In the Trollshaws. Ep10

Day 21, Hithui, 4th Watch

The weather (4) is hot, foggy, clear skies, and the wind is SE calm
Encounter check: 6: No encounter
Leowyn recovers 1 hit point

5th Watch:
The weather (4) is warm, foggy, clear skies, and the wind is SE calm
Encounter check: 10: No encounter
Leowyn recovers 4 hit points

6th Watch:
The weather (4) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SE breeze
Encounter check: 8: No encounter
Leowyn recovers 4 hit points

After the fight, and getting back into shape, the caravan moves on through the warm and foggy weather. As night falls, the caravan camps at the foothills of the Weather Hills.

Day 22, Hithui, 1st Watch

The weather (4) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SE breeze
Encounter check: 10: No encounter
Leowyn recovers 4 hit points

2nd Watch:
The weather (4) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is SE breeze
Encounter check: 3: No encounter
Leowyn is at full hit points

3rd Watch:
The weather (3) is warm, clear skies, and the wind is NE windy
Encounter check: 10: No encounter

4th Watch:
The weather (3) is warm, foggy, clear skies, and the wind is NE calm
Encounter check: 18: Encounter
Since we’re right at the end of the border of the disputed region, I will ask the Oracle.
Q: Is the region Lawless?
A: Yes
Lawless/Day: 22: Reroll as Wilderness/Rural: Rural: 22: Farmer/etc: 39: Half–Villein/Average Thrall: 37: At Work (Making/Selling Goods)
Attitude: 58: Indifferent

5th Watch:
The weather (3) is cold, clear skies, and the wind is NE windy
Encounter check: 3: No encounter

6th Watch:
The weather (5) is warm, cloudy skies, and the wind is S breeze, thunderstorms: 3: hail
Encounter check: 10: No encounter

The night goes by uneventfully, and the caravan continues on their way. They pass by some farmers collecting their autumn fruits from an orchard. They don’t pay attention to them, and go each on their own way. The warm weather switches to a cold NE wind by night, and nightfall catches them in the open plains, past the Weather Hills, towards the East. Severe hail and thunderstorms catch them unaware and they have to cover the goods and sleep under the carts.

Day 23, Hithui, 1st Watch

The weather (5) is warm, cloudy skies, and the wind is S calm, thunderstorms: 9: hail
Encounter check: 10: No encounter

2nd Watch:
The weather (5) is warm, cloudy skies, and the wind is S windy, thunderstorms: 68: no hail
Encounter check: 9: No encounter

3rd Watch:
The weather (6) is warm, overcast skies, and the wind is SW windy, rain showers
Encounter check: 16: No encounter

4th Watch:
The weather (6) is warm, overcast skies, and the wind is SW breeze, rain showers
Encounter check: 8: No encounter

5th Watch:
The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW windy, steady rain
Encounter check: 8: No encounter

6th Watch:
The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW gale, steady rain
Encounter check: 16: No encounter

Hail and thunderstorms take up most of the night, but as day breaks, the rain switches to showers. The day moves on without anything of importance, and the night catches them further east, the weather becoming cooler, and steady rain, soaking them for good.

Day 24, Hithui, 1st Watch

The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW breeze, steady rain
Encounter check: 16: No encounter

2nd Watch:
The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW windy, steady rain
Encounter check: 3: No encounter

3rd Watch:
The weather (8) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is SW gale, steady rain
Encounter check: 7: No encounter

4th Watch:
The weather (7) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is NW windy, steady rain
Encounter check: 10: No encounter

5th Watch:
The weather (6) is warm, overcast skies, and the wind is SW breeze, rain showers
Encounter check: 15: No encounter

6th Watch:
The weather (6) is warm, overcast skies, and the wind is SW calm, rain showers
Encounter check: 7: No encounter

The night is cold and rainy. The rain continues through the entire day, dropping the morale of the caravan as they head eastwards, even closer to the Last Bridge. They welcome the switch to a warmer south west wind and lighter rain.

Day 25, Hithui, 1st Watch

The weather (7) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is NW windy, steady rain
Encounter check: 2: No encounter

2nd Watch:
The weather (7) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is NW windy, steady rain
Encounter check: 6: No encounter

3rd Watch:
The weather (7) is cold, overcast skies, and the wind is NW windy, steady rain
Encounter check: 18: Encounter: (10:18 AM): Lawless/Day: 85: Brigands/Highwayman: 53: Offering employment
Attitude: 54: Alarmed
Alright, some quick calculations tell me that this encounter happens right at the Last Bridge, in visible distance from the Last Inn.
Bandits offering employment can be either taken literally (bandits could be sellswords) or they could “offer protection” in a general sense or as a toll to the bridge. I’m leaning towards the latter rather than the former, but sometimes it all depends on the balance of the forces. At the very least it seems that a fight could possibly be avoided.
Let’s start by asking some questions to the Oracle.

Q: Are there many bandits?
A: Yes, and, they’re well armed. Intervention: Entity Negative: (Leowyn/Enryn/Caravan/Bandits): Caravan. Okay it’s pretty obvious that the situation isn’t advantageous to the caravan. Maybe as they were going through the bridge, they got ambushed and surrounded.
Bandits: 1d6, twice, pick highest: 6 bandits.
Q: Did the bandits surround the caravan?
A: No
Q: Did a wheel break off a cart?
A: Yes, and it happened due to a covered loose stone on the bridge, probably done this way by the bandits.
Q: Do the bandits “offer protection”?
A: No
Q: Do the bandits demand to fix the cart for a tribute? (Likely)
A: False Presupposition. The bandits will ruin the cart completely.

After another cold rainy night, sapping their strength, the caravan is almost at the Last Inn, but as it goes through the Last Bridge, one of the cart wheels falls into a hole that wasn’t visible. The sheer weight, cracks the wheel, and the cart gets stuck.
At the same time, three cloaked figures from the west and three from the east side of the bridge appear, blocking any escape.
They have short swords in their hands, and wear some sort of cured leather armor.
A bearded man steps front and starts speaking, while the rest approach the caravan together.
Unless Leowyn and Enryn begin a fight, they can’t stop them from advancing. And the odds seem against them.
“Fellow travelers. What luck that you came our way. So many caravans are plagued by thieves and brigands. We will help you in your our of need, to fix your cart in a moment.” Before anyone has a chance to speak he turns to his men.
“Boys! fix the axle!” And two men dash to the cart.
Q: Does Enryn try to stop them?
A: Yes
Q: Does he use force?
A: No

Opposed MM roll: Enryn: 0170+18: -53: Fumble: 72: You Slip. 75% Chance of Falling: 86: No fall. Stunned 2 rounds. Bandit: 55+5=60: 80.

Enryn tries to stop them, putting his horse in the way, but the slippery bridge from the downpour makes him lose control. By the time he has calmed his horse, the men have surrounded the axle.
Leowyn shouts. “Halt. We will fix the axle.”

Influence: 32: Failure

With a grin on his face, the man responds. “But you can’t deny our help lady.”
In a moment the men kick the other wheel, and the cart axle breaks, the cart hitting the ground.
Enryn grabs his sword, but the men are pointing their blades to the crew.
Tensions are high.
“I believe you can’t leave your supplies unguarded in these dangerous roads, so we will guard them. Move on, and they will be safe.” The man adds.
“That’s robbery!” Wyny says.
“I call it services rendered.” The man responds.

Q: Is the cart with Wyny and Suse the one broken?
A: No
Q: Does Wyny orders the guards to attack?
A: No, and he feels threatened. Intervention. Entity Negative: (Leowyn/Enryn/Caravan/Bandits): Caravan.
Q: Do the bandits take a prisoner?
A: Yes: (Ambald/Eram/Sige): Ambald.

“And we will keep this fine man with us, to make sure you don’t do anything stupid. We’ll release him in a few hours.” The man adds, as one of the bandits grabs a shaken Ambald.
“Come on now, go on your way.” He adds.
Grumbling Wyny orders the caravan to move on, towards the Last Inn, having lost a cart full of goods to the bandits.

I need to stop the session here, because I need to know the condition of the rest of the party before I continue. So for the next episode I will be switching to Camthalion and the comatose Dwalin from Day 15 3rd Watch to Day 25th 3rd Watch. As far as bookkeeping is concerned Leowyn only gained 200 EP for the travel, reaching 4891 EP total.

Session Summary

Not much of a session this one. I know that random encounters are supposed to be meaningful encounters, but that concept goes with social ttrpgs in mind, where the story is a huge part of the overall experience as the GM fills in all the other details to make the world feel alive. In solo though, as I saw in the previous sessions the Open World concept is very important, and it comes alive by non meaningful, everyday encounters, just like the farmers collecting fruit.
As to the bandits encounter it was a tough call. Essentially it came down to the caravan master and guard. If any of them would be aggressive towards the bandits, a fight would break out. Odds were against us though, even worse than in the previous bandit ambush. Since the caravan was near the Last Inn, it was in Leowyn’s best interest to not engage, but she would actively support in case of a fight.