The Broken Land Chapter Ten: What really matters

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

Characters:

  • Binye and Elyn, L4 Thieves
  • Borer, L4 Dwarf

Threads in play: 

  1. Now that they have not only located the uruk lord’s base, they have bowed before his very throne: report the location of the uruk lord’s to the Templars!
  2. Minor thread: Recover weapons from the uruks before leaving!
  3. Minor thread: Scout the hill-giant steading 

NPCs in play:

  1. Uruk lord and various minions who hold the rogues’ weapons
  2. Goblin guards, a small warband of 18 plus Zab, under Noregz who still has some undisclosed agenda
  3. Big Bad Brad, escaped L6 Thief and renegade with a grudge
  4. Lucky, cross-dressing succubus who gave Elyn secret instructions that may not be fully played out
  5. The goblin entrepreneurs Beareen, Kamz, Xmugz, Xmab, Xagz, Gbus, and Tarkar, because they still have profits and loot they may or may not share!

Chaos is 5

 

Episode One: The Bad Man

 

Company for the trail, how swell

Muley and Newboy are in hand; Binye spares as much attention as he can for what’s going on between goblins and his comrades. The mules are fully loaded though: the rogues have been ‘given’ their property back and promised their weapons back as they leave the Torn Mountain ranges.

Beareen has never been the most assertive (at least, compared to the two deceased traders), and Elyn completely dominates the leave-taking. On behalf of the three rogues she bids all seven farewell and even manages a gracious word for Kamz – whom she is positive helped Runban poison them – and Xmugz the chore-shirker.

Noregz is a different proposition.

“You done business. We done business. We go. No in uruk army. All go, so all safe.”

Eventually Elyn shrugs: the uruks are watching and some things resolve themselves further down-trail.

The scene ‘leaving’ is clear, I just need to clarify who’s leaving, with what, and why. 

Mythic: So they will get their weapons back? (Somewhat likely) Yes

To decide about the pay/loot I move to a PRS check, Elyn vs Beareen. Elyn’s check is OK and Beareen rolls a 1.

More? dispute energy, cascading to abandon dispute

Mythic: Does Noregz and his band accompany them? (Unlikely) Yes

More? abuse inside

Chaos is 6 owing to this unwelcome development

 

The handover ceremony has a witness

It’s not Gariag, nor Gorgun, but a slope-browed ogre of Gariag’s horde who watches the weapon handover. The goblins are exceptionally pleased to get their bows and sidearms back, and that makes the rogues own relief less obvious!

But little do any of them realise that another pair of eyes is watching. Up in the crags near the trail, Brad, the renegade they arrested and handed over to the constable, is lying in wait!

This scene really rolls out from a detail check I make at this point:

Mythic: are Lucky’s secret instructions now complete? (50-50) Yes

LOC: What were the final pieces? Dominate food.

Interesting, since Brad, and the rogues, have all been Lucky’s food. But what if her plan to get Brad away loops back in here?

Mythic: Is Brad entering at this point? (50-50) Yes!

Thread closed: recover weapons

 

Don’t mind if I tag along

“Waal, folks, reckon we all be lookin’ fer safe passidge. Four on us’d be better odds then three. Whaddya say?”

To Binye and Borer’s surprise Elyn votes yes, quite quickly.

 

A brawny stranger hailing the camp is one thing. But the gent who walks hands high out of the night is Big Bad Brad, who – you would think – has cause to hold a grudge. But he claims not to, and claims to know the trails out pretty well. A trail to Perrol on the Mount would get them to safety and a trail to Briar Keep would give them the chance to sneak into the temple and – maybe – set the whole communication spell up again. But on the other hand…

Noregz seems not to care, either way. Brad lays on the compliments and shows every sign of making himself at home.

“Well, if he can put the past behind him, why make trouble for ourselves?” – perhaps that sums up the rogues’ thinking.

This scene is more colouring-in.  As further information from the exceptional yes above, I get ‘refuse liberty’ and ‘spy fame’. And finally ‘propose stalemate’.

Chaos rises to 7

 

He walked in on his own say-so –  but he ain’t leavin’

The next few days become increasingly nerve-wrenching. Occasionally the rogues, about the business of the trail or camp, notice Brad walking along near Noregz.

And just as they noticed on leaving Ignorick’s Halls, the sky plays tricks with the crazy trail, which winds through and about canyons and ledges and razorbacks. They can easily find themselves walking towards both a rising and setting sun!

Binye and Borer are feeling… well, not completely separated from Elyn, but in a position where they can’t ask straight out why she so easily let Brad stay. Then the moment comes when she casually walks close enough to mutter some real information:

“Brad was lyin’ to our faces. He’s got some plan ta jump us once we git somewhere th’ goblins like. Noregz is in on it. Git ya selves ready fer th’ last sun.”

Part of this is about a mystery as to where they end up, part about two pieces of information put together:

When Brad joins, following his entry (propose stalemate, above) I also ask:

LOC: What does he want? Lie expectations

Naturally I roll a PRS check on this cue, and as usual Elyn makes hers and Brad, though with a pretty good PRS, fails his.

LOC: Can Elyn work the real information out of Brad? Care outside. So tentatively I’m drafting a scene where Brad ‘unveils’ his treachery, but where the rogues are onto him. 

Then as I draft this scene I get scene alteration, focus PC negative, meaning take victory. The sense of ‘victory’ has travelled alongside the uruk lord for the past chapter or so, so this ramps up the potential consequences. Trying not to leap to a conclusion I ask:

Mythic: Do the templars know about this ‘victory’? (Unlikely) No

Do the goblins? (Unlikely) Yes

Are they conspiring with someone (Somewhat Likely) Yes

Is that someone Brad? (SLikely) Yes

Is this a fight scene? (Slikely) No

PRS check: Brad: Elyn again. Elyn wins again.

Mythic: Is Brad about to skedaddle? (SLikely) Yes!

LOC: Where to now? Dispute jealousy. This, again, is a familiar theme and almost always involves the goblins envying how much loot the rogues are getting.

Mythic: So the goblins again? (Likely) Yes

Chaos rises 8 as the rogues plan a plan of last resort!

 

Episode Two: The most reluctant showdown

A dirty sunset for dirty deeds

None of them has been marking the days off on a stick but there’s a grey on the top of the sunset clouds that threatens thunderheads. Sooner or later the weather is going to turn.

Elyn shares this thought casually as evening rations are prepared:

“Lookit that settin’ sun. Poor weather f’r travellin’ I’m thinkin'”

Brad glances up:

“Naw, red’s on th’…”

His thought becomes a scream of pain as Elyn arcs her sword high and down, intending to ram its tip from collarbone to heart – but she mistimes and takes his ear off! [Not a great time to roll minimum damage on a crit, and minimal crit FX…] As he leaps away past the fire, hopping in agony, Binye and Borer rise with Blood Spear and Harken ready for action! For his part, Noregz yells something loud and all over the camp Zab and the other 16 goblins draw bows and knives!

Initiatives: Elyn, Brad/Binye/Borer, Goblins

Round 1: This is going to be her best chance of finishing the big renegade so Elyn does not hesitate! She darts after him and lunges, sinking her sword deep in his thigh. Brad draws his heavy hunting knife – what they call a Ravenclaw – and swings back at Elyn, but she’s wise to the backhand and ducks clear.

Over the other side of the fire Binye and Borer rush Noregz and Zab, and kill them without mercy!

“Ya failed Brad! Ain’t gonna happen!” Elyn yells, but the outlaw, still with a hand clamped where his left ear used to be, snarls: “I’m gonna whittle ya in pieces, slow-like” and stays in the fight.

For their part the eighteen remaining goblins howl with dismay – and attack!

[Some non-combat rolls: Elyn makes a PRS check to see if the goblins will pay heed to the deaths of their leaders but their ML check is excellent. I have no system at all to decide which goblins use bows and which knives, but I know the rogues have chosen the best terrain they can – so goblins can’t pick vantage-points either way.]

Mythic: Do they accept the fait accompli? (Somewhat Likely) No!

Four loose arrows at Elyn and though her woodscale saves her from two, two slam in deep [two crits, luckily right at the bottom of the scale! Elyn is down 11 to 8hp]. Another arrow finds Binye past his chainmail, and a wave of goblins washes around he and Borer, stabbing and hacking. [Binye takes 11 between three hits including a crit, and Borer takes 4dmg despite his armour. Binye on 15hp, Borer on 21.]

Round 2: Elyn feints towards Brad’s eyes and while he’s worried about the blade, tosses a flask left-handed across the fire:

“Hey! What – ” comes from Binye then he realises what that is and holds his breath as dust billows up across he, Borer and almost all the goblins who have just closed with them. Hideous choking and squalling begins… and Brad lunges underhand this time and again Elyn reads the move and gets clear.

With a growl Brad follows her up, and is smashed on the right shoulder by Harken as Borer hurdles the fire, clear of the killer dust. Brad doesn’t quite drop the Ravenclaw but is staggered.

Binye makes an easy kill on one of the archer-goblins as he too runs clear. He looks around and measures the field: they still have a minute or so of sunlight before the battle tips in the goblins’ favour; two goblins who appear to have targeted Elyn are well clear of the dust, and one remains near him. As far as he can see all of the goblins that were around he and Borer are dying.

The remaining goblin facing him begins drawing a long knife then thinks better of it, yelps a forlorn cry and flees back down the trail. The other two cease trying to pick Elyn off and turn tail as well.

[15 goblins down in one go! Of course, Borer and Binye may have failed as well, but their STA is OK these days. Elyn takes a calculated risk. Thanks Elyn! ML check is poor this time.]

Round 3: Elyn shifts her left hand back into her pouch, then makes a flinging motion at Brad – and lunges with her right as he jumps that way, taking him just inside his left hand’s guard, below the jawline. It’s not a deep stab but it doesn’t have to be – she leaps back to prevent the counter-cut and Brad’s arterial blood sprays out across the rocks. His knees give out; Borer reverses Harken but waits. Binye is more vindictive: he lunges, letting Blood Spear claim the final kill.

“Jest makin’ sure,” he snarls. “Now let’s us git Muley an’ Newboy an’ see if Noregz had any real loot, then git outta hyar.”

[I assume Brad returns to full 26hp by the time of the combat. He wasn’t lucky with attacks, but a dangerous opponent on his own ground.]

Chaos falls to 7

AP: Rogues are now L4+66AP

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s