Otanu of Eos: 5 – The Great Temple of Torgana

A continuation of my previous mini-campaign about Heliana the Priestess. I am using Ironsworn, PocketLands 1.1 and Scarlet Heroes for hex-crawling and further inspiration. I have created a D100 hex-based version of the PocketLands Discovery Table: D100Lands.

Previously: Otanu is the son of Avella, queen of the island of Eos. The priestess Heliana has forced Avella to embrace the True Cult; Otanu refuses to do the same and sails to the East, vowing to bring back to Eos the cult of the Old Gods. Otanu is a devotee of the war goddess Torgana; when he lands across the sea, he swears to offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess. Otanu and his companions travel East to the city of Lavinia, where they free the son of Duke Darvus who had been kidnapped by rebels. Two of Otanu’s companions decide to stay in Lavinia. Otanu and the wizard Arakna leave Lavinia towards the temple of Torgana in the North. They find a dying priestess of the moon goddess Darna who was attacked by trolls; they find the liar of the trolls and recover the sacred ring of the priestess. They reach the ancient fortress built by the dwarf king Bigral. Inside the fortress, they are unable to stop an orcish priest from sacrificing a dwarf prisoner.

All episodes.

_____

Main character: Otanu, prince of Eos

Edge:2; Heart:3; Iron:4; Shadow:2; Wits:3.

Assets:
• Companion : “Kindred” (Arakna the Wizard) – Your friend stands by you. Skilled: When you make a move outside of combat (not a progress move) aided by your companion’s expertise, add +1.
• Path: “Herbalist” – When you attempt to Heal using herbal remedies, and you have at least +1 supply, you may choose one (decide before rolling). * Add +2. * On a hit, take or give an additional +1 health
• Combat Talent “Thunder-Bringer” – If you wield a mighty hammer… When you Face Danger, Secure an Advantage, or Compel by hitting or breaking an inanimate object, add +1 and take +1 momentum on a hit.

Health:3; Spirit:5; Supply:5; Momentum:1. Gold pieces: 730.

Arakna’s Health: 4/4

Background Vow (Extreme): rise an army to conquer the Island of Eos and bring back the Old Gods (Progress: 0.5).

Dangerous Vow: Offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess (Progress: 6).

NPCs: Avella (Bond) :queen of the island of Eos, Otanu’s mother. Heliana: a priestess of the True Cult who forced Avella to return to the Cult; opponent of Otanu. Deshin the Dwarf and Willa the Warrior (Bonds): left Eos with Otanu and stopped in Lavinia. Duke Darvus of Lavinia (Bond): a pragmatic ruler who faces a conflict between his human subjects and dwarves he hired. Darvus Junior: Duke Darvus’ son, taken prisoner by rebels and rescued by Otanu. Tukun the wizard: a rebel vassal of Darvus captured by Otanu.


(I start this session with a little world-building about the religions I have met so far).

The Old Gods form a large pantheon with a god for each of the important aspects of life and the natural world. The gods we know of so far are Torgana (war), Darna (moon), Etaura (earth). The Old Gods are in an eternal struggle against Chaos; similarly, their worshippers fight worshippers of Chaos.

Chaos: wizards and chaos lords mess with demons and monsters. Their aim is overthrowing the existing kingdoms and gain power upon the whole world.

The True Cult is a newer religion coming from the West, across the sea. They claim that man and magic are the only truly divine entities. The Old Gods are not better than demons: they should all be destroyed and forgotten. The world should be ruled by the Cult as a single planetary organization.

Back to Otanu and Arakna’s journey towards the temple of Torgana:

Journey North-West from Bigral: C:8,8; A:4+3wits-1Woods. MISS + MATCH. (-2 supply = 3).
They follow a river; the woods give place to a barren region with a malignant feel.

Journey West; C:8,3; A:6+3wits-1wasteland; WEAK HIT. (-1 supply=2). Progress +1=7.
They are still in the wasteland, but they find a road leading North-West.

Journey C:3,9; A:4+3Wits(-1wasteland+1road). WEAK HIT. (-1 supply=1). Progress +1=8.
Following the road, they reach a more hospitable plain.

Resupply. C.7,10. A:4+3wits. MISS. (-1 Supply=0, UNPREPARED).
They cannot find anything to eat. They follow the road to the West.

(I arbitrarily decide to let them find a settlement: Elema). Size: 1-3 small, 4-5 medium, 6 larger than Lavinia: SMALL.

Sojourn: C.8,5; A:6+3heart. STRONG HIT. Unprepared cleared, supply=3. Otanu’s recovers his health (5).
They still need to collect about 300 gold pieces for the offering to Torgana. They ask to the villagers for places where there is hope to find treasure.

Scarlet Heroes dungeon oracle: Nonhuman settlement.
I roll a random Basic Fantasy monster: giants.
This will be a Formidable Infested Ruin delve.

The villagers say that there are rumours that treasure is hidden there, but the place is now inhabited again, some say.

DELVE Jaran, ruins of the palace of the giants

Can they enter from the main entrance? 50/50; YES.

  1. Delve WEAK HIT (Progresss:1). They enter directly into a large hall dominated by a huge sculpture. They trigger a bolt trap. Face danger MISS. Otanu takes 2 harm (Health:3).
  2. Delve STRONG HIT (Progress:2). They reach a mausoleum where they find a hidden chest (1d3x100-50=250 gp).
  3. Delve WEAK HIT (Progress:3). A giant bedroom that appears to have been recently looted.
  4. Delve STRONG HIT + MATCH. In a semi-collapsed angular tower, they find a prisoner. 1-3 human; 4-5 dwarf; 6 other: dwarf. Male/Female? Male. His name is Dotan. (progress:5).
    Was he captured by a giant? (unlikely) YES.
    Dotan says that dwarves are being captured and sacrificed: someone is probably trying to evoke a particularly powerful demon.
  5. Delve STRONG HIT. In a corridor, they find Dotan’s battle axe. (Progress:6)
  6. Delve WEAK HIT. Progress:7. In a pillared hall, they stumble upon 3 orcs (a Dangerous enemy). Battle: MISS. Otanu is wounded again (-2 Health=1).
  7. Delve STRONG HIT (Progress:7). A preserved vault.
    Locate objective: WEAK HIT. They find a huge chest that appears to be intact. Before they can open it, they hear the steps of the giant entering the ruins.

Escape: STRONG HIT + MATCH. While hastily making their way out of the place, Otanu spots a precious gem in the dirt. It is worth 100 gp, now they have a total of 1080 gp, enough for the offering!
I mark progress on the dangerous vow about the Torgana offering: Progress now 8.

Otanu SWEARS a formidable VOW to stop the evocation of the demon that causes the sacrifices of dwarves.

Challenge:8,9; Action;3+1Heart+1Dotan. MISS. (-2 momentum=1).
He realizes he knows too little about the situation. Hopefully, they fill find out more at the temple of Torgana.
This VOW comes with a thread: the actual evocation of the demon.

Otanu is badly wounded; they must return to Elema and TAKE A HIATUS. Health, spirit, supply=5. Momentum=2. The menace advances (+1=1).

When Otanu has recovered, Otanu and Arakna resume their journey North-East.

Journey C.5,8; A:1+3 Wits. MISS. They are attacked. Orcs? (50/50): YES.
Battle: C.8,2; A:6+4Irons. STRONG HIT.

Journey EAST, C:1,0; A:1+3wits. WEAK HIT. (-1 supply=4). Journey progress+1=9.
They find a road leading North-East.

Journey North-East, C:5,2; A:2+3wits+1road. STRONG HIT. Progress:10.

REACH DESTINATION: C:8,5 vs 10 STRONG HIT.
+1 momentum=3. Progress on the offering to Torgana dangerous vow: 10.

FULFILL YOUR VOW: C.6,7 vs 10. STRONG HIT. +2 Momentum=5.

The priests accept the offering of 1000 gold pieces.
Otanu can sleep in the most sacred room of the temple and Torgana appears in this dreams. Message from the goddess: Action / Theme oracle – OPPOSE PORTENT.

Torgana, as she appears in Otanu’s vision (Disco Diffusion AI)

The goddess is grateful for Otanu’s devotion. She says that they must deal with the menace of the demon, whose name is RALS. They must reach the Silver Mountains and return the moon-ring of the Darna priestess to the dwarves who originally made it. The dwarves can use the ring to stop Rals. In this way, Otanu will also be able to find new allies to take back Eos from the True Cult.
Background vow to take back Eos +0.5progress, now 1.
Formidable vow to stop Rals +1 progress, now 1.

_____

Current Situation:

Health:5; Spirit:5; Supply:4; Momentum:5. Gold pieces: 80.

Arakna’s Health: 4/4

Background Vow (Extreme): rise an army to conquer the Island of Eos and bring back the Old Gods (Progress: 1).

Formidable Vow: stop the sacrifices of dwarfs and prevent the evocation of the demon Rals (Progress:1). Threat: Rals appears in this plane of existence (Menace: 1).

Dangerous Vow: Offer 1000 gold pieces to the Great Temple of Torgana to get guidance from the Goddess (Fulfilled).

From Asona to the temple of Torgana

Topazsworn 1 – Karak’s finding

I started a new Solo RPG campaign based on:

  • Ironsworn / Starforged (the Kickstarter preview) – though Starforged has a sci-fi setting, it significantly improves the original Ironsworn, in particular for its handling of explorations.
  • Yoon-Suin the purple land: a fantasy sandbox setting with an Eastern feel; it mixes pre-made locations with a number of random tables.
  • Scarlet Heroes random tables: I am mostly using these to replace sci-fi oriented tables from Starforged. This game also has an Oriental flavour, so it fits well with Yoon-Suin.

I am recording everything on paper and I will only post short summaries from time to time. More details can be found in this Google docs folder.


The game starts in the main city of Yoon-Suin: the Yellow City aka the Topaz City.
They main character is the slave Naleka, body-guard of the noble slug-man Fihame-U. Fihame is a chartographer, second son of the powerful tax official Wulele-U. Wulele’s heir is Fihame’s brother Wu-U, an idle hedonist and opium addict.

Wulele-U, Wu-U, Fihame-U

Naleka background vow is: loyally serve the U family until they free her from slavery

Assets:

The sidekick is Riaj, a young magician also affiliated with the U family.
Naleka is a devotant of Qala, the Topaz Tortoise, a goddess related with dreams (attribute: Shadow)

Stats:

I decided to use the “challenging” stats from Loadstar (basically, +1 on all rolls)

Edge:3 Heart:2 Iron:2 Shadow:4 Wits:3

Inciting incident

ORACLE: extort civilized wreckage
Someone has found traces of an ancient civilization in the Old Town (a vast abandoned area at the West of the Yellow City).
Who found this site? I roll a character on the Yoon-Suin tables: the Astrologer Karak, member of the Horoscope Academy.
Karak intends to sell the details of his finding to the Travellers of the Unknown, an exploring guild rival of Fihame.
Fihame orders Naleka to find out what Karak discovered. She swears a (dangerous) Topaz Vow to do so.

The abduction of Karak

Karak works and lives at the Horoscope Academy, a small astrology school. At night, the masked Naleka and Riaj go on a dangerous expedition at the Academy with the goal of kidnapping Karak. The best entry point is a first floor window that is too difficult to reach for Riaj: Naleka enters alone. The place is almost deserted. She only finds a sleepy guard in front of Karak’s room: she easily puts the guard out of combat, binds and gags Karak and lowers him through the window to Riaj. 
They take the astronomer to a safe place at the outskirts of the Old Town. The next day, they are joined by Fihame-U, who promises to spare Karak’s life if he shows them the site he discovered. Karak can only accept.

Naleka, Riaj, Karak

The temple of Uldip, the brown beetle

The next day, the four start a dangerous expedition through the Old Town, under the guidance of Karak.They are confronted first by outlaws and then by the fungoid mukesids: both Naleka and Riaj are slightly wounded. 

Mukesids

They finally reach a huge building that Fihame identifies as a temple of Uldip, the brown beetle. The dome of the temple is indeed made to look like an insect.

The temple of Uldip

A new (formidable) expedition inside the temple begins. The abandoned temple turns out to be infested by golden wormlings: they meet them almost in every room and in the end Naleka is badly wounded by their corrosive secretions. When they reach an acolyte’s cell, Karak opens an invisible secret door in the wall: on the other side of the door, the darkness is complete and they seem to be floating in a dense liquid that they can breath, though with great effort. Once Riaj manages to make some light with a spell, they see that Karak has disappeared. From the little they can see, they are inside a large labyrinthine machine. Because of the difficulty of breathing, they can only stay a very short time. Riaj manages to find a small artefact: a steel seven-pointed star covered in arcane symbols: he gives the object to Fihame. 
(Naleka’ first vow is fulfilled)
They safely return to the U palace without further encounters.

Amara of Whitebridge 12 – Varena and Purena

Amara has lost all her companions. She resorts to her augur power and summons the crow that direct her to a safe way to the final destination of her journey.

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I play skirmishes with the Song of Blades and Heroes rule-set by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Previous events: Amara of Whitebridge, her cousin Quinn and the crossbowman Delos have a quarrel with the overseer Lestara. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. Stoneford is occupied by the Makari, a mysterious invading army. The party joins a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes return to Whitebridge and free Lestara who had been imprisoned the Makari. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara reaches Redhall where the overseer Maya, mother of Lago, asks her to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge. During the journey, Amara and Delos help a Broken girl, Kodra, who is leading the Makari prisoner Alith to her community: Kodra and Amara forge a bond and Kodra accepts to travel with Amara and Delos. The party is ambushed by trolls: Delos is killed, Kodra and Alith disappear while Amara is left unconscious on the battlefield.

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:3 Momentum:2

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall
Maya – Redhall overseer
Kodra – a Broken girl

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses
Temir and Flint – Redhall allies killed by Harrow Beasts
Alith – Kodra’s Makari prisoner

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:2
Dangerous Vow. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 6


Amara summons the crows and asks them where Kodra is.
Challenge:5,1 Action:4+1(Wits) Weak Hit
[Location Oracle: Inaccessible Woods]
The response is difficult to interpret, maybe it means that Kodra is inside the wood where Amara and her allies were ambushed by trolls; most likely it just means that Amara cannot hope to make it through the woods alone. The Aida river should not be far West: Amara decides to head in that direction.

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:2,2 Action:2+1(Wits)=3 Strong Hit (Formidable journey progress: 7)
[Location Oracle: small ruin]
Amara finds the traces of an ancient road running along the Northern border of the forest. The road leads to a ruined bridge.
[I interpret the Matches as a particularly favourable progress in the journey] The river flows slow to the South. The next day, she builds a raft and proceeds down the river.

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:1,6 Action:1+1=2=3 Weak Hit (Journey progress:8; Supplies -1, now at 2)
Her attempts at fishing are profitless, she has to consume some of the small food she has with her. But moving along the water is fast and apparently safe.
[Oracle: Mountain Lair]
Amara can see in the distance a blue profile: the Broken Mountain were the sorceresses Varena and Purena are said to live. When the mountain is directly at her left, she directs the raft to the shore.

Early next morning she walks towards the mountain and starts climbing along a steep path.
Undertake a Journey – Challenge:3,1 Action:5+1 Strong Hit (+1 Momentum = 3) (Journey:9)
Amara meets a Broken girl: Nanda. Amara tells her that she is looking for the sorceresses and Nanda offers to lead her to their hut.

Reach your destination – Challenge:3,5 Journey:9 Strong Hit (+2 Momentum=5)
The twins are much younger than Amara expected: or at least they look so. They welcome her and ask her to tell them of her journey in the most detailed way. They seem puzzled by the episode of Kodra and her Makari prisoner.
Nanda, who also attends the meeting, is a friend of Kodra. Nanda says she had a dream about Kodra, in which she asked to stop the invasion of Havens. They all agree that an alliance against the Makari is necessary. [I also mark +2 progress on the Dangerous vow to free Whitebridge from the Makari]

Sojourn – Challenge:2,7 Action:3+3(Heart)=6 Weak Hit (+2 Health=5)
Amara is welcome to stay with the twins. They help cure her wounds with herbs and she fully recovers.

vp
Varena and Purena

Current situation:
Health:5 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:5
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:4

Amara of Whitebridge 11 – A trollish setback

Amara is travelling South with Delos, the Broken Kodra and her Makari prisoner Alith. The party has a disastrous encounter with three nasty trolls.

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I play skirmishes with the Song of Blades and Heroes rule-set by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Previous events: Amara of Whitebridge, her cousin Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of Broken near the village. Amara is defeated. The overseer Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Lestara’s rival Zura. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. Stoneford is occupied by the Makari, a mysterious invading army. The party joins a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes return to Whitebridge and free Lestara from the Makari. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara reaches Redhall where the overseer Maya, mother of Lago and Lona, asks her to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge. Two Whitebridge warriors who were travelling with Amara and Delos are killed by monsters. Amara and Delos help a Broken girl, Kodra, who is leading the Makari prisoner Alith to her community: Kodra and Amara forge a bond and Kodra accepts to travel with Amara and Delos.

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:4

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall
Maya – Redhall overseer
Kodra – a Broken girl

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses
Temir and Flint – Redhall allies killed by Harrow Beasts
Alith – Kodra’s Makari prisoner

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:2
Dangerous Vow. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 5

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:1,9 Action:6+1(Wits)+1(Kodra)=8 WEAK HIT
Amara and the others proceed South, they finally exit the marshes, but supplies are always short (-1, now 1). Journey progress: 6.

Location Oracle: Peaceful Steading
They reach a large Steading belonging to a young woman, Saura, and her siblings.
Is Saura hostile towards the Broken? [50/50] NO
Saura has a deal with the Borken: she gives them some of her crops and they protect the area around the steading. Still, the surroundings are dangerous.

Sojourn – Challenge:4,2 Action:6+3(Heart)=9 STRONG HIT
Amara Recuperates completely from the wounds received during the previous fights (+2 Heath=5). Saura also provides generous food for the next days of travel (+2 Supplies=3).

Journey – Challenge:7,7 Action:4+1(Wits)+1(Kodra)=6 MISS
I interpret the Matches as someone trying to rescue or eliminate the Makari prisoner Alith: he will be the main target of the aggressors.
Are the attackers humans or trolls? [50/50] Trolls

While following a “lush trail” South, the party is faced by three large trolls.
a1.jpg

Amara attacks one of the trolls, but it’s a hard fight and soon she is wounded. Delos manages to put one of the attackers out of combat.
The largest troll attacks Kodra: she fights bravely and with this blow she manages to make the attacker momentarily fall.
c3.jpg

Delos and Kodra join forces and defeat the troll leader, but Amara is now out of combat.
Does the last troll retreat? [50/50] NO
He attacks Delos and puts him out of combat.
d4.jpg

I stop the fight here, since the two main characters are unconscious.

When Amara regains her senses, does she see Kodra around? [50/50] NO
Is Alith the Makari there? [small chance] NO

What happened of Delos?
Companion Endure Harm – Challenge:9,9 Action:6+3(Heart)=9 MISS

The matches seem to me to require a “strong” interpretation of the miss: Amara finds the lifeless body of Delos (-2 momentum, now=2)

Amara has received 2 harms (Health now at 3).
Endure Harm – Challenge:1,8 Action:1+2(Iron)=3 Weak Hit

The death of Delos is a blow for Amara: it was the last of his Whitebridge companions. Also, Kodra was familiar with the region and she might have helped Amara interact with the Broken, when she reaches her destination. Yet she will have to go on by herself.

Current situation:
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:3 Momentum:2
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:2
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 6

Amara of Whitebridge 10 – Kodra the Broken

Amara is travelling South with Delos in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena. They meet Kodra, a Broken who is escorting a Makari prisoner, and help her fight a Makari patrol.

Previous events: Amara of Whitebridge, Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of Broken near the village. Amara is defeated. The overseer Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Lestara’s rival Zura. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. Stoneford is occupied by the Makari, a mysterious invading army. The party joins a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes free Lestara, who had been imprisoned by the Makari in Whitebridge. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara reaches Redhall where the overseer Maya, mother of Lago and Lona, asks her to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge.Two Whitebridge warriors who were travelling with Amara and Delos are killed by monsters, Amara is wounded.

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:1 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:1

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall
Maya – Redhall overseer

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses
Temir and Flint – Redhall allies killed by Harrow Beasts

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Dangerous Vow. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:0
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 5


Amara applies her Herbalist skill to Heal herself:
Challenge:2,2 Action:1+1(Wits)+2(Herbalist)=4 STRONG HIT
+2 Health (now 3)

Oracle suggestion for the matching dice: Escort Problem – Amara and Delos meet a Broken girl, Kodra, who is escorting a Makari prisoner. She tells them that the Makari (named Alith) has sworn an Iron Vow to help the Broken, but he will only speak in front of the council of the elders. All Kodra’s companions have been killed in a fight with Makari-led trolls.

Amara and Delos tell Kodra how they have been fighting the Makari in Stoneford and Whitebridge. Amara asks Kodra to travel together.
Compel – Challenge:2,1 Action:1+3(Heart)=4 STRONG HIT
Kodra gladly agrees. For the rest of the Journey, Kodra will provide a +1 on Journey rolls (she is familiar with the area).

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:5,7 Action:2+1(wits)+1(Kodra)=4 MISS

They have only travelled a couple of miles, still in the marshes, when they meet a Makari patrol!
a1

Amara and Kodra attack the two Makari armed with spears. Amara quickly defeats her opponent and is then assaulted by the Makari leader. Delos stays at the rear shooting his bolts.
c3

Kodra is put out of combat, but Delos kills the Makari archer and Amara the leader. Delos and Amara jointly attack the last Makari, who was approaching the prisoner, and easily prevail.
d4

Is Kodra still alive? [Likely] YES

Amara applies again her Herbalist skill.
Heal – Challenge:4,3 Action:3+1(Wits)+2(Herbalist)=6 STRONG HIT
The Broken was only lightly injured and Amara’s herbs put her on her feet in only a few minutes.
This seems like a good time to
Forge a Bond with Kodra – Challenge:7,4 A:6+3(Heart)=9 STRONG HIT (+2 Momentum – Now 4)

I grant Amara some progress on the Dangerous vow to reconquer Whitebridge – the first step in an alliance with the Broken has been taken!

Current situation:
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:4
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:2
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 5

Amara of Whitebridge 9 – The Cave of the Harrow Beasts

Amara and her allies are travelling South in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena. Heavy rains induce them to enter a cave in the hills and they are attacked by a number of harrow beasts.

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I play skirmishes with the Song of Blades and Heroes rule-set by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Previous events: Amara of Whitebridge, Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of Broken near the village. Amara is defeated. The overseer Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Lestara’s rival Zura. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. The Stoneford river-idol is stolen by the Makari, a mysterious invading army, as a diversion to help in the occupation of Stoneford. Kaivan leaves the party, blaming Amara for the deception. The others join a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes free Lestara, who had been imprisoned by the Makari in Whitebridge. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara reaches Redhall where the overseer Maya, mother of Lago and Lona, asks her to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge.

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:3 Momentum:9
Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)
ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.
BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall
Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Maya – Redhall overseer
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses
VOWS
Extreme Background Vow: When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Dangerous Vow: Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4
Dangerous Vow: Reconquer Whitebridge from the Makari. Progress:0
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 3


Amara, Delos and the two Redhall fighters Temir and Flint proceed along their south-bound journey.

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:7,3 Action:3+1(Wits)=4 Weak Hit
Progress in now 4, Supply:2

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:8,10 Action:1+1(Wits)=2 MISS
[Burn momentum (9) to make this a Weak Hit]
Progress:5 Supply:1

The party reaches a [Location Oracle] “low spring”: they are entering a marshy area.
They are low of supply: time for hunting.

Resupply – Challenge:4,2 Action:3+1=4 Weak Hit
+1 Supply (now 2) -1 Momentum (now 1)
The area is not favourable for hunting, nor for collecting vegetable food: more plants and animal are poisonous in the marshes.

Undertake a Journey – Challenge:5,10 Action:1+1(Wits)=2 MISS
[Location Oracle] “abandoned cave”
It is raining heavily, they climb a low hill raising between the marshes. They find a cave that apparently is occasionally used by nomadic Broken and enter it: it is the only shelter in sight. When they enter the cave, the soaked rock ceiling gives way, trapping them inside. They reach a large chamber: rays of light suggest that there are several other exits. But four Harrow Beasts (giant insects) advance to attack!

a1

Amara attacks the largest beast, a caterpillar-like creature. Delos stays in the rear-guard, ready to use his crossbow. Temir and Flint attack a grasshopper-like creature.

b2

The Redhall warriors kill a first creature, but they the attacked by other two. Temir is killed. Amara is wounded by the caterpillar. Delos’bolts keep the cockroach-like beast back.

c3

Amara disengages from the fight with the caterpillar and leads the group towards and exit on the opposite side of the chamber. Delos follow her, but poor Flint doesn’t make it.

d4

Amara has been wounded [2 Harms, I decide. Health=1]

Endure Harm: Challenge:3,5 Action:5+2(Iron)=7 Strong Hit [+1 Momentum, now 2]
Amara is still sure that they are on the right track.

Make Camp: Challenge:5,10 Action:2+2(Supply)=4 MISS
They search a place to rest, but they cannot find other hills emerging from the marshes. The rain is too heavy to see at any distance.
[-1 Momentum, now 1]

Current situation:
Health:1 Spirit:4 Supply:2 Momentum:1
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:0
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 5

Amara of Whitebridge 8 – A sacred tree

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I have played these fights with the Song of Blades and Heroes ruleset by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:1 Momentum:5

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior
Maya – Redhall overseer
Varena and Purena – twin sorceresses

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Vow: – Dangerous. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:4

Previous events: Amara, Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of Broken that are raiding the Whitebridge area. Amara is defeated. The overseer Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Lestara’s rival Zura. The heroes leave Whitebridge and reach Stoneford, where they meet the healer’s son Kaivan. The Stoneford river-idol is stolen by the Makari, a mysterious invading army, as a diversion to help in the occupation of Stoneford. Kaivan leaves the party, angry for having been deceived. The others join a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. The heroes free Lestara, who had been imprisoned by the Makari. Lago and Quinn fall in the fight. Amara forges a bond with the Redhall overseer Maya, mother of Lago and Lona. Amara accepts to travel south in search of the twin sorceresses Varena and Purena: they are authorities among the Broken and their help is necessary to re-conquer Whitebridge.

Amara, Delos and their Redhall allies Temir and Flint are hunting, when they spot a hump surmounted by a sacred tree, encircled by the traditional ring of iron stones: when they approach the hump, they meet a party of Makari reinforced by a troll. There are rumours that the Makari have cut down several sacred trees and the party moves forward to occupy the hump and defend it.
ANIM

The enemies are faster, with the troll being the first to climb the hump. Amara finds herself at a disadvantage, having to attack from lower ground.

2b.jpgOUT

She strikes a great blow with her sword and the troll falls! The Makari swordsmen are getting closer.

4d.jpgOUT

Delos has moved to his left, and shoots down one of the Makari upon the hump. Temis tries charging the Makari archer, but an arrow forces him to hit the ground. Flint joins Amara and kills one of the enemies, while Amara finishes the fallen troll [who missed a number of activations in a row and was unable to stand up]. Having lost half of their forces, the surviving Makari retreat!

5e.jpgOUT

Amara gets +2 Momentum for this victory (Momentum=7).

Inspired by the sacred place, Amara Swears an Iron Vow to re-conquer Whitebridge, freeing or revenging Lago and Quinn.
Is this vow Dangerous of Formidable? [50/50]: DANGEROUS

Challenge:4,4 Action:5+3(Heart)=8 STRONG HIT and MATCHES
+2 Momentum (now: 9)

[Let’s interpret the Matches, something unexpected but favourable]
Oracle Action/Theme: SCHEME PATH
Amara suddenly feels that she now knows exactly the path leading to the twin sorceresses: I will mark 2 progress on the journey (now progress=3). The two sisters really are the key to re-conquer Whitebridge.

But the party still need to resupply
Challenge:4,1 Action:5+1(Wits)=6 STRONG HIT
A deer approaches the party as they leave the sacred tree, as if offering itself. +2 Supply, now at 3.

Current situation:
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:3 Momentum:9
Extreme Background Vow: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Dangerous Vow (reconquer Whitebridge) Progress:0
Dangerous Vow (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4
Formidable Journey to find Varena and Purena: Progress 3

Amara of Whitebridge 7 – Redhall

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I have played these fights with the Song of Blades and Heroes ruleset by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:2 Supply:1 Momentum:7

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Vow: – Dangerous. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:2

Previous events: Amara, Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of broken that are raiding the area. The heroes are defeated. The overseer Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Lestara’s rival Zura. Amara, Quinn and Delos leave Whitebridge heading for Stoneford. The Stoneford river-idol is stolen and the heroes join the villagers in the hunt for the thieves, but the idol was stolen by the Makari, a mysterious invading army, as a diversion to help in the occupation of Stoneford. The party joins a successful counter attack against the Makari: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. Amara, Quinn, Delos and Lago travel towards Whitebridge where the Makari, with the help of Zura, have imprisoned Lestara. They free Lestara, but Lago and Quinn fall in the fierce fight with the Makari. Lestara has more bad news: the trolls are going to join the Makari in their invasion of Northern Haven.

Map2

Amara, Lestara and Delos leave from Whitebridge heading for Redhall, a troublesome journey.

Undertake a Journey: Challenge:1,4 Action:2+1(Wits)=3 weak hit
They are at 0 supply: unprepared

They proceed: Challenge:4,2 Action:2+1=3 Weak Hit. -1 momentum (now 6)

Challenge:7,3 Action:1+1=2 MISS. Pay the price: the journey takes extra time. -1 momentum (5)

Challenge: 3,1 Action:1+1=2 Weak Hit

Reach your destination – Challenge:3,9 Progress:9 Weak Hit

They reach Redhall, but there is some trouble going on.
[Oracle 7 – Settlement Trouble] Rival settlement
Lona, Lago’s sister that Amara hoped to befriend, will be away for a while. She has been sent to the rival settlement of Longlake to negotiate a truce and possible an alliance to face together the Makari.

Can the heroes “sojourn” in Redhall? [likely] YES

Sojourn: Challenge:1,10 Action:2+3(Heart)=5 Weak Hit
The “unprepared” condition is cleared and they take +2 supply (now 2)

Amara, with the help of Lestara, tries to forge a bond with Maya, Redhall overseer and mother of Lago and Lona.
Forge a bond – Challenge:3,2 Action:1+3(Heart)=4 Strong Hit
(+2 Spirit, now at 4)

Maya asks Amara to travel South, to the forest were the twin sisters Varena and Purena live. They are said to be great sorcerers and an authority among the Broken. The task is again to build a temporary alliance: with the help of the Broken, it could be possible to free Whitebridge from the Makari, hopefully rescuing Lago and Quinn, if they are still alive. Amara will travel with her loyal companion Delos and two Redhall warriors, while Lestara will remain in Redhall. The new bond with the Redhall overseer brings 2 progress in the Vow of having Lestara being overseer of Whitebridge for the next seven years.

Finding Varena and Purena will be a Formidable Journey.
Undertake a journey: Challenge:4,1 Action:1+1(Wits)=2 Weak Hit
(-1 supply, now at 1) Progress:1

The party decides to resupply.
Challenge:6,10 Action:2+1(Wits)=3 MISS – In the next session, there will be fight.

Current situation:
Health:3 Spirit:4 Supply:1 Momentum:5
Background Vow, Extreme: (alliance with Stoneford) Progress:0.5
Vow, Dangerous: (have Lestara oversee for the next years) Progress:4

 

Sellswords & Spellslingers – Tower of the Necromancer

Sellswords and Spellslingers is a solo / cooperative fantasy skirmish rule-set written by Andrea Sfiligoi and published by Ganesha Games.

In some respects, the game is more similar to RPG combat than to other skirmish games. You only roll dice (d20) for the PCs. Each monster has a Danger Level which the characters have to exceed to inflict damage, else they are wounded instead (10 is the average level). Damage is not rolled: it depends on the weapons used by the PC or on the specific monster (1 and 2 are typical values). Monsters attacking with ranged weapons work similarly: characters try dodging by rolling the monster’s Danger Level or more on a d20. Both monsters and characters have a number of Hit Points (a basic PC has 3 HPs).

The game is played in rounds in which all the PCs try to activate. Activation works by rolling 1 to 3 d20 dice: for each roll lower than 8, an event card is played (which usually means one or more monsters activate); for each roll of 8 or more, the PC can perform an action. I like this simple mechanism (derived from Sfiligoi’s classic Song of Blades and Heroes) for several reasons:

  • it requires you to make an interesting choice for each PC: are you going to roll 1, 2 or 3 dice?
  • each character is under the spotlight in turn: even if a PC fails all his activations, he will likely have to face attacks, something interesting happens to him in all cases;
  • each card is interpreted in relation with the current PC, for instance, if a monster activates it is the one closest to the current PC; this makes it possible to have simple and generic “events” described on the cards, which are easy to interpret in the context of the current PC.

Another feature I found innovative (but I guess something similar appears in other games, possibly Osprey Lion / Dragon Rampant) is the concept of enemy “minions” and “hordes”: all scenarios involve lesser monsters with a single HP. They move and attack in groups, which can form and split as indicated by Event Cards. Damage to a Horde is tracked by simply removing a figure. Hordes with more “minions” have their Danger Level increased. Having several lesser enemies around has the narrative advantage of making the PCs look more heroic and the mechanical advantage of reducing the need to keep track of monster’s HPs.

Here is my AAR of my first game. I chose to play an “expert” scenario, so I used characters totalling 116 XP instead of the “basic” 60 XP.

The heroes:

Archibald the archer (28 XP) – Bow: dmg 1
Archery:+3, VeryFast(moves 6″ instead of 4″)

Dougal with the double-handed sword (49 XP) – dmg 2
Strength:+3, Fight(with DH sword)+3, Hero(activates on a roll of 7)+1, ExtraHP:+1(4 HP total)

Shelley with shield and sword (39 XP) – dmg 1
Fight(with sword)+3, Shield:+3, ExtraHP:+1(4 HP total)

The scenario is about the assaulting the tower of a Necromancer. The tower should have been guarded by skeletons, but I used my Ironsworn paper miniatures of blue soldiers with conical hats instead. I played the guards as DL:7,HP:1, Dmg:1
As required by the scenario, I randomly deployed a horde of 3 guards (behind the trees on the left) and three single guards (given the available figures, I decided to treat these as archers).

1a
Our heroes enter from the right: Archibald, Dougal and Shelley

Round 1
Archibald Failed:1 Success:1
Event card: “It could be worse” starts raining, all ranged attacks at -2 (bad news for Archie, but also the guards will be impaired)

Dougal Failed:2 Success:1
Ambush: a new guard attacks Archie, who kills him
An archer guard shoots at Archibald and wounds him

Shelley Success:2 – moves forward

1b
A first guard is out of combat

Round 2
Archibald Success:1
Dougal Success:3
Shelley Success:2
The heroes use these lucky rolls to move undisturbed towards the tower

Round 3
Archibald Success:2 – shoots and kills the minion at the background, behind the tower

Dougal Failed:2
Event cards. “Big one” – the minion at the centre foreground has 2HP instead of 1
“Reinforcements” – two new guards arrive from the left/foreground

Shelley Failed:2
“Wandering monsters” – a green ghoul enters from the right/foreground
“Horde activates” – the three guards on the left move towards the heroes

3a
New enemies arrive

Round 4
Archibald Success:2 – he wounds with an arrow the “big” guard near the Ghoul

Dougal Failed:1 Success:2 – Doug reaches the door of the tower and opens it (a DL 12 roll). Two new guards spring out of the door and the Necromancer himself appears at the top of the tower! Her first magical energy blast wound Dougal.

Shelley Success:2 – Shelley charges and kills one of the two door guardians

4a
The door is open: more guards to fight!

Round 5
Archibald Success:2 Two lucky strikes for Archie. He kills the “big” guard near the Ghoul he had previously wounded and one of the minions in the horde.

Dougal Failed:1 Success:2 The second and last door guardian is killed.

Shelley Failed:1 Success:2
Event Card: “Monster frenzy” – all enemies activate! The only to receive damage is Archie, hit by an arrow. He has a single HP left.
Shelley moves left toward the horde.

Round 6
Archibald Failed:1 Success:2
Event Card: “I stepped on a scorpion”. Terrible luck for Archibald! He looses his last HP and is out of combat.

Dougal Failed:2
Events: Ambush and Monster Activates. Shelley is ambushed by yet a new guard, but he readily gets read of the nuisance.

Shelley Success:2 – He charges the horde and kills one of minions: only one is left.

6a
Archibald steps on a scorpion

Round 7

Dougal Failed:1 Success:2
Event: the Necromancer “is loaded” – she has even more treasure than expected. Dougal opens the trapdoor to the top of the tower.

Shelley Success:1 – moves towards Archibald

Round 8

Dougal Failed:1 Success:2
Event: a dart trap! Dougal takes 1 HP of damage (he has 3 more left). The hero charges the Necromancer and inflicts 2 HP of damage.

Shelley reaches Archibald and finds out he is comatose: he will survive, if taken out of the battlefield.

8a
The final duel at the top of the tower

Round 9
Dougal Success:2
The Hero attacks the Necromancer and puts her out of combat.

xa
The necromancer is defeated, but will the heroes manage to leave the battlefield?

It would have been interesting to go on playing: I am sure that leaving the battlefield wouldn’t have been too easy for Dougal and Shelley, but, being my first go at the rules, the scenario took about 90 minutes and my available time was over.

I enjoyed both the rules and the scenario. I am looking forward to use this system, possibly replacing SoBH in my current Ironsworn campaign. After this first game, I see two main challenges in designing my own encounters:

  • since the system is asymmetric, with PCs and “monsters” having different stats, understanding what makes a balanced encounter is not trivial;
  • the cards are effective in guiding the enemies when they fight, but if I want the opposition to have other objectives than eliminating the heroes, I will have to interpret the instructions differently; possibly, a more accurate study of the numerous scenarios that come with the rules will provide some inspiration.

Ironsworn: Amara of Whitebridge 6 – Rescuing Lestara

[An Ironsworn adventure in the Ironlands. I have played these fights with the Song of Blades and Heroes ruleset by Ganesha Games. Larger battles are played with the Ancient One Hour Wargames rules by Neil Thomas]

Main character: Amara
Edge:+1 Heart:+3 Iron:+2 Shadow:+2 Wits:+1
Health:3 Spirit:5 Supply:1 Momentum:7

Place Whitebrige – a riverside village
NW Haven (near the center of the Ironlands)

ASSETS:
Martial Focus – BRAWLER Secure an Advantage by engaging in close-quarters brawling.
Ritual – AUGUR Summon a murder of crows and ask a single question.
Path – HERBALIST Heal people using herbal remedies.

BONDS:
Deshi (Amara’s father) [oracle: stingy and manipulative forager]
Lestara (Whitebridge overseer) [oracle: generous and powerful healer]
Quinn (Amara’s cousin) strong and dumb warrior
Lago – an attractive and friendly warrior from Redhall

Other NPCs:
Zura – a warrior from Whitebridge who wants to replace Lestara as overseer
Kaivan – the son of the Stoneford healer
Lona – Lago’s sister, another Redhall prominent warrior

VOWS
Background Vow: – Extreme. When Amara’s father Deshi was overseer, he started a feud with the nearby Stoneford community (another village on the same river, twenty miles NE of Whitebridge). Amara intends to mend the conflict started by her father. Progress: 0.5
Vow: – Dangerous. Let Lestara be overseer for the next seven years. Progress:0

Previous events: Amara, Quinn and the crossbowman Delos attack a group of broken that are raiding the area. The heroes are defeated. Lestara harshly critiques Amara’s initiative, which ended in favouring Zura. Amara, Quinn and Delos leave Whitebridge heading for Stoneford. The day after their arrival, the Stoneford river-idol is stolen and the heroes join Kaivan, a young man from Stoneford, in the hunt for the thieves. They defeat a group of mysterious strangers who call themselves “Makari”: the heroes find out that the theft was but a diversion. Stoneford has been conquered by the Makari and Kaivan leaves the party. Amara and the others join a successful counter attack North of Stoneford: the leader is the friendly Lago of Redhall – it’s love at first sight with Amara. Amara, Quinn, Delos and Lago travel towards Whitebridge where the Makari, with the help of Zura, have imprisoned Lestara.

At night, Amara, Lago, Quinn and Delos reach the outskirts of Whitebridge. From behind the trees, they spot the night patrol: four Makari.

a1.jpgOUT
On the right: Delos, Quinn, Amara and Lago

They ambush them springing forward in the dark. Amara and Lago go first: one of the Makari is put out of the fight, two more are pressed by the heroes. Quinn and Delos join the fight to eliminate the last resistance.
a3.jpgOUT

They move to the centre of the village, searching buildings one by one, looking for Lestara.
The first two buildings are empty: Lestara is in the building at the bottom of the square, guarded by four more Makari!
b2.jpgOUT
Amara scores a gruesome kill (a Song of Blades and Heroes feature) with her first attack and the other Makari fail their morale roll and run away, screaming the alarm. Lestara is free! She grabs a knife from the dead Makari guard.

b3.jpgOUT
Lestara exits her prison!

So far, so good. But one of the running guards finds the courage to come back to the fight and he is joined by two more Makari: a second spear-man and one armed with a crossbow.
c1.jpgOUT
The two Makari spear-men prove to be tough fighters: Quinn is taken down, then it’s Lago’s turn. Amara forces her opponent to recoil and faces a hard choice: she decides to leave Quinn and her beloved Lago behind, taking Lestara to safety.

c2.jpgOUT
Lago and Quinn are out of combat

Having lost Lago and Quinn, I feel Amara must suffer -3 spirit.
Test your spirit: Challenge:9,1 Action:3+3(Heart)=6 Weak hit – press on

I mark 2 progress on Amara’s goal to have Lestara rule on the Whitebridge community.

Do they head towards Redhall? [Likely] YES
I decide to throw a “twist” in: something Lestara might have discovered during her imprisonment.
[ORACLE 16: TWISTS: 72 “a new danger appears”]
Lestara has overheard that the Makari have a pact with the Trolls, she has also seen a huge brute in Whitebridge. Hordes of Trolls will soon join the Makari in their attack to Havens.

Health:3 Spirit:2 Supply:1 Momentum:7