City of Spires Ironsworn – Part 1

After a long time not having the energy to type up any of my gaming sessions, I’ve decided to try out something new. I’m just now starting a series where I am playing through Kabuki Kaiser’s Ruins of the Undercity using Ironsworn rules–basically using IS to run a two-character D&D campaign. It takes a bit of finagling, but I’ve recorded five sessions and it’s really finding its legs now.

I really enjoyed my Labyrinth Lord Undercity game and by episode 5 this one is getting several of the same hallmarks–lots of dungeon delving, some good oracle rolls that create an interesting above ground story, etc.

Click the image below to watch the video on Youtube if you’re interested. I’ll admit that it starts off a little slow, but by the later episodes we end up getting quite a bit of exploration in. Hope to hear from you!

Click the image to visit the video on youtube.

Mocker – Starforged – Session 2

This is part 2 of my Ironsworn: Starforged game featuring Alex ‘Mocker’ Kade, a far trader working in the outlands of the Forge. In the last session, he was asked by a connection to find a way to an insular planet to recover a rare material used to craft advanced medicines.

Click here for the first part of this Starforged game.

Character Sheet

Alex ‘Mocker’ Kade
E1 H3 I1 S2 W2
M5 HL5 SP5 SU5
Navigator 1, Trader 1, Scoundrel 1, Starship ‘Antigone’ 1
Inventory: brace of pistols, black iron key, one-credit chip, letter of credit, spacer kit
Vows: Fetch medicine for Farpoint [2.0]. Pay off the Antigone [0.0].

Session Begin

Alex ‘Mocker’ Kade has just received directions to the insular community of Farpoint, where rural miners gather Dust for eventual use in medical manufacturing. 

Does anything happen on the way to the ship (unlikely): 63, no.

He passes few civilians as he heads for the elevator and rides back up to the docks. The few he sees are wearing masks or rebreathers.

He gets back to the Antigone and starts up the drives. “Antigone, requesting departure pattern.”

A moment later, a voice comes back over the radio. “That you, *cough*, Mocker? Think you’re the only one flying out today.”

Reminder: You can find links to every one of my solo session game reports on my Campaign Logs page.

“I believe it,” Kade says.

“Well, the pattern’s on its way. Safe flying.”

The Antigone‘s computers sync to the AI flight controller and guide him out of the station. A moment later, Alex is floating in free space, under his own power. He punches the engines and lets the ship fly for a few minutes.

After a quarter of an hour, he’s far enough out to engage the eidolon drives. He plugs in the calculations that Rover gave him [+1 Add for Secure an Advantage] and slots his black iron key into the drive circuits.

Space warps around him as Apogee station falls far away.

New Progress Tracker: Find a driftway to Farpoint (troublesome)

Undertake an Expedition (Farpoint): 1+2w+1add vs 4|9. Miss. Burn momentum to become a weak hit (now 2). Suffer two -1 moves.

[Mark Progress: Find a driftway to Farpoint. :3 boxes]

Once he’s in the drift, Alex unbelts himself from the pilot’s chair and floats back toward his cabin. Just as he’s falling asleep, a loud crack shatters the monotonous drone of the drift.

He’s up in a second.

Withstand Damage (-1): 3+4i vs 3|2. Strong hit. +1 Integrity (now 5).

Smoke is pouring out of the life support closet. Alex grabs his rebreather and tool kit and pulls open the door. Flames burst out, singeing the hair from his arms and threatening to drive him back. He grabs an extinguisher and blasts the flames down.

When the smoke has died back, he’s able to get everything connected again. Just an electrical short, and he was lucky to get to it before it caused any damage to the systems themselves.

Sacrifice Resources -1 (now 4).

Unfortunately, a fair amount of oxygen seems to have been burnt in the initial blast. Plenty left for the trip, but not an auspicious start. He does what he can to ensure that the life support system is back up and running and then tries to get what rest he can before the eidolons drop him back into real space.

What’s at the waypoint? Dense Nebula Clouds

The drives drop the Antigone near a dense nebula. Alex stares up at the brilliant splotches of light as the ship idles through space, recharging its drives.

Undertake an Expedition (Farpoint): 6+2w vs 7|1. Strong hit. Make progress with no cost.

[Mark Progress: Find a driftway to Farpoint. :6 boxes]

When the engines are charged, the Antigone jumps again. 

Space Sighting: Comet with a tail of ionized gas

The Antigone‘s e-drive slows as it runs out of charge. Kade emerges into realspace. A comet streaks through the void nearby.

Is there anything of value in the comet (Gather Info)? 3+2w v 2|6. Weak. +1m (now 3). Is there (unlikely)? No.

The sensors return readouts–only ice and trace minerals. Alex kicks back and lets the ship glide until the e-drives recharge.

Undertake an Expedition: 4+2w v 5|8. Weak. Progress on Trip to Farpoint: 9. Is there a peril (50/50)? Yes.

Alex is in his pilot’s couch as the ship drops into the Desolation anchorage. 

What’s the peril? 59, others obstruct or blockade. Is it the planet that’s besieged (likely)? 76, yes.

Alerts ring through the cabin–ships not running standard ID signals! Pirates? Alex curses and kills the ship’s active sensors. Even with the passives he can see that Desolation space is swarming. Small ships, fighters mostly. No wonder the shipment didn’t arrive.

Is the Antigone far enough out that he has not been detected yet (likely)? 55, yes.

Gather Info: 2+2w v 6|1. Weak. +1m (now 4).

Better to wait and see than charge in half-cocked. Kade watches as the pirates fly coverage patterns over the world. Most are clustered over Farpoint. No ship lifts off from the surface. None go to land.

Secure an Advantage: 2+2s v 3|9. Weak. +2m (now 6).

When there is a break in the pattern, Alex ignites the Antigone‘s engines for just a brief second. He then shuts off the burn and lets the ship slide through space toward the planet, running silently.

Finish Expedition (Trip to Farpoint): 9 v 7|2. Strong. +1 Discovery tick.

What does Desolation look like? Vast plateaus, massive canyons, engulfing sandstorms.

The ships slips through the blockade and sinks into the dry atmosphere. The world is barren. Sandy and rocky, split by great rents that look to sink so deeply that the bottoms are lost in darkness. Eventually the shifting sands give way to a wide expanse of bare, reddish stone. A few dozen buildings are clustered around a landing pad. The startown, as it were. Humble.

Alex sets the ship down in the middle of the plain.

Milestone (Get medicine): 4.0.

Are there any other ships (50)? Yes.

A single other ship rests near the pad. It is a freighter, well-maintained save for great scorch marks that mar its sides.

Is there anyone else (50)? 68, yes. Who? Safe/Energy.

A moment after the ship touches down, the doors on a nearby hanger raise up. A fuel truck rumbles out into the sunlight and drives toward the Antigone. The driver honks twice and then Alex’s radio crackles to life.

What does he say? Move/Culture. Resist/Enemy (!). Charge/Creation.

“Thanks be to God, stranger! Good to see a face that doesn’t want to shoot us down. Who are you?”

“Mocker, and this is the Antigone. Got to say, I wasn’t expecting a warm welcome. Who is this?”

“My name’s [oracle=] Althea. Sorry we can’t give you a better welcome party. Most of the miners are gone–mountain redoubts or family compounds. Times are bad right about now. I’m sure you noticed. But a few of us stuck around in case we had a chance to get a shipment lifted.”

Alex stands up and opens the ship’s rear hatch. Althea drives the truck around and steps out to shake his hand.

“Why didn’t you run, too?” he asks.

Althea pulls a medallion from her neck and kisses it. “It’s our duty to mine the Dust and spread it throughout the galaxy. God’s mercy on the ill.”

Make a connection with a miner: 2+3h vs 1|2. Strong. Landry Wade, Dust Miner (troublesome) is well-equipped/energetic.

“Funny you should mention that. It’s just what I’m here for. Any miners around I can talk to?”

Althea starts pumping fuel into the Antigone and then takes him across the landing platform and into a sand-battered old warehouse. She shifts a pile of cleverly-piled junk and reveals a heavy metal door. She knocks twice and the door swings open.

A man in thick glasses and denim overalls stands before them. He’s got a rifle in his hands, but when he sees Althea he just smiles. He reaches out and shakes Kade’s hand. “Name’s Landry. You must be our new arrival.” He steps aside and waves Kade into the room. “Come in, come in.”

“Mocker.” Kade pauses. “It’s nice to meet you.” He looks around. The room is filled with radio and scanner equipment, sensors, and humming electronics. A fully-stocked weapons cabinet stands against the far wall.

“You sound surprised.”

“Not quite the welcome I was expecting,” Kade admits. “Above or below.”

Landry clucks. “Ah. Our reputation.”

“Thought I’d have an easier time flying in and a harder time landing.”

Althea shuts the door as Landry waves Kade over to a bank of computers. “I suppose folks have to think something. We’ve heard the talk when we fly out to Apogee ourselves. But we aren’t out here because we hate people, or because we want to monopolize the Dust. In fact, far from it.”

Althea nods. “A gift from God,” she interjects.

“Indeed. The first of our order discovered the Dust, found what it could do for people. How it could help. He knew that it was from God, for the succor of his people. We couldn’t let it fall into the wrong hands, so our fathers closed off the planet, bought a ship, and vowed to sell it to as many people as we could, as cheaply as we could. And we couldn’t let anyone else get in the way of that.”

Kade shakes his head. “I… had no idea. And these pirates are here for it?”

Have they met with the pirates already (50)? 90, yes. Because they’re sick (50)? 64, yes.

“They came a few weeks ago, demanding the Dust. We told them it had to be distributed, but they didn’t listen. Told them it does no good unrefined, but they didn’t listen. We tried to fly out our shipment, but they fired on our pilot.”

He gestures toward the screens and pulls up a map of the planet surface. “Most of us are small holders, mining plots of Dust and then coming together here to pool it for shipment. When the pirates came, most of the locals scattered to their freeholds or compounds.”

Compel him to sell to Kade: 4+3h v 3|4. Strong. +1m (7).

“But you know why I’m here?” Kade asks.

Landry nods. “And we’re grateful. We just want it out there, helping people. We watched you on our scopes coming in. We know you aren’t with them.” He sees the look on Kade’s face. “Don’t worry. I don’t think they know you’re here. We’ve got much better sensors down here than they are likely to have above those interceptors.”

“Things have gotten bad on Apogee. Everyone’s sick. Something in the air. The stocks they’ve got are running out already.” Kade pulls Zephyr’s letter of credit and offers it over. “Will that be enough?”

The man barely looks at it, just slips the letter into his pocket. “You’re welcome to it. Especially if things are as bad as you say.”

Milestone (Get medicine): 6.0

Kade sighs. “Thank you both. Do you have the Dust here? Can we load it tonight?”

Secure Advantage: 2+2s+2 (scoundrel asset for sneaking) v 6|9. Miss! The pirates will find them anyway. Are the pirates already on the ground (50)? 4, no.

Landry grins. “We’ve got a hold full of it aboard the Devotion. I’ll get a lift out here and we’ll get it shifted as soon as night falls.”

Kade spends an easy day with the miners. Landry puts out a call and a few other men sneak into the bunker. Landry introduces them–other faithful, willing to risk what they have to to stand against the pirates and get the Dust off world. Eventually, Althea leaves to finish fueling the Antigone.

Not fifteen minutes later, she runs back inside, shouting. They follow her out.

A trail of nuclear fire burns through the atmosphere. A ship is landing.

Character Sheet

Alex ‘Mocker’ Kade
E1 H3 I1 S2 W2
M7 HL5 SP5 SU5
Navigator 1, Trader 1, Scoundrel 1, Starship ‘Antigone’ 1
Inventory: brace of pistols, black iron key, one-credit chip, letter of credit, spacer kit
Vows: Fetch medicine for Farpoint [6.0]. Pay off the Antigone [0.0].

Mocker – Starforged – Session 1

I’m starting a new game today, playing Ironsworn: Starforged. This is, like Ironsworn, a solo- and coop-focused roleplaying game with a simple rolling mechanic, extensive built-in oracles, and an evocative book and setting. My goal for this game is to get a handle on the world I’m creating, get to know my character, earn a few XP to improve his current skills/equipment, and potentially have a start for a future game (including possible co-op play).

Reminder: You can find links to every one of my solo session game reports on my Campaign Logs page.

Character Creation

Alex Kade, better known as Mocker, is a Far Trader, riding the drifts to transport goods to where they are valued most.

Edge 1, Heart 3, Iron 1, Shadow 2, Wits 2
+Assets: Navigator, Trader

Although he’s a competent pilot and a pretty decent shot with a pistol, Mocker has long relied on his friends and reputation as a fair dealer to avoid trouble before it starts. When that fails, lying or sneaking usually work.

Backstory: 63. Cast out of former home.

Alex grew up on a world of unyielding laws and governance. Long chafing under the strict control of the commissars, Alex signed on as a spacer with a passing crew the first chance he got.

Character Goal: Escape a Captor.Alex is not a slave or prisoner, so this is going to be interpreted.

It did not take long for Alex to gain his new captain’s favor. He quickly rose in the ranks until he became the captain’s second-in-command. When the old man died, Alex inherited the ship–and the massive debt that came with it. Now Alex flies to service debt, and he longs for the day when the Antigone will be his, free and clear.

Epic Vow: Pay off the Antigone.
+Asset: Starship Antigone

The Antigone is a [oracle=51] once-beautiful ship, now scarred and battered by long decades of service on the drifts and years of deferred maintenance.

+Asset: Scoundrel

The last good thing Alex’s old master did for him, though, was fill the hold with goods worth selling. They might have been a bunch of less-than-legal guns from a warworld, and Alex might have had to use every trick he had to unload them–and that at a steal that barely turned a profit–but at least he left him with enough credit to get the Antigone fueled and spaceborne again.

+Inventory: brace of pistols, black iron key, one-credit chip, spacer kit

Growing up where he did, Alex brought little to the Antigone when he signed on–just the suit of clothes on his back. He quickly acquired a brace of pistols for when the ship docked in more dangerous ports, and he wears the first credit-chip he ever earned on a chain around his neck. He rubs it for good luck when times are hard. It serves as a reminder that with luck and effort he can actually own something, do something, be something, without requiring the commissariat’s permission.

Finally, he carries the black iron key that starts the Antigone. Three inches long, the metal seems dark and flat even under the most brilliant light. The delicate teeth fit into the ship to complete the eidolon drive’s circuit. Without it, the ship is dead in the void.

Sector Creation

Mocker and the Antigone are in the Outlands–close enough to the Terminus that they can return if they need access to bigger markets, but far enough away that a man can lose his bad choices if he runs fast enough.

Sector: Blighted Crossing

Apogee Station (Orbital)
Pop: Thousands
Projects: Engineering, Trade
Authority: Fair
Planet: Orbits the ice-world of Caradhras.
Notes: Trading and manufacturing center situated on the major drift lanes. Commerce hub for the sector.

Redemption (Planetside)
Pop: Hundreds
Projects: Shipbuilding, Defense
Authority: Oppressive
Planet: Situated on the furnace-world of Themis.
Notes: A military slave-factory town. Builds weapons/ships for sale on Apogee Station.

Farpoint (Planetside)
Pop: Hundreds
Projects: Mining, Medica
lAuthority: Ineffectual
Planet: Situated on the desert-world of Desolation.
Notes: A group of independent miners digging for rare minerals used in medical device manufacturing.

Sector Trouble (50): Parasitic Lifeforms Spread Like Plague

Passages

Drift passages have been mapped from Apogee Station to Redemption town on Themis. Likewise, Apogee Station is a known stop-over for travelers leaving the sector for other parts of the Forge.

Farpoint, the trade hub of Desolation, is unmapped. The handful of miners who live there are secretive and protective of their monopoly on the planet’s mineral wealth. A select few traders know the routes between Apogee and Farpoint and make the runs a handful of times a year.

Starting Station

Alex Kade begins the game on Apogee Station, so let’s zoom in to see what we know. 

First Look: Defensible Location, Industrial Architecture

Bristling with guns to defend itself against pirates and petty warlords, Apogee Station is an engineering and technology center of some renown in the Outlands. Nothing to rival its Terminus cousins, of course, but there is a significant amount of research and manufacturing occurring here.

Trouble: Hazardous Environment. What does that mean? Finish Power.

Unfortunately, a significant amount of spent drive and manufacturing waste has built up in the station and the people who live aboard are frequently sick with low-level lung and skin maladies.

Starting Connection

Alex doesn’t know many people on Apogee. The Antigone is new to the sector and he’s been trying to keep a low profile–earn a rep as a spacer who can get things done reliably and leave it at that.

But no one can go it alone. Lucas Booker–callsign ZEPHYR–is a materials broker operating out of the warehouse district on Apogee. He and Alex have done a few deals together, and both understand the other, give or take. Zephyr is sharp, suspicious, a little bit mean, and more heavily armed than most of the more upstanding merchants on Apogee Station. That said, he also pays on time and frequently has work, so Alex is pleased to work with him when he can.

+Troublesome Connection: Lucas ‘Zephyr’ Booker, Materials Broker

Session Begin

Apogee Station. Not great at the best of times. Terrible now. The short walk from the Antigone‘s dock to Zephy’s offices are enough to make him wish he’d brought his rebreather. The city smells like death and the other stationers don’t look much better.

Is Zephyr sick (likely): 64, yes.

Kade knocks on the door. After a moment, there’s a soft buzzing from inside and a chunk as the bolt retracts. Kade pushes the door open and enters into a cramped office.

“Mocker,” Zephyr offers.

“No, don’t get up,” Kade responds. He pushes the door closed and takes a seat. “You look like the dead.”

“Yeah, well, at least I’m vertical.”

“What happened?”

Zephyr shrugs and waves a hand up in the air. “Who knows. Something coming out of the vents. Air got weird, folks started getting sick. No one in station admin is admitting to anything.”

Kade glances warily up at the vents. He thinks again about that rebreather.

“You working?” Zephyr asks.

“Why I’m here,” Kade says.

The man coughs into his hand, glares down at some mucus or something in his palms, and wipes his hand on his pant leg. “Good. Farpoint. You know it?”

“I know of it,” Kade answers. “Out there on Desolation, right? Bunch of sand-billy Dust miners.”

“Yeah, exactly. You ever been there?”

“No.”

“Exactly again. Nobody’s been there. Just one ship, owned in co-op by the folks of Farpoint.”

“What’s this got to do with me?” Kade asks.

Zephyr isn’t aware that the cough might be caused by the system trouble parasitic infection. He thinks the issue is related to the hazardous waste problem on Apogee. We’ll let it be vague until Kade gets closer to actually solving the issue (if that ever happens).

“Dust. We need it. Medbay’s overwhelmed here with this damn cough. The Farpoint shuttle’s late, due a month ago, but never came. Need you to get out there and buy up a hold full of the stuff.”

Will the Farpoint miners trade with outsiders (unlikely): 20, no.

Kade arched an eyebrow. “What makes you think they’d sell to me?”

Does Zephyr give him a letter of credit (certain): 36, yes. +Inventory: Letter of credit.

Zephyr shrugs. “I gotta do everything for you? I’m not the trader. Convince them.” He drags a piece of paper from the desk and scribbles something on it before sliding it over to Kade. “Take this. With the way things are going, this Dust could make us both a fair bit of money.”

Kade looks at it. A letter of credit from Zephyr’s firm. Maybe not as good as raw cash, but it might work. 

“You aren’t going to fuck me on this, are you boy?”

“I’ll bring it back,” Kade says. He means it, too. He thinks. A good broker’s worth more than a hold of Dust. Probably.

Swear an Iron Vow (Dangerous) to fetch medicine from Farpoint for Apogee Station: 5+3h+1(connection) vs 7|2. Strong hit. +2m (now 4) and it’s clear what I have to do.

Zephyr points at the door. “Get going. You think I’m the only guy with the idea to run down the Dust myself? We’ve gotta get out there before some other outfit buys up everything those knuckleheads have dug up.”

Kade offers up a sarcastic salute and leaves the office. Time to get to work. But before he can fly he has some digging of his own to do. He heads down to the spacer-side bar to ask about Desolation.

Gather Information: 6+2w vs 5|8. Weak hit. +1m (now 5) but the information complicates things.

“Those Desolation boys?” the bartender asks after Kade finally gets around to asking. “Popular today. You aren’t the first one to come asking. Sorry, I ain’t seen ’em, and I don’t know as there’s anyone else on-station who’s been out there. Except for maybe Rover. She’s old as the void. May’ve been out here when they first shipped out for that rock.”

Can Rover be found easily (50/50): 76, yes.

“You know where she is?” Kade asks.

The bartender shrugs. [Forgotten/Shelter] “I think there’s some little dive those old-timers like down below-decks. Might check there. But don’t get a taste for it. My liquor’s better anyway.”

Kade laughs and tosses the man a credit. He heads out for the elevator.

He finds the bar downstairs on his second circle of the entire floor. The place is little more than a closet crammed between two station auxiliary offices. A woman in flight clothes is drinking alone at the bar. Her skin is tight and youthful, but her eyes are the milky-white of a spacer who’s spent a lifetime–or more–on the drifts.

“You’re Rover?” Kade asks, but there isn’t much doubt. The old woman nods. “May I?” He gestures at the stool beside her.

Secure an Advantage: 4+3h vs 10|1. +1 on my next move.

She kicks it back with the side of her boot to make room for him at the bar. “What do you want, kid?”

“Mocker,” Kade says. He offers a hand. She considers it for a moment before shaking.

“Rover.”

“I know. I came looking for you.”

Have the other spacers also coming for Rover yet (50/50)? 34, no.

“Huh. What for?” She flags down the bartender and calls for another bourbon. Kade is quick to pay for it.

“Farpoint.”

The woman glances at him. “Dust, huh?” She coughs. “Not a bad idea. Who you working with?”

Kade pauses. It’s a gamble. Spacers are often loyal to one or a few brokers per settlement. If Rover wasn’t in with Zephyr…

“Does it matter?” he asks. “The station needs it. Even you’re coughing.”

She shrugs. “Fair enough. I can tell you how to get there. Not going to help you get dirtside though. That was one ornery bunch of bastards I took out there, I’ll tell you what. I don’t know what it is about the desert that calls all the weirdos.”

She draws a map on the back of a napkin and writes down some quick calculations. The directions are close enough to get him in the area at least. He thanks her and heads for the docks. It’s time to leave.

Mark Progress: Fetch medicine from Farpoint for Apogee Station :2 boxes

End Session

That was pretty fun! Not much actual gaming this time, but I ended up spending significantly more time than I thought building the sector and my first contact. The game’s oracles are a blast to use. Nearly every roll seemed like it could be spun off into its own story or side quest. I chose the one I did since it fit so nicely with Kade’s build (far trader), but there’s a ton more to explore here as well.

If I get around to it, I’d love to look more into how Apogee’s environmental hazards might be causing the ‘toxic’ status on the planet below. Who are the factions buying ships from Redemption? What lies at the bottom of the abyssal fissures on Caradhras? So much story still to tell.

Character Sheet

Alex ‘Mocker’ Kade
E1 H3 I1 S2 W2
M5 HL5 SP5 SU5
Navigator 1, Trader 1, Scoundrel 1, Starship ‘Antigone’ 1
Inventory: brace of pistols, black iron key, one-credit chip, letter of credit, spacer kit
Vows: Fetch medicine for Farpoint (Dangerous) [2.0]. Pay off the Antigone (Epic) [0.0].
Notes: +1 bonus to my first flight move due to securing an advantage from Rover.

Firuvin the Slayer – Ironsworn – Session 3

Character Sheet

Firuvin the Warden, E1 H2 I3 S1 W2. Momentum 3, Health 2, Spirit 5, Supply 1.
Assets: Alchemist 1, Herbalist 1, Slayer 1.
Inventory: Sword, shield, mortar and pestle.
Bonds: Ikram, veteran slayer. Lucia, scout and friend. Stonehall, border village.
Vows: Slay the beast that killed his family (extreme, 0.0). Find Lucia’s caravan (dangerous, 6.0). Rescue Lucia from the Depths (3.0).
Progress: Explore the Caves (Dangerous) 1.0.

Reminder: You can find links to every one of my solo session game reports on my Campaign Logs page.

Begin Session

Firuvin crosses the hall and descends deeper into the earth in search of the missing caravan crew–and particularly his friend, Lucia.

Undertake a Journey (Explore the Caves): 3+2w vs 8|9. Miss. Waylaid by a perilous event.

Event: You are separated from something or someone. -1 progress on Explore the Caves (0.0).

The caves twist and turn around him. It isn’t long before Firuvin is sure that he is treading on ground he has already covered. He curses his foolishness and begins using the charred end of his torch to mark his progress as he continues on.

Undertake a Journey: 6+2w vs 1|10. Weak hit (2.0) pr. -1 Supply. Now Unprepared.

Finally, the way levels out. Firuvin heads along the dim passage when his torch begins to flicker and die. He draws another from his pack, but there is nothing left to burn after that. He has to find Lucia fast.

Gather Information: 4+2w vs 9|4. Weak hit. +1 momentum but discover something dangerous (oracle: Deflect Resource).

Firuvin forces himself to slow down, to look carefully, to not get ahead of himself. He can find no tracks on the hard stone floor, but up ahead he thinks he sees the faint play of light on the walls. A fire is burning!

Are people coming this way? 50/50: 42, no.

He can hear the sounds of course laughter and rough voices. A room up ahead. He decides to sneak past.

Undertake a Journey: 4+2w vs 2|7. Weak hit. Mark progress (4.0), -1 supply (becomes -1 Spirit).

He finds a side passage just outside the occupied room. He snuffs his torch to avoid prying eyes and creeps forward in the darkness, running his hand along the wall to feel his way. He begins to dread what he will find. How long would these people keep a prisoner?

What is the next chamber? Deliver Honor. A treasure room.

Finally, the dark tunnel grows light again as he nears a lit side passage. He creeps toward it until he sees that it opens into a small room packed tightly with stolen goods.

Are there any guards within? 50/50: 81, yes.

A lone guard lurks within, idly polishing a stolen weapon. Firuvin stares at him, trying to decide whether he can take the man before he can cry out.

Gather Information: 4+2w vs 9|7. Miss.

An intersection branches off just ahead, but Firuvin can’t get there in time to check for additional bandits. If he does attack the guards, it’ll have to be now.

Secure an Advantage using Force: 4+3i vs 3|10. Weak hit. +1m (now 5).

He suddenly hears voices from another corridor. No time at all except to act–attack or move on? Out of torches, wounded, and an unknown distance from Lucia, Firuvin decides he has nothing to lose with the gamble.
He brings up his shield and charges forward just as the sentry crosses the door.

Battle: 3+3i vs 4|4. Strong hit with a match!

[Firuvin needed that!]

Firuvin catches the man just behind the head with the edge of his shield. The man collapses without so much as a grunt. Firuvin grabs his heels and drags him away from the door as quickly as he can.

Match bonus: Find a clue about Lucia.

With the man down, Firuvin takes a moment to search the room. It isn’t long before he finds a necklace made of thin iron, shaped like a pair of crossed arrows. Lucia’s necklace. He drops it into his pocket [+Inventory: Lucia’s necklace]. It’s a good sign, he hopes–she can’t be far [Mark Progress: Rescue Lucia from the depths.]

Resupply: 2+2w vs 8|5. Miss. Pay the price: it is stressful (-1 SPI, now 3).

Endure Stress: 5+3SPI vs 2|2. Strong hit with a match. Embrace the Darkness (+1m, now 6).

Because of the match, there is a map hidden in the room. Can Firuvin find it?

Secure an Advantage: 3+2w vs 3|1. Strong hit. +2MOM (now 8).

Firuvin growls as he finishes his search. Treasure aplenty, but nothing he needs…except for a sheet of curling parchment on the wall by the door. He draws close–a map of some portion of these tunnels. He slips it into his pocket for later.

Undertake a Journey: 6+2w vs 10|4. Weak hit. Progress (6) and -1SPI (now 2).

Endure Stress: 3+2H vs 4|3. Strong hit. Embrace the Darkness: +1MOM (now 9).

The tunnels seem to stretch on forever, but Firuvin begins to think that he may be rising once again, drawing closer to the surface.

Undertake a Journey: 1+2w vs 4|9. Waylaid by a perilous event.

As he continues on, there is a sudden shifting in the ground. The rocks above begin to crumble and fall!

Face Danger: 4+3i vs 5|2. Strong hit, but I’m already at max MOM.

Firuvin dashes forward, holding his shield over his head. Small stones at first, and then larger ones, tumble down onto it. A moment later, the entire corridor collapses behind him, but he’s through the worst of it.

Undertake a Journey: 4+2w vs 1|10. Weak hit. Progress (8) and -1 SPI (now 1).

Endure Stress: 1+2H vs 4|10. Miss. -1 MOM.

It can’t go on much longer than this. Firuvin rounds another corner…

Reach Destination (Explore the Caves): 8 vs 7|7. Strong hit with a match!

Milestone for Rescue Lucia (9) and Find Lucia’s Caravan (8)!

The tunnel finally opens up. Firuvin detects the change in the air at first–it’s lighter, cool. Ahead, silver light trickles down. The moon? He steps out into a grotto, deep in the hills. Light falls down from the open sky above.
Ahead of him stand Lucia and several of the caravan guards. All are bound.

Are they under guard? Likely: 30, yes.

There are too many men for Firuvin to fight on his own, especially in this condition. At the same time, he knows that the prisoners will never survive if he does not go to them now.

Secure an Advantage: 4+2w vs 9|10. Miss! (ARGH).

Firuvin hefts Lucia’s necklace and hurls it as hard as he can against the far wall of the grotto. It clatters against the wall. As the guards move to investigate, he sprints over to the prisoners and begins to work at their bonds with his sword, but it’s no use–the guards hear and come running.

Battle: 1+3i vs 4|7. Miss. Burn momentum (8): Strong hit!

The guards are on him in an instant. Firuvin falls back, fighting for his life as the attackers surround him. He has no chance–the fight is lost…

And then one of the bandits goes down with a shout. The caravan guards are on him, kicking and head butting despite their bound hands. The other bandits turn, surprised, but Firuvin is at their backs the moment they do. He carves into them and they go down.

When the last of the men has fallen, Firuvin draws his dagger and cuts the bonds out the caravaners. They exchange only a few words before beginning the long climb up toward the rim of the grotto.

Lucia’s eyes linger on him for a beat, and then she too begins to climb. Firuvin is right behind her.

Fulfill Vow: Rescue Lucia from the Depths: 10 vs 10|8. Weak hit. 0 experience and a twist: Betray Debt.

As the caravaners gather on the surface and head out on the short road back to Stonehall, Lucia stays behind with Firuvin.

“Something is different,” Firuvin says.

“I can’t go back,” Lucia replies.

Firuvin already knows why. He can see it in her eyes. “You betrayed them.”

She can only nod. After a moment, she shakes her head. “I had to. My sister…she needed medicine. They had it. Said they’d trade if I…If I turned a blind eye on the trail outside of Stormbridge.”

She is crying now. Firuvin goes to her, lays a hand on her shoulder. He doesn’t know what to say. She is right, of course–she can never return to Stonehall.

“I will help her,” he says. “I swear it.”

Swear an Iron Vow (Find a way to heal Lucia’s sister): 2+2H+1(bond) vs 9|8. Miss. -2MOM (now -1).

“You can’t,” Lucia says. “No one can. I was a fool to believe they could. A witch, maybe, but no medicine of mankind can treat her.”

Firuvin grabs her hands. “I will do it if it can be done,” he says, and then he leaves her, heading back into the trees.

#

It is the next morning by the time he returns to Stonehall. The sounds of a feast still ring out from the great hall. Firuvin enters and all eyes turn toward him.

Fulfill a Vow (Find the Caravan): 10 vs 5|1. Strong hit. +2 XP.

For a moment, all is silent. Then the master lifts his horn of ale and shouts, “For the Slayer! Champion of Stonehall!” and the entire chamber fills with cheers.

Firuvin steps up to the table and accepts a mug of ale from a passing server. He drains it down and lifts it again. For the time, things are good enough.

End of Adventure

Well, that was a slightly troublesome end there with rolls, with some especially disappointing turnarounds related to quest completion and stuff. Several times there I was pretty sure Firuvin would die. So many 9|10 style rolls. All in all though it was quite the fun experience, and it’s nice to have a completed adventure under my belt. I’m not sure whether I’ll play another game with this guy, roll a new PC, or try Starforged next.

This game was played using the free digital Ironsworn rulebook. Copies of the dungeon-exploring Delve expansion may also be incorporated later.

Character Sheet

Firuvin the Warden, E1 H2 I3 S1 W2. Momentum -1, Health 2, Spirit 1, Supply 0, XP 2.
Assets: Alchemist 1, Herbalist 1, Slayer 1.
Inventory: Sword, shield, mortar and pestle.
Bonds: Ikram, veteran slayer. Lucia, scout and friend. Stonehall, border village.
Vows: Slay the beast that killed his family (extreme, 0.0). Heal Lucia’s sister (Formidable, 0.0).

Firuvin the Slayer – Ironsworn – Session 2

Character Sheet

Firuvin the Warden, E1 H2 I3 S1 W2. Momentum 4, Health 5, Spirit 5, Supply 4.
Assets: Alchemist 1, Herbalist 1, Slayer 1.
Inventory: Sword, shield, mortar and pestle, elixir of clarity.
Bonds: Ikram, veteran slayer. Lucia, scout and friend. Stonehall, border village.
Vows: Slay the beast that killed his family (extreme, 0.0). Find Lucia’s caravan (dangerous, 0.0).

Starting the Adventure

The path beneath the forest is nearly black. What little moonlight comes down from overhead is lost in the dense canopy. Firuvin unstoppers the elixir of clarity and downs it in a single draught.

Face Danger +Iron: 6+3i vs 6|2. Strong hit. +1 momentum and +1 wits until health, spirit, or momentum fall below 1.

Firuvin shudders as the potion hits his bloodstream. After a moment, the darkness seems to recede a little, and he can more clearly see the trees around him. He sets off at a run.

Undertake a Journey: 1+3w+1(bond) vs 1|5. Weak hit. -1 supply (3 left).

The road falls behind him as he moves toward the distant village of Stormbridge. [Troublesome Journey to Stormbridge: 3.0 progress.]

He stops to rest as the sun rises [Oracle: red+wood] in a grove of towering redwoods. The air here is damp, thick with fog. He eats quickly and finds a quiet corner to get a few hours of sleep.

Reminder: You can find links to every one of my solo session game reports on my Campaign Logs page.

Make Camp: 3+2(supply) vs 4|4. Strong hit with match! Focus (+1 momentum) and prepare (+1 to next journey).

Event: Support Resource.

He awakens feeling rest and quickly sets out on the trail again. Just as he’s leaving camp, he notices a thicket of blackberry bushes not far from the road. He stops to eat [+1 supply, lucky! Now at 4 supply].

Undertake a Journey: 6+3w+1(preparation) vs 1|10, weak hit. -1 Supply (3 left). [Journey to Stormbridge: 6.0 progress.]

The next few hours pass quickly. He sees no sign of the missing caravan, nothing to pull him from the road. He knows that the village of Stormbridge is close, however. Taking advantage of the dim light filtering down from above, Firuvin begins searching for signs of the missing caravan.

Gather Information: 6+3w vs 1|5, strong hit. +2 momentum (now 8), and Firuvin finds signs of the caravan.

It isn’t long before Firuvin spies them–ruts, driven off the road and into the decomposing undergrowth. He heads north, off the road, and into the darkest part of the wood.

Undertake a Journey: 3+3w vs 9|4, weak hit. -1 Supply (now 2). [Troublesome journey to Stormbridge: 9.0 progress.]

The trail twists north, down off the road and into leaf-strewn gullies. Eventually, the trail trends upward toward rolling, forested hills.

Reach your Destination: 9progress vs 6|6, strong hit with a match! Troublesome Journey to Stormbridge is complete.

Mark Progress (Find Lucia’s Caravan): 2.0 progress.

The wagon is there. It tilts crazily on a broken axle, but it’s there. Behind it, a yawning mouth opens into rocky earth. A cave. Firuvin moves slowly forward.

Are there any foes nearby? 50/50: 89, yes. Are they men? Likely: 79, yes. Because he is sneaking, Firuvin can attempt to secure an advantage before fighting.

Secure an Advantage (Shadow): 3+1s vs 7|9. Miss! Burn momentum: Weak hit. +1 momentum (now 3) and no advantage. 

This was a rough roll. Firuvin is not much of a sneaker, but none of the other stats seemed appropriate for the situation.

Firuvin steps out into the clearing just as a pair of spearmen in leather arrive from the west. Both are caught flat-footed–bad timing all around. Firuvin wastes no time drawing his sword.

Battle: 3+3i vs 10|5. Weak hit. Pay the price: -1 health (4 left).

The battle passes in a blur. Firuvin lunges at the closer man, catches him beneath the arm with his sword. He turns aside the second man’s thrusting spear with his shield as the first spearman dies on the end of Firuvin’s blade. Firuvin tears the sword free and turns it on the remaining man. They face off for a moment, measuring each other. And then they both move forward. Soon, the second man is dead and Firuvin realizes that his side is burning. He looks–a long gash has torn through his armor and ripped a bloody gash in his side.

Endure Harm: 4+4health vs 8|1. Weak hit. Press on.

Firuvin grimaces and presses a strip of cloth against the wound until it clots. He is lucky–the wound looks worse than it is.

Oracle: Are the dead men bandits? Certain: Yes.

The corpses have the ragtag look of bandits–certainly not the concerted action of another warchief. One lucky break at least.

Gather Information to Find Signs of the Missing People: 5+3w vs 4|9. Weak hit. +1 momentum (now 4) and introduce trouble.

Signs of dragged cargo and kicking feet lead toward the nearby cave. Here, signs of a struggle. There, a splash of blood stains a fallen leaf. Not good, but at least Firuvin is in the right spot. [Mark Progress: Find Lucia’s Caravan (4.0).]

He marches up to the mouth of the cave and peers into the darkness. [Can he hear anything? 50/50: 74, yes. What? Communicate Warning (that was a timely roll)] He hears a shout from down below, sounds of a battle. He recognizes Lucia’s voice. She’s still alive, at least. He hefts his sword and readies his shield.

[At this point I would normally run a delve, but I don’t have my Delve book or domain cards downloaded on this computer, so instead I’ll simply run it narratively using the oracle and a troublesome Journey.]

Troublesome Explore the Caves: 0.0

Undertake a Journey: 3+3w vs 4|2. Strong hit! Make progress without using supply and reach a waypoint. Explore the Caves: 3.0.

What is in the first chamber? Abandon Spirit

The cave air is filled with the scent of blood. As Firuvin’s eyes adjust to the gloom, he sees the bodies. [Are they all the bodies of caravaners? Certain: 99, yes.] Firuvin recognizes a few of the slain. All from Stonehall. At least none of them are Lucia.

[Because of the strong hit, I rule that this section is unguarded.]

Undertake a Journey: 5+3w vs 2|7. Strong hit! Make progress without using supply and reach waypoint. Explore the Caves: 6.0.

What is in the second chamber? Refuse Community (stolen goods denied to the community)

The tunnel continues deeper into the hillside. Soon, it emerges into a larger cave, stuffed full of crates and bags filled with goods. Firuvin searches them quickly.

Resupply: 2+3w vs 5|6. Miss. No supply and pay the price.

Unfortunately, the bags are stuffed full of lumber and wool and hard grains–nothing Firuvin can use. He wastes a few minutes searching but finds nothing of immediate value. [-1 momentum, now 3.] The master of Stonehall will be pleased, however. [Reach a Milestone: Find Lucia’s Caravan: 6.0.]

Undertake a Journey: 6+3w vs 5|3. Strong hit! No supply used. Explore the Caves: 9.0.Progress Roll: 9 vs 9|0. Miss (ARGH!). Clear all but one progress and increase difficulty to Dangerous.What is in the third chamber? Clash Peace. Enemies!

The tunnel slopes downward. The air grows stale. Can’t be long now. It eventually opens again into a long hall. Men turn as Firuvin steps into the open. Hard men, desperate men, dressed in rags and carrying hammers and flimsy shields. It doesn’t take them long to see that he isn’t one of theirs–and it doesn’t take him long to realize that Lucia isn’t here.

Behind the men, a tunnel sinks darkly into the earth. Strange sounds come up from below, and the air in the room feels odd, heavy. Bad things lurk below.

Group of Bandits (Dangerous Enemy).Swear an Iron Vow: Rescue Lucia from the Depths (Troublesome). 0.0. 1+2h+1(bond with Lucia) vs 4|4. Miss. -2 momentum (now 1).

Firuvin roars are the three men rise to face him. He will beat them. He will rescue Lucia. They will all fall. But why does he feel a tightness in his chest? Greater beasts than these have fallen to his blade…

[Although I would like to Enter the Fray using Wits, I’m not sure this counts as an Ambush. I think we’re facing off on equal ground. That means Heart.]

Enter the Fray: 6+2h vs 6|2, strong hit. +2 momentum (now 3) and Firuvin has initiative.

Firuvin charges forward, hoisting his sword as he runs. He throws his torch, causing the nearest bandit to flinch away as the burning brand strikes him in the face.

Strike: 6+3i vs 7|9, weak hit. Inflict Harm (2.0) and lose initiative.

The man flinches back as the torch burns him, but the others leap over their benches and are on Firuvin in an instant.

Clash: 4+3i vs 6|3. Strong hit. Inflict +1 Harm (5.0) and gain initiative.

Firuvin dances back as the pair advance. He then lunges forward, catching one man’s axe on his shield as his sword punctures the other attacker’s chest. The man gasps and falls back as he dies. Two left.

Strike: 5+3i vs 9|8. Miss! Lose initiative and pay the price–2 harm (2 health left).Endure Harm: 3+3i vs 1|10. Weak hit. Press on.

Firuvin’s attack falls short as the burned man shakes off the pain and lashes out with the dagger he’s holding. It cuts deeply into Firuvin’s leg and sends the slayer reeling back.

Clash: 6+3i vs 1|9. Weak hit. Inflict harm (7.0) but Pay the price. 2 harm. 0 health left (wits are back to 2, the elixir wore off).Endure Harm: 6+3i vs 1|1. Strong hit and match! Embrace the pain: +1 momentum (now 4).Because of the match, I’ll say that Firuvin can Secure an Advantage: 3+3i vs 9|3, weak hit. +1 momentum (now 5).

The fight becomes a mad scramble for blood. The second bandit falls. Firuvin feels a blade bite into his ribs. He growls and pushes through, gets his shield up under the last man’s chin.

Clash: 5+3i vs 7|10. Weak hit. Inflict Harm (9.0) but Pay the Price. -2 momentum (now 3).

Since Firuvin has the three down to the last man, and he’s wounded and pinned, I’ll rule that he can’t inflict harm, but that Firuvin loses 2 momentum as the man fights to his feet.

The man kicks Firuvin off of him and climbs to his feet. Grunting, Firuvin fights through the pain in his leg and lashes out with the last bit of his strength.

Turn the Tide Strike: 4+3i+1 vs 7|1. Strong hit! Inflict Harm (10) and +1 momentum (now 4).Finish the Fight: 10 vs 1|6. Strong hit!

His blade whips out. It catches the bandit in the belly, tears him down. Firuvin climbs atop him, finishes the job, and then he collapses against the table leg, panting.

Reach a Milestone: Rescue Lucia from the Depths (3.0).

He pulls himself to his feet using the edge of the table. At the other end of the room lies the tunnel downward. It will wait, but not long.

Check Gear: Does Firuvin have enough herbs to heal himself? 4+2supply vs 3|8. Weak hit. Yes, +1m (now 5), -1 supply (now 1).Heal: 2+2w+2(herbalist) vs 6|1. Weak hit. +2 health (now 2) but -1m (now 4).Resupply: 1+2w vs 6|5, miss. -1m (now 3).

Firuvin fetches a few herbs from his pouch and pounds them into a poultice before binding them around his bleeding leg. He looks around for anything else of use, any food, even a drink to dull the pain, but everything of value was spilled or trampled during the fight.

He grunts and rises, tests the leg. Not great, but it will hold. He limps along the chamber toward the tunnel.

Well, that sure went to heck pretty quickly. I wonder if I should have attempted to do more narrative and mechanical improvising during the fight to improve Firuvin’s odds. I’m still pretty new to the system. Perhaps Securing an Advantage as much as I can before rolls–risking lighter consequences that Harm on failure, etc.–would have helped. Alternately, maybe I just had bad luck, or maybe fights are too risky for new characters. I’ll have to keep investigating. It was a fun session though!

Character Sheet

Firuvin the Warden, E1 H2 I3 S1 W2. Momentum 3, Health 2, Spirit 5, Supply 1.
Assets: Alchemist 1, Herbalist 1, Slayer 1.
Inventory: Sword, shield, mortar and pestle.
Bonds: Ikram, veteran slayer. Lucia, scout and friend. Stonehall, border village.
Vows: Slay the beast that killed his family (extreme, 0.0). Find Lucia’s caravan (dangerous, 6.0). Rescue Lucia from the Depths (3.0).
Progress: Explore the Caves (Dangerous) 1.0.

Firuvin the Slayer – Ironsworn – Session 1

Firuvin is a slayer, a warden dedicated to walking the secret paths and seeking out the things that lurk in the darkness. He is strong, brave, and wise, though he lacks subtlety [3 Iron, 2 Wits, 2 Heart, 1 Shadow, 1 Edge]. Firuvin is bound to the life of the slayer, bound to seek out the darkness that butchered his community and left him an orphan. Not because he seeks revenge–no slayer would be so foolish as to believe such a thing would do any good–but because the world would be a little better with the demon not in it [+Extreme Vow: Slay the beast that killed his family].

Ikram, his master, [+Bond] taught him many things, most notable among them the way to use the scant bounty of the Ironlands for his own benefit [Assets: Alchemist, Herbalist, Slayer].

Firuvin carries little, but he bears the artifacts of the slayer: the sword, shield, and a mortar and pestle for grinding potions.

The story begins in the village of Stonehall [+bond], at the foot of the great eastern mountains. It is a village of hardscrabble farming and powerful raiders. The warriors gather in a low hall, dug deep into the face of the mountain in the manner of the dwarves who once lived in the region.

The road carried Firuvin across the length of the Ironlands, but it had been quiet of late. The slayer had come to know the company of a woman, Lucia, a scout in service of the master of Stonehall, [+Bond]. It had been a long time since he’d had the opportunity to truly enjoy another’s company, and the sensation of it has come back slowly–but it had come back.

Inciting Incident: Lost Caravan.

Lucia went out with a band of warriors more than a fortnight ago. They are now two, nearly three, days late. Vital supplies for the coming winter were expected–as was Firuvin’s first true friend. Both are missing.
The master of the village called his remaining warriors to the hall. He asked which of them would swear a vow to find the missing caravan.

Did the others swear? Likely: 60, yes.

The warriors leaped at the opportunity to prove their worths, to earn their master’s esteem. Firuvin surprised himself. He too stepped up to the dais and grasped the blade of the master’s sword. He looked the withered old man in the eye and swore the iron vow. He would find that caravan. [+Dangerous Vow: Find Lucia’s caravan.]

The rough outline for this Vow is: Reach the vicinity of the caravan. Discover what happened. Recover the crew and cargo, if possible. Return Lucia (and the other stuff) to Stonehall. Each one of these steps will be worth Marking Progress, unless something comes up during the adventure.

The warriors slammed their drinks together in celebration of their new vows. The most eager of them downed the last of their ale and charged out into the night.

Would any want to team up with the slayer? Unlikely: 16, No.

Firuvin soon found himself alone in the hall with the master of Stonehall. The old man peered down his nose at Firuvin. “I thought Slayers cared for nothing but iron and blood and gold.”

Firuvin shrugged as he stood up from the long table. “I’ll be back for the gold if I find your wagon.”

The old man grimaced as Firuvin stepped out into the night. “You always were a strange one,” the master muttered as the door swung closed on the torchlit hall.

Gather Information: 1d+2w+1 (bond with Stonehall) vs 2|3. Strong hit–learn something specific and +2 momentum (now 4).

The other warriors had already vanished into the night. Firuvin instead turned toward town, sought out the house of Segura, the merchant. The man was sleeping, but he roused easily when Firuvin slammed into his door and barged into the quiet house.

Is Segura upset about the intrusion? 50/50: Yes.

The man muttered and grumbled about the intrusion even as he drew out a map of the caravan’s route on a piece of parchment. “They’re just delayed,” he insisted as Firuvin slipped the map into his pouch. “Stonehall men would never allow bandits to take one of my wagons.”

He shuffled Firuvin toward the door and back out into the night.

+Troublesome Obstacle: Journey to Stormbridge

The map showed the caravan crossing into the valley from the village of Stonebridge. Not far, and a good place to start the search. Firuvin returned home to prepare for the trip.

Before leaving, however, there were things to do. Firuvin pulled out his mortar and pestle and lit a fire beneath the pot. It was time to create an elixir for the road.

Secure an Advantage (Distill elixir in the comfort of home, with tools): 1d+2w vs 1|2 (lucky!). Strong hit. +1 on next roll.

(Alchemist) Create an Elixir of Clarity (-1 Supply, 4 left): 6d+2w+1 vs 7|7. Strong hit + match. Gain Elixir of Clarity.

Match: Overwhelm Ability.

Just as Firuvin stepped back out into the street, a rider on a dying horse stumbled into town. As the horse sank to its knees, the rider tumbled off into the dirt. Firuvin ran up to the man.

Was the rider physically wounded? Certain: 17, yes.

He was one of Segura’s riders. Not so capable after all. Firuvin called for help as he tried to query the man about what had happened, but his was already drifting into unconsciousness from his injuries. He would say nothing–not tonight.

Can someone save him? 50/50: 73, yes.

It was not long before the healer came running. Her boys came after her. “Help him up,” she said. Firuvin watched as they carried him off toward their cottage. He wanted to stay, to ask the man what had caused his wounds, but there was no time. The fact that his horse had come from the trail to Stormbridge was enough.

Firuvin took up a torch and set off into the night.

To be continued…

Tools and Resources

This game was played using the free digital Ironsworn rulebook and the dungeon-exploring Delve expansion.

Open-Ended Solo Adventure 3

This is a continuation of the open-ended solo quest I’m playing on RPGsolo.com. Here’s a link to session 1 and session 2 if you would like to review them.

Character Sheet

Black-Eyed Mattie, Bandit

Skills: Stealth (Great), Archery (Good), Swordplay (Good), Toughness (Bad)

Inventory: bow and arrows, sword, leather armor, map, rations (1), broken holy symbol, rope, lantern, oil, flint, 21 gp 8 sp

NPCs: eunuch fence, the Javie brothers, traitor second-in-command

Thread: follow treasure map, bizarre cult murders, humanoid war bands

Begin Session 3

Mattie settles into the old adventurer’s rest as night falls down around her.

Does anything happen in the night? (Unlikely) No, and…

[She wakes up well rested. Small bonus to rolls that relate to alertness or energy today.] Morning comes on her suddenly. Mattie stretches, rises, goes to make breakfast. She feels good.

Can she catch any food today [archery]? (Somewhat Likely) No

What does the road ahead look like? Mysteriously / Disagreeable

The trail leads down from the gently rolling hills into a dark forest. She feels the weight of the canopy above her, and the darkness presses in. Between the hills and the heavy boughs, little light reaches the forest floor.

Mattie knows that her food is running out. Without success at hunting, she’ll be on starvation rations tomorrow. She decides to explore today, seeing what she can find, and she’ll head back to the village regardless of the outcome.

Does the map show anything in this area? (50/50) Yes, and…

it’s easy to find.

What is it? Overthrow / Dreams – Crazily / Delicate

The path continues into the forest until it opens into a large clearing. Mattie looks around. Small huts are suspended high in the trees, strung to the branches by silk-thin wires. Piles of broken wood lie throughout the clearing–wires spread like tangled spider’s web around them.

Is anyone still around? (Unlikely) No, but…

Does someone show up while she’s searching? (50/50) No

They’re nearby.

Can she hear them? (50/50) No

Mattie moves carefully along the forest floor, searching the fallen houses before trying to find a way up to the higher ones. How many houses are on the ground?

6 = 6[d6]

Does she find anything of note?

(Somewhat Likely) Yes Offensively / Lovely – Postpone / Anger

The first houses contain nothing but the detritus of every day life smashed to pieces. In the fourth one, though, she finds a suit of armor. It is light and delicate, fearfully made. She holds it up to the sky and it shimmers where the sun manages to pierce through the canopy.

Will it fit her? (50/50) No, and…

Too big? (50/50) Yes, but…

The material is made of a fine metallic thread. Mattie can’t tell how it’s woven, but it is clear that no ordinary smith could craft such a thing. Unfortunately, it would hang from her shoulders were she to try it on. Mattie slips the fine shirt into her pack [+Inventory: Elvish(?) Armor] and steps out of the house and back into the clearing.

Can she see any way up to the upper buildings? (Somewhat Unlikely) Yes, and…

From here, she can see what was invisible before–a thin staircase spiraling upward around the trunk of a great tree. An easy climb, if the stairs are in as good of shape as they look. Mattie decides to risk it. The chance of more treasure like the suit of armor make it hard to say no.

She climbs the ladder and it opens up into a vast, suspended city.

Does she see anything noteworthy in any particular direction? (Somewhat Likely) Yes, and…

She looks north. A willowy hall rises into the upper branches of a nearby tree. The tree and hall seem to mix and merge, and golden thread is intertwined amongst it all. Mattie’s bandit-sense tells her that there must be something worth taking there, if the building was worth so much effort.

[There will be treasure here for sure.]

What was the hall made for? Pursue / Suffering

Is there a monster inside? (50/50) Yes

Mattie isn’t sure what she expected from the beautiful structure, but it wasn’t this. She steps up toward the thin doors and peers inside. The room is lined with corpses, all hung and stretched between hooks and wires. She gags and falls back, scrambling for her sword.

Does she make enough noise to alert the monster (great stealth but she is approaching a building from outside)? (50/50) Yes

What is it? Take / Home

[Something that grabs/captures. A trap door spider of some kind.]

Does it come out to try to get her? (50/50) No, but… +Event: Procrastinate / Wishes

Mattie girds herself ands steps back toward the door. As she does, a loud chattering sounds from the center of the hall. She watches as a section of the floor peels back and several long, hairy legs stretch upward from below. She turns and runs before the thing has a chance to reveal itself.

[I know it won’t chase me because of the oracle question, but Mattie doesn’t. I’ll ask the oracle about her behavior.]

Does she run for the stairs? (50/50) No

She dashes away from the building and is soon out of sight. The hall is hidden behind the tops of trees as she follows the winding path through the canopy. After a few moments, she becomes sure she isn’t being followed. She pauses to steady her breathing and then continues on, quietly this time. She knows now she isn’t alone up here.

Can she see any interesting buildings up here? (50/50) Yes, and…

More than one.

What do they appear to be for? Recruit / Environment – Develop / The innocent

The catwalk splits up ahead. To her left, it rises and leads up to a great elevated platform that stretches out in the open space above the canopy. To her right, she sees a glorious temple, all twisted vines and interwoven flowers in myriad colors.

Does the temple bear the symbol she found in the innkeeper’s chest? (Somewhat Likely) Yes

Mattie reaches into her pack to make sure, but there can be no mistaking it. The broken holy symbol she found matches perfectly–down to the pattern of the vining–with the great wreath hanging over the doors of the temple. She heads that way, suddenly uninterested in the view from above the treetops.

Are the temple doors open? (50/50) No +Event: Struggle / Lies

Is there a person (elf) here? (Somewhat Unlikely) No

As Mattie approaches the temple, she see writing scrawled in paint across the face of the temple.

What does it say? Care / Environment

“A bitter end for a better earth,” the graffiti says. Mattie scans the area but she can see no one who could have written the message, or who might be watching the temple. She readies her sword.

Are there any windows she can peek through?(Somewhat Likely) Yes +Event: Inform / Information

Is there a monster within? (50/50) No

Is there a treasure? (Somewhat Unlikely) No, and…

[there’s a trap, but because of the event she can see it.]

What kind of trap is it? Inspect / Stalemate

Mattie creeps over to a tall window frame. She shuffles her feet through a pile of broken, colored glass, careful not to step on it. She peers through the window at the [lightly/soft] delicately lit temple. There is no one inside, but as she examines the room she notices wires strung throughout, and a net suspended from the ceiling. Curious.

She slips in through the window, avoiding the ropes.

Can she find anything that reveals more about the church or its symbol? (50/50) Yes

What does she learn? Mistrust / Energy

Many of the shelves are bare, but in one corner of an adjacent room she finds a weathered tome. She flips through it. The pages crumble to dust in her hand, but not before she reads enough to learn that the temple belongs to a nature cult–one that disdains magic and its domination of natural forces.

Is this a common religion? (50/50) Yes, and… +Event: Struggle / The spiritual

[Mattie also dislikes magic.] Mattie nods as she reads. The elves–for surely this city was built by elves–are strange, but at least this batch knew enough to be suspicious of mages. Like the Javie brothers.

None of this explains how a nondescript innkeeper got his hands on an elven holy symbol, or why it was broken, or why a band of hideous beast-things attacked him, but it sure leaves one to wonder. Mattie makes a note to ask around about the elven city when she returns to the village. She doubts she’s the first one to have found it.

She pokes around a little longer, but the temple is empty. Returning to the main room, she avoids the traps and steps back out onto the catwalk.

Has anything changed since she went inside? (Unlikely) No +Event: Befriend / Legal matters

Do guards find her? (Somewhat Likely) No, but…

Returning to the branching path, Mattie heads up toward the elevated platform she had skipped earlier. As she crests the ramp, she finds herself staring down at the bodies of men and women clothed in robes and broken armor.

Have they been dead long? (50/50) Yes

The smell of decomposing flesh is strong, but that at least is something she’s used to. She keeps alert as she creeps over toward the bodies.

Is there anything still there to attack her? (50/50) Yes

Is it the same thing that killed the bodies? (Likely) Yes

How many powers does it have? 1d4-1=0 (floor 1). Negligence / Possessions

What kind of beast is it? Politely / Empty

[A ghost/spirit that can cause its foes to drop their weapons with its ghastly chill]

As Mattie moves amongst the bodies, she feels a cool wind rise up around her. A cold wind. A freezing one. Her breath comes in puffs. She glances at the trees. All are still; no leaves rustle around her. She turns and finds herself face to face with an elf. She yelps and falls back, caught off guard by the suddenness of the fey’s arrival. The thing takes a step toward her–no, she corrects herself–it SLIDES toward her.

GHOST: Swordplay (Good). Grave Chill: Pass a toughness check after hitting or blocking the ghost or drop your weapon due to the icy chill of the grave.

Mattie gathers her wits and climbs back to her feet. Her sword is already in her hand. She isn’t sure it’ll do much against the vaporous thing before her, but it’s worth a shot. She swings.

Swordplay (good v good) (50/50) No

The elven apparition draws a blade of its own and smashes her sword wide. At least she knows that her sword can touch the thing.

It strikes back and the blade dips beneath her startled defense. The tip of the thing’s sword slices through her armor and carves a line through her stomach. Mattie feels the blade like a burning, spreading cold. [hits its combat roll and she fails her toughness check] She cries out as her body seizes; she hears a clang and sees that her sword has fallen from her grasp.

She falls back as she tries to shake the feeling back into her hands. When she can, she grabs for her belt pouch and pulls out the twisted circle symbol that she found. It’s broken, there’s no reason it should work, but…

Does the ghost react to the holy symbol? (Unlikely) No +Event: Oppress / Pleasures

The ghost doesn’t so much as glance at the ring. As it moves closer, Mattie feels its weight. She is going to die here. Like the others. Elves all, ancient beyond understanding. And they died here, died to this thing, maybe. What can she do against it?

Can she shake loose from the fear? (50/50) No, but… Communicate / Danger

Suddenly, a horn blast sounds from somewhere below. The sound of it seems to come to her through a pool of deep, still water. She wakes up, only noticing now that she was sleeping. The ghost is right before her. Mattie rolls and sprints away, past it, back the way she came.

Can she grab her sword on the way out? (Somewhat Likely) No +Event: Overindulge / Possessions

She dashes toward her sword, but as she reaches for it she sees a thin rime forming across its surface. She snatches her hand away and continues running. She is down the ramp, along the catwalk, and back down to the forest floor before she dares to look back.

Any sign of the horn blower? (50/50) Yes, but…

Enemies. Orcs in the woods. She hears the grunting before she sees the torches, but they are not far behind. She turns and runs, back along the trail, back to the village.

When she is well clear of the cursed wood and the orcish war band, Mattie finally allows herself to settle into a fast, mile-devouring walking stride. It isn’t far to the place she camped the night before, and if she’s lucky she can cover even more ground than that. As she goes, she thinks about the map. For all the trouble it brought with it, there just has to be a treasure at the end.

END SESSION 3

Black-Eyed Mattie, Bandit

Skills: Stealth (Great), Archery (Good), Swordplay (Good), Toughness (Bad)

Inventory: bow and arrows, leather armor, map, rations (1), broken holy symbol, rope, lantern, oil, flint, elvish(?) armor, 21 gp 8 sp

NPCs: eunuch fence, the Javie brothers, traitor second-in-command

Thread: follow treasure map, bizarre cult murders, humanoid war bands