The Broken Land: Tadiko runs the gauntlet

I’ve been itching to run Naked Doom since I downloaded it in mid-2017. It was a standout concept in my early days of T&T: start with nothing, survive a desperate underground challenge. It carried more ‘weight’ than any other solo I can recall, though I’m sure I only got one character through it.

So the temptation to run Tadiko through it was too much for me. OK, it’s a warrior solo and she’s not a warrior; but she’s under a magic ‘lock’ and has not used a single spell since the mini-campaign began. She’s also one of the stronger rogues, probably the strongest.

Obviously I’ve adapted the ‘wraparound’ to re-site the challenge. If you are a diehard and don’t think the dungeon can be used outside of Khazan, apologies.

Because I don’t want to put my own preference into Tadiko’s choices I’m using Mythic set at Chaos 5, ‘open’ decisions at 50-50. I’ll note where choices are other than 50-50.

dT&T Tadiko: STR13 DEX15 LCK15 SPD11 CON15 CHR12 INT12. Adds+7.

The goblins escort her to a chasm and in it, to a iron-gated tunnel. Two are armed with bows and they begin readying them. She’s been told if she makes it through she can keep her life, and any treasure. The gate way is swung open and she’s heaved roughly through. The tunnel beyond is straight, and seems to be lit by occasional torches.

“Run, bitch!”

Wasting no time Tadiko sets off at top speed, jinking from side to side! Arrows flick past her [Makes L1 SPD and LCK, 21AP] and she clears a corner about 100′ along without being hit.

Beyond the corner the passage forks into three. Wasting little time in choosing, Tadiko keeps running – into the middle one. [But for me a slow Mythic 50-50 double roll!]

Panting, she flings herself down in a cavern with many human bones and three pools, none of them inviting but her thirst is fierce. Each is marked by skulls: that on the left by one skull, the middle by two, and the right by a stack of three.

[Drink Likely and Pool 3 Unlikely]

[Makes L1 CON, 7AP]

She wakes in a sunlit cavern though the walls are slick and unclimbable. She feels enormously more focused and energetic! [STR DEX and CHR all x3, adds+63] But she realises that what has woken her is a woman’s voice, and it is approaching. A gruffer male voice is addressing the woman from time to time. Not afraid but unwilling to just stand, Tadiko hides behind boulders. [In order: Wait 50-50, flee Somewhat Likely and Hide Likely] Sure enough, it is a woman. And she’s escorted by a tough-looking goblin.

[L2 LCK SR, fails, 18AP]

The goblin senses or scents her, and she must choose without a second’s pause to fight, kow-tow or flee! [I have to recycle Likely/Unlikely/Likely before I get Fight!]

The fight is one-sided: Tadiko despite having bare fists is faster and tougher than the goblin. In what seems moments it lies dead, and the woman stands aghast. At first. Then, realising that Tadiko is not some brute of a man, she holds her hand out in peace. [Befriend woman Likely]

Loot! Tadiko gains a crude 3d6 spear, a bronze 2d6 dagger and bone/shell armour that will protect for 4 points. 28AP.

The woman introduces herself as Shyan. She says, she knows a way out. [Trust Yes] In return, the woman asks that Tadiko pledges not to harm the local goblins. [Sure thing] As Tadiko walks with her, Shyan explains that she has no need of rescue: in fact she is a kind of queen among the deeper goblins here.

Tadiko rests long enough with Shyan to wash and recover. Perhaps Shyan has powers or perhaps the underdark fungus diet is beneficial: Tadiko feels even fitter as she waves farewell and heads over the iron bridge Shyan has pointed out. [All attributes +1, Adds rise to +66]

The iron bridge spans a lava flow! Gritting her teeth and trusting to luck that her footing is good, Tadiko sprints across.

[L1 LCK SR, 12AP]

The tunnel ends at a door and the chamber beyond is filled with silvery mist. She can just see the exit opposite. [Walk directly across V.Unlikely, wait and study Likely]

Tadiko hesitates then realises the mist leaves some breathing space below it. [L1 IQ SR, 10AP] She scooches along on her belly-armour, gasping painfully as the poison attacks her lungs. [-6 CON=CON10] Near the exit, she finds that she is nose-to-stone with a rune for ‘treasure’. Barely pausing she flips the stone up, finds only silver coins, and leaves them scattered behind her. Safety!

The chamber beyond offers a brief respite, for it is empty save for a divan. On the divan is a very small tunic in garish colours. Since it’s that or uncomfortable nudity under the crude armour, Tadiko dons it and re-fits her armour. Next, she turns her attention to a weapon leaning against the opposite wall next to an impressive exit door. It’s a better spear than the crude goblin version, and she exchanges it. (3d6+1)

As she exits she senses she’s not in the Vale any more!

The vast crowd in the Death Games Arena cheer as the tiny figure steps through into blazing sun and sand. Her spear swells to twice its dimensions: luckily with her superior abilities it’s easy for her to handle. Opposite, a portcullis rolls up and the luckless opponent steps through. It’s a naked human armed with a makeshift bamboo spear! Perhaps some other fool that was forced to run the gauntlet: but  it’s not one of her party and since he seems to be crazed, Tadiko avoids his mad rush and kills him instantly. Mists gather round her as money changes hands in the crowd and she finds herself spinning through space and time…

[40AP, and Tadiko can take AP gain here. She moves INT to 14 with the 136 gained so far.]

Mythic: Does moving to a different dimension break the spell lock? (Likely) Yes.

…to find herself standing in a tunnel, as though she’s just left the misty room. Her spear is normal size again. Voices up ahead! Before Tadiko can do more than re-focus herself, an alarm sounds and a strapping well-armoured Urukin swings into view and challenges her! [Surrender Unlikely/ Attack VLikely]

As Tadiko levels her spear and leaps to the attack the guard parries, calls for help and the fight is on in earnest!

[3 more guards are rolled. Round one will be the chief guard, then two more, then one per round until all are dead]

By the time a pair of the first guard’s comrades arrive their chief is dead! Seeing that they are less well-armed and armoured Tadiko wastes no time parleying. One falls as a third joins the fight, but his wounded comrade falls swiftly and the last man is swiftly put down. Breathing hard and with a few trickles of blood running off her flanks, Tadiko begins comparing shields, weapons and armour sizes. [CON finishes at 8 after 2 spite damage. 85AP]

The guardroom beyond is worth searching, and Tadiko can already smell the clean summer smell of the Golden River outside. She takes a pouch, water and some rations, and two valuable gems to go in the pouch. And she can feel mana surging back into her! Time to find the keep and see if she can steal her own equipment back!

[5000 bonus AP for a grand total of 5221, 5091 to spend]

[DCC reward is +1 each attribute and +1 to LCK]

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