In the Trollshaws. Ep07

Day 12, Hithui, 3rd Watch

I think it’s a good opportunity to forage for some herbs
Since the climate is most likely t (Cool Temperate) and we’re in a (D) Desiduous/Mixed Forest, the best option for herbs is to find Thurl, which has a Routine Difficulty (+30) or Rewk, which has a Light (+10) difficulty

Leowyn and Camthalion will split and search in separate directions
The weather (9) stays cool, overcast, with light rain, and the wind becomes a gale again
Encounters for each of the three groups: 05/145, 57/84, 128/100: No encounter for any of the groups

Camthalion Searching herbs: Thurl
87: Partial Success
93: Near Success
135: Success: One dose found, will search for Rewk next
39: Failure
96: Near Success
90: Partial Success
No Rewk found

Leowyn Searching herbs: Thurl
48: Failure
53: Failure
84: Partial Success
42: Failure

After hours of searching in the rain, Camthalion and Leowyn return from different directions.
Camthalion brings out some cloves.”That’s all I could find.”
He looks at Leowyn, who shakes her head.
Camthalion brews the cloves of Thurl and gives to Dwalin to drink.

Heals: 1-4 hits: 3 hits.
Also, resting, Dwalin heals 12 more hits, for a total of 15 hits healed. Dwalin is at 32 hits.
I want to search for a couple more hours for Rewk, and then enter the Keep while it’s still daylight.

Day 12, Hithui, 4th Watch

The weather (11) becomes Cold, and Sleet falls, as the wind falls to Windy

Camthalion Searching herbs: Rewk
22: Failure
45: Failure

Leowyn Searching herbs: Rewk
53: Failure
25: Failure
Encounters check: 74/119, 05/121, -52/140: No encounter for any of the groups

Dwalin has healed 6 more hits, and is now at 38 hits.

Having found no more healing herbs, the party gathers their belongings and heads back into the keep.

Back into Level One, won’t go to the Arena with the bear, so before heading further down to the next Level, the party will go into the Storage Room. Dwalin at front, followed by Camthalion, and rear guard Leowyn.
Q: Is everything as expected?
A: No, but, roll 1d4 on TWENE: 3: Add Simple Element.
Portent: Love birds
Cobwebs and broken wine bottles litter the entire floor. It mustn’t have always been this way. As a sculpt of two birds singing at each other over the doorway shows of happier times.
The party proceeds further into the Arms Storage area.
Q: Is everything as expected?
A: Yes, but, it will be Unlikely in next question
So there are some interesting items, and piles of normal, but tarnished weapons and armor. I don’t want to just give away everything. I’d expect the party to go through them (especially since they’re looking for the relic), and roll perception for each party member for each interesting item on the list to see if they notice anything.

Broadsword +5: Camthalion: 109 (Near Success): 85:(Partial Success), Dwalin: 96 (Near Success), 52 (Failure), Leowyn: 97 (Near Success), 37 (Failure)
Broadsword +5: Camthalion: 100 (Near Success): 101 (Near Success): 122 (Success): Camthalion identifies the item
Morning Star +5: Camthalion: 101 (Near Success): 50 (Failure), Dwalin: 94 (Near Success), 66 (Failure), Leowyn: 102 (Near Success), 130 (Success): Leowyn identifies the item
Javelin +5 that returns: Camthalion: 139 (Success): Camthalion identifies the item
Three +5 Arrows: Camthalion: 64 (Failure), Dwalin: 83: (Partial Success), Leowyn: 49 (Failure)
Battleaxe +10, 60% weight: I’ll also give a bonus here to perception due to the low weight: Camthalion: 102 (Near Success): 113: (Success): Camthalion identifies the item
They also pick up 18 arrows, and all the identified items
They will also take the three +5 arrows, but don’t know they’re good, so any arrow shot from now on that is Doubles (33, 44 etc) will have used a +5 arrow until they’re expended
That’s some good loot! finally

Arms and armor, that the orcs can’t used are littered all over the place, Camthalion quickly fills up his quiver with much wanted arrows.
Then they go through the items, see if the can find the relic Dwalin looks for.
They did not, but they found some weapons of exquisite make. Camthalion equips himself with Javelin and a fine Broadsword, and Dwalin straps a Battleaxe to his back. Leowyn keeps a very spiky morning star to her side as a backup weapon. Dwalin is no longer a grumpy dwarf, and a wide smile covers his face.
“Let’s go further! Treasure awaits!” he says, a bit louder than he should…

So, there are two ways to go downstairs. Either go back and get the stairs, or continue from the direction the part is already going. I won’t bother to roll about their choice, as common sense dictates they continue on this path, follow the hallway and go to Level 2-A of the underchambers.

Q: Is everthing as expected? (Unlikely)
A: No, and roll 1d10 on TWENE: 2: Decrease Simple Element: Not much to decrease here, since all elements are major. Maybe I’ll state that there is less dust and cobwebs here than usual.

Since there is a secret passage on this room, I’ll roll Dwalin’s Perception.
Dwalin: Perception: 67+23=90: Partial Success. You may not try again in the same area, same topic for 1 hour.
So they miss the chance to find the secret passage leading further down to the riches (and dangers).

The party goes in the dungeon chambers, and I will roll on each of them to see if everything is as expected.

Dungeon Chamber #4:
Q: Is everything as expected?
A: No, Intervention!
TWENE: 5: Increase major element. The doors are barred heavily, and do not open.
Intervention: 6: Wild: d144: Bolt from the blue
The figurative meaning makes no sense here, so I’ll go with the literal. The dungeon chamber door was trapped (as well as barred) and a ‘B’ Electricity Critical strikes Dwalin: 90-10=80: Strike to side devastates nervous system. Severe shock results. Victim is a living vegetable for 1 month.

The trio walks through the underchambers opening every door they can find, searching for anything interesting. Maybe a sign of Ledon, maybe a sign of the dwarven relic.
A series of doors in a narrow hallway, points to them for prisoner chambers.
“Ledon could be here!” Leowyn whispers.
Dwalin nods, and without any precaution tries to open the first door to their left. As he touches the metal bar, a surge of blue lightning passes through him. He locks fingers with the door, unable to let go as the nerves tighten and he clutches harder. Finally, he drops down to the floor, to the horror of his companions.
Leowyn and Camthalion look at each other.
Leowyn moves in front to reach the motionless body of their friend. Camthalion reaches out an arm to stop her “Whatever hit him… it could still be dangerous…” his words trail off.
“We must.” Leowyn responds.
She puts her ear to his chest, which is still moving, she makes out a faint heartbeat. “He is still alive.”
Carefully, they drag Dwalin away, and carry him back out of the keep, to their camp.

So, this is an interesting point. With such an event, for sure the party must return back to the inn.

Day 12-13, Hithui, Overnight

The weather (11) stays cold, overcast, and sleet falls, as the wind becomes a gale
The weather (11) stays cold, overcast, and snow falls, as the wind becomes a storm
The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow Flurries, and the wind becomes a gale.
Right before dawn, the weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind becomes a windy again.
Encounter check: 64/34+50: No encounter

Day 13, Hithui, 3rd Watch

The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind stays windy
Encounter check: 28/-13: No encounter

Day 13, Hithui, 4th Watch

The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind becomes a gale
Encounter check: -06/74: No encounter

Day 13-14, Hithui, Overnight

The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, and snow flurries fall, as the wind becomes a breeze
The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, and snow flurries fall, as the wind becomes windy
The weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind stays windy.
Right before dawn, the weather (10) stays cold, overcast, with snow flurries, and the wind stays windy.
Encounter check: 24/92: No encounter

Day 14, Hithui, 3rd Watch

The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind becomes a gale
Encounter check: 68/36: No encounter

Day 14, Hithui, 4th Watch

The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind stays a gale
Encounter check: 47/67: No encounter

The party reaches The Last Inn

Battered, and freezing cold, after two days, Leowyn and Camthalion guide the horse carrying the comatose dwarf to the Last Inn. They desire the warmth of the fireplace, and a hot plate of soup.

Q: Is everything as expected?
A: No, roll 1d4 on TWENE: 4: Remove Simple Element. There are no customers at this time in the main hall.

I take a pause here to deliberate. The GM hat cannot be completely avoided. See, I know according to the pre-written adventure module that Bura Grumm is a 5th level Animist, and there is a far-fetched chance that she has the spell list to heal Dwalin. Nevertheless this would normally cost around 25 gp, and the party hasn’t saved Leddon to say for example that they get a discount, or for free. So I seriously doubt that Bura can help them right now. I will ask the Oracle though with an Unlikely result to see if she helps in any way.

Q: Does Bura help the party with her skills? (Unlikely)
A: No

So, we’re in a dire position right now. It’s make it, or break it.
The party cannot afford to wait for Dwalin to recover (if he ever does, see, they do not know it). Leowyn wants to find her lover’s killer and Camthalion wants to find his missing brother. Both are time-dependent events. Dwalin’s cause for the relic is considered null and void right now, and Leddon is left to his fate (or another party of adventurers). The way I see it, either the party breaks up, leaving Dwalin at the last inn with a hefty amount to Bura to take care of him (until when?), or they try to help Dwalin right away, taking him with them in the cold to find a healer in the nearest town (and pay him with the gold from the manuscripts). Maybe they could consider a combination of the two. Leowyn could set off on horseback to fetch a healer. I think this is the best course of action right now, and what I believe a party would do. Maybe Camthalion will stay behind to look after Dwalin and find some way to pay for their rent.
Now the GM hat tells me that there’s a high chance that the story of how Dwalin got hurt may leak while they stay at the last inn, and according to the pre-written adventure module, Ar-Gular, the owner of the keep that my party raided is a regular in disguise there. So maybe a random event triggered by an intervention could lead to an orc raid by Ar-Gular, or something similar.

The Grumms see Camthalion and Leowyn carry Dwalin inside. “We will need a room. And some hot soup for the night.”
Bura sees him and bites her lips. She calls for her daughters to help. “I can do everyday healing, but nothing I can help with this. You will need to take him to see a healer.” She pauses for a second as the wind howls outside. “Or better yet, bring the healer to him.”
“I can ride fast. I’ll go first light.” Leowyn says. “Everything else will have to wait.”
Camthalion nods. “I’ll stay with him.” He turns to Rubb. “Innkeeper, we have coin. But I would like to know if there are other ways we can support, to reduce the cost, before we expend every single one of our coins.”
Rubb nods. “We’ll work something out.”

By first light, Leowyn will leave on horseback. This night’s meal and lodging (separate room) will be payed normally, when I continue with Camthalion, I’ll consider the various options.

Day 14-15, Hithui, Overnight

The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind becomes a breeze
The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind becomes windy
The weather (12) is freezing, overcast, and the wind becomes a breeze
Right before dawn, the weather (13) is cool, the clouds clear, and the wind becomes windy

Q: Does anything unexpected happen overnight (Unlikely)
A: Intervention: Entity Positive, Yes, and it’s something good for someone. Maybe Leddon returns alive.
Q: Does Leddon return alive? (Likely)
A: Yes.

As Leowyn goes to the Grumms, to ready up her horse to leave in the morning, she can’t help but notice the huge smile on their faces.
“Is everything alright?” She asks Bura.
“More than alright! My boy! He’s returned! Alive! He was rescued by a company of folks like you. Adventurers! You may not have found him, but I thank you nonetheless for your efforts. I will do my best to take care of the stout dwarf as long as you are here. A day of joy!” Bura tells her, tears of joy running down her streaks. The warmth of her happiness filling the room, and for a second Leowyn forgot they’re in the middle of winter.
“That’s great news.” She says. “I am really happy for you!”

I’ll do some bookkeeping now, before splitting the adventure into two parts.


NameDays Rations

Arrows: Camthalion is at 36+3 arrows, Leowyn is at 35 arrows (forgot to bookkeep in last session).

Criticals ReceivedEP
Travel PointsEP
Non-Idea EP TotalEP

I’ll give the entire part half the total as idea points. 440 EP total, 145 each.

Summing up, from previous session.

NameExperience Points
Camthalion3713 EP
Dwalin5666 EP
Leowyn2914 EP

Money: The party pool is 9sp, 3bp, 6cp and 9tp.

Hit Points: Dwalin is at full hit points, Leowyn is at full hit points, Camthalion is at full hit points.

Session Summary

I did not see that coming! A great example of the deadliness of MERP. At first I had done a mistake and hadn’t calculated the -10 of the B critical, so Dwalin would have been dead, with completely different results to the party structure. Now there’s hope, and a new story thread has evolved.
Now as far as my three major choices.

  1. The magical items. In a regular ttrpg, the GM would have described the items, and the players would have acted accordingly. They would need a proper identification, to know the properties first. This is solo, and a pre-written adventure. I made it easier to find what it was about, which makes sense since a magical item would look better than the other tarnished weapons in the pile. So of all the weapons, the party only failed to identify one broadsword, and left it back in the pile.
  2. The trap being a B critical. I tried to be in line with the feeling of the adventure. In the same floor there was a trap on the secret room, that gave a B Fire critical to anyone not uttering the words engraved. Luckily my party missed the room altogether, but this gave me a good idea of what the authors had in mind. I did not give Dwalin a chance to avoid the trap, but it was a ‘bolt out of the blue’ so I felt that I shouldn’t.
  3. Ledon’s return. It felt right. Entity positive. There are other groups looking for the same reward. It gives the feeling of a living world, and closes up the thread.
    For my next session I will follow the footsteps of Leowyn as she travels to a major city to sell the manuscripts and find a healer and get him back. Once that is done, I will switch back to Camthalion for the set time period it took Leowyn to (hopefully) succeed to her task.
    Since I wanted to get back to my other d100 systems I do not know if this is a good time to do a quick switch over to Harnmaster or Mythras. I know that Harnmaster has a mounted combat specific section for combat. Mythras covers mounted combat as well. MERP, not so. Let’s not forget that Leowyn is a Rohirim shield maiden, a rider.
    I will sit on it.