In the last session, the siblings killed two more bandits and explored more of the ruined fort that the bandits have been using as a base of operations. At the end, they had just gone down a staircase into an underground area and dispatched the bandit who ambushed them there. They have three hands for bounty and a bunch of other stuff too. What else will they find?
A roll on the What’s at Stake Table says we can gain a central plot point. Now, I had not set a central plot yet, but I think that discovering the purpose of this Black Knife organization (of whom the bandits are a part) would make a good one. Carys is still on duty, so no roll for that. I roll for our enemy and find out that Mireya is going to show up this session! Could she be involved with the Black Knife perhaps?
The siblings had just gone down a level, so they are now in a Peril 2 section of the ruined fort. There is only one route ahead and it seems to lead to a lair of deadly opponents, but also a promising route to our goal.
After collecting the bandit’s hand, the siblings look around and see that there are a few empty rooms, but only one corridor leading further into the underground complex. It shows clear signs of use, indicating that they are on the right track. They ready themselves and start down it.
Things are what they seem and they find a deadly encounter, consisting of two peril 3 monsters! They turn out to be elf-kin. I guess all races join the Black Knife.
ST 11, DX 12, IQ 11, HT 10, HP 11, Per 12, Will 11, FP 10, Speed 5.5, Move 5, DR 3, one has a thrusting broadsword and small shield with Damage 1d+2 cut or 1d+1 imp, the other has a spear with damage 1d+2 imp, weapon skills at 13 for both.
After a short walk down the corridor, they find some small chambers. As they are looking through one which looks like an old wine cellar, two more bandits walk in with weapons drawn. These bandits are tall and slender, definitely elves. One of them is a man with a sword and shield and the other is a woman with a spear. They point and say something in elvish.
Carys is the fastest and moves forward to just out of reach of the spearwoman, reasoning that she can handle the reach better than Bastian. The swordsman moves up within reach of Carys and the spearwoman steps forward and stabs at Carys, who blocks the spearpoint with her shield. Bastian readies his mace and shield and moves within reach of the swordsman.
Carys thrusts her sword at the spearwoman, aiming for vitals, she misses by one so hits torso, the spearwoman fails to parry and is hit, but her scale armor protects her. The spearwoman stabs back at Carys, but she blocks again. The swordsman swings at Carys too, she cannot block again this round and she cannot parry since she attacked, so she retreats and dodges. Bastian swings his mace at the swordsman, but hits his shield.
Carys steps back into reach and swings her sword at the swordsman, he fails to parry and she hits his chest for 9 damage. It is a major wound and he falls to the ground stunned. The spearwoman angrily thrusts at Carys who turns to block with her shield. The swordsman recovers from stun. Bastian swings his mace, and hits before he can raise his sword to parry, and deals 4 damage to his right leg.
Feeling that Bastian can finish off the man on the ground, Carys steps toward the spearwoman and swings her sword suddenly (deceptive -4). It works; the spearwoman fails to parry and takes 3 damage. The spearwoman attacks again, but can’t get past Carys’ buckler. The swordsman moves to a kneeling posture. Bastian swings again and hits the man’s torso for 3 more damage.
Carys changes the angle of her blade and attacks again (deceptive -4) cutting into the spearwoman’s belly for 9 damage, but the spearwoman avoids stun. Still, the wound is too great and the spearwoman loses consciousness an instant later. The swordsman stands back up. Bastian attacks but the swordsman is able to block it.
Carys turns and swings her sword in an unpredictable arc (deceptive at -4) and hits his shoulder for 7 damage and the man falls to the ground, dead. The siblings cut hands (they are up to five) and rest.
The opportunity is a secret passage which appears to lead to… a dead end? Bad roll. Let’s just see what is up ahead. A treasure filled area! Much better.
The siblings search around a bit more and find a small door under an old barrel, but it appears to lead to an empty room. Maybe it was an emergency hiding place for illegal goods. They leave it and move deeper into the passages below the fort. Surely, the bandits must be storing their loot down here somewhere.
Things are what they seem and the siblings are safe. The opportunity is a medium hoard of treasure which is three treasure elements. One is a miscellaneous item weighing 10 pounds and worth 150 sp. One is 30 silver pieces. One is a gem of healing.
Sure enough, the siblings find a small storage room with some miscellaneous cargo. There is a small decorative table which would be worth some decent money, but they decide to leave it, taking a small pouch containing 30 silver pieces and a gem which is warm to the touch.
Up ahead the route splits into a lair of standard opponents and an area of traps etc. Since the siblings are here to kill bandits, they go for the lair. The mishap turns out to be safety! The opportunity is a small hoard of treasure! What a deal! We are getting off too easy here, time to raise the stakes and go for our plot point. The small treasure turns out to be 3 silver pieces (small indeed).
The siblings walk into a fairly large chamber with a few coins scattered in the center. As they are looking at them, two doors open on either end of the chamber and some bandits enter. Suddenly, the siblings are outnumbered! On top of that, they hear a familiar voice.
“Well, well, well. Who would have thought that the people killing our comrades are the same lawless thieves who got me fired?” Mireya steps out from behind a group of bandits, twirling her kusari and pointing accusingly at the siblings. “Surrender and I will let you live.”
This is a deadly encounter with four Peril 1 bandits and Mireya. First, the basic bandits.
ST 9, DX 11, IQ 10, HT 10, HP 9, Per 10, Will 9, FP 10, Speed 5.25, Move 5, DR 1, two have short bows with damage 1d-2 imp, they all have short swords with damage 1d-2 imp or 1d-1 cut. The two without bows have small bucklers. All weapon skills at 10. Dodge 8, Parry 8, Block 8.
Mireya is a 75 point enemy, I put 60 points into stats and 15 into skills. She has some disadvantages and non combat skills too, so I will be only approximate here. I put 8 points into kusari and give her combat reflexes.
ST 11, DX 12, IQ 10, HT 11, HP 11, Per 10, Will 10, FP 11, Speed 5.75, Move 5, wields a kusari with 1d+3 cr damage at skill 13. Dodge 9, Parry 8 (-2 from kusari). Combat Reflexes. She has a mail shirt, pot helm, leather gloves and studded leather skirt.
Ok, let’s find out what we learn about the Black Knife, time for some solo-6. Are they a political movement? Yes. Do they want to take over ruling this area? Yes, but… Do they plan to rule through some kind of puppet? No, but… they plan to use extortion and bribery to control various positions. Ok, that seems nefarious enough.
Bastian replies, “Who would have thought we’d find someone so concerned with the law in a den of common bandits?”
“Bandits? Is that what you think? The Black Knife is more than bandits. Soon, we will control this region. All it takes is money and information. We already have people in positions of power and you don’t even know it. A pity we will kill you before you witness our triumph!”
Time for battle. The bandits are in two groups on either end of a 20 yard chamber. Each group has a swordsman and a bowman and one of the groups has Mireya. The siblings are in the middle of the chamber, back to back. I assume all have readied their weapons during the speeches.
Carys takes a step toward the group on her side holding her shield up (all out defense block). Mireya moves closer to Carys (reach four). Bastian steps with Carys, but faces his side and holds his shield high (all out defense block). The bowmen aim. The swordsmen each step forward.
Carys steps forward maintaining her defensive posture. Mireya steps back and attacks with her kusari, but Carys blocks it. Bastian steps with Carys also keeps his shield up. The bowmen fire but both miss (they are not very good shots). The swordsmen stand where they are.
Carys moves forward to her swordsman (reach two). Mireya steps back and attacks, now flanking Carys. Carys fails to block and is hit in the torso for 2 total damage, she has 8 hp left. Bastian puts himself between Mireya and Carys and prepares to avoid Mireya’s weapon (all out defense dodge). The bowmen string new arrows. Carys’ swordsman steps closer and attacks, but misses.
Carys has a shock penalty, but we need to even the odds, so she attacks anyway. She swings her sword at the swordsman, who tries to retreat and dodge, but fails. Her blade hits his sword hand and deals 3 damage, crippling it. He drops his sword, but passes his HT check for stun and knockdown. Mireya steps back and attacks Bastian, but the kusari hits the ground in front of him. Bastian moves to threaten Mireya (reach one). The bowman finish readying their bows. Carys’ swordsman (shieldman now?) curses at his mangled hand and holds up his shield hoping to buy time (all out defense block). The other swordsman moves forward to help.
Viewing the swordless bandit as a minor threat, Carys turns to attack the bowman, she stabs but the bowman dodges out of the way. Mireya doesn’t like Bastian so close, so she moves her full move away. Unable to chase her, Bastian moves to engage the swordless bandit. The far bowman aims at Bastian. The near one has no time with Carys at point blank range, so she shoots but Carys blocks the arrow with her shield. The swordless bandit turns to face Bastian and tries to hit him with his buckler, but Bastian blocks it. The other swordsman continues to advance.
Carys is now behind the swordless bandit, which is too good an opportunity to waste. She hits his neck with a vicious cut, for 12 total damage, he falls down stunned. Mireya moves to flank Bastian at reach 4. Bastian turns and moves to engage the other swordsman. As he does, the archer shoots him, but he is able to block the arrow. The other bowman draws his sword. The swordless bandit stays stunned. The other swordsman swings at Bastian, missing him wide to the right.
Carys turns and thrusts at the bowman’s vitals. She rolls a critical hit so there is no defense and she does maximum damage, which is 8 times 3 for 24 damage. She stabs the poor man right through. The shocked bowman falls to the ground stunned. Mireya hits Bastian, who fails to dodge. The weight of the kusari hits his right arm for 8 damage, which cripples it at 5 damage. Bastian drops his mace, but is not stunned. Feeling vulnerable, he backs up to protect his flank and hides behind his shield (all out defense block). The remaining archer draws a new arrow. Both the downed bandits lose consciousness. The swordsman attacks Bastian, but misses again.
Carys turns and joins Bastian with the swordsman. Mireya attacks Bastian again, but he blocks it this time. Bastian steps back, still holding his shield high. The archer finishes readying his bow. The swordsman attacks Carys, but misses.
Carys swings and hits the bandit in the groin for a total of 4 damage. Mireya sees things turning against her and decides to run. The archer aims at Carys. The swordsman attacks desperately, but still hits only air. Bastian continues to block.
Carys hits the swordsman in the arm for 9 damage, but only deals the crippling 5. The bandit drops his sword. Mireya continues to escape. The swordsman collapses and the archer shoots again, but misses at the long range.
At this point, Mireya reaches the far door and she and the archer leave. The three other bandits are all incapacitated. Unfortunately, Bastian fails his HT roll, so he has a broken arm that will take 5 months to heal. Damn Mireya! Carys does first aid and succeeds so she restores 4 hp to him. Bastian has 7 hp and Carys has 8. Still, with Bastian injured, they need to leave the ruin. They collect the three hands and the few coins and head out.
On the way out, Bastian notices a makeshift bridge over the garden trench. Maybe Mireya was following them and built it? At the gatehouse, Carys shuts the portcullis and jams the pulley mechanism. That should impair the remaining bandits from following them.
They camp that evening and decide to return to Sundered Falls to rest and turn in their bounty. The town is about two days south, so they will undertake that journey.
Journey to Sundered Falls
This is not a long journey, and they should know this area well, but they do start in a region which has dangerous as a theme. I rule that it is most likely a Peril 1 journey, but I roll and find out it is more perilous than expected. It is a Peril 2 journey after all. They fail their hiking rolls, so no help there.
It has been awhile since they were journeying, but Carys wastes no time failing her navigation roll. She manages to pass her survival roll, though, so that is good. This part of the journey is uneventful. Bastian passes his insomnia check, his next is due on April 15.
They set off to the south, but the woods are fairly dense here and they have a difficult time telling what direction they are going. They end up going in a short loop, before correcting it and heading in the right direction.
They had hoped to be out of the woods by now, but yesterday’s setback wasted their time. Carys keeps watching out to see if they are being followed. Bastian just tries to move his arm as little as possible.
Carys fails both her rolls, but the event roll is uneventful again, so I forgive her.
They come out of the woods into The Wash, but they are farther east than they thought. It is going to take more time to get back than expected. Carys at least feels more confident that they are getting close. Bastian is unhappy at the delays.
Finally, after many days, they come to the town of Sundered Falls. Bastian checks in at an Inn and Carys goes to turn in their bounty. They had collected eight hands and the bounty was 20 silver a piece, so they get 160 silver pieces.
Sundered Falls: April 8
Time to account for some things. The total wealth of the siblings consists of a 200 sp jewel, a 60 sp bottle of oil, a 600 sp block of incense, and coins worth 2,063 sp. They also have a magic shield, magic knife, and a gem of healing. Carys tries to use Armoury to learn more about the weapons, but she fails. The gem certainly seems magical, but they don’t know what it is.
Also, with Bastian sidelined for 5 months, I need a new PC or two to adventure with Carys. I’ll have to think about that a bit. They did succeed at the bounty mission and raised the stakes once and spent two sessions on it. That comes out to 2 character points each. They now each have 5 character points to spend. Bastian has two plot points toward recovering a lost relic and they have one plot point toward unraveling the Black Knife organization. There are many interesting possibilities in the future.