[Actual Play] Swords Against Chaos 40 (RC Mystara): Of men, wolves and horses.

Minor loss of fidelity considering 5 sessions of backlog.

For 3 days they rode hard on back to Susikyn, taking with them the old woman they had taken from the camp, their arms still weary with slaughter. 3 days and the beasts of Eastern Karameikos avoided them, or risk death at their hands, for the Lame Ones had grown formidable.

In Susikyn they were met with warmth, but disappointment also, for Stefan was not recovered, and it had been long since he had been taken. At the word Xi-ta-quaah, all, even Old Kuzma, who was wise in the ways of the World and had the blood of Traldar in her. But she did council them to seek the aid of the halfman Loshad. Warily they agreed.

Riding 1 day north, near the shore, they found the place where Loshad was said to dwell, and there performed the ancient rite, standing for at midnight on one leg for three days straight. A flock of stirges pestered them and was dispatched. In the night, they ringed their camp with enchanted stones that gave off light like torches, so all knew where it could be found, and most stayed away. That would change. The second day they were regarded by a strange wild horse of purest white, and Niffa sought to capture it, putting a rope around its neck, but it broke her grip and ran off, and they did not pursue.

On the third day emerged Loshad, attended by two pale horses, and delivered unto them his bargain. They were tamers of the children of the earthmother, he said, and nothing but a vow to set their horses free would convince Loshad to aid them. They agreed grudgingly, after much haggling, to release their horses after 25 days, and agreed also on a second task, to slay the Were-kin, who inflicted great slaughter on the beasts of Eastern Karameikos.

They set out, only a days ride to the north, for the hill where the were-kin were found. Ignoring all advice, they came upon them by day, entering the canyon, and soon faced a great pack of wolves, and two of the were-kin, naked and screaming and savage. The man took animal shape and made to tear out their throats. A tidal wave of wolves broke on their wall of shields, barely culled by arrows, bolts and slingstones. The woman was wise in the ways of her savage lunar goddess, and cast on them a spell to hold them in place. Were it not that the entrance was sealed off with enchanted web, with most of the wolves immured therein, they might have been overcome, with Hummingbird and Lucius held in place. Instead began a great slaughter.

Sleep spells and enchanted steel made a great reaping, while fangs and claws were no match for enchanted mail. Howling like wolves themselves, the Lame Ones advanced, leaving the younger wolf immured in enchanted web, and cut their way through the pack. Dripping blood from multiple wounds, Niffa took the old one’s head, but not before it gave her a wound in return, but only a minor one. The younger one they attempted to bargain with, but received only sullen silence. They slit his throat with silver knives and moved on, plundering the caverns, and finding at the top of the caldera some ancient statue of a man with a jackal’s head, old but of great craftsmanship. They removed its gemstone eyes and moved on, unnerved.

Back to Loshad they came, bearing the heads of the skinchangers. He received their bloody gifts with great sanctimony, and directed them north, on the cliffs beyond the Eastern River, to the ruins of great Xitaquaah, that were built by hands that were not men and had stood since the first man set his foot on the soil of Karameikos.  

Glancing west with hard eyes, they ventured forth, saddlebags laden with supplies and 20 days left on their horses before they must be freed, to face whatever horrors awaited them in the Ruins of Xitaquaah.

The Book of the Living.
[B] Niffa (Elf 3, 19 hp)
[E] Shing the Golden (MU 4, 12 hp)
[F] Hummingbird Twiceborn (Mys 5, 14 hp)
[G] Edmin Os Traytor (Clr 3, 12 hp)
[NPC] Sarah (Thf 4, 16 hp).
[NPC] Merkull (Ftr 4, 25 hp)
[NPC] Lucius Sulla (Ftr 2, 13 hp)
[NPC] Mardek (Ftr 1, 5 hp)
[NPC] Thorbin Stonefist (Dwr 1, 5 hp)

The Book of the Dead:
[A] Ilyanka Pjottrsdöttr (Clr 1) – Beheaded by Giant Chameleon
[B] Liliath the Elf-maiden (Elf 1) – Skull-split by the horrid Bugbear
[C] Cold-Souled Fenrig (Thf 1) – Cut down by the Orc menace
[D] Balan the Lame (Dwr 1) – Cut down by the Orc menace
[B] Earendil (Elf 1) – Struck down by vile Orc Sorcery
[G] Azalesh Slyly (Clr 1) – Shanked by common robbers
[NPC] The Wardog Biter (Dog) – Cut down by the Orc Menace
[NPC] Aziz the Impetuous (Ftr 1) – Struck down by an impostor’s hand
[NPC] Hyacinth the Fair (Ftr 1) – Felled by an Arrow
[NPC] Kellhus (Mys 1) – Drained by Stirges

The Rolls of Honour:
[A] Egil Soft-pate (Ftr 1, 18 Str) – Long may he Reave!
[C] Sir Ioric (Ftr 3, 17 hp) – Retired in glory, long live the Duke!
[NPC] Erren (Thf 3, 10 hp) – She wanders the roads, looking for who knows what.
[D] Rallo the Bastard (Thf 5, 25 hp) – Refused to leave the tavern and preferred to keep drinking


18 thoughts on “[Actual Play] Swords Against Chaos 40 (RC Mystara): Of men, wolves and horses.

  1. The party didn’t attack when the forces would be split, but otherwise did well. There is some good treasure in that lair. I hope you made the players stand on one leg and whistle for the summoning.
    Onto Xitaqa, and we will see how well they coped with your favourite invisibility/minotaur room. Did Golthar show them “why they fear the night”?

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      1. As an American, I prefer my fantasy wilderness a bit more spacious than the cramped confines of WFRP’s “Auld World.” However, as an Anglo-file, I love the dark, snarky humor of the original WFRPG. And I’ve been a fan of the original Slaves to Darkness since…what? ’87? ’88? Got that book FIRST…then got WFRPG to try to make it work. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

        Anyway, I like how Comes Chaos turned out. Kelvin’s art gives it a different tone, but it works.

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    1. I can’t speak to how Ten Dead Rats plays. I’ve listened to a couple of Paul’s game sessions on the Wandering DMs channel, and it sounds…um…”fun enough.” Paul’s seems a competent DM, but Warhammer-on-rails isn’t really my go-to adventure style (as such, it’s tough to see how 10DR functions outside the genre).

      Chris Hogan’s Small But Vicious Dog (one of 10DR’s inspirations) captures much of the snarky-ass humor of original WFRPG, and weds it to something on the scale of Holmes Basic (which throws first level characters up against purple worms and such). I think, of the two, I prefer SBVD…but I’d rather play straight B/X than either of ’em.

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