Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Artair: Season 1, Episode 1

I had been asked what Solo System I used, so I figured I would include what occurs in the background as I play. In this particular game, I used two and 7/10 things: Tiny Dungeon is the core game, Dungeon Master's Design Kit generated the adventure, Hankerin Ferinale's Timers and Untold: Adventures Await was used in one scene. Everything else was a result from dice rolls (including the character, where I made a 36 entry table to randomly generate four traits).

Artair is a human man with long chestnut brown hair and wooded dark eyes. He has a slim build from years of living in the wild. His clothing is dark and durable, designed to hike among the trees and  hills near his grove. He is a hunter, accustomed to life in the woods, and believes that the cycle of life should be respected. Artair is proficient with light weapons and has mastered the club and short spear.

Artair was called to nature and learned the Prayers of Healing.
Through study and meditation with his grove, he became One with Nature.
Working to preserve the cycle, Artair is an experienced dungeoneer.

06 / 06 Hit Points

adventurers kit, club, medium armor (patchwork of hide), shield, short spear (flint tipped oak haft)

Thwart Monstrous Plan
Hero Offended
Catacombs and mansion
Crusty Old Professional
The Corruptor
Hard Eyed Advisor
The A-B-C Quest
Bloody Battle

Scene 1: Introduction (Crusty Old Professional)

Artair heard the commotion from his end of the grove. He often sat beneath the tree near his tiny home to meditate and listen to the plants and animals around him. That was broken by heated discussion from the clearing used as a meeting ground. As he approached, Dougal was animatedly talking with the few members present.

Dougal was a gruff man. Tall, burly and fiery haired to match his demeanor. He’d been a soldier of some kind, though no one asked what he did. Presently, he served as an instructor of weapons. He didn't wear metal armor much anymore and is often seen in leather, his omnipresent burda club swinging at his side.

“Stupid. Just stupid,” he growled, casting a baleful glance at anyone listening. “Told him not ta go anywhere near Woolstead.”

“Who?” Artair asked.

“That new apprentice. Tamos. Told him ta avoid them folk. Bad place, bad people,” Dougal replied, spitting on the ground for good measure. “Didn't listen, though. Got himself took by that lord … what’s ‘is name …”

“Cotilius?” suggested Artair. It was the only name that made sense, and it was always wise to avoid him.

“That's the one. Fancy lord Cotilius. Always stickin' his nose in people’s business. Tamos was trespassin’, so I heard, and they took ‘im.”

Artair frowned and considered his options. Dougal would best serve the grove continuing instruction instead of going on a brief adventure. Who knew how long negotiating with Cotilius could take. The handful of others… his dark eyes measured the apprentices… they had a few months yet before they could be useful. That left him while the arch-druids were away.

“Let me see what I can do, Dougal,” Artair said, his baritone slow and patient. “It's a couple days there, couple back. I should be home within a week.”

Scene 2: First Encounter (Terrain monster: guard dog)

He had reached Woolstead as planned. Two days travel from the grove to the town. He brought very little with him, sensing that Cotilius might take offense if he appeared with a flint tipped spear; he left that at home. The sky was overcast, rain beginning to fall, as he walked up the hill.

Artair approached the tall stone wall with its wrought iron gate. The mansion was a fair distance from the town proper, set atop a tall hill and giving a clear view of Woolstead below. The yard appeared deserted; the gate was closed but unchained.

He pushed the gate open and stepped inside, securing it shut behind him. As he walked toward the front door, he heard a low growl. A dark mastiff stood at the corner of the home, baring its teeth. Artair raised a hand, ready to calm and converse with the animal.

One of the mastiff’s paws touched the ground, and it began to smolder.  It crept from around the building, steam and smoke rising off its back. Cracks of fiery orange began to spread along the dark fur. Then, it erupted into ghostly green fire.

[Initiative: Artair: 6, Hellhound (2 hp): 5, Timer: 4]
[Artair: ready weapon, evade; hellhound: move, attack 2, 5; evade: success]

Artair brought up his shield and pulled his club free from his belt. He watched the hound warily. The hellhound rushed forward with a series of loud barks. It leapt at the druid, gnashing its teeth, but he had been ready. The shield deflected the attack, merely pushing Artair back from its momentum.

[Artair: attacks twice 2, 6, 6 and 1, 1, 5, Timer: 3]

He felt confident that the hound had been too aggressive. Artair stepped side and brought his club down on its back. The mastiff yelped loudly and spun to face the druid. Artair was already set to follow through, lunging forward and smashing the club against the hellhound’s skull with an immense crack. The thing collapsed on the ground, dead.

[Artair: kicks door: 1, 3, Timer: 2]

Artair didn't have time. He checked the front door and found it locked. His shoulder smashed against the wood, but the frame remained intact. There came the sound of approaching footsteps, hard soles on gravel. Running out of options, knowing he would be discovered even getting through the door, he forcefully centered himself.

[Artair: entangle: 4, 4, 4]

The guard had black padded armor and a club of his own, and he seemed surprised when he saw the fallen hellhound and a druid ready to cast a spell at him. Artair pulled on the energy within the branches and grass within the courtyard. Roots and shoots flew up to ensnare the guard.

[Initiative: Artair, 12, guard (1 hp): 7]
[Artair: move, attack: 3, 5, 5]

Artair realized subtlety was not going to work. The ensnaring foliage was already peeling away, completely ineffective. He marched up to the stunned guard and swung with his wooden club. It connected with a wet smack, knocking him against the wall. His hands searched the guard and found a set of keys. One of them should be to the front door.

Scene 3: Discovery (Intrigue: 3 Questions)

The mansion was a single level. The foyer and main hall were heavily carpeted. A pair of rooms opened to his left, and another living area was on his right. There were stairs ahead of him, with a pair of hallways to either side, but the entire house seemed empty. No conversations, no servants. Just silence.

[What would most likely attract his attention?]

The den on his left attracted him most. There were bookshelves filled with a variety of topics. Though most were histories and educational, there were a few that related to truly occult matters. Artair thumbed through one, denoting the true names of various otherworldly entities. Another title promised understanding the ebb and flow of magic and the moon.

[How does this relate to Tamos’s disappearance?]

Hidden beneath papers on the desk, another book lay open. It seemed Cotilius was experimenting with taking creatures and twisting them. He summoned entities from other worlds and merged them with other creatures from our own. Artair scowled at the affront to the natural order. This alone required him to intervene, but what does that have to do with Tamos?

[Where would someone perform these rituals?]

If Cotilius was summoning dark creatures, it would have to be hidden. Somewhere most people wouldn't expect to find a lord. Artair looked around the den. Not here. Nor the kitchen or bedroom. He doubted the living room would serve, so he decided to start at the basement.

Scene 4: A Confrontation (Hard Eyed Advisor, then The Corruptor)

The basement was typical for the population of Woolstead, square and earth floored. Barrels lined the wall to one side, and racks of wine rest against the back wall. Shelves of preserved food were opposite the barrels.

A gaunt figure was closing a door at the back of the basement as Artair came down the stairs. The door would have been flush with the wall, concealing it from prying eyes. It wore floor length dark robes, the head was shaved. Shadowed green eyes caught sight of the druid coming down the steps.

“Who are you?” the figure asked in a nasally voice. The green eyes glanced at the club in Artair’s hand. “Small matter. Cotilius is busy. You should not have come.”

[Initiative: Artair: 5, Galius (2 hp): 7, Timer: 6]

[Galius: ranged spell attacks: 2, 4 and 2, 4]
[Artair: move, attack: 2, 3, 4]
[Timer: 5]

The sorcerer’s fingers flexed, tendrils of blue white lightning danced between his hands. One hand threw a bolt that scorched and scraped the wall next to Atair; the other sent arcs of electricity into the support of the stairs he stood upon. The druid rushed forward and swung his club. Galius ducked, and the club smashed loudly against the wall.

[Galius: close spell attack, evade: 2, 2]
[Artair: attack twice: 2, 2, 2 and 1, 2, 6]
[Galius: evade: 6]
[Timer: 4]

With Artair so close, the sorcerer pressed his palms against the floor and sent a sheet of lightning across the room. Artair leapt to avoid the electricity, spinning and bringing his club down. Galius sidestepped and watched as Artair’s return strike flew up to meet him. The wizard gasped in surprise and twisted away, narrowly avoiding the attack.

[Galius: attack twice: 2, 4 and 4, 5]
[Artair: attack twice: 2, 2, 3 and 2, 2, 4]
[Timer: 3]

Galius sneered and hurled another pair of bolts. The first traced sparks along the earthy walls. The second followed the trail left by the one before and raked across Artair’s chest. He grimaced and ground his teeth against the surge of energy coursing through him. Artair lunged forward and swung again. The club found empty air then collided loudly as the reverse swing met the wall.

[Galius: attacks twice: 1, 2 and 1, 2]
[Artair: attacks twice: 1, 2, 6 and 3, 6, 6]
[Timer: 2]

The sorcerer pressed the advantage, continuing to cascade lightning at Artair. The room lit as tendrils struck into the ceiling and the walls. The druid emerged from behind his shield unscathed. He yelled and struck the wizard across the face, bringing him down to one knee. Another crack, and Galius fell to the floor.

Artair’s breathing was quick and loud in his ears. He could hear the sound of footsteps from behind the concealed door. Again pressed for time, he ducked behind the barrels to see who would open the door.


[Artair: hiding: 2, 5]

He was garbed in rich dark robes. Short brown hair and matching eyes which took note of the bleeding corpse of Galius on the floor. Cotilius scanned around the basement as Artair held his breath.

“Where could you be?” he muttered, as if to himself.

“What did you do with Tamos?” the druid asked, the quiet and calm before the storm.

“The boy? Helping him,” Cotilius replied. Artair could now make out dark stains on Cotilius’s hands. “He’ll need a few weeks to recover, but…”

[Initiative: Artair: 10, Cotilius (3 hp): 7, Timer: 4]

[Artair: move, attack: 2, 5, 5]
[Cotilius: attack twice: 2, 6 and 4, 4, 4]
[Timer: 3]

“But?” Artair growled and charged into combat.

His club came around and smashed into Cotilius’s shoulder. Cotilius fell back against the wall. A knife appeared in his hand and sliced into Artair’s arm. His hand came forward and a wave of pure force collided with Artair’s shield.

[Atair: attack twice: 2, 2, 4 and 2, 4, 6]
[Cotilius: attack, evade: 1, 4, 5]
[Timer: 2]

Cotilius was wounded, and Artair could see that. The momentum of the force bolt gave him momentum to spin and swing at Cotilius with a back hand strike. It missed as his head leaned away. The second swing caught him on the shoulder again, bringing with it a pained shout. A shimmering field sprang to life on Cotilius’s arm, and he lunged forward with the knife. Another trail of blood appeared on Artair’s arm.

[Artair: attack, evade: 1, 1, 2]
[Cotilius: attack, evade: 1, 3, 3]
[Timer: 1]

The two combatants were bloody and began to fight more defensively. Though Artair had the advantage, the magical shield Cotilius summoned was challenging to get around. His club smashed against the energetic field, just as the knife stabbed into Artair’s shield.

[Artair: attack twice: 1, 1, 4 and 1, 5, 6]
[Timer: 0]

As the knife wedged into his shield, Artair pulled. The two wrestled, his first strike swinging wildly. The knife came free, and Cotilius stepped back. Artair smiled grimly, the club striking Cotilius in the head. The shield flickered then winked out.

Artair’s victory was short lived. An anguished cry burst from behind the concealed door. He rushed past the corpses of Galius and Cotilius, sprinting into the room just beyond. Tamos was splayed across a table, his ribs pried apart and open to the air. Standing past him, a dark shadowed and horned monstrosity stalked toward a ruddy portal.

The thing seemed human but immense. A couple feet taller than Artair, the horns added to its height. It was completely black, an animate shadow, and it turned before stepping into the supernatural gate. Its laugh was low and grating.

“Too late, Artair. Too late…”

The room felt hollow and empty.

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