The ruins of Syriholm – S1E00

Hexflower Dungeon Crawling

It is late night at the Black Cask, a poor inn at the crossroads between Blyne Vale and Slate Hills.
Most townsfolk have retired for the night and the servant girl has begun sweeping the floor. The fireplace is lit, but the innkeeper hasn’t fed it another log, in the hopes of casting away the odd looking trio sitting at one of his tables in the corner.
The door opens and a gust of wind sweeps in. Cane enters the silent bar room. He is a muscular towering young man with a stern look on his face. His black hair falls long upon the thick wolves hide covering his shoulders. He takes a quick look around, and without a pause, walks steadily to the party.
He eyes them all one by one. What a weird company he thinks. Two short people and a blond woman, all cloaked as if they are hiding something.
He towers upon the table, pulls out a broken part of an amulet from his pouch and puts it on the table with a loud thump.
“I was summoned” He says. “Now which one of you is Furi Grinarson?”
One of the two short figures, the more stoutly built one, and Cane can clearly see his red long braided beard.
“I am” he responds in a bass voice, and joins the broken part with three other similar ones, completing an amulet. Furi introduces the company.
“These are Atiel Nerdalye and Erias Chily, summoned like you. And your name is?” He asks.
“Cane” the barbarian replies and pulls a chair and joins them. “Innkeeper!” He shouts. “A pint of ale!”
The trio looks worried. “We try to keep a low profile you brute!” Atiel whispers scolding him.
“A low profile? You must be joking. There isn’t anyone in 10 leagues who won’t be talking about you lot tomorrow, and no, low height doesn’t mean low profile.”
“Don’t be insolent! You have been summoned to pay a debt” Furi snarls, but pauses as the innkeeper brings the ale.
Cane nods. As the innkeeper leaves, Furi continues. “My grandfather helped your ancestors. As gratitude they swore an oath for their line to help him or his descendants when called upon. Now is the time to fulfill the oath.” Furi takes a breath, then continues with a tone of sadness in his voice.
“My ancestors used to live in Syriholm, from where we were driven away 100 years ago when the orcs broke through our defenses. My mother left with the refugees to Khizdumunz but my grandfather stayed behind to cover the retreat and perished.
About a month ago I learned that his great axe was sighted in the hands of Gorkil the Bleak, an orc warlord with a den in the ruins of Syriholm. This is a family relic. My grandfather slew a troll with it. It is a desecration and must be stopped. I ask you to help me recover it. Then you are free from your oath.”

“Orcs? Trolls? Khiz… you speak of things I do not know of” Cane responds.
“Did you have to summon the human as well?” Atiel asks with a tone of superiority as if speaking about a child.
“Human? why what are…?” Cane pauses as he finally sees clearly under the hoods and realizes why the party is cloaked. Fairy people, dwarves, elves and halflings. He had heard fairy tales before but he thought they were stories to keep children in bed at night. He downs the ale in a big gulp and wipes the foam from his mouth. Atiel smiles at how the haughty barbarian is at a loss.

“I will do as asked!” Erias says.
“The favor must be repaid. I will join you on your quest Furi Grinarson!” Atiel adds in a soft voice.
An awkward long pause passes as Cane tries to get a grip of what just transpired.
“Cane?” Furi asks.
Quickly Cane gets his wits. “I may not know what is asked, but I am no oathbreaker. By Baran, I will join you!”

The party rests for the night at the Black Cask, and in the morning, to the innkeepers relief, they ride away to their quest.
Two weeks later they reach the entrance to the ruins of Syriholm.

This is the storyline setting for my Hexflower dungeon crawling adventure.
After a couple terribly failed attempts to run it with only one character, I switched gears and introduced a party.
In order to test my system I will be using a completely stereotypical fantasy party.
Dwarf warrior.
Elf ranger.
Halfling thief.
Human barbarian.
The setting will be mid-low fantasy.

I will be using this hexflower with the following results.

  2. ALARM
  3. guardian
  4. creature
  5. encounter
  9. prisoner
  10. CAMP
  11. creature
  12. TRAP
  13. alarm
  14. alarm
  16. objective
  18. trap
  19. BBEG

For now I will be asking Oracle questions in order to populate each room, but maybe in the future I will set up tables and use them as I go.

a. 12
b. 2-3
c. 4-5
d. 6-7
e. 8-9
f. 10-11

Room for room I will be rolling 2d6 to get the next room main concept according to the hexflower.
One can double back to a previous room but there is a chance for a random encounter. You roll 1d6 and if it’s under the alarm level of the dungeon, then there is an encounter.
A roll of doubles means there is a fork to the path, so one can double back and follow (new roll) this path instead. Another doubles on the same hex, means there is a third fork… etc

Each character has enough rations, medicines and other consumables, according to their skills, equal to 3 times their Wit dice plus pips.

For the game system I will be using MiniSix barebones, homebrew with a Success pool count system.
Wild dies will explode on 6, and have a mishap on 1. On mishap you reroll. If it’s a 6 you get a complication, otherwise it’s a penalty (-1 success).
Regular and wild die succeed on a roll of 3+.
+1 pip die succeeds on a roll of 6, and +2 pip die succeeds on a roll of 5+. When added to a +3, the pip die succeeds on a roll of 4+.