Friday, April 28, 2017

Meeting the Apothecary

Lothar, in answer to your knocking (you'll probably have to bang the door a bit, or call out, to get the apothecary's attention), the door opens and you'll see the fellow you spoke with a few days ago looking shabby, overwrought and apparently having not slept.  When he sees it is you, his eyes will widen.  "Jesus Christ," he will murmur, "it is you.  Come in, come in."

He will make room for you and Embla, and with some distraction and his insistence on one of you brewing some tea, he will sit down at a table in the apothecary's shop.  There are twenty open books on the table, surrounding the tome that you brought him.  He explains in a few words that he has been trying to translate the text ~ and that much of it horrifically coincides with the news he has been receiving through his business agent about what is going on around the town.

"You have woken something up," the apothecary, whose name is Gizur Aakur.  "This book was written by a wizard named Hgiggle, somewhere near abouts the time of Beowulf.  The humans were expanding through Sweden and Norway, pushing out the gnomes, the halflings and the stone giants and, apparently, a tribe called the Elba Pyarish; I've looked for a translation and find that it might mean 'evil frogs.'  Does that sound like something you've encountered?"

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Approached by the Followers

It is a new day, May the 4th, a Wednesday.  There is a very gentle breeze blowing out of the south, virtually no clouds in the sky and the weather is brisk.  That is to say, the sort of weather where you can feel the cold against your face, that it is bracing a bit, but certainly not "cold" and unpleasant.  An hour of casually standing around in such weather will start to make a person feel chilled, but it is extremely pleasant working weather, as a little bit of energy spent will bring the body up to room temperature.

The followers ~ exempting Howell ~ will approach Embla and Lothar and express their desire to come clean about the barrow.  They're not saying they will quit if the party refuses, but they may feel a desire to excuse themselves from further service after their month is done.  They also express that they will not betray the party on their own, but this whole situation makes them very uncomfortable.

What do you intend to do today?  It is presently 9 am.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Plainer Tale of Violence

With the evening of May 3rd, the sky clears and the rain, at last, stops completely.  You hear that the prince and burghermeister finally did ride out this afternoon with a contingent, to head south.

You've had your dinner and all of you are lounging in the common room in a tavern near Engelhart's grandfather's, discussing matters and plans.  At this point a man will enter, looking haggard and worn. There is blood on his face from a cut on his forehead.  He is dirty and wet, apparently ~ from his appearance ~ gotten in the forest outside of the city.  You'd judge him to be in his late 40s.

He begins by speaking with the tap-master at the bar, but loud enough to be heard and very quickly afterwards the room grows silent.

"We were attacked," he explains.  "There were nine of us.  We had gone searching for five cows that had gone missing from the Sandvik farm ~ Evard Sandvik, his brother Tom, four hands of his farm and three hands from mine.  They came on us at a rush and none of us had proper weapons."

His hands begin to shake as a tap master puts an ale in his hand.  He gulps and then says, "I fought on the continent in '38, when we met goblins out of the Black Forest.  I've seen kobalds.  And once, near Augsburg, we went underground and I saw troglodytes.  But I've never seen these things, never heard of them."

He drinks some more.  "They were frogs, standing on their hind legs like men.  Couldn't have been more than a 110, 120 lbs each.  Starved, that's how they looked.  They fell on us like demons.  There must have been twenty, twenty-five of them, with razors for claws.  They came out of the air, leapin' at us like frogs, tearing us to pieces in less than a minute.

"I only survived because one of them knocked me on the head with a rock.  I fell, slid down the hillside and into a pond.  I could hear them screaming above me.  I swam to the shore and began running; I ran until I got to the Randaberg.  Then I came here."

"There's no guards outside of town," he explains.  Several people explain that the burghermeister took a lot of guards south.  "Well, there ought to be guards.  Ain't no wall in Stavanger.  There ought to be guards.  Whatever's out there, they took Sandvik's cattle and they attacked us.  There must be more of them.  I don't know where they've come from."

The tavern begins talking about the farms that were attacked, about the other rumors that have been heard.  The party learns that this attack took place near the north end of Store Stokka, just south of Randaberg, to the west.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Rain Lets Up

The rain continues to pour until midnight, but the wind begins to slack off after six p.m. on the 2nd.  A slow, light rain continues the rest of the night, so that early risers see that Stavanger is still being pelted with rain as they rise around 6 to 7 in the morning.  At 9 o'clock there are still moments when it drops a little rain in fits and stops, something that is still going on by noon.

The weather has warmed somewhat, however, so that it is no longer chilly but merely brisk, warm enough that you can go outside without feeling cold straight through.  Of all of you, the half-orc feels this a little worse than the others, having grown up in a warmer clime.  The wind is only a gentle breeze out of the west.

Engelhart can find a maul for 29 s.p.  It weighs 8 lbs.  Lead bullets are available from the blacksmith, at 6 s.p. each.

It is a Tuesday.

Stavanger & Environs, 2-Mile Hexes

Arvid Hagen

A bit about the organization of religion in Norway.  Norwegian Lutheranism is controlled by four bishops in Norway, located at Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger and Christiania (modern day Oslo). These bishops support the Monarchy in Copenhagen and Denmark regarding the strict practice of the ceremony, the distribution of tithes and the content that a pastor is allowed to address in sermons.  This has been so since a resolution was signed to this effect in 1605.  The goal was to suppress those religious leaders in Norway (as they had been in Denmark) from preaching predestination, the fall of humanity (natural sin), the doctrine of damnation for those not of the religion, the refusal to use wine in communion, the existence of saints and so on.  Inherent in this doctrine is that the monarchy is secondary to the church, and that the church should have the right to depose kings who do not adhere to the holy scripture, writings and teachings.  There have been many arrests of clerics who refuse to desist from preaching such things in Norwegian churches.

Arvid Hagen, the present-day Bishop of Bergen, is a follower of the party line but a nationalist who has written many pamphlets on the independence of the Norwegian church and the rightful independence of individual church leaders in their communities throughout Norway.  His argument is that the religious leaders of Norway should have the freedom to preach as they will, understanding that God will punish those who are wrong and promote those who are correct (a divine right at the level of the cleric, effectively).

Hagen has also written on paganism, explaining that the Christian god has prevailed over other religions because he is not merely an immortal figurehead, but is an esoteric spirit-being that occupies all the planes at the same time, the prime material, the ethereal, the astral and the outer planes.  Whereas a demi-god like Asmodeus has a residence, one does not travel to find God: God is everywhere.  All other gods exist in the universe as signposts to indicate the wicked and demonstrate the path of evil for those who are chosen by God to be righteous and saved.

Hagen preaches that there is little to learn from older faiths; whatever they once believed, this belief must be replaced by the word of God; the land must be clensed of their presence; their centres of power destroyed; the monsters of the wilderness not feared but overcome and brought down, so that God's light can be made to shine in every hollow, every burrow, every hole.

[I trust this is sufficient, and will give Engelhart some support for his own character's goals and ambitions].

Friday, April 14, 2017

Stormy Morning in Stavanger

May 2nd is a cold day, brisk certainly, with a near gale blowing out of the south.  It is strong enough to knock you off your feet today, so I'll have to rule that anyone resting can't go outside - the buffeting wind for just a 2 minute would be enough to cause physical trauma.  On top of that, there is a slashing rain, as three fingers of rain (width of three fingers) falls between 6 am and noon.  It is a truly awful day.

Given the weather, there is very little to hear as far as what is going on regarding the scene of the massacre.  You hear that the Swedish prince and the Stavanger Burghermeister were planning on riding south with fifty men to visit the scene, but that has been put off due to the weather.

Those who might want to do some shopping may want to reconsider.  The wind has been stiffening throughout the morning.  It would be an hour before noon just now and there is no sign of the rain letting up.

But, if you're not worried about healing, the shops will still be open.  The stockyard and the town market are closed, as those are open air markets, so you can't buy anything from those lists today.  They're closed.

In other news, I have this upgraded map to offer:

Treat the white areas as unexplored or ill-defined in your memories.  Hexes are still 6.67 miles in diameter.  The village to the south, near the barracks, should be named Verdalen.  The name got missed.

I had told Engelhart a couple days ago that I would rather not do the map if the party might not stay in the region, and then I went ahead and started doing it after thinking it would probably be useful.  I haven't used this generation scheme in so long I had to actually go back into my old posts to remember how it was done ~ and then I remembered how much fun it was to do this, so I got into it and now the map above exists.  I was thinking I might do a post on the subject as well.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


That evening, still May 1st, as you eat your meals at the inn where you are resting, you will overhear some news that is sweeping the town.  This will be for everyone, regardless of whether you are together or not.  I will allow, however, for you to each sit together by a fire in the same location, suspending the distance you will have to walk as short enough to not risk your healing for the day, so that you may communicate with each other.

A collection of three farmhouses, about three miles south of Stavanger, were attacked and burned at some time between nine a.m. and noon this morning.  Fourteen men, women and children were beaten to death with what seems to have been heavy weapons, probably made of stone judging by the skulls that were split open and the bones that were smashed and broken.  Each body was struck at least a dozen times.  Some were struck so often that the bodies came apart.

The attackers left no footprints, nothing that showed who and what they were.  The bodies were found by a delivery wagon that was there to bring thatch for the repair of one of the houses.  The inhabitants were landholders who owned their own land and were well respected in Stavanger: The Larsen Family, the Mathisen Family and the Rasmussen Family.  Lars Larsen, the eldest son of his family, had been to Christiania and come back as a trained physician three years ago and usually lived in Stavanger.  He was visiting his family last night.

Stavanger is shocked and confused tonight.

In answer to a question below, I've generated a rough map of the area around Stavanger.  One hex equals 6.67 miles.

Disregard the numbers.  They're just notes.

Sorry if it is difficult to read.  Some of the small labelling is in 5 point font.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Resting in Stavanger

Morning, May 1.  Wind, moderate breeze, from south southeast.

The poor weather continues through the night, but it does stop raining in the morning.  The party, tired, worn down, happy to be under a roof and in comparatively comfortable circumstances, just doesn't feel like waking up at the crack of dawn.  You have the rooms until noon, assuming you've paid for a single night (I know in some cases, such as a bedstead, you will probably want to find a more pleasant place to rest through the day).

Some of the party will want to rest, and therefore won't be going shopping.  We should settle on who.  The rest of you can purchase at the market or, if you wish to sell something, see to pricing the objects you've found.  Let me know which vendor on the market page you'd like to approach with that.

The day is comparatively dry up until noon, but the weather is still brisk, a few points above freezing.  Thankfully, you don't have to be outside more than a few minutes at a time.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stokka Camp in the Rain

Let's put the party back at the camp.  You'll remember that Lothar did come back from Stavanger TODAY, the 30th of April, before your heading out to the dungeon.  It is about 4 in the afternoon when you return to camp ~ and it is raining again.  It is what you would just a moderate rain, more or less what you equate to a firm, steady and not unusual rain, much more than a drizzle or a trace.

We had established that 1 mm of rain per day would be enough to cause damage in the wilderness, from cold and general unpleasantness.  Since the temperature right now is 4 C/39 F, or "brisk," this makes travelling overland in Norway a real horror show.  As you're walking, you'll all take a point of damage on your way back to camp.

We also established that the rain will ensure that you won't get any rest so long as it rains to this degree, regardless of your tents.  I've been in many a tent in positively vile conditions in the Canadian Rockies and I can tell you from experience, it isn't restful.  Nor was that in a 17th century tent.

You might want to consider returning to Stavanger as a group.  You don't know how long the rain will last; it could be clear tomorrow or not.  You could get back to Stavanger tonight, with Lothar's help (4.5 hours travel), before the sun actually sets ~ but it will again be a thoroughly miserable trip through a wet forest, no doubt causing more damage (but not enough to kill anyone).  You could remain where you are and hope for the best, but cooking in this weather won't be any more pleasant and even if it is better tomorrow, everything will still be soaking wet until mid-day.  That will increase the chance of all of you catching a cold, if you're not in a very warm place before then.

And it could always get worse.

Fjall and Valda did not get any rest, nor hit points, today; but they haven't lost any yet, either.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Aftermath, First Chamber

Best to start with a new post, I think.

Lothar, you do roll a d8 for hit points.  Reroll any 1s, please.  I have updated the google drive with your new sage knowledge points.  All this climbing over rock and up and down hills has increased your mountaineering skill to amateur level.  You must have had some sort of breakthrough when you were rigging the cage to drop.

Pandred is right.  You've not plundered the statues yet.  They are still in their original places.

Engelhart, the bodies are lacking any sort of clothes or equipment.  These frog things seem to be wholly naked ~ though it is clear from the way they fought that they had intelligence, moved in a bipedal fashion and worked as a unit.

Embla, could you please roll a d6 for the 2nd javelin that you threw?  You did cast them both, rolled for only one of them.  I think the second one missed, yes?

Regarding the door, it seems secure.  The creature on the other side has grown quiet, but if either Embla or Lothar puts their ear to the door and others remain quiet, they can hear it breathing.

The book has been picked up and then (I assumed at the time), dropped, as the players did not describe it in their hands.  What do you wish to do with it?

Only One Left ~ Round 8

The one remaining frog will being by slashing at Bergthora.  The frog misses.  And misses again with it's horn.  It has just 4 AP, because it was partly stunned last round, needing only 1 AP each for bodily attacks, so it has just enough to get to 1014, whereupon it faces Bergthora and Embla.

The party's move (comments below) kills the last of the creatures.  Here is the final tally of x.p.:

Saturday, March 25, 2017

All Goes Sideways ~ Round 7

The snuffling beast beyond the door lets out a snuffling roar, not as loud as before.  There's some pressing against the door, but it does not seem to be an attempt to throw its body against the door as the beast did once.

The frogs seem to have no feeling at all about their one dead companion or even the damage they've sustained. It is plain to the party now that these humanoids are rabid and will have to be put down to make them stop.

The one in 0908 is free to attack Lothar this round.  It hits AC 1 with the second, claw, causing 3 damage to the ranger, hardly coming close to stunning.  With it's horns, however, it does even better: hitting AC 0 and causing 5 damage.  This one will stun, as Lothar's hit points are reduced to 18 after the first hit: Lothar keeps his feet but falls back into 0910, somewhat bruised.

Being that the humanoid is a frog, it uses 2 AP to "hop" three hexes into 1011, the same move that was seen in an earlier round, engaging both Pandred and Embla.  Thankfully, it has no attacks left.

At the same time, the creature in 0811, again, attacks Engelhart.  It's first attack, a claw, strikes the Cleric (hitting AC 5), causing 2 damage.  By my count, Engelhart is down 6 hit points already from 19 (correct me, please, if I'm in error), and 2 points will not stun).  The creature screams in rage, missing with its other claw.  However, for once it hits Engelhart with its horn (also hitting AC 5), causing an ungodly six damage.  This tosses the cleric back into 1012, definitely stunned this time.

This creature has been trying to get into the hallway since the beginning of the combat: now it hops between Bergthora and Engelhart, ending in 1013 (it started from an non-melee hex, once it booted back the cleric).  It seems intent on running down the hall, towards the cage.  Bergthora is the only one conceivably able to hit it.

These changes produce this position, following the creature's round:

Following the party's movement:

And the x.p. earned so far:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nibbling at the Party's HP ~ Round 6

As the party can yet hear a lowered cry of pain and then snuffling against the door, suggesting something big enough to be heard sniffing against a double-reinforced door, the two active frogs continue, unrelenting, their previously poor attacks.

The first, in 0811, continues to attack Englehart.  The first claw hits AC 3 but the second claw misses very poorly, the thing rolling a natural 1 [eventually one of these fumbles is going to end in a broken arm for one of these creatures].  That is my third natural 1 rolled in this fight, which is definitely above average.

The first claw, at least, causes 2 damage.  Engelhart begins to get the impression that the frog is trying to get past him and into the hallway.

The other will clamber over the corner of the statue and into 1210, where it will attack Pandred.  It, too, strikes with only one claw, the second swing, also causing 2 damage.

At least it is something.  The party can act using the below positions.

Following the Party's move:

And x.p. thus far; as ever, please correct any mistakes I have made:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Strong Doors and Stumbling ~ Round 5

Behind the door, the party hears sounds of a beast in pain.  Apparently, the attempt to throw itself bodily against the door has hurt it.  The door is strong enough to keep the beast, whatever it is, at bay.

The frog in 1010 pushes its ally out of harm's way, back into 1109, then attacks Lothar with none of its murderous fury reduced.  Yet this time, it's hand slaps onto the flat of Lothar's long sword (I should update the image, hm?) and it recoils with a cry of pain.  It takes no damage, but counts as a fumble.  It recovers and screams in helpless fury.

[the problem with three attacks is that it increases the chance that one of them will be a natural 1].

The second one, 0811, concentrates on Engelhart . . . and damn it, I roll a 9, a 6 and a 9.  Bloody hell.  They'll never defend their dungeon this way!

Here is the position as the party takes their move:

Correcting for Lothar's position, only Lothar and Bergthora left to act:

The third map and FINISHED accounting for round 5:

And then the present x.p.  I have adjusted Bergthora's share, as she had 189 x.p. starting this fight, to keep with new ideas recently introduced on the main blog.  It causes her to steal all of 9 x.p. from the general party, 2.25 x.p. each!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Party Bears Up ~ Round 4

Again there is a roar, then something throws itself at the door.  The wood strains, there is the sound of wood cracking, the chains snap against their pegs ~ and the door holds.  An angry howl is heard . . .

The three remaining frogs continue to attack.  The first, in 0811, slashes at Engelhart with a first claw, hitting AC 6.  This causes 3 damage.  Engelhart's page says he has 13 hit points maximum, but it also says he is 1st level, so I don't think that stuns him.

[honest, I'm just lost with everyone's AC and hit points.  Could I please get a list of the following: what is your present hit points, what is your present armor class, what do you have in your left hand and what do you have in your right hand]

Assuming that Engelhart is not stunned, the frog slashes and horns Lothar.  Both of these attacks miss.

The second frog, in 1011, will pull back into 1010 and slash Lothar with one claw, it's only attack.  It hits AC 8, which I feel must miss Lothar.  [I'll roll damage after if I'm incorrect].

The third frog attacks Embla, first with both claws, missing.  Then with horn, hitting AC -1. Embla takes 5 damage from the horn and falls back into 1211.  The frog leaps over the statue and into 1110, engaging Pandred.

The position is as follows:

Following the players' move, the updated scene appears:

The updated experience is as follows (please correct any errors you see):

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Some Beast is Knocking ~ Round 3

Something BIG hammers against the double-doors, then lets out a terrifying growl.  The doors hold, but there's definitely strain to be seen.  The chains leap off the door and then bang and rattle against the wood.

Three of the four creatures seem unconcerned.  The fourth creature is stunned and back on its heels due to Embla's last attack.  It makes its dexterity check and takes no additional damage from being backed into the wall, following its being stunned.  The other three frogs slash and horn at will.

The first, in 1010, was knocked by Lothar, but it rolls for a single claw.  Lothar ducks the blow and it swings over his head.  At once the frog retreats to 1109.

The frog in 1011 swings with a claw spins and attacks both Pandred and Embla.  Pandred dodges the claw at her.  Both of the other attacks are at Embla's flank.  She feels a horn strike her in the side, causing an unpleasant 6 damage.  That will stun, throwing her into 1210.  The frog turns back to face Pandred.

The frog in 0811 chooses to completely ignore Lothar's back (rolled), choosing instead to focus on the cleric.  Engelhart easily misses both claws: but the horn hits AC 6.  That, I believe, is good enough [but correct me if I'm wrong].  It causes 1 damage: tit-for-tat.

Leaving this position:

Following the party's move, the layout looks like this:

And adding on the x.p. so far ~ please let me know if I've missed something:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Creatures Spring ~ Round 2

The expression of the creatures in the room clearly indicates that they intend to slaughter the party.  Never has it been so obvious, as their faces twist into grimaces of hostility and intent of murder, as frightening as rabid dogs.  They begin to move upon the party . . .

But even as they do, there is a fierce roar that erupts from behind the door ~ there is something big there, something unfamiliar.  Even Engelhart's beast knowledge cannot identify the creature that made such a roar ~ but then, much of his knowledge is from lectures and books, lacking a certain amount of auditory or perceptive confirmation.  It sounds like a beast to the cleric.

The four creatures, as I said, turn on the party:  

While two creatures rush Lothar and Pandred, the thing in 0809, like a frog, leaps towards the head of the toad sculpture, kicks off with its foot and lands in 1011, where it attacks Bergthora.  You've never seen anything like it in all your experience as 1st and 2nd levels.  The thing horns Bergthora, causing 5 damage, hurling her into hex 1212.  It misses raking her with its claws.

The one creature that was partly hurt slashes at Embla with one claw, hitting AC 3.  It causes 2 damage.

Lothar gains +1 AC from the chest, which is between him and the frog humanoid that attacks out of 1010 ~ but it is no matter.  It goes low for Lothar's legs with its horn, miscalculates and snags the corner of the chest, rolling a natural 1.  This unbalances it and the creature loses its claw attacks for the round.

Finally, the last creature horns Pandred, hitting AC 2.  Pandred takes 4 damage (does it stun?).  The creature attacks with both its claws, but Pandred manages to fend those off with her shield.

With the possible exception of Pandred, the party may now take their move: here is the position after the enemy's attack:

Following the party's move, the map appears as this:

The x.p. totals should be as follows.  Please correct me if I've forgotten any damage caused or taken.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

In the First Chamber

Okay, I haven't placed anyone properly on this image except for Bergthora.  But now that you have a top-down, you can decide by number where you are.

The symbol found on the book cover.

The creatures awake!
And here is the layout following the party's move.  The two red rings below the one creature are to indicate that it is part stunned and has lost two of its attacks.  Bergthora did a third of its remaining hit points after Embla's javelin weakened it.

I will forego putting up the x.p. until probably the next round, after someone has taken damage.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Landing Chamber

The party is steadily lowered, about 10 inches a second, down to the platform one hundred feet below.  Naturally, I would expect the party to keep their lights flashing in every direction, looking to ensure their safety.  You see nothing, as you come down safely.  The cage settles on a round circle of paved blocks, much like was described in the descending chamber above.

I'll forego making a map of the room you're in; it is very like the descending chamber, a circle with a single tunnel leading from it.  This tunnel, however, is not rough-hewn.  The walls and ceiling, like the floor, are made of paved blocks.  It is about 7 feet high and nearly six feet wide, with no door.

At the door of the tunnel are four carved stones, resting on pedestals of moderately different heights ~ 34, 38, 43 and 46 inches tall.  The stones are, as I said, oval figurines; each is of an animal, but as the carving is not deep into the stone, the animals are more representations than realistic carvings.  The first, on the highest pedestal, has the body of a bear but a head that might be a stag or a ram.  A second is of a large, upright, two-legged beast with a dog's head.  The third is a multi-coiled snake that might, looked at the right way, have a dragon's head.  The last, on the lowest pedestal, is clearly a frog.

Engelhart's beast forms enables him to identify the first: it appears to be something related to an owlbear, but it is long extinct.  The two-legged beast is a humanoid and outside his ken.  He feels sure that it is a dragon, and guessing from the shape of the "head" it seems to be from a benevolent form.  Finally, the frog is undoubtedly more than just a frog: he is sure it is an ice toad.

The stones are all at least a thousand years old and each weighs about 80 lbs.  Though the carving is not of the highest order, it is probable their uniqueness would make them each valuable.

Friday, March 10, 2017


I hope you're still with me.

I would guess that the four of you, not including Bergthora, weigh around 800 lbs.  This provides a near-guarantee of your safety; odds are about 1 in 450 that the rope would break, dropping you fifty feet for 15d6 damage.

You have every reason to believe you're perfectly fine.  But I do want to give the sense of discomfort you ought to feel as the rope strains and creaks, as the cage descends.  I also want to emphasize that the waters, viewed from 30 feet above, could easily conceal any number of creatures, things too small to be seen, flat things hiding in the water, things simply hiding in the dark.  I don't want this to be discarded as a possibility.  It would take 20 rounds for the cage to make a round trip from the bottom, where it let off half the party, to bring reinforcements.

But, let's take stock.

Can I count on the four of you going down together?  Are you fine with Bergthora making a trip as a solitary person.  She's fine with that.

If you're carrying your lanterns, you won't need to make a pot of fire for the cage.  Your legs would blot out most of the light it would give out anyway.  Petar and Willa have six torches between them, enough for two hours light, so you don't have to leave a lantern behind; you can take both of them.

What else needs to be discussed?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Weather Worsens as Lothar Returns

Date: 1pm Saturday, April 30, 1650
Location: Store Stokka, Rogaland
Weather: a gentle breeze is blowing from the east, with brisk weather, verging on chilly. The sky is overcast.  Feels like 40 F/ 5 C.

Coming again to the party that stayed in the woods, the camp is fine and safe and you have no encounters.  Through the night, there were moments of scant rainfall, which came down as a light rain just after midnight, just enough to dampen everything.  But the party, I think, has a tent.  They usually sleep eight, so this was just an inconvenience.  Beginning in the mid morning, there is a continuous scant rain that starts and stops.

As you awake the next morning the temperature is definitely chilly, just above freezing in fact.  You slap yourselves to keep warm, build up a fire, eat some hot food, crawl in and out of the tent to keep out of the rain and try to feel better.  Please, everyone (including Lothar and Fjall), I will need the party and followers to please eat 6 lbs. of food each to compensate for the combat yesterday.  [I updated the food rules months ago, so we should use the adjusted numbers on the wiki].  You can make up for this with the food that arrives with Lothar, if you're short on your own.

Lothar will arrive without an encounter, hungry probably.  He and Fjall are wet and tired as they enter camp at 1pm.  Rain clouds are beginning to drop a steady light rain, enough to douse a torch, so the overall environment is unpleasant to say the least.  Within 20 minutes of the pair's arrival, everything not under the tent is thoroughly wet.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Descending Chamber

The hall past the well room continues for about 120 feet altogether; the last forty feet of the hall begins to snake, first left, then right, descending more steeply until it is a thirty degree slope at the end.  You would guess, by then, that you are about 45 feet underground.

I will describe this as carefully as I can.  You find yourselves in a round chamber that is also a ledge over an uncertainly deep drop.  Somewhere below, you can hear the sound of water falling; it is not a roar, but it is a good deal more than a trickle.

The "hole," which is the top of a limestone cavern, depicted in black.  The walls surrounding the chamber, as well as the sheer wall on the other side of the hole, are depicted in grey.

The floor of the room has been made of stone bricks, shaped together and without mortar.  The floor is almost perfectly flat.  The walls are rough hewn out of the stone.

Near the lip, which simply drops away, there is a cage, about four feet wide. The cage has a ring on its top. Above the cage, and above the hole, you can clearly see a stone cylinder that has been carved into the ceiling, grooved in the middle.  Prodding the cylinder with a stick will show that it turns on axis that have also been carved into the rock.  You have no idea how this was done.

On the wall is a similar stone wheel, also seemingly carved out of the rock.  This also turns, and quite easily.  The interior stone must be naturally greasy, or incomprehensibly smooth.  The wheel is toothed.  There is a crude metal block that has been fixed as stop to disallow the wheel from turning one direction or - if the stop is lifted over the stone peg that holds it in place - the other.  Apparently, the wheel can be used to haul the cage up or lower the cage.  The cylinder in the ceiling would work as a windlass.  The cage would drop down through hex 0205.

There is no chain anywhere in sight.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Well Room, After the Battle

With Engelhart's second level, he picks up an amateur skill in Heroes.  This has two skills associated with it: that the character can recognize heroes on sight; the other is that the character will collect a list of "studied heroes" ~ and while the character can choose the hero to study, I do like to offer a hero for the character to know.

What is a "hero?"  I define it as any mythical/fictional figure that could conceivably exist in the 17th century, or any actual living person in the year of my campaign (1650 in this case) who is a recognized person of great importance.

Now, Engelhart can go and research for someone he would like to know.  If he wants someone in Scandinavia, I suggest checking out the royal families of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.  Prince Karl, who will become Karl I of Sweden in 1654 (assuming I don't change history), is 28, has recently just be named as successor to the Swedish throne and could conceivably be hunting in the area of Stavanger right now.  That might be the hero that Engelhart knows ~ and I could say easily that they've even met, opening the door to some sort of parley.

But if Engelhart has an alternative name, he should put it forward.

I am sorry.  I don't think that I have created any content for the fighter Pandred or the assassin Embla.  Please remind me again of your specialties and I'll update the sage page.

So, at the moment, still in the well room, with nothing actually done.  So we can start a new page with a whole fresh, empty comments list under it (saves scrolling).

Thursday, February 16, 2017

They're Out on a Limb ~ Round 6

There is only one root-creature that can fight this round, and it is surrounded by followers.  At random, it whirls and attacks Fjall - it rolls a 9.  This hits AC 9, so Fjall escapes a bad attack.

So little has changed.  Here is the layout:

Petar is loaded and may fire.  He has a lot of extra possible targets between himself and the enemy, with the stumps in the way and all, but he has got a clear shot between Lothar and the creature that was lately stunned.

All others can act as they will.

Wood You Believe It? ~ Round 5

There are only two root-creatures left.  These have been engaged by Embla and Valda, so they turn away from Pandred and her difficulties, to attack the other two women.

A 2 is rolled against Valda, missing.

Against Embla the creature in 0509 rolls an 18.  This certainly hits.  Embla gets off lucky, however, taking but 3 damage.  Since she has 17 hit points before the hit, she isn't stunned.  This leaves the present arrangement:

Willa is loaded and may fire.  Petar can start loading this round.  No one is stunned, so everyone can act.

Following the player's move, the position is as follows:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Punishment is Given ~ Round 4

As Pandred moves, so does the end creature, it's tendrils shifting their connections with its adjacent fellow, moving into 0409 to attack the fighter.  It swings, rolls a 10 and hits AC 8.  I believe you established yourself as AC 6 with shield, so that is a miss.

The other creature in 0509 turns and considers Fjall a moment, then attacks Pandred.  It rolls an 18.  She takes 6 damage from the blow.  If Pandred makes a dexterity check [roll a d20], she can avoid being slammed hard enough against the wall to take 1-2 damage; she will hit the wall, it is just a matter of how well she can remain balanced.  In either case, Pandred is definitely stunned.

The creature in 0610 will attack Engelhart.  It rolls a 14, hitting AC 4.  That's good enough to pay homage to the cleric.  Father Engelhart will take 8 damage, more than enough to stun him and throw him into Valda's hex.

It does not follow.

Here is the layout for the player's round:

Embla's move was missed in the last round.  Her move
is indicated above.  She is in 0709, and can act this round.

This will enable the rest of the party to act.  Please note, especially regarding Fjall, that these creatures do not seem to have a "back" or a "flank."  The writhing root seem able to defend themselves in every direction.

Petar can fire.  Willa can load.  She can move up to one hex if she loads.

Following the player's moves, the position is as follows:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valda Takes a Whack ~ Round 3

Begins with the creatures' movements.  The creature in 0611 turns and faces Lothar, swinging at Bergthora as it does.  Bergthora is missed by a 3, as the blow falls short of her shifting and dodging inside her hex (as everyone does when fighting ~ it is not a special ability]

The creature in 0510 adjusts to 0610, keeping the "hedge" of interlacing roots that has formed between the creatures.  It attacks Valda and hits with an 18.  She is just glanced, however, for 3 damage ~ still, it is enough to stun her and knock her into Engelhart's hex.

This leaves the last two creatures in 0508 and 0507 to thump on Pandred.  Luckily for her, however, the creatures roll a 7 and a 5.  Truly miraculous.

The final position of the creatures is, therefore:

The players can act.  Don't forget to move your followers.  Willa and Petar are willing to shoot their bows, but remember that a natural 2 will hit a party member.

The players having moved, here is the scene before the creature's return the attack:

I'm just going to forego putting up the x.p. from round to round, to save some time.  You've seen how it works; I'll put up the numbers soon.  But just to confirm: I think the only hits so far have been Pandred's 9, the creature's 3 against Valda and Lothar's group doing 13.  Oh, and there was a javelin for 6 damage.  Have I missed anyone?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

All In ~ Round 2

The depiction this time has a lighter grey at the top of the map, showing the limit of the party's sight of the corridor at the top of the room.  I hope that makes everything clearer.

As promised, the party is allowed two rounds, to make up for moves lost before.  Pandred is stunned, so cannot take his second attack - but the rest of the party can act.  Lothar, please indicate Bergthora and Valda's move and attack; they will prefer to attack with hand to hand weapons.  I'll have Fjall and the others come down the stairs when the party's round is done.

The party can act.

UPDATE: the party has moved, here is their position:

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pandred is Attacked! ~ Round 1

The four creatures all act with radical speed, together rushing against Pandred.  Only two are able to get close enough to attack, but they do so with limbs flailing.  Meanwhile, between them, the rootish twigs quickly form a fence that runs from 0508 to 0611.

The two that can attack roll a 6 and a 7 ~ so Pandred is miraculously unharmed.

The rest of the party can now move.  Please let me know who is coming down the stairs behind Engelhart, once the stairs are clear, and IN ORDER.  Minimalize confusion, please.

I know it looks as though I have intentionally organized the move to trap Pandred, but I will now compensate for that by giving you TWO movement turns, with the exception of Pandred, who can have just ONE.

Go ahead and do your best.

Pandred's Walk

Between Pandred's schedule and mine, we're having some troubles ~ but we're getting there, we're getting there.

I'm going to dispense with the lighting issues now, since you've seen the whole next chamber several times and you have plenty of light.  Please note [because Engelhart will ask me about it] that the line of darkness across the hall at the very top of the image is the limit on how far you can see; it is not a wall.  Next time, I'll do the image so that this is a slightly different color than pure black.

At the point where Pandred reaches 0713 ~ precisely as she steps into the hex, the creatures will all become animate, without yet moving forward.  I want to allow the possibility of Pandred changing her mind about moving forward from this point, given that change, so I'll ask for an initiative roll with Pandred in 0713.  Pandred, please roll a d6.

I've put Embla in hex 0816, with Lothar and Engelhart behind them on the stairs.  The bless spell is in full effect.

[I can't wait to do this all again, with a different series of posts called "Embla's Walk," where the whole party leaves and only Embla comes back in by herself]

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Pandred's Journey, Early Morning Friday

Date: 9am Friday, April 29, 1650
Location: Store Stokka, Rogaland
Weather: a gentle breeze is blowing from the east, with brisk weather. The skies are clear above, but there is evidence of a storm moving to the south of you, potentially three hours away.  Feels like 2.6 C.

It rained most of Thursday day, though little worse than a smattering of rain through the morning.  In the mid afternoon there was a light rain, unpleasant for Pandred and Willa, who were just planning on starting back by then.  Wisely, she waited until the rain lightened around evening, then as she made it back to camp again by dark the rain had stopped altogether.  Still, I'm going to rate that moving through a wet landscape counts as 1 point of damage that they both take on their way back.

[I'm going to try a rule of 1 h.p. per 3 hours of rain endured, if shelter is not sought against it ~ in this case, they had to strive through at least one period if they were to get back before dark]

Pandred found that the apothecary in Stavanger was willing to pay her 4 g.p. per gland or bladder that she was ready to sell.  She also learned that the glands rarely last more than 24 hours after they've been separated from the source; the party, back at camp, will learn this if Pandred did not take all the glands with her.  On the good side, Pandred learns that the gland contents have certain medicinal or fuel properties that will last for two to three weeks after the glands have been removed. So there is still time to take them back.

Pandred, if you will let me know how much actual gold you spend, I will assume that the coin from sales of the glands will count, thus x.p. can be awarded ~ ooo, new stuff!

Come the morning of the 29th, Engelhart can cast the cure light wounds spell a total of twice, one of those to restore Pandred and Willa, since they will be back by the second casting.

I strongly suggest sending one of the party members that hasn't suffered a point of damage to look at the eggs.  They will appear to be dead; without sustaining by the beetles, they die quickly.  The apothecary in Stavanger will confirm this for Pandred.  I'd rather no one lost a healing potential on account of this wild goose chase.

Anything else?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lothar Steps Forward

Following Lothar's single hex move, all four of the root creatures immediately move forward a similar distance.  Moreover, strands of root extends outwards between each of the two creatures on either side, across hexes 0609 and 1009, forming a tenuous sort of fence.

But none of the creatures attack or act in anyway except to block Lothar's way ~ perhaps malevolent, perhaps not.

The players may decide upon the movement of their characters.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lothar's Walk

I have not depicted the beetle glands on the image (it is very hard for me to create more than one light source on the program).  But I have extended the illumination to compensate.

Lothar moves up on the map above; and at the very moment that he travels the very last hex, from 0812 to 0811, the four figures surrounding him all snap into life and move one hex forward, then stop in place.

They seem to be collections of wooden roots, bound together like a mass of muscles, moving together as the creatures clump forward.

Pandred should move, then whomever else will come down the stairs, before Lothar and Embla move again (as we're technically half-way through the player's round).

UPDATE:  Everyone else has moved forward now.  The players may move again.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Engelhart's Walk

Engelhart, covered by the spell sanctuary, begins to make his way down the stairs.  It takes him 3 action points to get to the bottom.  He is able to advance two more along the left wall.  Here is what he sees:

Basically, nothing - though there is the dimmest, most subtle suggestion that there is something out ahead of him.  Perhaps it is that some of the blackness out there may be a little more reflective than the rest of the blackness.

Therefore, following his described action, he edges forward from here during the 2nd round of his sanctuary spell.  Moving forward two hexes (2 AP), he sees:

On the left, some sort of grey-brown figure, about six and a half feet tall.  On the right, what appears to be the edge of a well, with a very crude windlass atop it, only two feet above the well.  As you wait the remaining AP of your second round, you discern that the figure is completely motionless.

In two rounds, your sanctuary will run out.


Engelhart moves to 0812, giving him this slightly improved evidence:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Stokka Sarcophagus

Date: halfway to 2pm Wednesday, April 27, 1650
Location: West of Store Stokka , Rogaland
Weather: a gentle breeze is blowing from the north, from along the coast, with brisk weather. The clear skies have endured and the sun is out. Feels like 4.6 C.

Pandred pushes the first slab on the sarcophagus completely off, revealing the legs of a skeleton.  With help from the sappers, she finishes the job, each slab hitting the mulch-covered floor with a thud before resting against the outside tomb walls.

Inside lays a skeleton ~ a distinctly non-human skeleton.  It is humanoid shape, about five and a half feet tall, but with a large, triangular head, squarish eye sockets and a fat, heavy jaw in a strange half-moon shape.  The rest of the body is strange as well.  The bones of the clavicals, the ribcage, the hip bones, the femur and so on, are much too thin.  This creature couldn't have weighed more than a hundred pounds, perhaps less.  Moreover, the hands have fingers that are nearly twice the length of a human.  The feet have toes that are of human finger length.  The head is oriented towards 0908.

There are no clothes in the sarcophagus, no bits of treasure that have been buried with the skeleton.  There is, however, a pottery lamp, about 3 inches across:

The wick has long since dried to dust and there's no oil in it, but it seems like it would still work.  Here's an image to show how this sort of lamp works: