Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Khadiya the Branded and the Hidden Jewel

I have translated the Simple World version of Khadiya to QuestWorlds; the updated character sheet is at the bottom of the post. Taking notes from my last post regarding QuestWorlds and D&D, I've tried sorting the Abilities into a logical sequence. I've invested just enough points into her Warlock class to get Khadiya to fourth level since her XP track doesn't quite translate from one game to another. However, I do like how the "ability scores" end up resembling D&D ability scores.

I'm not entirely sure how I would translate treasure values to a resource, so I'm still thinking on that. Part of me wants to make a particular amount of gold to equal one resource point, like, say, 5 to 1, but I need to take a closer look at treasure values first.

Wilderness Adventure : Massacre Site

Enemies : Undead revenant, author of the slaughter, feaster upon the slain

Friends : Sorrowful ghost, investigator for the local lord

Things : The secret they were killed to keep

Complications : The dead deserved it.

Places : The last stand, gory shambles in the wilderness

"You did well," Mahdi's voice says from behind her shoulder. "Lady Hamada appreciates how you handled Naazim."

"Do you ever not sneak up behind people?" asks Khadiya.


A folded parchment taps her shoulder. Khadiya grabs it with a questioning look, "What's this?"

"A request."

"Am I taking orders from Lady Hamada now?"

"A request," Mahdi reiterates.

"And deny a request from Lady Hamada." Khadiya turns and faces Mahdi. "We both know what the answer will be."

Mahdi smiles behind his mask, "Then I'll report back the request has been accepted."

Khadiya turns away and glares at the sand dunes in the distance. Her open hand crackles with burning energy. Perhaps one day she will be in Lady Hamada's position, doling out requests that others can't refuse. Today is not that day. Today, she lives to serve. The parchment unfolds, revealing a map to a site just a day beyond Yrkala. Khadiya sighs. This task would be more suited for Hamada's Ghostwise not a cursed sorcerer.

The desert radiates with the oppressive heat of the sun above. The solar tendrils reach out immeasurable distances to vainly grasp at the land below. The sand stretches just as immeasurably in every direction, Yrkala far behind Kadiya. Her feet guided by the map, she has no problem with locating the last location of ... whoever Hamada wanted to be found. Just before cresting another dune, Khadiya hears faint clicking noises punctuated by hollow sounds.

Khadiya rolls Dexterity to stealthily see what's beyond the dune against Rank 1 Resistance 17: Khadiya rolls 4; Mantis-folk roll 20. Success.

She stops at the crest and peeks over the dune. Below Khadiya, a caravan of wagons has been overturned and ransacked. Three large insect like humanoids, tan carapaced with foliage green multi-faceted eyes, pick over the corpses of the travellers. Their leather belts bear trade goods and each pair of their arms hold a staff. The three mantis-folk seem to be communicating with each other, their throats emitting strange clicking noises. The punctuating hollow noise comes when their mandibles snap together. 

The people below were murdered by heavy blades; these mantis-folk carry staves. Though they may have their edged throwing blades, those blades wouldn't inflict the degree of harm the bodies demonstrate. Khadiya watches the central figure, pointing at a couple of travellers, rapid clicks punctuating the air.

"I don't understand," Khadiya mutters.

A heartbeat interrupted. One-two, one... that turns into an unending rumble of thunder. The air fills with the sound of a hanging heartbeat, and the movement of the mantis below Khadiya slows to stillness. The particles of sand tracing patterns along the wind freeze, a stream of scintillating motes outlining the currents of air. The thundering half beat of the heart intensifies, growing louder until it fills the skies with eternal thunder.

A voluptuous woman fades in from an ethereal curtain. A woman's body in a revealing, sensual gown topped by the dark head of a jackal. If a canine's muzzle could smirk, she would be wearing one. Yrkali walks between the frozen mantis-folk around her, towering over them almost twice their height. Khadiya is, perhaps, as tall as her thigh.

"And why should you?" asks Yrkali, her jackal head tilting to one side in amusement. "They don't even speak the language of civilized creatures."

"What do you want?" finding her voice, Khadiya's question is a forced whisper.

"What do I want?" mocks Yrkali. "Is that any way to greet your god?"

"My god?" Khadiya pulls free from the majestic aura of Yrkali and glares. "What game are you playing at? Why are you doing this?"

"Because it amuses me," Yrkali says, focusing her sapphire eyes on Khadiya. "Too trite? Perhaps. Then, because you fight," The towering entity leans forward, her large blue eyes boring into Khadiya's, "Even now, you fight."

Khadiya's patience wears thin, "What. Do. You. Want?" she asks, each word forced into being in spite of Yrkali's presence.

Yrkali smiles a dog's smile and produces Khadiya's Grimoire. The silver edged tome hangs suspended in the air as the jackal-headed woman inscribes sigils upon an empty page in flowing arcane script. Khadiya's skin burns as azure runes sear themselves on her back, fading into chalk white. The book snaps shut and cuts off the rolling thunder of the heartbeat hanging in the air.

"I want what you want, child. Success."

Yrkali evaporates back to wherever she came from and time resumes. The tome turns and presents the newly scribed spell to Khadiya.

Khadiya rolls Intelligence to augment her Infernal Grimoire against Rank 0 Resistance 14: Khadiya rolls 12; Resistance rolls 19. Success. Khadiya rolls Infernal Grimoire to cast Comprehend Languages with a +3 bonus against Rank 0 Resistance 14: Khadiya rolls 10 and bumps failure to success with Mastery; Resistance rolls 7. Success.

An azure mandala unfolds in the air between Khadiya and the mantis folk. The ring turning clockwise; the runes inscribed along its perimeter slowly following the track. The creature's incessant clicking slows to something more conversational and brings Khadiya back to the present.

"You," the central mantis creature says, pointing at the third, "Grab what you can carry before they come back." It turns back to address the second. "Not that, too much blood gone. Insides spilled. Take the whole ones to share." It turns toward the north east, "Be quick."

She glances at the mutilated corpses then back at the three mantis-folk. The body thrown aside, entrails casting a lazy line across the desert sand. Khadiya turns and faces the north east, scanning the horizon and waiting for the mantis creatures to complete their grisly task.

As instructed, the three mantis folk quickly scavenge through the caravan, pulling valuables and mostly intact corpses to carry off to the south. Khadiya moves across the sands, the sun beginning to set and taking its heat with it. Cresting another rise, broken pillars reach toward the darkening sky; scattered sand reveal a series of steps leading beneath the ground. Cautiously, Khadiya steps between the pillars to approach the opening.

Khadiya succeeds with an assured success to cast devil's sight.

One of the eldritch invocations bestowed by Yrkali allows Khadiya to see through darkness as if it were brightly lit. Begrudgingly, she is thankful to have that ability this evening. Without needing a torch, Khadiya would have an advantage over anyone requiring one to see. And if whoever "they" were were human, then they would require them.

The cracked stone steps open into an underground chamber. The floor is tiled in stone, the walls painted with murals showing feasts : goat, dates, olives, bulgur and rice. The one lone exit ahead of her propped open by a wooden staff. The sand and dust across the floor hold obvious traces of movement; things being dragged, feet being planted. Footsteps echo from the exit, the light of a torch dimly striking the corner behind the propped door.

Khadiya rolls Infernal Grimoire to cast Spider Climb to sneak past the approaching guard against Rank 0 Resistance 14: Khadiya rolls 16 and bumps failure to success with Mastery; Resistance rolls 16. Success.

Khadiya summons her spellbook and recites the incantation to Embody the Spider's Walk. The blue mandala shatters into anklets and bracelets, which she uses to scale the wall then ceiling of the entry room. A figure enters the room, torch in hand, beige keffiyeh and robes covering his features. She smiles. Most people never look up. Her slim form crawls along the ceiling and into the hallway beyond.

"Pathetic!" the word carries back to Khadiya.

She pauses from her perch on the ceiling and listens.

"Promise to spare them, and they tell us exactly what we need to know. But this..."

Khadiya stalks toward the voice, peeking beyond the threshold of another doorway. The room is similar to the one back at the entrance. Stone tiles. Murals. These murals depict a similar feast, though the attendants are skeletons. A feast of goat, and hearts and eyes. Floating in the center of the room is a crystal suspended on invisible strings, shedding a blue white light. The speaking figure robed in black lined with filigree of blue; a servant holding a pillow in simple trousers and shirt.

"But this is worth any price," the figure says, hand reaching toward the floating gem.

Khadiya begins the extended contest by rolling Infernal Grimoire to cast Command against Rank 1 Resistance 17: Khadiya rolls 1; Resistance rolls 11. Success. Khadiya RP : 1, Resistance RP : 0.

She detaches from the ceiling and drops into a crouch on the tiled floor. The azure anklets detach and merge into a small mandela as Khadiya claps her hands together. An incantation flows from her, the grimoire erupting violently into the air.

"Stop!" she shouts.

The primary figure pauses mid grasp; the servant turns as if to berate the interruption.

Khadiya continues the extended contest by rolling Infernal Grimoire to cast Burning Hands against Rank 1 Resistance 17: Khadiya rolls 10; Resistance rolls 14. Failure. Khadiya RP : 1, Resistance RP : 1.

"Take her," the figure rumbles, hand stretching out to grasp the floating gem.

The servant drops the pillow and rushes toward Khadiya unarmed. Reflexively, she recites the spell to becoming the Conduit of the Burning Sun and sends a gout of fire at him. The servant screams as his clothing burns away and skin begins to melt.

Khadiya rolls Borrowed Time against Rank 1 Resistance 17: Khadiya rolls 17; Resistance rolls 1. Failure. Khadiya RP : 1, Resistance RP : 2.

"Yrkali take you!" she growls.

"No!" the figure shouts back as a stream of energy courses from the burning servant into the floating gem. "I take you!"

Khadiya rolls Fragments of Forbidden Knowledge against Rank 1 Resistance 17: Khadiya rolls 12; Resistance rolls 18. Success. Khadiya RP : 2, Resistance RP : 2.

"Yrkali will not be denied," seethes Khadiya, a bolt of eldritch energy raking across the back of the man. He grunts then screams in defiance, his grasping hand pulling back reflexively.

Khadiya rolls Infernal Grimoire against Rank 1 Resistance 17: Khadiya rolls 10; Resistance rolls 19. Success. Khadiya RP : 3, Resistance RP : 2.

Khadiya strides forward, summoning the icy shards of the Rime Cloak around her. The room chills with bitter cold.

Khadiya rolls Fragments of Forbidden Knowledge against Rank 1 Resistance 17: Khadiya rolls 12 and bumps failure to success with Mastery; Resistance rolls 8. Success. Khadiya RP : 4, Resistance RP : 2.

"Yrkali has no power here!" he screams, hand once again reaching for the floating jewel.

Her hand rises and clutches empty air; an azure ring circles the other man then phantom spines rise from the floor and tear into his clothing. The man, pinned by the energetic talon, howls, his hand inches from his prize.

Khadiya rolls Infernal Grimoire against Rank 1 Resistance 17: Khadiya rolls 11 and bumps failure to success with Mastery; Resistance rolls 3. Khadiya RP : 5, Resistance RP : 2.

His outstretched hand brushes against the enchanted gem. Khadiya snorts and holds her own hand toward it. The jewel tears free from its ethereal anchor with the help of Khadiya's mage hand and rests within her grasp.

"No!" shouts the figure in defiance.

"Yrkali. Will. Not. Be. Denied," Khadiya repeats.

He screams, his essence torn from his body and filling the gem within her hand. Khadiya sighs.

"I'm sorry."

Khadiya the Branded, Baleful Warlock

Khadiya has flowing black hair and light brown eyes. Her tan skin is marked with white arcane sigils along her arms and back. She wears teal brigandine made of lizard skin and bone over her black sirwal and white tunic. Khadiya carries a pair of daggers, a crossbow and her adventuring pack.

2M1 Flaw : Lawful Neutral

17 Flaw : Bound to Yrkali

2M1 Fiend Pact Warlock

+2 Borrowed Time : You have the Blessing of Yrkali and, once per day, may gain a Benefit when you take a life. The blessing resets at dawn if not used.

+2 Fragments of Forbidden Knowledge : You have the ability to invoke eldritch power. It may be augmented using Charisma.

Eldritch Invocations Discovered : devil's sight, thief of five fates

+4 Infernal Grimoire of Yrkali : You possess a spellbook and have the ability to cast spells. It may be augmented using Intelligence.

Cantrips Learned : eldritch blast, mage hand, minor illusion

Spells Inscribed Within : Conduit of the Burning Sun (burning hands), Embody the Spider's Walk (spider climb), Rime Cloak of the Ancient Past (armor of agathys), Scrutiny of Words and Deeds (comprehend languages), The Emir's Decree (command)

16 Charisma

15 Dexterity, Intelligence

13 Constitution, Strength, Wisdom

13 Community : Yrkala

17 Baleful

Gear : adventuring gear (5 uses), arcane focus (beech wand), blanket, common clothes, crossbow, daggers, herbalism kit (4 uses), leather armor, rabbit's foot, rations (5 uses), scroll case of arcane research notes (5 uses), 5 gold

XP [x] [x] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

More Character Creation : QuestWorlds D&D

I've been awake too long, but this came to me out of the blue. I've been playing Simple World with Fate Accelerated style Approaches. QuestWorlds says Abilities are how a character solves a problem, which, as I've been playing, are Approaches. So what happens when you take ability scores and turn them into Approaches then make them Abilities? Below is a D&D character translated through Simple Worlds then QuestWorlds. She was surprisingly easy : six ability scores, race, class, distinguishing personality trait then three class abilities. I also made her alignment a Flaw because, well, adhering to an Alignment is kind of a compulsion, isn't it?

There is just a bit of Greek, too. The Thorakitai were a hybrid of hoplite and skirmisher. Akontio is javelin; dory and hoplon is spear and shield. "The Revelations of Demeter" is Amynta's spellbook because, as taken from Dawn of the Empire's Player's Guide to Thyatis, some elves taught humans how to do magic while wearing armor. These are the Foresters.

In keeping with my initial thoughts on QuestWorlds, every five points in a class is one character level, so that translates Amynta into a, roughly, fifth level character. As a fifth level character, she begins with two first, two second and one third level spell. And so... classic D&D filtered through Simple World double filtered into QuestWorlds.

This is kind of fun...

Amynta, Intuitive Thorakitai

13 Thyatian

5M1 Thorakitai

..:: +2 Akontio

..:: +3 Dory and Hoplon

..:: +2 The Revelations of Demeter

....:::: Spells Known : Charm Person, Detect Evil, Hold Person, Invisibility, Read Magic

17 Intuitive

15 Strength

15 Dexterity

13 Constitution

17 Intelligence

13 Wisdom

13 Charisma

5M1 Flaw : Lawful

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Another Character Creation : HeroQuest Rokugan

Working off my previous thoughts, I've considered trying a Legend of the Five Rings character filtered through Sengoku while I read through GURPS Greece. I've played in L5R for a long while, so I'm more comfortable with it than Glorantha. The character below is basically a Dragon Clan Samurai with quotes from Mirumoto attached to give it flavor.

"One Man, One Sword, One Strike," was said by Kakita before Mirumoto replied, "Two hands." Thus, the invention of the Dragon's niten (two swords) technique.

"If he attacks first, kill him, etc." is a good call back to the card Kharmic Strike. In a duel, you win. You may die, but you take your opponent with you.

"I do not believe I can win. I know I will." is another good Mirumoto inspired quote. You can't doubt. You can win, or you can die.

For my three "Runes" I chose the Four Heavenly Kings from Buddhism and Amaterasu (Lady Sun in L5R). I finished it off with the Tao of Shinsei because it seemed fitting for a Dragon Clan bushi. Now, do these three Runes have actual, manifesting powers? Probably not. It's the conviction that matters. But, who knows...?

Hoshi Yonagi, Tempestuous Sohei

13 Dragon Clan Bushi

+2 "One Man, One Sword, One Strike... Two Hands."

+2 "If he attacks first, kill him. If you attack first, kill him. If you both attack at once, kill him."

15 Defender of the Northern Towers of Flame

17 Sohei

+2 "I do not believe I can win. I know I will."

17 Tempestuous

1M1 Shi Daitennou, The Four Heavenly Kings

17 Tao of Shinsei

+2 "Do not be deceived by the surface."

+2 "What you do not show..."

13 Amaterasu

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Random Character Creation Fun

There's something fun about passing time following a Traveller life path. I remembered that I own Sword of Cepheus which adds Sword and Sorcery or Sword and Planet to the Traveller based Cepheus Engine.

Generating characteristics - with the Iron Man optional rule : Roll 2d6 in order

Strength 11, Dexterity 8, Endurance 7, Intelligence 8, Education 5, Social Standing 9

Fancy, I get to introduce the hexadecimal method of portraying characteristics. Anything over 9 becomes a letter code, and that leads to some fun things like the Universal Personality Profile. More on that later.

6-8 is average, so he's clearly stronger than average, not as well learned and, for some reason, is almost aristocratic.

Background Skill

Large City is probably appropriate for a near-aristocrat. As he's not well educated, choosing Craft would be inappropriate, so it's either Carouse or Streetwise. Carouse is probably more fitting, so : Carouse-1

At the young age of 14, I try to qualify for my first four year term in a career. A Soldier requires an Endurance check of 8+ on 2d6. Failing to qualify means he can be a Commoner or Vagabond.

Qualification roll : 11. He's going to be a soldier!

During the first career, a character automatically learns the six service skills at 0. At Rank 0, he gets a free upgrade to Melee Combat.

0-Archery, Artillery, Craft, Recon, Riding

1-Carouse, Melee Combat

Survival Throw : Here's where you see if you died or not. However, I'm using the Mishap optional rule. For a soldier, that's STR 6+. With a STR of 11, that's a +1 to his survival.

Survival roll : 8. He's made it to be 18!

Skill Table : Each term, you roll to learn one thing from one of the four tables. For the first term, you learn two from two of the tables. As he is only EDU 5, he can not learn anything from the Advanced table.

Service skill : Archery, Specialist skill : Liaison ... I was hoping for Stealth... I guess his aristocratic nature is showing.

0-Artillery, Craft, Recon, Riding

1-Archery, Carouse, Liaison, Melee Combat

Advancement roll : SOC 7+, with his SOC of 9, he gets a +1 to this roll.

Advancement roll : 9. Rank up! He is now a Tesserarius and gets Leadership-1 and an additional skill roll.

Personal Development : Melee Combat. Welp...

0-Artillery, Craft, Recon, Riding

1-Archery, Carouse, Leadership, Liaison

2-Melee Combat

Event Table : Each term, you roll to see what significant thing happened.

Result : 7, Life Event. Life Event Result : Something good happens. +1 Benefit roll.

More on that later. Maybe. Finally, re-enlistment opportunity. Failure means mustering out. Success means you can choose to continue in this career. 12 means you're required to continue in this career. I'm using the optional rule that you can leave a career and try to qualify for another, but he's pretty happy where he's at right now.

Re-enlistment 5+ : 3. Well, he was happy. They don't want him back. Maybe because he's still a teenager. Who knows. Either way, his soldiering life is over, time for the benefits.

Mustering Out : One roll per term of service on either Gold or Material. This character gets +1 Benefit, so he gets two rolls of his choice. Fortunately, he has Carouse-1, so he gets +1 on his rolls if he chooses Gold.

Gold Benefit : 100 gold coins. Material Benefit : SOC +1. Interesting. Maybe he was tossed out of the military because he's too aristocratic. SOC 10 places him just under knighthood. I mean, the dude can carouse, lead, liaise and stab people in the face. Or back. That being said, here's the final character with the awesome Universal Personality Profile (UPP). It's one of the reasons I enjoy Traveller so much. It's concise.

Lars Renatus, Aristocratic Tesserarius, 18 years old B8785A

0-Artillery, Craft, Recon, Riding

1-Archery, Carouse, Leadership, Liaison

2-Melee Combat

Aside from the skills, and whatever gear I give him, that one bold line tells you almost everything you need to know about Lars. B8785A is the UPP code for his ability scores. If only more games could condense all that information into one line.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Ivar and the Shrine of Vithar

Ivar Arkynson, Devoted Warden

Red hair, a focused gaze, with the strong build of living life beside nature. He wears a blue wool tunic with grey trousers and leather boots decorated with antler buckles. Ivar is armored in a mail brynja and spangenhelm, and he wields an ash bow, axe and shield.

5 Retribution in Vithar's Name

4 By Axe and Shield, You Fall...

3 A Hunter by Trade

1 There Are Nine Noble Virtues

Resolve [ ] [ ] [ ]

Image of Ivar's Eidolon from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed : Valhalla

[ Opening Theme : The Hu, Wolf Totem ]

Adventure Tags : Dueling Explorers

Enemies : Ruthless tomb thief

Friends : The ruin's true owner

Things : The neglected spiritual shrine

Complications : The treasure is dangerous to seize

Places : Chasm with ledges, a bloodstained arena

Dungeon Type : Geomantic nexus, up to 11 locations

The tracks lead up to the mouth of a large cave, the rocky formation looms up toward the sky, blocking the light of the sun behind it. The snow covered trees of the forest lie silent behind Ivar. Even the animals knew to avoid this place. This is where he was destined to go. Waiting at the cave's entrance, four shorter, crooked people keep watch.

Ivar has seen the likes of them before. Disheveled. Sickly. Minions to whoever would offer them food or silver. Dark haired and hunched over, they behaved more like beasts than people. But these four were keeping him from his prey, and Ivar couldn't risk allowing one to alert anyone within.

Ivar creeps along the tree line and moves closer to the entrance. When he nears the small group of grunting guards, sniffing at the air like dogs, he pulls his axe free. Ivar charges toward the rear most guard, blocking retreat back into the cave and swings his axe at the closest enemy.

Threat Rating : 3

Ivar rolls six dice using By Axe and Shield, You Fall… : four active dice, two defensive dice. Four active successes, one defensive success.

The creatures are taken completely by surprise as Ivar storms toward them. The axe cleaves into the shoulder of the first. He kicks his axe free and hacks into the next closest opponent. One of them recovers quickly enough to claw at Ivar's shield. Ivar responds by driving the shield's rim into the thing's neck then slicing across his abdomen. The last standing guard whimpers but is quickly silenced as Ivar's axe opens a wound across its throat.

Ivar stalks quietly into the cave, lighting a torch to push back the shadows as he walks deeper into the narrow tunnel. The air cools. The silence broken by running water somewhere up ahead. Minutes later, the tunnel expands into an underground chasm; the river several man heights below. A narrow rope bridge sways in the breeze funneled by the chasm; a single tunnel continues beyond.

He grabs hold of the top most rope and begins to side step his way across the rope bridge. His torch held tight in the grip of thumb and first finger, leaving the other three free to support his effort. Usually cautious, Ivar is urged forward knowing that his target was already ahead of him.

Threat Rating : 2

Ivar rolls three dice using Hunter by Trade : two active dice, one defensive dice. Two active successes, one defensive success.

The tunnel curves back and forth as it winds deeper into the rock. The flickering light of the torch picks up the shine of silver coins strewn along the cave's floor. Around another bend, a chair of carved mahogany collects dust. In surprisingly excellent condition, he could think of a jarl or two that would be pleased to add this to his collection. Ivar was not about to carry a chair across a rope bridge.

The curving tunnel widens, the bottom of the chasm he had just crossed by rope bridge. A river flows languidly past Ivar. The river's bed has more silver coins scattered beneath the water. The other side of the river holds a small alcove with no exit; Ivar follows the flowing river downstream. The water eroded the stone for centuries, leaving behind a small room covered by the mass of stone. The air at the bottom of the chasm is warmer, misty, more humid.

The stone pocket expands into a large cavern. The light of the torch pushes back the darkness but can not pierce far enough to see where the walls were. Immense columns of rock jut up from the stone like a forest made of earth. Beyond the stalactite forest, the tunnel begins to meander once more, leading deeper beneath the earth. That was when he heard the voice up ahead. Around the corner, the temperature increases accompanied by a dull orange glow.

"Take it," a hoarse voice seethes.

A different growls and hisses in reply.

Ivar stalks closer to the voices and takes a glance around the wall. A flow of liquid rock spilled across a rocky shelf. The shelf had several runes written across its face. Resting within its shrine, a tablet of stone with spiraling runes carved along it. A saga of Vithar and how the god survived Ragnarok and pried the jaws of Fenrir apart. Enshrined in a temple preserved only by wardens like Ivar. Within the small chamber is a disheveled Skraeling, lean and emaciated compared to the more robust balding man in mail.

Emboldened by the shrine dedicated to Vithar's legacy, Ivar strides confidently into the cavern, axe drawn and kicks the balding man away from the Skraeling and shrine. His arm swings down, crashing the back of his axe on the shrine as he glares at the dirty, pitiful creature, "Leave."

Threat level : 4.

Ivar rolls five dice using Retribution in Vithar's Name : three active dice, two defensive dice. Three active successes, one defensive success.

The Skraeling whimpers as the axe crashes beside it. It turns and runs back up the corridor. The unknown balding man snarls from the kick and leaps forward, grappling Ivar. Ivar gives way to intuition and experience, driving his knee up into the bald man's chest. His shield crashes down into the man's face.

Ivar snarls as well, "You should not be here," and stalks forward menacingly. The bald man rubs his face with the back of his hand, blood writing itself across his skin.  Ivar's axe rises and falls once more, hacking into the prey that would dare to steal from Vithar's sanctuary.

Ivar rolls six dice using Retribution in Vithar's Name : six active dice, no defensive dice. Six active successes.

The unnamed figure screams, the blue tattoos along his scalp pulsing with the beat of his heart. Ivar's axe cleaves into the man's skull; he presses his foot against the thief's chest and pushes away. His lifeless form collapses to the ground besides the flowing lava. The Saga of Vithar, safe for any that would travel to its shrine, watches stoically between the rivulets of molten rock.

"Your grace and your silence," Ivar reverently whispers, raising the head of his axe to his eyes in salute. "In your silence, patience and wisdom."

[ Closing Theme : Skáld, Rún ]