Sunday, 21 February 2016

Das schwarze Auge solo - Part X: „Du und ich... und über uns Beiden die Nacht!“

Travjane tells Darian and Linnert she'll catch up with them at Darian's for dinner and perusal of the map. They've a lot to plan if they are going to make an expedition to the ruins. But for now, she has an errand still to run.

Scene 20

Chaos: Madness (d6)

Setup: talking in the merchant's quarter II

NPC list: villagers, family, Ulmia the confectioner, Decius Keiler: knight & villain, villain henchmen, Jalosch the dwarf, wandering mage, Darian the tailor, Kamillio the rival tailor, Captain of the guards at Weihenhorst, Linnert the carpetmaker, the cobbler, Darian's apprentice

Threads: revenge, the ivory box, get the needle, revenge against Captain

The cobbler's shop is still empty of workers. Travjane finds the cobbler nearly hidden behind a mountain of work on his bench. he looks up hopefully as she enters.

"The Twelve bless you," he says.

"And you," says Travjane. "Look, I'm going to be honest with you. I'm no closer to a solution to this Captain problem than I was when last we spoke. I might... I might be away for a little while too. But I will come back. This is not me giving up -- far from it. But I just might be able to secure some more leverage whilst I'm away. Can you hang on and do this slowly? and properly?"

[NPC Relationship: peaceful
Conversation Mood: guarded
knowing - history - antagonist]

"I suppose," sighs the cobbler, "If I must. I'll have to pay him. What else can I do? He holds all the cards."

"Not if I can help it."

Travjane takes her leave and hurries back out in to the street, away from the dim and oppressive workshop. As she is walking down the street, she sees a cloaked figure doing an absurdly bad job of shadowing a dwarf. "What's going on in this town!" she thinks. [Random encounter: witness government worker shadowing someone.]

Scene 21

Madness (d6)

Setup: Chaos die=4, Interrupt (was: plans & preparations)
Interrupt: Move toward a thread - revenge - Befriend / Military

NPC list: villagers, family, Ulmia the confectioner, Decius Keiler: knight & villain, villain henchmen, Jalosch the dwarf, wandering mage, Darian the tailor, Kamillio the rival tailor, Captain of the guards at Weihenhorst, Linnert the carpetmaker, the cobbler, Darian's apprentice

Threads: revenge, the ivory box, get the needle, revenge against Captain, explore ruins

[Die rolls to set the scene--
Who is the new friend? (1d6) 1 naughty cadet, 2 bullied cadet, 3 promising cadet, 4 officer, 5 knight, 6 quartermaster: 3

Q: What's (1d6=) she doing in town? Trust / Illusions - lured here by naughty cadets
Here openly? 50/50 (4+): Yes, but... needs to hide

Nearest building: (Cities, d% on the merchant quarter buildings table =) wine merchant]

Travjane is idly looking in the window of a wine merchant's shop, minding her own business when someone runs round a corner and straight into her, almost knocking her into the dirt. It's a young cadet, still practically a girl, looking scared and out of breath.

"Please, miss, you've got to help me hide! The others said we had permission to leave the Academy, but they were just trying to get me in trouble. Now some officers saw me and they are chasing me down. If I'm caught they'll throw me out for sure!"

The wheels of Travjane's mind are thrown into full motion by this sudden new circumstance. What she couldn't do with a friend inside the academy! Almost before she knows what she is saying, she responds to the girl. "Just keep going that way. I'll distract them and buy you time. Darian the tailor's shop -- find me later. Now run!"

The cadet disappears out of sight down the nearest side-street. Soon after, four soldiers run panting into the street. "Did you... see a... cadet running this... way?" asks the leader, breathlessly.

Travjane approaches the woman and puts a hand on her arm. "She went that way. But all this fuss over a naughty cadet! You're in Weihenhorst. Wouldn't you rather, say, sample some of this lovely wine than run through the streets playing mother hen?"

[Travjane is casting Große Gier, this time for an action (browse the wine shop) instead of an object. She has skill 5; it uses Courage/Intuition/Charisma, reduced by the target's Mental Strength (1). She rolls 4/4/9: success, QL2. Cost is 8 AsP; 1d20=15, no Mindergeister.

The soldier gets a Willpower roll: 17/19/11. Assuming attributes of 13 and skill (1d6=)3, it fails, and she gives in to the desire.] 

"You know," says the soldier to her subordinates, "I think this lady has a good point. There'll be plenty of chances to catch cadets misbehaving back at the Academy. Let's see what this shop has to offer; I'm sick of that vinegar they serve us at mess!"

Scene 22

Madness (d6) increased as things have gotten messy

Setup: Chaos die=2, Altered (was: plans & preparations)
Altered: new friend shows up whilst they are planning

NPC list: villagers, family, Ulmia the confectioner, Decius Keiler: knight & villain, villain henchmen, Jalosch the dwarf, wandering mage, Darian the tailor, Kamillio the rival tailor, Captain of the guards at Weihenhorst, Linnert the carpetmaker, the cobbler, Darian's apprentice, cadet

Threads: revenge, the ivory box, get the needle, revenge against Captain, explore ruins


Travjane wends her way back to Darian's shop, which has closed for the day by the time she arrives. Cranky the apprentice is nowhere to be seen. Darian himself is in the kitchen cooking something fragrant, and Linnert is sitting at the table, idly examining two halves of a parchment.

Over dinner, they discuss how best to investigate the ancient ruins. Travjane gets sidetracked for about 15 minutes relating the story of her adventure with the bandit ghosts and the ogre, and almost twice that trying to disabuse the two tradesman of the notion that she is some sort of veteran treasure-hunter and monster-killer.

A lull in the conversation follows, as they realise they've made no progress whatsoever. And then there is a knock at the door. Darian goes to see who it is, then comes back looking bemused. "Travjane, there's a little soldier here to see you."

"What? Oh! From the marketplace earlier... be right back."

Travjane goes to the door, and soon comes back, the cadet in tow. "Darian," says the witch, "you wouldn't mind if a wayward but basically trustworthy cadet billets here tonight? She'll leave before dawn and sneak back to her own barracks at the academy. It's so bitterly cold outside and she hasn't a friend in the city."

"You've already told her she can stay, haven't you?"

"Um, well, yes. But only 'cause I know you're a caring sort and won't throw her out into the freezing cold."

"Very well..."

"Can we talk in front of her, though?" asks Linnert. "We know nothing about this girl."

"I'm not a girl!" says the cadet firmly. "I'm 19! and in my second gods' cycle [Götterlauf = year] at the Academy. My name is Ulinai von Galgenkreuz. I am daughter of the [1d30=] Baroness von Galgenkreuz, renowned knight of the Shield of the Empire [Schild des Reiches: the northern and eastern provinces of the Middenrealm]. I swear to you on the honour of my family that I will divulge no secrets that I may hear here tonight. I owe this lady my continuing good name."

"That's good enough for me, I suppose," says Linnert.

"I take it you haven't eaten, my lady?" says Darian, "Pull up a chair and I'll--"

"My mother is addressed as 'My Lady'," interrupts the cadet. "though she prefers just 'Dame'. And when I do inherit, I hope to be a proper knight like her, too. But for now I'm not much for ceremony. Just call me Uli. Everyone does."


Uli joins them at the table, and they briefly outline their conundrum. Linnert puts the map out of sight in a kitchen drawer, and Uli knows better than asking to see it. Despite her ignorance of specifics, she is full of practical advice on leading an expedition into unknown territory. She is a bit over-enthusiastic, and cannot quite grasp that it is not a military undertaking, but in the end her Academy-trained mind is tempered by simplicity and common sense. Uli wishes she could go with them on their mission (as she still insists on calling it), but she cannot be away from the Academy any longer at this time, nor are they minded to wait for her next furlough.

In the end, they have a list of necessary supplies and a plan for hiring some mercenaries to protect them in the wilderness. Darian is a consummate host, and the wine flows perhaps a bit too freely. Linnert drinks too much to stumble home, so must also spend the night. They are glad of the strong soldier who can carry him up to the guest room. . . .

Sleeping late

In the morning, Darian goes to check on the Travjane, who has uncharacteristically not come down to investigate the sounds and smells of cooking food. He pushes the door open and espies the two girls still fast asleep. He raps on the door to wake them up. Travjane barely stirs, but Uli looks up and mumbles something incoherent.

"You're still here?" says Darian, "No matter. My apprentice is down in the kitchen making breakfast. You're welcome to stay."

"Oh no! I can't, I really can't!" says Uli as she leaps out of the bed and dresses hurriedly. "I should have been halfway back to the Academy by now!"

Darian bids her farewell, and trudges upstairs to try to rouse Linnert. Travjane reluctantly throws a shift on and accompanies Uli to the back door to see her out. As desperate as she is to be underway, Uli doesn't want to leave. She takes Travjane's hands at the threshold. "Promise you'll come visit me at the Academy?" she says.

"I promise."

And then Uli is off, running out into the street with her belt still undone and her tabard on backwards.

Darian waits to come down the stairs until he hears the door close. "And here I thought you didn't like the cadets..." he says.

"This one's different."

"Indeed? At any rate, I don't mind you inviting her over. But if you're to make a habit of this we need to discuss our domestic arrangements."

"You're the one who put us in your room for the night."

"Linnert thrashes about in his sleep, so sharing a bed with him is right out. And I couldn't very well force one of you to stay in the guest room with him; he also snores something horrible. It's only on the strength of our long friendship that I've learnt to tolerate the noise."

"Once our business is concluded I can move on. I don't intend to intrude on your hospitality."

"It's no intrusion, believe me! Besides, you're a much better model than my long-suffering apprentice. You fill out a gown infinitely better than he."

Scene 23

Madness (d6)

Setup: recruiting

NPC list: villagers, family, Ulmia the confectioner, Decius Keiler: knight & villain, villain henchmen, Jalosch the dwarf, wandering mage, Darian the tailor, Kamillio the rival tailor, Captain of the guards at Weihenhorst, Linnert the carpetmaker, the cobbler, Darian's apprentice, Uli the cadet

Threads: revenge, the ivory box, get the needle, revenge against Captain, explore ruins

Now that they have a plan, it is time to put it into action. There are supplies to buy, mercenaries to hire, and business in town to settle. Linnert has elected not to brave the hardships of the wilderness, so he will remain in Weihenhorst, and will supervise Darian's apprentice as well as tending his own shop.

Travjane accompanies Darian on the supply runs, and all three are present for the interviews. Travjane is very excited, and anxious to get underway. But this adventuring lark turns out to be hard work!

[Rather than try to tease some worthwhile narrative out of Travjane and Darian's Thrilling! Adventures! in Shopping! et al., I'll just sum up a bunch of game mechanics.

Darian and Linnert are bankrolling the expedition. Since they're NPCs, I have been sort of hand waving their finances. But they aren't super-wealthy, so some sort of limits are needed. I figure they can afford to hire 2 mercenaries and buy any needed equipment.


For recruiting hirelings, I turned to the d30 Sandbox Companion. Weihenhorst is a small, frontier city (-2 column shift), but they are paying for advertising posters (+1): "2 soldiers sought to protect expedition. Standard pay (min. 1 month wages) + share of treasure found"

Rolling on the -1 column, 1d30=4: 1 respondent the first week.

Who turns up? 1d30: 1-6 mercenary, 7-10 warrior, 11-13 bandit, 14-16 dwarf, 17-19 knight, 20-22 Rondrageweite(r), 23-25 thief, 26-27 con artist, 28-29 mage, 30 elf

9=warrior, 1d6=m

Warrior comes in many flavours, so (1d10): 1-6 Thorwaler, 7-9 Akademische, 10 Stammes-

Q: Local? Unlikely (5+): O4 C1 - No, and... no friend of the local academy
Q: Will he refuse to work for a witch? Unlikely (5+): O1 C6 - No.

Travjane, Darian, & Linnert each make an Empathy roll during interview, and  compare notes. They need a total QL of 3 to get good sense of the mercenary's character (QL2 for reasonable approximation, QL 1 for vague). She has skill 5, the other two have skill 3.

They each roll a success with QL1, so QL3 total. Rolling 1d30 on the loyalty table indicates a +1 loyalty adjustment. Sounds good enough -- he's hired. But--

Q: Is he willing to wait a week for recruitment of a 2nd? 50/50 (4+): O4 C4 - Yes, but... needs a place to stay
+Event: NPC negative - Decius - Extravagance / Jealousy (noted for later)
Q: Can/will Linnert put up the warrior? Likely (3+): O6 C1 - Yes, and... he had always intended to house the help if needed

The second week's recruitment produces 3 applicants: a male dwarf, a female mercenary, and a female mage

Q: Do any of them refuse to work for a witch? Certain (2+): O2 C5 - Yes.
Q: Which? 1d10: 1-4 mage, 5-6 dwarf, 7-8 mage & dwarf, 9 merc, 10 all 3

1=mage refuses

Empathy rolls--
on dwarf: T QL1, D-, L-
on merc: T QL1, D-, L-

Q: Who makes the better impression? 1d6: 1-2 dwarf, 3-4 merc, 5-6 about same; 3=merc


Level? 1d6: 1 inexperienced, 2-3 moderate 4-6 experienced

Rolls are 4 & 6, experienced (i.e. both equal to starting characters)


Jergan the warrior is from Mittelreich. I made a new warrior character as an exercise in recalling what sorts of combat special abilities there are. His personality was generated (first) at random--

Personality: Fun Loving, Spiteful
Motivations (UNE):
1. advance the world
2. promote pleasure
3. access valour


For Renahban the mercenary, I just used the sample mercenary PC in the rulebook. She comes from the metropolis of Al'Anfa, far away in the south. She's well-travelled, as evinced by her choice of a northern weapon (two-handed sword) over something more typically meridianish -- or maybe her favourite sword just broke and she had to buy a new one up here.

Personality: Annoyed, Self-Centered
Motivations (UNE):
1. suppress happiness
2. possess legends
3. steal valour


I figured Darian and Linnert could afford a modest amount of equipment for the expedition. Encumbrance isn't much of a problem, as long as they don't get much heavy treasure. A person can carry Strength x2 in Stein (one aventurian Stein (Stone) = 1kg.) without being encumbered; every 4 Stein beyond that adds an encumbrance level. As always, 4 levels of an effect result in the inability to take actions.

2 tents (6 Stein each)
1 week provisions each (adjusted down for road travel days, so 5 days; 7.5 Stein each person)
1 waterskin each (.25ea)
1 wineskin each (.25ea)
rope 15m (7.5stein)
8 torches (.5ea)
winter cloaks
winter clothes (Armour value 1, 2 Stein weight, -1 Movement, -1 Initiative)

Adventure Points

Travjane still has 10AP unspent, and has essentially two weeks of downtime, so it's time to increase some skills. 2AP from the adventure with the bandit ghosts must be spent on Singing, the rest will be spent on skills she's been using a lot of lately. So,

Singing +2, cost 2AP
Carousing +2, cost 2AP
Stealth +1, cost 3AP
Streetwise +1, cost 3AP

Carousing +2, Singing +2

That went fast...

Then they were ready to head out on an adventure... except that I rolled an Interrupt for scene 24.

Interrupt: NPC action - Jergan - Create / Dispute

Q: Who with? 1d6: 1 Travjane, 2 Darian, 3 Linnert, 4 Renahban, 5 Apprentice, 6 Other

5=Apprentice. So Jergan and Darian's apprentice get into a nasty argument during one of the planning sessions. Not very exciting, so we shan't be dwelling on it, in favour of getting the party on the road...]

Next post: Adventure!


  1. This is a familiar military story . . . "Hurry up and wait" . . . wait some more . . . now START (what were they waiting for?).

    -- Jeff

    1. Well, the wait is over now.

      I htin kpart of the delay may just have been Travjane convincing Darian to just buy travelling cloaks rather than make nice ones for the whole company...

  2. I'm intrigued by Uli the cadet. I've a feeling that when Travjane returns to the city Uli is going to be of great help.

    1. It's a thread I will definitely be exploring. Hooray for random events & interrupt scenes!