Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fate D&D: The Knight of Newts

Sajiyya Ahl al-Shakir
High Concept: Alasiyan Dervish of Al-Kalim
Trouble: Experience The Eternal Truth for Myself
Phase 1: “Sajiyya and the Pilgrimage to Ylaruam”
Aspect: A Nomad’s Determination

+1 Strength
+2 Dexterity
+2 Constitution
+0 Intelligence
+3 Wisdom
+1 Charisma

Stunt: Because I am a Battle Priest, I have access to the healing and prayer schools of magic and begin play with bless and cure light wounds

Stunt: Because I am an Accomplished Spellcaster, I begin play with cure moderate wounds, holy water and remove curse

Stunt: Because I have A Dancer’s Grace, I can attack with Dexterity when using scimitars.

Refresh: 3 / 3
Physical Stress [1] [2] [3]
Mental Stress [1] [2] [3] [4]

It's a quiet evening. The moon's reflection trapped in Lake Ganif. The curtains of your open window flutter in the chilly breeze and the odors of fresh water fish and cooking fires fill your room.

Down in the lobby, people of many races sit eating in silence-all but one. Bespectacled and greying, he puzzles over a number of charts, scrolls, tomes, and a primer. An occasional idea causes his head to nod, and he scratches his hair and mumbles patiently. As you walk into the room, he looks over his spectacles and smiles at you. Standing, he grabs chairs and places them around his table, waving for you to join him.

"I'm Pickman and I heard you were here, yes I did. Here, sit at my table and let me talk to you. I have some things to say to you; yes I do. You've heard of the Ruins of Kraal, Castle Kraal, but no one knows what caused its destruction. It's destroyed, you know. I've been hired by the mayor to find out why, but I don't know why and neither do these volumes and memoirs. I would like for you to find out for me, yes, I would."

Sajiyya strolls by the other patrons. Her black hair pulled into a short braid, dark eyes soaking in the strangeness of being in a valley, with a lake no less, instead of the abrasive desert sands. Her tanned feet are covered by sandals, a concession from walking barefoot in this unfamiliar territory. Brown cotton trousers and long white shirt covered by a navy thobe. Atop that, a white aba to keep her warm. Curious that this Pickman came to find her, she takes a seat across from him.

“Castle Kraal?” she asks.

“Yes, yes. The castle in the Black Swamp. A garrison that stood for over a century. It slowly collapsed, maybe due to a corrupt commandant, but it was on its way to recovery when the ogres attacked.”

“And why do you need me?”

“Judging by the scimitar at your hip, you can probably take better care of yourself than me. I can pay,” Pickman replies.


Sajiyya Compels “Experience the Eternal Truth for Myself” and gains one Fate point.


Attendance to the Security of Your Fellow Man, an article of faith amongst the faithful of Al-Kalim. She shakes her head, “I will not need payment. If this Castle was to protect the people in this valley, I will go.”

Pickman nods enthusiastically, his mood brightens considerably. “If you will not take payment, at least let me show you the way.”

He places a map on the table and points to a city, Melinir, and traces a route through the passes over the Ganif River, through the Marshwood, then into the Black Swamp.

“Three days, by my calculations. Keep the map and thank you. I don't think I would do well on this journey. Not at all,” he stands and makes to leave, “I'll check back in a fortnight. Good night.”


While there aren't overland travel rules in Fate, I can use Undertake a Perilous Journey from Dungeon World and roll +WIS against difficulty 2. Sajiyya is a nomad, so I'll allow her to fill the quartermaster and scout roles. Trailblazing is less of a priority for her.

Sajiyya rolls to Overcome an Obstacle using Wisdom against difficulty 2. Result, +1 and Invokes “A Nomad’s Determination” to make it +3 after spending a Fate point.

0-2 shifts is treated like a 7-9, so I'll “Show Signs of an Approaching Threat” seeing as the module was kind enough to supply a wandering monster table.

2 Giant Toads
Amphibious, Standing Leap
+1 Strength and Constitution
Stress [1]


Swarms of mosquitoes and gnats follow Sajiyya on her trek through the Black Swamp. Spongy ground broken by shallow bogs makes travel difficult. Stands of moss covered willow and cypress trees dip branches into the murky water. Tall grasses and undergrowth obscure much of what lies ahead.

Her feet pull free from the muck, her legs making subtle splashes with each forward step. A deep loud croak erupts from a stand of trees. Sajiyya creeps closer and spies a pair of giant toads, each the size of a person, sitting beneath the shadow of the trees.


Sajiyya rolls to Overcome an Obstacle using Dexterity against difficulty 2. GM offers Sajiyya a Fate point, Invoking “Shallow Bogs,” which Sajiyya accepts.


Sajiyya moves through the undergrowth and suddenly finds herself almost hip deep in water. The giant toads, alerted by the sound, grow silent, listening. She slides her scimitar free as one of them hops heavily into the swamp. The other toad, more aggressive than the first, leaps toward Sajiyya’s splash.


Sajiyya rolls to Defend using Dexterity against difficulty 0. Result, +6 and adds the Outmaneuvered Boost to the Giant Toads.


The Dervish sends droplets of water into the air as she jumps to the side and avoids the clumsy attack. Sajiyya spins, tough in the shallow bog, and slices at the toad beside her.


Sajiyya rolls to Attack using Dexterity against difficulty -3. Result, +6 with the “Outmaneuvered” Boost and inflicts nine Stress on the Giant Toads.


Better than she had hoped, the spin cuts a clean wound across the toad’s abdomen, a gaping hole opens as it falls into the bog. The sidestep brought her closer to the second toad. A quick flourish and the scimitar slices across its eye followed by a reverse upward swing that tears open its throat.

The swamp grows mostly silent, save for the constant buzz of insects. A short distance ahead, the courtyard of Castle Kraal beckons.

Two moss covered walls form a perimeter with a door to the south. The floor, once polished stone, is covered by water and mud. Sajiyya’s footsteps make sopping sounds as she walks across them.

Looking through the mud and moss, Sajiyya finds a couple of art pieces worth a small amount of money: a flag holder made of silver and a mast head inscribed with “In memory of Kraal. Your labor inspires for all time.”

Sajiyya sees little reason to pillage the flag holder. The mast head, however, Pickman may find useful. She takes that from the mud and puts it in her satchel.

Pulling her hand back from the mud, her hand carries a couple of leeches along with it.

She winces at the disgusting things, prying them free and checks her sandaled feet and legs. More leeches cover her calves, which she also pulls free. Sajiyya sighs, not having much defense against the nasty, annoying creatures.

Opening the door to the south, Sajiyya finds a corridor leading east to west, it's walls covered in moss with lanterns affixed to rusted hooks. Another hallway continues south with a second southern passage further east where the hallway grows slippery with slime and mud. A skeleton lies in a corner just beyond the door.

Sajiyya inspects the skeleton, looking for possible causes of death, like scoring on the bony remains.

All flesh long since sloughed off, the nature of its death remains a mystery. A decayed scabbard hangs from the belt still wrapped around its waist, and a preserved bag opposite the scabbard.

Perhaps the bag has clues. She picks the bag from the skeleton and checks what it contains.

Nothing. Strangely, it's bigger on the inside.

Curious. Sajiyya keeps the bag, especially since she may come across more artifacts for Pickman. She walks to the nearest corridor heading south, glancing as far as she can in the dim light.

The first room to the right is an empty weapons store. Rubble and muck with nothing of value. The next room is a dining hall covered in cobwebs. A large table surrounded by high backed chairs for in the center, a pool of water circling one of the table legs. Several large bird carcasses are ensnared in the web, bodies burst apart by something eating its way out.

Cautious, Sajiyya steps lightly to look at the table and chairs.


Sajiyya passively opposes a perception check with Wisdom, +3. Spider’s result, +1.

Water Spider
Toxic Venom
+1 Dexterity


The table has tarnished silver table settings, ornate and decorated. She notices movement from the webs, a singular giant spider crawling down towards her then jumping at her face.


Sajiyya rolls to Defend using Dexterity against difficulty 1. Result, +2.


Sajiyya weaves to the side, startled, and watches the giant spider land on the table. She pulls her weapon free, slashing down at the spider and rotting wood.


Sajiyya rolls to Attack using Dexterity against difficulty 3. Result, -1. Sajiyya Invokes “A Nomad’s Determination” and rerolls using a Fate point. New result, +5 and inflicts two Stress on the spider.


The spider’s soft body splits with a messy fluid sound, green ichor spraying against the table cloth. Sajiyya shivers, arachnids were not her favorite thing. Wary of future attacks, she takes the engraved silver and puts it into the bag of holding for Pickman.

Nothing left to discover, Sajiyya returns the way she had come as the end of the hallway gives way to water that dramatically drops beneath her feet. The second southern passage shows a door to her right, whispering voices coming from behind it.

She listens at the door, not understanding what the voices are saying, and gently opens the door.

The door opens into a small chamber, smaller with the bulk of four scaled human sized entities dressed in leather, feathers hang from primitive weapons and necklaces. One of them lifts it's hands, arms away from its weapons, and hisses a few syllables. The other three appear wary but also don't reach for their weapons.

Sajiyya tilts her head quizzically, “Hello?” she asks.

The presumed leader shakes its head and waves its hands then raises one hand, finger plaintively held upward. It waits then begins uttering a reptilian incantation.

“Quiet. Please. The newt is coming. Come in,” it says.

“The newt?”

“We were trapped. They want to find our home. Promise power. Leadership. We hide here. Hope to escape. Maybe… we help together?”

“Together.” Sajiyya weighs her options and nods. “Certainly.”

The lizardmen show what little they could salvage. The room is well kept with five beds, dressers with drawers pulled away. Only a handful of short swords, bows and a few arrows remain.


3 Lizardmen Warriors
+1 Strength and Constitution
Stress [1]

Lizardman Shaman
Amphibious, Shaman of the Black Marsh
+2 Wisdom, +1 Constitution
Stress [1]

I have changed location 8 and the location of the final item. According to the room’s description, there would be no way of seeing two of the rooms because they're submerged. With no incentive to go diving, I don't see why a reasonable character would.


Walking down the hall from the residence, the water quickly rises calf high. Further in, Sajiyya stumbles as the floor becomes stairs. The main assembly is underwater. The tops of a pair of columns rise like small islands at the back of the chamber. The eastern pedestal marred by deep gouges in the stone where something heavy had been drawn across the surface.

Sajiyya swims the distance between the stairs and the eastern pillar to investigate. She traces her hand across the deep scratches and follows them down into the water.

A heavy chest lies on its side at the base of the pillar, a lock keeping it shut. The water makes it impossible to open, and whatever is inside makes it hard to do more than drag it across the assembly floor.

When Sajiyya comes up for air, a trio of ripples stream towards the dervish. Scaly backs lined with bony ridges swim toward her.

Sajiyya scrabbles to the tip of the pillar, calling to the lizard folk for help. “There's a chest down here. Heavy.”

The four amphibians nod, keeping an eye on the three crocodiles when they enter the water. Short blades slide from their scabbard as the two groups approach the pillar.


3 Crocodiles
Amphibious, Strong Jaws
+2 Strength, +1 Constitution
Stress [1] [2]

Lizardman Warriors roll to Attack using Strength against difficulty 1. Result, +2 and inflicts one Stress.

Crocodiles roll to Attack using Strength against difficulty 2. Result, +1.


The lizardmen swim at the crocodiles, a small defensive line to allow their shaman to reach Sajiyya. The two groups clash in the water; a sword stabs upward and skewers one of the crocodile's jaw shut.

Sajiyya dives back underwater with the shaman. The two priests avoiding the deadly battle that takes place a short distance from them. The warriors are better suited for aquatic combat than the dervish.


Lizardman Warriors roll to Attack using Strength against difficulty 2. Result, +1.

Crocodiles roll to Attack using Strength against difficulty 4. Result, 2.


The lizardmen and crocodiles continue to thrash in the water, neither side getting the upper hand. Sajiyya and the shaman pull on the heavy chest, dragging it halfway up the pillar.


Lizardman Warriors roll to Attack using Strength against difficulty 3. Result, 3.

Crocodiles roll to Attack using Strength against difficulty 0. Result, 4.

Playing a tie as success with a cost, I give the crocodiles a death throe. Literally.


The warriors manage to stab into the remaining crocodiles, swords falling and thrusting into their scaly backs. Not without loss, as strong jaws snap and crush reptilian throats. The carnage spreads, clouds of blood mixing with the murky water. Until, finally, the wrestling stops. Scaled bodies float on the surface, crocodile and lizard folk alike.

Sajiyya and the shaman make it to the top of the pillar and witness the gory end of the battle. Nothing moves. Stoic, the shaman mutters words in its language, their meaning plain to a member of any faith.

“I hope their lives was worth this,” it says.

With effort, the two pry open the lock and open the chest. Inside, a polished orb seated in tarnished brass with a waterlogged note that reads, “Place this orb where it can not be found. It will do the rest. -N’worbmit”

“It seems to be a clue as to what happened here,” says Sajiyya. “Any idea who N’worbmit is?”

The shaman nods. “Newt priest. Dead.”

“Dead. Then I think I have the answers Pickman seeks. I will take these back to him.”

Sajiyya packs the items into the bag of holding and turns to leave. “I am Sajiyya Ahl al-Shakir. I may be in the valley for some time.”

“Zaelpa. Zaelpa-Cu."

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