The Broken Land: Aurelon’s Keep – Cleared!

Chapter two of The Broken Land concludes…

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

Episode 11: Fresh resolve – and so long for now

Scene: the makeshift jail-turned-quarters

Chaos is 6

Our erstwhile keep-clearers are reduced to three in number, thanks to a momentary lapse in judgement by Riba. But fresh hope wells in the breasts of Binye, Borer and Elyn, for from out of nowhere Tadiko has reappeared, and is sipping tea with Abbie the Gnome gang moll.

Off-screen I run through three Mythic questions and two saves which gets Tadiko back waiting here, rather than attempting burglary on the goblins.

Thread closed: Tadiko’s gauntlet run: what happened to Tadiko?

Tadiko is looking fit and well-groomed considering. If anything, running a gauntlet seems to have agreed with her. The only out-of-place note is the garish colours of her brief tunic. She is not particularly communicative about her experiences (“I ran the gauntlet. I won”).

But she does explain the main reason she’s back is to retrieve her gear. Preferably by buying it back.

Chaos check: alteration. Focus 66, PC negative: Tadiko. Event meaning pursue goals.

But for the three survivors – aside from assuring Abbie they nailed a flail-wielding tough – their priority is recruiting Tadiko!

Mythic: Given the goal-shift, will Tadiko join out of loyalty? (Unlikely) Yes!

“Now I’m back let’s finish up and get you on the caravan.”

Tadiko as DCC: Level 4 thief, Attck+2, Crit d16/II, 25hp, Act d20, LCK d6, Ref2 Fort2 Will1, STR13 AGI13 STA16 INT13 LCK17 PRS13.

“Wow, hey – I was about to bribe ya with this cool armour an’ tiny fancy hammer an’ ya just beat me ta th’ draw there pardner!”

“Don’t mention it. I’ll be taking those then.”

Tadiko takes the tiny set of rigid leather armour – it is +2 Hide and is much sneakier than a normal set (-1 rather than -3). The fancy steel-hafted light hammer is a mere backup once she recovers the longbow (which the others attempt to persuade her not to use).

The darts are shared out so that each member has two. 

Elyn sets out to take a convincing set of loot to share with the goblins, and Tadiko, with a gem she looted during her run. They return with Tadiko’s bow and knives.

Borer tests Hodri’s greatsword but it is no better than his own.

Tadiko warns them, while they prep fast enough to seize the day, that she will not take action against the goblins. Apparently she swore some friendship pact to some deeper mob that may be related.

Mythic: Will they take the keep on frontally? (50-50) No.

They finish adding the last odds and ends and steal out.

 

Scene: The east walls

Chaos check is OK

The rogues clear the south tower, south-east curtain, east tower, and east curtain in quick succession. The day is still light as they gather their findings: a cache of nearly 200 coins, thief tools, and 15 usable feet of rope. The others all have a set so Tadiko gets the tools.

They leave the coin nestled in the deepest shadow next-the-wall and creep round to the gatehouse.

Up to now every single room description has been near-perfect for Aurelon’s keep. But a gatehouse is very specific and I could have looked a bit closer as I assigned room numbers. Here, I have to switch a couple of descriptions around in a major way for the first time. Not bad for random generated rooms!

Mythic: Do the gnomes have tripwires or similar alarms out in the grounds? (Unlikely) Yes.

d4 for number, I get 1. 

Tadiko easily locates an alarm trip and disables it.

Gatehouse: Moving as silently as possible* they creep through the murderhole zone and through to the inner gates.

*Mythic: Was Borer convinced to switch back to leather armour? (50-50) Yes

From the inner gate they can check the west gate-guard, or ascend from there, or check east, or a small closet north-east. They check the gate-guard finding the cramped chamber rigged to be as ‘scary haunted’ as possible, even down to the rotting head of an elf. Bloody writing on the wall warns of doom! Elyn and Tadiko search and pick up an earring and a lantern, respectively.

Before heading up to find the gang, they check the east guard, which again features warning writings – but in Gnome script! Bit of a clue, that!

And lastly they do check the closet which contains a deep scatter of junk. Cautiously turning over blood-stained bandages and ripped clothing with their darts or spear, they do find a couple of useful things: Binye finds a small pouch of silver powder, Borer finds a still-dry box of matches, and Tadiko finds a stoppered earthenware jug of spices.

Now, up they go, expecting trouble and traps!

Mythic: Are the gnomes active in the upper level? (Somewhat likely) Yes.

A gnome is on watch and may spot them. But they are all moving in shadows and as silently as they can.

I adjudicate this by getting the gnome to make an INT roll and he gets only 10. This makes DC10 for move silent/in shadows. This is where the question of Borer’s armour is critical! He burns 2 LCK and makes it, the others make theirs much more easily.

This is the stair-head. From here, the cramped steps lead out south to the defences, or to a passage east. Elyn leans around the corner and signals one sentry. They prepare to throw darts…

Ambush: Tadiko Binye and Elyn all hit with darts, killing the gnome.

Mythic: Do the other gnomes hear that?

I break to roll a d3 to determine which gnome that was. It was the thief. He would fall much more quietly than the other two.

(50-50) Yes.

As the thief gurgles and groans dismally, the fight is on!

The gnomes, in their den, have a pair of heavy crossbows and assisting one another can fire each round. They will try to pick off the rogues, who in turn will try to land darts on any exposed gnome without getting into the crusher-trap zone.

Mythic: is the gnome able to draw a bead? (50-50) Yes.

Tadiko is hit and takes 11 including magic damage.

In reply Binye Elyn and Tadiko hit and Borer fumbles (again, very important that he chose leather)! He smashes his dart straight into the wall and it breaks. In the meantime the first gnome falls dead. The last gnome remains, readying a crossbow and unseen.

Binye looks over at his old battling comrade and grins, mimes a jump and roll. Tadiko nods with a brief smile.

Initiatives: Gnome 3, Binye 18 Tadiko 18.

Binye and Tadiko make a crazy jump to the narrow door and roll through [Tadiko burns 2LCK] and Binye rams Blood Spear up into the gnome’s gut as the crossbow seeks him.

Victory!

The rogues are 40 of 60 experience towards L3. Each gains +1 STA to mark the gruelling nature of the clearing.

The loot of the gnome lair itself includes:

Two heavy crossbows with 15 +2 bolts, three sets of decent but perforated armour, two longswords, a hefty flail, a swag (thousands) of copper coin, and a number of more valuable coins.

Chaos drops to 5

Mythic: Will Tadiko stay with the party? (VUnlikely) No!

Mythic: Will Tadiko escort Abbie back to civilisation? (Somewhat likely) Yes.

“I have no need to kowtow to the Templars now. Something happened on the gauntlet run – I was teleported somewhere weird – and now I have my mana back. And, I did not sign on for goblin minding. But I’ll see the girlfriend back safe, and pass word back down the line.”

 

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