The Broken Land: the Temple of Issoth

 

Episode 3: The temple of Issoth

We now switch rule systems to dT&T as Adini, Binye, Tadiko and Zirin approach the central area of the fen.

“Listen – you three are the Guild members I most wanted with me. I spoke privately to a farmer from the village, and he’s offered us a reward for saving his young son, who has been kidnapped. Apparently there are cultists in this fen that actually think the Black River is a good thing and sacrifice to some god, or demon, named Issoth, to keep it that way.”

Adini, Binye and Tadiko react in completely different ways. Adini grins, her hard features softening; Binye sneers proudly as he studies Zirin to see what the astrologer is hiding; and Tadiko remains impassive but bows slightly.

dT&T rogues:

Adini: STR9 DEX4 LCK15 SPD12 = adds +3; CON12 CHR13 INT12.

Binye: STR4 DEX12 LCK15 SPD10 = adds +3; CON13 CHR9 INT17

Tadiko: STR12 DEX12 LCK15 SPD9 = adds +3; CON15 CHR12 INT12

Zirin: STR8 DEX14 LCK6 SPD9 = adds +2; CON12 CHR27 INT14

Total combat adds: +9. Weapons: Sling (2d6) and throw-blades or rocks (2d6) and knives (2d6). Because the throw-blades and rocks/slingstones are makeshift, a L1 LK SR is required on top of the usual DEX SR.

Note on healing: In episode 1 each character is noted as having healing herbs. Binye consumed his after the fight with Murderbeak. Since this episode switches to dT&T I’m ruling the others each have herbs that will restore 1d6 CON during a rest.

And with that, they skirt the weirdly-shaped ruin and approach the massive double doors of a high-built temple, virtually a stronghold.

CRGE: Will they go straight in? Yes (surge+10).

The rogues enter an impressive and well-lit chamber, dominated by a table, chairs, and hung tapestries. They have no time to savor the decor, for it is guarded!

Combat!

Under Temple of Issoth solo rules, characters that are not surprised get a first-round ‘missile then melee’.

Two guards each MR20 with 4 armour, total MR40 8 armour. They do not have missile weapons, just a spear each.

Missiles: Three of the DEX SRs are good and one LK SR of those fails, for a total of 24-8 damage on the guards.

The two sides are quite evenly matched and the guards are armored. A very long melee now ensues during which spite damage from the rogues slowly whittles down the guards, and the rogues share 11 damage.

Loot: Two spears, and 7gp. Tadiko and Zirin each take a spear.

The broad entry room they have gained is lit and tapestries at the back of the chamber show Issoth rising. A broad table contains a jug – seemingly of wine – and cups. East and west an archway leads.

This is where the Mythic emulator cuts in. Choices are no longer 50-50. With surge of +10 on the CRGE I translate this to chaos of 7 on the Mythic fate chart.

Mythic: Does someone inspect the tapestries? (somewhat likely) No.

Mythic: Does someone drink wine? (somewhat likely) Yes!

The wine is refreshing and restores CON (1d6, including moving normal CON higher temporarily). Adini’s CON is restored and temporarily 16; Binye’s CON is restored and temporarily 16; Tadiko gains an extra point to go to 16 as well; and Zirin merely recoups the damage suffered.

At this point it’s fair to spend on permanent attribute gain. They all have 10AP from the fens, and have just gained 40 from the fight.

Adini: DEX to 5! 10 remainder.

Binye: STR to 5! 10 remainder.

Mythic: Do they inspect the tapestries now? (likely) Yes.

As the four inspect the tapestries each feels his or her brain being engulfed by the demonic power that lurks in them!

L1 IQ SR, then L1 LK SR:

Adini, Binye and Tadiko all make both, but Zirin fails the IQ SR. Adini gains 33AP, Binye 28, and Tadiko 39.

Second round for Zirin: fails again, dies!

They tear their gaze away and gather around Zirin’s twisted corpse. Binye glances back at the double doors.

“I guess one option is to retreat…”

“But the reward is still on, and we did take the job.”

“True. Ah well, Tadiko, you can manage the spear? And there’s a gold coin more each…”

Without discussing it, Binye slip Zirin’s healing herbs into his own pouch.

Mythic: East or west? (50-50) It’s east.

The eastern archway leads to a lit rectangular chamber… where guards have been expecting them for some time!

Combat!

The guards are the same as last time, but this time the rogues have spears, not just makeshift weapons. It makes a lot of difference! In the initial missile phase one guard is killed outright, and the other is wounded. He lasts just the one round.

Loot: two more spears (they can be flung with DEX12) and 8gp.

AP track: Adini 83AP, Binye 78AP, Tadiko 129AP.

This guard chamber contains a table and a weapon rack: a door to the north leads further into the temple.

Mythic: Do they all inspect the weapon rack? (Likely) Yes.

A spear, broad-ax and broadsword stand racked. Of the three, only Tadiko is capable of wielding these types of weapons, and the axe is a little outside her capability.

Mythic: Does Tadiko try the broadsword? (Likely) Yes.

The sword is cursed and a L1 IQ SR is required to have the presence of mind to shrug off its call. She makes it.

Mythic: Does Tadiko try the spear? (Somewhat likely) Yes.

This charmed weapon is a Bleeding Spear (3+2) which drains 1 CON per round cumulative, per successful hit.

There’s nothing else to investigate in the room. Tadiko carries a spare spear for throwing, and her Bleeding Spear. Binye and Adini carry two more spears, more for show and probing things than for use in combat.

Mythic: Do they press on north? (50-50) Yes.

This wing of the temple is bright-lit. Perhaps it is a central assembly room. Beyond the two guards already loosing their crossbows, spiral stairs and doors can be glimpsed.

Combat!

These two guards wear slightly better armor than the last. MR 20 each, 6 points of armor, and more importantly they have long been ready and waiting. Each fires a crossbow and it’s time to dodge!

Each rogue needs L2 on either LK or DEX. Binye and Tadiko make it but Adini misses by 2 and takes 26 points of damage, dying instantly!

Missiles: having flung themselves aside successfully the two survivors hurl their reply. One guard is heavily wounded as both rogues strike home. The pair of defenders begin with only 13 adds. But of course, they are fighting unarmored rogues with much fewer adds!

This time, the two rogues share a lot of damage – 15 in the first three rounds – before spite damage has its effect and the fourth round is a turning point, a draw with the wounded guard dying. From there the fight is one-sided and lasts only two more rounds.

Loot: two crossbows (unwieldy so of no use) and two sabres (3+4, needs STR9 DEX10); and 19 gp. The rogues take Adini’s useful gear including her healing herbs, and a sabre each.

AP track: Binye, with the SR and victory AP, is now on 140AP. Tadiko, having needed an extra IQ SR, and not having spent any AP yet, is up to 195AP.

AP spend! Binye moves STR to 8 (30AP remaining) and can now wield those spears! While for her part, Tadiko moves DEX to 13 (75AP remaining).

They finish two of the three remaining healing herb portions, recovering a d6 each CON.

Remaining CON: Binye is on 14 CON, Tadiko on 11.

Now, they have taken thorough stock of the bright-lit chamber. Surely this must be an important junction. A spiral stair leads down to darkness and up to what seems to be a lit chamber; a door similar to the one they came through leads west.

Mythic: [various options beginning at 50-50 and moving through increasing likeliness] – they go west.

The western door leads to a dim-lit, long dormitory or barracks chamber. For once, their exploration disturbs no guards. Cots line the walls, there are some sacks piled up on the floor and a wardrobe stands on one wall. Another door leads south, probably connecting with the original entry room or a guard chamber connecting.

They check the sacks briefly, finding 100gp and choosing not to press their luck, then – again briefly – look at the carven wardrobe without exploring it or even studying the design closely! They also decide not to chance the southern door, simply returning to the bright-lit stair junction.

[These are all ’50-50′ picks on the Mythic chart except for the wardrobe which, after the tapestries experience, I rated ‘unlikely’]

The junction or exchange is still as they left it. It seems no guards have patrolled this way yet.

Mythic: Do the rogues head up to the lit room? (50-50) No. Do they head down? (Somewhat likely) Yes.

They are at the north end of a vault lined with coffins! Taking care not to disturb those (or any occupant!) the pair move silently to the south, coming in sight of an open doorway.

Mythic: Do they investigate a coffin (50-50) No. Do they head south through the doorway (Somewhat likely) No.

They return to the lit chamber above and keep moving up the spiral stair to what appeared to be a somewhat-lit room. [Also checked this with Mythic using ‘has to be’]

The room is indeed dim-lit and incense hangs in the air. Two guards with similar equipment as the others leap to their feet.

Combat!

Missiles: Tadiko hits one (9 dmge) and Binye misses.

Things look bad for the pair of rogues when they lose the first combat round, sharing 6 damage, but the next round reverses their fortune. Tadiko’s magic spear (and a L4 DEX stunt) really make a difference.  The wounded guard is brought down in round 4. The remaining guard fights on grimly for two more rounds then falls. Having shared the 6 damage, Tadiko munches the last herbs. She is on 12 CON, Binye on 11.

They recover as best they can while the quietly search the incense-scented room.

Binye is on 70 AP, Tadiko on 207.

The room is a bed-and-bath chamber. A teapot appears to still have warm tea. A dressing table has cosmetic stuff and mirrors. The exit is a door south.

Mythic: Both tea and dresser are rated Likely and result in yes, so I split them, Binye testing the tea and Tadiko the dresser. 

Tadiko finishes bundling valuable hair and skincare products into her sack and turns to find Binye has been cursed by the tea, halving DEX! (It’s now 6.)

[There’s also a check for wandering guards at this point but luckily, none checks the room.]

The door south leads to a bright-lit chamber with murals, and also two guards ready and waiting! Fortunately for Binye neither has a crossbow – instead they leap towards the intruders, swords swinging!

Combat!

Each rogue must make L2 DEX SR or be forced to drop a ready weapon. Binye fails (big surprise with 6 DEX) and loses his chance to use a missile. Tadiko makes it and hurls her ready-spear, killing a guard outright!

The remaining guard is better equipped and armoured than those below (MR25, 6 armour) but one-on-two is hopelessly outclassed. They finish him off in four rounds and loot.

Loot: They wielded broadswords: relatively valuable but not usable; and neither had coin. Binye takes a sword as a makeshift club.

Binye is on 122AP, Tadiko on 277. AP spend! Tadiko moves DEX to 15 (7AP remaining) and Binye moves STR to 9 (42AP remaining).

Now in possession of the room the pair assess it. The murals depict a robed man sacrificing. Another stair at the south end ascends again.

The stair leads up to a smoke-filled chamber, where half a dozen robed priests are grouped around a hole. Five are chanting, one is getting ready to sacrifice the boy. But the arrival of unwanted guests halts all this!

“Intruder!” shouts one, “You will witness the true power of Issoth!” Tossing some sparking objects through the hole he calls, “Rise and destroy our enemies!”

And a geyser of salty water showers up: the incense pots pop and hiss: and tentacle by tentacle a giant head-monster ascends!

Combat!

Special rule: If the tentacle beast (MR60) rolls 4 or more sixes in a round, a character has been grabbed and will take d6 damage per round.

 Missiles: Binye can barely muster the DEX to hurl a rock and misses, but Tadiko scores a superb hit, seriously injuring the beast. This early hit proves decisive and the rogues kill the beast within three rounds, sharing only three damage themselves.

In desperation three of the six priests charge with drawn daggers, while the other three flee. With MR45 combined, that would be dangerous, but Tadiko has space to move, sweeps up another spear and hurls it, killing one of the priests. The remaining two fight bravely but are no match. The rogues share out 2 damage.

AP gained from the back-to-back combats is 105. Binye has 147AP, Tadiko has 112AP.

Victory!

Searching the room recovers the boy, half a dozen poniards, and 34 small diamonds at 25gp apiece.

200AP bonus each! = Binye 347, Tadiko 312.

Ending attributes after AP spend:

Binye: STR10 DEX12 LK15 SPD11 CON13 CHR9 INT17

Tadiko STR13 DEX15 LCK15 SPD11 CON15 CHR12 INT12

 

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