me. Anyway, one of them killed your father and you want justice. Heh. Who are you kidding? You want revenge. Your best leads have come from a 12-year-old stable hand and a common whore who you’ve never met. You think something big is up, but you haven’t even asked any of the locals . . . like me . . . what might be going on in the city. You’d best pack up your things and head back home. You have no business hunting assassins.”

Naglen begins picking up empty dishes as Leira, Harper and Bhart look sheepishly at each other.

“So, Naglen,” Leira dares as the halfling heads back to the kitchen, long red hair trailing behind her. “What is happening in Duskcall?”

Naglen stops, turns around and addresses the blonde girl. “Tomorrow is the Sacrament of Fortitude.” [RG]

After a few moments, Harper speaks for the group. “Excuse our ignorance, but the Sacrament of Fortitude?”

Naglen rolls her eyes. “You’ve been searching for information and you don’t even know about the Sacrament celebration? Why do you think you can even do this? Never mind.” Naglen symbolically brushes away the thought with a flick of her hand. “The Sacrament of Fortitude is a yearly celebration where we remember Duskcall’s victory over the surrounding baron lords hundreds, possibly a thousand years ago. In that day Arigord was controlled by a number of barons and there was no unified rule. As you can image, fights and conflict broke out. Lord Logan Winchester [RG] wanted to unite the baronies into a single unit controlled by a king. While he held a lot of support, several of the more ambitious land owner’s disagreed and war waged on for several years until Winchester and his supporters found themselves under siege here in Duskcall. Lord Winchester called for all the citizens to abandon their tasks, businesses and other duties to take up arms to defend the city. Not only did they prevail, but they were able to advance the battle beyond the walls and defeat their opponents. The battle positioned Duskcall to become the Capital of Arigord and Logan Winchester its first King.

“The Church of the Creator acknowledged God’s divine assistance in the battle and its clerics ordained the yearly celebration, declaring it a sacrament, thanking the Creator for blessing the city with the fortitude needed to fend off the invasion.

“Every year all businesses close for the afternoon and the people gather at the plaza in front of the castle to hear speeches from King Angelo and the head clerics. The addresses culminate in the ringing of the church bells. This is followed by feasting and partying for the rest of the evening.”

Bhart, Leira, and Harper listen intently as the innkeeper fills them in. When she finishes Bhart is the first to speak up.

“So the King will be out in public, making him a prime target for assassins.”

“But I’m sure he is going to be well protected,” Leira states.

“Yes,” Harper agrees. “But if the Huntsmen are being well compensated they might take the chance.”

“Or they don’t have a choice,” suggests Bhart. “Maybe if you’re a member of the guild you do as you are told. No questions asked.”

“Another possibility,” Harper adds, “Is that they have infiltrated the King’s Guard and have men on the inside.” He turns back to their host who is still standing just inside the doorway to the kitchen. “What else do you know about the Huntsmen and anything they might be planning?”

Does Naglen know anything else about the Huntsmen's plans?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No +Event: Kill / Portals  - Focus: PC positive

Naglen stares back at Harper as an embarrassed look crosses her face. “Uh, nothing.”

Bhart tosses his head back and sighs. “I thought you just said you were well informed!”

Leira nudges her brother under the table, letting him know he was out of line. Naglen quickly recovers and scowls at the young craftsman as she shoots back.

“What I meant was, if you need information about the city you should be talking to people who may hear stories about what’s going on. I run a hostel. My brother is the stable master at The Scarlett Bear. My cousin runs a tavern. What do we all have in common?” The fiery halfling only gives them a second to respond. “We have contact with a lot of people, especially travelers, and we hear all sorts of tales. Now, I can talk to Oldack and Hattia and see if they’ve heard anything, but you three need to start working smarter, or the Creator’s clerics might be performing last rites over you once the Sacrament is over.”

With that Nagel spins around and marches out of the room.

Does Bhart want Leira to come along to the Hunstman house?
(Unlikely [protect sister]| 1[d10]) No, and... +Event: Delay / Suffering (Since I already have an event I have to deal with, I am choosing to dismiss this new one. Besides, isn’t this entire adventure already serving that purpose by delaying Bhart’s and Leira’s grieving over their dead father?)

After Nagel leaves they discuss checking up on Tristan’s/Cherry’s story about the safe house. Bhart makes it clear that, if they encounter assassins, it would be safer if Leira remains behind.  He insists that he and Harper go alone. Harper agrees with Bhart, which surprises Leira as she expected the huntsman to stick up for her. If no one else was going to, she sure would. Leira strongly protests, primarily on the grounds that she was perfectly capable of handling herself in any situation. Besides that, she is still the only one of the three who saw any of the people they were specifically looking for and they needed her in that capacity. In a rare show of solidarity, Bhart and Harper both object and try to convince Leira to stay at the hostel, but in the end she flat out tells them she will follow as soon as they leave unless they tie her up, something neither was going to do. Eventually, the men accept defeat and they go back to their planning.

[Scene 2]

The three leave the hostel about an hour later and head toward the part of the city where Tristan indicated they would find the safe house. All three were fully armed with swords and daggers. Harper also brought his bow along.

“So, has anyone thought about what we are going to do to Shylock if we find him?” Leira asked.

“I’d like to see him dead!” Bhart said plainly.

“I’m sure the Guard won’t take kindly to citizens killing other citizens unprovoked, even if they deserve it,” Harper suggests. “We were lucky before in that Tristan could vouch for us. We may not be so convincing next time.”

“I guess we’ll just figure it out when we find him,” Bhart resolves.

“It’s like the ending to that epic song the bards perform,” Leira remembers. “You know the one, Three Postings on an Ebbingstown Notice Board.”

Begin event with a recognition roll for Leira: [2d6]=3 Unsure
NPC perception check: 3<7 Fail

As they continue down the street they pass by several shops. Passing by an ink maker [RG], a patron exits, nearly bumping into Harper. Without looking in their direction, the patron barely apologizes and moves on.

Leira takes a breath. “Hey, maybe I’m just hoping, but he might be one of the men I saw at the Filthy Princess.”

Perception checks: Leira: [2d6] 8+5 MND = 13>7 Success
                              Harper: [2d6] 8+3 MND = 7=7 Success
                              Bhart: [2d6] 8+3 MND = 11>7 Success

Is there identifier on the man?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes
C.D. = Rudely / Rare (Well, that’s obviously a Huntsman’s dagger.)

The group examines the stranger and it doesn’t take them long to spot the now very identifiable pommel of a Huntsman dagger fitted with a red gem. Leira picks up the pace to engage the man.

“Hey! Stop!”

NPC recognition roll (+2 due to seeing Leira before): [2d6] 6+2=8 Safe Assumption
NPC reaction roll (-1 assassin): [2d6] 11-1=10 No attack, leaves

The stranger turns around and looks at the curly haired blonde woman approaching. At first, he’s confused, but then his eyes widen with a spark of recognition. The stranger turn and runs. Leira, Bhart, and Harper take chase.

Group chase rolls are based on slowest fugitive (1 AGI) and fastest pursuer (2 AGI).
Both succeeded 3 out of 4 rolls, however, the PCs failing roll happened to be critical, therefore, I’ll say that breaks the tie and the group is unable to catch the fleeing man.

The Huntsman runs down the side of the street close to the storefronts. Leira leads the group of PCs but Harper soon passes her and begins to close the distance with the fleeing man.  Sensing his pursuers gaining, the Huntsman reaches out and tries to knock over some boxes, hoping they will slow down those behind him. Harper easily dodges the first and tries to jump over a second. Unfortunately, his foot catches on the corner and he tumbles, allowing his target to get some distance.

As they approach an intersection, the fleeing assassin sprints through it without looking. At the same time, a merchant driving a horse-drawn cart is traveling across the road and the two collide. The assassin goes down under the horse and is run over by one of the cart’s wheels before the merchant can stop.

He will be hit. Question is how badly. Will assume at least minimum damage for each hoof and wheel. Rolls will determine any extra damage.
How many hooves trample him? [1d3-1]: 2
Damage: Two hooves and 1 wheel cause 5 damage, but armor absorbs 2. Huntsman is down to 2 END.

While several hooves trample the unfortunate huntsman, none land squarely on his head or torso. Furthermore, he has enough sense to try to scoot out of the way of the cartwheel but is only partially successful as his leg [RG] still gets run over.

Is the Huntsman able to get to his feet before the PCs get to him?
(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

The injured man attempts to stand, but as soon as he puts pressure on his leg he realizes it is broken and falls back to the earth. Harper arrives at the man’s side first, quickly followed by Leira and Bhart. Ignoring the crowd that is beginning to gather they shout questions at him.

“Where is Shylock?” “What do the Huntsmen have planned?”

Does the Huntsman speak?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes
UNE: Knowing - account - previous scene

The man looks at Harper with mirth in his eyes. “You can’t do anything. It’s too well planned.”

“What is?” Harper demands.

“The death of the king.” As he says this, he strikes out at Harper with his dagger. Fortunately, Harper anticipated the assassin’s actions and had an eye on his hand. When he saw the man go for his weapon he turned to avoid the strike. Countering quickly, Harper drives his own knife into the man’s side, killing him instantly. [Assassin failed to surprise and missed. Harper had a “higher ground” advantage and hit for 2 END]

“Somebody get a healer!” Harper calls out, quickly scanning the crowd to see if there are any King’s Guard. [(Very Unlikely | 4[d10]) No]  As more on-lookers begin to gather he whispers to the others, “We should mix with the crowd and try to slip away.” He gets up and backs up from the body. Bhart follows suit, but Leira does a quick search of the body before joining the other two.

Does she take the dagger?
(Unlikely (evidence against the man) | 1[d10]) No, and…

She does not see any pouches but does notice a scrap of paper sticking out of a pocket. She retrieves it but decides not to look at it here. She briefly considers grabbing the assassins dagger but decides to leave it, thinking that, if the event is investigated, the unique knife might identify him as a rogue and the assumption can be made that he was up to no good. (and) As insurance, however, Leira decides to plant some seeds in the ears of those around.

“Were you attacked?” she calls out before following after Harper. Hopefully, she thinks, someone will remember that and tell the Guard we were defending ourselves.

Bhart, Harper, and Leira make their way to the edge of the crowd and continue down the street. No one seems to pay them much interest as they turn a corner and travel a few blocks to a tavern. They grab seats around a table, order some drinks, and discuss their next move.

Leira pulls out the paper and opens it for all to read. They are surprised and pleased at what they have found. It appears to be a set of instructions. The possessor of the note was supposed to gather intelligence from inside the castle that might be useful in the assassination plot scheduled for the Sacrament of Fortitude. The note mentions that the spy should access the castle through a tunnel system that leads from the castle to a nearby building. Finally, any information is to be relayed to Shylock at the safe house the morning of the attack.

“Wow!” Bhart exclaims. “This is a gem!”

“It certainly confirms our suspicions about the celebration.” Leira agrees.

“We should bring this to the King’s Guard,” Bhart suggests.

“Perhaps,” Harper hesitantly agrees before a mischievous smile forms on his lips. “Or we can investigate this and perhaps stop it ourselves.”

Leira’s eyes brighten at the thought of adventure. Bhartram, however, is not so sure.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. The Guard are trained for this. Furthermore, if we don’t learn anything, that doesn’t leave the Guard much time to prepare.”

“C’mon, Rosie,” Harper urges, using a nickname he knows annoys the trap maker. “I thought you wanted to avenge your father?”

“I do, but an assassination plot is more than we can handle.”

“Then how about we just see what more we can learn about this plot before going to the Guard?” Leira suggests, not wanting to pass up on any excitement. “All we have is a note that anyone could have written. Do we even know if we will be listened to or believed?”

Response check: The PC gives: an agreeable response

Bhart looks at the other two unconvinced, but realizing that he will probably be outvoted he gives in, if not for anything else to keep an eye on his sister. “So what do we do?” he asks.

The two options are investigate the safe house or investigate the tunnel to the castle. Each PC will vote on an option, with the outcome being weighted in favor of the tunnel as the note is potentially more valid than the rumors about the safe house. [1d6] 1-2: safe house, 3-6 tunnel.
Bhart: 1 Safe house
Leira: 5 Tunnel
Harper: 5 Tunnel

Bhart tries to convince the group to check out the Safe House, believing that watching a building is less likely to involve direct conflict than going into a tunnel that is known to be used by the enemy. Also, if Shylock is there, they might be able to end this faster. The other two, however, find the excitement of exploring the tunnels much more tantalizing. In the end, the group finishes their drinks and heads out to find the building mentioned in the note.

End of Chapter 6

Wrap up:

No EXP or HER are awarded for this session. Unless anything exceptional happens, 1 EXP every two chapters seems about right, since it feels like two chapters approximately equals one face-to-face session.

For anyone interested, the Recognition and Reaction rolls we made using homemade tables based on an article found at http://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com/201...d6-or.html

Thoughts of Chapter 6

The second scene was run pretty much like some of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” games where the ultimate ending is predetermined but the path you take to get there might vary greatly. Based on the Kill/Portals event, I knew that the death of a Huntsman was going to provide the PCs with information about the tunnel (or portal to the castle). I imagined various ways this could occur and let the Oracle decide. For a moment I feared the Huntsman would not be killed. (Who would have expected someone to survive a horse trampling and being run over by a cart.) What then, I’m not sure. Eventually, however, all went as hoped and a further opportunity to confirm the assassination plot was offered by the Huntsman’s dying words.
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#12
CHAPTER 7

Game System: Adventurers!

Tools: rpgsolo.com solo engine; DMMuse.com; UNE; BOLD; other random generators

Setup:


A quick ret-con to one item of equipment before moving on. The Adventurers! Dark Camelot setting includes a longbow in its gear list. It makes sense that, being a hunter, Harper would have a longbow instead of the standard bow listed in the basic rules. The primary difference is in range and a reduction to a defender’s AR roll. Since the bow has not been used yet, this would not have affected any previous scenes.


[Scene 1]


Bhartram, Leira, and Harper make their way through the city streets and find themselves across from a building that is located just outside the wall that separates the castle grounds from the rest of the city. Outside the front door is a plaque that reads “Duskcall Historical Society.” Based on that, the PC’s think this must be some sort of library, museum, or meeting place for people interested in the capital city’s past. [RG]


They have devised a plan they hope will work. Harper has the one Huntsman dagger they own. He will pose as a Huntsman, hoping whoever minds the tunnel is not personally familiar with every member of the guild. While they have yet to see any female Huntsmen, if Leira can’t pass as an assassin she should be able to play the role of a female friend Harper is trying to impress. At worst, she could be a prostitute Harper and Bhart have hired and are taking to an out of the way place for some entertainment, though Leira hopes that ruse won’t be necessary.


Bhart might be a bit trickier to explain. If they had another dagger he could pass as another Huntsman. (Perhaps they should have grabbed a dagger off of one of the other three they have already dispatched of after all.) In lieu of that, if questioned, Harper will explain that he is an “interested prospect”.  So much can go wrong, but this is the best they have at the moment.


They approach the door and see if it is unlocked.


Is the door unlocked?

(Likely (normal business hours) | 5[d10]) No, but…

The door is secure, but there is small sign under the first that reads “Ring Bell for Entry”. Next to the sign is a small hole with a piece of thin rope dangling out of it. Harper pulls on it, hearing a bell ring on the other side of the door.


After a few moments, the door cracks open and a short, elderly man with curly grey hair and spectacles peeks out. [UNE- Cautious Mood - Friendly Bearing - Shelter/Current Story] He takes a moment to assess the trio, but then shows a wide smile.


“Hello!” he greets. “Are you here to see the museum?”


Harper agrees, thinking it’s best to get inside first before asking about the tunnel.


“Then, by all means, come in.” The man opens the door wide and ushers them in.


Does the man lock the door?

(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and… (explains why)

Once inside, the man throws the latch on the door. When the group looks at the lock curiously, he explains that the museum houses a lot of valuable items and he doesn’t want anyone sneaking in while he is distracted.


Is there anyone else in the building?

(Somewhat Unlikely | 3[d10]) No +Event: Break / Friendship - NPC Negative

The party finds themselves in a room that is absent of anyone else besides the four of them. Looking around they see approximately twelve pedestals, each holding some item or relic. A few are enclosed in glass cases. Each pedestal includes a small placard with a brief description of the item. The walls are decorated with banners, shields, weapons and other items of historical importance. Each has a similar descriptive placard mounted next to it. In one corner of the room is a table with four chairs. Lining the walls on either side of the table are bookshelves full of multicolored tomes, as well as a number of scroll cases. On the table rests an open book. There are two doors besides the front door and a third opening to a staircase leading down to the cellar. [RG]


“Forgive my manners. My name is Barda,” the curator says extending his hand for Harper to shake. “Are you visitors to our fine capital? I always enjoy teaching people about Duskcall’s rich history.”


“I trust that it true,” Harper replies. “And it looks like you have some fine artifacts here. However, we are more interested in visiting the castle.” He shoots Barda a conspiratorial glance.


Does Barda know most of the Huntsmen by sight?

(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

Since Huntsmen come and go, new faces often pass through, so strangers are not unusual to Barda. Any attempts to persuade Barda will involve an opposed MND roll. If PC fails, Barda does not believe their story. If PC ties or wins by 3 points, Barda cautiously believes them. If the PC wins by 4 or more Barda is completely fooled.


Barda doesn’t acknowledge the look, but instead attempts to correct their “error”.  [Harper failed persuasion] “In that case, I think you are in the wrong place. The entrance is on the other side of the castle from here. But you might have trouble getting in. They don’t exactly give tours.”


“I’m sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear. I have business at the castle.” Harper pulls out the Huntsman dagger just enough so the curator can clearly see the bear head and jewel on the pommel.


Barda is about to tell them to leave when he sees the dagger, a weapon owned exclusively by the Huntsmen. While he strongly suspects that these three are not Huntsmen, not to mention the fact the group has failed so far to give the appropriate password, he has never seen anyone with such a dagger other than a Huntsman in the past. [GM: Password is required. Harper shows dagger per random roll, Harper wins persuasion despite having a hefty penalty for Barda’s suspicion and not giving the proper password]


“Perhaps you do,” Barda suggests. “But I’m not sure I can help you unless you tell me a little bit more.” He waits for Harper to respond with the appropriate words.


“Oh, this is going nowhere!” Bhartram exclaims as he pulls out his sword and points the tip at Barda’s throat. [event - breaks the ruse of being friendly] “We know there is a tunnel here that connects to the castle, and we need to get in there.”


Barda puts up his hands and steps back. “I don’t . . .”


“Cut it!” Bhart shouts. “No excuses. No lies. Let’s tie him up and find the tunnel.”


“Well, I guess there was always the direct approach,” Harper says as they begin to search the building.


Behind the door next to the stairway is a small storage area with a second staircase leading to the living quarters upstairs. Behind the door on the opposite wall is a storeroom about a quarter of the size of the main room. Inside are various items that appear to be in the process of being cataloged. A small table holds a plate of cheese and a cup of some kind of drink. They instruct Barda to sit in a chair next to the table. Finding some rope they bind him there. As they are doing this, Leira attempts to engage the man in conversation.


“You must know who the Huntsmen are, that they can’t be trusted. Why would you help them?”


UNE Conversation mood (distrustful): 16 Guarded


“Just do what you need to do and then leave me alone.”


Looking around, Leira spots a finely decorated long sword. She picks it up and tests the edge. “Wouldn’t it be ironic if a museum owner is found dead, run through by one of his own artifacts?” She glances sideways at the bound man. Bhart and Harper stare at her wide-eyed with shock, however, Barda cannot see them from where he sits.


Persuasion check: Leira has advantage due to Charisma skill, as well as +1 due to Barda being in a precarious situation. (4,5,6)+5 MND +1 = 17  Leira wins: 17 vs 8


Barda’s reason: 1) Money 2) Supports the cause 3)Extortion 4)Indebted to Huntsmen

[1d4]=4 Indebted

BOLD for story:  Abetting Misunderstanding (Party) overcome by a close friend


“I help them ‘cause I should be dead otherwise. It was a couple of years ago. I get a lot of interesting things come through my museum here. Most are worthless, but every now and then I find something that has value, either historically or monetarily. One day, while rummaging through a sack I purchased, I came across a pair of dice. The previous owner, who happened to be dead, was a known gambler so the dice caught my attention. As I suspected, they were loaded.


“One night I decided to give ‘em a try. I knew my friend Gar [RG] often hung out at the Broken Sword [RG], a tavern known for its games of chance. So I asked him to introduce me to some of his friends for a game. I knew they were a rough crowd, but I also knew they had money. Anyway, I was able to swap out the dice and I made a killing.


“I guess they figured it out, cause the next night the group of ‘em jumped me and dragged me into an alley. They said I had cheated them and the price for cheating a Huntsman is a dagger through the heart. I tried to tell them it was all a mistake, that I didn’t know anything about loaded dice, but they weren’t buying it.


“It was about that time my friend Gar stepped in. I hadn’t noticed him before, but apparently, he was also a Huntsman, something I did not know. He sort of vouched for me, saying that he’d known me for a long time and never knew me to be a liar. However, if I did try to swindle them, he was sure I would never do it again. He’d see to it personally.


“The others were reluctant, but Gar wouldn’t let up until they let me go. They did have tack on a condition, however. I owed them and they would collect. Several weeks later some different Huntsmen came to my home and said it was time to pay up. The old castle dungeons ran close to my home and they needed to connect to them through my basement. I really had no choice. Either I help them or they would help themselves.”


Do any of the party sympathize with Barda?

(Unlikely | 4[d10]) No

“I guess you’re a lucky man,” Leira says. “You cheated the Huntsmen and lived. And it looks like you’re going to survive today, as well. Unless, of course, your friends are unhappy that you let strangers into their tunnel.”


“You weren’t really going to kill him, were you?” Bhart asks.


“Probably not.”


With that, Harper ties a gag around Barda’s mouth.


As they walk out of the room Leira spots a shield hanging on the wall near the front door. Reading its placard she learns that it was the shield Lord Winchester used during the siege against Duskcall by the other baron lords. “Hmm. This might be useful,” she says, removing the shield from the wall.


Barda, seeing this, begins to moan through the gag in protest.


“Don’t worry,” Leira assures him. “I’ll bring it back.”


[Because of her 0 STR Leira is encumbered while holding the shield (-1 AGI). Still, I thought it was a nice touch to the narrative, so I had her take it. Besides, it fits in with her concept.]


[Scene 2]


At the bottom of the stairs is a locked door. They go back upstairs and search their captive to no avail. However, in the process, they do find 4 gold pieces and a gold whistle, both of which Liera keeps. Harper removes the gag and asks where is the key. Barda will not tell them. In fact, he says nothing. They replace the gag and begin to search the room.


Is the key on Barda?

(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

Does he tell them where the key is?

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and… (refuses to say anything)

Do they find the key?

(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

“ I guess we’ll just have to break it down,” suggests Harper.


They go back down the stairs and Bhart, being the strongest, tries to break the lock with the handle of his sword. [Success]


Aware that the noise made breaking the lock might have attracted attention, all three have swords drawn as they throw open the door. The room is bare except for a few casks along one wall, some buckets and a few stained straw mats on the floor. [RG]. There is one other thing. Standing in the middle of the room is an armored blond man with his sword drawn.


[Per oracle, the noise attracted someone. Per rolls, PCs were not surprised]


It takes Leria a moment to focus on the man’s face, but once she does she immediately knows the man.”Gaither!”


The man instantly recognizes the voice, as well as Leira’s blonde curls. “Ah, the haughty wench from the inn. You’re a long way from home, villager.” This last word drips with contempt.


[Custom encounter table: Gaither-alone. Both he and Leira made positive recognition rolls.]


Liera drops her sword, freeing her hand to pull the Hunstman dagger from Harper’s belt. She holds it up for Gaither to see. “You left something back in Swifthaven. I thought I would return it.” With a flick of the wrist, she sends it hurling at Gaither.


Leira misses: 2 (modified) v 12

Gaither Morale check based on 90, Add 20 to roll for outnumbered 2-1: 37+20=57

Gaither easily steps aside avoiding the throw.  “Pathetic,” he says as moves in to attack. [Missed attack, successful morale check]


Initiative based on AGI:

Gaither: 3
Harper: 2
Leira: 0
Bhart: 0 (lost tiebreaker)

[Round 1]


While Gaither would really like to teach the troublesome girl a lesson, he knows that she is not an immediate threat since she has dropped her weapon. Instead, he swings at (1-3 Harper, 4-6 Bhart) Harper.


Harper easily blocks Gaither’s swing but is unable to return the attack. Bhart hesitates to make sure he can get a clean shot at Gaither. [all miss]


[Round 2]


Leira has retrieved her sword but is unable to strike as Harper and her brother stand between her and the enemy. She begins to skirt around the edge of the battle to try and get behind the Huntsman. While she is doing this, Bhart raises his sword. Seeing an opportunity, Gaither swings his own blade in a wide arc, barely knicking Harper’s leather and passing under Bhart’s own blade, catching the young man in the ribs. [Gaither critically defended against Bhart allowing him a free attack. Bhart spends a HER point to reroll and reduce 6 damage to 4, dropping him to 2 END]


[Round 3]



G: 10 H: 7 (take 2 END, fails AR)
H: 7 G: 10
Since Leira is attacking from behind and Gaither is focused on Harper, I’ll treat it as a distraction penalty.
L: 6 G: 13-2 for rear attack distraction=11
B: 14  G: 9 (takes 3 fails AR T:3  5 left)

Without hesitation, the assassin turns his blade back toward Harper and makes a stab that catches him in the upper thigh. [2 damage, 4 END left] The sudden pain stops Harper’s own attack. Despite being outnumbered, Gaither’s skills as a trained assassin are serving him well. Leira gets into position but rushes her attack, thus missing her target. Bhart, on the other hand, is able to find a gap in Gaither’s scale. [3 damage, 5 END left]


[Round 4]


Enraged, Gaither pushes Bhart back with his sword arm but continues his assault on Harper who is still attempting to adjust to his wounded leg. He swings hard, cutting through Harper’s leather. [Critical attack. Harper spends two HER points to reroll, keeping him above 0 END. He finishes with 1 END.] Leira, who Gaither has all but forgotten by this time, pokes him in the ass. [for 1 damage, 4 END left]


[Round 5]


Gaither makes morale check with penalties for being outnumbered and down to half health. He fails.  

Fleeing draws a free attack from each party member.

Gaither realizes that, while is easily handling Harper, he still has two opponents left and it’s difficult to defend attacks from multiple sides. In this case, retreat might be the better part of valor. He turns and heads for an open passage in the wall opposite the staircase. Only Bhart is able to get a final attack in and slices the fleeing foe in the arm. [1 damage, 3 END left] Harper reacts quickly, dropping his sword and loading his bow for a shot. Unfortunately, with no time to aim and hindered by his wound, his arrow flies wide. Bhart and Leira take chase.


The hallway runs for seventy feet before it ends in an intersection with passages leading left and right. With his head start, Gaither easily reaches the split first and takes the right passage. As brother and sister near the intersection, they hear the sound of a door slamming. Rounding the bend they are not surprised to see a large oak door blocking their way. Bhart pushes against it and it does not move. Pulling on the handle does nothing, as well. [Leira failed the chase challenge.]


“Must be barred from the other side,” Bhart supposes, and takes a step back as if to try and bash it down with his shoulder.


“Wait!” Leira cries, putting herself between Bhart and the door. “We don’t know what, or who is on the other side. He might have reinforcements. Besides, we need to check on Harper.”


Bhart agrees and the two head back, meeting Harper where the hall opens into the basement room.


End of Chapter 7


Wrap up:


Withholding EXP till they are done with the tunnels.

I will award Leira one HER for successfully using her Charisma skill to coax the story from Barda.

Thoughts of Chapter 7


In a spirit of transparency, I forgot about HER during the combat with Gaither. At one point two of my PCs were down, leaving my weakest character all by herself. As I was trying to figure out how she could escape and live to fight another day, I remembered I had several unspent HER points I would have used had I remembered them.


At that point, I did go back to the previous fatal rolls, spent the appropriate number of HER, and rerolled. All other rolls I left as is and added one attack that Bhart had missed due to being unconscious. The revised battle is what is recorded in this chapter.
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#13
Just finished reading what you have so far, and I've been enjoying it! I especially like Bhart and Leira's bro/sis relationship. Smile Good thing you had those HER points. I'm hoping you post more soon!
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#14
Great to hear your feedback, Lana. Leira is my favorite character to write. She's a bit spunky. Next chapter has pretty much been played (have some final items to address), but most of it is in shorthand at this point. I hope to write it up soon, but I currently have a couple of other creative projects that take precedence right now.
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#15
CHAPTER 8

Game System: Adventurers!

Tools: rpgsolo.com solo engine; No Budget No Frills Dungeon Generator v4.1; r/BehindTheTables; other random generators

Setup:

Finally, a dungeon crawl. The core mechanic I am using to generate the tunnels is a tool from the Tabletop Diversions blog called the No Budget, No Frills Dungeon Generator v4.1 (modifying and adding to as necessary). This tool uses a standard deck of playing cards and some dice to create halls and rooms. To furnish the rooms, I will be using tables from r/BehindTheTables and OSRIC.

Encounters will be rolled on a table created specifically for this location.

Since Gaither escaped in the last chapter, he knows the PCs are probably exploring the tunnels, and it’s reasonable that he would get reinforcements and come back, around each corner or so the party will encounter him on a d6 roll of 1-3. He will be accompanied by 1d4 Huntsmen. Furthermore, if a room contains Huntsmen, Gaither will be with them on a d6 roll of 1-4.

Finally, I’ve marked a line on my map approximately 450 feet from the basement under the museum. Once they pass that line, they can find the exit into the castle.

[Scene 1]

Before continuing down the tunnels, Leira pulls out the wand she found on the Huntsman they defeated in the alleyway several chapters ago. She hands it to Harper and Bhart and explains how to use it.

[Both Bhart and Harper are back up to full END, however, it took all four remaining uses to do it, so the wand is now worthless.]

“I thought you came along to protect us?” Bhart accuses Harper, referring to the recent encounter with Gaither. “Seems to me you were pretty worthless.”

“If I wasn’t here, you’d probably be dead right now,” Harper responds.

“How do you figure that?”

“If I wasn’t distracting him, all his focus would have been on you.”

“So getting sliced, stabbed and beaten is now your contribution to this group?”

“Boys,” Leira interrupts. “This is not the time.”

“I’ve had it with you, Harper,” Bhart continues, ignoring his sister. “For years you’ve been bragging about how you’re such a great hunter and how you can provide for and protect Leira. But when it came right down to it, it was she and I who drove that guy off, saving your ass!”

“Without me, Rosie, you don’t even have a chance.”

Tired of the bickering, Leria walks over to retrieve the dagger she threw and then heads down the hall after Gaither.  She’s about halfway to the intersection when Bhart and Harper finally notice her.

“Leira! Where are you going?” Bhart calls out after her.

“You guys can argue about who’s the strongest, best, or whatever all you want. I’m going to try to finish what we’ve started.”

Bhart gives Harper a “can you believe her” look. Harper rolls his eyes, letting him know that, at least on this point, they agree. “C’mon,” he says. “Let’s make sure she doesn’t get herself killed.”

                                            [Image: R%2B%2526%2BW%2BMap%2B1.jpg]

They walk down the sconce-lit hall until they reach the intersection. The door to the right is still closed. In the opposite direction, the corridor extends an equal distance until it too ends in a door.


“So, do we try to follow Gaither, or do we try the other door?” Harper asks.

“We should at least see if the other door will open,” Leira suggests. With weapons out, Leira cautiously attempts to open the door.

Is the door locked?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

It doesn’t budge.

“Great,” she says. “Either way we have to bust through.”

After a brief discussion, the three decide to continue through the door which Gaither made his escape. [RG]  Bhart attempts to bash it in. [6+3STR=9>7 Success]

They enter the small room [Room I] and prepare for an ambush. Someone is standing there, but it is not the Huntsman. It is a thin woman with long, straight brown hair out of which poke the tips of her ears, identifying her as an elf. She doesn’t attack, and in fact, seems a bit surprised by the party’s entrance.  [Generated a 20’x30’ room, positive encounter roll, table generated a civilian (non-huntsman), NPC generated at donjon.bin.sh]

“Where did he go?” Bhart asks the elf.

Does she tell them?
(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and…

The woman says nothing. Bhart threatens her, but she holds her silence in regards to which direction Gaither went. (and) “You’d be doing yourselves a favor if you left right now. You don’t stand a chance against these men.”

“Why are you protecting them?” Leira asks.

UNE: hostile bearing - death - power

“Because they have been a friend to me. If you haven’t noticed, elves are treated as second class in Duskcall. All I wanted was to run my business, but humans try to swindle me, steal from me, even vandalize my shop. These men, however, took care of the problem. Sure, some people had to die, but they deserved it and now they don’t bother me anymore.”

“And how much is it costing you?” Leira asks.

Does she answer?
(Unlikely (keeping a secret) | 1[d10]) No, and… (she tries to leave)

“I’m done. Let me go,” and she pushes her way past to leave out the door.

Leira grabs her arm, turning the elf so they are standing eye to eye. “Is it your dignity? Is that all it cost you?” She looks the elf up and down. “I have a feeling you’re getting the better end of the deal.”

The NPC gives: a hateful response

Recognizing the insult for what it is, the elf spits in Leira’s face. “At least I have enough sense to stay alive. That’s more than I can say for you.” She pulls free of Leira’s grip and continues out the door. Before heading for the exit, she turns back and takes one last stab. “By the way, I still have my dignity, but don’t be surprised if yours is taken from you real soon.” With that, she disappears around the corner. Harper starts after her but Leira holds him back.

“Let her go. We need to get moving.”

There are two more doors leading out of the room, one opposite the first, the other leading in the direction of the castle. In the fourth wall is an open passage. The only item in the room is a chest with several drawers.

Bhart check for traps with advantage due to being a trap maker (crafting skill): (5,1,1) 6+3MND=9 > 7 success

Just to be safe, Bhart checks the chest of drawers for traps. Being a trapmaker himself, the party feels he has the best chance of detecting anything. The caution pays off as he does find a small needle trap near the handle, however, there was nothing to be concerned about as it appears the trap was never reset after it was last disabled or triggered.

[Is the chest trapped?
(Unlikely | 6[d10]) Yes, but… (trap was not set)]

Rummaging through the drawers they find rather normal everyday items, some bowls, rags, small musical instruments, a length of rope (which they take). It appears to be some sort of catch-all drawer. In the bottom drawer, however, they find a small pouch stuffed in the back which contains 30 gold pieces. The group is overjoyed as they were running low on gold. [Contents generated both randomly and based on oracle questions, i.e. Are there any keys?]

After a quick check of the opening (which turned out to be an empty hallway), they decide to try the door that heads in the general direction of the castle. This door is also locked but Bhart has no trouble kicking it in. Behind the door is an empty corridor. Harper leads the group through the doorway with Leira right behind. Bhart brings up the rear. [Order RG]

Barely twenty feet down the hall Harper steps upon a loose stone.  Without warning, a stone pillar shoots out of the wall like a battering ram, striking Harper square in the torso. He is thrown against the opposite wall but is able to squeeze out of the closing gap just before being completely crushed. (4 damage, AR fail, 2 END) Leira is able to react quickly, stepping back out of the way and bumping into Bhart who was trailing behind her.

[Is anyone looking for traps?
(Unlikely (Not expecting Huntsmen to trap their own tunnels) | 5[d10]) No

The [RG] trap had an ATT of 3. Projectile trap damage is calculated the same way as combat: attack roll, defense roll, higher wins. Since Harper was in front, I gave him the full 3 ATT. Since Leira may not be in the strike area or might have a little time to react, I adjusted the trap ATT to 0 for her. Bhart would have been outside the strike zone so he didn’t have to roll.

Now that they are aware of traps, future trapped areas will require only a 50/50 oracle check to determine if anyone was actively looking for traps.

Finally, Adventurers! allows characters to make a check against MND to recover END (1 point for a normal success, 2 for a critical). I guess this is supposed to represent a character’s mental and physical ability to fight through pain and injury.  They can check STR+1 times a day. Harper uses both his available checks and succeeds on both, bringing him up to 4 END.]

Harper gets up slowly as Leira rushes to his side. “What was that? Why would the Huntsmen trap their own tunnels?”

“To keep people like us from wandering about freely, I suppose,” says Leira. She points to the floor. “You stepped on a trigger stone. I would assume the Huntsmen are aware of this and know to be careful.”

“It looks like we are going to have to be more careful,” Bhart adds.

The group continues down the hall, with Bhart and Leira in front, partly to provide a barrier in front of the injured hunter, but also because Leira is very perceptive and has the best chance of spotting any future traps.

Several feet later, the hall ends in a door. Drawing weapons (Harper notching an arrow in his bow), Bhart checks the door and finds it unlocked. [Room II] They are greeted by Gaither and two other Huntsmen. While it appears to the group that the Huntsmen were expecting them, one of the newcomers was in the process of handing Gaither a vial. He quickly sets the vial aside and prepares for battle.

Has Gaither had a chance to recover any END?
(Unlikely [not enough time]| 6[d10]) No, but… (he sent someone to fetch a healing potion.)

Is one of the Huntsmen with him the person he sent for the potion?
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes  (I interpret this to mean he just returned, but Gaither has not had time to use it.)

Everyone passed their surprise roll. Initiative was determined and the battle began.

Gaither: ST2 AG3 MD 1 ATK: sword 3 DEF: 4 END 4 HER 0   Med. armor AR 4/5
H1: ST1 AG1 MD 0 ATK: dagger 1 DEF: 1 END 5 HER 0   Light armor AR 5/6
H2: ST1 AG1 MD 0 ATK: dagger 1/Sling 1  DEF: 1  END 5 HER 0  No armor, AR 0

[Round 1]

Gaither immediately charges Bhart, but has to readjust his sword grip as he was reaching for the vial when the party entered (Gaither Critical ATK fail, loses next turn). Leira takes a stab at the Huntsman nearest her, but he nimbly steps aside and slashes at her arm with his dagger, drawing blood. (Leira Crit Fail, H1 hits. Leira 2 END) Harper draws his bow and takes his time, aiming at the blond Gaither. (for +1 to ATK)

[Round 2]


Gaither secures his grip on his weapon while Bhart attacks with his sword. Gaither avoids the blade, also moving out of Harper’s sightline, allowing the arrow to pass by harmlessly. Leira and her opponent size each other up looking for an opening.


[Round 3]


Harper, barely feeling the stone that harmlessly grazes his shoulder, turns his aim on the Huntsman in the back with the sling. He fires another arrow that hits its mark, causing the returning sling shot to fly wild. (H1:3 END) Bhart and Gaither exchange cuts (Bhart to 2 END, Gaither to 1 END) while Leira and her opponent both swing harmlessly through the air.


[Round 4]


Leira’s opponent finds an opening gets a clear attack, but she twists at the last moment, barely avoiding a potentially fatal stab. (L uses a HER point to avoid a hit.) Harper’s arrow hits its target a second time, dropping the Huntsman to the floor (0 END). Gaither brings the pommel of his weapon down hard on Bhart’s head, driving him to the ground. Clutching his knee, Bhart cries out in pain before losing consciousness. [Bhart spends HER to reroll defense, but still takes 4 damage, dropping him to -2 END]


[Round 5]


Gaither climbs over the fallen Bhart to reach Harper, the extra time it takes him giving Harper an opportunity to drop his bow and draw his sword. [Gaither spends his HER point to avoid a hit] Leira is clearly outmatched and takes another 1 END damage. (1 END, used a HER)


[Rounds 6 and 7]


Feeling the shield is hindering her ability to fight, Leira drops it and lunges at her enemy. This turns out to be a mistake, as the Huntsman’s fighting experience allows him to avoid the wild swing and plant his own dagger into Leira’s side. [dropping the shield removed AGI penalty, she failed her attack. H1 hit. Leira used last HER to reroll but still failed, putting her at  -1 END]

Meanwhile, Harper is able to use Gaither’s forward motion against him, finding a gap in the approaching man’s armor. [Harper hits Gaither for 1 damage, reducing his END to 0] Gaither’s own weapon connects before he drops to the floor, however Harper’s leather easily deflects the strike.

[Round 8]


Despite just besting Leira, the remaining Huntsman witnesses his leader going down and feels it might be best for him to flee [H1 fails a modified Morale check] He races for the door but Harper is right behind him. Before the door can be opened, Harper drives his sword into the man’s back, piercing the light leather armor and ending his life.  


I gave the Huntsman a -2 AGI penalty during the Chase Challenge due to having to deal with a closed door. Harper won the chase, earning him a free attack. H1 suffered a -2 defensive penalty for having his back to Harper.  Harper wins 10 vs. 1 (3-2). After a failed AR roll, the result is 5 damage, dropping H1 to 0 END.  I really needed that big hit to keep from drawing this encounter out longer than necessary.

PC’s who reach 0 END or less must roll on a homebrew table to determine their fate.  (See “Thoughts” section for details) Bhart (-2 END) is still alive, but received a simple fracture on his right knee. He will suffer -2 AGI for the rest of the day, -1 after that for the rest of this adventure.  Leira (-1 END) is simply unconscious.

Both use up their maximum healing checks for the day.
Current END: Bhart 4, Liera 2, Harper 4

Harper quickly checks on Leira, who is already sitting up. In the corner, Bhart groans as he regains consciousness. Harper helps him stand, but as soon as Bhart puts weight on his right leg it buckles under him. “I really hit my knee hard when I went down.”

“Do you think you can walk?” Harper asks.

“Just give me a minute and I’ll try again.”

While Bhart rests, Leira and Harper search the bodies, finding a total of 15 gp and a couple of gems. [1 quartz (2 gp), 1 Amber (3 gp)]  Gaither was also carrying a tight fitting black cap, which they suspect he used to cover his light hair when sneaking around at night. Lastly, they examine the vial that was dropped before the battle. On the neck of the bottle is a rune that commonly is used to denote health. Because of that and the fact that Gatiher was about to drink its contents after being wounded during their earlier encounter, the party feels it is safe to assume they are holding a healing potion. Leira, being the least hearty of the three, is given the potion and she recovers to full health. [Healing potions restore 4 END raising her back to her full 4 points.]

Bhart is able to get to his feet and gingerly tests the knee. Putting a little more weight on it, he believes he can continue. “That’s one of them. Let’s go get Shylock.”

“No,” Harper disagrees. “You two were beaten up pretty bad. I think it’s best if we head back to the hostel and rest up.”

“I’m not letting him get away!”

“He’s probably not even here, Bhart. According to the instructions, Shylock’s waiting at the safehouse for information.”

“Whether he’s here or not, that’s not the point,” Leira chimes in. “We’re not going to have another shot at exploring this tunnel. We need to try to find details about their plot or gather enough proof to take to the King’s Guard so they can shut this operation down. It’s our duty, Harper. King Angelo’s life is at stake.”

“That might be,” Harper answers. “But, as far as I’m concerned, saving the King’s life is not worth you losing yours.”

Leira blushes.  Harper glances at Bhart who is giving him a questioning look. “Yours either,” he adds.

“Thanks,” Bhart responds with thick sarcasm. “But Leira’s right. We’re not going to be able to just walk in here anytime we want. They will have the entrance guarded for sure, if we can even get past the front door of the museum. We need to move forward.”

Eventually, Harper gives in, warning them that another close call and they are leaving. Leira and Bhart agree and the three head for the door that continues in the direction of the castle.

“Aren’t you going to take the shield?” Bhart asks Leira.

“No, it’s too unwieldy.”

“But you told Barda you would return it.”

“If Barda believes it is so valuable, he can come down here and retrieve it himself.”  [Did Leira pick up the shield?  (50/50 | 2[d10]) No +Event: Dominate / Art]

The door opens onto a long corridor that runs for about 70’ before turning left. Harper keeps a lookout for anyone approaching from behind as the other two round the corner, weapons ready. Standing in the continuing corridor is a lone man dressed in leather armor. It takes bu a moment for brother and sister to identify him as a Huntsman and they attack, surprising the assassin. Despite this, he recovers quickly and is able to draw his dagger while backing away from his attackers. Pride gets the best of him, however, as he decides to stand his ground and fight. [Huntsman and Harper fail their surprise checks, but Leira and Bhart miss their free attacks anyway. Huntsman makes his morale check.]

Hntsmn: ST1 AG1 MD 0 ATK: dagger 1 DEF: 1 END 5 HER 0   Light armor AR 5/6

[Round 1]

Having drawn his bow while the others engaged in combat, Harper now takes a shot. However, in his caution to avoid hitting his friends, he aims a bit too high. In the close quarters neither Leira or Bhart can make any headway, but the Huntsman takes a swipe and catches Leira in the arm [dropping L to 2 END].

[Round 2]

Harper tells Leira to fall back as he drops the bow and pulls out his sword. Before she can react, however,  the Huntsman turns on Bhart and barrels into him, driving his dagger into Bhart’s side. [dropping B to 0 END]. Seeing Bhart go down a second time, Harper charges the foe and slices through his armor. [5 damage, AR stops 1, Huntsman down to 1 END]

[Round 3-5]

The Huntsman makes successful morale rolls for the rest of the encounter.

The Huntsman focuses his attacks mainly at Harper, controlling his opponent in a way that effectively blocks Leira from getting at him [L misses all three rounds]. However, he is unable to land a blow himself, as Harper’s longer sword keeps the dagger-wielding assassin at bay. Harper strikes a blow that glances harmlessly off the Huntsman’s armor, but it then swings back, taking off his opponent’s dagger hand. Already severely wounded, the Huntsman drops to the ground as blood sprays from the severed arm. [-1 END]

Leira is immediately at her brother’s side, fearing her insistence that they proceed further may have cost him his life. Fortunately, he’s still breathing and after a couple of minutes comes to. [Death check (0 END)=unconscious] This time they all agree to head back. Before they do, they make a quick search of the bloody body and find 4 gp, a garnet (1gp, who knew Huntsmen liked precious stones?), and a tan cloth or kerchief with a gold diamond pattern.

End of Chapter 8


Wrap up:

Since this chapter was already rather long and nothing of any significance happened, I decided to quickly run through the events of their exit from the tunnels and return home and briefly mention them here.

There were no further encounters on the way out of the tunnels.
Did the elf merchant untie the museum curator?
Yes, but...  (she took the money from the cash box as “payment” for her freeing him)  
+Event: Proceedings / Magic (Barda has a scroll with an invisibility spell. In light of current goings-on,  he casts it on himself in case the PCs return.)
Does the curator attack one of the PCs?
(Unlikely  (knows he’s outnumbered)| 3[d10]) No

Based on the above results, the party exits the tunnels into the museum and, finding the cash box empty and no one around, leave. On the way back to the hostel I did make a successful encounter roll. Using Johnn Four’s “650 City encounters” I randomly came up with people getting sick and vomiting from drinking the water. The encounter is intended to draw the PCs into an investigation of what is wrong with the water, but, in light of their current mission, it made sense that they wouldn't concern themselves with someone throwing up in the street.

EXP: Rules suggest that PCs are awarded 1 XP at the end of a session and additional XP as appropriate for achieving goals.   At this time I will award each 1 XP for the dungeon crawl and 1 XP for killing Gaither. The PCs now have 6 EXP each. I will start spending those points at the beginning of the next chapter.  HER will reset at the start of the next chapter.

Thoughts of Chapter 8:

On Death and Dying:  Adventurers! leaves the fate of the PC’s in the hands of the GM, meaning 0 or sub-zero END points does not mean instant death. Instead, GM’s should judge each situation and determine how bad the damage it. To address this, I’ve created a table to determine whether or not a PC who has been reduced to 0 or less END is either unconscious, wounded, or dead. The chances range from unconscious with a slight chance to be wounded at END 0 and gets increasingly worse until the character is simply dead at END -5.  If a PC receives a wound, I consult an extensive injury table I found on rpggeek.com to determine where, what and how severe the wound is. NPC opponents are not awarded this luxury. Once they hit 0 they are dead, unless for narrative purposes it’s more interesting that they remain alive, or at least have a chance to live.

I’ve made a google spreadsheet with my homebrew tables available for anyone who is interested in using them.  You make access them via the link below:

Tev's Solo Tables for Adventurers!
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#16
CHAPTER 9

Game System: Adventurers!
Tools: rpgsolo.com solo engine; UNE; My favorite Rumour Table; other random generators

Setup:

After the last chapter Bhart, Leria, and Harper each have 6 experience points and it’s time to spend some of them. In Adventurers! you use your points to go shopping for stat and skill upgrades, additional skills, and other character adjustments. Below is what each character bought, with the cost in parenthesis after it.

Bhart: +1 AGI for a total of 1 (3 Points), Added Basic Rage Skill - [Adds +1 STR, +1 AGI, -1 MND, +2 END for STR rounds, lose 1 END when done] (3 points)

Leira: +1 STR for a total of 1 (3 points) now she can wear leather or hold a shield without being encumbered, +1 HER for a total of 2 (2 points), saves 1 EXP for later

Harper: Upgrade Ambidextrous to Advanced (4 points), +1 HER for a total of 2 (2 points)

Now to get some mechanics of this chapter out of the way ahead of time so as to minimize story disruptions. This chapter starts off with each of the PCs interviewing someone to gather information regarding the Huntsmen and their plans. Each interview was handles in the following manner.

First, I made a dice roll to determine if the interviewee had any information to offer. If they did, then I used the alea iactanda est Rumour Table’s reaction roll to determine the reliability of the source. The roll is intended to determine how friendly and truthful the NPC is, which in turn may modify the final “Truth” roll. However, since all the NPCs were basically forthcoming, I applied the roll to the source of the rumor. Next, I used UNE to determine the nature of the rumor, using the “demeanor” roll to offer general insight into the story instead of directly describing the mood of the source. Finally, if any of the stories are checked out, I will use the Truth portion of the Rumour Table to determine how truthful the rumor is.

One encounter roll will be made for each PC to determine if anything happens on the way to or from the meeting. Johnn Four’s City Encounters was used to generate encounter.

[Scene 1]

Back at the Faint Mule Hostel the group goes through their haul from the tunnels before making any additional plans. The first order of business is to settle up with Naglen for their room and board and the found bag of coins offered an opportunity to pay up front for the next several days with a generous tip. After taking the ten gold coins offered to her by Harper, Naglen examined them closely.

“Thanks,” she says, “But I can’t accept this.”

“Sure you can,” Harper insists. “I know it’s a little more than what our rooms cost, but you’ve been a gracious hostess and your help with our task is appreciated.”

“No, I don’t mean that. I can’t take this because these coins are counterfeit.” [When determining the contents of the drawers in Chapter 8 I rolled an event. Oppress/Joy. The interpretation was “found coins turn out to be fake”.] Knowing the source of the coins, Naglen obviously realizes the group isn’t intentionally trying to cheat her, so she lets it slide. 

The rest of the loot - -the daggers, the black cap, the gems, the patterned handkerchief-- was laid out on the table for further examination. After a brief discussion concerning what to do with all the Huntsmen dagger, Bhart turns his attention to the gems, only to find that a couple are missing.

“I see the garnet,” he says, “But where are the other two?”

“They were all together,” Leira insists. “I put them right here.” She puts her hand down on the table where she thinks she put the amber and quartz pieces. While, she sees nothing, Leira quickly pulls her hand back when she feels two stones on the empty portion of the table. Slowly, she places her hand back and feels the bumps again. As the slides her hand slowly across the table, the tan and gold handkerchief comes appears out of nowhere, the missing gems underneath it. Testing a theory, she lays the cloth over the gems again and both disappear. Excited, the group suspects this is some type of cloth of hiding. Naglen theorizes that it is an assassin’s tool, which could be useful to either hide small weapons in plain sight or steal small objects by hiding them until they can be safely retrieved. Without giving anyone a chance to object, Leira pockets the cloth for herself.

The rest of the gold they divide up evenly, pay Naglen from the legitimate coins, and agree to trade in the gems for gold when they get a chance. As for what to do next, the group decides the best course of action is to talk to the people they know to see if they have overheard anything about the Huntsmen or their plans.

[Scene 2]

Leira is the first to leave the hostel, deciding to check in with her 12-year-old friend Rod at the Platinum Steed Stables. While it might be too soon for any news to spread, Leira felt it was necessary to seek out the stablehand early as his shift would end soon.  When the sandy-haired youth sees his friend he flashes a wide grin and blushes slightly, as is often the case when he is approached by the pretty blonde lady.  Unfortunately, Rod has heard nothing in the past day about the Huntsmen. In fact, he doesn’t even think they have been around the stables. [Failed a 30% chance to have any information.]

On her way back to the hostel, Leira passed through a bustling marketplace, filled with colorful wares and pleasing aromas. About midway through the market, Leira catches a whiff of apple in the air. Following her nose, she spots a pie stand, a portly elven man behind the tables talking with a human customer. Unbeknownst to the pie seller, another young man nears the rear of the stand, keeping an eye on the two in conversation. Leira, being a bit of rogue herself, knows a con when she sees one: distract the shopkeep while your partner makes off with the goods.

Any other day she might just walk on by, however, her encounter with the elven woman in the tunnels is fresh on her mind. What might be nothing more than a common theft, Leria views as harassment against an honest elf merchant, and she’s not about to let happen unchallenged.

“I’ve never tried any of this shop’s pies,” Leria loudly announces as she boldly approaches the small man about to pilfer a pie. “Are they any good?”

The elf turns at the voice to see the man stammer an unintelligible answer.

“You know,” Leira continues. “I hear that pies taste even better when you actually pay for them. And you,” she turns to the taller human. “You should be ashamed trying to cheat an honest merchant.”

“Hey, are you suggesting we’re thieves?” the taller man challenges.

“I’m not suggesting.”

The flashes Leira a wicked grin. “I’d be careful walking home, little lady. These streets can be dangerous.”

Leira casually draws her dagger from her belt and tests the edge with her thumb. “Try me.”

The two con men look at each other. “Let’s go,” the taller man tells the shorter and they walk off.

[Confrontation results from Intimidation check (MND). Leira has advantage due to Charisma skill. 11 v 8. Leira won.]

“Thank you,” the merchant says to Leira. “It’s hard running a business with these ruffians around.”

“I hear it’s hard running a business in Duskcall when you’re an elf.”

“That’s the truth, my friend,” the merchant agrees.  “Please, take a pie. A symbol of my gratitude.”

“No, I couldn’t take one. That would defeat the purpose of running those two off. But I will buy one.” Liera picks up an apple pie while handing the merchant one gold piece, much more than the pie is worth, and tells the elf to keep the change.

[Scene 3]

Later that night, after a filling meal and a slice of apple pie, Bhart heads out to the Cozy Fish Inn where the wannabe bard Tristan told them he could be found.  When he arrives, Tristan is finishing up a song on a small stage that is set up in the corner of the main bar room. Bhart takes a seat and waits for the red-haired musician to finish. Tristan spots his new friend and comes over to his table.

[Tristan succeeds on a 50/50 chance to have useful information.  UNE: Insane-Madness-Antagonist]

Bhart quickly fills Tristan in on the events in the tunnel earlier that day and asks if he has heard anything new about the Huntsmen. Tristan mentions that earlier that evening, between gigs, he was having a drink near the bar and overheard a couple of men talking. While he wasn’t certain they were Huntsmen, they did mention recent killings in Duskcall. One of the men wanted to get out of town to stay safe. The other threatened to avenge the deaths should he ever find the person responsible.

Are the men still in the Inn?
(50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and… 

“Are the men still here?” Bhart asks.

Without a word, Tristan casts a glance in the direction of the bar and nods toward two men sitting on stools at the far end. One of the two men has dark skin and blond hair shaved on the left side. The other is short and grey, despite a youthful complexion. (and..) Bhart stands up, walks over and takes a seat next to the men at the bar. He orders an ale from the elf tending bar while trying to eavesdrop on their conversation.

Is Bhart close enough to hear the conversation?
(50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes
UNE: Knowing-speech-parents (parents=superiors)

After a little bit, Bhart can make out that the tall shaved blonde is set on revenge and the shorter man is concerned for his own safety. 

“If I were you, I’d stick it out,” the taller man tells the shorter. “You know what Shylock says about the future of a deserter. In fact, you probably have more to fear from him than whoever it is who thinks they can beat us.”

“I don’t know. They got Gaither. If they got him maybe they’ll get Shylock, too.” [Is Shylock's name mentioned? (50/50 | 10[d10]) Yes, and…(Gaither is also mentioned)   +Event: (see below)]

“Careful what you say. You don’t want Shylock hearing you talk like that. He may not wait for you to desert.”

“This Shylock sounds like a rough character,” Bhart interrupts. “Maybe you should listen to your friend there,” he says to the grey-haired man nearest him.

UNE: Conversation Mood (Distrustful): Neutral

“Yes, he is,” Grey responds. “And maybe you’re right. Maybe I should listen to him.”

“Then again, I’ve had some experience with people who thought a bit highly of themselves.” Bhart thinks about Harper as he tries to draw the men into conversation. “Often, they speak a big story but have little to back it up with.”

“Not Shylock,” Grey explains. When he speaks, you better listen. If not, well . . . “ Turning to his his shaved friend, he asks, “You remember that merchant we met on the road?” [The event from earlier wasBestow / Nature  PC negative” Interpretation is that it is inadvertently revealed that these men were with Shylock in Swifthaven. The PC negative is Bhart’s reaction and the potential fallout.]

The dark-skinned man smacks his friend in the head. “Hush, you idiot.” Then to Bhart, “We were havin’ a private conversation. Take your mug elsewhere. You know, for your own safety.”

The reference isn’t lost on Bhart as he believes the two are speaking about his father. Could these men have been there during this attack? “No. Tell me more about this merchant. I’m interested to find out what happened to him.”

Does Tristan rescue Bhart?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

“Hello, gentlemen,” Tristan says, pushing his way between the two parties. “While I have some time between performances I like to go about the room taking personal requests. Is there anything you fine men might like to hear. A lusty ditty, perhaps.”

“Begone, Bard!” the blond man commands. “We could care less about your ‘ditties’.”

As he turns to leave, Tristan looks Bhart directly in the eye and motions him to follow.

“I apologize,” Bhart says to the two men. “Perhaps I was a bit too nosy. I’m sure you know best and will figure out what your best course of action should be. I must be going.” He finishes his ale, puts the empty mug down and follows after Tristan.

When he is sure they are not being watched, Tristan chastises Bhart. “Are you a fool? They are trained killers. You don’t confront them!”

“They killed my father. Or at least they were there when Shylock beat him. I need to follow them. Maybe they can lead me to Shylock.”

Tristan considers the limp Bhart walked in with. “You are in no shape to follow them alone. Tell you what, I’ll do my best to follow and find out where they go. Tomorrow morning, I’ll let you know what I find. Where can I meet you?”

Bhart thinks about it for a moment and reluctantly gives in.  “Okay, but make it early.”

[No encounters for Bhart’s scene. Off-Camera I made a follow check for Tristan. I rolled a series of opposing AGI checks. If Tristan won 3 or more he was successful. Less and either he would lose the trail or be confronted by the men. Tristan won 3 and was successful.

There is no scene with Harper. He had Naglen vouch for him with her cousin Hattia, the bartender at the Wooden Frost Giant Flagon Tavern. However, on a 50/50 check she had no information and there was no encounter rolled.

After a night’s sleep the characters regain END. Current END are Bhart: 5, Leira: 4, Harper 6. ]

[Scene 4]

Bhart gets up early hoping Tristan will arrive with information, however, by the time Liera and Harper awake the would-be bard has yet to show. 

“Do you think something might have happened to him?” Leira asks. 

“I have no idea,” Bhart answers. “He sounded like he could handle it, but he’s a singer, not an assassin.”

By the time they finish eating Tristan still has not arrived, causing Bhart to grow concerned that they will not have enough time to do anything to stop the assassination attempt, and, based on what he heard at the Cozy Fish, it sounded as though the plan was still on. “If we wait much longer it might be too late.”

Harper agrees. “But what do we do? Go to the King’s Guard? I’m not sure they will have time for us.”

“We do know where Shylock is this morning, however,” Bhart says, referring to the instructions they took off the Huntsman who was hit by the merchant’s cart. “We could go to the safe house and wait for him to emerge.”

“If Tristan was correct about the location of the safe house,” Leira interjects. 

“We could wait a bit longer for Tristan,” Harper suggests. “We have about six hours till the celebration. If he doesn’t show by then we go to the plaza and see if we can spot Shylock or stop the attempt ourselves.”

Naglen, in and out of earshot, as always, offers some advice. “If you want my opinion . . . and trust me, you do . . . you three have done about as much as you can. In fact, you’ve probably done more than you should have been able to do.  I think it’s time you went to the professionals. Talk to the Knight’s Guard. Maybe they don’t have the time or the interest in talking to you, but it’s worth a shot. Then, if that falls through, go to the Castle Plaza and do what you can.”

They all agree and head to the King’s Guard barracks and training grounds, which are conveniently located next to the castle (on the opposite side from the Duskcall Historical Society, the museum that led to the tunnels) and around the corner from the plaza.

Standing in front of the entrance to the training grounds are several Guardsmen. The group approaches a male [RG] guard with the highest rank markings to ask if they can see the Captain of the Guard. Before they can even get two words out the knight cuts them off. “Unless you have a decree from the King or Captain Fiststeel you have no business here. Turn and leave immediately.”

“But need to speak to the Captain right away,” Leira pleads.

“Decree!” the Knight demands, holding out his hand.
 
[To determine compliance for the PCs requests required a roll on my Reaction Table with disadvantage. I attempted to make a persuasion roll based on Leira’s MND and charisma bonus to improve the score, however, she critically failed.  The end result was multiple disadvantages that required me to roll 5 dice and pick the worst two.  Final score: 2 Terrible, Disaster.

“We don’t have time for this,” Bhart insists.

“Nor do I,” replies the Guard. “Derric, detain these three in the dungeon!”

“Okay, we’re going,” Harper complies before the Guard’s companion even draws his sword. “We’re sorry to bother you.” With that, he nudges the other two to move in the direction they came from.

Did Harper bring his bow?
(Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

While the start of the ceremony is still several hours away, the group decides to check out the plaza as it is only a few short steps away. While the area is mostly empty, there are a few early arrivers who are claiming their spaces near the dais that has been erected about 100 feet outside the castle wall gates in order to get a good view of King Angelo during his speech.  Also present are several members of the King’s Guard watching the area and making routine security checks of the citizens near the stage. 

Do they witness anyone approach with a bow?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but… (They can’t hear what the guard says.)

While they watch from the edge of the plaza, a gentleman dressed in clothes common to a hunter or trapper strolls through the plaza, a bow strapped across his back. He is quickly approached by one of the Guards. None of the trio can hear the conversation, but from some of the gestures and the fact that the hunter turns and leaves, they assume the guard does not want the man to bring his bow into the plaza.

“It appears that I might have some trouble with this,” Harper says, indicating his own bow. 

“Makes sense,” Leira says. “It’s harder to stop a flying arrow than someone charging the stage.”

“We still have time, let’s take this back to the hostel.”

While walking back to the hostel they meet up with Tristan coming in the opposite direction. He arrived at their home after they left, but Naglen told them where they were going so he left to search for them. He fills the three in on what he had learned. He successfully trailed the two huntsmen back to their safe house, which, incidentally, was not the location his friend Cherry told him about. (He was going to have a talk with that girl! Why would she lie to him?) Along the way, he was lucky enough to get close and overhear some of their conversation. [Abandon / Lies] Apparently, some of the King’s Guard are actually Huntsmen and will be ready to intervene if necessary. However, they hoped it wouldn’t come to that because it would expose the fact that they have inside men in the Guard.

While walking back to they meet up with Tristan?
(Somewhat Likely | 9[d10]) Yes

Did the huntsmen split?
(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and… (Tristan got close enough to hear them speak.)

Did they go to 1) safe house 2) private house or 3) inn?
1 = 1[d3]  Safe House

Check truthfulness of Cherry’s story from Chapter 6?  1st roll was a 3. Second roll: 3  Total 6=Mostly False (There is a safe house, but it’s not the one Cherry told Tristan about)

“Unfortunately the King’s Guard won’t talk to us,” Harper interjected. “I guess it’s up to us to keep an eye out and help stop whatever might happen.”

The group, along with Tristan, pick up their pace in order to drop off Harper’s bow and get back to the plaza in time for the King’s speech. 


End of Chapter 9
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#17
CHAPTER 10

Game System: Adventurers!
Tools: rpgsolo.com solo engine; other random generators

Setup:

Prior to the next scene, I had each character roll for their daily healing checks until each was back up to full END.  Bhart and Harper have 2 checks remaining; Leira has 1.

All distances mentioned in this chapter are approximations or best guesses. Apologies in advance if distances traveled seem too slow or too fast. As I suspect is the case with most tabletop RPGs, they are merely a means to chart progress and not intended to represent realistic movement or spatial physics.

Tristan has the potential to see action in this chapter, so I generated some stats for him:

Tristan Cleves (Curious Bard):
STR:0  AGI:3  MND:3  ATT:3 Dag/0 Lute   DEF:3  END:6  HER:1  ENC:0
Skills: Charisma (Basic), Learning (Basic)   Gear: Dagger, Lute

[Scene 1]

Bhart, Leira, Harper, and Tristan return back at the Castle Plaza for the Sacrament of Fortitude Celebration approximately an hour before the King is to give his speech. By this time the plaza has begun to fill in with individuals and families. Most are gathering near the front of the dais, while others, particularly families, set up blankets on the ground to sit upon. A general festive atmosphere is developing, with children running around and merchants selling food and other wares from sacks and baskets strapped around their waists. 

The dais itself is a plain, wooden construction that provides a five-foot-high raised platform.  On the platform is a pedestal and several chairs. The castle wall and gate stands about one hundred feet beyond the makeshift stage. In front of the stage, the plaza extends for about another 200 feet.

Since they still have a little time, the group decides to split -- Bhart and Tristan, Leira and Harper -- and wander about to look for anything suspicious. After about forty minutes, having spotted nothing unusual, they meet back at a location directly in front of the dais. By now, the crowd in front of the stage has thickened. Uncertain of where exactly any attempt on the King’s life might come, the group picks a central location about [2d10] 90 feet from the stage.

As the two o’clock hour nears, a great trumpet fanfare is heard from the direction of the castle and the royal assembly makes their way from the Duskcall Castle. While much of this is obscured from the party’s view, several King’s Guard line the road leading from the gate to the stage. Once they are in place, [1d2] two clerics of the Church of the Creator walk from the gate to the stage flanked on either side by two rows of five Guards each.  Behind them, an ornate enclosed carriage drawn by two white steeds follows.  Inside are King Angelo and Queen Tryphena. The carriage and entourage continue until they reach the rear of the stage. 

The first person to step on stage is a tall, broad female human Guard with a stern face and short blonde hair. In addition to the King’s Crest--the sparrowhawk against a black and red division -- her shining plate armor displays additional decorations denoting her rank. Tristan tells the others that she is Sacreelia Fiststeel, the Captain of the Guard.

Following behind Captain Fiststeel are four more Guardsmen, both male and female, wearing more simple ringmail. Next comes the two clerics. Right behind the clerics come Queen Tryphena and her husband, the King. Finally, bringing up the rear are the five remaining King’s Guard. 

[Is the queen on the Dais?
(Likely | 8[d10]) Yes +Event: Intolerance / Expectations (I will include this in her speech introducing the King).

The speakers take their seats while the Guards form a perimeter around the sides and rear of the stage. From the crowds' vantage point, the King sits just left of center stage with the Queen seated to his right.  Next to the right are the two clerics. Flanking the speakers on the far right is Captain Fiststeel while a bearded Guardsman posts himself on the opposite end, left of the King.

Leira makes a Recognition Roll with a “Likely” modifier. (1, 4, 5) = 9, High Recognition]

“No!” Leira exclaims, examining the Guard standing next to the King.

“What is it?” Harper asks. 

“That Guard. The one with the dark hair and the beard. That’s Shylock!”

Without any hesitation, the group begins to move closer to the stage.

Once everyone is in place, the younger of the two clerics stands and approaches the podium to offer the invocation. [which lasts 1d2+1 = 2 turns]

[Turns 1-2]

A large group of spectators, including a family spread out on a blanket, stands right in front of Bhart, Leira and Harper. They move back and forth, trying to work their way through the group with little success.  Finally, Leira tries to force her way through but is met with an elbow to the chest as a particularly muscular man turns abruptly to see who keeps pushing him from behind. [A combination of AGI loses, including a critical fail for Bhart and a failed STR check for Leira, resulting in -1 END] Tristan is the only member of the group with an opening and he takes it, nearly halving his distance to the stage by the time the cleric finishes his prayer.

[Turns 3-7]

When the cleric finishes, he sits down and the Queen approaches the podium to introduce her husband, King Angelo.  Before the introduction, Tryphena uses the opportunity to address the crowd and subtly call for social change. She starts off by commending the residents of Duskcall for their strength, a strength that began with the city’s battle for freedom many, many years ago. The source of that strength she attributes to their unity, but also acknowledges the need to strengthen that unity between certain factions within the city, particularly by extending hospitality to newcomers. While the Queen doesn’t specifically mention their race by name, most of the citizens know she is speaking of the elves, whose residence in the city is a recent occurrence in Duskcall’s history.  [Speech lasts 1+1d4=5 turns]  

While she speaks, the party continues to fight their way to the stage. Tristan continues to move quickly until he is nearly 20’ from the dais. There the crowd is tightly packed and his small size makes it difficult to push through. The Bard progress comes to a near standstill as he pokes and prods for openings, moving only a few inches at a time.

Bhart finally worms his way through the group of people in front of them and spots a clear path. He charges forth and soon finds himself just over 40 feet from the stage. Harper checks on Leira, who is catching her breath from being elbowed in the chest. Once he sure she is okay, he takes off again, Leira following behind. The hunter runs past the family on the picnic blanket and weaves in and out of spectators until he plows into a tight group of four men. They try to move out of the way, but Harper gets tangled in their arms and legs and tumbles to the ground. Quickly getting back to his feet, he continues. [Harper advances to 36’ from the stage] Leira trails behind and is not as successful as the others in moving through the mob. [She only advances a total of 18’, spending a HER point to even do that.]

Queen Tryphena finishes her speech and, with great adoration, introduces King Angleo to the people. The King approaches the podium to the cheers of the crowd. Raising his hands for silence, he begins his speech commemorating the start of the Sacrament of Fortitude Celebration.

[Turn 8]

Tritan finally is able to reach the stage as the King begins to speak.  Further back in the crowd, brother and sister Bhart and Leira close the distance between them and the stage while Harper finds himself in a particularly dense crowd of people and unable to move. [Crowd rolled Critical Success against Harper’s AGI check]

[Turn 9]

Not being trained in combat, Tristan is unsure what to do. He turns back to the crowd to see if he can spot any of his friends. While he does catch a quick glimpse of Bhart, now less than 20 feet away, he cannot see either of the other two and can only hope will catch up as time is passing quickly.

[Turn 10]

Just as Bhart reaches the stage, he hears a cry come from behind him to the left.

“Help! Somebody help me!” A woman screams. “I’m being robbed!”

About the same time, a great commotion occurs on the opposite side of the plaza as several citizens yell and scream. A large plume of smoke is seen approaching the plaza from a side road. The source of the smoke turns out to be flaming carriage that is being pulled driverless by a pair of horses. 

[How many guards does Fiststeel send to the disturbances?  2+d4=4]

The king stops his speech as Captain Fiststeel sends several of the Guards to assist with the disturbances. She directs the two from the end of the stage closest to the King to check out the screaming woman and a third Guard from that side of the stage to accompany the Guard standing next to her to check out the fire.  [2+1d4=4 Guards dispatched.] 

[All characters made successful distraction checks (MND) and continued with their current progress toward the stage. Leira advances to 18’ from the stage. Harper spends a HER point, but is unable to move.

 Does Tristan try to warn the Guards about the assassination? (50/50 | 2[d10]) No +Event: (to be revealed later)]

[Turn 11]

Hearing the screams and the commotion, many people in the crowd turn their attention from the stage to the events happening behind them. Leira is caught up in the shifting of the crowd and is knocked down and partially trampled. [Lost STR and ATT challenge, which drops her another 1 END. Additionally, she spent a HER in the process.] Meanwhile, Harper finally pushes his way through and is just under 20 feet from his target. [Spending a HER point to get there.]

Without hesitation, Bhart climbs on stage. [AGI check: 9 Success] The one female guard (G4) that remains near the King fails to notice, as she is distracted by the flurry of events.
[Does the Guard see Bhart? (50/50 | 2[d10]) No

Does Tristan follow Bhart on stage?  (50/50 | 2[d10]) No +Event: Assist / The public]

Seeing that Bhart has made it up on stage and is close to Shylock, Tristan hesitates, trying to decide if he needs to stay and help or see if he can assist with anyone injured by the cart. Complicating the decision is the struggle between his sense of social responsibility and a desire to be at the location that would offer the most material for the epic song he will certainly write about this event.

[Statistics of the remaining NPCs:

FISTSTEEL  STR:3  AGI:2  MND:1  ATT:Swd 3  DEF:3   END:8  HER:1 
Skills: Weaponcraft-blades (Basic)   Gear: Sword, Heavy Armor (AR:3/4/6)

ALL GUARDS  STR:2  AGI:2  MND:0  ATT:Swd 3  DEF:4   END:7  HER:1 
Gear: Sword, Med. Armor (AR:4/5)

[Turn 12]

[Does Shylock see Bhart? MND check: 4 No, too focused on his task]

Bhart yells, “Murderer! Stop him!”

[Does G4 respond?  Opposing MND check; B:11  G4:10]

The female Guard first looks at Bhart who is drawing his sword, then shifts her eyes toward the direction Bhart is looking. Too confused to react, she hesitates while Shylock approaches the King, dagger drawn. 

Bhart charges but is unable to reach Shylock before the assassin reaches the King. [Bhart lost AGI challenge] Alerted by Bhart’s warning, the King catches a quick glimpse of Shylock and attempts to ward off the attack. While not the death blow he was hoping for, Shylock is still able to make a significant gash in the King’s side. [King makes his surprise roll, but still is hit for 2 damage, down to 1 END.]

[Turn 13]

On the opposite end of the dais, Captain Fiststeel hears Bhart’s warning and sees the attack on the King, however, she is slow in responding and does not immediately move to intervene. The other guards around her are quicker as they draw their weapons and run to the scuffle. Unfortunately, two of the three guards collide and both tumble to the ground.

[Shylock focuses on: 1-3 King 4-6 Bhart  1d6=5 Bhart.]

Shylock drops the dagger and draws his sword as Bhart swings his own weapon, striking the assassin in the arm. [2 Damage, Failed AR, Shylock down to 6 END] The nearby Guard (G4) also jumps into the mix, attempting to wrestle Shylock to ground. Shylock punches her in the face, sending her back stunned. [Guard critically failed the grapple challenge]

While this is going on the two clerics cover the Queen to protect her from any attacks. King Angelo sits as he feels a burning sensation where he was cut by the dagger. He powers through the pain and retains consciousness. [Is the dagger poisoned? (Likely | 6[d10]) Yes, King is able to make his saving roll against poison.] In the midst of all this, Leira finally reaches the edge of the stage by Harper is nowhere to be seen.

[Turn 14]

“Attack on the King! Stop him!” Captain Fiststeel cries as she finally takes some action and begins to move past the two fallen Guards. One is able to get to his feet (G5), but before he can take two steps the guard who originally got in the other’s way grabs his ankle and trips him up. Realizing his leader is in jeopardy and he must do something to help, the Huntsman posing as a King’s Guard drives his sword through the true Guard’s upper thigh. [Random rolls determined that the Huntsman would drop the charade and help by attacking G5. G5 is down to 4 END.]

[HUNTSMAN  STR:0  AGI:0  MND:0  ATT:Swd 1  DEF:1   END:5  HER:1 
Gear: Sword, Med. Armor (AR:4/5)(Stat reflect penalties for being Encumbered as NPC doesn’t have sufficient STR for Med. Armor)

Leira climbs up on stage while her brother and assassin trade blows [Shylock hits for 3 damage, Bhart misses]. The final Guard (G7), a slender reddish-blond man, looks for an opening in the battle but is unable to move in for a tackle.

[Turn 15]

[A morale check for Shylock determines that he will attempt to flee. I make a roll on my Recognition Table (at disadvantage due to the distraction of the battle) to see if Shylock recognizes Leira from the tavern. 2d6=5  Unsure]

Shylock backs away toward the steps at the rear of the stage, holding his sword up in defense. The nearby Guards (G4, G7) prepare to charge as Captain Fiststell nears, oblivious to the ambush that just occurred behind her.

A slightly puzzled expression crosses Shylock’s face as he looks at Leira, almost as though there the faintest hint of recognition. “Do I know you?”

Without giving his sister a chance to respond, Bhart confronts the Hunstman. “Our names are Leira and Bhartram Rosemight! You killed our father! Prepare . . .”

“Bhart!” Leira screams. “Stop talking before he gets away!”

She and the guards charge as Shylock, now near the steps, turns to descend and flee. As he spins, he sees Tristan standing on the steps holding his lute in both hands like a club. [Back in Turn 12 - “Does Tristan head around the stage to the back?” (50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes] The bard swings with all his might, hitting Shylock square in the torso and shattering the instrument. Shylock is unhurt, yet surprised and falls a step back as the two guards throw their arms around him. Reacting fast, the assassin is able to push both Guards off of himself, sending the female tumbling down the steps [G5 Critically Failed attempt].

Once free, Shylock bolts away from the steps only to be met by Captain Fiststeel who drives her sword into him. The ringmail offers minimal protection at the sharp point is still able to pierce the armor and bury itself into the flesh beneath. [4 total damage, 2 END] Their eyes meet as Shylock stares daggers at the Captain. Slowly, painfully, he pulls himself off of the blade.  Clutching the bleeding wound,  he turns only to be challenged by Leira, her own weapon aimed high. Shylock is unable to react as the point penetrates his throat and blood runs down his chest. Lifting his hands to grasp the weapon, he gurgles as he slumps to the wooden floor dead. [-1 END. Since I had a few options with Shylock I rolled on my Death Table to determine his injuries. Only a 10 would have resulted in death. I rolled . . . a 10. That took care of him.]

The sounds of a struggle come from the other end of the dais and the group turns to see a blond hair Guard on his back fending off blows from the bearded Guard standing over him. 

“Guardsman! Stand down!” Captain Fiststeel orders.

The attacking huntsman fails to respond as the male Guard next to the Captain runs to assist his fallen comrade. Reaching the battle, he grabs the attack and tries to pull him to the floor. The huntsman fights back and struggles to break free until the female Guard, who has by now recovered from the tumble down the steps, joins the fray as well. The huntsman collapses under the extra weight and is subdued.

Fiststeel orders the imposter taken away to the holding cells and then heads over to check on the King.

“What did I miss?” Bhart, Leira, and Tristan turn to see Harper, who has finally made it up on the stage, standing a few feet away, assessing the battle’s aftermath.

“Everything,” Bhart responds dryly. “Everything.”

[Scene 2]

With order finally restored, Captain Fiststeel begins to clear the stage. Two of the Guards have already left with their prisoner and couple more Guards load Shylock’s body on a cart and haul him off. The clerics inspect the King’s wound and confirm the presence of poison. After they offer some minor healing prayers for the monarch, Fiststeel insists that both the King and Queen return immediately to the castle and be tended to more thoroughly by the healers. Before they leave, however, King Angelo acknowledges Bhart, Leria, and Tristan’s role in stopping the would-be assassins by thanking them, promising some form of reward, and inviting them to tour the castle in the near future.

Once the King is gone, the older of the two clerics approaches the podium to address the crowd that remains and salvage as much of the Celebration as possible. Despite the near assassination of their monarch, the people of Duskcall are not dissuaded from continuing the party and listen eagerly, longing to begin feasting, drinking, and dancing. The cleric finishes as the bells of the nearby Church of the Creator ring out to officially announce the beginning of the celebration and cheers rise up throughout the plaza and nearby city streets.

As the plaza clears, Tristan compares notes with the others as they head back to the Faint Mule Hostel, an epic song already taking shape in his head. “So, the fiery cart, the woman screaming, and anything else was planned distractions to draw people’s attention away from the stage?”

“That would be my guess,” Bhart confirms. “Then Shylock could approach the King, perhaps under the guise of offering protection, stab him and get away in the confusion before anyone knew something was wrong.”

“Even with the distraction, it seems like he was taking a big chance,” Tristan says. “He was surrounded by guards.”

“Was,” Bhart corrects, “Until they were sent to help with the various situations in the crowd. Besides, he also had a co-conspirator on stage to help him escape.”

“That was a bit odd,” Leira cuts in. “Sending the guards to help with the crowd when we know there were plenty of King’s Guard already in the plaza. Weren’t they on stage solely to protect the King and Queen.”

“I can’t remember anything this sinister happening in Duskcall before,” Tristan explains. “Perhaps Captain Fiststeel just wasn’t prepared. She did seem a bit overwhelmed by everything. I mean, she was the last Guard to make any attempt to reach the King.”
“Then I guess it was a good thing that we were there to stop it.” Harper chimes in.

Bhart flashes accusing eyes at him. “Some of us, at least.”

“Sorry about that,” Harper apologizes. “The crowd was just too thick.”

Leria gives: an introspective response

“Yet the rest of us made it,” Leira observes as she offers a playful grin. “I guess I don’t need your protection, after all. As long as I can avoid the danger I don’t need to wait for you to plow through it.”

“Don’t be so sure,” Harper retorts. “I saw you take a couple of hits, as well.”

“We did fine enough without you,” Bhart cuts him off, unimpressed as ever with the braggart. “Let’s just get home.”

“What’s the hurry?” Leira asks. “The festivities are just beginning.”

“Yeah,” seconds Tristan. “The Cozy Fish is offering the first round of drinks free tonight to anyone coming in to celebrate. I’m sure I can perform a song or two and possibly earn us some more in lieu of payment.”

“C’mon, Rosie,” Harper urges, giving Bhart a slight punch in the shoulder. “Let’s celebrate our . . . your victory!” he suggests, adjusting his words to avoid offending the trap maker.

Bhart looks from Leira to Tristan to Harper. Sighing, he gives in. “I guess we did do a lot and it’s time to rest. To the Cozy Fish then?”

“To the Cozy Fish!” They all agree.

The Rosemights and Harper Wyghtwing, along with their new friend Tristan Cleves, head off together to enjoy a hearty night of celebration, followed by a long morning of sleep.

[End of Roses & Wyght]

Wrap Up:

Per Adventurers! rules, PCs should be award 1-2 XP for completing an adventure, as well as additional XP for accomplishing major goals and finishing a session.  Based on that, I am awarding the characters the following XP.

Bhart and Leira will each get 4 XP. (1 for the session, 2 for the adventure, 1 for defeating Shylock)

Harper will get 3 XP (1 for session, 2 for the adventure. Since he never made it to the stage I will not award him credit for the kill.)

Tristan (now upgraded to PC) will get 2 XP. (1 for session, 1 for defeating Shylock. Since he wasn’t along for the entire time I don’t feel he should get adventure credit)

Any gold awarded to the party from the King will be handled later to be carried forward when I continue the story with these characters.

I plan on writing one last major post to this thread, an After Post if you will, to wrap up some loose ends, relay some promised background information, and offer some thoughts on the entire solo roleplay experience, now that I’ve finished my first campaign. Apart from that final post, I hope you have enjoyed reading “Roses & Wyght”. That about wraps it up for this one . . . 

Oh.  Except for this . . . 

[Epilogue]

Captain Fiststeel sits at a small writing desk in her personal quarters housed within the castle. The room is lit by a single wax candle that rests on the desk’s corner. Her hand moves quickly over a piece of parchment as the quill she holds writes instructions to her various Lieutenants for the next day. Finishing, she scans the document and contemplates the day’s events.

It was a long day and the Sacrament Celebration certainly did not go off as the Captain had expected. Following the botched assassination attempt, she spent most of the afternoon and early evening questioning the Guard to see if anyone had important information and attending to the prisoner taken from the scene. The King would have questions and she had to be ready with answers.

After folding and sealing the document, Fiststeel pulls another sheet of parchment from the small stack next to her and begins to write:

[Image: VGgr6h0G8n2ubJsrUd5xP2C66ZmXoCfLyAvvlw5F...M2zQ=w2400]

“Orcan,
I regret to inform you that the King still lives. Furthermore, your agent was killed during the assassination attempt and I have seen to it that any loose ends have been eliminated” (Cut to scene of the Huntsman masquerading as a King’s Guard in his cell. He clutches at his throat as foam drips from his mouth and he slumps forward over his dinner tray.) “With that, I am certain my position within the castle is safe. While I know of your haste to have the King removed from the throne, I would advise against taking any action at this moment. I have strong reason to believe there are some citizens in the city who were familiar with your agent and, to some degree, our plan.  Allow time for the situation to calm and people to relax. When I feel it is safe I will contact you to proceed.
Fiststeel”


[Event of the Epilogue based on the following oracle question asked at the start of Chapter 10:
Is Captain Fiststeel in on the plan?  (50/50 | 9[d10]) Yes]
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