Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Valda and the Desolation of the Fire Coast, part 4

Continued from here, in this part, Valda explores deeper...and the heat is on! It is clear that subtlety is not Valda’s strong suit in the third part of my Barbarians of Lemuria solo actual play for the 2016 Solo Gaming Appreciation Month.

7. The Dome

Location Roll — expected, random, none (3, 7, 5)
Q. What does the encounter look like? Loudly Hard

The opposite way led to another doorway. This opened to a descending stair that hugged the inside of the central dome of the palace. Many ways branched off from this landing or that. The winding stair descended two levels to the main floor of the building. Skylights allowed the starlight to enter.

As she descended, bells of alarm tolling incessantly, a group of guardsmen entered the floor below led by a hulking man of huge proportions. He looked up as Valda was mid-span down the way. In a booming voice, he commanded his men after her.

Kalev Bauk (tough)
Strength 2, Agility -1, Mind 0, Appeal 0
Melee 1, Ranged 0, Initiative 0, Defense 1
Careers: Mercenary 1, Captain 1
Lifeblood: 8
Protection: Medium armor (2) (-1 Agility (already figured)
Weapons: Sword (d6)

Palace Guards (rabble)
Guard 1; 3 LB each (x6); 1d3 damage (d6L horde)

Q. Do the footsteps of pursuit get louder? (likely) No (2)
Q. Is there chandeliers or curtains? (likely) No (2)
Q. Is there a nearby side passage? (likely) No (1)

A half-dozen men issued up the stairs in their war regalia. Valda couldn’t make the next landing and side passage before the men would beat her there. Instead, she faced them with a ferocious snarl, staking out a point of defense near a column on higher ground.

Battle ensues — Valda takes 1 damage

The snarling northron bested the six men, sending each sprawling on the floor or fleeing for their lives. Their huge captain stared incredulously at the barbarian streaked with soot and heaving like a feral pict.

“Bah!” he growled, drawing his own broadsword. “Can’t even defeat a woman!”

The man flew up the stairs. Valda was ready for him.

Battle ensues — no damage

The two squared off, but the barbarian woman yielded no ground. They exchanged savage blows, but the barbarian was too quick. The man tried to use his superior size to take her down into a bear hug, but he only managed to skewer himself on her waiting blade.

She pushed him off and stole downstairs.

8. The New Crypt

Location Roll — special (random [Nicely Young] barely there), random (Frantically Important), random (Gratefully Macabre) (6, 7, 4)

Valda turned down a darkened passage and immediately was swallowed by a maze of tarpaulins. The air was dusty, and she caught herself before running to a wall. Someone squealed. When she got her bearings, she found herself in a small alcove of fresh and partial construction. She saw it was a small crypt with a newly chiseled tombstone. The squeal came from a scrawny household servant — or more likely official, like a seneschal, in a nightcap and gown.

“Don’t kill me!” he sobbed, sinking to his knees.

“Get out of my sight, knave!” she hissed in her thick northern accent. The man got to his feet and ran out.

She wished not to be trapped there, so turned about to find another hiding place.

9. The Bedchamber

Location Roll — Bedchamber, King Bley, none (7, 9, 9)
Q. Are the king’s advisors with him? (likely) Yes (4)
Q. Any fighting men? (likely) Yes (9)
Q. Does the king have any fighting ability? (50/50) No (5)

King’s Advisors (rabble)
Scribe 1, 1 LB each (x6); 1d3 damage (d6L horde)

King Zandar Bley (villain)

Strength -1, Agility 0, Mind 2, Appeal 3
Melee 0, Ranged 1, Initiative 2, Defense 1
Careers: Merchant 2, Mariner 1, Noble 2, Priest 0
Lifeblood: 9
Villain Points: 2
Traits: friends-in-high-places
Trappings: rich clothing, dagger (d6L)

King’s Guard (toughs, 4)
Strength 2, Agility -1, Mind 0, Appeal 0
Melee 1, Ranged 0, Initiative 0, Defense 1
Careers: Guard 2
Lifeblood: 7
Trappings: sword, shield (1), medium armor (2)

Valda turned down another corridor and passed through a door. There, a torchlit bedchamber stood. Just ahead of her was King Bley and his escort. “Let us hide here, m’lord,” one of his advisors said. The group all heard the door behind them and turned. The king’s face turned ashen when he saw it was the intruder, bloody blade in hand, and face streaked with soot like an assassin.

Q. Does the king order an attack? (likely) Yes (4)

“Kill her!” the man said, drawing his rich silken robe about him. Four armed men detached from the king’s retinue and advanced in the small space.

Q. Does Valda have room to retreat? (50/50) Yes (10)
Moderate (0) evasion — success (9)

The ice princess turned and fled with the four king’s guards behind her. She turned a sharp blind and, as soon as she was beyond sight, ducked within the shadowed opening to the crypt and knelt within the shadows.

Moderate (0) hide — success (12)

The soldiers lumbered by. “Where did she go?” one asked. “This way!” answered another. She heard them head towards more distant shouting.

When it was clear, she furtively retreated to the bedchamber.

Q. Did the king lock the door from within? (50/50) Yes (8)

The northron swordswoman found the door barred from within. It would require a prodigious effort, but she nonetheless tried.

Demanding (-4) kick — failure (6)

She smashed at the door, but it was made of solid jallallibar, and would not yield.

Q. Does that alert men to her location? (likely) No (3)

She heard hushed whispers from within. It was no use…she would not have a hostage. With little other choice, she explored further along the adjoining corridors.

Getting quite messy for Valda. Will she be able to fulfill her contract? Will Steelgard find her first and best her in battle? Find out next time. Monstrous serpent guardians await...


  1. Great stuff! Can't wait for the next part.

    1. The next part gets much more harrowing. Hopefully I'll get it posted soon. :)

  2. Thanks for posting this, it's been quite entertaining!