002 - Forest of the Serpent

From the ending of the previous session, I had to deal with four different Pay the Price results caused by two consecutive “Roll twice” results!!!
Pay the Price (D100) = 80 A surprising development complicates your quest.
Pay the Price (D100) = 19 Your action has an unintended effect.
Pay the Price (D100) = 44 A new danger or foe is revealed.
Pay the Price (D100) = 51 It causes a delay or puts you at a disadvantage

  • LOADED Game ID Ambersworn.001 on Tue May 14 2019 16:07 *

Bolton watched the young girl weeping over her father’s bloody corpse. It seems she could remember doing it, as she kept looking at her hands and shaking her head.

The other victim, now released from the possession of the ty’iga, was another monk, in the same robes as the girl’s father. After speaking in hushed whispers with the others, and trying to comfort the girl, he came over to Bolton and bowed low.


Having learned something from his earlier interactions, Bolton bowed back.

“It appears my Master believed you to be an Emissary of Greater Powers. Indeed, the creature that possessed me, seemed to recognise some power within you, a blazing Pattern”

The monk shuddered at the memory.

“Please will you escort the girl back to her mother’s village. She is not permitted to remain at the monastery now that her father is gone”.

The girl ran to him and threw her arms around his waist. She looked up at him with wonder and awe in her tear-stained face. SHIT! How could he say no.

The Monk continued, “It is not far. Three days around the Great Forest, or no more than a day if you take the road through the centre. Perhaps a Pattern Lord, such as yourself has no need to fear the Serpent”

Bolton patted the girl awkwardly on her head a few times and offered her a white handkerchief to dry her tears. She looked shocked and didn’t take it at first. She looked to the Monk who looked similarly surprised, but shrugged and nodded. As she held the cloth, and before Bolton had released it, the monk’s hands closed on both of theirs and he bowed his head.

“And so it is done. This day forward and forever in the eyes of the Haramanga!”.

Oracle Ironlander Name – Padma

There was something so ritualistic about this that Bolton knew something significant just happened. It took some delicate questioning to learn that he had just formally adopted the girl, whose name was Padma. The triple touching of the head and giving of a white handkerchief was the ritual. According to the Monk, it is binding and permanent (until Padma comes of age at 16)!

[That just about covers the full set of Pay the Price results …
a surprising development; an action with an unintended effect; a new danger/enemy (The Serpent of the Forest) and a delay!]

That afternoon there was a brief ceremony and a cairn of stones was raised over the blind monk – Padma’s father, and the four other monks killed the previous day by the Ravers.

Oracle Ironlander Name – Abram

The remaining Monk, Abram was to stay and rebuild the shrine.

Bolton asked some questions about the “Serpent in the Forest”.

Gather Information 4 +2 wits = 6 (4 & 5) STRONG HIT
On a strong hit, you discover something helpful and specific. The path you must follow or action you must take to make progress is made clear. Envision what you learn (Ask the Oracle if unsure), and take +2 momentum (now 9).

The Serpent is about twenty feet long and multi-coloured, able to camouflage itself. It seems to know when people pass through the forest and has attacked and killed many times. The people of the Haramanga don’t go into the forest any more (not for about 60 years or so).

When Bolton takes out one of his two Chaos Trumps and shows the back, Abram nods vigorously.

Two jewelled serpents in as many days! It must mean something.

The next morning, with Padma riding before him on the banta, Bolton sets off into the Great Forest (a Dangerous Journey).

Undertake a Journey 3 +2 wits = 5 (5 & 4) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, you reach a waypoint and mark progress, but suffer -1 supply (now 3). For a Dangerous Journey a waypoint indicates progress 2/10.
Oracle Location – Layer
Oracle Location Descriptor – Remote

The forest consists of a wide valley/plain between two ranges of hills and mountains. The land rises in occasional steps as they travel west.

To coax Padma out of her misery and grief, Bolton talks to her and lets her ride the banta alone.

Forge a Bond 2 +1 heart = 3 (4 & 1) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, they ask something more of you first. Envision what it is (Ask the Oracle if unsure), do it (or Swear an Iron Vow), and mark the bond. If you decline or fail, Pay the Price.

He is forced to promise that he will return her safely to her mother.
Swear an Iron Vow 3 +1 heart = 4 (3 & 9) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, you are determined but begin your quest with more questions than answers. Take +1 momentum (now 10), and envision what you do to find a path forward.

Padma seems to have total faith in Bolton’s ability to protect her – perhaps because, while she was possessed, she could see the Pattern burning in his blood and she knows he is a powerful other-worldly creature.

Her courage (and blind faith) despite her grief, endear her to Bolton, who begins to grow concerned that he is leading her into danger. Perhaps there is a way to put her somewhere safer until he has encountered this Serpent and make an approach to Benedict through the Trumps? Caine had called Benedict “dangerous” but has also stressed that he was a family man and had surprising compassion for “shadows”.

[Trump Travel is not without risk, but Bolton has 10 momentum, so should be able to transport Padma safely]

Warning Padma not to become alarmed, Bolton takes out Benedict’s Trump and begins to concentrate…

Trump Use 3 +5 spirit = 8 (8 & 7) WEAK HIT
On a Weak Hit, communication begins after 1 minute of concentration, lasts up to 10 minutes and costs 1 spirit (now 4).

The long, serious face on the card shimmers and becomes three-dimensional. Behind him, Padma gasps. Benedict looks grim (as usual) his hand is loosely on his sword hilt. Beyond him the sky is purple, but apart from that, the scene looks peaceful. A horse grazes at the side of a meadow and a small group of soldiers are visible sitting by a camp fire.

“Bolton! Have you decided to enlist at last?” The thin mouth tightens into what might be the hint of a smile.

“Not just now. Can’t a man call his favourite uncle without having to join his army?”

“I’ve not heard from you for a year or more. I’d be interested to hear what has prompted your call.”

Keeping a neutral expression as he doesn’t want to reveal Caine’s predicament just yet, Bolton will attempt to keep this a casual enquiry.

Compel 6 +3 shadow +1 Trickster Asset = 10 (9 & 8) STRONG HIT
On a strong hit, they’ll do what you want or share what they know. Take +1 momentum (already at max). If you use this exchange to Gather Information, make that move now and add +1.

“I am travelling with a young girl. Taking her to her mother. Her father died yesterday. I’m in a dangerous place, but a place I’m keen to investigate further. Might I send the girl to you, just for a few hours, no more than a day, until I have reached a safer place?”

Benedict seemed to think for a moment. “Our camp is not exactly set up for children, but we are unlikely to see battle in the next few days. Very well, on the understanding that you’ll fill me in on the details when you collect her”.

Trump Travel 5 +4 spirit = 9 (10 & 9) MISS
On a Miss, I would have to use the Trump Travel Mishap Table. I’ll burn momentum and turn it into a Weak Hit so it only costs 1 Spirit and doesn’t injure, warp or otherwise lose Padma.

For a moment I’m clutching rainbows, but then Padma is gone, passed between myself and Benedict and the image fades.

As Bolton is seeking an encounter with the Snake, he presses on deeper into the Forest.

Undertake a Journey 5 +2 wits = 7 (3 & 6) STRONG HIT
On a strong hit, you reach a waypoint. If the waypoint is unknown to you, envision it (Ask the Oracle if unsure). Choosing “You move at speed: Mark progress and take +1 momentum, but suffer -1 supply.” Momentum now 3. Supply now 2. Progress now 4/10.
Oracle Location – Marsh
Oracle Location Descriptor – Blighted

Close to the centre of the Forest, the track leads across a blighted marsh. Dark water bubbles as foul-smelling gas rises. The trees are spindly and warped.

Leading his banta silently through the marsh. Hoping to spot tracks or sneak up on the Serpent…

Secure an Advantage 6 +3 shadow = 9 (1 & 10) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, your advantage is short-lived. Take +1 momentum (now 4)

As his supplies are running low, Bolton forages for mushrooms and fodder for the banta at the edge of the marsh…

Resupply 4 +2 wits = 6 (4 & 3) STRONG HIT
On a strong hit, you bolster your resources. Take +2 supply (now 4)

The Marsh behind him, he approaches the very heart of the forest…

Undertake a Journey 1 +2 wits = 3 (4 & 9) MISS
On a miss, you are waylaid by a perilous event. Pay the Price
Pay the Price (D100) = 16 You are separated from something or someone.
[D6 – This could mean either losing the Banta (1-4) or missing Padma (5-6) and worrying about her which could cause a loss of 1 Spirit. (D6) = 6]

Strangely he could still feel the girl’s panicked grip on his finger, as he pushed her through the rainbows across the Trump Portal. He smiled, remembering the blind trust she had shown in what must have seemed like either madness or magic. She was stronger than she looked.
Spirit -1, now 3.

He may have lost some time and sense of direction in the marsh as he still hasn’t quite found the centre.

Undertake a Journey 4 +2 wits = 6 (3 & 1) STRONG HIT
On a strong hit, you reach a waypoint. I’ll Mark progress 6/10 and choose for the waypoint to be the Serpent’s Lair.

Attempting to sneak up on the beast…

Secure an Advantage 4 +3 shadow = 7 (1 & 6) STRONG HIT
On a strong hit, you gain advantage. Choose – Prepare to act: Take +2 momentum (now 4).
Oracle Location – Mountain
Oracle Location Descriptor – Inaccessible

A central column of rock stands alongside the path, there are dozens of bones and broken animal skulls strewn around. There is the stink of rotting meat. The banta is nervous but Bolton manages to quiet the beast and leaves it tied to a tree while he stealthily circles the rock. There appears to be no way up, but the Serpent is not aware of him yet.

He attempts a distraction, hurling some branches into a thicket on the far side while hiding in a shadow beneath the rock…

Secure an Advantage 5 +3 shadow = 8 (9 & 8) MISS
On a miss, you fail or your assumptions betray you. Pay the Price.
Pay the Price (D100) = 81 A surprising development complicates your quest.

The Serpent emerges unexpectedly from the ground near the base of the rock.
[Challenge Rank will be a minimum of Formidable and a maximum of Extreme]
Oracle Challenge Rank – Troublesome, so Formidable.
Enter the Fray (ambushed) 2 +2 wits = 4 (3 & 5) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, choose one – Take +2 momentum (now 6)

The creature is huge! It’s scales glitter with many colours and the dirt from being buried seems to shake off easily as though the plates were polished metal. It’s eyes are intelligent and glare malevolently at Bolton.

Clash 2 +2 iron = 4 (5 & 4) MISS
On a miss, you are outmatched and must Pay the Price. Your foe has initiative.
Pay the Price (D100) = 96 A friend, companion, or ally is put in harm’s way (or you are, if alone)
[Although the banta isn’t technically a companion, I’ll say it is the target and only give it a STAT of 1]
Companion Endure Harm 6 +1 health = 7 (6 & 6) STRONG HIT!! MATCH !!
On a strong hit, your companion rallies. Give them +1 health.(now 2)

The body of the great serpent erupts from the track, showering Bolton and his tethered steed with dirt. The beast whinnies and pulls free, but to Bolton’s surprise, it bucks and kicks at the monster, showing unusual grit.

Bolton attempts to duck out of sight behind the column of rock…

Face Danger 2 +3 shadow = 5 (10 & 1) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, you succeed, but face a troublesome cost. Choose “You sacrifice resources: Suffer -1 supply” now 3.

The banta’s saddle bag is torn from the beast and swallowed by the giant snake. Bolton hears it hiss and it sounds like a curse! Maybe this creature can speak.

“I suppose you weren’t set here to catch anyone like me, serpent. I don’t need to kill you, so surrender now and I’ll let you live.”…

Compel 4 +3 shadow -2 it’s a HUGE snake = 5 (3 & 5) WEAK HIT
[outright surrender, even off a Strong Hit, would seem unreasonable, but I’ll have it talk back. I’ll burn momentum to make it a STRONG hit and have it reveal something useful.]

“Not someone LIKE you, son of Caine! I have been stitched into your path, just for you”.

[I’ll say that if I can get a hit on a Face Danger, I can have a Gather Info to trick info out of it, by tricking it into a gloating monologue]

Face Danger 5 +3 shadow = 8 (9 & 6) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, you succeed, but face a troublesome cost. Choose “You are delayed, lose advantage, or face a new danger: Suffer -1 momentum.” now 1.

Dancing around the rock to keep the fearsome head at bay, Bolton is knocked over and pretends to sprawl helplessly on the ground.

Gather Information 2 +3 shadow = 5 (2 & 10) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, the information complicates your quest or introduces a new danger. Envision what you discover (Ask the Oracle if unsure), and take +1 momentum (now 2)
Oracle Action – Reduce
Oracle Theme – Family

Hissing with laughter the serpent’s huge head hangs above him. “This body has been here for a hundred years, but I only inhabited it a few days ago and you have fallen into my jaws already. We will reduce your family, one at a time, until the Pattern itself falls. And this time there will be none to re-write it!”

The huge head lunges…

Clash 3 +2 iron = 5 (3 & 8) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, inflict your harm (2/10), but then Pay the Price. Your foe has initiative.
Pay the Price (D100) = 61 It is harmful.(health now 2)
Endure Harm 1 +4 health = 5 (8 & 10) MISS (also suffer -1 momentum – now 1)

Once per fight, when you risk it all, you may steal initiative from your foe to make a move (not a progress move). When you do, add +1 and take +1 momentum on a hit.
If you fail to score a hit on that move, you must suffer a dire outcome. Pay the Price.
Strike 2 +2 iron +1 Turn the Tide = 5 (1 & 8) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, inflict your harm (4/10) and lose initiative.

Rolling to one side at the last second, Bolton drives his blade into the mouth, scoring a decent hit, but is then forced to retreat again by the creature’s sheer bulk.

Clash 5 +2 iron = 7 (8 & 2) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, inflict your harm (6/10), but then Pay the Price. Your foe has initiative.
Pay the Price (D100) = 77 It is stressful. (spirit now 0)
Endure Stress 2 +1 heart = 3 (3 & 9) MISS
-1 Momentum, now 0 and mark SHAKEN (reducing Max to 9 and Reset to 1)

As it looms over him, mouth gaping wide, scales glittering with magical power, the usually confident Bolton suddenly realises he might not survive this!

Clash 3 +2 iron = 5 (3 & 5) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, inflict your harm (8/10), but then Pay the Price. Your foe has initiative.
Pay the Price (D100) = 33 The current situation worsens.

The huge body twists and coils around him, pulsating from within as the Serpent laughs with triumph.
[If it does more harm, it will do an additional point]

Clash 6 +2 iron = 8 (4 & 8) WEAK HIT
On a weak hit, inflict your harm (10/10), but then Pay the Price. Your foe has initiative.
Pay the Price (D100) = 18 Your action has an unintended effect
[as the creature mentioned that it was “new” to the body, I’ll say that the Jade Dagger was able to do some additional damage to it and it is now at the end of its progress track, so I’ll try the End the fight]

End the Fight 10 PROGRESS vs (2 & 4) STRONG HIT
On a strong hit, this foe is no longer in the fight. They are killed, out of action, flee, or surrender as appropriate to the situation and your intent (Ask the Oracle if unsure).

As his sword arm was pinned by the coils, Bolton desperately reached for the Jade dagger and stabbed it in the eye. The thing shuddered and spasmed then the coils loosened and dropped him as the life left its body.

[That leaves Bolton with more information about the threat, probably enough to take this to Benedict next time. It also leaves him badly mangled – 2 Health, zero Spirit (shaken), zero momentum. Without Spirit, he may not be able to activate his Trumps and even receiving a call costs 1 spirit (he would then take another Momentum loss and go into Negative Momentum) !]

  • STORED Game ID Ambersworn.001 on Tue May 14 2019 21:45 *



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