** GM rolls 6 against Chaos Factor 4. Scene loads normally.
Event Focus, 67 on Horror table, “PC Negative.” Event action, 79, “Intolerance” and Subject, 00, “Information.”
Roll on Location Crafter: 2, “Expected;” 1, “Gaping Pit;” and 4, “ruined armor.” GM sets Timer to 1.
I liked the modified Spellburn mechanic mentioned on Ultimate Effort, so I’ll use that for magic and sorcery in this setting. **
I discovered my ability while in the military. I always thought I was just quicker on the draw than anyone else there. It wasn’t until a few months later that someone noticed the weapon would leap into my hand before I even touched the hilt. One of the battle mages said I could have studied at the Academy in Glantri if I had been discovered earlier. Like my family could’ve afforded tuition…
I came around the tower and saw what Mikhail had been talking about. The ground sloped away, a gentle path curving gently against the mountain. From my vantage point, I could see another series of stone walls. Locked within was a small maze, a hedge maze, made of the same grey stone. Whoever built this tower had a sick sense of humor; at least a hedge maze had decorative purpose. This was obnoxious.
The path ended against the entrance to the maze, the wall arced left to right with a simple two person wide segment cut away to provide access. There was a lone figure standing just within the labyrinth waiting for me. He could have been a monk or priest of some sort. His robes were deep brown and made of a coarse material. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I wondered how long he’d been standing there. Maybe he had a chamber nearby where he could sit and wait until a trespasser approached.
“The spirits tell me you’ve spoken with Mikhail,” he said, his voice nasally and punchable. “He should not have told you about us.”
I brush most of his commentary aside. “I’m here for the cyclops. Whatever strange scheme you have, that’s not my problem. Tethering one world to another? Doesn’t seem all that possible, but if you could tell me which way a cyclops would go?”
“Of course,” he replies with his annoying voice. “He’s in the labyrinth. I’m afraid you won’t make it. I need to stop you just in case you intend to interfere.”
** GM counts Timer down to 0. **
This is where things get a little hazy. I had had enough of him talking, so I started to cross the threshold. My right hand came up, a blueprint of my crossbow traced itself within my clenched fist. The cerulean lines flared, and my weapon was in hand. The ground began to rumble, and I could hear stone clatter beneath me, skipping along a wall then scattering against a rocky floor.
** GM sets Target to 10. **
** Player rolls 15. **
The floor gives way, and my instinct pushes me to jump toward the nasally monk. I land in a crouch a short distance from him, shield in front and crossbow at my side. Who builds a pit trap at the beginning of a maze? If I find whoever built this place…
** GM rolls for initiative: 16 **
** Player rolls for initiative: 18 **
** Player rolls for Dex Attempt: 17 vs 10, 6 damage **
** GM sets Spellburn counter to 1 and rolls Int Attempt: 8 vs 13, 1 damage. **
My hand comes up and pulls the trigger of the light crossbow. The bolt flies across the short distance and pierces its way into his shoulder. Maybe I was lucky, but the man gestured toward me, fire dancing across the back of his fingers, then nothing. His eyes register the briefest hint of surprise as the fire grows still then lashes back across his forearms. I can’t help but smile at his high pitched scream.
** Player rolls for Str Attempt: 12 vs 10, 9 damage. **
My hand is filled with the blue filigree, transforming from crossbow to sword. I cross the distance quickly in case he has something else up his sleeve. The sword swings swiftly and cuts a thin line across the mage’s throat. A red line appears and trickles with blood. He tries to talk, but, thankfully, it only comes across as a wet wheeze broken by small fits of coughing.
** “Does he have anything valuable?” Fate roll: 43 (yes), event meaning, 16 (inquire), event subject (new ideas).
“Any coins?” Fate roll: 75 (no)
GM sets Chaos Factor to 5. **
As the man slowly comes closer to death, I take the opportunity to search his not yet corpse. When you’re a soldier, and poor, you do what needs to be done. I frown into his fading brown eyes. No money. I guess that makes sense if you’re a monk or priest, but this book…
The book is fairly new. Black leather cover, parchment. It’s embossed with a sigil: it’s like a slightly slanted I followed by a V and another V or chevron crossing them caught in a circle. All of it in silver. Not silver leaf. Actual silver. I thumb through the pages and quickly realize I have no time to devote to reading it right now; it’s thick with lots of words with a few pages of diagrams. Immaculate penmanship.
I look down at the now dead guy. Too bad. If this was his writing, he was, or used to be, pretty neat about it.