Player rolls for next area: Monster
Plot Stress: +5 (28)
GM rolls Stress Check: 46
Location: (4) Fissure/crevasse
Quality #1: (74) Bird calls
Quality #2: (78) Serene
Quality #3: (79) Floral scents
GM rolls for Encounter Budget: 80 (!!)
GM rolls for foe encountered: 9 animals/mounts (18)
GM rolls for foe encountered: talented NPC, leader (10)
GM rolls for foe encountered: 9 average team members, religious (27)
GM rolls for foe encountered: 25 non-combatants (25)
GM rolls for foe rationale: Drunk/drugged
9 skeletal minions (CR 0, minions): 1 HP, AC 12, ruined melee weapons (1 dmg)
Priest of Fenrir (CR ¼): 5 HP, 6 MP, AC 14, warhammer +2 (1d6), diminish mind
Valtyr awakens, unknowingly having fallen asleep after the events of the battle. His hit points, magic points and arm ring are restored.
The cave he had fallen asleep in, beneath the glow of the coin beside him, shows stone and the corpses left after the fight. The kobold equipment are simple scraps and of little use. Pressing on through the darkness, Valtyr finds the tunnel continues beyond the cavern the fight had taken place.
It’s a gentle slope downward, heading back to ground level. The cavern walls grow steadily closer until the tunnel is barely wide enough for one person to walk. His quiet, cautious footsteps are broken by sharp bird calls up ahead; a cold wind brings the scent of flowers up to him. Soon, the ceiling of the tunnel breaks open to show starlit skies.
The cave’s opening drops precipitously into a ravine; a narrow path wraps back around to Valtyr’s right, sloping back up toward the tower. Down below, someone is speaking to a small gathering of, perhaps, a couple dozen people. A handful of animate skeletons walk the perimeter of the group. Just beyond the skeletons, several horses are hobbled and allowed free access to the wintry grasses that still grow in the fissure.
Valtyr just isn’t catching a break. His purpose is to recover the Sagas of Njordr, but the gathering of people also has his attention. What can he see from this distance?
Roll Intellect + Knowledge vs DC 15.
Player rolls Intellect + Knowledge vs DC 15: 3
Natural 1: The Candle is extinguished; Dread Track gains a second token.
That’ll teach me to ask questions.
From this distance, it appears they're some kind of cult, perhaps aspiring clergy. It’s hard to tell under a starlit sky without getting closer.
Question #1: Do they seem to be sacrifices?
Player rolls Yes/No: (73) No.
Plot Stress: +1 (29)
Asking for Trouble #1: Can they see me from this distance?
Player rolls Yes/No: (35) Yes.
Plot Stress: +1 (30)
Why am I asking questions…?
Ok, if they don’t seem to be sacrificial, Valtyr assumes they’re here willingly. That makes them bad people hanging out with animated corpses. He’ll continue up the slope and try to sneak back into the tower.
The glowing coin seems to have attracted the attention of a couple skeletons; they detach from marching around the perimeter and begin to ascend the steep slope. The priest appears to take notice and scans the cliff face. Roll Agility + Subterfuge.
Player rolls Agility + Subterfuge: 15
GM rolls Intellect + Subterfuge: 21
The priest spots Valtyr up on the cliff and points. The mass of people slowly turn and search for what the priest is pointing at. The remaining skeletons follow an unheard command and begin their own ascent up the slope.
Question #2: As a Cleric, were the skeletons acting under direct control of the priest?
Player rolls Yes/No: (93) No.
Plot Stress: +1 (31)
Well, double crap. Valtyr knows the path to the tower is narrow, so he can at least limit potential attacks. Time to fall back to the tower.
Asking for Trouble #2: Is the ground clear enough to avoid slipping into the ravine?
Player rolls Yes/No: (31) Yes.
Plot Stress: +1 (32)
Almost an Unexpected Event… Ok, Valtyr’s going to sprint toward the tower.
The closer Valtyr gets to the tower, the steeper the slope becomes. The gradual spiral of the staircase isn’t reflected on the tower exterior. Roll Might + Physical to climb the slope to the wall of the tower.
Player rolls Might + Physical vs DC 10 with Disadvantage: 9
Plot Stress: +1 (33)
Valtyr slides back down the slope as loose rocks give way. He can hear the slow methodical footsteps of the approaching undead that have made the climb. He can make another attempt at DC 15 and Disadvantage before the first wave of undead come around the corner.
Valtyr expends his 3 Hope to rekindle the Candle; that gets rid of the Disadvantage. Now it’s him vs. DC 15…
Player rolls Might + Physical vs DC 15: 14
Plot Stress: +1 (34)
Welp. 10 v 1. He’s survived that before…
Player rolls initiative: 5
GM rolls initiative: 15
GM rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 17: 15, 12
Player rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 12: 10
GM rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 17: 18, 6
Valtyr takes 1 damage, 9 HP remaining
Player rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 12: 24
Critical Hit, +1 Hope: 10 damage
Plot Stress: +2 (36)
Good news, they can only approach you two at a time on this narrow trail. Bad news, they have a spell caster.
The first exchange fills the air with rusted metal smashing against wooden shield; Valtyr’s riposte is off balance and wide. The next moment, a skeleton scores a hit with a rusty sword against Valtyr’s side. The Northlander’s shield swipes across the exposed jaw of the skeleton and knocks its head into the air and down the slope as he pulls his axe free.
GM rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 17: 4, 12
Player rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 12: 10
GM rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 17: 5, 14
Player rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 12: 11
GM rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 17: 1, 9
And roll Intellect + proficiency vs DC 12.
Player rolls Intellect + proficiency vs DC 12: 19
Valtyr takes 3 damage, 6 HP remaining
Player rolls Intellect + proficiency vs AC 14: 12
Player rolls Intellect + proficiency vs AC 12: 23
Plot Stress: +3 (39)
As one skeleton falls, another takes its place. The trio square off and exchange blows, neither side finding a useable opening. When the priest arrives, a pulse of magical energy washes over Valtyr, who manages to retain control of his faculties with some difficulty.
Valtyr aims the arm ring of blasting at the priest; the white runes lined in orange flare to life. A second ring of runes slides up his arm and a wide bolt of fire shoots toward the priest, scorching burns into the rocks behind him. The second ring merges with the first; a thinner stream of burning energy blasting a skeleton apart.
GM rolls Might + proficiency vs AC 17: 6, 20
Valtyr takes 2 damage, 4 HP remaining
Player rolls Intellect + proficiency vs DC 12: 8
A skeleton swings with a bent blade; Valtyr easily steps aside and avoids the attack. The replacement skeleton takes advantage of its position and stabs into the viking with a broken dagger. The priest breaks into a wide grin and sends another pulse of energy into Valtyr’s mind.
The VIU shuts down and Vince pries the helmet from his head.
“So. What you think?” Fetu asks.
“I think it’s a waste of time,” Vince replies.
“You only sayin’ that ‘cause you lost.”
“I’m saying that if I had a pistol, things would’ve turned out different.”
Fetu smiles. “A pistol? I got somethin’ you might like. Wanna be a pirate?”
“A… What? I got mission planning to do.”
Vince gets up from the recliner and heads toward the door. He glances back over his shoulder at the still form of Wendy lying in her own reclined seat, VIU over her eyes and software humming to life. The dim light from various displays cast her skin in green.
“This how she passes her time?”
“Pretty much. She’s lookin’ fo’ answers. I jus’ build the software. Wanna watch?”
Vince grunts and walks out of the room. “I’ll leave you kids alone; when mission prep is done, I’ll come by.”
“Too bad,” Fetu mutters to no one. “This VIU Point is unique.”