The ruins of Syriholm – S1E02

Hexflower dungeon crawling

Hex Roll: 9: Goto 1: CREATURE
Alarm +1

The party moves on, Erias scouting ahead, with Furi following behind. Atiel and Cane act as rearguard.
The path they follow leads them away from the large segregation of orcs in an effort to find somewhere to camp.
They open the doors to a still standing dwarven building and set camp inside.
Cane tends to Ariel’s wound, using healing herbs he carries with him. He removes the arrow and cleans the wound. Cane then boils some of the leaves of the healing herbs and puts the bandages in them, with which he covers the wound. He manages to help fix some of the damage done, though Atiel is still hurt.
“Thank you young one.” Atiel says in gratitude.
Cane just smiles.

Now here is evident the advantage of using an event generated dungeon crawl. Instead of having a room with creatures, I decided that the scene will be empty, the team will have a chance to camp and rest, but they will be ambushed by creatures!
I think that this gives a nice story like progression in the dungeon.

I look up at the MiniSix fantasy bestiary and choose the giant rat as the most likely creature. I thought it would be easy to counter…
I remove one ration from the party and roll to see at whose shift the rats will appear. It’s at Erias, that’s good, as a thief he has good perception.
I roll 1D rats and get 6! I also roll to see if Erias notices the rats approach, and he fails! Woe to him.
Also I made an on the fly call and decided that the rats would be able to attack him all at once. Have you noticed how they create a swarm and you can’t discern one from the other? They can fit their bodies in the tiniest spaces. That would be true for the gigantic variety. So here goes the description of the combat without game mechanics.

The party is sleeping and the halfling is bored, counting his sling bullets. Unbeknownst to him, six giant rats crawl behind him and jump right on him biting and slashing with their claws.
One rat has bit his neck, while another scratched his face. Under the gashing blood, he manages to let of a cry. “Help!”.
The party is on their feet at once, drawing weapons and charging at the monstrous animals.

The elf ranger quickly gets to her senses. Elves are light sleepers after all, and shoots an arrow into one of the creatures.

Q: Do the rats keep attacking Erias? (Likely)
A: Yes

They haven’t managed to move an inch, and the rats keep gnawing at the poor halfling, who loses consciousness, as they keep eating him.

Furi, still dizzy from his sleep, charges at the rats, and swings his great axe, but he misses by a mile and hit the hard stone dwarven table instead, bending his axe blade beyond use.

Cane follows up with a hard swing at a rat, hacking it at the abdomen.

Atiel keeps shooting arrows into the rats, but they seem to only sting the giant beasts.
Some rats keep chewing at the dead halfling while others turn to their attackers, barely managing to scratch the furious dwarf.
Furi draws his hatchet and incapacitates one of the rats, sending it into oblivion. Cane hacks at another one, wounding it so much that it turns and flees.
Atiel stings another rat with her arrows which turns and jumps at her even if she is in the back beyond Furi and Cane. It slashed at her arm, wounding her further.
One of the rats keeps eating at the halfling body.
The remaining 2 rats fail to harm the warriors, who parry their blows with their weapons.
Furi kills the rat that charged at Atiel with a hit to the neck, while Cane thrusts his bastard sword into the ribs of another rat, putting it down.
Atiel sends another arrow to the rat that chews their dead companion, but it keeps at its task.
Furi, locked in combat with one of the rats, finds an opening and slashes open its belly, as Cane brings down his sword to the rat Atiel targeted. She finally kills it with a well placed arrow to the ear.

Cane rushes to Erias to see if he can be treated, but soon realizes he is dead. He closes his eyes and covers him with his cloak.
“Noo!” Furi cries out as Atiel lets of a whimp and sheds a tear.
No one speaks, as they dig a makeshift grave and put a large stone slab on top to protect the body from scavengers.
Finally they compose themselves and Furi says a few words. “I shall forever carry your name with honor Erias Chily. You perished true to your oath, true to your ancestors. Unfortunately your debt was relayed in blood. May your last journey be without peril.”

Maybe I miscalculated the giant rats strength. Maybe it was Erias unlucky Perception roll. In any way I had my first party death, and I will have to see how there will be progress without a thief to disarm traps and pick locks in the party.

Here I decided to introduce a story clock mechanic. Add up the hexflower numbers rolled. If it’s greater than or equal to 100, then the story concludes and the next hex is the BBEG no matter what.

Roll: 7: Goto x,
Reroll: 9: Goto 6: PRISONER
Alarm level +1: 2

So I decide that the prisoner is going to be an NPC.
I roll on UNE Confident tradesman who seeks academia.
I roll a race and get halfling (Ruled out elves and dwarves due to enmity with orcs) and a name generated is Sonard Tunnel.
Sonard is a halfling tradesman who seeks the lost tomes of Syriholm smithing. He is so confident in his abilities to trade that he tried to trade with the orcs, who found the entire concept funny and kept him alive as prisoner.

The party, with heavy hearts and one less member, moves on. As they walk through the abandoned streets and pathways they detect brutish orc laughter.
They draw weapons and close stealthily towards the noise. Furi and Cane go in front, while Atiel follows up, a dozen meters behind.
Around a large fire four orcs are relaxing. In the middle of the group is a short person, a halfling, wearing fancy clothing and a hat with a feather. One of the orcs stands, towering above the halfling.
“Tell me again Sonard! What did you expect from us in return? Bank notes from Gorkil?” The orcs burst in laughter, but the halfling is unafraid.
“As I said before, Gashak, the stones you relinquished from my possession are a mere portion of what I intend to pay if you bring me the Tomes of Steel by Bari Turison.” He replies and the orcs burst in laughter again.

Clouded by his hatred, Furi charges at the ambushed orcs, without a signal to Cane who, startled, follows up right after.
Furi’s hatchet sinks deep into Gashak’s arm, splitting the bones and getting stuck. Gashak tries to remove the hatchet but the pain doesn’t let him and he cries out.
Cane, startled fumbles as he charges and drops his sword a mere meter in front of him with a loud clanging noise.
Atiel lets off an arrow which strikes the air.
The three other orcs gang up on Cane. Two swords thrust through his torso and shoulder, and he drops down, spitting blood from his mouth.

I roll to see what Sonard will do, giving (1: help orcs, 2-5: do nothing, 6: help the party) and roll a 6.

Sonard pulls out a hidden stiletto from his hat and stabs an orc, wounding it’s left arm.

Furi puts his foot on Gashak and pulls his hatchet. Then he rebounds with a second hit on the arm, spewing black blood everywhere, as Gashak falls.
Atiel sinks an arrow into one of the orcs, who, with his fellow, turns and attacks the halfling. Sonard sucks from one sword slash, but a thrust from the other orc, pierces his abdomen through and through. The halfling clutches his belly and drops.
The last orc, seeing Gashak down, growls and strikes at Furi from behind, hacking at his chest, severely wounding the dwarf.

Furi exchanges blows with two orcs, but no one manages to get an opening. In the meantime, the orc that killed Sonard turns his attention to the downed barbarian, finishing off Cane with a thrust through the lungs.

Atiel keeps sinking arrows into the orcs, one of which drops after having three arrows stuck on his torso.
Frustrated, the two orcs and Furi keep fighting, but in the end, the stout dwarf emerges victorious, slaying one orc after the other.

Furi kneels before his fallen comrade. Cane was killed in such a cowardly manner. Atiel breaks down in tears.
“Let’s give him a ceremony worthy of a warrior.” Furi says and proceeds to build a bonfire for Cane’s funeral.
They lay the barbarian on top, with his sword held between his hands. At the side they set the halfling who fell by his side, and light the fire.
As the flames engulf them, Atiel speaks final words. “Few fought so bravely against such odds. May you find peace amongst your ancestors Cane!”.
They stand in silence until the flames have devoured the bodies.
Atiel looks at their wounds and turns to Furi. “Shall we abandon quest, Furi Grinarson?”.
“Then they will have died for naught.” Furi replies.
“As will we, unless we tend to our wounds. Let us leave and return anew another day.” She counters.

I roll opposed persuasion and I get a failure on her part with a complication on Furi so I decided they will part ways.

“I release you from your oath Atiel Nerdalye. Leave. I will find honor or die trying.” Furi says.
She leans down and kisses him on the forehead. “As you wish. Farewell. May you find what you seek.”

Two dead party members and the party split!
Furi will press on, seemingly to his death, while Atiel will try to escape.
But she is too deep in the dungeon and the alarm level has risen to 2. There is a 15% chance for each hex that she passes through that she may encounter orc hunting parties. The chance may further increase based on Furi’s actions deeper in the dungeon.
In the meantime I am gathering pros and cons of the experience with the dungeon crawl I tried and will present all of them in the next (and probably final) episode.