Saturday, 9 August 2014

Torchbearer AP - Part 6: Chilly Reception

After a few weeks of hiatus, we're back with the latest session of The Quest for the Silver Sword in Torchbearer. As the PCs start nearing the end of their quest, the faecal matter begins to strike the oscillating unit!

Dramatis Personæ:
  • Fraser ... Morris the Mirthful [Human Magician] An anarchistic arcanist with a big mouth and several opinions. 
  • Jason ... Rebo Pepper [Halfling Burgler] A quiet and pleasant little person who seeks loot to feed his love of food. 
  • Riley S ... Hrolf Rosensloff [Human Warrior] - A fighter of such short stature he's often mistaken for a dwarf. (Absent)
  • Scotty ... Falgaff Bitterleaf [Elven Ranger] - A curious, knowledge-loving Elf who's a bit of a loner. 

Fraser performed a prologue of the previous session, cleared away Morris' Hunger/Thirst, and we began where we left off. Also retroactively we had Scotty make an Arcanist Test for his casting of Supernal Vision from last session; his failure resulted in Falgaff becoming Angry at the incessant commentary on magic by the spirit of Barrik dwelling in his head.

Adventure Phase

10. After the harrowing turn of events with the cubical ooze and the proclaimed rat-king, along with the discovery the previous expedition's frozen fate, our group of delvers decided to hunker down, start a fire and attempt to recover. Falgaff's instinct drove him to make a Survivalist Test to try and make a suitable camp site within the frosty alchemical laboratory and the adjoining cell: he failed to find a location both free of chilling drafts and of suitable ventilation for an indoor fire. (Setting up a future Twist.) The group decided to drag a small furnace used for firing a crucible over to the icebound elves and set it up as a potential heat source. (I rolled for Camp Events: A monster was drawn to the commotion of their camp!) 
Whilst his companions were setting up the furnace, Falgaff noticed several slender, pale-looking branches slowly grow out from of a previously unseen passageway near the northern ceiling of the cell. He quickly deduced that they were the legs of the White Widow, the giant arachnid his companions spoke of and the perceived cause of his first party's frozen state! They intended to seal the giant spider off in the cell once they had quickly hauled the rigid prisoners into the laboratory proper with a Labourer Test led by Morris; he who, forgetting to take into account the manacles that bound the ice-encased captive to the wall, heaved the statue-like elf toward the exit only to have the length of chain become taught, causing him to slip upon the frost-covered flagstones and land sprawled upon the floor, pinned underneath the frozen elf! 

11. The White Widow rapidly descended upon them. Rebo and Falgaff drew their weapons and steeled their nerves with the intent to do away with the giant spider for good, whilst Morris attempted to extradite himself. (The sudden disappearance of Hrolf had led our companions to believe that he was overtaken with fear at the appearance of the dreaded arachnid and he had fled.) A Kill Conflict ensued! Despite their still unavailed Hunger/Thirst, Rebo led the charge against the spider, matching his teams' resolve and mettle against the spiders' own formidable might.
Morris successful squirmed out from beneath the frigid elf as the White Widow disarmed Rebo of his bow with a spray of icy stands from its hindquarters. Rebo then boldly charged nearly into the waiting maw of the creature, raining blow after blow from the bone sceptre he wielded as a club upon the 'head' of the spider; the carapace lessened the damage of some of the strikes but did not entirely protect the relatively exposed eyes. In turn the Widow knocked Rebo out of the melee with a quick bite from its poisoned fangs. The elven ranger attempted to trick the spider and jump over it as it struck at him; the monster responded with its own clumsy attempt at trickery and Falgaff dealt a series of wounds to its hindquarters with his dagger. Morris dragged Rebo closer to the warmth of the furnace they had managed to set up and revived the halfling with a series of slaps and strong words of encouragement, whilst the Widow retreated briefly to the ceiling to recover its own ichor-dripping wounds. The revived Rebo deftly knocked an arrow into his bow and loosed it directly into the sternum of the Widow as it ineffectually tried to ambush him, dealing it a grievous wound and cracking its protective chitin. Falgaff landed the final blow against the beast, driving the protruding arrow deeper into the Widow's midsection and into its brain, killing it soundly. 
Victory! The Widow's venom was not quite enough to freeze Rebo to his core, but he was in turn made Exhausted by it. Without missing a beat, the spartan Morris suggested they eat their recent kill.

Camp Phase

Falgaff succeeded this time on his instinctual Survival Test to butcher the giant spider and setting up what remained for camp, but was made Exhausted by doing so. Unfortunately the camp suffered from the chilly air and the heat generated by the alchemical furnace gave off little beyond its internal workings due to its design; thus any rest to recover from Exhaustion was more made difficult. Following his own instinct, Rebo passed a somewhat difficult Cook Test to make the giant spider's remains edible for the group and they all recovered any Hunger/Thirstiness they had by consuming the somewhat exotic fare. 
  • Well fed, all three then took a moment and recovered from their respective Anger; in the end, only Falgaff was unsuccessful dealing with his vexation. 
  • Falgaff then proceeded to attempt to repair his cracked bow with aid from Morris' alchemical skill and 'supplies' scavenged from the White Widow: a successful Armorer Test by the beginner craftsman allowed Falgaff to fix his bow, which now has a few arachnid parts incorporated into it.
  • During this time, Morris, being very wise in the way of incendiaries, worked the forge's heat to slowly and carefully thaw the frozen elven leader by the name of Elladin Silvercrest. With a Healer Test aided by a lent cloak and Falgaff's skill, he successfully revived Elladin from his icy stasis.

Adventure Phase

1. A brief verbal exchange brought the sickly elf up to a rudimentary knowledge of recent affairs, and when asked if he was the owner of a silver blade he replied to his chagrin that he was after quickly checking his person. When the group inquired to the nature of the sword, Elladin told them of its ability to freeze whatever it struck, and that it was a magical family heirloom that had been in the Silvercrest family for generations. When told that the blade lay within the frozen ice throne in yonder room, Elladin quickly stood to make for the throne but collapsed to the floor, too weak to stand.
Artwork copyright Daniel Xildaen Côté
Artwork copyright Daniel Xildaen Côté of Elfwood
The Silver Sword “Keleb” 
This silver-filigree longsword freezes whatever it strikes. An heirloom that has been in the elven Silvercrest family for hundreds of years, handed down to those worthy to wield it. Those considered unworthy finds the weapon constantly slipping from his or her grasp.
Level: 4
Effect: +1D to Attack in Kill/Capture/Drive Off conflicts in addition to normal Sword benefits. Additionally, when sword's name, "Keleb", is spoken aloud by the rightful owner, the sword immediately flies into his/her hand if they are in the vicinity. (This weapon cannot be disarmed from the result of a Maneuver Action or lost via most Twists.) 
Inventory: Hands/carried 1 or belt/weapon 1.
Type: Magical Weapon
With the support of Falgaff, Elladin wearily made his way to the icy throne. The group related that they had tried to free the sword before but were unable to melt or damage the ice. Elladin concurred with them, saying that he sensed a deep spell was at work, but perhaps the magic of his elven forebearers might be stronger than the dweomer wrought. With his outstretched hand, Elladin called for his sword by name: "Keleb". At first, nothing happened; then a faint cracking noise was heard. Fractures began to web out through the ice from the blade as Elladin's eyes flashed with concentration and sweat began to bead on his pale brow. He seemed almost drawn towards the throne by some unseen force and Falgaff had to brace himself against his fellow elf to keep him from collapsing forward. 
Suddenly, with great tumult, the throne burst into icy shards that were dashed across the floor of the laboratory as the sword deftly flew into Elladin's hand. Their cries of celebration were rapidly cut short by the wild look with in Elladin's eyes: the scattered pieces of ice began to flow like water back to the location where the throne once sat and began forming into a new icy shape. Frantically, Elladin related that whilst summoning his sword, he briefly touched minds with an entity within the ice throne, and the removal of the blade had caused it great pain. He rapidly surmised that it was reforming into a more mobile, combative shape to recover the blade by force and they must make haste to flee from it, for he believed the might of it far exceeded their collective ability to slay it! 
But flee to where they madly discussed? The main passageway from the laboratory was wholly blocked off by the gelatinous cube, still busily digesting the corpses of a host of ratlings and their leader Keshute, along with a variety of wooden crates and their contents that once filled the adjacent supply room. The only possible exit seemed via the aperture the White Widow had gained ingress into the cellroom through. As the flowing ice began to slowly take upon a giant humanoid shape, Falgaff quickly drew out his grappling hook and rope, cast a line over the lip of the ledge some eight feet from the floor, and once the hook had found suitable purchase, he rapidly ascended into the two-foot tall passage with a successful Dungeoneering Test
2. The group believed that Elladin, by proxy of his sword, would be the immediate target of the ice creature's wrath, and they surmised that it may ignore the leaders' frozen comrades, thus they'd be safe for recovery another time. With the assistance of his friends below, Falgaff strained his muscles during a Health Test to haul the weak Elladin by rope up into the cramped chamber with him, but whilst doing so, he saw that this icy doom was nearly upon them and he became deeply Afraid...

And thus the session ended on a cliffhanger!

Character Condition Status

  • Falgaff Bitterleaf - Angry, Afraid, and Exhausted.
  • Morris the Mirthful - Exhausted.
  • Rebo Pepper - Exhausted.
  • Hrolf Rosensloff - Hungry/Thirsty, Afraid, and Exhausted. And Missing?

Things I Forgot
I almost forgot to use armour to the monsters' advantage again but I remembered this time! Though we did forget about light sources, and I think my players might've forgotten about their PC's being Exhausted, but you can't win them all. We came back to this game after a few weeks off so we're bound to forget some things.

Until Next Time... ;{١

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