Ironsworn — Marien the Woods Witch 2

Character Sheet

Name: Marien, Woods witch
Stats: Iron 1, Heart 2+1, Wits 3, Edge 1, Shadow 2
Momentum: 2 (max 10, reset 2)
Resources: Health 3, Spirit 3, Supply 5
Experience: 0

Assets:

  • Sighted—When facing danger or gathering info regarding mystic forces, +1 and +1 momentum on hit
  • Bind Ritual—Bind the strength of an animal to you in a nighttime ritual
  • Divination Ritual—Use a ritual to Gather Info, Compel, or Forge a Bond

Bonds 0.3:

  • The women of Thornfall Wood’s communities
  • Gult, a local trader who comes to her for herbs
  • Vigo, another healer from a distant village

Vows:

  • Cure the Cursed Boy, Deshi – 2.0 – Dangerous

Description: Marien is a woods witch, known throughout the region, feared by many but come to by pregnant women and the sick.

Inventory: knuckle bones, deer pelt, dagger, staff

Session Start

At the end of the last scene, Marien had just finished a long, cold night in an unsheltered copse. Now she has to get back on the road to reach the softlands and find an herb to help keep the boy Deshi alive.

NOTE: I had called the inventory item ‘rune stones’ that she used for her divination according to the rules, but in my fiction I renamed them knucklebones. I have renamed them in her inventory for this session.

Morning came slowly in the valley. The road stretched north and south beside her. She packed her few things and prepared to leave.

Undertake a Journey: 1+3w = 4 vs 8/10. Another miss. Is she waylaid by the bandits (likely) or does the trail become impassable? 98, the trail becomes impassable.

The road wound deeper into the valley. The sound of running water ran under everything, but it grew into a cacophony as she progressed. Finally, she rounded a rocky outcropping and pulled up short; the road ahead was entirely gone. A swift running stream washed across the path.

Gather Information – Try to find another way across: 4+3w = 7 vs 9/7. Miss again. Discover an unwelcome truth—men guard the ford. Is the ford guarded by Clan Whitewolf or bandits? 53, whitewall.

She turned her horse from the road and turned upstream, looking for a place where the water widened and she could ford it. After a moment, she cursed.

A pair of armed warriors flanked the stream, leaning on their spears. The first saw her, nudged his companion. Marien looked around, but there was no room to turn the horse fast enough to get away.

“Don’t recognize ye,” the first man said.

I’ll use a Compel move to convince the men to let me through. By convincing or pacifying them, rather than outright lying or threatening, I can use Marien’s strong Heart skill.

Compel – Pacify: 5+3h = 8 vs 5/10. Weak hit. They will do what I ask, but demand something in return. Do they need me to heal one of their friends? Likely: 20, yes.

“Marien. Of Thornfall Wood.”

“Ain’t heard of ye, either,” he answered.

“I’m a healer, and I need to get by.”

“This ford’s closed, by order of—“ the man began, but his companion elbowed him hard in the ribs. They whispered together. Finally, they broke apart.

“A healer?”

Marien grunted assent.

“Good. Come with me.” He pointed up the way, to the other side of the ford. She kicked her horse forward and followed the second man. The trees were close on the other side of the stream, but the man grabbed the horse’s bridle and led her through the wood.

They eventually emerged into a small clearing. A few tents cluttered the grass. Men lounged around a fire, talking quietly. They looked up when Marien entered.

“Who’s this, then?” a guard asked them on approach.

“A healer,” her escort said. “Found her trying to cross the ford.”

The guard’s face lightened, relief poured over him. “Bring her, quick!” They led the horse to a distant tent and helped her down.

“Who is it?” she asked.

“Kynnen. A good son of a good family. In.” He held the tent flap aside. Marien entered, saw a blonde, bearded man stretched out on a bed of grasses.

“A gut wound,” she said.

Oracle: Was it humans or something else? 50/50: 31, humans. Was it the Oakhearts? 50/50: 82, no.

“Aye. Bandits, from the road ahead. Trying to get over the ford. Took him in the dark.” The guard crouched down at his friend’s side. “Can ye help him?”

Marien crouched, moved the wounded man’s hand aside. “It’s bad,” she said.

“Please,” the man said. “Kynnen’s done well by all of us. Got young at home.”

Marien paused, looked at him. “I need by the river again, later.”

“You’ll have it.”

She nodded. “Get my bags.”

Secure an Advantage – Check if I have the right healing herbs: 3+3w = 6 vs 5/10. Weak hit. +1 momentum.

The man brought them. She rifled through the contents, pulled handfuls of dried herbs onto the smooth earth. “A pot,” she snapped at the waiting warriors. One was fetched. She boiled water, stirred the herbs in. “Pray,” she said. She smeared the poultice onto the wounded man’s side.

Heal Kynnen the Warrior: 2+3w vs 5/4. Weak hit. The healing succeeds, but -1 supply (4 left).

“And?” the man behind her demanded.

“And now we wait,” Marien responded. She settled onto her heels and sat.

How long does it take for him to recover: hours (likely) or days? 71, hours.

After a few hours, the wounded man stirred and coughed. His friends crowded to him, grabbed his hand. “Kynnen?”

He groaned. “By the gods…”

Form a Bond – Clan Whitewolf: 1+3h = 4 vs 7/9. Miss and the magic from her enchanted deer pelt is destroyed because she rolled a 1 on a heart check. Dang. These guys aren’t grateful enough to go out of their way.

His companions turned to Marien, thumped their chests with their fists. “You’ve earned your passage, witch.”

“Keep him still for a few days yet,” Marien said. “The fire should leave the flesh, but he’s still cut.”

“We will.” The man rose and escorted her out. “You need to head north?”

She nodded. “Into the softlands.”

Are the bandits still an issue? Likely: 11, yes.

“Be careful. The roads…Whitewolf doesn’t patrol the paths north of here. Bandits and worse hide in the wild places between here and the softlands.”

Secure an Advantage for the road ahead: 2+3w = 5 vs 2/6, weak hit. Gain +1 momentum for a short-lived advantage.

What does he warn her about? Settled woods

Marien mounts her horse and heads toward the road. “‘ware the forest past the valley. The bandits have set up a camp within.”

Marien nodded and urged her horse onward. There was a long way to go.

Undertake a Journey to the Softlands: 5+3w = 8 vs 7/9. Weak hit. Reach a waypoint (2.0 progress) but lose 1 supply. Remaining supply: 3. Where did she arrive? Beautiful waterfall.

Marien made good time on the road, stopping only long enough to eat a quick meal beside a lake. A waterfall rained from above, stirring the cool waters. She drank deep from the clean pool and then continued onward.

Undertake a Journey to the Softlands: 2+3w = 5 vs 7/8. Miss. This was supposed to be a quick detour, but the number of misses on travel has gotten to be ridiculous. I’m going to just delay her and take -1 supply for the penalty. 2 left.

The road beyond, however, led steeply up and out of the valley. The going was slow, and night was setting by the time she reached the level plain above.

Resupply by foraging for supplies: 3+3w = 6 vs 8/9, miss again. No supplies, can’t camp or rest for the night.

Marien found a depression in the plain and picketed the horse. She scoured the ground for herbs and edible greens, but the plain was dry and the grasses inedible. She settled in for a long night.

Undertake a Journey to the Softlands: 1+3w = 4 vs 1/8. Weak hit. 2 progress (now 4!) but -1 supply. Where does she stop? Empty/hill.

The road across the plain was smooth and level, but the dry grasses continued. By midday she reached a low hillock that had grown in the distance for several hours. She sheltered in the lee side of the hill and dumped her bag onto the ground and sorted through her supplies. They were dwindling.

Secure an Advantage by climbing to high ground to see the road ahead: 4+3w = 7 vs 8/10. Another miss. Does someone see her? 50/50: 59, no. The road ahead is hidden by the grass.

The road ahead was lost by the high grass. Beyond the hill, she could see nothing but the thigh-high grain. Distant hills stood blue against the sky, but the way there was unmarked.

Undertake a Journey to the Softlands: 1+3w = 4 vs 2/9. Weak hit. Make a waypoint (now 6 progress) but -1 supply (now 0).

The path petered out behind her. She moved through the high grass toward the distant hills. Evening came and she stopped to make camp. She ate the last of her rations and picketed the horse to crop the grass.

Resupply by looking for food: 2+3w = 5 vs 7/9. Find nothing helpful and now unable to camp again.

Marien crawled back to camp as full dark fell. She’d found nothing, and now it was too late to build a warm fire. She huddled beneath the deer pelt cloak and waited for morning.

Undertake a Journey: 2+3w = 5 vs 5/1. Weak hit. Make progress (now 8!) but -1 supply (now negative supply. She has to take health, spirit, or momentum damage. Since momentum is the only stat I’ve got building and I figure that Marien has dealt with hunger before and it won’t scare her, she’ll take -health instead of spirit (2 left).

*Rule Update: I’m just not having fun with the constant misses and occasional weak hits. In order to give the game a little more dynamic of a feel, I’m going to change the rules to have one of the challenge dice be a d8 instead of a d10. This will have a significantly smaller effect that increasing the player’s action die to a d8 from a d6 or giving her a bonus to rolls, but it should have a small positive effect on dice outcomes.

Marien rose from her camp. She looked at the road ahead, cinched her belt tight. Her stomach grumbled. She mounted the horse and headed toward the hills.

Undertake a Journey: 5+3w = 8 vs 8/5, weak hit. Make progress (now 10!) but at -1 supply. Since Marien is already out of food, this will hit her spirit instead (now at 2). Since she is unprepared, I can’t increase supply by foraging. I’ll need to find a town to Sojourn in (buy/be given food).

Reach a Destination: 10 progress vs 5/8. Strong hit! The situation favors me—either man another move immediately with a +1 bonus or gain +1 momentum. I think the +1 bonus roll is most helpful. I’ll use it to Sojourn and try to repair my unprepared debility.

I also rule that reaching the village is a milestone in Marien’s quest to cure the boy. This will give her +2 progress on her quest log. It is now at 4.

The road wound through the low places and then up into the hills. Finally, as the sun peaked overhead, Marien rounded a bend and saw the first sight of the softlands. Rich, dark soil covered the ground. Green shoots of plants poked up through the earth. In the distance, a city surrounded by an earthen wall stood atop a hill.

Marien wove in her saddle as the horse made for it.

Sojourn: 6+2h+1bonus = 9 vs 1/8. Strong hit! Sojourning represents Marien spending time in town to recover. She can choose to Equip (+1 supply and no longer unprepared) and she will gamble on a strong recovery. Recuperate: 5+2h = 7 vs 5/1. Strong hit. She heals 4 health (back up to max 5).

The village gates opened as she approached. Villagers saw her, crowded close. A stout woman shouted for help, and a pair of men ran from a nearby hall. The grabbed Marien by her arms, lifted her down from the horse.

“You came through the grasslands?” one of them asked her. Marien nodded. “Get her inside, and get some mead and bread for her. Quick!”

Marien didn’t protest. She allowed herself to rest as she was borne into the village hall.

Wrap Up

Name: Marien, Woods witch
Stats: Iron 1, Heart 2, Wits 3, Edge 1, Shadow 2
Momentum: 4 (max 10, reset 2)
Resources: Health 5 Spirit 2, Supply 1
Experience: 0

Assets:

  • Sighted—When facing danger or gathering info regarding mystic forces, +1 and +1 momentum on hit
  • Bind Ritual—Bind the strength of an animal to you in a nighttime ritual
  • Divination Ritual—Use a ritual to Gather Info, Compel, or Forge a Bond

Bonds 0.3:

  • The women of Thornfall Wood’s communities
  • Gult, a local trader who comes to her for herbs
  • Vigo, another healer from a distant village

Vows:

  • Cure the Cursed Boy, Deshi – 4.0 – Dangerous

Description: Marien is a woods witch, known throughout the region, feared by many but come to by pregnant women and the sick.

Inventory: knucklebones, deer pelt (not magical), dagger, staff

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