Saturday, 17 September 2016

2 Yarthmont - Dinner time?

Broneslav opened the door into a corridor. Moving to the nearest door which lay to his right, he paused and listened. Nothing. He opened the door. The room beyond was covered in a thick layer of dust. The bed, writing desk and chest pointed to it being a bedroom and study. A sun symbol on the wall might have been religious, but Broneslav knew little about the gods of this area. Seeing nothing to warrant further attention, he moved to the door on the left, a little further up the corridor. He could hear nothing through the door and opened it. Like the other room, this one was dusty and in a poor state of repair. Unlike the other room, the dust here had been disturbed and scuffling noises could be heard coming from beyond the bed.

Warily, Broneslav stepped into the room. A large blue lizard poked its head out from behind the bed and hissed angrily at him. Suddenly it charged at him. Broneslav swung his sword and cut a large gash along its side [2 DAM]. It swerved away involuntarily because of the pain and missed its chance to bight him. A second lizard suddenly dropped from the ceiling onto Broneslav, but his armour stopped its teeth. He swung once more and this time his sword found the first lizard's heart. It twitched as it bled out on the floor, but it was no longer a threat. The second lizard made good use of his inattention and bit into Broneslav's leg [1 DAM]. He spun towards it and tried a thrust but the lizard dodged out of the way, before diving back in to bit Broneslav once more [1 DAM]. As it did so, Broneslav's sword flicked out and cut a line across the lizard's head [1 DAM]. This only seemed to anger it as it got a grip on his arm, but his armour stopped the teeth from cutting through. A furious moment of dodging and slicing followed before Broneslav finally swung hard at the lizard's neck and severed it's head [2 DAM]. He panted as he recovered his breath before bandaging his wounds.
1 square = 10'
Looking beyond the bed, he found a fresh corpse that the lizard had been feeding on. It was a human, but wearing a bird-like mask with gold inlay. The mask went in his pack and he prepared to continue his exploration of this pyramid.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

2 Yarthmont - Avoiding getting slimed

Broneslav opened the north-west door onto a corridor. Moving carefully, he advanced quickly to the corner and peered round it. Nothing there, so he moved on to the next corner as the corridor turned back on itself. Again, nothing there, but a door on the south side. Easing the door open, he was met with a strong, musty smell. Nothing moved within. The room was dusty and had obviously not been used in a long time. It was full of old crates, bales of cloth and rotting sacks.

He headed back out into the corridor and further along, following its twisting route. The next door was on the north side of the corridor. He could hear voices through the door, even as he approached. Carefully easing the door open, he peered inside.

"Oh, a man," twittered a high-pitched voice.

Broneslav had not been sufficiently quiet. Suddenly he was bombarded with questions by the small, winged people who were seated on the crates in the middle of the room. They all talked over each other, and did not appear to listen to his replies. He tried asking them about the place he was in, but the only reply that made sense was that he was in the city of Cynidicea. Well, at least he had a name for the place. He left the small people to their twittering ways and left the room.

The corridor ended at a door. No noise came from this one. He opened it and beheld an empty room, apart from a large pile of green slime on the floor. As he looked in, the slime suddenly moved. He slammed the door shut and retreated. There had been no door out of the room, and he saw nothing to gain by fighting this thing. He headed back towards the central room again.
1 square = 10 feet
As he walked back, he suddenly realised that there was something amiss with the wall of the corridor immediately before the door to the room he had first entered by. Checking further, he found that the wall swung inwards into another room. Something glittered on the floor in the middle of it, but his attention was drawn to the half dozen bird-like creatures that swarmed towards him as soon as he entered. The speed of these creatures surprised him, but he was up to the challenge. His sword darted with devastating swiftness in and out of their bodies, and in seconds six of the creatures lay crushed and skewered on the floor. Unfortunately, as these six distracted him, the last of them landed on his shoulder and sank its beak into his unprotected neck (1 DAM). He grabbed the creature and threw it to the floor, crushing it under his boot heel. He cursed as he bandaged his wound, before examining the room.

From this side, he could clearly see that there was a secret door on the opposite side of the room too. He had missed that before. On the floor in the middle of the room, for no readily apparent reason, there lay some gems. Broneslav cleared guano and dust off them, and put them in his pouch. Other than more guano and dust, there was nothing else in this room. He returned to the central room again. Just one more door to try, before he went down the stairs he had found before.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

2 Yarthmont: Bee-hind you, Mr Torenescu

Broneslav decided to leave by the south-west door of the room. Beyond was a corridor. He followed it to a door that led to some stairs, but decided against going deeper into the pyramid until he had oriented himself here at the top. He followed the corridor further to a room that had obviously had a fight in it; the broken furniture and the rotting corpse on the floor were big clues. The room looked like it had not been used in a long time and was covered in a thick layer of dust, except where the fight had disturbed it. The dead hobgoblin had a water flask on its belt. With hope and fear, Broneslav took it. It felt full. He opened the flask and took a long sniff. It did not smell bad. A tentative tast. Then a much longer draught. The water was cool and felt glorious sliding down his throat. He breathed a huge sigh of satisfaction as he forced himself to stop drinking. He knew he might be sick if he drank too much in one go. He hung the flask on his belt and helped himself to the purse that also hung on the body's belt. It jingled satisfyingly. If the purse remained untouched, it suggested animals rather than humanoids. With sword and shield in hand he prepared to explore further, ready for whatever might lie ahead.
1 square = 10 feet
Broneslav moved to the door on the far wall. It lay slightly ajar and he could hear buzzing from the other side. Looking through the gap, he saw a giant bee, a good foot long, fly across his field of vision. He carefully pushed the door open a bit further and beheld a large pile of treasure in the centre of the room. A beehive hung directly above it, and half a dozen of the large bees were circling the room. The young warrior pulled the door shut, before the bees noticed him and decided to retrace his steps. There would be time to return for the treasure later, if he could find out where he was and the route back to civilisation.

He retraced his steps to the room he had first entered and considered which way to go this time.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

2 Yarthmont: Bugs, Mr Torenescu

As he descended the ladder, Broneslav could slowly make out more detail of the space below. The light got brighter as he neared it, although not as bright as a lit torch. The space below was obviously a room or corridor. With his feet near the ceiling of that room, he could see a large beetle with glowing stripes on its face and back. Fire beetles. [Oracle says that he knows about them] He'd heard of them before. They had glands in their body that gave off light. His family had occasionally had recourse to keeping them, but they were known to be vicious and hard to manage. With that in mind, he carefully unslung his shield drew his sword. Taking a quick breath, he dropped the final ten feet to the floor and swung at the beetle. Staggering slightly as he landed, his first blow missed, but the follow-through caught it at the back of the head, and it fell in its tracks, twitching. Suddenly a second beetle that he had not noticed before attacked him. He got his shield in the way of its bite just in time and crushed its head with his booted foot. Meanwhile a third beetle had now joined the fray. It's mandibles fastened on the back of his leg, tearing a bloody gash in his calf [2 DAM]. Off balance, Broneslav backpedalled quickly away from it, and it scuttled after him, biting another hole in his leg [1 DAM]. As his back hit the wall, Broneslav rallied and attacked. He skewered the beetle with his sword and then sliced its head off. Looking quickly around, he could see no other beetles, so he stopped to bandage his wounds before checking out the room he was no in.
There were a dozen or more urns against one wall. They were sealed, except for one whose contents had long ago evaporated. Against the other wall was a small forge with tools and scraps of metal around it. He opened one of the sealed urns and found it half-full of oil. Presumably the contents had evaporated even through the seal. There was nothing else of use, so Broneslav contemplated the three doors out of the room. Which one to take?

Sunday, 17 July 2016

2 Yarthmont: Into Cynidicea

Stepping over the corpse, Broneslav entered a short tunnel. The air was cooler in here and felt like a balm to his cracked skin and dry lips. He stumbled slightly, but righted himself and continued forward. As he moved forward he saw a crossbow in the wall facing the door. I was unloaded, but looked large enough to have fired the bolt in the corpse's chest. Turning a corner he was faced with another stone door. The dust in the corridor was thick at the sides, but disturbed in the middle, footprints evident in it. This tunnel was used. Warily he drew his sword and unslung his shield as he faced the door. Pushing hard he opened the door flinching slightly in anticipation of an attack that did not come.
Tier 1
The room in front of him was about forty feet on each side and contained three bronze cylinders, each about ten feet in diameter and reaching from floor to ceiling. In the centre of each cylinder, facing him as he entered was a door. Broneslav entered the room. The door swung shut behind him. Seeing nothing else in the dusty room, he opted to try the door in the central cylinder. Opening the door, he could see a ladder in the darkness of the cylinder. It looked like it was possible to go both up and down here.

Tentatively stepping onto the ladder, he started climbing and soon found himself in an enclosed space with a speaking tube and a number of levers. It was possible to look out from here. The view confirmed what would have been obvious were he not so exhausted; he was high above the desert inside on of the statues on top of the pyramid. With no way to go from here but down, he began to descend the ladder until he saw a light below him. He continued to descend. Perhaps here lay help.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

24 Flaurmont - 2 Yarthmont: Cynidicea

The sun was already baking the day when the caravan left Parsa for Sulba. It was well-provisioned and Arnulf had ensured that Broneslav had a djellaba to wear instead of his warm Karameikan clothes. Dressed appropriately, Broneslav found the heat more bearable as the caravan set off. It would be a week before they reached Sulba, so he determined to learn as much as he could about managing caravans through the desert. If he was to join the Torenescu trading firm as a fully-fledged merchant, this sort of knowledge might come in handy.

The day stretched on and one sand dune began to look much like another as the caravan followed the desert trail. Broneslav found himself dozing off in the saddle, despite his resolve to learn what he could. He only really awakened when the caravan stopped, which was regularly because of the need to water the beasts.

When night fell they camped in tents carried on one of the wagons. The night was colder than Broneslav expected but at least he had his Karameikan clothes to keep him warm.

The next day they set off again and once more Broneslav found himself dozing in the saddle. Suddenly he there was a shout from up ahead. He drew his sword and prepared to fend off attackers, but soon realised that the attacker they faced was not one that his sword could deal with. The guard at the head of the column was pointing to the south from where a wall of sand was approaching.

"Sandstorm!"

The caravan erupted in a flurry of activity as the guards and teamsters drove their mounts harder. Ahead lay a rocky outcrop that might provide shelter if they could reach it in time. But the sandstorm descended on them before they reached it. The shouts of the others were drowned out by the roar of the swirling sand. Broneslav raced like the others and stopped when he reached a sheltering outcrop. He could see none of the others around him because of the blinding sand, so he settled in for the duration of the storm.

What felt like hours later, Broneslav opened his eyes and blinked in the calm. He and his horses were half buried in sand, but the rocky outcrop had prevented them from being fully taken by the storm. he brushed himself down and stepped out to look for the rest of the caravan. Blinking in the strong sunlight he realised that he was alone. The others had been taken by the storm or found somewhere else to hide. Worse yet, the entire landscape had been changed by the storm. Dunes had shifted and there was no sign of the trail!

Checking his packs, he had water for a day for himself, but little enough for his horses. Likewise, he only had preserved food for himself. The horses' supplies were on the wagons, wherever they were. He would have to find his way back to the trail and the caravan, if he was to survive. He waited until the evening, as the sun began to cool, and set out.

...

The horses had collapsed the day before. He had not found the trail and had been wandering for three or four days. His own water had run out a couple of days ago and he was out of food too. He knew he would not last much longer, but a stony hill up ahead looked like it might at least offer shelter. He staggered onwards. As he got closer, he realised it was not a natural feature. It was a ziggurat. It was surrounded by ruined buildings, stones half-buried in the sand that tripped and hindered even as they offered hope. If this were a city, then there must have been water her at one point. Perhaps there still was. There was no sign of a well in any part of the city that he could see, so Broneslav turned his attention to the ziggurat.

It was five storeys high, and was topped by three statues, each 30' tall. That on the left was a strong, bearded man with a balance in one hand and a lightning bolt in the other. The middle statue was of a winged child with two snakes twined around his body. The third was of a woman holding a sheaf of wheat and a sword. A ramp ran up its steps to the top of the highest tier, where the statues stood. Broneslav began to climb. If nothing else, he might be able to spot a well or oasis from the top.

As he reached the floor of the highest tier, he realised that there was a hidden door to the side of the ramp that now lay open. The door was blocked by the remains of a Hobgoblin with a large crossbow bolt in its chest. The bones had been mostly picked clean, but the state of its tattered clothes suggested it was only a few weeks dead. He climbed to the top and looked around but could see nothing of help to him. Returning to the door, he prepared to step inside.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

11- 23 Flaurmont - The Road to Parsa

Keeping to a brisk trot, Broneslav made good time and caught up with Arnulf Armbruster on the night of his first day's travel. He handed over the parcel and Arnulf was delighted with the magical, jewelled songbird that Sindar had sent him. Looking Broneslav over, he came to a decision.

"I'll give you 100 gold to join the caravan as a guard. You look like you can handle yourself, even though you're a bit young, and I'm inclined to trust you because you got this bird to me in one piece. What d'ye say?"

What could he say? Broneslav agreed immediately. The caravan would afford him some protection, even as he guarded it, and who knew what might opportunities might arise for gaining fame and reputation along the way. Still, it was not going to be a short trip. They had ten days' of travel through the hills, and then the desert roads might be easier, but the heat would mean that they had to travel more slowly anyway. Ah well, that would give him time to just relax a bit, unless they were attacked along the way.

With mountains towering up on each side, the caravan followed the trail over the hills and through the passes between Darokin and Ylaruam. There was no noticeable change when they crossed the border into Ylaruam, but as they descended through the foothills, the air became warmer and the plants changed. They stopped shortly before descending the last of the hills to the desert plain below.

"This is the last watering hole before Parsa. Make sure all the barrels are filled," said Arnulf to the teamsters.

Broneslav helped out as they piled the wagons with water. It was not a long journey to Parsa from here, but an accident could leave them stranded without water if they were not careful.

With the barrels full, they descended into the desert and began the trek to Parsa. It was only a day's ride away under normal circumstances, but the baking desert heat slowed them to a crawl, and it was two days before they saw the town's walls. Arnulf led them through the gates to an inn that he frequented. After the journey through the desert, it was a blessed relief to be within the cool interior of one of the mud brick buildings of Parsa. With a twinge of regret, Broneslav realised that they would be leaving all this in the morning to trek once more through the desert. With this in mind, he chose an early night over pursuing whatever fleshpots Parsa might offer.


Saturday, 25 June 2016

9-10 Flaurmont 1000 AC - To Selenica and Beyond!

Broneslav was feasted and feted for several days but he eventually had to say goodbye to the elves and head northwards to Selenica to deliver the other package to Arnulf Armbruster. The journey northwards took the best part of a day, but passed without incident.
1 hex = 8 miles
It was easy to find an inn and a room. The streets of Selenica seemed to be lined with them, as befitted a city that made its living through trade and servicing the caravans that passed through. Broneslav took a room at The Desert Flower, an inn that specialised in Yluarami cuisine. He had acquired a taste for the spicy desert food when his family had hired a cook from Ylaruam for a while.

Washed and with his best clothes on, Broneslav went in search of the Armbruster residence. Sindar had given him directions, but even then he managed to get lost several times, and had to ask for directions. It was midday by the time he found Armbruster's mansion in the Merchants' Quarter. The door was opened by a flunky in expensive clothes who managed to look down his nose at Broneslav despite being a good three inches shorter than him.

Broneslav explained that he had a parcel that he had to deliver personally to Armbruster. It took a while, but eventually he learned that Armbruster had left the previous day with a caravan to Ylaruam. Some further dickering saw Broneslav now mounted on a rangy desert horse and leading another that was loaded with his kit. The flunky had sold the pair to Broneslav for 300 gold coins which he knew was outrageously high, but he really did need them, and his purse was still very full with Elyas' treasure. With two horses he should be able to travel faster by switching between them to make the speed easier on each horse. That way he should catch up with Armbruster very quickly.

He turned his horses eastwards and headed for the mountain passes that lead into the Emirate of Ylaruam.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

4 Flaurmont - Earth, Wind and Fire

Broneslav found himself in an alcove behind a statue. He stepped round it and into a circular room with alcoves to north and south.

"I'm not going anywhere near those," he thought to himself as he considered how many times he had been teleported around the remains of Elyas' tower.

The room contained four large statues of demonic figures. Each of the statues in front of an alcove had a human-sized handprint carved into its chest. The fourth statue was in the centre of the room and its front part had been carved out to fit an iron throne into it. A bright, pulsing, red light shone from the gems in the eyes of the statue he had just stepped around. Dimmer blue lights shone from the statues to the north and south. A black gem could be seen in the left eye of the central statue, and there was a hollow where a second gem could be placed. It was the right size to fit the gem he had just retrieved. He tried the gem in that eye, but nothing happened, and it fell right out again.

Examining the other statues, he realised that there might be a purpose to the handprints. He placed his hand tentatively into the handprint on the northern statue. His mind was filled with a sense of another person's despair. It was Sylva's! He realised now that the witches must have stolen the bodies of the elvish women, and their spirits were trapped here. Perhaps the clue to freeing them lay in this handprints on the statues. To test this theory he approached the southern statue and tried that one. He felt Merisa's despair. The red eyes on the other statue probably meant something else again. Only two elves had been kidnapped so perhaps the red meant that the witch was still trapped. He decided to forego testing that theory just in case.

There must be something more he needed to do to free the elves and destroy the witches. He needed to explore further. Turning south out of the circular room, he followed the corridor to its end. The wall had crumbled here and a small hole was there. It looked like he could enlarge it enough to get through, but he could see that there was someone there, and he was not sure he wanted to disturb them. He returned to the other end of the corridor which ended in a blank wall. Knowing that there had once been a secret door at the other end helped him, and Broneslav soon found the door, and opened it. It was not well hidden, suggesting that it was intended to stop access from the other side.

As he had seen through the broken wall, the door opened behind an altar. This one was empty but for an altar with red altar cloths. The second he stepped through the door, it slammed shut behind him. Grabbing for it only wrenched his arm. With the door shut, he could see a handprint carved into it. Well, he would check that later. For now he needed to find a way to activate this gem so that it would fit into the statue. Looking around he saw that the walls were decorated with frescoes of leaping flames.

There was only one door out of the temple, so he took it and found himself in a room with a carved idol in its centre. It's hands were placed in front of it  as if to accept an offering. As he entered the room, the hollow began to glow. The glow got stronger as he approached the idol, and noticed three alcoves to the east.

"What is it with all these alcoves?" He muttered to himself.

Suddenly the idol spoke, "Answer me and I'll answer thee in truth, if but to questions three! What is thy name?"
He took a moment to consider whether it was wise, and then answered, "Broneslav."
"What was the first name of the last creature you killed?"
"I don't know, it was a panther."
"What is thy quest?"
"To free Merisa and Sylva."
"Accepted."
"Right, so I now have three questions. Well, I think I only need one. How do I use the Opal to free the maidens?"

The idol began to recite more doggerel:
Beyond the three temples of the elements
The black dragon's eye waits for thee.
Find its secret through nearby magical ways
That have waited for many long years.
Beware the tricks of Old Elyas,
And return here with the Black Opal Eye, to give it power.
Then set it in its place and behold
The end of great sadness; the beginning of life;
The destruction of evil and the end of strife.

Broneslav took the Opal Eye from his pouch and placed it in the idol's hands. After a moment it began to glow from deep in its centre. He waited a while. Nothing more happened so he picked it up and headed west to a door there, reasoning that the door to the south must be to the temple with the broken wall.

The door opened into another temple, decorated with images of clouds racing across the sky and trees bent under the force of a hurricane. Behind the altar there was a handprint in the wall. Right, so, better check the person in the last temple before he returned to that statue ...

He opened the door as carefully as he could and sneaked into the third temple, noticing as he did so that it was decorated with images of mountains and rock formations. At the altar was a slight elvish woman with her back to him. He thought it looked like Merisa, whom he had encountered before. He padded as silently as he could towards her, using the pillars as cover. When he got to ten feet behind her, he gave up on all stealth and dived for the woman. Before she could react, he had pinned her to the ground and placed his hand over her mouth.

"No sleep spells for you witchy woman!" he growled as he trussed her up and gagged her. he was then able to clear the gap behind the altar so that he could get through and drag her behind him. She looked at him with a hate-filled gaze, as though she wished at this time to be a medusa. Once through the gap, it was the work of a moment to place the Opal Eye in the statue. There was a flash of blue light. The eyes on the two statues that had been blue flared red, then the eyes on all three statues went out. All that remained was black burnt-out stones. Merisa jerked and slumped slightly before sitting up looking confused.

Broneslav soon ascertained that she really was now Merisa and that the witch's spirit had been vanquished. He guessed that this had happened to the other possessed and dominated elves too. Given that the alcove to the west had brought him here, he guessed that the alcoves to the north and south might take him away again. Tossing a coin, he headed to the northern alcove with Merisa. The two of them found themselves in a room with dark stone platform. He recognised the layout, and checked the double doors to the west to see if you was back in the room near Sylva's bedroom. It turned out that he had got lucky; the doors opened into the treasury! He filled his bags with all he could carry before checking for a way out. The arch to the south no longer glowed, so he decided that the curse must no longer be in effect.

The pair headed through the arch with no ill effects and found themselves in the corridor with half a dozen groggy looking elves, dwarves, hin and humans. The platinum statues that had once lined the hall were no longer their. A candle lit in Broneslav's mind. The statues were of those that had tried to rob the treasury by going through the arch. The newly animated people seemed to be no threat at the moment, so Broneslav told them how to work the disc as he passed them and headed out of the tower with Merisa.

The journey back to the village was simple, even though they encountered many more people who had been transmuted into statues along the way, but all were too groggy to pose a threat. The pair were greeted on the path to the village by the joyous villagers. Sylva had come to when Broneslav placed the Opal Eye in the statue, and she had explained what had happened. Broneslav was feted as a hero, and was finally able to deliver the package to Merisa and return Rahasia's pendant to her.

With the experience gained here, Broneslav has now gone up a level. He gains +1 Attack Bonus, +4 hit points and 1 trait point. The trait is really difficult to decide. It has to be something related to his adventures since last going up a level. That means it could be travel related, dungeon exploration related or anything else of that ilk. I was tempted to give him something related to resistance to spells because of all the Sleep spells he was hit with, or perhaps to give increase his Hunting attribute, but in the end I opted to give him the trait Elf-friend. Rahasia has connections with the merchant Sindar, and with Arnulf Armbruster in Selenica, so I thought she might have connections further afield too. Broneslav may now be able to seek aid among the elves of a place by finding a connection of Rahasia's. I'm not sure how useful it will be, but it seems appropriate.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

4 Flaurmont - The Black Opal Eye

Broneslav returned to the tower and quickly made his way back to the lifting disc. He dropped down to the bottom of the shaft and headed back into the depths of Elyas' ruined home. He was pleased that Sylva was now contained if not quite right in the head. Now all he had to do was find Merisa, subdue her, and find a way to sort out whatever was wrong with them.

Retracing his footsteps, Broneslav was soon back in Sylva's bedroom. He cleared the remains of the cushions from in front of the secret door, and opened it using a key he had taken from Sylva. The room beyond contained only a large dark stone platform against one wall and doors in the other. The platform was simple stone, raised and appeared to conceal nothing. The doors looked more interesting.

He pushed the doors open and entered the octagonal chamber beyond. It was mostly empty, as he had seen from the north corridor, but now he could also see that a large black gem was suspended from the arched ceiling 40 feet above his head. The arch leading to the corridor had ancient writing carved around it. Broneslav puzzled the words out, and thanked the gods for his parents giving him a good education (Hard test against intelligence. +1 for Good Education trait made the difference between passing and failing):

"Once the portal is crossed,
Make no mistake,
A part of my treasury you will make."

Broneslav wondered what this meant. Perhaps some transformation, or just being stripped of all your goods, or maybe it just fried you so you remained here forever. He could not fathom out anything but that it would be a bad thing to walk through the archway. He was pleased he had not tried it before. He also wondered why wizards seemed to enjoy writing doggerel. Honestly, could they not employ a decent bard to do the rhyming for them?

Well, that aside, he obviously needed to get that gem. Why else would it be strung up so high and difficult to get to. For all he knew, it might be the Black Opal Eye that Ular-Taman had mentioned. There were carvings up around the ceiling that looked substantial enough to support his weight. Broneslav got his grappling hook from his backpack, spun it a few times experimentally and then let it fly towards the ceiling. It caught immediately on a carving and he was able to shimmy up the rope in a trice. He was then able to stand on a substantial carving and use the grappling hook to snag the chain that the gem was suspended from, draw it to him and undo it.

Safely back on the ground, he examined the gem. It certainly seemed to be the Black Opal Eye, based on the description he had. He pocketed it and headed for the other doors in the chamber. They opened smoothly into a room with a dark stone platform. He checked it out as he had done the other one, and found nothing. But when he stepped on it to check the wall behind him, he suddenly found himself transported once more. He cursed because now he would have to retrace his steps to the actual treasury. He had an idea about how to get in now, but first he must deal with whatever new randomness Elyas had cursed him with ...

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Saturday, 4 June 2016

3 Flaurmont 1000 AC - Treasure!

Broneslav awoke feeling a little better. Sylva was still tied to the grate and no one had tried to get in as he rested. He was still a bit shaky on his feet, but he would manage for now. Testing Sylva's bonds, he hand-fed her some food from his pack which she accepted with ill grace and a look in her eye that said she might try to bite the hand that was feeding her. A bit of water followed and then he tested her bonds again.

"I'm going to scout around," he announced, "If I live, I'll come back for you."

She glared as if her very look could turn him to stone. Moving out into the corridor, he found himself with three choices of direction: double doors at each end of the corridor and a single door straight ahead. He dithered a moment before striding to the right, towards one set of double doors. The light as he opened them caused him to blink repeatedly. He was in a room with archways to north and south and double doors ahead of him. The light came from the two archways. Advancing stealthily forwards he peered through the north arch first. The floor was covered in treasure, enough wealth to start a merchant family of his own. He almost ran over to start packing it up, when he remembered how the illusion of treasure had caused him to keep running head first into a wall. He backed away. To the south, a similarly well-lit room held no treasure, although looking through the arch, he could see something hanging from the ceiling.

Broneslav decided to wait to explore these rooms when his wounds had sufficiently healed. He stalked forward to the double doors on the other side of the room and opened them carefully. The room beyond held three statues and a glowing blue disc with a statue on it.

"Aha, the lifting disc!"

He recognised the disc and its cargo immediately. An idea came to him. He knew his way out from here. He would take Sylva back to the village and get the healers to help him before he returned to deal with Merisa. That would prevent Sylva from attacking him and would keep her safe until he could work out what sort of charm the Rahib had used on her.
As you can see, I have mapped the other rooms in the dungeon but have not filled in the detail on the unexplored ones yet
Broneslav returned to Sylva and untied her from the grille. He lifted it so that he could use the teleporter if he could find the hat and dragged his reluctant prisoner with him to the disc. He then began to retrace his footsteps to the main entrance. As he rounded a corner, he suddenly came face-to-face with 3 Siswa guards. Cursing his carelessness and complacency, he rushed them. The target of his first blows dodged and all three closed on him. He blocked, parried and dodged for all he was worth, and countered with a blow to the gut that felled one of the Siswa, followed by a shield to the face that knocked another out, and a sword pommel to the chin that felled the third. [Phew! That was lucky. He rolled a 1 for his fray die in the first round, and missed with his normal attack. Fortunately they all missed too, and then he rolled maximum damage for both fray die and attack on the second round. Scratch three unconscious elves].

While he had been fighting, Sylva used the distraction to run. Unfortunately for her, her bonds hindered her speed and Broneslav was able to catch her easily. He brought her back to the three unconscious elves and tended their wounds after binding them all properly so that he could manage all four captives. The threat of his sword combined with their bonds kept them sufficiently docile for him to be able to lead them all. The rest of the journey was uneventful, although Broneslav was now on edge the whole way.

Back at the village, he explained the situation to Rahasia, and left the captives in the villagers care. The village healer dealt with his wounds, and Broneslav rested up for the day.

The following day, fully healed, he returned to the tower ...

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Saturday, 28 May 2016

2 Flaurmont 1000 AC - Adventures in the Boudoir!

Broneslav was standing in a small room, obviously teleported there by magic. The hat he had been wearing was probably part of that spell. The space beyond opened up into a large bedroom. A pile of cushions lay near the opening to the small room he was standing in. As he sneaked forward, he saw the corner of a bed. A dainty foot poked out from under the blankets. He peered carefully round the corner. A lever was located on the outside by the bed. Presumably it had something to do with the iron grille located in a slot in the roof by the entrance to the small room.

Broneslav could see an untidy mass of golden hair on the pillow. The sound of delicate snoring arose from near that golden mass. He was not sure what to do. This might be Sylva, one of the elven maidens he was here to rescue. But the other one, Merisa, had attacked Baik and him, and had sicced a panther on them. It went against the grain to attack first though. He put his shield on the floor, and padded over to the bed silently with his sword in his other hand. He leaned over the sleeping person. Once he saw her face, he knew it was Sylva, the other missing elf. He shook her shoulder and quickly clamped his hand over her mouth as her eyes widened in shock.

"I'm here to rescue you," he hissed.

She was more self-controlled than he expected. Upon hearing his words, she calmed quickly and nodded. He took his hand away from her mouth.

"Do you know the way out of here?"
"No. They dragged me in here unconscious, and have kept me here ever since. The door is open but I have no idea which way is out."
"Ok, well, follow me. We're going to have to do this the hard way."

While Sylva got out of bed and dressed quickly, Broneslav searched the rest of the room. He found a secret door in the south wall, but decided to try the obvious door to the north first.

"Are you ready?"
"Yes."
"Ok, stay with me, but don't get too close. I may need room to swing a sword."

He moved to the door and opened it. A panther leapt through the newly opened door directly at him. Broneslav dropped flat as the panther sailed over his head. Spinning, he swung his sword at the beast, shaving a whisker off it, but not connecting with his sword. Sylva chanted words and gestured at Broneslav. A wave of sleepiness overcame him and he collapsed to the floor. [Why the heck does every single mage in this dungeon have the Sleep spell? It's really irritating when there is no save versus it!] As he did so, the panther attacked ripping huge gashes in his legs and mauling is arm [4 DAM]. The pain of this assault woke him immediately. He sprang to his feet and drove his sword into the panther [2 DAM]. Sylva ran to the south wall, fumbling at her belt. Triumphantly she drew a key out of her pouch. Still groggy from the spell, Broneslav failed to ward off all the panther's attacks and was clawed and bitten once more [2 DAM]. Diving past the panther, he bodychecked the elf just as she was about to open the secret door he had found. She collapsed to the floor unconscious as her head hit the wall. The panther leapt at Broneslav again and ripped more holes in him [2 DAM]. Weakening from the blood loss already, Broneslav grabbed his sword with both hands and sliced at the panther with a might blow that cut it in two [4 DAM].

He slumped against the wall to catch his breath, before checking Sylva to see if she was alright. He was worried that she had cracked her head too hard against the wall. Fortunately, she was just unconscious, although there was a trickle of blood from her forehead. He bound that wound and then her hands and feet.

"No more spells for you, tricksy witch," he muttered, as he gagged her and propped her up near the bed.

Tearing sheets from the bed he bandaged his own wounds and pondered what to do next. He could try to find his way out of here and rest up back at the village. That would give him a chance to recover and return for the other elf. Alternatively, he could rest up in this room, although that carried the risk of being discovered. Not sure of how to get out, he decided to rest up here. He dragged the bed to the main door and used it to block that entrance. Then he got the elf's key and jammed it into the lock of the secret door. That should stop anyone opening that door.

By this point, Sylva had awakened was staring balefully at him as he hobbled around the room sorting things out. Experimentation showed that the lever did, indeed, lower a grille across the opening to the room he had arrived in. He lowered the grille and tied Sylva to it, so that she could not move. Piling cushions in front of the secret door, he hoped that anyone trying to enter that way would trip over them and give him a chance to get up before they got to him. Before settling down to rest, Broneslav searched the room, finding a scroll that appeared to his untutored eyes to have a spell inscribed on it. He stashed it in his bag and lay down on some cushions in the corner furthest from both doors, hoping that things would go right for him.

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 3/
9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Saturday, 21 May 2016

2 Flaurmont 1000 AC - Return to the Halls of Grandeur

Wearing a new shirt and trews, healed by the village healer, and having washed properly, Broneslav made his way back to the temple feeling much better. There was still much to do and he needed to solve the riddle of the elven woman who appeared to be aiding the Rahib.

Returning to the corridor near the cells, Broneslav pushed through the door to the south. He was in a small hall with doors to to each side and one ahead of him. Listening at both doors revealed nothing. Both rooms appeared to be silent. Mentally he flipped a coin. Heads, so he headed east. As he stepped through the door, a huge red dragon belched flame at him. Broneslav screamed as fire engulfed him, and collapsed senseless to the floor.

His eyes opened again some time later. The dragon was still there, but it seemed more insubstantial now. Carefully, he stood up. The dragon belched flame again, but this time it washed around him. He realised that the dragon was an illusion and that none of his clothing was indeed burnt. Harrumph!

There was another exit from this room. He listened again and heard nothing. Opening the door, he peered in. It was another empty room, except that one wall of this room was a curtain of coruscating red light. It lent the room and eerie, hellish glow. There was a door in the wall opposite the one he entered by. Broneslav moved up to the glowing wall and pushed at it with his torch. The torch passed through easily. He waved the torch around and felt no resistance. Ok, no time to be a wimp. Closing his eyes despite himself, he stepped into the light and found himself in an identical room from that which he had just left. His back was to the curtain of light. There were two exits here. He opted for the left one.

Entering the new room, he beheld a huge pile of gold against the far wall. He felt an unreasoning desire to dive head-first into the treasure and start loading his backpack up. Giving in to temptation he did just that and cracked his head hard against a hitherto unseen wall [Failed saving roll]. Fortunately his helm protected him from damage but he felt distinctly dizzy after this. Closing his eyes against the onset of a headache, he felt around. It felt like there was a solid wall here. It had the texture of stone. Broneslav surmised that the treasure must be an illusion.

There were two doors in this room, both in the same wall. He entered by the one on the left, the one he had not entered by, and found himself in a short corridor. There was a door to his left and a door ahead of him. Broneslav hrrmed to himself suspiciously. Cautiously he opened the door and was engulfed once more in dragon flame. It did not burn and it did not hurt.

So, he was right. He had walked into the wall of light and come back out into the same room. He returned to the wall of light and tried sticking his head far enough in to see through. Unfortunately, all he could see was light. He would have to enter it to test its effects. He tried running into it, but wound up back in the same room. He tried hopping, skipping and jumping into it, but all to no avail. Then suddenly he thought to try walking backwards.
He stepped through the wall of light into a laboratory. Two tables covered in alchemical equipment occupied the centre of the room. The shelves were filled with dusty jars, and there were two alcoves in the east wall. On a peg between the two alcoves was a large hat with a big pink feather. It looked curiously out of place here which piqued Broneslav's curiosity. He went over and picked the hat up. It looked ordinary enough, so what was it doing here? Maybe the old wizard just liked to be flamboyant. Who knows? On a whim, he put the hat on top of his helm [Oracle says Yes to Broneslav putting the hat on]. He laughed. It was a shame there was no mirror there, but he knew he must look ridiculous. Maybe he could return to Specularum one day and make hats with big pink feathers fashionable. He could corner the market on big pink feathers beforehand, just to ensure that he profited properly from it.

Reining in his thoughts, Broneslav began to search the laboratory. There might be something of use there, he hoped. He found nothing among the alchemical equipment. The alcoves were odd, because they contained nothing, so he thought he had better check for secret doors. There was nothing in the northern alcove, but as he checked the southern alcove he felt the world move around him.

He found himself standing in small room that opened into a bedroom beyond. The hat was no longer on his head ...

The Halls of Grandeur

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Gruntz AAR - The Battle for Discoville

I actually managed to play a game last night! Yes, it's true!! And I'm writing about it now!!! I've not had much time for gaming since I moved to Ireland to take up a new job (check out the project I am working on at www.worldtreeproject.org. It's awesome). While I'm not playing at all while over there, I am finding a fair bit of time to paint, and have completed my Laserburn Imperial task force after only 30 years. I bought some of the figures I have recently painted back in the eighties which shows that there is hope for all of my so-called failed or stalled projects. Photos of the whole lot will appear when I bring the rest of the force back from Ireland.

So, anyway, this week I am back home near Hull to do work stuff, so I organised a game with Steve. This year we are focusing on 15mm sci-fi and we agreed  to play Gruntz with 300 points each.

Steve brought his disco aliens with some air support and all nicely canned in APCs.
Disco Alien Fighter
Alien infantry boogieing down the street
I fielded a weak Imperial assault group supported by a troop of heavy grav tanks and two scout bikes.
Imperial grav tanks making a nuisance of themselves
We did not have much time so we made the goal of the game be to destroy as much of the enemy as we could.
Game at set-up
One half of the table was dominated by a small town while the other was rural. Steve deployed a dropship in the rural area and his fighter to cover the town. His infantry were in their APCs ready to rush down the middle. I deployed my infantry to take the town, while my tanks were to flank through the countryside and try to break round behind the enemy with a view to encircling and then annihilating them.

We used the initiative cards from Gruntz instead of the standard rules and assigned the cards randomly to the units. We like the chaos and friction that this brings. Neither of us is a fan of IGO-UGO, but I am tempted to suggest that we deal a hand of cards to each side and then assign them ourselves in future games. This should give us the chaos while also meaning that we get to make command decisions about which area of the battle is most important to us. The main reason we have not done this so far is speed.

My tanks begin the process of annihilating the enemy APCs. A scout bike is just visible behind the lorry, ready to fire missiles into the flank of the APC.
 As the aliens advanced into the town, and my infantry seized key buildings, my tanks used their superior armour to weather the fusillade of fire that the APCs laid down. Damage was minor with only a few scratches to the paintwork of my tanks. As we got their range, the APCs lit up one by one, while the tanks' coaxial lasers made short work of the infantry in that part of the battlefield.

An alien APC tries to sneak round to attack a tank in the flank
Over in the town, things were not so easy. My troops' found the enemy hard to hit, and their bolt rifles were underpowered against the enemy armour. Alien casualties were few while the aliens' plasma rifles seared through my troops' armour. The only thing keeping my troops alive was the buildings they were in, and the enemy fighter's multiple plasma cannon were fairly quickly demolishing the buildings around my troops' ears. A biker scout did manage to get in there and score some hits with his bike's missile launcher, but it was not enough. Without help, or better dice rolling, my troops were doomed.

As the last of the APCs went up in smoke, my tanks moved carefully into the town ... and the enemy surrendered.

At this point we had to call the game because of time. We had played 4 turns of 6 in 2.5 hours. Not too shabby given that we are not familiar with the rules. It was a great fun game with each of us getting frustrated by elements of the other's force design. Lessons have been learnt and future forces are likely to see slightly different force composition, although I suspect that Steve's love of big plasma weapons and heavy armour will mean that I need to purchase extra armour piercing ammo for my troops. Anyway, I look forward to the next game. Hopefully I shall have done more with the buildings for the town by then. I need to sort out some posters, for the billboards, signs for the shops, and print out more streets and concrete lots for the town layout.

Figures: GZG, 15mm.co.uk
Vehicles: GZG, Old Crow, 15mm.co.uk
Buildings: MadMechaGuy
Street Furniture: Brigade Models

Saturday, 14 May 2016

1 Flaurmont 1000 AC - Of Elves and Spiders

Broneslav contemplated the two identical doors and decided to turn northwards first. This area was likely to be contained by the route he had just taken, and thus he could clear it of potential enemies before they headed into the unknown. Beyond the door was a corridor that ended at a wall. There were three doors on each side of the corridor. He took the nearest door on the left side first. The grille in the door suggested it was some kind of cell. The other doors also had grilles in them so he assumed these were all cells. This first room was empty, although fresh straw was piled on the floor as if to make a bed. The door opposite it on the right was the same. The second cell on the left was also empty.

The second cell on the right was occupied. He could hear noises within. Uncertain whether it was a prisoner or something worse, he opened the door carefully.

"Hello?" he asked questioningly.
"LET ME OUT OF HERE OR I'LL BLAST YOUR TINY HEADS TO BITS!" The voice was weak but determined. The cell had a dividing wall and the voice came from round the corner.
Broneslav walked to the corner and looked round it. He saw a middle-aged man chained to the wall by his leg. He was filthy with matted hair.
"COME HERE YOU DAMN WITCH'S SPAWN. LET ME GO BEFORE I IMPLODE YOUR PUNY MIND!"
"Hold up there," said Broneslav, "I'm no witch's spawn. I'm here to rescue two elven maids. If you give me a chance ..."
He got no further. The chained man, seeing Broneslav close enough now, gestured and spoke a mystical syllable. Broneslav collapsed to the floor just as Baik followed round the corner. The wizard had cleary not believed Broneslav. Seeing Broneslav fall, Baik rushed in and belted him with his mace [1 DAM]. He followed it up with another blow [1 DAM] before the wizard could finish the spell he was casting. The wizard cursed and tried again. This time he succeeded. Sticky strands spun out from his hands and half the cell was soon enmeshed in a thick web that held Baik fast no matter how he struggled.
Broneslav awoke to the sense of someone lifting his head. He felt a knife against his throat, and the pain galvanised him to rouse from the magical slumber inflicted on him [Defy death 1 DAM]. He leapt to his feet, tearing his throat away from the encroaching blade, and drew the dagger from his belt. The wizard looked stunned.
"No, wait, you cannot awaken yet."
Broneslav plunged his dagger into the wizard's eye [2 DAM]. The wizard crumpled to the ground. Broneslav was then able to look around. Baik lay in a pile on the floor. His throat had been cut and he was dead. The wizard must have immobilised Baik and cut his throat. Presumably he thought Broneslav would remain asleep long enough for the wizard to cut his throat too. Broneslav had been lucky. He laid his ally out gently, and swore to return for him later to ensure a proper burial.

As he approached the final door on the left, he heard piteous weeping. Investigating further, Broneslav found a young elven woman chained to the wall. She was slumped on the floor sniffling and whimpering half-heartedly. Panic crossed her face as she saw the bloody, tattered person before her.
"Don't worry," said Broneslav, "I am here to rescue you. What's your name?"
"Miryala. Are you really here to rescue me? How can I be sure?"
"You can't," he said brutally, "but you'll have to trust me."
He freed her from the chains and told her to wait there while he checked the final cell. He needed to see if Sylva were in it.

He could see that the cell was full of cobwebs when he opened the door. Held in the webs were the remains of a person. Suddenly a large spider leapt at him from the web. Broneslav spun to face it and tried to skewer it as it did so. He missed but the spider managed to land its fangs in his shoulder. Luckily it was just a scratch [1 DAM]. He swung again. The spider nimbly dodged and sank its fangs into his arm [1 DAM]. Broneslav could feel his body reacting as it fought off the spider's venom. Desperately he thrust at the spider's head. His sword cut through the spider's mouth and into it's brain, the top emerging gore encrusted from the top of the spider's head [4 DAM]. He slumped to the floor, breathing hard. Miryala ran up to him.
"Are you ok? Here, let me bandage your wounds."
With his wounds tended, Broneslav applied his torch to the spider's webs and burnt them out. The remains in the web clattered to the floor and Broneslav helped himself to the gold in the dead adventurer's pouch. Well, they would not need it now, and he really was going to need some new clothes after this was over.
"Come on," he said to Miryala, "I need to get you to safety so that I can carry on the search for Merisa and Sylva."

It would be dark soon anyway and he needed rest. Carrying Baik's body, he led Miryala outside to the waiting Rahasia and returned once more to the village. There he arranged for Baik to be buried according to the customs of Ylaruam. On the way he was able to tell Rahasia that Merisa seemed to be working with the Rahib now. Rahasia was shocked but still adamant that Broneslav must bring both elven women back alive. There was probably more to this than either of them were aware of.

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 6/9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)
Baik Telor (Level 4 human warrior from Ylari. Murdered by Merdiz the wizard)

Saturday, 7 May 2016

1 Flaurmont 1000 AC - A Wine Conundrum

"So, Baik, we going to try that, or are we going to check out the rest of this area?"
"I don't like to leave possible enemies behind us. Let's check the rest first. We can use the statues to bar the doors to this room, just in case anyone comes up the shaft there."
They did that and headed west. The western corridor had doors to north and south, and double doors at the end. Broneslav also noticed an irregularity in the north wall and soon found yet another secret door. Through the door he found stairs leading down. He tested them gingerly, remembering his slide down to the gelatinous cube. The stairs held. At their bottom was a small room mirroring the one he had slid into, again with a ladder against one wall. He was now used to the way the tower had been built, and the search for secret doors in this room was quick and easy. The central vault was empty and there was a door to the west. He now realised that the ladder in the other room must have led up to a secret door, as this one did. Climbing up the ladder to the door, he found himself back at the platform with the sarcophagi on it.

After this, Baik and Broneslav headed west through the secret door there. Their route led to stairs upwards which ended in a wall. Wiping cobwebs from his face, Broneslav stared at the blank wall ahead of him. There must be a secret door here. He knew that but it took him a while to find this one and get it open. Pushing through it, he entered an elegant room with a large table in the middle of the floor. The walls were lined with shelves on which were leather cases. He and Baik began to investigate the cases. The first case each of them opened contained a map of somewhere unfamiliar to either of them. They checked several more cases to confirm that they all contained maps, and found a bottle of wine stashed in one: Wizard of Wines Winery Purple Grapemash No.3. Again it had the peculiar serial number on the label: 14321341-S. Broneslav wondered if it were a code rather than a serial number. But a code to what? He was perplexed. The numbers on each bottle were the same for each type of wine. Could it be a batch number? Why did they not have a uniform format though?
The only other exit from this room was a door on the opposite side of the room from which they had entered. They opened it and found themselves in a room full of the charred remains of books and bookcases. This was obviously once a library, but had suffered terribly in the destruction of the tower. Double doors led from this room into the corridor beyond. Broneslav and Baik were back in the corridor to the octagonal room. They had two choices now: the door to the north, or the door to the south ...

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies
Baik Telor (HD 4, AC 4, ATK +5, DAM 1d8+1)
Stats include Mace+1

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 Elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)

Saturday, 30 April 2016

1 Flaurmont 1000AC - That sinking feeling

Leaving the kitchen with full bellies, Broneslav and Baik headed northwards. They passed the large bronze double doors on their right and returned to a short corridor that ran northwards from the main passage. There were four doors off this passage, two on each side. Broneslav checked the first door on the right, opening it carefully. He recognised the room he entered because a huge explosion had taken place in it, and there was a hole in the wall leading through to the stairs they had climbed.

"Hey, Baik," he exclaimed, "looks like the floors here must be sloping or something, because we climbed those stairs but we're still on the same floor."

Returning to the corridor, he opened the first door on the left. Shelves filled with dusty jars and bottles lined the walls of this room. A strong smell permeated the place and left the heroes feeling queasy and red eyes glittered from the back of the room. Suddenly the owners of the red eyes chittered forwards. Giant rats! Broneslav stumbled backwards swinging wildly, but failed to hurt any of them. In doing so, he knocked Baik off balance, making him smash jars on the walls instead of rats. Although his armour fended most of them off, one rat managed to bite him hard in the leg [1 DAM]. Baik too managed to fend off most of the rats, but still received a vicious bite on the hand [1 DAM]. [Can't believe Broneslav rolled so badly on both attack and Fray Die!] Recovering slightly, Broneslav crushed a rat under foot, but that did not stop him getting bitten again [1 DAM]. Baik smashed a rat with his mace, but got bitten again for his troubles [1 DAM]. Now fully recovered from his initial discomfiture, Broneslav laid into the rats, slicing two in half with one blow and crushing a third. Determined not to be outdone, Baik crushed two more rats. The remaining rat ran for it before either Broneslav or Baik could do anything about it. Retreating into the blasted room opposite, they shut the door and bandaged their newest wounds [Both recovered 2hp]. Bandaged up once more they opened the last door up the corridor to find an empty room.
Returning to the bronze double doors, they pushed open one side and slipped into a corridor lined with incredibly life-like statues in running positions with their hands outstretched. They are made of what appears to be platinum. Moving past these statues, Broneslav pushed through a pair of bronze doors, and led the way into a circular room at the end of the corridor. Statues stood in it on three sides around a well in the centre of the room. Faint murmurings and moanings could be heard like the quiet susuration of a gentle wind among the pines. Looking down the well, Broneslav could see something glowing and blue. On the wall of the room, were written the words 'PAH' and 'NWAD'. Nonsense words, but he decided to try something.

"Pah," he said out loud.

Baik looked at him oddly. Then a glowing blue disc was visible at the top of the well. Broneslav nodded to himself.

"Nwad," he declared.

The disc floated downwards out of sight once more. Looking down the well, it could be seen floating in the distance below.

"Pah," he said again, and soon the disc was once more floating in the room.

"Come on," he said to Baik, and led the way to the smallest of the statues in the corridor.
Together they picked it up, surprised that it weighed little more than a normal person, despite apparently being made of precious metal.

"We'll have to come back for these once we've rescued Merisa and Sylva. I bet they're worth a fortune."

He and Baik lifted the statue onto the blue disc which supported its weight easily.

"Nwad,"

The disc floated down. The statue could be seen still on it when the disc had stopped descending.

"So, Baik. We going to try that, or are are we going to check out the rest of this area first?"

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies
Baik Telor (HD 4, AC 4, ATK +5, DAM 1d8+1)
Stats include Mace+1

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 Elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)

Saturday, 23 April 2016

1 Flaurmont 1000AC - Getting Catty

"Where now?" Asked Baik.
"Let's try through that door to the south," said Broneslav, opening the door and stepping out into a corridor.
The pair scouted the corridor quickly and saw that it joined up with the octagonal room they had previously entered through. The corridor ended to the south at some stairs whose upper level had been destroyed when the mountain fell on the temple. Retracing their steps, the two heroes pushed open the first door they came to. Inside was a well-stocked kitchen.
"No point wasting good food," announced Broneslav whose stomach rumbled at the prospect of something other than the preserved foods he had in his pack. Very soon, he and Baik were tucking into a cheese, ham and bread, following the soldier's dictum that you should eat whenever you get the chance. Or was that sleep? Broneslav was not sure, but eating when you had the chance certainly sounded right to him.
As he stuffed his mouth with more cheese, he heard a noise at the door. He grabbed his sword and shield as it swung open. An Elven woman entered, a black panther at her side. Broneslav recognised her from the descriptions he had been given. This was Merisa, one of the missing Elven maids.
"Ho there, Merisa. I am Broneslav. I am here to rescue you."
The woman yelled a command to her panther, which attacked immediately. It's claws raked Broneslav's arm, tearing bloody gashes down it and his already tattered shirt [2 DAM]. Baik stepped in and hammered the panther hard in the side with his new mace [2 DAM]. Merisa gestured at the two men and spoke a mystical word. Broneslav slumped to the floor where he stood, but Baik remained standing. The panther turned on him and clawed his leg [1 DAM]. In return, Baik crushed its skull with his mace [2 DAM]. On seeing this Merisa fled. Baik was torn. To pursue the woman or to take care of his rescuer. He turned to Broneslav and shook him. Broneslav awoke from the sleep spell quickly.

"Follow me," said Baik, "She ran away."
They raced to the door, but found it locked tight. By the time the pair had smashed the door down, she was long gone. They stopped and returned the kitchen, where they bandaged their wounds, and got ready to continue their quest.

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies
Baik Telor (HD 4, AC 4, ATK +5, DAM 1d8+1)
Stats include Mace+1

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 Elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)

Saturday, 16 April 2016

1 Flaurmont 1000AC - Blasted Rooms and Orcs

Broneslav took the lead. He levered the door open and looked through. A corridor extended a short distance ahead of him and then turned to the right. There the intrepid duo saw a wooden door to one side and stairs rising gently to the east. Listening at the door, he heard nothing. He slammed it open and beheld in the flickering light of his torch a room lined with racks containing bottles. Upon examination, they were all from the Wizard of Wines Winery. These were called Red Dragon Crush, and had a serial number on the bottom of the label, just like the last lot of wine he had found. This one read 331422-W. Broneslav thought it odd that the numbers on this label and the previous label did not match. His experience growing up in a merchant family told him that they should follow the same format. However, the reason why did not escaped him.
I've decided to only show the part of the map traversed in this session because it's easier for me to edit. The whole map will appear later. See the previous session for the adjoining map.
On, up the stairs. At the corner, the stairs rose to the south but they were covered in blackened rubble. A hole gaped in the wall to one side and he could see into a room beyond. Climbing through, he stood in a room whose contents had been destroyed in a massive blast, the same one, he presumed, that had made the hole in the wall. Doors led out of the room, but Broneslav decided to check the end of the stairs first. It ended in a blank wall with a poorly disguised secret door. He pushed it open and emerged into a small room. Five humanoid creatures spun round as he opened the door. Orcs! He yelled, and charged. His sword cleaved one orc's head from its shoulders, before thrusting through the heart of a second. A third was laid low by a swipe of his shield. Meanwhile Baik struggled to attack a fourth one. As the last two orcs gathered their wits, Broneslav slammed one in its face with his shield and sliced wildly with his sword at the other. Both crumpled to the floor.
"What was that, Baik? I thought you were a warrior," he grumbled as he cleaned his blade.
Baik had the good grace to look shamefaced at his pitiful performance. He muttered something unintelligible that managed to sound both apologetic and obscene at the same time.
"Come on, let's see what they were up to," he said aloud, "There's a chest over there."
The chest contained three bottles of the Red Dragon Crush wine, some coins and a mace.
"Hey," said Broneslav, "This mace feels nicely balanced. Maybe you'll do better with this."
Baik gave him a sour look, but took it anyway and declared himself satisfied with its balance and weight.
"So, which way now, oh mighty leader?"

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies
Baik Telor (HD 4, AC 4, ATK +5, DAM 1d8+1)
Stats include Mace+1

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 Elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)

Sunday, 10 April 2016

1 Flaurmont AC - Deeper into the tower

Note: This is a continuation of my solo adventures using Scarlet Heroes and the Basic D&D modules. The plan is to work my way through one of the paths of  B1-9 In Search of Adventure and see if my character can survive to the end. I have a couple of friends back home who have been playing this module with me using Scarlet Heroes. They are following a different path through it. Sadly I'm not home enough to run adventures for them at the moment, but they are still ahead of my character Broneslav in the timeline. It will be interesting to see if I can get both in sync, so that they can hear about Broneslav's exploits, and perhaps one group's actions will have an effect on who and what the other group can do or meets. There are three paths through this adventure, with sidetracks and plenty of room to just mess everything up for the DM. I think it would be awesome to be running the adventure  for three groups and actually make the world seem like it were more alive and less focused on the PCs.

For rules, I'm using Scarlet Heroes as the core engine, but cannibalising the Basic D&D rule book for spells and experience system. I've nothing against the Scarlet Heroes spells but they do not fit the background of my game. The Scarlet Heroes experience system is too deterministic for my liking. Scenarios are likely to take a fair while to complete, and I want to see my character inching towards new levels as the game plays out.

So, it's been over a year since I last posted anything from this, and it is likely that this series will continue to be irregular, although hopefully not that irregular. I've added a full character sheet for Broneslav as a page now and I have the modules and rules as pdfs, because I am travelling a lot and want to keep the amount of paperwork I need to a minimum. If you want to catch up on Broneslav's adventures or see what went before this post, click HERE.

The doors creaked open, revealing a huge chamber with alcoves set in the east and west walls. The chamber was empty but rotting, red curtains hung across it part way down. Beyond the curtains was a room lit by a brazier that burned with a blue light. On a platform across the top end of the room was a throne with a lectern beside it and three stone coffins arranged in a triangular pattern.

The book on the lectern was in very good condition. It must have had a preservation spell cast on it. When he opened it, the book suddenly spoke, "Receive the tale of years." Inside, though, the pages were blank. Then the book spoke again. It recited some bad poetry about the mage Elyas imprisoning the three witches, but being killed in the process. The poem mentioned a black opal, like the one now in Broneslav's possession, and said that it was the key to vanquishing the witches forever. In the meantime, their souls and bodies were kept imprisoned by Elyas' magic, until they can take over the bodies of young maidens and walk once more in the world. So, that explained the need to kidnap the maidens, but only two had been taken. "Well," thought Broneslav, "I'll not give them time to get a third". Perhaps the coffins contained a key to it. There were three coffins and two were sealed by lead, so they might relate to the witches.

Broneslav and Baik lifted the lid from the coffin nearest the lectern. As the lid tumbled to the floor, a skeleton clad in rusting mail armour and and rotting furs leapt from it, sword in hand. His sword did nothing to it, but a blow from Broneslav's shield shattered its bones and it crumpled to dust, while Baik just stood and gawped, too surprised to move.

The next coffin was tougher to open, but the pair were better prepared. Nothing leapt out and they beheld a skeleton dressed in a deep blue robe within this one. Broneslav smashed its skull just in case, and found a small compartment under the skull containing 100gp. The third coffin was the resting place of a skeleton in a red dress. He smashed its skull too, just in case. None of the coffins contained any clues about what to do next, meaning that Broneslav would just have to guess where to go next. He presumed that these were the coffins of the witches, although it seemed a bit strange that they could have been buried here by the wizard, if they had also killed him. Perhaps something was not quite right about the story.

There appeared to be no way out of this room, so they retraced their steps back to the octagonal room and headed eastwards. There was something odd about the wall to his left as they entered the passageway (Average task check with bonus for Keen Vision). Checking the wall, he soon opened a secret door. Beyond the door were stairs going down. A secret door probably meant something worth checking out, so the pair decided to see where the stairs led before returning to investigate the passages and doors that they could see ahead of them.

Broneslav led the way. As soon as he stepped onto the stairs, they suddenly slid together and he found himself tumbling down them, unable to stop. Baik, at the top of the stairs, had stopped just in time. Broneslav landed in a room at the bottom with a large pillar in its centre. Just ahead of him was a large gelatinous cube. The remains of some hapless creature were visible within it. As it oozed towards Broneslav, he yelled for Baik to join him and sliced quickly  at it, shearing off a substantial chunk. Dodging backwards as the creature oozed quickly towards him, he sliced again and the creature suddenly collapsed as if deflated. At that point Baik joined him.

The stairs remained resolutely slippery and in a slide form, so the pair could not climb back up. There were no obvious doors out of this room. But, the creature must have got in somehow, and there must be a way for anyone entering this room to leave it, so he searched carefully for secret doors. Between them Broneslav and Baik found two doors. One in the central pillar and one in the east wall. They opened the central one first.

The secret door opened into a small vault. A chest sat at the far side away from the door. Broneslav stepped carefully into the room and only narrowly avoided getting his skull split by an axe blade that scythed down from the ceiling and began to swing from above the chest to the door. Timing his next move carefully, Broneslav dived into the vault and along the wall. He got to the chest without further harm. Seeing nothing amiss, he dragged the chest carefully to the door while keeping low to avoid the swinging axe blade. The chest was light enough that he was able to shove it to Baik outside, but then he misjudged his dive out, and the axe took a chunk out of his shoulder. He was really going to need some new clothes after this rescue was over. His clothes were looking tattered and torn. They were certainly beyond repair now.

With the chest safely outside the range of the axe blade, Baik and Broneslav were able to open it and gaze upon a pile of copper and gold, and three bottles labeled Wizard of Wines Winery Superb Wine. Each label had the same serial number (3132-N) listed on it. Broneslav knew nothing about wine, so this meant nothing to him. With these treasures divided between them and packed away, Baik and Broneslav were ready to open the secret door to the east.

Character
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Human (Traladaran)
XPs: 1332

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
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva and Merisa
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple

Allies
Baik Telor (HD 4, AC 4, ATK +4, DAM 1d8)

Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 Elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)