Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Approaching the Entrance

Morning, Tuesday, May 10, 1650. Weather, cool, still. There is a light breeze from the east, full of fragrance. The sky is clear. The moon is a half moon, two days after the first quarter.

Since it is impractical to take the mules and cart in, I will assume with Embla's plan that these are being left with Widda.  This leaves the party comprising the four members, Fjall, Valda and Oddsdrakken.

As you move down towards the Barrow, in armor and decked with weapons, you receive greetings and respectful nods.  A man in livery is giving orders; as he sees you, he gives a wave as though he knows who you are, then swings his hand to urge you to come forward.  At the actual entrance, you'll find that more stones have been removed, and that there is a strong and easy thick-runged ladder that has been added to the dig.

You step up, as everything seems encouraging and supportive; the boss is being addressed by a scribe, a slight man, balding, but no more than thirty, with a quill and a board for writing on.  "The druid wants another day.  He says he's not sure of the statue and that it seems to have something to do with the weather.  He doesn't want to move it until he's sure what it is."

"Tell him he has a week if he wants it.  I'll never get this lot moved by then anyway."  The boss lifts his head.  "Ah, Gentlemen ..." he says to the party.  "I asked for soldiers ~ didn't expect you until tomorrow.  But glad to have you here this morning.  We've accidentally opened up a tunnel down on the ..."

He stops, then.  "Wait a moment.  You're the group that was celebrated just days ago, yes?"

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Oddsdrakken's Tale

Oddsdrakken is very pleased to see the party also.

He pauses in leading the donkey to shout his happiness, and others behind him pile up and give curses.  With some difficulty, the halfling pulls the donkey out of the line and to the side.

He tells you that he and Valda are camped, along with about a hundred others, just hundreds of paces from the opening of Mimmarudla.  Oddsdrakken has been inside the top level of the dungeon, the first part, where you met the wood creatures by the well, but no further.  There are workmen everywhere, hauling out everything that is of value.  They are plundering the very stones in the walls.

Valda is relatively well.  She sustained an injury, which can take a long time to heal.  She was unconscious for a time but she woke this morning, with the help of a healer who helped her.  She isn't like to move.  To feed her, and himself, Oddsdrakken took advantage of the situation and the mule to earn some coppers dragging stone up to the carter's post.

Before they could reach safety, they encountered a patrol of froglings east of the lake.  They backtracked from there, and camped by the lake ... but they could see strange boats, with green lights, approaching them from the water and they beat a hasty retreat inland.

Soon after, there began a running battle.  They managed to shake all their pursuers save one; Petar's dagger broke; Valda fell from a ledge and broke her ribs.  Petar led the frogling away, but he could not shake it all together.  When Oddsdrakken found them, they were both dead.

He returned to Valda, made her comfortable.  Then a human patrol arrived; they took Valda with them and a man stayed behind to help Oddsdrakken bury Petar and the frogling.  When Valda was well, they meant to exhume Petar's body and return him to town, for a proper burial.

Has the halfling left anything out?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Fresh Start on Monday

Morning, Monday, May 9, 1650.  Weather, cool, fresh smelling; the trees and grass seem as green as they can be.  There is a moderate breeze from the southeast, coming from the land.  It is clear as a bell.  The moon is a half moon, one day after the first quarter.

The party is on the edge of Stavanger, on a low hill where the forest towards Store Stokka, the lake, can be seen, and the sea as well, north of you.  There's a road on the right that will lead west along the coast, and a familiar pathway to the south that you know will lead to the lake and ultimately, through the trees, to Mimmarudla.

What do you wish to do?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Morning of May 7th, 1650, in Stavanger

Morning, Saturday, May 7, 1650.  Weather, cool, suggestive of summer coming at last.  Moderate breeze, virtually cloudless and blue skies.  The moon is a waxing crescent, one day from the first quarter.

Come the morning, the party awakes in a third floor lodging room overlooking the harbor, that is part of the Stavanger Loans Office, overseen by Zacharias Malberg.  The beds are made of feather, the furniture is well stuffed and there are boiled goose-eggs, fish oatmeal porridge and boiled rhurbarb stems that are brought in for you to dine upon, as soon as the staff learns of your being awake.

Now, as you dine, please discuss your plans.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Brought Back to Stavanger

The journey back to Stavanger by boat takes a few hours.  I should take a moment and explain that the ship that found you is little more than a two-masted schooner, not more than 10 tons, with a crew of four.  Between the crew, the official, the cleric Magnus, the mage, and the seven members of the party, the ship is fairly crowded, and the journey back is somewhat uncomfortable.  But wonderful compared to those few hours when the party thought they were lost.

You will arrive in Stavanger just before noon.  As you come to the dock, you're met by a dozen gentlemen, many that the party will recognize as important members of the town, aldermen and such.  These men are gathered, you now find out, because the mage was able to shoot a message spell some miles out, to say they had found the party and were on their way back.

The spokesman and Alderman, Sigurd Trevvaldson, speaks to the party and the crew; thanking the crew, thanking the party.  "We would ask, if you could, to wait here on the dock for some bit of time.  We have made some space at a workshop at the top of the pier ... if you would please consent to wait there, until we can have things organized ...

"See, the Prince and Ordforer have just returned themselves ... and we understand there is to be some sort of ceremony and celebration. In which, we were hoping, humbly, that you seven would take a part.  May I know all your names, and how you relate to one another, in order that when the presentation occurs, we are all well-informed?"

If the party consents, a scribe will copy the names of the party, and learn that Bergthora, Willa and Fjall are in your employ.  That is, if you wish to them to know this information.

Do you consent to wait?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How It Happened

Not long after the party left Captain Hagen near Store Stokka (remember him?), a combined entourage of 950 men, from the Prince of Sweden and the Ordforer (mayor) of Stavanger.  This group had very little time to settle in and fortify, when they were hit by hundreds of froglings, the same wave that the party hid from, as they rushed past.

That battle went on for about an hour.  It occurred while the party was fighting the froglings in the forest, and ended as the party reached the edge of the burnt out area.

The Swedes and Norwegians were unable to move as fast as the froglings; and though they knew about where they were going, there was no certainty about how many more froglings there might be or what fortifications there were.  So the forces held back and began to gather information.

Captain Hagen informed the war council about your party scouting ahead towards the enemy.  He could not remember your names, but he did remember that Engelhart was a cleric.  After some communication with other clerics from Stavanger, Engelhart's description was recognized and your name known.

At that point the Prince produced a stone figurine from his pouch; this was a bloodhound that could track any person who was known by name and by face.  The figurine was passed to Captain Hagen, who then led a company along your trail.

They encountered the slaughter at the pathway; your names were passed from person to person and news was sent back that you had lived through this battle and gone on, straight towards the burnt out area.  No one knew how you had survived the wave of the froglings.

They reached the clearing and had a short skirmish there with several froglings who had survived from the battle.  Then your trail led to the storeroom, above the water room.  By that time, you had killed the dog-headed beast and had gotten aboard the boat.

However, the whole army was called to the clearing and within an hour the Swedes and Norwegians poured into the lair, following your trail.  This was a backdoor into the frogling lair.  They found the kitchenware, they found the dead giant frog.  They dispelled the wizard lock on the kitchen door, then began to slaughter the surprised froglings.

Meanwhile, they found the dog-headed beast you killed.  They assumed you had done the whole job, and that it was you that had killed all the froglings in the kitchen.  But your trail led down to the water, where the bloodhound could not follow.

A cleric was summoned for augury.  Did they swim?  Was there a boat?  Yes there was.  Were you safe?  The answer came back that you were not.  A mage was summoned, who sent a crow familiar down the passage.  The crow did not find you.

Much discussion followed.  The frogling lair, being cleared out, took the attention of the Ordforer, but the Prince was intrigued.  It was guessed that you would drift out to sea; immediately a runner was sent to where horses were waiting.  Horses rushed with orders to Stavanger.  A boat in Stavanger, at midnight, put to sea with a mage, a cleric who knew Engelhart (His name is Magnus Hafnson) and an officer.  The boat made 7 to 8 knots in the dark, but the pilot knew the waters excellently; they guessed where you might be if you were under sail and did not find you.  They guessed where you might be if you had oars and did not find you. By then, Magnus had no means left to find you.  The pilot reached where you would drift if you had no means of managing a boat.  The mage cast pyrotechnics ~ which you saw.  And that is how you were rescued.

You're the reason the froglings were found and destroyed.

You're heroes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Midnight, Somewhere off Rogaland's Coast

Just past midnight, Friday, May 6, 1650.  Weather, brisk.  Moderate breeze, cloudy skies, no rain.  The moon is a waxing crescent, two days from the first quarter.

As Engelhart awakes, everyone on board is down 10% of their stats.  All those who are in the negatives, including Fjall, drop a point of damage as well ~ this is very hard on Fjall, who doesn't have the strength or discipline of the leveled characters.  In effect, physically, he's suddenly dropped to what would be, for the player characters, minus 6.67.

Everyone should make a constitution check at this time to see if they are down another 5%.  This includes the unconscious characters.  I've rolled for Fjall already; his stats are minus 72%.

The shore is a dim shadow, anywhere from 2 to 4 miles away.  Engelhart, even if he fails his constitution check, is well above the 12 wisdom that makes spell failure possible.  He can patiently pray until his spells are returned to him.

You can dispense the food around; most things I've read about starvation suggest you can string yourselves along with as little as 3 ounces of food a day.  6 lbs is 72 ounces; you can't really feed the unconscious, so the four of you who are conscious can eat 12 oz. on the 5th, after settling in the boat, and save the rest until noon to afternoon tomorrow.

Engelhart's move, I believe.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The River Tunnel

The journey through the darkness is unnerving.  After the boat hits the first rock in the river, Engelhart realizes he will need to move to the prow, with the lantern, and hopefully call the rowers to move the boat to the port or starboard.  The boat is, thankfully, responsive, and thankfully Lothar is conscious and has good instincts.

Still, from time to time, it is impossible to keep from striking a wall on either side of the passage.  The boat takes these hits fairly well, but the for the injured, every jar is a seizure of pain where they have been recently wounded.

The river goes on, and on, for well past an hour.  Time begins to lose meaning.  Engelhart, however, grows more and more sure that he can smell salt water.

Without warning, the boat is seized by a current.  There is no warning, no sound of rapids ahead ... but soon after, the make-shift oars are nearly ripped from the hands of Lothar and (most likely) Willa.  The boat swings around, moving faster and faster.  It flies towards a wall, but just before it hits a new current grabs it, pulling the boat sharply to the right.  Then again, the boat turns, and is pulled to the right, now inches from the opposite wall.

And so it goes for seven heart-stopping rounds ... and then, again without warning, the river slows. The boat steadies and the speed of the current settles.

"Is that a light?" calls Willa, pulling Lothar's attention from his oar, and Engelhart's concern from the unconscious wounded.  "Quick, Father, douse your lantern."

Thursday, February 8, 2018

News from the Surface

Before hearing the sounds of the fight, and seeing the absence of players in the kitchen, so that she came down the stairs to see you kill the beast, Willa was coming to tell you something important.

The froglings are returning.  They are coming back in groups of three to five; they seem to be hurt and wounded, as if they had lost the battle.  However, Willa has counted fifty of them ... in steady groups.  It is only a matter of time before some of them start coming into the water room.

She did not know what to do.  She left the materials upstairs, not wishing to have anything in her hands when she came across the bridge again.  But she felt that the party should know.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Round 11 ~ Maybe They'll Live?

The beast has no moves.  It is completely stunned.

Embla, Lothar and Engelhart all bleed 1 damage this round from open wounds.

Fjall, who is at -1, and the only person not bleeding, will move over to Embla with the intention of binding her wounds before she dies.  He'll run along the gaps between the wooden debris to get to her.

Bergthora finishes loading the crossbow.

Engelhart and Lothar can act as they will; they are both at 1 hit point.

Willa appears on the steps behind Bergthora and drags out her bow.

Kennel Round 10 ~ Mayday, Mayday! Party Down, Party Down!

Only Engelhart is subject to possible incidental damage and he doesn't receive any.

Embla bleeds 1 point of damage.  This puts her at -4.  To keep going and remain conscious, she must master her willpower: for that, I need her to roll a wisdom check.  A d20, please.

Lothar also bleeds 1 point of damage.  He's sitting at 2 hit points.

I attack Engelhart with bite first, rolling a 7.  This hits AC 6, and misses.  I roll a natural 20 with the claw, however (good thing that wasn't the bite!).  The subsequent roll for the crit is an 18, so it is just double damage.

d8: Engelhart takes 12 points of damage.  This puts the cleric at 2 hit points as well, and very definitely stunned.  He will sag against the wall behind him.

The beast will turn and take a step towards Fjall and Bergthora, swinging wildly at Fjall; this amounts to 1 point of incidental damage, stunning Fjall again.

[Forgive the note, but one of the things I love about incidental damage is that it gives big creatures the power to rampage]

Lothar is not stunned by bleeding, so he can act.  I will need that check from Embla.  Bergthora will glance fearfully at Lothar, hoping he will dive in so she can finish loading the crossbow (it is fairly clear from her actions and look that this is what she means).

The position after the player's move will show on the next post.

Experience thus far equals:


[A word about CLO and combat burnout from overheating.  It is just too troubled a metric at the moment to calculate this, even though I could easily waste a day for us to figure it out.  So please consider the rule shelved until such time as I can build a proper generator for it, one in which everyone's CLO is instantly calculated against ambient heat, time spent fighting and individual resistance against exhaustion.  It is still an intended feature, however ... but you are all spared from it at this time]

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kennel Round 9 - Engelhart Alone

Starting with incidental damage.  You are all liable for it.  Embla, however, is the only one that gets it.  She takes 1 from incidental and 1 from bleeding, dropping her to -3; her stats are down 30%.  The incidental damage stuns her, and she falls back into 0604.

Lothar's hit brings the attack from the creature's head:  it hits AC 0, with a 13.  Lothar has been hit before and is at 14 hp.  I hit him for 11 more, drawing a wound on the ranger and stunning him awfully.  This thing is really big, so when it hits hard, it does toss you two hexes.  Lothar rolls all the way to 0801 ~ but lets his body go limp, taking no extra damage.

Fjall drew the claw attack; the beast hits AC 6 with a rolled 7 ... this is Fjall's armor class.  The claw does a d8: and I roll a Lothar:  1 damage.

Fjall is stunned and falls into Pandred's hex.

I've showed Bergthora's move from round 8 on this map, as we were late getting to it with the last post.

Engelhart is now the sole defender, for this round at least.  Bergthora start to load her weapon.  Everyone else is stunned.

Following the party's move, there's no significant change in position from the above.

The experience thus far: