Broneslav Torenescu was not impressed to be told to take a message to Threshold in the far northern wilderness. He was a keen hunter so one might have thought that the wilderness would be his choice of habitat but he preferred to hunt closer to home. That way he could sit by the fire drinking ale and telling tall tales in the evening after a day out. He was not happy that the journey would take him so far from that fire or from the lovely Milka, she of the white flesh and rose red lips. But, as a younger cousin of the Torenescu clan he had little choice in the matter. When the Old Man spoke everyone had to listen and obey or the gold Royals would cease to flow in your direction. In this case he had been shamed into asking for the Shearing Ceremony and the Old Man had taken advantage.
His parents had been hinting for some time that he should ask for Shearing but he had resisted until Milka started to ask if he were a man or a boy. That decided it. Shortly after that he stood in the courtyard of the family home while his father cut a ragged strip from the bottom of his cloak. The family all cheered, patted his back and wished him luck. Various family members pressed packages of food into his hands as he was ushered to the gates of the villa. His father handed him a sealed packet, "Take this to our factor in Threshold. The Old Man has asked this of you and suggests that you may best prove yourself in that wilderness there. You would be wise to heed him."
As the gates swung open, Broneslav saw the rain ahead of him as a token of his near future. He trudged out into the street and headed towards the north gate of Specularum. Footsteps pattering in the mud behind him caused him to turn. It was Milka. She pressed a kiss onto his lips and said, "Don't take too long to prove yourself. I'll wait for you but I can be impatient, you know." With that she turned and fled to the cover of the villa once more. The gates closed again and Broneslav was left alone with his thoughts and the prospect of a long journey ahead of him. It was early morning so he had a full day's march to come. Time to head for the Duke's Road. With any luck he would get to the ruins of Krakatos for an early lunch and to visit the shrine of Petra. Then he would press on and overnight at the village of Midwood. It was tempting to stop for the night in Krakatos, but he really wanted to get the journey over as quickly as possible. Then possibly he could start making his reputation as the Shearing Ceremony demanded.
The road to Krakatos was not busy but Broneslav passed several travellers heading southwards and a few heading north. It was mid-morning when he first caught sight of the walls of Krakatos in the distance. Unfortunately, it was also mid-morning when a group of bandits decided that he looked like he might be worth robbing. The hedges of the fields beside the road provided sufficient cover for them to hide behind and choose their prey while remaining unspotted. Sadly for Broneslav his keen eyesight was not as good as the bandits' skill at hiding and he was among them before he even knew they were there. Broneslav found himself facing 5 men armed with swords and spears.
I made an opposed test to see if Broneslav spotted the lurking bandits. He lost miserably so they ambushed him. Being bandits I assumed that they would prefer not to fight and would rely on intimidation so they lost the ambush advantage and it went straight to a combat round.
"Hand over all your stuff and no-one needs to get hurt!" ordered the head bandit with an ugly sneer on his face, "You're outnumbered and don't stand a chance, so save yourself some pain."
Broneslav's hand leapt to his sword hilt but three of the bandits were quicker. He ducked under the blow of one bandit, leapt over the sword of the second and landed straight in the path of the spear of the third which scored a bloody line across his leg. Then his sword was out and he slashed across gut of a fat and slow bandit. The man's legs folded under him and his intestines poured out of the hole Broneslav had made (4 damage!). Continuing the slash, Broneslav spun and took the head off the next bandit with a rising blow, slashed downwards cutting a diagonal line from shoulder to waist of the third and sliced the leg off the fourth with a blow to the knee. Then he backhanded the final bandit in the face with the hilt of his sword breaking the man's nose and crushing his face. In just a few seconds all five bandits were dead. Broneslav wiped his sword on the clothes of the cleanest bandit and bound up his wound. Then he sheathed his sword and continued on his way.
Notes: So, wow, that combat was quick and brutal. It lasted one round thanks to the massive amount of damage that Broneslav rolled for his sword attack. He does 1d8+3 damage with his sword but damage points are not read as they would be in other games. Instead, a 1 is 0 damage, 2-5 is 1 damage, and so on. He rolled 10 and got 4 damage. Unlike other games, the monsters can take an amount of damage equal to their hit dice. The bandits are 1 hit die each and so can take 1 damage each. In Scarlet Heroes damage carries over, so you can kill more than one creature each round, thus with 4 damage Broneslav was able to kill four 1hd bandits. The second attack was his Fray Die, which is a die that a hero may roll each round they are in combat with enemies of equal or lower level. It does damage in the same way as the ordinary attack. This is one way that the system balances out the normal monster numbers against a single hero. Broneslav took 1 damage in the fight, which he was able to heal by bandaging his wounds. He can bandage up to 2 hit points of fresh damage per fight.
The rest of the day was peaceful as he passed only farmers and traders along the way. Lunch at Krakatos was a little watery and disappointing as the rain continued to fall, but his visit to the shrine of the Warrior Princess Petra bolstered him for the rest of the journey. Shortly after he left a small offering of food at the shrine the rain let up and Broneslav was able to make good time for the rest of the day, reaching Midwood early in the evening. Fortified by a good meal he retired early to bed. It would be another busy day tomorrow.
|Broneslav's journey. Day 1|
Broneslav is not on an island. The map only shows his route for this first part of the journey. I had filled in much of the rest of the area shown on this map, but CC3 crashed and reverted to this version instead of the newest version I had saved, so I have decided to use it rather than spend ages filling in the details again. I am a tad irked by this, but shall continue to fill in the details as Broneslav travels further. In this way I hope to have a 1 hex = 1 mile map of Karameikos in the end.
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, hp9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Traits: Torenescu Family Member 1, Hunter 1, Keen Vision 1, Good Education 1, Empathy with Animals 1
Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Quest: Deliver a message to the Torenescu factor in Threshold