Chapter Four of The Broken Land continues…
A DCC/Mythic solo play (with other emulators as required)
Episode Four: Wagon fight at Sidewinder Creek
Our three surviving heroes, Binye Borer and Elyn, once again find their feet heading lemming-like to a ruin, over the bones of what may well have been the garrison.
And they leave a complex tangle of allegiances treachery and danger behind them!
Time for some fairly detailed lists:
Chaos is 5 (and I get a shift, but of that, more later!)
- Binye Borer and Elyn
- Faction 1: Bosz and her willing or pliant fellow-traders
- Faction 2: Runban and possibly Kamsz and maybe one or two traders
- Cy the flame-haired ogress teamster
- Pantro the human merchant
- Ralph the were-tiger
Other NPCs known:
- Dolem’s Spire Templars under Eldan
- Merrick the trader in wonders
- Dolem’s Spire city watch
Cool stuff the rogues might be using:
- Blood Spear (Spear+1 and Bleeding) – Binye
- Brand of Harken (Two-hand sword+1 and light 15′) – Borer
- Mr. Roddy (Wand of protection from evil) – Elyn
- 3 scroll-tubes, one of which may have something useful
- Moon-mirror of re-visiting
- Copper disk of look-behind
- 2 vials, one poison one hallucinogen
- Cobra in a bag
- Whetstone of upgrading edges
- Slippery oil
- Useful herbs for remedies including wolfsbane
- Mithril quill
- Holy symbol
- At least one set of thieves tools each
- 2 silver hand-axes
- 3 silver-chased pikes
- 3 short bows and plenty of silver-tipped arrows
- reed pipes
- 2 padlocks with keys
A clue is woven
As the goblins peer out of their canopy Cy is plaiting another stout whip. She notices Runban come back. It strikes her as odd: he’s hardly on speaking terms with the rogues. Cy’s mind is hardly occupied with plaiting and she allows her attention to roam around the camp. And she notices Ralph Redfoot, or perhaps, smells him. And something about him makes Cy’s short-cut flaming red hair stand on end!
Chaos check: scene shift
Focus: Remote event. ‘Care animals’
Mythic: Is this Cy? (Likely) Yes!
Mythic: Has Cy decided to help? (Likely) Yes
Mythic: Has she overheard Runban (50-50) No
Mythic: Has she detected something about Ralph (50-50) Yes
The ruined outpost and its current garrison
The deserted outpost is a fortified mansio, with four walls and a tower at each corner. The west wall is pierced with a double portcullis-entry, and the towers control access to most of the walls. Inside the court is a large multi-winged, two-story great-house or mansio proper and a humbler but still multi-roomed couch-house. There’s no obvious well, so the assumption is that both buildings have a supply.
Loaded for bear, as it were, the three rogues arrive at a close enough distance to the west gate that they can see it’s the obvious way in, and open.
“Too easy,” grunts Binye, “there’s probably a zombie in the first piece of shadow.”
“Yep, or a pair a’ gnomes with crossbows up above th’ murderholes” Borer agrees cheerfully.
“So, shall we scout around?” Elyn asks helpfully.
They do so, and discover that the north-east tower has had a hole knocked in it. But it doesn’t look any more inviting. So, a little discouraged but still weirdly optimistic considering their casualty rate on this type of thing, they head to the main entrance.
The abandoned outpost is occupied by ten feisty dwarves who are living in – for them – some style in the mansio. Their lookout atop the east wall spots the trio, but loses track of them. Only four somewhat surprised dwarves meet our heroes when they work their way to the ruined tower…
There’s an uneasy standoff. The four dwarves didn’t perhaps realise how heavily-armoured the intruders are and the rogues certainly don’t want to pick a fight!
Borer clears his throat and ventures to introduce himself [PRS check and burns LCK] and the spokes-dwarf for the other side introduces himself. [PRS check OK] Then they introduce the others present. Then they feel their way to common ground, and some time passes.
UNE: sociable, knowing [of] effects, focus is relics
LOC: Complex description: irritatingly lacking.
Nothing to see here, let’s move on (not)
“So, there’s really nothing here at all?”
“Aye, tis th’ way of it lass. Whute’er it wuz kilt th’ garrison is gone.”
“And, no ruin under this ruin,” Binye clarifies.
“Na, none at all. Twas th’ fust thing we luiked fer.”
“Well, we’ll head back and tell the others… the other dozen… that they don’t need to weapon up.”
“Aye, be best. O’ course we’d luuv ta’ hae them by f’r tea, but…”
The three rogues bid farewell and – moving quickly out of line of sight and fire – kneel among the trees and consider their next move.
“Ya thinkin’ whut I’m thinkin?”
“If ya plan ta squeedge in and pinch the loot they must have, then yep, dam’ right.”
“Yes, I don’t know if those dwarves are the murderers but from what we saw in the tower – the blood-splatters – the garrison was cut down and maybe even children and women too. Those dwarves must have at least backpay.”
Mythic: Is there are ruin under there? (50-50) No.
Mythic: So the rogues head back? (Likely) No.
Mythic: Do they circle back around? (Likely) Yes!
Mythic: Unseen by the dwarf on guard? (Likely) Yes
Mythic: They sneak back into through the broken tower? (Has to be) Yes
Again I scroll rapidly over a number of routine rooms. Using random rolls they move unerringly to the dwarf stash and using excellent dsbl trap checks they steal it. It’s not super-valuable but there is a nice gem.
Mythic: Leave now? (50-50) Yes
Mythic: Undetected? (50-50) No!
Chaos rises to 6
Never get between a dwarf and his money!
“Dammit! I coulda swore them dwarf guards were nowhere near…”
“Less bitching more running! Borer! Faster! faster!”
“Ah… ah… – all I c’n – say is – ah’m runnin’ – fast as – them’s chasin’!”
“Alarm! To arms! Incoming!”
Elyn hollers goood and loooud as the trio sprint – or in Borer’s case lumbers – for the shelter of the camp. [makes PRS check!]
Surprised goblins stand to with bows, Cy readies a club, Pantro and Ralph see to their sturdy crossbows. The rogues dive over the makeshift wagon-camp walls throwing themselves and their leather bag of coins onto the ground, and roll to their feet readying weapons.
LOC: complex description for the camp defences: slowly extravagant
Eight angry dwarves, bearing weapons as varied as light warhammers and massive two-hander swords, come charging into the wagon-line!
Initiatives: goblins, dwarves (two-handers a bit slower) rogues (+/- depending on AGI) Pantro/Ralph, then Cy.
Round 1: There’s a quick spiteful shower of arrows and a dwarf plunges face-down and the spokes-dwarf is knocked about by another, then the bulk of the dwarves leap onto the barricades or wagon-tongue, hewing about them! Goblin blood splashes dark-red, then the rogues leap back up to hold the attackers off! Blood Spear drinks deep and the dwarf leader falls. Elyn cuts another down. Borer’s two-hander ‘Harken’ shines coldly as Borer [burns 3LCK] cleaves a third. Pantro and Ralph fire into melee and manage to kill a dwarf and not a friendly, and – to everyone’s surprise – Cy rears up with a frightful bellow and brains a dwarf!
Round 2: “We’ll die before we gie up th’ swag!” And so saying the two surviving dwarfs do die. Even though, shocked by losing one of their own, the goblins cower away. Elyn, now bleeding from two different light cuts, finishes one and Cy – again to everyone’s surprise – smacks the last’s head one way then knocks it clean off the other way.
[The dwarfs made ML checks quite easily – not so the goblins. There were three crits, including Cy’s final double-bash]
And the stunned moaning of the goblins is understood, when the others realise that the dead goblin… is Bosz!
All rogues are Level Three!