The Secret Shrine

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Following on from The Slums of Haicheng here is another Scarlet Heroes urban adventure featuring the thief Gong Trond, who has the following traits:

  1. Ruin Explorer: 3
  2. Great Stealth: 2
  3. Friend to the Black Sapphire Tong: 1

The Tide Cult

Trond returns to The White Dragon inn for lunch.

Money: 12 gp

In the last adventure Trond earned Heat or unwanted attention as a result of a fight in a market in which he killed the priestess Thora Unger and her followers. In this adventure he must deal with the consequences of this Heat.

Five guards of the city watch armed with ji polearms enter the common room of the inn and quickly surround Trond. The sergeant tells him that he must accompany them to a guardpost of the city watch where he will be questioned by the captain of the city watch in relation to the fight with the priestess Thora Unger and her followers in the market. Trond allows the guards to march him to the guardpost where he is met by the city watch captain Chen Dawei. Trond is informed that Wigo Adler has already been caught and questioned by the watch, and he told them that he saw Trond kill Unger and all her followers in a fight that was started by Liang Yong of the Black Sapphire Tong. Dawei says that the city watch had no great regard for Unger and her followers, regarding them as dangerous fanatics. If Trond will pay him a bribe of 500 gold pieces and do a job for him, then he will be willing to forget the matter.

Trond asks what the job is and Dawei says that a Tide cult is rumoured to be spreading in the worst part of the slums. People are disappearing and are said have been taken and sacrificed in a hidden shrine somewhere. Some of the cultists appear to be living in a dilapidated tenement building. The city watch raided the building and some of the cultists were killed or fled, but no shrine was found. Trond is to infiltrate the tenement and learn of the cult’s secrets; perhaps stealth will achieve better results than force of arms.

Trond curses inwardly but agrees to pay the bribe and to investigate the cult. He realises that he will need to sell one of his magic potions in order to pay the bribe. Dawei has the five guards accompany Trond while he goes to the sage Han Daichi to sell his potion of Furious Might for 500 gold pieces. He returns to Dawei with the bribe and then goes to the tenement.

Threat: 4

Trond: 0 Victory Points

Opponents: 0 Victory Points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

Investigation scene: tenement

Infiltrate a Location where the activities relate to a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.

The brick tenement building rears over a muddy alleyway. He enters through an open doorway; a few planks of broken wood in the dark room beyond are all that remain of the door. Scraps of paper flutter in the empty windows and there are puddles from recent rain on the uneven floor. The building seems almost deserted but children wearing rags scamper off into dark rooms as he approaches. He ascends rickety wooden stairs to the first floor and enters a room where Tide cultists sleep on rough mattresses, dreaming the strange dreams of the Tide with smiles on their faces. He explores the room stealthily.

Trond fails the check.

Six cultists, four men and two women, emerge from the darkness. One man has eyes that glow red and the cultists advance to attack Trond with knives. He draws his short sword.

The cultists have Rabble statistics.

Trond kills four of the cultists and two flee down the stairs. He searches the bodies but finds nothing but a total of six copper pieces.

Money: 12 gp and 6 cp

Trond: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 1 Victory point

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 2 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

He finds no more cultists elsewhere in the tenement, only frightened slum dwellers. He leaves the tenement and feels eyes watching him as he makes his way back to the guardpost to report to Chen Dawei. He tells Dawei about his fight with the cultists, one of whom was definitely a Tide cultist with eyes that glowed red. Tomorrow, he says, he will search for the cultists in the slums again. He returns to The White Dragon where he pays for a meal and then goes to bed. The next morning he pays for a cheap room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon, making his way back to the tenement building.

Money: 11 gp, 6 sp and 1 cp

Conflict scene: street corner

Waylay a minion of the foe. Face a Fight instead of a check.

He comes to a street corner near the tenement. He recognises a man at the corner who is one of the cultists who fled from him yesterday. The man draws his knife and shouts out a summons to eight more cultists who come to his aid wielding knives.

The other cultists have the statistics of a Swarm.

Trond kills all of the cultists and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 5

He searches the cultists and finds a total of nine copper pieces.

Money: 11 gp, 6 sp and 10 cp.

He returns to The White Dragon for lunch.

Money: 11 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp.

Trond: 1 Victory point

Opponents: 0 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

Investigation scene: fence’s shop

Be waylaid by a hostile Actor with a Clue. Face a Fight instead of a check.

In the afternoon he explores the slums around the tenement building, searching for cultists. He comes to the shop of the fence Noya Shuji, an ally of the thief Yamamoto Teruaki whom Trond killed.

The foes are scruffy toughs; one man with Brute statistics and seven others with Thug statistics.

I decide that these men are members of Teruaki’s thieving ring, which is now headed by the Eirengarder Eckhard Knecht. But are they also cultists? Yes.

Trond approaches the shop cautiously. Eight scruffy men saunter out of the shop and surround him. The leader is armed with a sword and the others wield short swords. The leader sneers at Trond, telling him that Teruaki’s gang has survived despite Trond having killed Teruaki. He says that the gang is now headed by the Eirengarder Eckhard Knecht, the tavernkeeper of The Dwarf and Goblin, who will make sure that Trond does not last long in the slums. The leader exhales a cloud of crimson mist and Trond realises that he is a Tide cultist. He draws his sword.

Trond wounds the leader and kills two of the other men, but the leader deals him a severe wound with his sword and he falls to the ground close to death.

Trond: 1 Victory point

Opponents: 1 Victory point

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 7 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

Action scene: The Dwarf and Goblin tavern

Escape from the tavern. Make a check at +2 difficulty.

When Trond revives he finds himself in a small dark room which is vaguely familiar. His weapons, leather armour and money have been taken, along with his backpack and all of its contents including his Airy Body potion. He is bound hand and foot with rope. Most likely the Tide cultists intend to sacrifice him.

Hit points: 2

He can hear drunken laughter coming from an adjoining room, and realises that he is in the back room of The Dwarf and Goblin tavern. It seems that Eckhard Knecht is one of the cultists. He struggles to get free of the ropes binding him so that he can make an escape through the paper window in the outside wall of the room as he did before when he was working against Teruaki.

The difficulty of the check is 13. Trond succeeds on the check.

He gets free of the ropes and escapes through the paper window.

Trond: 3 Victory points

Opponents: 1 Victory point

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 7 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain a Victory point.

Resting at The White Dragon

Trond goes to the workshop of the goldsmith Zhang Bai, where he withdraws 79 gold pieces from his hoard stored in the vault.

Money in the vault: 300 gp

He returns to The White Dragon and spends the remainder of the day and all of the next day recuperating. He pays the physician Moyna Mar MacSithean two gold pieces for treatment.

Money: 65 gp, 9 sp and 5 cp

Hit points: 5

The opponents gain a Victory point because Trond is Resting in place of a scene.

Trond: 3 Victory points

Opponents: 2 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

On the morning after his recuperation he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 65 gp and 7 sp

He buys a short sword, a dagger, a suit of leather armour, a backpack, a crowbar, and a healer’s bag. He returns to The White Dragon for lunch.

Money: 26 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp

Investigation scene: Eckhard Knecht’s lair

An allied Actor can get you a Clue at personal risk. Fight to protect them.

Trond returns to the streets around The Dwarf and Goblin tavern to continue his investigation. He hears a hiss and turns to see an Imperial woman beckoning him into an alleyway. He approaches her cautiously. The woman gives her name as Biyu. Even within the shadows of the alleyway she is constantly watchful as if afraid that someone is searching for her. Biyu says that she is a burglar who was formerly a member of Eckhard Knecht’s gang. However, she left the gang when she realised that they were abducting the most vulnerable people in the slums, such as harlots and beggars, and sacrificing them to the Tide in a secret shrine somewhere. She says that she saw Trond fight the cultists outside Noya Shuji’s shop, and saw him escape from The Dwarf and Goblin tavern. She knows the location of Eckard Knecht’s hidden lair, and with Trond’s help she will infiltrate it.

Trond agrees to this proposal. He follows Biyu down the alleyway, which twists and turns and leads to an alcove. At the rear of the alcove there is a wooden door. Biyu succeeds in picking the lock and opens the door to reveal an opulent room beyond. An Imperial folding screen depicting a stream flowing through a bamboo grove is placed along one wall. At the centre of the room there is a fine hardwood table. Seven men are sitting around the table drinking rice wine. One is a huge Eirengarder with a bald head and a bushy moustache; Trond recognises him as Eckhard Knecht. He is wearing a suit of banded armour. Knecht looks up and thanks Biyu for bringing the trouble-maker back to him; they were just about to leave and search the slums for him. Biyu tells Trond that she had no idea that the room was occupied, but Knecht has already drawn his sword and the other men draw their short swords.

Knecht has Tank statistics and the other six cultists have Thug statistics.

Trond wounds Knecht and kills one of the other cultists, but he is wounded by Knecht and three other cultists and falls to the floor close to death.

Trond: 3 Victory points

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 9 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

Action scene: Eckhard Knecht’s lair

Escape from the lair. Make a check at +2 difficulty.

When Trond regains consciousness he realises that he is once again a captive of the cultists, intended for sacrifice to the Tide. All his gear has been taken and he is a prisoner in a dark room with no windows. His hands and feet have been bound with rope.

Hit points: 2

He struggles to get free.

The difficulty of the check is 13. Trond fails the check.

He has been bound more securely this time and cannot get free.

Trond must Defy Death (1d4) to escape. He takes 1 point of damage and the attempt to Defy Death is successful.

Hit points: 1

He hears the sounds of combat in an adjacent room. After the noise has subsided a guard of the city watch opens the door to the room where he is being held prisoner.

Has Knecht been killed by the city watch? No.

The guard tells him that the city watch were led to this place by a woman named Biyu. They have killed five cultists but Eckhard Knecht was not one of them. The guard frees Trond and he goes outside to meet Biyu in the alleyway. She tells him that she searched Knecht’s lair but found nothing to help them in their search for the cultist’s hidden shrine. Trond tells her that he will return to The White Dragon inn to recover from his wounds; she can meet him there in two days time. Trond goes with the guards of the city watch to report to Chen Dawei, and then he goes to the workshop of the goldsmith Zhang Bai where he withdraws 70 gold pieces.

Money in the vault: 230 gp

Trond: 5 Victory points

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 1 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 4 Victory points

Resting at The White Dragon

He returns to The White Dragon and spends the remainder of the day and all of the next day recuperating.

Money: 57 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

Hit points: 5

The opponents gain a Victory point because Trond is Resting in place of a scene.

Trond: 5 Victory points

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

On the morning after his recuperation he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 57 gp and 6 sp

He buys new gear and then returns to The White Dragon for lunch.

Money: 18 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

Conflict scene: the Hospice of Hesika

Support an Actor who’s working against the foe for their own reasons. Face a Fight instead of a check.

Biyu arrives at The White Dragon. She says that she has found an ally to help them in their fight against the cultists, who can be found in the Hospice of Hesika. Trond goes with her to the Hospice, which is dedicated to Hesika the Vermilion Goddess of sensation and perception. In the main hall of the building a small wooden statue of Hesika painted a brilliant scarlet stands on an altar. A few priests and priestesses hand out small bowls of rice porridge to cripples and homeless people. Biyu introduces Trond to an Imperial woman named Niu. She wears a suit of banded armour and carries a sword. She is clearly Shou-blooded with skin of a greenish tinge. She says that she is a cleric of Kusha, the Red Goddess of war, and a wandering cult hunter specialising in Tide cultists. Her Shou blood makes her particularly effective against them. Niu has already fought with Tide cultists in the slums and she knows that they often lurk around this hospice to take beggars for sacrifice.

Niu has Tank statistics and can cast the Blessing of Gentle Fortune, the Fist of Burning Rebuke, and the Blessing of Righteous War.

Niu grasps Trond’s right hand and casts the Blessing of Gentle Fortune, invoking the favour of Kusha for the purpose of giving Trond the strength to fight the cultists.

Trond may reroll one failed attack roll during the combat to follow.

Niu leads Trond and Biyu outside and the three of them patrol around the Hospice. Biyu is carrying a short sword.

Biyu has Soldier statistics.

Niu casts the Blessing of Righteous War on Trond and Biyu. They come across Ekhard Knecht and five other cultists who are lurking near the Hospice. The cultists approach with swords drawn.

Knecht has Tank statistics and the other five cultists have Thug statistics.

Niu casts the Fist of Burning Rebuke, badly wounding Knecht. Trond kills Knecht and three of the other cultists, and Biyu kills the remaining two cultists. Trond tends the wound that he received from Knecht.

Hit points: 5

Trond and Biyu search the corpses and find only nine copper pieces and four silver pieces. Niu takes the money to give to the Hospice of Hesika.

Trond: 6 Victory points

Opponents: 4 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

Investigation scene: The Dwarf and Goblin tavern

Search a Location related to past events where a Clue can be found. Face a Fight whether or not you succeed on the check.

Now that Knecht is dead, Trond suggests to Niu and Biyu that they search The Dwarf and Goblin tavern for information relating to the Tide cult’s activities. They reach The Dwarf and Goblin in the late afternoon. Trond peers cautiously inside and finds the place to be almost deserted, although one barmaid is still serving a few customers on Knecht’s behalf. He goes around to the rear of the building where a paper window gives entry to the back room. The paper has been replaced from when Trond tore it last time to escape. Niu and Biyu wait in the alleyway outside while Trond enters the room through the window. He searches the room.

Trond fails the check.

He doesn’t find anything of value in the room.

The foes are footpads with Rabble statistics.

One of Knecht’s footpads enters the room from the main room of the tavern. On seeing Trond he draws a knife and shouts a summons to seven other men who enter the room armed with knives.

Trond kills six of the men and one flees. He tends the wound that he received from one of the men.

Hit points: 5

Searching the corpses he finds 10 copper pieces and six silver pieces.

Money: 18 gp, 11 sp and 15 cp

He enters the main room of the tavern. The barmaid has fled. He meets up with Niu and Biyu. He returns to The White Dragon for a meal and then goes to bed.

Money: 18 gp, 9 sp and 15 cp

Trond: 6 Victory points

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 8 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

The next morning he pays for his room and for breakfast. He meets with Niu and Biyu at The White Dragon and then goes to Chen Dawei to report the deaths of Eckhard Knecht and the cultists outside the Hospice of Hesika.

Money: 18 gp, 7 sp and 10 cp

Conflict scene: The House of Wondrous Pleasures

Fight through an ambush arranged by the foe at a Location. Face a Fight instead of a check.

Trond returns with Niu and Biyu to The White Dragon for lunch.

Money: 18 gp, 7 sp and 5 cp

The fence Noya Shuji enters The White Dragon and approaches Trond’s table. He claims to have severed ties with Eckhard Knecht’s gang, and congratulates Trond for killing Knecht. He invites Trond, Niu and Biyu to accompany him to the brothel named The House of Wondrous Pleasures, where they can meet with enemies of the Tide cultists who are working to rid the slums of this menace.

Trond asks Shuji to wait outside, and discusses this proposal with Niu and Biyu. He tells them that he does not trust Shuji, but argues that they should go with him as they have no other leads at present. Niu and Biyu agree. Niu casts the Blessing of Gentle Fortune on Trond.

Trond may reroll one failed attack roll during the combat to follow.

The three of them go with Shuji to the brothel. When they arrive Shuji leads them to a room where he tells them to wait while he goes to see the brothel madam. Trond, Niu and Biyu sit down on chairs but do not drink the rice wine that has been offered to them.

A wooden panel in the wall slides open and 11 men armed with swords leap out to ambush them. The leader wears a chain hauberk and wields a sword while the others are armed with short swords.

The leader has Veteran statistics and the other cultists have Thug statistics. Trond, Niu and Biyu are surprised and cannot act for the first round of combat. Trond is attacked by the leader and by three other cultists, Niu is attacked by four cultists, and Biyu is attacked by three cultists.

Trond, Niu and Biyu kill all of the cultists except for one who flees, but not before Niu has been badly wounded. Trond tends the wounds that he received and then treats Niu’s wounds using items from his healer’s bag. She has been so badly wounded that she must return to The White Dragon and will not be able to investigate the Tide cult further today.

Hit points: 5

They search the corpses and find a total of 18 copper pieces and four silver pieces. Trond leaves most of the money for Niu and Biyu. They decide to leave the brothel before more cultists are summoned by Shuji.

Money: 18 gp, 7 sp and 10 cp

Trond: 7 Victory points

Opponents: 4 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

They return to The White Dragon where Trond gives Niu two gold pieces to pay for a physician.

Money: 16 gp, 7 sp and 10 cp

Investigation scene: Okada Tsukasa’s drug den

Bribe an Actor to give you a Clue. Roll a die; on an odd, immediately face a Conflict scene with them or on their behalf and win it to succeed.

Leaving The White Dragon Trond and Biyu walk the nearby streets. Trond sees the cultist who fled from The House of Wondrous Pleasures enter the drug den owned by Okada Tsukasa. Trond and Biyu follow the cultist, an Imperial man, into the dark and smoky building.

They find the cultist who is already smoking his favourite drug. He apologises for ambushing them in the brothel and says that he wants to leave the Tide cult. Trond offers him a bribe of five gold pieces if he will reveal the location of the cultist’s secret shrine. The man appears to be about to accept the money when he glances towards the door to the drug den. His face goes pale when he sees a man in leather armour and wielding a sword enter the door accompanied by five cultists. He says that this man is Yang Fu, an adventurer and Tide cultist brought in from the wilderness to eliminate those cultists who try to leave the cult. If Trond will kill Yang Fu then he will accept the bribe and tell him where the shrine is.

Conflict scene: Okada Tsukasa’s drug den

Eliminate an outside Actor brought in to aid the foe. Face a Fight instead of a check.

Trond and Biyu draw their swords as Yang Fu and the five cultists approach.

Yang Fu has Brute statistics and the other cultists have Thug statistics. Yang Fu and three cultists attack Trond and two cultists attack Biyu.

Biyu is killed by one of the cultists. Trond kills three of the cultists and one flees. But Yang Fu deals him a severe wound and he is taken prisoner by the cultists once again.

Trond: 7 Victory points

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 6 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain an additional Victory point.

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Action scene: the Tide cultists’ shrine

Escape from the shrine. Make a check at +2 difficulty.

When Trond revives he finds that he is bound hand and foot in the place that he was searching for, the secret shrine of the Tide cult. All his gear has been taken, of course. He is in a dark room without windows, in a building which appears to be an abandoned tenement. A cloud of crimson mist hangs over the floor.

Hit points: 2

He can see Yang Fu and seven other cultists in the room. They have their backs to him and are facing a hideous Tide priest who wears a crimson robe. The priest’s eyes glow red and he breathes red mist, and a mass of writhing tentacles emerges from his face. The Tide cultists are chanting and ignoring Trond for the present, though clearly he is intended to be sacrificed very shortly.

Trond struggles to get free of the ropes binding him.

The difficulty of the check is 13. Trond succeeds on the check.

He gets free of the ropes and moves stealthily out of the room. The cultists are preoccupied with their ritual. As he is leaving he hears a scream and turns around to see the priest plunging a dagger into the body of a young woman, bound on a stone altar that he couldn’t see before.

He leaves the building. It is not the same tenement that he explored before but a different building that is entirely abandoned.

Trond: 9 Victory points

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 4 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain an additional Victory point.

Opponents: 7 Victory points

He arrives at Zhang Bai’s workshop just as the goldsmith is closing up for the night. He withdraws 70 gold pieces from the vault.

Money in the vault: 160 gp

Resting at The White Dragon

He returns to The White Dragon and spends all of the next day recuperating. He meets with Niu, who is still recovering from the wound that she received in The House of Wondrous Pleasures. He tells her about being taken captive by the cultists and seeing the cloud of crimson mist and the sacrifice of the young woman in the abandoned tenement. Niu says that the cloud of mist indicates that the cultists are about to open a gate to the Tide. If this happens then Haicheng will be overrun with Tidespawn.

Money: 57 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

Hit points: 5

The opponents gain a Victory point because Trond is Resting in place of a scene.

Trond: 9 Victory points

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

On the morning after his recuperation he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 57 gp and 6 sp

He buys new gear and then returns to The White Dragon for lunch.

Money: 18 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

Conflict scene: the Hospice of Hesika

Discredit or frame an Actor ally of the foe.

Niu casts the Blessing of Gentle Fortune on Trond and then they leave The White Dragon to go to the guardpost of the city watch where Trond will inform Chen Dawei of the location of the cultists’ shrine. On their way they visit the Hospice of Hesika. One of the priests, an Imperial man, seems eerily familiar to Trond. He realises that he is one of the cultists that he saw in the shrine. No doubt he can use his position in the Hospice to procure sacrificial victims for the cultists.

He tells Niu about the priest and she suggests that they talk to the priestess in charge of the Hospice, a Kueh woman named Sister Yoshiko.

Trond succeeds on the check after I use the Blessing of Gentle Fortune spell to reroll the check.

Trond succeeds in convincing Sister Yoshiko that the priest is a cultist. She orders the guards at the Hospice to seize the priest, who is named Brother Zixin, and take him to the guardpost.

Trond: 10 Victory points

Opponents: 7 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

Final Action scene: the Tide cultists’ shrine

Trond and Niu arrive at the guardpost of the city watch where Trond informs Chen Dawei of the location of the secret shrine. The city watch captain assembles a detachment of 10 guards to attack the shrine. Niu casts the Blessing of Righteous War on Trond and the guards. Trond leads Niu and the guards to the abandoned tenement building.

Entering the shrine Trond sees that the cloud of crimson mist is thicker now. Ten Tide cultists, including Yang Fu and Noya Shuji, are facing the hideous mutated Tide priest who is preparing to sacrifice a young boy on the altar.

The guards attack the cultists and Niu fights with Yang Fu. She kills him but not before she has been badly wounded.

Niu has been reduced to 1 HD.

The Tide priest flees into another room and Trond follows him. The room appears to be the private chamber of the priest and contains a bed, a table and a chair. The priest drops his sacrificial knife and picks up a gleaming short sword from the table.

The priest has Sorcerer statistics and can cast the spell Seven Small Thunders. His short sword is +1.

Trond kills the priest and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 4

He takes the priest’s short sword which has a gleaming magical blade, a hilt of silver and a grip of blue enamelwork.

Have all the other cultists been killed by the city watch guards? Yes.

The noise of combat from the other room has subsided. Trond quickly searches the priest’s chamber. On the table he finds a cylindrical, thumb-sized vial of white jade inscribed with High Imperial characters.

The vial contains an Invisibility potion.

Beneath the table he finds the priest’s wooden treasure chest.

Is the chest locked? Yes.

The chest is locked but he succeeds in picking the lock. Inside he finds 75 gold pieces and a silver necklace jewelled with yellow-green peridots.

Money: 93 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

The necklace is worth 5,000 gp.

Entering the shrine he finds that the cloud of crimson mist has begun to dissipate. Haicheng is safe from the Tide, at least for now…

The guards have killed all of the cultists in the shrine. They have also collected all the treasure that was heaped around the altar in tribute to the Tide. Trond helps Niu to tend her wounds and then they return to the guardpost. Chen Dawei thanks Trond for his help in destroying the Tide cult.

Trond has scored 3, a Partial Victory. Although it has been almost destroyed the Tide cult survives in the slums and grows again slowly.

The Heat of Haicheng has returned to 0.

Trond receives one experience point for his adventure. He is now a 2nd level thief. He has 8 maximum hit points. He has also gained one trait point in a new trait of “Resist the Red Tide.”

Trond returns to The White Dragon for a meal and a bottle of good rice wine and then goes to bed.

Money: 83 gp, 3 sp and 5 cp

Hit points: 5

The next morning he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 83 gp and 1 sp

He pays the sage Han Daichi 50 gold pieces for identification of the potion that he found in the priest’s chamber. Daichi tells him that the vial contains an invisibility potion and explains how it works.

Money: 33 gp and 1 sp

He goes to the shop of the fence Bakir al-Halabi, who pays him 600 gold pieces for the silver necklace jewelled with peridots.

He pays Zhang Bai a deposit fee of 60 gold pieces for storage of 540 gold pieces.

Money in the vault: 700 gp

He returns to The White Dragon to rest and to celebrate his victory over the cultists.

Money: 22 gp and 5 sp

 

 

The Slums of Haicheng

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I’ve created another Scarlet Heroes character for an urban adventure.

Gong Trond

The half Imperial and half Skandr thief Gong Trond has returned to Haicheng after exploring the ruins of the upper Lanbaoshi valley and the Altgrimmr Mountains. He has the following traits:

  1. Ruin Explorer: 3
  2. Great Stealth: 2
  3. Friend to the Black Sapphire Tong: 1

Haicheng is a large port on the southern coast of the Mandarinate of Xian, famous for the sapphires which are obtained from alluvial deposits in the Lanbaoshi River. Trond enters the city with 80 gold pieces. He goes to The White Dragon, an inn with a wingless white dragon painted above the door. He pays the innkeeper Kiang Tancred one gold piece for a fine room for one day and two silver pieces for a fine meal. From the weaponsmith Meng Yuan he buys a short sword and a dagger. At the workshop of the leatherworker Li Shen he buys a new suit of leather armour. He has new clothes made by the tailor Eydis Veitberg. Finally he goes to the workshop of the goldsmith Zhang Bai, where he pays a 10% deposit fee for storage of 45 gold pieces in the vault.

Money: 5 gp and 8 sp

Threat: 1

Trond: 0 Victory Points

Opponents: 0 Victory Points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

Plot: An Antagonist schemes to harm a rival Target, such as by theft, blackmail or framing

Returning to The White Dragon Trond meets an old acquaintance, the elderly dwarf Arkadi Hewnspire. Arkadi left the dwarven city of Altgrimmr after his clan rejected him for taking up the traditionally female (for dwarves) work of blacksmithing. He is never far from his smithy and has a reputation as a miser, although he says that like all dwarves he must amass enough gold for his tomb. Trond once conspired with him to steal gold from a corrupt priest of the Nine Immortals, an Eshkanti man named Saad al-Tabari who was later exposed as a murderer and a Tide cultist and executed by order of the current magistrate of Haicheng, Hao Ying.

Arkadi is distressed; last night he caught someone trying to break into his smithy. The would-be burglar was masked and fled quickly so that even Arkadi, with his dwarven ability to see in the dark, was not able to identify anything particular about the figure. No doubt someone is trying to steal his well-known hoard of gold which is buried beneath the smithy. Arkadi implores Trond to help him and Trond agrees to stake out the smithy in the hope of learning something more about the matter.

Investigation scene: Arkadi’s smithy

Stake out a Location. Whether or not you win the check, your opponent gains a Victory point due to delay.

Trond eats at The White Dragon and leaves the inn as night is falling to stake out Arkadi’s smithy. He spends hours prowling the dark streets around the building, hoping to catch a glimpse of the burglar.

Money: 5 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

Trond fails the check.

He doesn’t notice anyone or anything suspicious.

Trond: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 1 Victory point

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 4 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

In the morning he returns to the inn where he pays for his room and for breakfast, and then goes to his room to sleep.

Money: 4 gp and 5 sp

Later he goes back to the smithy and finds that Arkadi did not see or hear anything suspicious during the night. He returns to The White Dragon for a cheap meal.

Money: 4 gp, 4 sp and 5 cp

Investigation scene: the tong hall of the Black Sapphire Tong

Hunt up an Actor whom you have reason to suspect can give you a Clue.

Trond has done work for the Black Sapphire Tong, whose members are known to be involved in theft and other criminal activities. He goes to the dingy hall of the tong to meet with Bai Aiguo, one of the Elder Brothers whom he knows quite well. Cautiously he talks to Aiguo about Arkadi’s problem.

Trond fails the check.

Aiguo tells him that the Black Sapphire Tong would not be involved in stealing from an honest inhabitant of the city such as Arkadi Hewnspire. Nor does he know of anyone who might be responsible for planning such a burglary. He coldly asks Trond to leave.

Trond: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 2 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 10 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

Trond returns to The White Dragon for a meal and then goes to bed.

Money: 4 gp, 2 sp and 5 cp

The next morning he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 3 gp and 2 sp

Investigation scene: fence’s shop

Stake out a Location. Whether or not you win the check, your opponent gains a Victory point due to delay.

A fence’s shop seems like a good place to look for a thief. He goes to the shop of Kueh fence Noya Shuji and spends the day in the vicinity of the building.

Trond succeeds on the check.

Leaning against the wall outside the doorway of the shop he overhears someone talking to Shuji about “the dwarf’s hoard of gold.” He carefully observes this person when they leave the shop.

Trond’s suspicions were raised when he heard the customer in the shop speaking to Shuji in a stutter, and they are confirmed when he catches a glimpse of him as he leaves the shop and disappears into the crowd in the street. He is Yamamoto Teruaki, a Kueh footpad that he grew up with in the slums of Haicheng. He is Shou-blooded and grew up with little prospects in society, but Trond has little sympathy for him if he is willing to steal from Arkadi.

Trond: 1 Victory point and a Clue

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 6 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

Trond returns to The White Dragon for a meal.

Money: 3 gp, 1 sp and 5 cp

Action scene: decrepit shrine

Despoil or ruin a sanctum or safehouse belonging to the foe. Roll a die; on an odd result, face a Fight as well as the check.

Trond knows that Teruaki makes offerings in a shrine in the slums, a shrine dedicated to Tendai the Black God of distortions and corruptions. He goes to the shrine, buying a stick of incense on the way.

Money: 3 gp and 1 sp

Inside the gloomy shrine a wooden statue of Tendai painted black stands behind an altar. He lights his stick of incense and places it on the altar while cautiously observing the small number worshippers in the shrine. He soon sees Teruaki among them but the footpad does not see him. Teruaki talks with an Imperial priest who is the custodian of the shrine, and the two of them disappear into a back room. They emerge a while later and Trond sees the priest lock the door to the room. The two men then go out into the street. Trond waits until they have disappeared up the street, and then waits a little while longer until the shrine is empty of worshippers. He goes to the door to the back room and tries to pick the lock.

Trond succeeds on the check.

He succeeds in picking the lock. The small room beyond is dark with no windows. He can just make out the shape of a large wooden chest beneath a table.

Is the chest locked? Yes.

The chest is locked. He does not succeed in picking the lock.

He quickly looks around the room. On a shelf he finds four pieces of cheap jewellery: a pewter toe ring, a copper nose ring, a pewter brooch inlaid with clear quartz, and a bronze bangle. He also finds a bulbous, thumb-sized vial of white jade inscribed with High Imperial characters.

The toe ring is worth 30 gp.

The nose ring is worth 60 gp.

The brooch is worth 80 gp.

The bangle is worth 100 gp.

After pocketing these items he leaves the shrine and heads back to The White Dragon, where he pays for meal and then goes to bed.

Money: 2 gp and 9 sp

Trond: 3 Victory points

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 1 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 4 Victory points

The next morning he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 1 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

He goes to Zhang Bai’s workshop where he withdraws 40 gold pieces.

Money: 41 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

Money in the vault: 5 gp

He goes to the shop of the fence Bakir al-Halabi, who pays him a total of 30 gold pieces for the cheap jewellery that he found in the shrine of Tendai.

Money: 71 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

He pays the sage Han Daichi 50 gold pieces to identify the potion that he took from the shrine of Tendai. Daichi tells him that the vial contains an Airy Body potion and explains how it works. Trond thinks that Teruaki was no doubt planning to use the potion to gain entry to Arkadi’s smithy.

Money: 21 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

Finally he goes to Hilt Osterhagen’s chandlery where he buys a backpack, a crowbar and a healer’s bag.

Money: 4 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

Conflict scene: fetid waterway

Do a friendly Actor a favour that will advance them into a position to help you. Face a Fight as the foe tries to stop you.

Trond is walking along a fetid canal that runs through the slums towards the Lanbaoshi River. Ahead he can see a familiar figure coming towards him, an Eirengarder street thug named Wigo Adler who works as cheap legbreaker for anyone who can pay him. He is a known enemy of Teruaki.

The foes are harlots with Soldier statistics.

Three harlots emerge from a nearby brothel named The House of Wondrous Pleasures and confront Wigo with daggers drawn.

Are the harlots allies of Teruaki? Yes.

The harlots tell Wigo that he will no longer threaten Teruaki, and then they attack. Trond goes to Wigo’s defence.

Trond kills one harlot, and kills the other two with his Fray die.

Does anyone from the brothel join in the combat? Yes.

Three men emerge from The House of Wondrous Pleasures. One wields a sword and the other two are armed with short swords.

The man with the sword has Brute statistics and the two men with short swords have Thug statistics. Wigo also has Thug statistics.

Wigo draws his short sword and joins in the combat. Trond kills all of the men and tends the wound that he received from the man with the sword.

Hit points: 5

Trond and Wigo drag the corpses into a nearby alleyway. They search the corpses but find nothing on them except for a total of eight copper pieces and six silver pieces, which they divide between them.

Money: 4 gp, 11 sp and 9 cp

Wigo thanks Trond and says that he can now rely on him as extra sword. He tells Wigo about the attempted burglary of Arkadi’s smithy. Wigo says that the burglar that escaped from Arkadi was no doubt just a henchman sent by Teruaki to scope out the building. Teruaki is a patient and careful thief with many allies in the slums, and they must be careful now as he will no doubt be soon informed of the deaths of the harlots and the men from The House of Wondrous Pleasures.

Trond: 4 Victory points

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

Trond returns to The White Dragon where he buys a meal.

Money: 4 gp, 11 sp and 4 cp

Investigation scene: sewer passage

Search a Location related to past events where a Clue can be found. Roll a die; on an odd result, you face a Fight whether or not you succeed on the check.

Trond remembers that Teruaki had a secret hideout in the alcove of a sewer passage beneath the slums. He goes there and takes Wigo with him in case the alcove is currently occupied.

Trond and Wigo enter the sewer and make their way slowly through the reeking darkness towards the alcove, being careful not to lose their footing while stepping over the slime and rats.

Reaching the alcove, which is only about 10 feet square, Trond searches the place.

Trond fails to find anything of interest.

He finds nothing more than a couple of empty rice wine bottles.

Trond: 4 Victory points

Opponents: 4 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 3 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Investigation scene: The Dwarf and Goblin tavern

Infiltrate a Location where activities relate to a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.

Wigo says that Teruaki and his associates are often seen in a tavern named The Dwarf and Goblin. It is late in the afternoon when Trond and Wigo reach the dilapidated tavern which is at the end of an alleyway in the slums. The tavern is an Imperial building but the sign that hangs by the door is painted in the Eirengarder style; it shows a dwarf armed with a sword confronting a Shou spearman, a blue-skinned goblin of the type found in the Altgrimmr Mountains. Inside the tavern the dim light of the alleyway filters through paper windows. The tavernkeeper is a huge Eirengarder with a bald head and a bushy moustache. Wigo has identified him as Eckhard Knecht, a henchman of Teruaki. Trond makes his way through the crowd of ruffians towards the back room.

Trond succeeds on the check.

None of Teruaki’s henchmen see Trond as he keeps to the shadows and follows a drunken man into the back room. Knecht is occupied with his customers. Once inside the room the drunkard slumps down on a chair to take a nap, evidently waiting for a meeting with Teruaki. On a nearby table Trond can see a sheet of paper which appears to be the plan of a building. Trond takes this and leaves the room by tearing open a paper window and climbing out. He meets up with Wigo in the alleyway and quickly makes his way back to The White Dragon. In his room he studies the plan which he recognises as a plan of the tong hall of the Black Sapphire Tong. The vault of the tong hall is marked. This room contains the jade ritual vessels and other treasures of the tong, including the famous Black Sapphire which is said to be worth 20,000 gold pieces. Perhaps Teruaki intends to steal the tong’s treasure so that the tong will lose prestige in the slums. Perhaps he intends to found a criminal tong himself. In any case, tomorrow Trond will take this evidence to one of the Elder Brothers of the Black Sapphire Tong, a tong sorcerer named Liang Yong. He pays for a meal and goes to bed.

Money: 4 gp, 9 sp and 4 cp

Trond: 5 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 9 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain a Victory point.

The next morning he pays for a cheap room at The White Dragon, and for breakfast.

Money: 4 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp

Action scene: tenement

Bring in an outside authority or useful Actor to oppose the foe.

He goes the three-storey tenement building where the tong sorcerer Liang Yong lives. Yong occupies a large and opulent apartment on the ground floor. Trond gives him the map of the tong hall that he found in The Dwarf and Goblin, and informs him of Teruaki’s plan to steal Arkadi’s gold. He asks if Yong will use his magic to aid him against Teruaki.

Trond succeeds on the check.

Yong thanks Trond for providing him with the map. They drink rice wine and Yong says that he will use his magic to help Trond.

Trond: 7 Victory points

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 2 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Investigation scene: tattered market

Ambush a dangerous Actor who holds a Clue. Face a Fight instead of a check.

Trond, Yong and Wigo are making their way through a tattered market in the slums, searching for Teruaki or one of his henchmen. Yong points out an Eirengarder cleric, a woman named Thora Unger who is a priestess of Kusha, the Red Goddess of war. She wears a hauberk of scale armour and carries a short sword.

Is Thora an ally of Teruaki? No.

Yong says that Thora is not an ally of Teruaki. However, she is an enemy of the Black Sapphire Tong whom she regards as the oppressors of the slum dwellers. She has gathered a small group of followers for the purpose of fighting the tong. Trond sees that Thora is accompanied by four men and two women who are armed with clubs or knives. One of the women wears a blue robe sewn with magical sigils and appears to be a sorceress.

Thora has Veteran statistics and can cast the Fist of Burning Rebuke. The sorceress has Sorcerer statistics and can cast Seven Small Thunders. The other followers of Thora have Vermin statistics.

Yong tells Trond to demonstrate his friendship for the tong by attacking Thora and her followers. He will aid him in the fight with his own magic. Trond ambushes Thora and her followers from behind a market stall.

Yong has Sorcerer statistics.

Yong and Wigo join the ensuing combat and Yong casts Seven Small Thunders, wounding Thora. Trond kills Thora and all of her followers, but not before Yong has been killed. Trond tends his wounds.

Hit points: 4

Searching the bodies Trond and Wigo find a total of seven copper pieces and two silver pieces, which they divide between them. On Thora’s corpse Trond also finds a list of enemies that she was planning to take action against.

Money: 4 gp, 7 sp and 9 cp

Trond: 8 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 7 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 7 Victory points

Did the traders in the market generally sympathise with Thora and her followers? Yes.

The market is now in uproar as a result of the combat. A trader calls out for the city watch and Trond sees a sergeant of the city watch accompanied by four other guards armed with ji polearms enter the market. Trond and Wigo split up and Trond makes his way quickly and stealthily out the market, trying to avoid the watch patrol.

Trond succeeds in evading the patrol.

Resting at The White Dragon

Trond returns to The White Dragon and spends the remainder of the day resting to cure his wounds.

Money: 4 gp and 5 sp

Hit points: 5

The opponents gain a Victory point because Trond is Resting in place of a scene.

Trond: 8 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

He reads the list of enemies that Thora was carrying. It refers to an illegal market that is hidden halfway down an alleyway just north of the brothel, The House of Wondrous Pleasures. The market is run by the thief Yamamoto Teruaki, whom Thora was planning to eliminate.

On the morning after his recuperation he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 4 gp, 2 sp and 5 cp

Action scene: forbidden market

Despoil or ruin a sanctum or safehouse belonging to the foe. Roll a die; on an odd result, face a Fight as well as the check.

He goes to the canal and finds the alleyway north of The House of Wondrous Pleasures. The alleyway twists and turns and the canal and the street beside it are lost from sight. He comes to a heavy curtain which has been hung across the alleyway. Lifting the curtain he enters the market, where there are several stalls set up in the dark niches of the alleyway. The small number of traders are selling poisonous substances, rare drugs from the Magocracy of Tien Lung, magical potions, and similar rare or prohibited wares. Ahead the alleyway comes to a dead end.

The foes are footpads with Soldier statistics.

Trond carefully searches the market, trying to avoid the three thugs who are patrolling the place for Teruaki.

Trond succeeds on the check.

At the end of the alleyway he finds the secret entrance to a storeroom, hidden behind a wooden board. He is about to enter the storeroom when he hears a shout behind him. The three thugs are advancing to attack him with short swords. He kills all three without sustaining a wound. Searching the bodies he finds five silver pieces and five copper pieces.

Money: 4 gp, 7 sp and 10 cp

Trond: 10 Victory points

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 2 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 9 Victory points

The traders in the market have fled. He enters Teruaki’s storeroom. Amidst empty barrels and crates there are chests and sacks filled with rare drugs and stolen items. He leaves the storeroom by the only other door.

Final Action scene: Teruaki’s lair

He enters a room which is far more opulent than a typical home in the slums. It is richly furnished with hardwood chairs and a table and illuminated with bronze lamps. Teruaki gets up from one of the chairs and draws his short sword, and three other men armed with knives enter from another room.

Teruaki has Veteran statistics and the others have Rabble statistics.

Trond kills Teruaki and his thugs. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 5

Trond has scored 1, a Partial Victory. Although Teruaki is dead his thieving ring survives and may cause trouble for Trond in the future.

Trond receives one experience point for his adventure.

A roll of 1 on a 1d10 (equal to the Heat of Haicheng) means that Trond must either leave the city soon or do something to reduce the Heat.

Returning to the storeroom he searches it for Teruaki’s treasure. He finds 200 gold pieces, hundreds more silver coins, and thousands of copper coins. There are also pieces of jewellery, gemstones,  items of clothing, and a square, thumb-sized vial of green jade inscribed with High Imperial characters.

Treasure:

  1. 200 gp
  2. 800 sp
  3. 2,000 cp
  4. A bronze bracelet inlaid with red coral worth 200 gp
  5. A silver bangle jewelled with bloodstones worth 500 gp
  6. A silver necklace jewelled with green spinels worth 200 gp
  7. A reddish-brown carnelian gemstone worth 40 gp
  8. A dark green malachite gemstone worth 20 gp
  9. A lapis lazuli gemstone worth 20 gp
  10. A yellow jasper gemstone worth 10 gp
  11. A red jasper gemstone worth 60 gp
  12. An obsidian gemstone worth 20 gp
  13. A black onyx gemstone worth 100 gp
  14. A bloodstone gemstone worth 200 gp
  15. A rabbit fur robe worth 20 gp
  16. A pair of finely-printed cotton trousers in shades of blue worth 60 gp
  17. A pair of rabbit fur boots worth 60 gp
  18. A robe of finely-printed cotton in shades of green worth 70 gp
  19. A pair of beaver fur boots worth 60 g
  20. A potion of Furious Might.

He loads treasure into his backpack until it is full and then finds two good sacks and fills them with the remaining coins and items of clothing. Most of the copper coins he leaves in the storeroom.

Money: 204 gp, 807 sp and 610 cp

At the shop of the moneychanger Kinjo Hiroya he has most of his silver and copper pieces changed to gold. He goes to Zhang Bai’s workshop, where he pays a deposit fee of 27 gold pieces for storage of 239 gold pieces in the vault.

Money in the vault: 244 gp

Money: 24 gp, 7 sp and 10 cp

He tells Arkadi that Teruaki has been killed and that his gold is now secure. Then he returns to The White Dragon where he pays for a fine room and then celebrates with fine food, a bottle of good rice wine, five mugs of rice beer, and a harlot named Suzume.

Money: 13 gp and 1 sp

The next morning he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 12 gp and 5 cp

He goes to the shop of the fence Bakir al-Halabi, who pays him a total of 200 gold pieces for the jewellery, gemstones and items of clothing that he found in Teruaki’s storeroom.

Money: 212 gp and 5 cp

He pays the sage Han Daichi 50 gold pieces for identification of the potion that he found in Teruaki’s storeroom. Daichi tells him that the vial contains a potion of Furious Might and explains how it works.

Money: 162 gp and 5 cp

He pays Zhang Bai a deposit fee of 15 gold pieces for storage of 135 gold pieces.

Money in the vault: 379 gp

Money: 12 gp and 5 cp

 

 

 

The Idol of Fa Chia

Haicheng region new PNG image.png

Here is another Scarlet Heroes solo adventure.

Getak Seven Ways Out

Travelling west over the forested foothills of the Altgrimmr Mountains, the elven mage Getak Seven Ways Out arrives at the timber palisade of Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post in the late afternoon of a long, hot day. It is the dry season in Ektau. Getak is an elf of the Creed of Seven Ways Out, from the small village of First Sundering in the Godbarrow Mountains. His most prized possession is the slender elven spellbook that he carries concealed in his travel-worn tunic. In his prior incarnation he was a scholar of history in the village of Last Rebuke, and he still retains vague memories of that life. The philosophy of Seven Ways Out encourages it’s followers to seek out their own way in the world, especially by leaving First Sundering and travelling far and wide. Getak has made his way down the eastern slopes of the Godbarrow Mountains, over the grasslands of the northernmost region of the Magocracy of Tien Lung, and over the jungle-clad hills of the Mandarinate of Xian.

Getak is a first level magic-user with the following traits:

Wandering Mage: 2

Historian: 1

Inured to Harsh Weather: 1

Elven Senses: 1

Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post

The trade post is bustling with activity as an Eshkanti caravan sets up camp, and dwarven and Gadaal traders make their way around the shops and tents. He has 110 gold pieces. He throws away the club that he has been using as a weapon and buys a short sword and a dagger from a dwarf, for twice the amount that he would have had to pay in a town or city. From an Eshkanti chandler named Shahib al-Tamimi he buys a backpack, camp gear, a healer’s bag, a waterskin, 10 lots of rations, and a bottle of cheap rice wine. He pays six silver pieces to Hasan al-Sakhawi to camp within the palisade.

Money: 43 gp and 2 sp

Rations: 9

The next day he prepares the spell Seven Small Thunders, refills his waterskin at the well, and leaves the trade post, travelling north-west into Altgrimmr Mountains.

Getak will prepare Seven Small Thunders every morning while travelling in the Altgrimmr Mountains.

Threat: 1

Hex 05.03

These hills were explored during a previous adventure, so I don’t check for Encounters, Events or Features.

Rations: 8

Hex 04.04

The next day he travels south-west into the mountains.

Tinh

An eagle tinh is flying over the mountains 200 feet from Getak and will regard him as prey if it sees him. The tinh has a flying movement of 60.’ The tinh sees Getak first and swoops down on him.

Making his way along a mountain slope Getak feels sharp talons grasp him and he is lifted into the air by a huge eagle.

Getak must Defy Death (1d4) to escape. He takes 1 point of damage and the attempt to Defy Death is successful.

Hit points: 3

Getak is carried up to the eagle’s nest high up the mountain. The eagle drops him into the nest. He realises that the eagle must be a tinh or an animal spirit. Suddenly he hears the screech of another beast and sees a griffon swoop down to attack the tinh. While the two monsters are fighting he escapes from the nest and makes his way carefully down the mountainside.

Can he climb down the mountain easily? Yes, but… recklessness.

Getting down the mountain is easier than he thought it would be. He becomes over-confident, misses his footing and tumbles down a steep slope.

He takes 1d6 damage and suffers 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 2

Reaching the gentler slopes of the mountain he treats his injuries.

Hit points: 4

Event: non-magic gear item breaks during use.

I roll a d3 to determine which item is broken:

  1. Backpack
  2. Camp gear
  3. Healer’s bag

An item of his camp gear has broken.

Event Threshold: 1

Feature Threshold: 2

He searches for water and finds a stream.

When setting up camp at the end of the day he discovers that his cooking pan has broken, so he cannot cook his rations. He decides to go back to the trade post to buy another pan. He also buys two more lots of rations.

Money: 40 gp

The next day he retraces his route and enters an unexplored region of the mountains.

Rations: 9

Hex 03.03

Griffon

A griffon is flying over the mountains 350 feet from Getak. The griffon will attack Getak if it sees him. The griffon sees Getak first and swoops down to attack.

Getak sees a griffon swooping down to attack. He casts the spell Seven Small Thunders and the magical bolt wounds the beast, but the griffon badly wounds him. As he loses consciousness he feels the griffon bear him up into the sky.

Getak is left for dead with 1 hit point. 

When he revives he finds himself in a flying monster’s nest for the second time. He sees that the griffon has two chicks and it is preoccupied with feeding them meat; not his own, fortunately, for after probing himself he finds that he is still intact except for the wounds the griffon dealt previously. His backpack is nearby. Not surprisingly the griffon has taken all his gold which is on the other side of the nest near the chicks. His equipment has been strewn about the nest. Fortunately his spellbook is right next to him and is undamaged, being made of fine elven materials. Moving carefully he slips it into his tunic before making his way stealthily to the edge of the nest.

The griffon’s nest is perched on the crag of a rocky mountain ridge and the way down seems to be more precarious than the descent from the tinh eagle’s nest. Carefully he climbs over the edge of the nest and down the crag.

The difficulty of the check to climb down the crag is 13. Getak succeeds on the check.

He makes his way down the crag and reaches a ledge in the mountainside. The ledge provides a magnificent vista of the forested foothills of the Altgrimmr Mountains to the south. He can see the ruins of a town in the hills, an Imperial town of crumbling pagodas. He has no time to rest or enjoy the view, however; he hears the furious screech of the griffon and must dash into a dark crevice nearby. He hears the griffon fly away looking for him. He waits for a while until he feels that it is safe to emerge and then makes his way quickly down the mountain. The path bends to the north and he soon finds himself on the slope where the griffon attacked him. He retraces his route, trying to remain under the cover of pine forest wherever possible.

Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post

The next day he staggers into Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post. He has no money and carries nothing of value except his spellbook, so he offers his services as a mage to Hasan al-Sakhawi. The merchant thinks for a moment and then replies that he would like Getak to go on a mission to retrieve a stolen relic. Just south of the trade post there is a hideout of escaped slaves from the Magocracy of Tien Lung. The villagers recently attacked a caravan leaving the trade post and killed several guards before fleeing with loot, including a small statuette of solid gold representing Fa Chia, the Yellow God of the Imperials. Fa Chia is Hasan’s patron deity, and he was sending the statuette to the city of Haicheng as a gift to be placed in the Five Pinnacle Pagoda.

The village is surrounding by a palisade and is known to be guarded even at night. Getak says that he is well-suited to this task as he possesses elven senses that enable him to see in the dark, and can cast a spell that sends men to sleep. Hasan tells him that he will pay him 100 gold pieces if he retrieves the statuette. Getak receives treatment from Hasan’s physician and sleeps in a spare room in his house.

He spends the next two days resting in Hasan’s house. On the morning after his recuperation he prepares the spell Amber Cloud of Somnolence and then waits until evening before making his way south over the hills to the slave hideout. Hasan has provided him with a backpack for the statuette and a dagger.

Hit points: 4

Slave hideout

Night has fallen when he approaches the village, which is at the top of the hill and surrounded by a palisade as described by Hasan.

What’s the weather like (dry season)? Cloudy skies.

Luckily the moon is hidden behind clouds and the hill is shrouded in darkness. Getak makes his way cautiously up the hill. There is a single guard on duty at the gate.

Is the guard vigilant? No, but… an adjustment to the physical environment.

As Getak approaches the guard the moon comes out from behind the clouds. The guard stirs and Getak makes for closest shadows.

The difficulty of the check to avoid the guard’s notice is 11. Getak fails the check.

The guard notices Getak and reaches for his horn to sound a warning. Getak is about 30 feet from the guard and throws his dagger. The dagger misses the guard, who blows on his horn. Getak flees into the forest. He can hear villagers in pursuit.

The difficulty of the check to evade the villagers is 11. Getak fails the check. D4 villagers catch up with him.

The pursuing villagers are spreading out through the forest but two of them catch up with him.

The villagers are dressed in rags and carry spears. They have Thug statistics. Getak kills them both with his magical Fray die.

One of the villagers wounds Getak with his spear but he kills both of them with his sorcerous bolts.

Hit points: 2

Have the other pursuing villagers heard the sounds of the combat? Yes. There are 10 other villagers closing in on Getak.

Getak hears the other villagers closing in on him. He tries to outrun them.

The 10 other villagers are 2d6 x 10 feet from Getak; 80 feet away. The villagers move 30 feet to be 50 feet from Getak before he makes a Constitution check to outdistance them. Getak fails the check.

The 10 other pursuing villagers catch up with Getak. He casts Amber Cloud of Somnolence.

Two of the villagers succumb to the spell and fail their saving throws and another is killed by Getak’s Fray die.

Two of the villagers drop to the ground asleep and another is killed by Getak’s bolts. The remaining seven throw their spears at Getak. He is hit by a spear and falls to the ground close to death.

Getak is left for dead with 1 hit point.

When he revives Getak finds himself in an empty room in a hut in the village. His wound has been crudely treated but he is bound hand and foot. He can feel that he still has his spellbook inside his tunic. Clearly the villagers want him alive so that he can tell them all that he knows about the strengths and weaknesses of Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post.

The door opens and two men come in. They haul him before the chief of the village, a grizzled Eirengarder man. Four other men and two women stand nearby with spears ready while the chief questions him. Getak tells them all that he knows about Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post. Then he tells them fanciful stories about his travels, relying on the knowledge of his past incarnation as a historian to help him. When he feels that he has his audience interested, he tells them a story about how the statuette of Fa Chia is cursed. The statuette was stolen from the Pagoda of the White Jade Tiger in the Mandarinate of Xian by an adventurer who sold it to Hasan al-Sakhawi. It will bring disease and death to those who own it until it is returned to the Pagoda of the White Jade Tiger. He is a wandering mage who has been hired by the abbot of the Pagoda to retrieve the idol. He did not intend to kill anyone to retrieve it, only to put them to sleep with the spell that the villagers have seen him use.

The difficulty of the check to deceive the chief is 13. Getak uses his trait of “Historian” but fails the check.

The chief tells him that he does not believe him. He orders the villagers to execute Getak and they close in on him with their spears.

Getak must Defy Death (1d4) to escape. He takes 1 point of damage and the attempt to Defy Death is unsuccessful. Getak is speared to death by the villagers.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ruined Mage School

haicheng-region-png-image

Having now completed a tertiary education course I’m back to gaming again. Here is the latest instalment of the adventures of my Scarlet Heroes character, Du Renshu. He is a third level fighter with the following traits:

  • Forest Hermit: 2 points
  • Strong Constitution: 3 points
  • Once was a Peasant Rebel: 2 points

In the previous instalment, A Golem and Bandits, Renshu discovered a ruin in a valley of the Altgrimmr Mountains (hex 00.05 on the far left of the map). A few dice rolls determined that it was a dungeon with the following characteristics:

Type of Feature: dungeon

Dungeon type: academy (ruined mage school)

Locations: 23

Inhabitants: looters (first seven rooms), supremacists (next eight rooms), and undead from massacre (last eight rooms)

Threat: 2

Favoured colours of interior rooms: only natural hues

Entering the ruin Renshu tethers his horse to a pine tree. There is no sign of life in the ruin. He sees a large doorway nearby which appears to lead into some kind of hall.

Memorial hall

Hidden treasure: M2 worth of room contents – bronze mirror jewelled with amber worth 500 gp.

Hazard: environmental danger. Save or take 2d4 damage.

The hall is painted a fading sky blue and is well illuminated with windows. There are niches along the walls which once contained statues of stone and jade, but these have been thrown to floor as if by angry invaders. There are inscriptions in Low Imperial beneath the niches. Reading the inscriptions he learns that the ruin was once a school of magic called the Academy of Fa al-Tabari. The statues are of the most celebrated alumni of the Academy.

The walls have been scrawled with glyphs which remind him of the symbol on the gourd of Shou poison that he found in Wang Yuan’s house in Enping. Clearly Shou were responsible for the destruction of the Academy.

As he searches the hall the Shou glyphs start to glow with a pale green light and he begins to feel light-headed.

The difficulty of the saving throw to resist the Shou magic is 16. Renshu fails the saving throw and takes 1 point of damage.

He falls to floor and his head pounds as his vision is filled with images of Shou, pale-skinned orcs of the mountains. He sees them sacking the Academy and slaughtering the students. A Shou witch-priestess shoots green bolts of witchfire from her stave and kills the headmaster.

Hit points: 13

When the vision has faded he slowly gets to his feet and finds that the glyphs have stopped glowing. He continues to search the hall. All of the fallen statues are too heavy to carry easily.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 13. Renshu fails the check.

He finds nothing of value in the hall.

First turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

He leaves the hall by a doorway in the south wall.

Divination room

Encounter: 6 hit dice worth of Minions/Civilians/Elites – one skilled freebooter (Elite statistics), three novice adventurers (Minion statistics) and one porter (Vermin statistics).

He enters a room that is also painted sky blue. The ceiling is supported by round stone columns inscribed in High Imperial, the script of scholars which he cannot read. A large bronze brazier, which was probably used for divination purposes, lies overturned in the centre of the room.

There are four men and a woman searching the room for anything of value. Their leader, a man of mixed Gadaal and Imperial or Kueh descent, wears a chain hauberk and carries a sword. The woman and two other men are dressed in leather armour and carry spears, and the last man is a porter dressed in leather armour and armed with a knife. He carries a backpack that bulges with adventuring gear. When they see Renshu they stop searching the room and approach.

The looters are rolled as unfriendly NPCs. They regard Renshu with qualified consent. Oracular word: wealth.

The leader asks Renshu if he suffered the effects of the Shou glyphs and Renshu replies that he got past them without too much trouble. The leader comments to the others that Renshu is brave to keep on exploring the ruins on his own. He tells Renshu that he and his fellow adventurers have already looted the ruins of most of their wealth. Renshu is welcome to search for what is left. He warns Renshu that there are other adventurers from his band elsewhere in the Academy and they may not be as tolerant as he is. Futhermore, he knows that there are Imperial supremacists hiding out somewhere in the Academy and they are dangerous people. There are even rumours of undead which resulted from the massacre of the Academy students by the Shou. He bids Renshu good day.

Second turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Renshu leaves the room by a doorway in the northwest corner.

Vault

Treasure: trove M1 in room contents – wall scroll worth 30 gp. Oracular word: disease.

He enters a stone chamber with a vaulted roof and unpainted walls. There are no windows and he lights a torch to explore the room. The vault was probably a strongroom for the storage of valuable or dangerous magical ingredients. The floor is strewn with decaying wood, the wooden chests used for storage having all been smashed open and their contents looted. There is only one item of interest, an Imperial wall scroll that shows a physician treating a man suffering from some disfiguring skin disease such as leprosy. He puts it in his backpack.

Third turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

He leaves the vault by a doorway in the south wall.

Servants’ chambers

Hidden treasure: one tenth of the C-type trove appropriate to the place (C5 – Major Ruin’s Wealth).

Hazard: Decrepit structure. Save or 2d6 damage and leave room.

He enters a corridor with seven doorways along each wall, beyond which are former servants’ quarters containing the decaying remains of beds and other small items of furniture. The remains of the plaster on the walls are painted a faded green.

The difficulty of the saving throw is 12. Renshu succeeds on the saving throw.

He enters one room and begins probing the floor and walls. He hears a creaking sound and then the roof of the chamber comes crashing down. He makes it out of the room just in time.

What’s the weather like (wet season)? A light drizzle.

Through the hole in the roof he can see that it is late afternoon outside and there is a light drizzle of rain.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 14. Renshu succeeds on the check.

In another chamber he finds a hidden compartment under a flagstone which the looters failed to locate. Within the compartment there are hundreds of gold coins, an electrum finger ring set with a black opal, a purple garnet gemstone, a pair of gold earrings set with star rubies, a square, thumb-sized vial of white jade inscribed with High Imperial characters, and a gleaming sword with a leather grip and a hilt of gold. The blade of the sword is inscribed with characters of a non-Imperial script that he cannot read.

There are 700 gold coins in the hoard.

The finger ring is worth 3,000 gp.

The garnet gemstone is worth 1,000 gp.

The earrings are worth 5,000 gp.

The vial contains Ironhide potion.

The sword is a +3 dwarven sword.

The sword is obviously magical so he takes it, but he also keeps his existing magical sword. He stows all the coins and treasure in his backpack and finds that it is as much as he can carry. He carefully replaces the flagstone and places debris from the room over it.

Money: 715 gp, 4 sp and 3 cp

Delighted with his find, he decides to leave the ruin and return to Haicheng.

Fourth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: five hit dice worth of Minions/Civilians/Elites – one skilled freebooter, two novice adventurers and one porter.

Four men enter the corridor from the part of the ruin that he has not yet explored. The leader is an Imperial man wearing a scale mail hauberk, two of the other men wear leather armour and carry spears, and the last man is another porter.

The looters are rolled as unfriendly NPCs. They are dismissive towards Renshu.

The men stride past Renshu. As they pass, the Imperial man says “Too late! We’ve already cleaned out this place.”

Renshu waits for the men to leave. He breathes a sigh of relief and then returns to the vault.

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Fifth and sixth turns elapse

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Seventh turn elapses

Check for wandering inhabitants: unusual foe – jiangshi

Memorial hall

In the divination room he hears the sounds of combat and a terrible snarling voice. Entering the memorial hall he sees that the Imperial man wearing a scale hauberk is dead on the floor along with one of his companions. The other two men have fled. A figure in ragged clothes is crouched over the Imperial man and when it looks up he sees that it is a living corpse. The monster gets to it’s feet and lurches stiffly towards him. Suddenly it leaps through the air and lands in front of him and he realises that it is a jiangshi.

The jiangshi has 8 HD. Renshu decides to fight with his dwarven sword.

Although he manages to wound the jiangshi with his sword, the monster bites him three times, inflicting three levels of energy drain on him. He is reduced to 0 level and must Defy Death (3d4) or perish. He takes 3 points of damage and the attempt to Defy Death is unsuccessful. Renshu dies and rises as a jiangshi himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Golem and Bandits

haicheng-region-png-image

My Scarlet Heroes player character Du Renshu continues to explore the Altgrimmr Mountains. Renshu is a third level fighter with the following traits:

  • Forest Hermit: 2 points
  • Strong Constitution: 3 points
  • Once was a Peasant Rebel: 2 points

Having left Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post, Renshu has travelled west over the forested foothills of the Altgrimmr Mountains.

Hex 03.04: forested hills

A Feature is discovered

Ruined town

Type of Feature: ruin and town

Feature builder: refugees

Reason to build: storehouse

Great past event: earthquake

Current state: partially buried

Contents: roll an Encounter – Construct, War Golem

Walls: mortared stones

Towers: pagoda-style

Wall adornments: featureless surface

Other features: frail partitions

Favoured colours: hot red hues

He follows a stream up a valley and comes to ruined walls of mortared stones, the defensive walls of a ruined town beyond. In places the walls have crumbled into heaps of masonry overgrown with vegetation, as if shattered by a great earthquake. The town must have been built long ago by Imperials as there are several ruined pagodas scattered across the ruins. Many of the buildings are sunk in crevices that the earthquake opened in the ground. The exterior walls of the buildings are featureless where they are not overgrown with vines, but inside the rooms are painted in fading red and feature thin partitions of brick which were largely destroyed by the earthquake. He passes rows of ruined brick warehouses, all of which are now empty.

He comes to a large octagonal pagoda of brick with the lower storeys still largely intact. He tethers his horse in the bamboo grove that surrounds the ruin and enters a room at ground level where the walls were cracked by the earthquake and the floor is strewn with rubble. Near the centre of the room stands a statue of bronze and steel 10 feet tall, with the face of a scowling ogre and bearing a huge sword. The statue comes to life as he approaches it and he realises that it must be the guardian golem of this ancient temple. The golem advances to attack and he draws his sword.

Renshu destroys the golem and slumps exhausted against a wall. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 14

There is a stone stairwell in the centre of the room, within which is a spiral staircase that once led up and down. But the stairs are now choked with rubble and the other three doorways leading out of the room only lead to the bamboo grove. He makes camp in the ruins by the stream.

Rations: 6

Hex 02.05: mountains

The next day he travels south-west. The hills grow steeper and soon he is travelling through the Altgrimmr Mountains.

Event: no water; forage at -1 or suffer thirst

The slopes grow ever steeper and rockier and soon he has drunk all the water in his waterskin. He searches for a water source and finds a spring.

Rations: 5

Hex 01.04: mountains

A Feature is discovered

Fu Dai’s lead mine

Type of Feature: structure and mine

Is the camp an old, established one? No, but… naivete; the camp is undefended.

He comes to a cluster of tents and crude huts built of pine logs on the side of a mountain. Beyond the settlement is the entrance of a mine from which miners are emerging carrying buckets of lead ore. A miner directs him to the hut of the manager, an Imperial man named Fu Dai. Renshu pays him six silver pieces to stable his horse and pitch his tent on the outskirts of the camp.

Money: 12 gp, 4 sp and 3 cp

He notes that the camp has no defences of any kind, not even a crude timber palisade. After eating some of his rations he settles down to sleep as night is falling.

Rations: 4

The camp will be attacked by a random marauder or marauders:

  1. 1d6 bandits
  2. One bull-sized nue with the head of an eagle and the body of a tiger
  3. One griffon
  4. 2d4 hill giants
  5. 2d4 goblin Shou
  6. 2d4 orc Shou

Three bandits approach Renshu’s tent on the outskirts of the camp. The difficulty of the check for Renshu to hear the bandits is 13. Renshu fails the check.

In the night three men armed with spears enter Renshu’s tent and surprise him. He doesn’t have time to draw his sword before they attack.

Renshu manages to roll away from the bandits’ spear thrusts. He draws his sword and kills all three bandits. He searches the corpses but finds nothing. He drags the corpses out of his tent and settles down to sleep again.

In the morning he shows Fu Dai the bandits’ corpses. Fu Dai agrees with him that the camp needs to be better defended. He pays Renshu three gold pieces for killing the bandits.

Money: 15 gp, 4 sp and 3 cp

Renshu refills his waterskin in a nearby stream and then heads south-west into the mountains.

Hex 00.05: mountains

A Feature is discovered

Ruined mage school

Type of Feature: dungeon

Dungeon type: academy (ruined mage school)

Locations: 23

Inhabitants: looters (first seven rooms), supremacists (next eight rooms), and undead from massacre (last eight rooms)

Threat: 2

Favoured colours of interior rooms: only natural hues

Travelling up a valley he comes to a ruin secluded in a pine forest, surrounded by a crumbling stone wall. The architecture is of the Imperial style. He enters the ruined gateway cautiously.

Renshu receives one experience point for his adventure so far.

 

 

 

The Altgrimmr Mountains

Haicheng region PNG image.png

Here is another condensed version of a wilderness adventure played using the solo gaming guidelines of the Scarlet Heroes roleplaying game from Sine Nomine Publishing. My player character is Du Renshu, a third level fighter with the following traits:

  • Forest Hermit: 2 points
  • Strong Constitution: 3 points
  • Once was a Peasant Rebel: 2 points

In this adventure Renshu explores the Altgrimmr Mountains from the Red Tide sourcebook from Sine Nomine Publishing.

Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post

Renshu has left the city of Haicheng and travelled to Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post (hex 06.04) in the wilderness.

He buys two lots of rations for one gold piece and two silver pieces.

Money: 10 gp, 9 sp and 3 cp

Rations: 10

He buys a bottle of cheap rice wine for two silver pieces, and pays Hasan al-Sakhawi six silver pieces to camp within the palisade.

Money: 10 gp, 1 sp and 3 cp

The next morning he refills his waterskin at the well and then leaves the trade post, travelling south into a previously unexplored region of forested hills.

Hex 06.05: forested hills

A Feature is discovered

Slave hideout

Type of Feature: settlement and slave hideout

He comes to a collection of rough huts built at the top of a hill, with a crude timber palisade built around them. A guard at the gate armed with a spear blows on a horn when he sees Renshu approach. Twelve villagers, both men and women, appear at the gate and level their spears at Renshu. Judging from the poverty of the settlement and the rags the inhabitants are wearing, Renshu guesses that this is a hideout for slaves who have recently escaped from the Magocracy of Tien Lung.

For their reactions the escaped slaves are rolled as Unfriendly NPCs. They react to Renshu with considered refusal.

Renshu tells the villagers that he wants no trouble, and that he can see that they are slaves who have recently escaped from Tien Lung. A man replies that they are indeed escaped slaves, who trust nobody, and that Renshu will not be attacked if he goes on his way immediately. Renshu leaves the village and makes camp a safe distance away.

Rations: 9

Hex 05.05: forested hills

Lost

Event: got lost; next move is random

The hills become more thickly forested and he loses sight of the Altgrimmr Mountains. He realises that he doesn’t know which direction he is travelling in.

To determine the direction that Renshu is travelling in I use the same mechanic provided for random dungeon exploration in Scarlet Heroes.

Hex 06.05: forested hills

He emerges from the forest into a clearing where there is a crude palisade at the top of a hill. He realises that he has travelled back to the slave hideout.

Have the inhabitants of the hideout seen Renshu? I consult the relevant oracle table. Yes they have. This time they are rolled as Unfriendly NPCs with a -3 modifier. They react to Renshu with scorn.

The escaped slaves come out of the hideout with spears ready. But when they see Renshu he hears one of them say “it is only that fool again.” They tell Renshu to go back to Haicheng. Renshu leaves to make camp, glad to have avoided a more dangerous encounter.

Rations: 8

Hex 05.05: forested hills

Mudslide

The next day he travels back south-west.

Event: mudslide; lose important non-magic item

It rains heavily and a mudslide surges down the hillside that Renshu is travelling along. He and his horse lose their footing and slide down the hillside, covered in mud.

Renshu stores his bow and his tent on his horse along with his rations which are in saddlebags. He stores his healer’s bag, camp gear, waterskin, flask of oil and torches in his backpack. I roll a d10 to determine which item is lost:

  1. Bow
  2. Camp gear
  3. Entire backpack
  4. Flask of oil
  5. Healer’s bag
  6. Quiver with 18 arrows
  7. Saddlebag containing four lots of rations
  8. Tent
  9. Torches (in bundle)
  10. Waterskin

Eventually he and his horse come to a stop at the bottom of hill. He checks his equipment and finds that his waterskin fell out of his backpack and is lost.

Rations: 7

Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post

The next day he travels back to Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post and buys a new waterskin.

He rests in the trade post the remainder of the day and buys another bottle of cheap rice wine.

Money: 7 gp, 3 sp and 3 cp

Rations: 6

The following day he travels north-west into the Altgrimmr Mountains.

Hex 05.03: mountains

A Feature is discovered

Gadaal hunting camp

Type of Feature: settlement and hunting camp

He comes to a Gadaal hunting camp in a patch of grassland within pine woods on the side of a mountain. He approaches the tents cautiously and several men and women emerge and approach with spears and bows ready.

The their reactions the Gadaal are rolled as Stranger NPCs. They are bribeable.

The Gadaal seem suspicious but not hostile. Renshu introduces himself as an adventurer from Haicheng who is exploring the mountains. A Gadaal man, a grizzled veteran hunter, introduces himself a Callum Pire MacRudha, the chief of the village of Rudha. Renshu tells him that he bought his bow from a Gadaal bowyer in Haicheng, a woman from Callum’s village named Glenna Kinloch MacRudha. He offers Callum three gold pieces and the chief becomes friendlier.

Money: 4 gp, 3 sp and 3 cp

Callum tells Renshu where to find Rudha which is about 18 miles to the north. There is a tavern in the village with a room available for travellers. He also has a healing salve for sale made from rare herbs, which Renshu buys for three silver pieces.

Money: 4 gp and 3 cp

The salve has 1d4 uses before running out; three uses. The salve will allow Renshu to heal an extra point of damage during the adventure.

Callum also tells Renshu where to find a nearby stream. Renshu thanks him and leaves the camp to refill his waterskin.

Rations: 5

Hex 05.02: mountains

The next day he travels north towards Rudha. He searches for water and finds a stream.

Rations: 4

Hex 05.01: mountains

Freezing fog

Event: exposed to weather; take 2d4 damage

As he travels north higher into the mountains the pine woods give way to rugged grassland and expanses of boulders and rock. As he is making his way up a steep slope the weather turns bad and a bank of freezing fog rolls down the mountainside. He takes shelter beneath a huge boulder and makes camp, but still suffers frostbite.

Hit points: 16

After he has made a fire he treats himself using his salve.

Hit points: 19

Two uses of salve left

Rations: 3

Hex 05.00: mountains

Rudha

Rations: 2

The next day he arrives at Rudha. The village has a very picturesque location on the slopes of a mountain surrounded by grassland and pine woods. Renshu makes his way past flocks of goats and sheep and Gadaal herdsmen as he makes his way down the mountainside. The village is situated next to a stream and surrounded by a timber palisade, and the huts are built of pine logs and clay daub. The tavern is owned by a woman named Tavie Ord. She says that she has one room available, usually used by the dwarven traders who sometimes pass through Rudha and less frequently by adventurers, and an outbuilding available for the stabling of his horse. Renshu pays her six silver pieces for the room and stabling, and another silver piece for a cheap meal.

Money: 3 gp, 3 sp and 3 cp

He is running low on rations, which were out of stock at Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post.

Does Tavie have any rations for sale? Yes, but… chastity.

Tavie has 1d4 rations for sale; three lots of rations.

Tavie does a sideline as a chandler and can sell him three lots of rations. However, she has decided not to provide him with the room for the night. She usually only puts up dwarves in the room, who are not known to sleep with human women. This attractive young widow says that last time she put up a male adventurer in the room there was a lot of gossip in the village, and she is betrothed to a village man. Renshu recalls that while he was eating his meal she had been glancing nervously out of the window where a small crowd was gathering. Discounting the six silver pieces that he paid for the room and stabling, the three lots of rations will cost him one gold piece and two silver pieces. Renshu pays the money, takes the rations, and leaves the village after refilling his waterskin in the stream. He sets up camp in the pine woods above the village, hoping that his camp will be as secure as the room in the tavern would have been.

Money: 2 gp, 1 sp and 3 cp

Rations: 5

Is there an encounter during the night? No, but… there is an error in an assumption some NPC is making.

Tavie was mistaken in assuming that she would be safe from suspicion once Renshu had left the tavern. Her betrothed, who has just returned from hunting, is a jealous man and a spiteful villager has told him that Tavie is sleeping with a man in the tavern again.

Renshu sleeps lightly and is awakened in the night by a scream coming from the direction of the village. He sees a woman, illuminated in the moonlight, run out of the gate in the palisade and away from the village. She is being chased by a man with a spear who bellows curses. As she approaches the pine woods Renshu sees that she is Tavie, and that she has been wounded. He puts an arrow to his bow and gets ready to fire at her pursuer.

The man is an unstatted Minion for the purposes of combat.

He is 2d6 x 10 feet from Renshu; 70 feet.

Renshu’s arrow misses the man and he sees Renshu. He breaks off his pursuit of Tavie and advances to attack. Renshu draws another arrow.

The man advances 30 feet to be 40 feet from Renshu. Renshu’s second arrow kills him.

Renshu’s second arrow hits the man in the chest and he falls to the ground. Approaching him, Renshu sees that he is dead. He goes to Tavie to tend her wound.

Is Tavie mortally wounded? Yes.

By the time he reaches Tavie she is dead. He leaves the corpses where they are and travels on into the night. He heads north-east into the mountains.

Hex 06.00: mountains

As day breaks he continues his trek higher into the mountains. He searches for water and finds a spring. As night falls he makes camp, certain that he is a safe distance from Rudha.

Rations: 4

Hex 07.00: mountains

Tengu

A tengu is exploring the mountains following a rumour of treasure. The tengu is flying 400 feet away from Renshu and will ignore him. The tengu notices Renshu first.

He sees a humanoid figure flying over the mountains. It has the head and wings of a bird of prey and he recognises it as a tengu, a dangerous monster that he has heard described in legends. But this tengu is ignoring him and he continues on his way.

A Feature is discovered

Ruined town

Type of Feature: ruin and town

Feature builder: exiles

Reason to build: meeting place

Great past event: massacre of locals

Current state: riddled with burrows

Contents: corpses of inhabitants

Walls: earthen berms

Towers: round-walled

Wall adornments: tapestries or hangings

Other features: concealed entrances

Favoured colours: monochromes

He comes to a ruined town built along the slopes of a mountain. The walls are earthen berms, topped in places by low, round towers of stone. Within the walls are the crumbling remains of stone houses. At the centre of the ruins there is a square, open area surrounded by tiers of rough stone seats, evidently a meeting place of some kind. The ruins are littered with the skeletons of the inhabitants who appear to have been slaughtered by Shou or other enemies. Some of the houses are pit dwellings with entrances concealed within trenches for protection against the harsh weather of the mountains.

Going inside one house he finds that the walls are painted in fading shades of red and the tattered remains of Imperial wall scrolls hang on the walls. This was an Imperial town, probably founded long ago by the exiles when they first made contact with the dwarves of Altgrimmr before the Clearing Wars began in 4 AL. In those times red was the most auspicious colour rather than blue. The only signs of life in the town now are the pika burrows which riddle the ruins. After refilling his waterskin in the stream that runs through the ruins he makes camp in one of the houses.

Rations: 3

Hex 08.00: mountains

Blind canyon

Event: blind canyon; next move must be back

The next day he travels up a valley which narrows until the pine woods give way to the rocky sides of a winding canyon. Turning a bend he sees that the canyon has come to a dead end. He makes camp here.

Not able to check for Features: Renshu returns to hex 07.00

Rations: 2

Hex 08.01: mountains

Hungry ghosts

The next day he returns to the ruined town and then travels south-east over the mountains. He searches for water and finds a stream.

Four hungry ghosts are wandering the mountains around the ruined town, still searching for the Shou who sacked the town some time ago. They have the usual attitude of hungry ghosts and will attack Renshu. They are 350 feet from Renshu and notice him first.

As evening is now falling he makes camp by the stream. He sees four human figures approaching from the direction of the ruined town. As they draw closer he sees that they are hungry ghosts, rotting corpses that walk. They are armed with spears and advance to attack with terrible cries. When they are about 210 feet away he fires an arrow at one of them but misses. He puts another arrow to his bow.

Renshu destroys two hungry ghosts with his arrows. The two remaining hungry ghosts advance another 30 feet to be 60 feet from Renshu.

The two remaining hungry ghosts draw closer and one of them screeches “death to the Shou who destroyed our town!” These undead monsters must think that he is one of the Shou who sacked the ruined town he explored earlier. He fires another arrow but misses.

The two remaining hungry ghosts advance another 30 feet to be 30 feet from Renshu.

He fires another arrow and destroys another hungry ghost. The remaining hungry ghost closes the distance between them to attack with it’s spear. Renshu draws his sword and destroys it. He searches the now lifeless corpses but finds nothing.

Rations: 1

Hex 09.00: mountains

Orc Shou

The next day he travels north-east over the mountains. He searches for water and finds a spring as night is falling. He searches for a good place to make camp near the spring.

Eight orc Shou are 60 feet from Renshu. They are going to avenge a raid from a rival tribe of Shou but will have the usual hostility towards Renshu. They have the maximum normal encounter number. The orcs notice Renshu first but no so far in advance to be able to set up an ambush.

Eight Shou warriors, pale-skinned orcs of the mountains, emerge from nearby pine woods about 60 feet away and ready their spears and bows to attack.

Renshu kills four of the orcs and two flee. He tends his wounds using his salve.

Hit points: 19

One use of salve left

He searches the bodies of the orcs but finds nothing. He makes camp and eats the last of his rations.

Rations: 0

Hex 09.01: mountains

The next day he travels south over the mountains. As he is now out of rations he goes hunting but fails to obtain any food.

As Renshu has not eaten in a day he suffers a -1 penalty to all checks and a -2 penalty to hit rolls until he finds food.

He searches for water and finds a stream.

Hex 08.02: forested hills

The next day he travels south-west. The mountains slope down to forested hills. He hunts for food but fails to obtain any food.

A Feature is discovered

Cemetery

Type of Feature: structure and cemetery

Contents: trove type C1

He comes to an abandoned cemetery of overgrown graves, marked by semi-circular tombstones of the Imperial type. One of the graves shows signs of recent disturbance, and digging in it he finds a rotting sack containing 30 gold pieces and four gemstones: a carnelian, a red garnet, a turquoise gemstone, and a clear quartz gemstone.

Money: 32 gp, 1 sp and 3 cp

The carnelian is worth 40 gp.

The red garnet is worth 20 gp.

The turquoise gemstone is worth 10 gp.

The clear quartz gemstone is worth 60 gp.

He searches for water and finds a stream near the cemetery.

Hex 07.01: mountains

The next day he travels north-west and returns to the Altgrimmr Mountains. He hunts for food again and obtains three day’s worth of rations.

He searches for water and finds a spring where he makes camp.

Rations: 2

Hex 06.01: mountains

Tengu

Event: an Encounter traps you in a canyon.

He travels up a canyon which narrows until it comes to a dead end. He hears the sound of heavy wing beats and looks up to see a tengu descending to attack him. He cannot escape so he draws his sword.

Renshu kills the tengu and tends his wounds using the last of his salve.

Hit points: 13

He searches the tengu’s belt pouch and finds 10 gold pieces, a bronze anklet jewelled with red garnet, and a belly chain of silver and red coral.

Money: 42 gp, 1 sp and 3 cp

The anklet is worth 30 gp. The belly chain is worth 100 gp.

After making his way out of the canyon he searches for water and finds a stream.

Rations: 1

Hex 06.02: mountains

A Feature is discovered

Cave

Type of Feature: natural Feature and cave

Contents: signs of recent use

He comes to a cave in the side of a mountain. He tethers his horse to a tree and goes inside. The cave soon winds away from the entrance and becomes dark, so he lights a torch. He follows a tunnel to a cavern of stalactites, stalagmites and columns. He finds the remains of a campfire but nothing else, and beyond the cavern the tunnel quickly narrows until he cannot follow it. He leaves the cave.

He searches for water and finds a stream. He makes camp and eats the last of his rations.

Rations: 0

Hex 06.03: mountains

Flooded valley

Event: flooded way; lose a mount or pack beast

Recent heavy rains have flooded a valley with fast-flowing water. Renshu comes to a point where he must cross the valley. He makes it safely across but his horse is swept away along with his bow and his tent which were stored on his horse.

He searches for food but can only gather, not hunt, as he has lost his bow. He obtains one day’s supply of rations and refills his waterskin in a stream. He makes camp and eats all of the rations he found.

Rations: 0

Hex 07.02: forested hills

The next day he travels north-east. The mountains slope down to forested hills. He searches for food and water again. He finds a stream but fails to obtain food.

A house rule: Renshu can only obtain 1d4-1 lots of food if he only gathers instead of hunting and gathering even if he passes the check.

As Renshu has not eaten in a day he suffers a -1 penalty to all checks and a -2 penalty to hit rolls until he finds food.

Hex 08.03: forested hills

The next day he travels south-east over the hills. He searches for food and water again. He fails to obtain food but finds a spring.

Hex 07.03: forested hills

The next day he travels south-west over the hills. He searches for food and water again. He fails to obtain food but finds a stream.

Bugbear Shou

Three bugbear Shou are exploring the hills following a rumour of treasure. They are 100 feet from Renshu and are disinclined to fight. Renshu sees the bugbears far enough in advance to be able to avoid contact.

He sees three bugbear Shou with pale skin and green hair, armed with spears, about 100 feet away. The bugbears have not seen him yet and appear to be searching for something in the undergrowth of the forest. He avoids the bugbears and continues on his way.

A Feature is discovered

Sapphires on stream bed

Type of Feature: natural Feature and minerals

Contents: roll an Encounter

The sapphires have never been mined because they are within the territory of a tikbalang. The tikbalang is scouting the area for potential threats and is predacious and willing to take advantage of those weaker. It is 300 feet from Renshu. He sees the tikbalang far enough in advance to be able to avoid contact.

He follows the stream, travelling downstream through the hills. He comes to a part of the stream where there are blue sapphire stones on the stream bed. He soon discovers why these sapphires have not been mined; about 300 feet away he can see a monstrous figure moving through the forest, a humanoid demon with the head of a horse and elongated limbs. The tikbalang has not yet seen him and he avoids it, travelling away from the stream.

Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post

The next day he travels south-west and returns to Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post.

It is the wet season. What’s the weather like? Cloudless skies.

He buys two lots of rations for one gold piece and two silver pieces.

Money: 40 gp, 9 sp and 3 cp

He buys a bottle of cheap rice wine for two silver pieces, and pays Hasan al-Sakhawi four silver pieces to camp within the palisade. He has no tent but the weather is fine at present. He spends the remainder of the day resting at the trade post.

Money: 40 gp, 3 sp and 3 cp

Rations: 1

The next day he refills his waterskin at the well and then leaves the trade post, returning to Haicheng via Shanbao and Huaiji, where he stops for a mug of beer at the tavern.

Money: 40 gp, 3 sp and 1 cp

He reaches Haicheng in the evening and returns to The Bronze Horse to recuperate.

Money: 24 gp, 1 sp and 5 cp

Hit points: 19

Renshu receives one experience point for his adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plant Sorcerer – a solo Scarlet Heroes dungeon adventure

Haicheng region PNG image.png

This is a dungeon adventure run using the guidelines for Dungeons with Goals as detailed in the solo dungeon section of the Scarlet Heroes rulebook. In this case the goal of my player character Du Renshu (a third level fighter) is to find and defeat the Plant Sorceror who may be found in the dungeon. The basic idea for the adventure came from the Adventure Tags section of the main part of the Scarlet Heroes rulebook, specifically the Vicious Flora tag. The adventures suggested by these tags are intended for play sessions with one GM and one or more players, but they feature such good ideas for adventures that I wanted to use one for solo play.

I created two new monsters for the Minion and Elite encounters within the dungeon.

Wood Golem

Armour Class: 6

Hit Dice: 2

Move: 30′

Attacks: 2 fists +2

Damage: 1d6/1d6

Skill Bonus: +1

Morale: 12

Treasure: None

These humanoid creatures were magically animated by the Plant Sorcerer to serve as his guards. They are crude, man-sized figures of rough wood with vaguely human facial features and gnarled fists which they use as weapons.

Thorn Man

Armour Class: 5

Hit Dice: 3

Move: 30′

Attacks: 2 fists +3

Damage: 1d8/1d8

Skill bonus: +1

Morale: 12

Treasure: None

A thorn man is a more advanced form of wood golem, with a body covered in large, sharp thorns for improved armour and two fists studded with huge thorns which can be wielded like morning stars.

Adventure

Having left Haicheng, Renshu arrives at the village of Huaiji in the late afternoon. At the tavern he pays two silver pieces for a room, one silver piece for stabling for his horse and five copper pieces for a cheap meal.

Money: 28 gp and 3 sp

The next morning he pays five copper pieces for breakfast, refills his waterskin at the village well and then leaves Huaiji, heading north into jungle-clad hills.

Money: 28 gp, 2 sp and 5 cp

Hex 09.04

These hills were explored during a previous adventure, so I don’t check for Encounters, Events or Features.

Rations: 7

Hex 09.03

Yulao

The next day he travels further north through the hills. He is now in the foothills of the Altgrimmr Mountains and the jungle gives way to cooler forest.

Rations: 6

He comes to a strange place; a village built along the ridge of a hill appears to be covered in vines which crawl over the roofs and walls of the houses and the defensive timber palisade. The surrounding rice paddies are empty of farmers. He refills his waterskin at a nearby stream and follows the palisade to find the entrance to the village. Entering the village he sees that there is only one house nearby which is still inhabited and largely free of the vines. An elderly Imperial man is standing outside the house, chanting and gesturing. As Renshu approaches he stops and turns around. Hesitantly he introduces himself as Ding Peng, the sorcerer of this village which is named Yulao. Renshu introduces himself and Ding Peng invites him into his house to drink some rice wine and hear the tragic tale of the village.

Peng says that in the hills to the north of the village there was once a school of magic, the Academy of the Burning Scroll. The Academy fell into ruin after being taken over by the Plant Sorcerer, a powerful sorcerer whose true name, if he even has one, is unknown. The buildings of the Academy are now covered with vines like the houses of Yulao, and the ruins are guarded by the Plant Sorcerer’s servants who are men of living wood.

Not long ago the Plant Sorcerer was visiting Yulao when he saw Yang Ushi, the daughter of the village headman Yang Dawei. The Plant Sorcerer demanded that Yang Dawei give him Ushi as a concubine but he refused. Not long afterwards a villager claimed to have seen the Plant Sorcerer in the forest near Yulao, pointing a wooden wand in the direction of the village and chanting. Then the vines started to grow up around the village with unnatural speed; they quickly covered the houses and kept growing back no matter how often the villagers chopped them up with their axes. Yang Dawei took his daughter and went to live in Haicheng, and the other villagers soon followed him. Only Peng has remained in the village; his magic can keep the vines around his own house at bay but he is old and fears that he cannot resist them forever. Were someone to defeat the Plant Sorcerer in his lair and take his wand, Peng is sure that he could use the wand to rid Yulao of the vines.

Renshu says that he will attempt to defeat the Plant Sorcerer and retrieve the wand for Peng. He stays the night in Peng’s house and leaves Yulao early the next morning, travelling north into the hills and following the route described by Peng as leading to the Academy of the Burning Scroll.

Hex 09.03

The Academy of the Burning Scroll

Rations: 5

In the early afternoon he comes to the ruins of the Academy. As described by Peng they are overgrown with the same thick vines which cover Yulao. He tethers his horse to a tree near the ruins.

SAM_1226

Dungeon locations: 16

Threat: 3

A 1d20 will be rolled every time Renshu enters a new room in the ruins, with a cumulative +1 added after room 8 has been explored. On a roll of 20, the Plant Sorcerer is present in the room and is carrying the ‘Wand of the Vines.’ If the last room has been explored without the Plant Sorcerer being encountered, the d20 will be rolled again; on a 1-10 the Plant Sorcerer is not in the ruins from some reason determined by the oracles. On a 11-20 the Plant Sorcerer is present in the last room.

Occult library

Feature: a dangerous intruder or beast who has entered the site.

He sees a low, narrow gap in the vines, beyond which is a doorway. Squeezing through he finds himself in the abandoned library of the Academy. The broken remains of the wooden bookshelves are visible beneath the vines which come in through the windows and cover the walls. A few Imperial-style books made of bamboo slats rot on the shelves and on the floor.

A giant serpent glides out of the shadows to attack Renshu.

The giant serpent is poisonous rather than a constrictor.

During the combat the giant serpent bites Renshu and he fails the saving throw of 14. He must Defy Death (3d4) or die. He takes 1 point of damage and the attempt is successful.

Hit points: 17

Renshu kills the serpent and tends his wound.

Hit points: 19

First turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

He leaves the library by a door in the northeast corner.

Crafter’s workroom

Encounter: 6 hit dice worth of Minions – three wood golems.

He enters a room which served as a crafter’s workroom when the Academy was still in use. Dim light filters in through the windows which are clogged with vines. There are two worktables in the room, covered with the tools of the book crafter’s trade which are now coated with dust.

Three man-sized figures lurch towards Renshu across the space between the tables. They are constructed of rough wood and have vaguely human faces with hollows for eyes and mouths. He remembers that Peng said that the Plant Sorcerer was guarded by men of living wood. As the wood golems advance with their fists raised he draws his sword.

Renshu destroys the three golems. He heads to a door in the west wall.

Second turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Dining hall

The Plant Sorcerer is present in the room.

The Plant Sorcerer has Sorcerer statistics (as in the solo urban adventure section of Scarlet Heroes). He can turn his skin to bark for an AC of 5 for the duration of combat, requiring one combat round to do so. He wields a +2 magical sword for 1d4+2 damage. He has a diwata’s ability to cause a nearby vine to attack, the vine having an attack bonus of +3 and 1d10 damage. When causing a vine to attack he cannot make another attack in the same round.

Encounter: 5 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites and 3 hit dice worth of guard beasts or allies – one wood golem, one thorn man and one kampfult.

The kampfult is a monster from Monster Manual II (1st Edition). This kampfult has 3 HD and an attack bonus of +3. It’s appendages do a constricting damage of 1d10. It will surprise Renshu on a roll of 1-3 on a 1d6. The kampfult has a Morale of 8.

He enters a large room which served as the dining hall of the Academy. The decaying remains of three long tables with benches on either side are spaced around the room. The walls are thick with huge vines which come down from the windows and advance towards the centre of the hall. A man dressed in green and brown robes stands in the middle of the room. His skin and hair has a greenish-brown tinge and he cannot be identified as coming from any of the known peoples of Ektau. He is accompanied by an ordinary wood golem and another wood golem whose body is studded with large thorns, with particularly wicked thorns protruding from the monster’s fists.

The kampfult surprises Renshu.

As he is approaching the Plant Sorcerer and his guards, six vine-like appendages emerge from a nearby mass of vines to ensnare him. He sees that they are attached to a monster that resembles part of an upright tree trunk that was disguised amongst the vines. He manages to get well clear of most of the appendages but one attempts to constrict him.

The difficulty of the saving throw is 12. Renshu fails the saving throw.

Renshu is caught within the appendage and feels it slowly crush him.

Renshu will be automatically hit once per round until the kampfult is dead. He can only use his dagger and has an attack bonus of only +1 when striking at the main body of the kampfult. He has an AC of 6 while trapped. The kampfult deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 18

Renshu strikes with his dagger at the main body of the kampfult, wounding it.

The kampfult has 2 HD.

He sees that the Plant Sorcerer’s skin has turned to bark. The golems have now reached him, and attack while he is still caught within the grasp of the kampfult.

The wood golem deals three points of damage. The thorn man fails to wound him. The kampfult fails to wound him.

Renshu strikes again at the kampfult with his dagger but fails to wound it. The Plant Sorcerer causes a nearby vine to rise up and strike at Renshu.

The vine fails to wound Renshu. The wood golem deals 1 point of damage. The thorn man deals 1 point of damage. The kampfult deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 15

Renshu strikes again at the kampfult and wounds it.

The kampfult has 1 HD.

The vine fails to wound Renshu. The wood golem deals 1 point of damage. The wood golem deals 3 points of damage. The kampfult deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 10

Renshu strikes again at the kampfult and kills it. It’s appendage falls limp and he picks up his sword to face the golems and the Plant Sorcerer. The Plant Sorcerer causes the vine to strike at Renshu again.

The vine fails to wound Renshu. The wood golem deals 1 point of damage. The thorn man deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 8

Renshu destroys the wood golem.

The vine fails to wound Renshu. The thorn man deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 7

Renshu wounds the thorn man.

The thorn man has 2 HD.

The Plant Sorcerer now attacks with his sword, a gleaming magical blade.

The Plant Sorcerer fails to wound Renshu. The thorn man deals 1 point of damage.

Hit points: 6

Renshu destroys the thorn man. The Plant Sorcerer fails to wound him and Renshu kills him. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 8

Third turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

He takes the Plant Sorcerer’s magical sword and leaves his own sword behind. The sword has a hilt of gold and a grip of green enamelwork. The hilt and the blade are inscribed with High Imperial characters that he cannot read, but which are no doubt magical.

The sword is +2.

He searches the Plant Sorcerer’s robes and finds a small wooden wand in a pocket, less than the length of his forearm and inscribed in High Imperial characters. He puts the wand in his backpack. The Plant Sorcerer is wearing a gold finger ring set with a jet gemstone that he takes.

The ring is worth 1,000 gp.

Fourth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Although mindful of his weakened condition, Renshu decides to explore the ruins further before returning to Yulao with the wand that Peng seeks. He leaves the dining hall by a door in the north wall.

Storeroom

Hidden treasure: M2 worth of room contents – silver mirror worth 600 gp.

There are no windows in the room beyond so he lights a torch. The room is a disused storeroom, free from vines but containing nothing of value at first glance. There are benches stacked against one wall, jugs of lamp oil and rotting crates containing tools, torches, rope and similar items.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 13. Renshu fails the check.

He finds nothing of value in the room so he heads to a door in the southeast corner.

Fifth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

The door leads back to the book crafter’s workroom, so he returns to the storeroom and leaves by another door in the northwest corner.

Apprentice rooms

Encounter: 8 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – one wood golem and two thorn men.

Hidden treasure: one tenth of the C-type trove appropriate to the place (C6 – Powerful Wizard’s Lair).

Hazard: triggered danger. If Encounter there, save or 3d6 damage.

He enters a corridor with five doors in each wall, evidently leading to small rooms or cells of some kind. At the end of the corridor stands a wood golem in front of a door. When it sees Renshu it pulls down a lever on the wall, triggering a fusillade of darts which shoot down the corridor.

The difficulty of the saving throw is 15. Renshu succeeds on the saving throw.

Renshu manages to avoid the darts. The wood golem advances down the corridor towards him. He destroys the wood golem and investigates the rooms leading off the corridor.

Each room features only the decaying remains of a bed and a small window through which vines are creeping. The exception is the room to the left of the door at the end of the corridor, where there are two thorn men on guard.

Renshu destroys both thorn men. He tends his wound.

Hit points: 8

Sixth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: 7 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – one thorn man and two wood golems.

A thorn man and two wood golems enter the corridor and trap Renshu in the room.

Renshu destroys the golems. He searches the room.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 14. Renshu fails the check.

Seventh turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: 9 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – one thorn man and three wood golems. 

He finds nothing of value in the room. Another thorn man and three more wood golems enter the room.

Renshu destroys the golems and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 8

Eighth turn elapsed

He leaves the room and takes the door at the end of the corridor.

Servants’ chambers

Encounter: 9 hit dice worth of Minions and Elites and 3 hit dice worth of guard beasts or allies – one thorn man, three wood golems and one kampfult.

The kampfult will surprise Renshu on a roll of 1-3 on a 1d6.

He enters another corridor leading north, this one having six doors or doorways in each wall. Here the vines have been more destructive and have broken down doors and entered the corridor. Looking into the rooms he can see that they were built for servants, being even smaller than the rooms for the apprentices. The rooms contain only the remains of crude beds, often barely visible beneath the vines which choke the windows.

A thorn man and three wood golems lurch down the corridor towards him. As he advances to attack he is surprised by another kampfult that was lurking disguised in the corridor. He is grasped by two of the monster’s six appendages.

Renshu will be automatically hit twice per round until the kampfult is dead. He can only use his dagger and has no attack bonus when striking at the main body of the kampfult. He has an AC of 7 while trapped. The kampfult wounds Renshu for 2 points of damage.

Hit points: 6

Renshu wounds the kampfult with his dagger.

The kampfult has 2 HD.

The golems reach him and attack.

Renshu is left for dead with 1 hit point.

When Renshu revives he finds himself in the forest outside the ruins. His horse is nearby. Before him stands a beautiful, naked woman with long black hair, who gleams with a strange light. She is a diwata or forest spirit. She tells him that she rescued him from the Plant Sorcerer’s servants. It was she who gave the Plant Sorcerer his powers. She was angry with the sorcerers of the Academy of the Burning Scroll, and with the villagers of Yulao, because they had cut down her trees and built in her forest. She encouraged the Plant Sorcerer to use his wand to cover the Academy with vines. But she felt betrayed by the Plant Sorcerer when he used his wand against the people of Yulao because the headman would not give him his daughter. She is not sorry that the Plant Sorcerer is dead, and she has destroyed his wand so that it may never be used again.

The diwata disappears into the forest. Renshu finds that he has all of his belongings except the wand. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 3

He returns to Yulao and tells Peng what happened. Peng says that he will accompany Renshu back to Haicheng. Renshu gives him the Plant Sorcerer’s ring so that he can sell it in Haicheng and at least have a little money with which to support himself. He stays the night in Peng’s house and they leave for Haicheng the next morning. Renshu shares his rations with Peng on the return journey and they stay at the tavern in Huaiji.

Hit points: 6

Rations: 1

Money: 27 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

They return to Haicheng where Renshu recuperates for three days at The Bronze Horse inn.

Hit points: 19

Money: 10 gp, 9 sp and 5 cp

Renshu receives one experience point for his adventure.