The Idol of Fa Chia

Haicheng region old PNG image

One hex = six miles

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 mountains 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.