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

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