The Ruined Mage School

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Palace of Sketh – a solo Scarlet Heroes dungeon adventure

SAM_1218.JPG

In the previous adventure my player character Du Renshu discovered the ruined lizardfolk town of Sketh in the Altgrimmr Mountains. He was attacked by a jiangshi and nearly killed, but the jiangshi was destroyed by a lizardman ghost who told Renshu to rid Sketh of the necromancers who have made the ruins their lair. After returning to the city of Haicheng to recuperate, Renshu has travelled back to Sketh to explore the ruins and find the necromancers.

Locations: 13

Inhabitants: necromancers

Threat: 2

He reaches Sketh in the late afternoon. Exploring the ruins he comes to a palace built of the glowing red mud.

Courtyard

Going through an archway he enters an empty courtyard surrounded by mud walls. The architecture of the palace is irregular with walls twisting this way and that. Unlike the other buildings in Sketh the palace has windows at ground level, which are oval or circular like the windows high up in the walls of the other buildings. He heads to another archway in the northeast corner.

First turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Storeroom

Encounter: five hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – three skeletons and one zombie.

The undead are armed as follows (1d2):

  1. Light spear for 1d6 damage
  2. Sword for 1d8 damage

All of the undead are armed with swords.

Treasure: M2 worth of room contents – carved ebony cabinet worth 700 gp.

He enters a largely disused storeroom where the remains of broken jugs are piled in one corner. In another corner stands a cabinet of carved ebony. Three skeletons and one zombie, all armed with swords, stand guard in the room. The zombie is drinking from a bottle of wine but he sets it down on the cabinet and joins the skeletons as they advance to attack Renshu.

Renshu destroys all of the undead. He tends his wound.

Hit points: 14

He examines the ebony cabinet which is carved with images of orchids and dragons. It is of course too large and cumbersome to take with him.

Are the drawers of the cabinet locked? Yes.

He leaves the room by an archway in the north wall.

Second turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Scullery

Hidden treasure: trove M1 in room contents – chair of carved hardwood worth 30 gp.

He enters a scullery where there is a row of three ancient sinks set against the outside wall, and shelves cut into the mud walls. Some of the items stored on the shelves are plates, pots and pans of recent manufacture which are no doubt used by the necromancers. There are wooden laundry tubs stacked in one corner and wet grey robes hanging on a rope stretched across two windows.

The difficulty of the check to locate the hidden treasure is 11. Renshu fails the check.

He finds nothing of interest in the room so he leaves by an archway in the southeast corner.

Third turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Garden

Feature: a piece of artwork – an ancient lizardfolk scroll.

He enters a courtyard garden. Evening is now falling over the valley. The garden has been maintained by the necromancers, herbs and vegetables having been planted here.

In one corner he finds a crumpled scroll on the ground. The scroll is inscribed with the sinuous lizardfolk script and includes a coloured illustration depicting lizardfolk defending Sketh from a horde of orc Shou. The Shou are attacking the stone defensive wall of the town, and a Shou witch-priestess is shooting bolts of witchfire at the gate. Apparently the Shou sacked the town and left it in ruins, which explains why many of the statues were cast down and broken. After the Shou left or were driven out by another Shou tribe the ruins were settled by the necromancers. He puts the scroll in his backpack. He heads to an archway in the south wall.

Fourth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: four hit dice worth of Minions and Civilians – two skeletons and two servants.

The skeletons are armed as follows:

  1. Light spear for 1d6 damage
  2. Sword for 1d8 damage

Both skeletons are armed with swords.

The servants have Vermin statistics and are armed with daggers (1d4 damage).

Two skeletons armed with swords and two servants emerge from the archway. The skeletons attack followed by the servants.

Renshu destroys both skeletons. One of the servants stabs him with his dagger but Renshu then kills him. The other servant sheaths his dagger and pleads for mercy, saying that he can point out a trap in a room of the palace. The servant is an Eirengarder named Hrolf. Renshu agrees to Hrolf’s proposal. He tends the wound he received from the dead servant.

Hit points: 14

Fifth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

It is now dark so Renshu lights a torch and follows Hrolf through the archway.

Pantry

They enter a room used as a pantry by the necromancers. There are sacks of rice and casks of preserved meat stacked against one wall, and strings of dried peppers and garlic hanging on the wall above. They head to an archway in the west wall.

Sixth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: nine hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – five skeletons and two ghoul slaves.

Two undead humans with sharp teeth and talons emerge from the darkness – ghoul slaves of the necromancers. They are accompanied by five skeletons. Four of the skeletons are armed with swords and one is armed with a spear. As the undead advance to attack Renshu, Hrolf flees past them into the palace.

Renshu destroys the undead and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 13

Seventh turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: eight hit dice worth of Minions and Elites – six skeletons and a ghoul slave.

No sooner has he finished tending his wounds then another ghoul slave and six skeletons enter the pantry. Five of the skeletons are armed with spears and one is armed with a sword.

After destroying this second wave of undead he tends his wounds again.

Hit points: 12

Eighth turn elapsed

He enters the archway.

Stairwell

Hidden treasure: trove M1 in room contents – bronze mirror worth 40 gp.

Beyond the archway a ramp curves up into darkness. It was clearly built for lizardfolk with serpentine hindquarters for whom ordinary stairs would have been inconvenient. He ascends the ramp to the upper level of the palace.

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

Ninth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

SAM_1217

Salon

Treasure: trove M1 in room contents – copper lamp worth 40 gp.

Hazard: lethal trap. Save or perish.

He emerges from the stairwell into a salon. There are chairs arranged around a table and unlit braziers standing in the corners of the room. On the table stands a copper lamp.

When he walks over to the table he feels part of the floor give way beneath his foot and hears the crunch of breaking glass. Poisonous gas billows up from the floor around him.

The difficulty of the saving throw is 14.

Renshu manages to avoid breathing in the gas. He grabs the lamp from off the table and heads to an archway in the north wall.

Tenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Library

He enters a library with shelves cut out of the mud walls. On the shelves there are clay tablets inscribed with the lizardfolk script, along with the necromancers’ books which are tomes bound in heavy leather or old-fashioned Imperial-style books made of thin bamboo slats tied with silk.

Eleventh turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: four hit dice worth of Minions or Civilians – two skeletons and two servants.

He lights a new torch and then heads to an archway in the northwest corner. Hrolf enters the room from the archway accompanied by another servant and two skeletons armed with swords.

Renshu destroys both skeletons and kills Hrolf and the other servant. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 11

Twelfth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Study

Going through the archway he enters a study where a necromancer has set up a desk and a chair. Tomes and scrolls with illustrations of gruesome necromantic research are scattered over the desk. He heads to an archway in the east wall.

Thirteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Master bedroom

Treasure: trove M1 in room contents – carved hardwood table worth 40 gp.

He enters a bedroom obviously used by a necromancer; a large bed is against one wall and a fine table of carved hardwood stands next to the bed. The table is obviously valuable but would be too awkward to take with him. An archway in the south wall leads back to the library, so he heads to another archway in the southeast corner.

Fourteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Shrine

Hidden treasure: trove M1 in room contents – bronze lamp worth 50 gp.

He enters an ancient shrine where a stone statue of a lizardfolk deity, 10 feet tall and with a human torso and serpentine hindquarters, stands behind a stone altar.

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

An archway in the west wall leads back to the library, so he heads to another archway in the south wall.

Fifteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

Bathing room

He enters a narrow room dominated by a large wooden bathing tub. A circular window in the west wall overlooks the courtyard garden, illuminated in the moonlight below. He heads to an archway in the south wall.

Sixteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: six hit dice worth of Minions and Elites and two hit dice worth of allies – four skeletons, one ghoul slave and a zombie.

A ghoul slave enters the bathing room, accompanied by four skeletons and a zombie wielding a spear. Three of the skeletons wield swords and the other wields a spear.

Renshu destroys the undead and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 7

Seventeenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: six hit dice worth of Minions or Civilians

He lights a new torch. Six more skeletons enter the room. Three are armed with swords and three are armed with spears.

Renshu destroys the skeletons and tends his wounds.

Hit points: 7

Eighteenth turn elapsed

Solar

Encounter: four hit dice worth of Minions and Elites and two hit dice worth of allies – two skeletons, one ghoul slave and a zombie.

Going through the archway he enters the last room of the palace. There are rows of three large round windows along the south and east walls; the room was used as a solar by the lizardfolk. Beyond the windows he can see the moonlit ruins of Sketh and the valley beyond.

There are four undead in the room; a skeleton armed with a spear, another skeleton armed with a sword, a zombie armed with a sword and a ghoul slave. They advance to attack.

Renshu destroys the undead. He searches the room but finds nothing except a half-eaten rice cake and a bottle of cheap wine that was the zombie’s last meal.

Nineteenth turn elapsed

Check for wandering inhabitants: none

He leaves the palace. He returns to the courtyard and the ruins of Sketh beyond without encountering any more inhabitants of the palace. No doubt the necromancers themselves are elsewhere in the ruins.

Return to Haicheng

He camps near Sketh and then returns to Haicheng via Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post, the fort of Shanbao, and the village of Huaiji, where he stays in the tavern.

Money: 46 gp, 3 sp and 1 cp

Rations: 2

In Haicheng he recuperates for two days at The Bronze Horse inn.

Money: 31 gp, 1 sp and 5 cp

Renshu receives one experience point for his adventure. He is now a 3rd level fighter. He has 19 maximum hit points and an attack bonus of +3. His “Strong Constitution” trait has increased by 1 point to 3 points.

On the morning following his second day of recuperation he pays five copper pieces for breakfast and then leaves The Bronze Horse.

Money: 31 gp and 1 sp

At the shop of the fence Jen Mhairi he sells the copper lamp that he took from the palace for five gold pieces. The sage Chen Hakim buys the scroll that he found in the garden of the palace for 50 gold pieces.

Money: 86 gp and 1 sp

At Takahashi Takaharu’s armoury he sells his chain hauberk for 35 gold pieces and buys banded armour for 90 gold pieces.

Money: 31 gp and 1 sp

At Maysun al-Qattan’s chandlery he buys eight lots of rations.

Money: 28 gp and 7 sp

He goes to The Red Griffon tavern where he buys a cheap meal. Then he refills his waterskin at a well and, taking his horse, leaves Haicheng by the gate leading to the road that leads north along the west bank of the Lanbaoshi River to Huaiji.

Money: 28 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp

Haicheng region PNG image

 

 

 

 

The Ruins of Sketh – a solo Scarlet Heroes wilderness adventure

Haicheng region PNG image

This is another condensed version of a wilderness adventure played using the solo gaming guidelines of the Scarlet Heroes roleplaying game from Sine Nomine Publishing.

Adventure

Having left the village of Enping in the wilderness my player character, a second level fighter named Du Renshu, returns to the city of Haicheng. After buying equipment he leaves Haicheng and travels north through the village of Huaiji to the fort of Shanbao in the hills.

Renshu has the following traits:

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

Shanbao

Built at the top of a hill, Shanbao is a square stone tower surrounded by a wooden palisade. Lower down on the slopes there are rice paddies and farm houses. He ascends the hill to a gate in the palisade, where he is met by a soldier. Renshu asks if the commander has any work for an adventurer. The soldier summons another soldier who goes into the tower.

Does the commander have any work? I consult the oracles. No, but… an adjustment to the physical environment.

The second soldier returns to say that the frontier is peaceful at present and there is no work for Renshu. It starts to rain very heavily. Renshu does not want to set up camp in such a downpour so he offers each soldier a gold piece in order to enter the palisade and stay in the stables for the night. The soldiers pocket the coins and Renshu goes to the stables where he stables his horse and climbs up a ladder to the loft, where he stays the night.

Money: 20 gp, 2 sp and 9 cp

The next day he refills his waterskin at a well and then leaves Shanbao, travelling north-east into jungle hills.

Hex 09.04

Six goblin Shou are patrolling the hills for intruders in their territory, specifically goblin Shou from a rival tribe. They will parley or ignore Renshu if at all possible. Five of them have 2 HD instead of 1 HD. They are 350 feet from Renshu and notice him first, but not so far in advance as to be able to avoid contact.

Renshu sees six green-skinned goblin Shou advancing through the jungle in his direction. They have seen him but do not appear to be interested in fighting; instead they appear to be looking for others, perhaps goblins from a rival tribe, and they move up the hillside away from him.

Hex 08.04

The next day he travels north-west. The jungle hills give way to forested hills.

Event: impassable mud; no move for three days.

It rains heavily and the valley he is traveling along turns to an expanse of impassable mud. Neither he nor his horse can cross it so he camps for three days until the mud has dried.

Not able to check for Features

After the mud has dried he searches the hills for ruins or other features.

Hex 07.04: forest hills

Hex 06.04: forest hills

A Feature is discovered

Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post

Type of Feature: structure and trade post

In the foothills of the Altgrimmr Mountains he comes to a timber palisade built at the top of a hill. A guard at the gate informs him that this is the trade post of the Eshkanti merchant Hasan al-Sakhawi. He enters the trade post which consists of a ramshackle collection of tents and rough timber shops, and a guards’ barracks just inside the gate. There are dwarves from the Altgrimmr Mountains trading iron tools and weapons for rice, and Gadaal mountain folk trading gemstones for goods from Haicheng. Renshu buys eight lots of rations and a bottle of cheap rice wine. He pays six silver pieces to Hasan al-Sakhawi to stable his horse and camp within the palisade.

Money: 14 gp, 6 sp and 9 cp

Rations: 10

The next morning he refills his waterskin at a well and then leaves the trade post, travelling south-east into the Altgrimmr Mountains.

Hex 05.04: mountains

A Feature is discovered

Ruined lizardfolk town

Type of Feature: dungeon

Dungeon type: habitation (prehuman habitation)

Dungeon

Locations: 13

Inhabitants: necromancers

Threat: 2

Feature details

Feature builder: lizardfolk

Reason to build: occult purpose

Great past event: outside conquest

Current state: surprisingly well-kept

Walls: mortared stone

Towers: strange substance

Wall adornments: statue niches

Other features: no ground windows

Favoured colours: hot red hues

He travels up a forested valley in the mountains. As evening approaches he comes to a ruined defensive wall of mortared stone, beyond which stand towers which appear to built of dried red mud. The mud glows faintly as if it were magical.

Going through a ruined gateway in the wall he finds himself in an abandoned town where all of the buildings appear to be constructed of the same strange mud. A stream runs through the ruins and ground is quite swampy. None of the buildings have windows at ground level, and the doorways are high and narrow arches. Above ground level there are oval and circular windows. The exterior walls of the buildings have niches cut into them at ground level which contain statues of lizardfolk – walking snakes with arms or legs or beings with a human torso and serpentine hindquarters. The statues are made of stone and some have fallen from the niches and are broken on the ground nearby, but all are coated with the glowing red mud. Although seemingly devoid of life the ruins are quite well-kept as if they have been inhabited recently and are largely clear of vegetation from the surrounding forest. As night falls he leaves the ruins and sets up camp nearby, intending to explore the ruins the next day.

That night while Renshu is setting up camp a jiangshi is traveling down the valley 90 feet away. The jiangshi has the appearance of a beautiful but stiff-limbed woman and will attack Renshu. The jiangshi has 7 HD. Renshu notices the jiangshi first but not so far in advance as to be able to avoid contact.

As Renshu is setting up camp he sees a beautiful young Imperial woman walking through the trees nearby, illuminated in the moonlight. She is wearing ragged clothes and moves stiffly. The woman turns to look at him, and then leaps 40 feet through the air and lands about 50 feet from him. She is a jiangshi, a leaping vampire. He shoots an arrow at her but misses. The jiangshi leaps another 40 feet and is now 10 feet from him. He draws his sword and attacks.

The jiangshi claws and bites Renshu, inflicting 2 points of damage and one level of energy drain on him. He is now a first level fighter with 9 maximum hit points and an attack bonus of +2. Renshu wounds the jiangshi and reduces it to 5 HD. The jiangshi claws and bites Renshu again, inflicting 2 more points of damage and another level of energy drain on him. He is reduced to 0 level and must Defy Death (2d4) or perish. He takes 1 point of damage and the attempt is successful.

Hit points: 6

The jiangshi bites Renshu a second time and coldness fills his body. He falls to the ground and wonders if he will rise as a jiangshi himself. He sees the glowing red ghost of a lizardman emerge from the ruined town and move with unnatural speed towards the jiangshi. The lizardman ghost destroys the jiangshi with a fireball and then purifies Renshu’s body with these magical flames. As he is losing consciousness he can hear the lizardman ghost speaking to him telepathically in his hissing voice, telling him to return to the mountains after he has rested and to purge the ancient lizardfolk town of Sketh of the necromancers who now infest it.

When he revives it is day. He returns to Haicheng via Hasan al-Sakhawi’s trade post, Shanbao and Huaiji. He recuperates for four days at The Bronze Horse inn. Then he withdraws some of the gold pieces he has stored in the vault of the goldsmith Komatsu Quan and buys more rations, before returning to Sketh to explore the ruins further.

Renshu has overcome the jiangshi’s energy drain and is once again a second level fighter with 14 maximum hit points and an attack bonus of +2.

Money: 48 gp, 7 sp and 1 cp

 

 

The Smugglers of Enping – a solo Scarlet Heroes urban adventure

Enping

This is an urban adventure played using the solo gaming guidelines of the Scarlet Heroes role playing game from Sine Nomine Publishing.

In the previous adventure The City of Glass my player character, a second level fighter named Du Renshu, arrived in the village of Enping. The tavernkeeper Hilt al-Kalbi told him that Enping had been founded by escaped slaves from Tien Lung, and that the villagers distrusted outsiders.

Renshu has the following traits:

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

In the City of Glass Renshu obtained a hoard of 60 gold pieces, half of which were ancient coins and enchanted so as to make their possessor exhausted: Renshu has a -1 penalty to all checks and a -2 penalty to hit rolls while he still possesses the enchanted coins. After each check or combat, Renshu can make a Wisdom check of 14 to realise that the coins should be discarded.

The adventure will take place at the following locations within the village:

  1. Cemetery
  2. Headman’s house
  3. Herbalist’s house
  4. Shrine of Kega
  5. Tavern
  6. Village square
  7. Villager’s house
  8. Villager’s house
  9. Villager’s house
  10. Villager’s house

I will roll a d10 or just pick a Location that is appropriate.

Enping

The next morning Renshu wakes late and pays 10 copper pieces for breakfast, and five silver pieces for stabling for his horse and a room for the day. He leaves the tavern to take a stroll in the village square.

Money: 66 gp, 11 sp and 15 cp

The village seems peaceful enough as he passes women pounding rice in pots outside their houses.

Threat: 2

Renshu: 0 Victory Points

Opponents: 0 Victory Points

Enping: 0 Heat

Plot: an Antagonist seeks the assassination of a Target

Renshu is passing a house when he sees a man beckoning him inside. He goes inside the house and meets the villager, a man of mixed Imperial and Eshkanti descent named Fang Zayd, and his wife who is named Yun.

Zayd tells him to leave the village as soon as he can as he is in great danger. There is a smuggling ring active in the village who sell weapons to the Bone Spear orc Shou of the region. Not long ago he saw a wagon leave the village one evening, driven by two men with their faces covered. Curious, he followed the wagon which took the track south into the swamp. He thought that the wagon was going to The Silver Scabbard inn but it stopped in the swamp and one of the men blew on the horn. Zayd hid in the undergrowth and saw Bone Spear orcs approach the wagon. The orcs were handed spears and axes from the back of the wagon. In return they handed the men small items that looked like gourds before the wagon returned to the village. Zayd believes that the orcs have used the metal weapons that they have obtained from the smugglers to sack the village of Shanwei on the coast. If the Bone Spear become strong enough with their new weapons they may even mount a full-scale invasion of Haicheng Province.

Zayd told another villager named Ao Shen about what he had seen. He suggested that he and Shen inform the commanding officer at the fort of Xibao. But he believes that Shen betrayed him to the smugglers; last night he was attacked in his house by an unknown smuggler whose face was covered. The man tried to kill him with a short sword but Zayd wounded him with his spear and he fled. This morning he overheard smugglers outside his house talking about getting rid of the stranger staying at the tavern if he stays for too long in the village.

Renshu says that he will not leave but will stay in the village and help Zayd. He asks for directions to Ao Shen’s house.

Investigation scene: Ao Shen’s house

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

He goes to Ao Shen’s house where he finds Shen eating with his family. He tries not to threaten the man too much but tells him what happened to Zayd and advises him to be cooperative.

The difficulty of the check to persuade Shen to talk is 10. Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Shen tells him that he won’t talk, and that he is a respected member of the village so if Renshu uses violence against him then he will have the whole village to deal with.

Renshu: 0 Victory Points

Opponents: 1 Victory Point

Enping: 1 Heat

Renshu leaves Shen’s house and returns to the tavern.

Investigation scene: village square

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

At the tavern he buys a cheap meal for 10 copper pieces.

Money: 66 gp, 11 sp and 5 cp

After eating he goes to sit on a bench outside the tavern and spends the rest of the day staking out the village square.

It is the wet season. What’s the weather like? A concealing downpour. This means that there is a -1 penalty to the check of 10 to notice anything suspicious.

It starts to rain heavily but Renshu doesn’t leave the bench which is sheltered under the eaves of the tavern.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

He doesn’t notice anything suspicious.

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Enping: 1 Heat

When night falls he goes back inside the tavern and pays one silver piece for a cheap meal.

Money: 66 gp, 10 sp and 5 cp

Conflict scene: tavern

Discredit or frame an Actor ally of the foe.

The next morning he pays one silver piece for breakfast and five silver pieces for stabling for his horse and a room for the day.

Money: 66 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

An important-looking man enters the tavern. He is better dressed than most of the villagers Renshu has seen so far, wearing a fine blue tunic and trousers. He sits down at a table with some other men. Renshu quietly asks Hilt al-Kalbi who he is and Hilt replies that he is the village headman Diao Mitsuru.

Renshu listens to the conversation Mitsuru is having with the other men. They are discussing the smuggling operation and make little attempt to keep their information secret, although Renshu does not learn anything about the attack on Zayd.

Mitsuru and the other men stop talking. A sergeant and some soldiers from the fort of Xibao enter the tavern and Renshu sees an opportunity to discredit Mitsuru. He walks over to the table where the headman is sitting and tells him that Fang Zayd knows about the smuggling of weapons to the Shou, and that an attempt was made on his life in order to silence him.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Mitsuru laughs and tells the officer from Xibao that Renshu is a vagabond talking nonsense. Renshu leaves the tavern.

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 4 Victory points

Enping: 2 Heat

Investigation scene: headman’s house

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

Renshu goes to the headman’s house, the largest house in the village. Looking around him, he sees that no-one is around in the village; most of the villagers are out in the rice paddies. He tries to sneak into the house.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Four guards wielding knives and clubs advance down the entry hall to attack. Just as the men are closing in he sees Diao Mitsuru enter a room at the end of the hall and lock the door behind him. Renshu draws his sword.

The guards have Rabble statistics.

Renshu kills all of the guards and tends his wound.

Hit points: 14

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Enping: 4 Heat

Conflict scene: tavern

Intimidate or put social pressure on an associate of the foe.

Returning to the tavern, Renshu pays one silver piece for a cheap meal.

Money: 66 gp, 4 sp and 5 cp

He sees one of the smugglers who was talking to Diao Mitsuru drinking alone at a table. He is a Kueh man named Yoshi. Renshu walks over to his table and, resting his hand on his sword hilt, tells him to lay off Fang Zayd.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Enping: 4 Heat

Yoshi laughs and tells Renshu that he doesn’t scare him. He saunters out of the tavern and Renshu follows him at a distance.

Investigation scene: cemetery

Tail an Actor who might have a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.

Peering from behind a house he sees Yoshi walk through the village cemetery. On the other side of the cemetery Yoshi disappears into a bamboo grove. Renshu follows him carefully.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Entering the grove he is confronted by five men wearing leather armour and equipped with shields and spears – evidently smugglers of high rank. Yoshi is nowhere to be seen and probably disappeared into a nearby house. Renshu draws his sword.

The smugglers have Soldier statistics.

Renshu kills all of the smugglers without sustaining a wound. He finds nothing on their corpses.

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 7 Victory points

Enping: 6 Heat

Renshu succeeds on the Wisdom check to discard the enchanted coins.

It occurs to Renshu that his tiredness of recent days only took hold after he had taken the ancient coins from the City of Glass. He realises that they must have had an enchantment put on them to exhaust their possessor. Returning to his room at the tavern, he separates the ancient coins from the ordinary koku gold pieces. He takes the ancient coins out into the jungle near Enping and buries them, marking the spot with a pile of stones in case he finds some use for the coins. It is now getting dark so he returns to the tavern and pays one silver piece for a cheap meal before going to bed.

Money: 36 gp, 3 sp and 5 cp

Conflict scene: Heng’s house

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

The next morning he pays six silver pieces for breakfast, stabling for his horse and a room for the day.

Money: 35 gp, 7 sp and 5 cp

In the tavern he is approached by a villager named Heng, who whispers that he is a friend of Fang Zayd who is working to bring down the smuggling ring. He says that Zayd and some other villagers are waiting for Renshu in his house, and will help him.

Renshu follows Heng to his house. Once he is inside he finds himself surrounded by five smugglers armed with spears. He draws his sword.

The smugglers have Soldier statistics.

Renshu kills four of the smugglers and one flees. He tends his wounds. He finds nothing on the corpses.

Hit points: 9

Renshu: 1 Victory point

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Enping: 8 Heat

Has Heng fled the house? No.

He finds Heng hiding with his family in another room of the house.

Is Heng a smuggler? No, but… there is a twist to the relationship between the people in the situation. Oracular adjective: hidden connection. Heng’s wife is secretly involved in the smuggling ring. She wields a knife coated with Shou poison.

Heng begs for mercy, saying that he like many of the other villagers has been threatened into cooperating with the smugglers. He appears to be about to tell Renshu something important when his wife produces a dagger and stabs him with it. The poison on the blade kills Heng quickly and he dies with foam dribbling out of his mouth.

Heng’s wife then strikes at Renshu with the dagger.

The dagger is no longer poisoned. Heng’s wife has Vermin statistics.

Renshu kills Heng’s wife and leaves the house. He goes to Fang Zayd’s house and finds that Zayd is out. He tells Yun what happened and she goes to Heng’s house to fetch his children, whom she hides in her house.

Investigation scene: herbalist’s house

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

Renshu returns to the tavern and pays for a cheap meal.

Money: 35 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp

Having been badly wounded in the fight in Heng’s house he asks Hilt if there is a healer in the village. Hilt gives him directions to the house of the village herbalist, an Eshkanti woman named Durra al-Karmani.

He arrives at Durra’s house which has a small herb garden growing outside. He hears sounds of a struggle coming from inside. Entering the house he sees that one of the smugglers has hold of Durra and is tearing at her clothes. He draws his sword.

The smuggler has Brute statistics.

Renshu kills the man and Durra thanks him. Searching his corpse he finds a letter from Diao Mitsuru addressed to an arms merchant in Haicheng named Peng, which is probably an alias. The letter informs Peng that Wang Yuan will arrive within a week with 300 gold pieces. Peng is to provide him with 20 spears.

Durra says that she knows nothing about the smuggling ring, but the man that Renshu just killed is not Wang Yuan. She will show Renshu where he lives but first he should return to the tavern and rest. She will arrive later to heal him.

Renshu: 2 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Enping: 9 Heat

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

Opponents: 7 Victory points

Resting at the tavern

He spends the rest of the day and all of the next day recuperating in his room at the tavern. He pays Durra two gold pieces for treatment. He pays Hilt another gold piece for meals, his room and stabling for his horse.

Money: 32 gp, 7 sp and 5 cp

Hit points: 14

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

Renshu: 2 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Enping: 9 Heat

Action scene: Wang Yuan’s house

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.

On the morning after his day of recuperation he pays Hilt six silver pieces for breakfast, stabling for his horse and a room for the day.

Money: 32 gp, 1 sp and 5 cp

Durra takes him to Wang Yuan’s house which is secluded in the bamboo grove in the cemetery, with no other houses nearby. Like most of the houses in Enping the walls are made of woven grass mats tied to wooden pillars. Durra returns home and Renshu cautiously makes his way around the house, which is silent. The door is locked but Renshu uses his dagger to make a hole in the rear wall and gets inside.

Renshu succeeds on the check.

He discovers a slight rise in the dirt floor. Digging with his sword he uncovers a chest which contains the 300 gold pieces with which Wang Yuan was going to pay Peng for the spears. The chest also contains a gourd stoppered with resin, and painted with the symbol of a solid black circle with a horizontal black line through the centre. He remembers that Zayd told him that the Bone Spear Shou gave the smugglers gourds in exchange for weapons.

The gourd contains Shou poison in potion form.

He hears the door open and turns around to see Wang Yuan enter the house accompanied by five smugglers wielding spears. Wang Yuan wears a hauberk of scale armour and when he draws his sword Renshu sees that the blade is stained with poison.

Wang Yuan has Brutes statistics and the other smugglers have Thug statistics.

Renshu kills Yuan and four of the smugglers without sustaining a wound from Yuan’s poisoned blade. The other smuggler flees. He tends the wound he received from one of the smugglers.

Hit points: 14

Searching the corpses he finds one gold piece on Yuan, and a total of 15 silver pieces and 50 copper pieces on the other smugglers. He stows these coins and the gold pieces from the chest in his backpack along with the Shou gourd and returns to the tavern.

Money: 333 gp, 16 sp and 55 cp

Renshu: 4 Victory points

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Enping: 11 Heat

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

Opponents: 9 Victory points

Conflict scene: shrine of Kega

Support an Actor who’s working against the for their own reasons. Roll a die; on an odd result, face a Fight instead of a check.

At the tavern he hides his hoard of coins under the bed in his room. He coats his sword with poison from the Shou gourd and pays for a cheap meal.

Money: 333 gp, 16 sp and 45 cp

Opposite the tavern on the other side of the village square is the shrine to Kega, the Green Goddess who is worshiped by farmers. Leaving the tavern Renshu sees Zayd leave his house and enter the shrine, and he follows him in case there are any smugglers nearby.

Inside the shrine Zayd is at the altar lighting a stick of incense before a small wooden statue of Kega painted green. He greets Renshu and they discuss the events of the past few days. Zayd says that no more attempts have been made on his life since Renshu became the centre of attention for the smuggling ring.

The priestess of the shrine, a young Imperial woman, interrupts their conversation to tell Renshu that he is not welcome in the village. Enping was founded by slaves who escaped from the Tien Lung daifu Cui Xue; they fought off an attack by his soldiers once before, but Renshu has killed so many of the smugglers that the village will be destroyed and the inhabitants enslaved should Cui Xue ever return. She knows who made the attempt on Zayd’s life but she has her own reason to take action against this man and will deal with him herself.

Zayd tries to reason with the priestess, whose name is Meng Ting, but she will not listen to him. Renshu tries to persuade Ting to ally with him.

Renshu fails the check.

Ting coldly tells him to leave and he returns to the tavern.

Renshu: 4 Victory points

Opponents: 10 Victory points

Enping: 11 Heat

The opponents win and Zayd is assassinated. Renshu has scored -6, a Complete Loss. The smuggling ring recovers and continues to sell weapons to the Bone Spear orcs.

As the Heat of Enping is now greater than 10, Renshu must leave the village.

Shortly afterwards he learns from Hilt that Zayd was assassinated in the street by an unknown smuggler. He goes to Zayd’s house where he gives Yun all of his silver and copper coins. He then leaves Enping and takes the track leading south from the village to The Silver Scabbard inn.

Money: 333 gp

Renshu receives one experience point for his adventure.