Just two PCs this week: Flint & Kardin, so jumping into things right after last session…
Investigating the Forge
The encounter with the strange creature that came out of the floor left the two Host dwarves and Fergus kind of shaken, so Bozkar went with them to escort them out of the ruins.
Meanwhile, Flint & Kardin are still curious about the forge. “There’s gotta be tools around here somewhere!” Kardin actually climbs into the forge sifting through ash and suet to find anything usable. As he’s crawling around he suddenly sees a small flame pop up from somewhere (failed Scavenging roll). Then it starts dancing around. Then it flares up right in front of him, singeing him pretty badly (a Superficial wound). Not to be discouraged he just keeps sifting through the layers of ash, now looking for some kind of nozzle or plumbing. “That flame must have come from somewhere!”. He finds nothing after a few minutes and eventually scrambles out in haste (failed Steel test after his third Supie).
“Only one other thing to try, right? We’ve got the key, let’s try and get this thing started.”
Flint starts getting ready to go in, “I’ve got the key and better armor, I’ll do this.”
“Use that shield, too. It might help protect you from the flame.”
As soon as Flint gets in the forge and pulls the key out a huge spout of flame erupts in the middle, right where the key should go. Flint works up the nerve to go into the flames (successful Steel test) and shoves his hand in with the key to get it in place. It’s hard to see past all the fire and he fumbles a bit (failed Speed test) before finally getting the key into place. Luckily between the Dwarven Mail and the shield he was able to avoid getting badly burned (successful Armor test). As soon as the key is in place the fire dwindles down and the heat in the forge lowers. It’s not going, but it’s under control. It’s likely going to take some more work to get the forge fully operational, but now they know the trick of getting the key in place.
Also, up on the balcony that strange creature has risen from the floor to its full height with a bemused expression on its face. As the dwarves notice it, it just turns around and sinks back into the floor.
“All right, now that the key is in, we need to find the control panel. Every hearth forge has one to control the temperature.” Kardin is able to find the panel (successful Beginner’s Luck forge-wise), but unfortunately this forge isn’t quite the same as he’s accustomed to. He opens the access panel to where all the dials and levers should be, but instead of all that is simply the engraved named “Oksana.” Neither dwarf knows what that means, but they both marvel at how intricate the carved runes are for the name.
At a loss of anything else to discover about the forge, they remember the second rune staircase Fergus had previously mentioned. They’ve seen no sign of it, so they set out to find it. They spend some time in the tunnels and eventually realize that there’s only one place the staircase would be — there’s a section past the mines covered completely in spiderwebs. So, the staircase must be past that in the spider’s territory. They spend quite a lot of time looking around for the staircase, giving Fergus a lot of time up top to get to Grahm first and lay out his case for leaving the ziggurat ruins alone (failed Observation).
Knowing the interest the spiders previously showed in Dwarven craft, they decide to take the key back out of the forge, just in case the spiders decide to break the treaty and come in through the mines. With that, they decide to head up to the surface.
After getting up out of the mines, Flint & Kardin find that Fergus has rushed off to the original camp to meet with Grahm. They rush off through the forest to get there before he can convince the Captain to abandon the ruins. They get there just as he’s in the middle of laying out his argument. Flint & Fergus get into a pretty heated exchanged. (Duel of Wits time. Both sides started out with a 9 Body of Argument. Terms were Flint/Kardin: Fergus agrees whatever knowledge they find can only be useful, so he’ll basically now be on their side, Fergus: wants complete control over access to the ruins. By the end of the first exchange Flint was down to 2 BoA and Fergus was sitting pretty at 8. But due to a successful Incite followed by a Dismiss powered by Fueling the Fires of Greed, Flint pulled out a victory, owing a major compromise. The major compromise is that Grahm would leverage the decision to get a lot more political power among the civilian Dwarves.) In the end, Flint’s arguments were more persuasive and Fergus concedes defeat and even agrees to help them out in discovering more about the mines and the Dwarves and other people that once lived here. Grahm starts drafting orders to get people down into the mines to start settling in.
Time passes as the Dwarves start getting settled into the mines (we decided to fast forward a few months, giving us some down time for practice/instruction). Everybody is pretty busy for a while. Flint decides he needs some help in learning to wear his armor properly and Kardin has his hopes set on a new shield soon (Flint’s shield, to be exact), so they seek out a Dwarf in the host that can teach them to properly wear armor and shield. They spend the next two months spending most of their time training (successful Circles test to find a Dwarf with Instruction and Armor and Shield training — Flint learns armor training and Kardin learns shield training).
For the next month Kardin spent most of his time in the forest helping to forage for herbs, roots, and other edibles (successful Foraging test that will give an advantage to the upcoming Resource Cycle test).
Meanwhile, Flint spends some time practicing skills he hadn’t used in a long time (various practicing tests towards stats/skills).
For those few months Kardin is able to get by pretty well between his foraging and helping the clan out (successful Resource test), but Flint has a tougher time of it, mostly because the upkeep on his new armor is becoming costly (failed Resources).
After some time has passed, Flint goes to see Delana (relationship, and his Oath deals with earning the respect of the clan back so he can marry her). They catch up a bit since he’s been so busy. She mentions a friend, Rutger, was just by asking about him. “Rutger? Who’s that?” “He said he’s an old friend. He said to come see him over there.”
Also, Kardin goes to talk to Captain Grahm to check on how Halel is doing. The meeting is cordial, but it’s obvious that Grahm thinks no one will be good enough for Halel except the Prince. And in the case he’s died, only a Dwarf from the Host will be good enough. Kardin’s got his work cut out to get her hand in marriage.
Flint goes to have a chat with Rutger. He’s never met the Dwarf. It turns out Rutger’s wife died on the march through the mountains, leaving him alone to care for their four children. He just needs a little help to care for them. Flint plays stupid at first, but finally Rutger lays it all out. “I know it was you that stole that merchant’s goods. All I’m asking for is a little help. This doesn’t have to get ugly.” Flint gets a dangerous look in his eye. “You’re right, it doesn’t. Let me see what I can get together for you.”
Flint leaves to see Kardin. “I know you’ve been eyeing this shield I found.”
“Yeah, I’d love to get my hands on it to study it.”
“I’ll do you one better. There’s this Dwarf, Rutger. You silence him and make sure his orphans are taken care of, and you can have this shield.”
End of Session
Some great stuff. That DoW was pretty close. I did some bad scripting the first volley and Fergus had me against the ropes. Luckily I was able to pull of my Incite in the last round, causing him to make a Steel test and hesitate the first volley of the next exchange. That’s when I whipped out a Dismiss and spent the Persona to Fuel the Fires of Greed. I just barely managed to take out his entire remaining 8 BoA, but I did and it was pretty glorious.
Also, the bit at the end was pretty brutal. Calling a hit on this Dwarf with four motherless children? Cold. And greedy. Flint’s well on his way to advancing to a B9 Greed.
It also seemed like a good place for a Trait vote, so Flint earned Tenacious, since he’s shown himself to be pretty single-minded and because Kardin has had such awful luck (seriously more failed rolls than anyone else) and that’s lead to him taking a beating a few times, we decided to give him a Trait to reduce his hesitation for pain by 2. I think we called is scarred.