Friday, 14 September 2018

Das schwarze Auge solo - Part XVII: „Man kann mich nicht höher hängen, als der Galgen ist.“


After dinner that evening, Travjane uncharacteristically volunteers to clean the kitchen; the dismissal of Darian's has meant that she and Darian have been flipping a Silverthaler each night to see who was saddled with the duty. But as she cleans, she also sets aside a curious assortment of herbs, which she gathers together in a small iron pot with a handful of candles. Darian is still sitting by the fireplace when she emerges.

"Whatever are you doing with all that?" he asks.

"Ummmm... witchy things," replies Travjane. "It's probably best you don't know all the particulars. But is there any of that wine left from last night?"

"Enough for libations to the great goddess Satuaria."

"Actually, I was hoping there was enough for libations to The Great Mother Travia in the name of Friendship, via the intermediaries of our collective bellies. I can't begin my ritual until midnight, and I'll just pace up and down till then if I've no one to talk to."

Travjane is truly glad of the company and distraction, for she and Darian get on as if they've been friends for years, but in truth her real motive is to put him at ease with the idea of a Daughter of Satuaria living under his roof and indeed practicing her witchery there. There are many in Mittelreich who would --perhaps justly-- fear and despise her for what she is, and most of the Church of Praios would see her burnt at the stake for even the suspicion of the dark deed she was going to perform this night.

When the midnight hour draws near, Travjane retreats up to her room. She lights the candles, and makes her night table into a makeshift altar, laying some of the herbs out to propitiate the Goddess, burning others in the iron pot so bitter smoke fills her room, yet even more acerbic is the black bile seething in the witch's heart. She prays to Satuaria for vengeance, and whispers every secret bit of malice she feels to her awful Goddess. Then she takes a strip of the cloth stained with her enemy's blood and sets it alight, holding it above the iron pot whilst she gives voice to her terrible Curse. The heat of the flame hurts her fingertips, but she does not let go the burning strip until she has pronounced her spell:

Solange du bist, O Kapitän, frei,
fühlt sich deine Zunge so schwer wie Blei.
Gehst du nur ins Gefängnis,
wird gelöset die Bedrängis.


["As long as you, O Captain, are free / your tongue will feel as heavy as lead. / Only if you go into prison / will the affliction be undone."
NB: A Curse sent this way does not take effect for 24 hours, and requires the target be asleep at the time of casting. The target learns how to undo the curse (as specified by the witch) in a dream. I didn't make any rolls until later, but I moved the mechanics here so they're all in the same place. So--

Q: Was the Captain asleep when she cast the Curse? (50/50 (4+): O6 C7 - Yes.

Paralyze Tongue (SGC/INT/CHA skill 2); the Difficulty modifier is only half the target's Toughness, so -1 (Curses are stronger than spells in this regard): 2/3/6 QL1 = success, 3 hours duration.
The curse costs Travjane 14AsP (20 remaining).

Annoyed by Minor Spirits disadvantage: 1d20=18 (>14 AsP used): even the Mindergeister are afraid of Travjane's witchy wrath, and stay well away.

In retrospect, I suppose casting the Curse is sort of like the taking-a-scene-off-to-rest-and/or-regain-spells action in the Scarlet Heroes urban adventure rules, so the Captain should have been awarded an additional Victory Point, though it won't alter the final outcome (she is still far enough ahead in VP for a 'Complete Victory').]



Scene 40 (SH-9)
Action Scene: Face the foe's best warrior- or the foe himself if this is a climactic battle and they're fit for combat. Face a Fight instead of a check.


Travjane sleeps late the next day [and recovers 1D6+1=7 AsP for a good night's sleep, so she's back up to 27]. She spends the entire afternoon helping Darian in his shop. Linnert comes over for dinner, and she tries to distract herself by directing the conversation towards Kamillio's magic needle and coming up with another plan to get it, even though she's already decided for herself how to proceed. She can't help watching the clock as it slowly creeps towards the hour of Rahja [23:00]. Halfway through the hour of Ingerimm she takes her leave, and hurries out in to the freezing night.

Travjane is admitted to the Rathaus through a side door. She is shown down to the Ratskeller, where her official friend/co-conspirator has secretly assembled [1d6+2=] a half dozen soldiers. The mage arrives last, hidden under heavy cloak.


"I was afraid you weren't coming," says Travjane.

"I wouldn't miss this for anything," replies the mage, "It is probably the most interesting this little hamlet will ever get."

"You didn't bring your staff."

"No. I'd rather not be recognised if this goes badly. But I see you've brought one... of a sort."

"This? I'd hardly call it a staff--"

"Neither would I!"

"It's just a plain old broom handle."

"Planning on making a quick escape?"

"Ha ha! No, nothing like that."

"Would you care to enlighten me?"

"All in good time."

"Please, good my ladies," interjects the Ratsherr, "we have an important matter to which to attend."

"Of course, good my lord," says the mage. "Lead on!"

The little band sneaks out back entrance, moving as quietly as six soldiers in chain byrnies are able.

[Q: Encounter on the way? Unlikely (5+): O1 C4 - no, but...]


The cobbles of the empty streets glisten with frost. Only once does Travjane spot some torches in the distance, but they immediately disappear down a side street. No one who is abroad at this hour wants to be stopped by a watch patrol, be they innocent or otherwise.

When they reach the Captain's the soldiers break down the door and rush inside, but the Captain is not there.

[Q: Anyone at home? 50/50 (4+): O5 C8 - yes]

They find only the Captain's frightened cook cowering in [d6=] her room off the kitchen.

"Where is he? Where's the captain?" shouts Travjane.

[Intimidate (Courage/Intuition/Charisma skill 3) +2 bonus: 6/15/5 success
Q: Does she know? 50/50 (4+): O2 C4 - no, but...]


"Don't hurt me! I don't know anything! He warned me about the likes of you, and said he was going somewhere safe, where his friends won't turn on him." [UNE: prejudiced - dislike - allies]

"He knew we'd be coming!" says the Ratsherr, "The guard tower, quickly!"

[Q: encounter on way? Unlikely (5+): O3 C1 - no, and...
Q: How many soldiers with captain? 2d6=7]



The Captain's office is in a stout stone tower which flanks the main gate to the city. The tower's door is locked, barred from within. The soldiers bang on door. "Let us in!" shouts Ratsherr. "I demand entry!"

"On whose authority?"

"The council's. Now unbar this gate!"

[Q: Does the captain show himself? 50/50 (4+): O5 C1 - Yes, and...
Because they lost time going to his house, it's nearly midnight. So there will only be 1d10=7 bits of dialogue before rolling for the Curse (see mechanics above)]


The Captain opens the shutter of a first floor window, and looks down scornfully upon the little band below.

"Well, well," says the Captain, "if it isn't the little witch. Somehow I knew you were too stupid to leave my lovely city." [prejudiced - doubt - previous scene]

"Didn't your mother ever tell you that you should speak politely with witches?" says Travjane. "Or do you want to be cursed? I can oblige, if that's what you're after."

"It is late; even Mada [the Moon] will soon be asleep. Go back home. This noise your rabble are making is going to wake the whole city." [insane - chaos - contacts]

"Let us come in, then, so we can have a friendly chat."

"Go away! And take your toadies with you."

"My patience is at an end."

[Q: How does the Captain react? Beautifully / Defeated]


The Captain tries to spit back a retort, but chokes on his words. He tries again with renewed hatred, but his tongue does not move, nor his lips form words. His hands fly to his face, and find his mouth hanging open like the village idiot's. He remembers his dream of the previous night with sudden and horrible clarity. Travjane begins to laugh; the hideous sound of sheer malice seems to swirl round her and up into the night air like smoke. Her soldiers cower and exchange furtive glances. Even the mage takes an unconscious step away.

The Captain disappears from the window. Moments later the door is unbarred, and he comes out into the street, his head bowed in silent surrender. A soldier claps manacles round his wrists, and he is led off to the gaol.

[Thus, Travjane wins her city adventure. VP: 10-3=7, Complete Victory.

1d20=19 >14AsP for the curse, no additional heat is incurred.

1d10=9 > 3 Heat, so she is not booted from the city

Chaos decreases to Average (d10)]



Scene 41

Chaos:
Average (d10)

Setup: dénouement of the city adventure

NPC list: NPC list: villagers, family, Ulmia the confectioner, Decius Kleiber: knight & villain, villain henchmen, wandering mage, Darian the tailor, Kamillio the rival tailor, Linnert the carpetmaker, the cobbler, Uli the cadet

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

[Q: Can Travjane be admitted to talk to Captain before his trial? 50/50 (4+): O4 C8 - Yes.]


The Captain is slumped in a corner of his cell in the gaol beneath the Ratskeller. He's barely acknowledged a soul since regaining use of his tongue. A few mumbled words of assent to the charges levied against him, an admission that the copy of the love letter was made from the genuine article, and a tacit and taciturn acceptance that he shall be face a terrible punishment for his misdeeds. He hasn't even given a thought to the rats stealing the meagre crusts left for him by the gaoler. He has merely sat on the damp stone floor the whole time, motionless, apathetic to the numbing of his extremities, feeling nothing save his own misery, half cursing Rahja for abandoning her most ardent disciple to this cruel fate, half praying for her forgiveness.

But he still has the senses of an old soldier. And into his awareness comes the sound of movement, out of step with the constant drip drip drip from the vaulted ceiling. The footsteps which approach are unfamiliar, not the clicking and scraping of the gaoler's hobnail boots nor the soft rustling of the Ratsherr's silky shoes, but the soft pad of bare feet. He looks up, and sees a cloaked woman drawing near, carrying a small parcel wrapped in torn rags. His heart is already sinking as she throws back her hood.

"You! Come to gloat, have we?"

"I brought you some food," says Travjane.

"Why?"

"I was hoping we could talk."

"Hoping? Why don't you just use your curses to force me." [UNE: prejudiced - reputation - current scene]

"Ask yourself: do you really want to put ideas like that in my head right now?"

[Intimidate (COU/INT/CHA skill 3): 10/6/14 - success, QL1
vs.
Willpower (15/13/12 skill 4) -1 penalty for situation (so attributes are effectively 14/12/11): 13/16/12 - failure, 1 skill point short]


"I concede your point," grumbles the Captain. "So, what were you hoping we could talk about?"

"Sir Decius Kleiber."

"Not the sort one goes casually asking questions about." [mysterious - shadows - antagonist]

"Oh, but I wasn't at first! Not specifically. I'd not heard the name until the owner of the Emporium Mirorum said it to me. I assume he said it to you too, and that's why you summoned me for our little chat. Does that mean he's crooked too? No matter -- I want to know why you warned me off Kleiber."

"He's an important figure both at the Academy and in the wider barony. Also, he doesn't appreciate anyone interfering with his affairs. And he is, shall we say, intemperate in his response to such meddling. Or perceived meddling." [hostile - destruction - antagonist]

"Wait -- you were trying to protect me?"

"Hardly, my dear girl! I was trying to protect Weihenhorst. And myself, of course. I didn't want a visit from Sir Decius asking why I would allow a mere peasant girl to tarnish his reputation on my watch."

"Well, he's no longer your problem. But he's still mine."

"And just what do you intend to do about him?" [inquisitive - interest - enemy]

"I haven't decided yet. But it will be more terrible than anything I've ever thought of before."

"Indeed?"

"Don't take that condescending tone with me! Do you realise that you are now in chains because you were unkind to me once, and tried to threaten me?"

"Just for that?"

"Just for that."

"And Kleiber robbed you--"

"He murdered someone dear to me."

"I-- I see. Suddenly the prospect of being scourged, branded, and expelled from the city does not seem so bad."

"Precisely. But as to your expulsion, I urge you to get as far from here as you might, and above all, to have nothing to do whatsoever with Kleiber. I've kept a trinket or two of yours that I came across in my investigations. I can use them to send curses to you wherever you may be. And if I think you're moving against me, well..."

[Intimidate (COU/INT/CHA skill 3): 6/9/10 success]

"I swear by Travia, Guardian of Vows [Schützerin der Schwüre] as well as your namesake, that I shall never knowingly provoke you again."

"Good. Then take this food. I promise it isn't poisoned."


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Adventure Points

Travjane earns 8AP for the Scarlet Heroes city adventure.

When I marked them down on her character sheet, I realised I hadn't yet awarded any AP for her (disastrous) expedition to the ruins, including the bandit encounters and the interlude with the kobold. So for scenes 25-30, she earns 8 more AP (scene 24 was an Interrupt that only involved NPCs). Back in Scene 23, I noted that she had 10AP to spend, and used them to increase some skills, but I totally forgot to award any AP for the adventures she'd had in the city itself (scenes 12-22). I am awarding 5 AP for that period.

So she's earned a total of 31AP up to this point, and only spent 10.

Time to spend AP then! She'll be increasing one skill and some magic, all things she's been using.

Intimidate +2, cost 4 AP
Radau (Fighting Stick) +3, cost 6 AP
Paralyze Tongue +3, cost 6 AP
Witch's Bile +1, cost 2 AP
 *Spray, cost 2 AP

* a Spell Enhancement from Aventurische Magie I, which requires a level of 8 in the spell. Spray gives a -2 penalty to defence rolls against the spell.

Travjane now has 1 AP left unspent. Her updated character sheet is here.

She's got at least a fortnight of downtime (1d20+14 days) before her adventure picks up again, so she has time for the skill increases above. I was a bit surprised that she didn't get booted from the city (due to Heat) at the conclusion of her urban adventure. But there's still most of a sandbox to explore, and revenge to pursue, so the next post will pick up her adventures as she sets out from the city.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Das schwarze Auge solo - Part XVI: „Wir könnten viel, wenn wir zusammenstünden“


Travjane feels pleased at her interview with the guild mage. The guilds have a formidable reputation; even the mages of the White Guild are prone to arrogance and elusiveness, to say nothing of the fearsome Black Guild. She expected haughty disdain and a complete dismissal of her petition. Instead, she got haughty disdain and tentative acceptance -- a greater result than she'd deemed possible.

Scene 36 (SH-5)
Investigation: Be waylaid by a hostile Actor with a Clue. Face a Fight instead of a check.


[Actor: Battered ex-adventurer. Using a random archetype from the rulebook (skipping witch) 1d10=thief.

Thief's Stealth (Courage14/Intuition14/Agility15 skill 10): 15/11/13 QL3
vs.
Travjane's Perception (Sagacity/Intuition/Intuition skill 2): 15/7/8, failure]


Filled with a heady optimism, Travjane is wandering aimlessly through the narrow, winding streets of the merchant's quarter when a hand grabs her arm and something sharp prods her lower back. "Just keep walking," says a [d6=] woman's voice softly. "Now turn here... now into this alley."

The woman manoeuvres Travjane down the cramped alleyway, and behind a stack of old casks, out of sight of the main street. She turns Travjane roughly about. Travjane is surprised to find that the woman is a few finger-breadths [several cm] shorter than she, but not at all to see her wrapped head to toe in a dark grey winter cloak, with a scarf of the nearly the same colour but not quite (by The Twelve! Darian is starting to rub off on her) concealing all but her glaring green eyes. The stiletto in her hand points at Travjane's midsection, following her every small shift like the unerring needle on a Südweiser [the aventurian compass points Praios-ward (south)].

"You've been to see that black mage," says the woman. "How come? What are you playing at?" [UNE: knowing - report - last action]

Travjane sighs. "I'm not in the mood for this right now. How about you go away and I won't hurt you."

[Travjane's Intimidate (Courage/Intuition/Charisma skill 3): 12/17/12, success QL1
vs.
Thief's Willpower (Courage14/Intuition14/Charisma12, skill 7): 6/17/9, QL2 wins resisted challenge]


"I don't think so."


[Initiative: T16 thief20]

The woman thrusts her stiletto at Travjane, but the witch dodges back out of reach [attack misses / dodge succeeds]. As the woman is about to rush forward, Travjane crouches low and feels the magic well up in her legs. "Allez-hop!"

[Travjane casts Krötensprung (Toad Jump): Sagacity/Intuition/Constitution, skill 6
-1 for 1 action: 2/2/5, success at QL 2. She needs at least 1d4+2=4m, so her Body Control (Agility/Agility/Constitution skill 4) roll is at-2: 5/5/16 just succeeds.
Also, 1d20=9 >2AsP spent, so no Mindergeister appear to torment her.]


The toad witch makes a great leap before the astonished eyes of her attacker, and alights in the low gutter where two slanting roofs meet. Hands on her hips, she looks down at the woman in the alley way with derision, though rather ruins the effect when she gives in to the childish impulse to stick out her tongue.

[Q: Does the thief try to follow? 50/50: O4 C5 - Yes.]

The woman rolls her eyes for an instant, but then begins wordlessly climbing up after Travjane, scrambling atop the pile of casks and jumping up to catch the lowest eave.

[Her attributes + Climb 8 skill would succeed without a roll, but Travjane is going to try to kick her off. I couldn't find a rule for it, but resisted Feat of Strength (Constitution/Strength/Strength, skill 0 for both) checks seem like the right answer.

Travjane: 4/2/3 success -vs.- Thief 1/17/6 failure]


The woman is about to swing herself up onto the roof, but Travjane bends down and prises her fingers off the edge. After a brief struggle, the woman loses her grip and tumbles down to the ground with a thud [16 damage drops her to 11LP & 2 levels of Pain]. She gets up and flees, limping back into the street.

[T +1 VP, +1 Clue]

Travjane sits on the edge of the roof and contemplates what just transpired. She's sure the Captain is on to her, and that this attempted assassination was under his orders, but she isn't sure if the would-be assassin was a soldier in disguise or a free operative. So the Captain either can't use his own people for the dirty work and must look outside, or else their loyalty wavers. Or perhaps when they raid the merchants, they really think they are upholding the law. Whatever the case, he can't move against her openly. Does this mean she's winning?

[Because she used magic in a way others might hear about, she may incur Heat. According to SH, a roll of 1d10 under the highest spell level used adds a point of Heat. There are no spell levels in DSA, but a roll of 1d20 under the number of Astral Points spent (of the most costly spell, if more than one was cast) will increase Heat.

1d20=17 > 2 AsP spent, so no additional Heat.
1d10=2 < 4 TNIAS, so +1 enemy VP

T5 C1 heat 3, Clues: 1]



Scene 37 (SH-6)
Investigation: Search a Location related to past events where a Clue can be found. Roll a die; on an odd result, you face a Fight whether or not you succeed on the check.


Travjane spends her afternoon helping Darian sell a client a gown that will never look as good on her as it does on Travjane. By evening she has become restless and decides to see if she can find any incriminating evidence in the Captain's hidden love nest. When she's sure that the dancer will be performing at the Purple Lion, she heads out into the streets.

[Stealth (Courage/Intuition/Agility, skill 6) to avoid detection near the love nest: 13/5/2, success

Q: Is there an obvious way in other than just the front door? Unlikely (5+) O5 C2: Yes, and...]



It is a bitterly cold night, so the streets are nearly deserted. Travjane still takes pains to avoid meeting any other travellers abroad. When she reaches the love nest, she closes the shutter on her (that is, Darian's) lantern so it emits just enough light to see the ground before her [about 1,5 Schritte (1.5m)]. She moves along the outside of the building, hoping to find a means of ingress other than the front door. Phex [the god of thieves, merchants, and luck] must be smiling upon her this night, for she finds the shutter of a ground floor window has not been secured. No light comes from within, so, after casting a quick glance down the street to be certain she is not seen, she clambers inside.

[She needs a Perception (Sagacity/Intuition/Intuition skill 2) roll to find the Clue: 1/7/7, success]

The small townhouse looks like any other residence, though with the exception of the bedchamber it is only minimally furnished. There is an oversized vanity table of white-painted hardwood, carved with gilded scenes of cavorting nymphs and fauns, obviously imported from Horasreich at great expense. Travjane finds it on just the wrong side of good taste, but after rifling its contents for a few minutes is rewarded with a folded parchment bearing a broken wax seal: a billet-doux!

She begins to read: "Please, my exquisite one, accept this most miserable present, which cannot but pale in contrast to your all-too radiant glories, my dearest one, my divine, who art more beautiful that Rahja herself. I have mortgaged my good name against it, my pearl, my ruby, squeezing out the gold of the sweaty populace of this pitiful city. Run away with me, and we can spend my fortune together to build a Palace of Perfect Passion..."

[Body Control (AGL/AGL/CON, skill 4) not to retch: 8/18/9, failure]


"Blech!" says Travjane, feeling her stomach churn. She reads no more, but folds the missive carefully and puts it in her belt pouch.

[Q: Anything else she can use against the Captain? 50/50 (4+): O4 C1 - Yes, and...
Perception (SGC/INT/INT skill 2): 14/9/12, success]


Travjane examines the bed, which appears to have been freshly made. She opens one of the linen chests, and is rewarded with a mass of dirty sheets. "Ugh," she says, but proceeds to dig through them. One has four short parallel stripes, which her lantern light reveals to be of a brownish red colour. "Oh, my dear Captain, it looks like your mistress is quite the scratcher," thinks the witch. "If your letter doesn't work a miracle, through this blood you'll feel my curse." She cuts a swatch out of the bloodstained fabric with her dagger, and stows it away in her pouch.

Just then she hears the creak of floorboards. She is not alone in the house!

[1d6=3, face a fight.
Q: Who is here? (1d10): 1-2 landlord, 3-4 maid, 5-6 guard, 7-8 florist, 9 dancer, 0 captain
d10=Guard (stats as Gardist in Aventurisches Almanach)

Travjane's Stealth (Courage/Intuition/Agility, skill 6): 11/17/7, success QL1
vs.
The guard's Perception (Sagacity11/Intuition13/Intuition13 skill 8): 20/10/17, fail]


Travjane climbs gingerly out the window, closing the shutter silently behind her, and pads silently off into the night.

[+1 VP, +1 Clue

1d10=8 > 5 TNIAS, so no additional enemy VP

T6 C1 heat 3
Clues: 2
]



Scene 38 (SH-7)
spending a clue for an Action scene: Pass an incriminating or disgraceful Clue to an Actor who can make sure important people learn of the evidence.


Darian is waiting up when she returns, reading by his fire. He heats up a pot of Glühwein, and she shows him her "treasure". Darian is a bit perturbed by the bloodstained cloth, but anxious to hear the contents of the letter. Travjane reads it aloud in her best imitation of the Captain's stern voice.

"So what do you think I should do with this?" asks Travjane once her recitation is complete.

"There's only one thing you can do," says Darian, wiping away tears of mirth. "Take it straight to the Rathaus."

"Not to the Twelve-Gods' Church [Zwölfgötterkirche]? It's sacrilege!"

"Come now, saying one's lover is more beauteous than Rahja herself is hardly sacrilege."

"It is when it's this badly written! But seriously, I'm loathe to hand this over. Just in case."

"Make a copy then. I know you say you were under the tutelage of a Praios-priest for years, but I doubt you'll find such a warm reception from the ones here. Your chances are better with the civil authorities than the divine."

Darian makes a copy for her in his best chancery hand, and in the morning she proceeds directly to the Rathaus to beat the crowds.


[She needs a Law (SGC/SGC/INT, skill 0) roll to get in this time: 3/8/4, success]

The Ratsherr is huddled over the little brazier in his office when she is shown in. "You're here early," he observes. "I'm sorry it's so cold in here. It takes a while for the coals to heat the room in the morning."

"The cold doesn't bother me," replies Travjane. "And I have something to show you which will warm you right up with the fire of great passion... or something like that."

"Whatever can you mean?"

"Read this. It's only a copy, but I assure you it's genuine. I have the original concealed in a place of safety. Tell me what you think."

The Ratsherr peruses the letter with a studied impassivity. "It's very incriminating," he says.

"It's practically a signed confession!"

"It wasn't intended as such... but it may be nearly as good. So how do you intend to proceed?"

"That depends," says Travjane, "If you can help me bring the Captain to justice, I am willing to follow your lead. If you don't think we can yet, I plan to make dozens of copies of this letter and post them all over town. But it would be better for Weihenhorst, I think, to handle this with more discretion."

[rolling Fast Talk to keep the Ratsherr on side (Courage/Intuition/Charisma, skill 2; the letter gives a +3 bonus, cancelling all penalties for status as an outsider and a witch): 14/2/9 success.

Q: Does the Ratsherr have enough authority to order the Captain's arrest? 50/50 (4+): O1 C8 - Yes.
Q: Is the Captain a lesser noble? Unlikely (5+): O3 C7 - No (he can be tried in the city, then).]


"I believe I can help you," says the Ratsherr.

[+2 VP for winning an Action scene

1d10=5 < 6 TNIAS, so +1 enemy VP

T8 C2 heat 3
clues: 1
]



Scene 39 (SH-8)
spending her last Clue for another Action scene: Rally an Actor and their comrades to oppose the foe.


[NB: The beginning of this scene and the end of the last sort of melted into one another. I really prefer Mythic's organic scene structure to Scarlet Heroes' mechanistic one.]

"Are there any soldiers in Weihenhorst whom you trust?" asks Travjane.

[Q: Are there? 50/50 (4+): O6 C4: Yes, but... one is corrupt.

Travjane needs a final roll against Convince (Bekehren & Überzeugen Courage/Sagacity/Charisma skill 0) to keep the Ratsherr from wavering in his resolve: 8/3/4, success]


"There are," says the Ratsherr. "It will take me some little time to prepare. But we could make the arrest tomorrow night."

"I want to be there. You may need my... skills."

"Agreed."

They agree to meet in the Ratskeller [cellar of the guildhall] on the following night when the clock strikes eleven. Travjane says her goodbye, then heads off to find the mage. She finds her still at her inn, where the frightened innkeeper agrees to ask the Black Guild wizard if she will receive a visit from a witch.

[Fast talk (CRG/INT/CHA skill 2) at -2 to convince her it's worth coming along: 3/15/7, success QL1]

"The Captain's downfall is at hand," explains Travjane. "I have a city official ready to arrest him, and he's got a troop of loyal soldiers. We move tomorrow night. Will you be there?"

"I will come," says the mage. "But I will not be leading the charge."

"Nor will I... probably. But I've faced down worse in a fight -- recently, in fact -- so his sword doesn't scare me."

"You're brave, witch. Or foolish. I suppose I'll find out which tomorrow."

After leaving the mage, Travjane brings some food to the poor, wretched cobbler in the gaol. She tells him that he must persevere and be brave. The Captain will soon be brought to justice, and he must tell everything he knows in court. Also, he must apologise for the wrongs that he has committed, pay whatever silly fine the court levies against him for spreading false rumours about his rival for the affections of Noiona the milkmaid.

"I will do as you say," says the cobbler, practically weeping. "But how am I ever to repay you?"

"It has been brought to my attention that I really need a sturdy pair of travelling boots," says the witch.

[+2 VP

1d10=4 < 7 TNIAS, so +1 enemy VP

T10 C3 heat 3

Total VP=10
, so (in the next post) the adventure will automatically proceed to the final Action Scene]