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.

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