Seriously, there have been so, so many playtests. But I think we’re there.
#98 – Enfys
Meet Enfys, a herder trained by a hunter, armed with an axe! In the tavern she heard of the Lapis Scarab, and strode out unchallenged to seek it. In the market she found invigorating spices for her food, but failed to hire an Ally.
While crossing a vineyard outside the city, she ran into an outcast prince, drunk on stolen wine. It was easy for her to persuade him to join her quest. But soon they were clambering over a jagged rust dump and spotted a swarm of diseased rats. Enfys called on the spirits to help her evade the vermin, and a kindly ghost of an elderly woman guided them to safety, and then whispered a helpful secret to Enfys.
High in the mountains, Enfys and the prince found a powerful gladiator making an unholy sacrifice at a blood-red altar. Enfys persuaded the gladiator to read the entrails of his sacrifice as a sign to join her quest. But as they descended the mountains through a rocky ravine, a swarm of frost mosquitoes began to whine as a deadly rime covered the sharp rocks. Enfys called upon the spirits to help her, using the secret knowledge provided by the first ghost, to summon a gentle wraith to lead them past the swarm. The wraith also whispered a second secret to Enfys.
Arriving at the Dark Tower, Enfys and her companions found an icy gate guarded by a bronze skeleton. They tried to evade the sentinel with the help of a spirit, only for the ghost to vanish and leave them slashed and bleeding on the ice. Once inside the Dark Tower, Enfys spied the crimson moon princess in a high turret. Using the secret whispered by the wraith, she found her way to a safe room, where she rested and healed.
Then Enfys, the prince, and the gladiator confronted the Villain of the tower, an elderly assassin armed with deadly razor wires. But working as a team, the three adventurers rushed in and struck down the assassin without taking a single wound. They claimed the Lapis Scarab and returned home with their valuable Prize!
Notes: When you roll high, things are pretty easy. But this was a fun game! I was not expected to get so much ghost-guidance, but that sort of gave the adventure a ghostly theme, which I really liked. Didn’t get any Loot, and didn’t lose any Allies. Not bad.
#99 – Raven
Meet Raven, an artisan trained by a thief, an expert with knives! At the tavern he learned of the Yellow Book of Light and Shadow, and sauntered out into the night with a few drunk friends. At the market, Raven bought some invigorating spices and hired a mercenary to help him.
Outside the city, Raven rested at an old hunter’s cabin, only to find a swashbuckling bandit already squatting there. But Raven persuaded the bandit to join him. The next day they crossed an abandoned temple graveyard and were attacked by a bounty hunter looking for the bandit! Raven called upon the spirits to help them evade capture, and a grim earth elemental rose from the graves to carry them to safety, where they found some fresh berries to pick.
High on a windswept ridge, Raven came upon a priest praying to a giant obsidian pillar. Raven asked the spirits to help him evade the holy man, and a ghost of an ancient sacrificial victim guided them to safety and whispered a helpful secret to Raven. Soon after, they came upon a huge bronze statue of a warrior nun, and a giant onyx scorpion emerged to patrol the area. Raven used the victim’s secret to summon a rock elemental to carry them to safety, but the scorpion leapt upon them and tore the bandit apart with its claws. Ashamed for having failed to protect them, the elemental bestowed upon Raven an Iron Dagger.
Raven and his mercenary then found the Dark Tower and discovered its secret wooden door guarded by a water elemental hiding in a wide shimmering puddle. With the merc’s help, Raven persuaded the elemental to join their quest and defeat the master of the tower. Inside the foul musty cells of the tower, the water elemental pointed out a mutated crab-cursed youth patrolling the area. The water elemental swept Raven and the merc to safety, and they discovered a bone amulet in an empty cell.
In the throne room, Raven and his companions confronted the master of the tower, the fearsome crab shaman! A terrible battle ensued. Raven hurled his knives to deadly effect, but the crab shaman exploded the water elemental using sea magic, and ripped the brave mercenary’s heart out with a dripping claw. But just as Raven seemed poised to win the battle, the shaman resurrected the mercenary as a crab-cursed mutant to slash, stab, and batter our hero until he lay dead in the briny remains of the water elemental… only to rise moments later as yet another crab-cursed minion!
Notes: This game was amazing! All of the characters kept lining up in great ways. The bounty hunter with the bandit, the water elemental with the crab youth and the crab shaman. The story just leapt to life. And the final battle was really epic! I’m so, so happy with this!
#100 – Aeryn
Meet Aeryn, a farmer trained by a soldier, carrying an old sword. At the tavern she learned of the Silver Scimitar of the Raging Flame, and slipped out the back to start her quest. At the market, she strong-armed her way into some powerful spices and a beefy mercenary.
Outside the city, they had to cross an old barge canal. But a dripping blue ghost haunted the algae-covered waters. Aeryn summoned a river elemental to create a bridge of water for them to cross, and the elemental tossed them an old iron dagger from the bottom of the canal.
Far out on the open plains, they approached an ancient tower of steel and rainbow glass. They could see a small army of soldiers exploring the upper levels. A single soldier slept in its entrance. To prevent the guard from raising the alarm, Aeryn and her henchman attacked the lone warrior and quickly defeated him. From his corpse, they took another iron dagger identical to the one they received at the canal.
Hurrying to the Dark Tower, Aeryn found the stone walls guarded by a pale elephant. Unwilling to risk battle, she and her merc summoned the ghost of the elephant’s dead caretaker to guide them past the beast and over the wall. The dead man whispered a lucky secret in Aeryn’s ear.
In the tower, they explored the cobwebbed workrooms and discovered the Black Widow Maiden. Aeryn tried to convince the monstrous woman to join her, but the Maiden became enraged and attacked! The Maiden sank her venomous fangs into the poor mercenary and choked him to death with her webbing.
Aeryn buried both of her iron daggers in the spider-woman, and then demanded her surrender. And she did! The Maiden agreed to serve Aeryn in exchange for her life. Then they proceeded down into the cellars of the tower, where Aeryn spied a strange jade knight. And with the Maiden’s help she avoided the knight while stealing his iron shield.
In the throne room, Aeryn and the Maiden ambushed the shrieking ghost lord who ruled the tower. The ghost’s devastating screams shattered the iron shield, and the Black Widow Maiden’s head exploded across the walls. Aeryn felt her organs starting to rupture as the blood ran from her eyes and ears. But then she struck the ghost with a demonic scream of her own and the ghost fell back into oblivion.
Aeryn found a scimitar hanging above the throne. But she knew from the dead elephant caretaker that the true Silver Scimitar was hidden by a tapestry, which she found! She carried it back to the City, where she learned the scimitar was possessed by a fire elemental. Huzzah!
Notes: I deliberately tried to skew this adventure with unlikely stats. I also skipped as many encounters as possible… and it was still a blast to play! No more notes, no more tests. It’s time to publish this thing. As soon as I create some art for it. And do the layout. You know. Stuff.