005 Benedict's Camp

[At this point, Bolton is caught in an Ironsworn death spiral and the only way out is just to narrate a solution or let the story end here. I’m going to choose to continue the story but have Bolton pay for it by getting PERMANENT CORRUPTION and making him a darker personality]

  • LOADED Game ID Ambersworn.001 on Mon May 27 2019 19:42 *

*I’ve decided to make three changes to the game-play to give me a better chance of continuing the story and exploring the setting. *

1. With the advice of Shawn Tomkin, I’ve added a “Meditate” Move, to help restore Spirit. This is mainly because AmberSworn is using Spirit to power certain custom Moves such as Trump Use and Shadow Walking etc.


When you find a moment of peace, roll +wits.

On a strong hit, you find focus and your spirit is strengthened. You may clear the shaken debility and take +2 spirit.

On a weak hit, your mediation is clouded by worries or dark thoughts. Choose one.
– Clear the shaken debility and take +1 spirit.
– Clear the shaken debility and take +2 spirit, but suffer -1 momentum.

On a miss, you take no comfort and the situation worsens. Pay the Price.

2. Because I’m using a roll on the Pay the Price tables almost every time I fail, it’s very likely I’ll get into the “Ironsworn Failure Spiral”, so I’m going to allow myself the choice of losing Progress in a current Vow/Quest (of the same level as the current challenge) in place of taking the mechanical penalty. (ie. either 1 Progress in a Formidable challenge or 3 progress in a Troublesome one)

3. When I roll Pay the Price, there will be a 50% chance that any result has only narrative effect (no changes to resources).


Bolton wakes to the feel of thick wool blankets and the smell of wood-smoke. He is in a large canvas tent. The walls are a yellowy-white, filtering strange purple sunlight. A few sheets are draped to give his bed some privacy but he can make out a row of other beds and hear some coughing and groans from the other occupants. From outside come the sounds of men and horses and the activities of a military camp.

“He’s awake!” a startled young soldier sitting on a stool nearby calls to someone out in the dormitory. The young man has only one leg and crutches rest on a tent pole. “My Lord Bolton, don’t be alarmed, you are among friends. Prince Benedict will be here shortly”.

Bolton tries to sit up and his vision swims for a moment.
[To get him re-started, I’ll give him Health 3, Spirit 3, Supply 3 and momentum resets to 1 (he has a Permanent Corruption resulting from his recent experiences)]

The young girl, Padma scampers in. “I thought you were dead! Where have you been? You promised to take me home. Are you really nephew to a Prince?”.
A mixture of relief and guilt struggle within him. He’s no longer sure that the girl’s village will accept her back.
The Jade dagger catches his eye and pieces of a half-remembered dream come to mind. Certainly they won’t want him back!

Anger had sustained him at first. Unreasonable anger really, but it had driven him to retrace his path across the forest and then to ambush the two men who had gone around the border. He fell on them like a mad man, granting no quarter. Despite his wounds and (he later learned) infections from the poisoned forest, he had the Blood of Amber and they had no real chance to defend themselves.

He had been considering a return to the village, planning to wreak his revenge on them all, when Benedict called him through his Trump card. Although he was too sick to focus, he agreed to be pulled through. Without proper focus, the transition was difficult, requiring great effort from Benedict. He remembers the pain and self-loathing overwhelming him, just before he collapsed into Benedict’s arms.

Test Your Bond 2 +1 heart = 3 (2 & 2) STRONG HIT!! MATCH !!
On a strong hit, this test has strengthened your bond. Choose “Take +2 momentum.” (now 3)

He gives Padma a grim smile and says “I was at your mother’s village. It might take a while longer before I can get you home. And yes, Prince Benedict is my uncle.”.

The girl smiles, climbs on the bed and gives him a hug. Taken by surprise he pats her on the head, then remembers what this means to her folk. It makes him laugh, then cough.

Benedict’s voice, stern and authoritative “Get off the bed young lady! Don’t damage my patient until my physician has checked him over”.
He nods to the man behind him, who scurries forward to examine Bolton, opening his mouth, prying open his eyes, checking his pulse, getting him to stand and tapping him on the head with a short iron rod. “Ow!”.

Heal 1 +2 wits +1 Field Hospital = 4 (7 & 2) WEAK HIT
Gain +2 health (now 5), but you must suffer -1 supply or -1 momentum (Momentum now 2).

“No significant loss of vision, normal pain reception. In my opinion, he’ll live, General.”. To Bolton he mutters “Get something to eat and drink plenty of water. An early night and you’re fit for active duty tomorrow.”

Later that day, in Benedict’s tent and under a pale yellow sky with black stars, they are sipping red wine.
Bolton has told the full story, starting from Caine’s unusual Trump call; the Trump Trap (the Serpent poised to strike); his attempt to Shadow-walk to the world with two moons and a sky with a green aurora; the Jade Temple with its two ty’iga (angry ghosts); rescuing and accidentally adopting Padma; the Serpent in the Forest who turned out to be another “possessed” creature – this time placed there deliberately to attack him. He explained how the villagers had been suspicious of him, the duel to the death with Tegan (their leader) and then … He trailed off at that point. “There was some poison in the water of that forest – maybe that infected my wounds, but everything’s vague after that.”

Benedict grunted, took another sip of wine and looked at him appraisingly. “You should not have let them take your sword in the first place. The dagger should have been in your boot or up your sleeve and under your pillow overnight. I can’t believe a farmer nearly gutted you with your own blade!” he shakes his head. “However, it sounds like you did a passable job on the Serpent whatever the fuck that was. Maybe I wasn’t completely wasting my time training you”.

Bolton almost choked on his wine. “Don’t forget I’d been poisoned too…” .Before he could go on, Benedict raised a hand and poured another glass for them both.

“You’re very like him you know. Your father. He’s never liked hearing criticism either. The key thing in this isn’t that your swordsmanship needs more work, but that you get on with finding Caine as soon as possible. This Serpent creature (or the spirit possessing it) said it was attacking the Family. Not just you, not just Caine. You’ll have to keep going with the Shadow-walk. In the morning, if you’re up to it”.

Benedict goes on to explain that he can’t spare the time to accompany him straight away. There are still troubles in the Shadows bordering the Courts. A guerilla war is simmering. A Cult of the Serpent has arisen and the forces of Amber are having a tough time of it. King Random might be forced to withdraw them – Benedict isn’t happy at the prospect. Many of the Chaos Houses seem to welcome their presence here. They have helped bring peace and helped rebuild after the devastation of the Patternfall.

“Your father came here to help me investigate the Cult. It’s very secretive so he went undercover. If they haven’t killed him, they must be trying to get something out of him or use him as bait or for future ransom. They must have a powerful Logrus or Pattern Master working with them to be able to impose their will on the Shadows to drive you into a trap. I want you to find him – don’t engage the enemy. Call me when you arrive and we can bring in some of my elite troops. These cultists will learn what happens when you take on a Prince of Amber.”

Bolton realised he was smiling at that thought. Picturing his unknown enemy with a blade sliding into flesh. Bright blood staining the jade dagger.
“I’ll find him and then they’ll pay”

Benedict looked at him sharply “You’ll find him. Then you’ll call me. THEN they’ll pay.”

“Ok. OK”, Bolton nervously meets his uncle’s eyes. “You don’t have any spare Trumps do you. I had an unfortunate accident and now only have Trumps for you, dad and Corwin”.

Compel 2 +1 heart = 3 (9 & 4) MISS
On a miss, they refuse or make a demand which costs you greatly. Pay the Price.
Pay the Price (D100) = 30 Something of value is lost or destroyed
NARRATIVE PRICE ONLY Any mechanical penalty should be interpreted within the fiction. [I’ve implemented a 50/50 chance that Pay the Price doesn’t impose an actual penalty to resources to reduce the chances of a repeat of the failure spiral].

“Oh no, Bolton. You’re already in my debt for pulling your sorry ass through the Trumps yesterday – not to mention looking after your ‘daughter’ for a week. If you want to call somebody – call me. If I deem it important enough to pass on to Random or Fiona, or any of the others, I’ll pass it on. Now, go get some sleep, I have Orders to write.”

As Bolton is leaving the tent, he calls after him. “If you need any supplies for the journey, call in at my Quartermasters before you set out tomorrow. I’ll make sure he is expecting you.”

Resupply 5 +2 wits +1 Quartermaster Stores = 8 (7 & 2) STRONG HIT
On a strong hit, you bolster your resources. Take +2 supply. (now 5)

[This episode has mainly been to get the story back on track, so that Bolton can continue his quest to locate his father. He’s regained the Jade Dagger, but it happened off-camera so he won’t get experience for that.
Although his vow to return Padma to her mother has been forsaken, his bond with the girl remains intact.]

  • STORED Game ID Ambersworn.001 on Mon May 27 2019 21:24 *



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