The Broken Land Chapter Three: Scarlet Heroes

A DCC/Mythic solo play (with other emulators as required)

Episode 1: the caravan’s first night and day

Loot shares and terms

So successful have the three rogues been in their last push – admittedly with the help of the new and improved (and slightly scary) Tadiko – that by the time they seat themselves around a fine summer campfire to talk loot shares with the goblins, it’s only early evening.

Elyn sticks to her role as negotiator. [Elyn receives a +1 PRS for a remarkable run of success with the goblins. She makes her PRS check.] As they watch (greedily, let’s say it!) the other two notice that the goblins doing most of the talking are older females. Maybe that’s what they have in common, Binye thinks (but doesn’t voice that opinion!)

Elyn successfuly negotiates for a one in ten division and angles the discussion so that the ‘ten’ are pretty good size loot piles. The share the rogues end up with is the gnome den loot (including its higher-value coins) and the rich scroll tube.

As the gnome boss Azertz’s fine booze is shared to celebrate the dealing, talk turns to the caravan. The goblins are keen to get going while night is still on their side.

The terms of service are a lot more cut-and-dried to negotiate. The goblins are willing to accept paying 2sp/day per rogue given the dangers of the road but not fighting all the way. [This one, Elyn has a +d3 for the deal being in the expected range, and just makes it] Since the goblins will be paying out of the ‘free money’ they just received, they are happy enough.


The river-trail south

Dawn finds the caravan of one heavy goods wagon, four dray-horses, two teamsters, nine entrepreneurs and three guards about halfway towards the main trail to Scarlet Heroes. It’s been a rugged trail, ill-defined and ill-traveled. These are the caravan’s members:

The nine goblin entrepreneurs (female unless noted)

  • Bosz, the boss-lady, diplomatic, wary, imposing. Will use a shortbow.
  • Xagz the first to speak, chatty, egotistical, old. Will use a shortbow.
  • Gbus the fletcher, dirty, friendly, inquisitive. Will use a shortbow.
  • Kamz the herbalist, male with short beard, aloof, trusts Bosz. Will use a shortbow.
  • Beareen the banker and cook, modest. Will use a shortbow.
  • Runban the scroll-trader, male and well-groomed, morose, pessimistic. Will use a shortbow.
  • Tarkar the smith, peaceable, socially inept.
  • Xmugz and Xmab, Xmab is the arrogant tailor and Xmugz is the timid seamstress.

The stock: the goblins have four full-grown dray horses. For which they need:

The two teamsters: Cy the hard-drinking unkempt ogress, and Gus the tall, long-haired unkempt Hobgoblin.

The three guards are our now-familiar heroes, still quite a number of AP shy of Level Three. They all have good LCK. Weaknesses are AGI and STA for Elyn and INT for Borer. None of them have great PRS oddly enough. Borer is the muscle and as long as his STA holds out he can trudge along in heavier armour than the other two. Once the wagon hits the main trail he may have to switch to lighter armour! Other oddities: Borer is more resistant than most to corruption; Binye gets bonus damage with a club. (So not that odd, for a rogue.)

Note: those are the NPC and character lists.

Chaos is 5.

Chaos check is OK; the night start proceeds as planned.

In terms of setup aside from these fairly long lists above I generate a new environment for random encounters, this time switching to 1981 edition D&D. The terrain is very similar to the trail to Aurelon’s Keep but their next trail-stop, Scarlet Heroes, is a different area so needs a new set of encounters tables. Once more, I’m giving a LCK check to one character, to see if there is some benefit or potential benefit, even if that’s some range advantage.

Binye and Borer are armed with a heavy crossbow each, and Borer also has his two-hander (and a shield on his back, and banded mail!) but are easily able to keep up with such retarded progress. Elyn has switched back to throw-spears, since all the spears are now tied on the wagon ready to hand.

Elyn shouts the alarm as a group of heavy-browed humans, clad in the most basic of skins and wielding crude chipped-stone weapons, challenge their progress!

Encounter: Seven Neanderthals, from a village of twenty. 2HD, Attck+2 (2d4+1) ML7, AC12. Range 20. PRS check fails.

Ignoring the hand-signals to stop and talk, the wild men attack!

Initiatives: rogues (yes, even with 2-hand weapons) then the wagon of shortbows, then the neanderthals.

Binye and Borer both hit, dropping one and wounding another. Elyn misses, but three of the goblins hit, dropping and wounding another pair. [ML OK]

Then the wild men charge home! Binye is wounded and Gus takes a stab to the leg as well as the raiders swarm the wagon.

Round 2: In melee now the three guards acquit themselves well! Binye and Borer both hit for max damage, killing one, and Elyn wounds another. [ML OK] Fighting for their most precious possessions – their trade goods – the goblins fire into the melee, wounding Borer – twice! – but other arrows find their mark and the two most wounded neanderthals fall. The last neanderthal standing misses and turns to flee. Cy and Gus are content to not be further involved, Gus binding his leg. [Mythic: will the teamsters get involved? (50-50) No.]

Round 3: Borer and Binye both clobber the last wild man and he too falls.

The crude skins and weapons are not worth looting so the bodies are laid out tidily for the kinfolk to reclaim them.

Chaos rises to 6.

The rogues are 20AP away from Level 3.

Clear of the area, the wagon is halted for enough time for the horses to be rested, and guards to have a short sleep.


Revenge seems pointless

Chaos check: alteration. ‘close a thread’ and a roll on threads gets ‘possible revenge’.

Borer grumbles softly to the others as they ease their backs on the hard ground:

“We travelled a far piece since Ironbridge. Kinda seems small and silly now.”

“Ya mean, the Templars,” clarifies Binye.

“Yeah, I guess we’re stuck on the quest, but I dunno…”

“I guess we’ll see,” Elyn chimes in, “but I don’t see the point in going back for revenge.”

“I guess that’s how I’m feelin’ too.”

“OK, agreed. We do the scouting, send word back, don’t go back for revenge.”


The big fish

The morning has a hint of chill but will be fine all day. Perfect for fishin’ down th’ hole they spied below the river-bank!

Borer’s using twine and a lure to fish when something BIG hits it and he is in for a tussle!

“Over here! I got me a big one – or he’s got me!”

Encounter: Big fish, STR DC24 to land it after a long struggle. Binye helps (adds d3) Borer burns 2 LCK to make it.

Goblins love fish! Cy allows as the dam’ hosses ain’t had half-enough rest, so time is let go by as the huge fish is sliced up and shared round.

“Them folks as like ter eat cooked fish, head downwind,” cackles Xagz.

Chaos drops to 5. Borer receives 1 LCK back for goodwill bonding. The next time they won’t be so ready to fire into melee.


The strays

Their luck continues strong! Their dray-horses, or maybe the smell of the cookfire, draws a pair of dray horses, still looped together by a harness-cord.

Mythic: are these survivors of the original caravan? (VLikely) Yes.

Binye eases towards them and makes peaceful noises, and soon has his hand on a guide-bit. [Gets background animal training d3, could probably have got another d3 for the shared origin of the horses]

Cy is much happier about this, since two horses can walk along behind at any time or be added in for real obstacles. It will add to the miles expected per day. She and Gus whip the team in, and the wagon creaks on, often having to be pushed over hummocks. Thankfully the ground is rock-hard and the only major obstacle is the odd wash-out. The added pair help enormously with those.

Chaos drops to 4 as the wagon rolls up towards Scarlet Heroes




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