Friday, January 27, 2017

Valda and the Desolation of the Fire Coast, part 6

Better late than never? Continued from here, the thrilling conclusion of Valda's adventure as part of the 2016 Solo Gaming Appreciation Month...

11. The Observatory

Location Roll — expected, expected, none (11, 11, 2; reduce location & encounter list by 5 due to over-extending)

Across the domed roof, Valda stared out at the blustery nighttime skyline high above Parsool. She had a choice — to accept defeat, or to finish a most likely intentional improbable task. To accept defeat would necessarily incur the wrath of the city’s war counselor, not to mention King Bley.

No! This was not acceptable. Valda vowed to turn her misfortune around.

The ice princess stole across the granite dome and skittered down one smooth sheer side to a narrow ledge. Following this, she found a slender window space through which to crawl. Having done so, she found herself inside a large area within the dome broken by frequent window slits letting in the night sky. Several outward-pointing spy glasses were set about the perimeter of the observatory. The palace’s master no doubt used the heavens to gather much of his wisdom or to channel the will of his god.

Q. Are there places to hide? (50/50) Yes (7)
Easy (-1) Hide — Calamitous Failure (hero point gained)
Do guards enter? (likely) No (2)
Is it Paol? (50/50) Yes!!! (8)
What’s he like? oddly enormous, cheerfully soft

Paol Steelgard (villain)
Strength 3, Agility 0, Mind 0, Appeal 1
Melee 2, Ranged -1, Initiative 1, Defense 2
Careers: Priest 2, Warrior 1, Blacksmith 1, Noble 0
Lifeblood: 15
Villain Points: 5
Fate Points: 2
Traits: Hard to Kill
Trappings: sword (d6), medium armor (2 protection; -1 agility)

Valda knelt to hide, but heard footsteps. It was too late!

In strode a lean man of hardened muscles and a bald pate. He stepped with the wary deadliness of an andrak, his eyes were wicked yet controlled. He wore the raiment of a priest over a steel breastplate. At his hip was a curved sword which was now brandished in the man’s mighty grip.

“So, you are the assassin come for me!” he said in bass tones. Paol Steelgard stalked slowly around the room, holding his arms out wide. “Here I am, slayer. Have at me!”

Hard (-1) priority roll — fail (6)
Q. What tactic does Paol use? Haggle Plans
Paol attack — hit (9) — villain point spent to get a Mighty Success (Bloody Slash) 13 damage!
Valda — spends a hero point for Shattered Shield

The man lunged impossibly swift. A killing blow arced down threatening to slice her in twain. She had time but to raise her sword in defense. Her weapon shattered into a thousand pieces, though nearly impervious Valgardian steel it was. She dropped to a knee, her arm numbed by the ferocity of the blow.

“Who sent you, wench?” the man hissed, circling.

Valda attack — miss (8)

The ice princess went for a dagger concealed in her boot and sprang. Paol deftly sidestepped at the last moment. “You’ll never know!” she hissed.

Paol attack — miss (8)

The royal counselor countered with a swift riposte, but the deft barbarian woman was already standing opposite him after an acrobatic roll.

He turned to follow. “You are a greenhorn, girl,” he said. “No one of import sent you — or at least meant for you to be the real threat against me,” he said.

Valda attack — miss (6)

Valda swore, slashing wildly. “You’ll find I am more than capable of the task.” Paol deflected her dagger.

Paol attack — miss (5)

“I will let you live,” he said with a half-hearted swipe, “…if you give me the name of your employer.”

Valda attack — miss (7)


“Then, you leave me no choice!” the priest-guardian said.

Paol attack — miss (8) — VP spent for Luck of the Gods — miss (6)
Valda attack — hit (10) — HP spent for Mighty Success (Bloody Slash) 8 damage!

A fierce exchange took place. Paol stepped away to widen the distance, but Valda was relentless, always closing the distance with her swift footwork. He grunted as she found an opening that pierced his armor, drawing first blood.

Paol — spends a VP to Shake Off Wounds (1)
Valda attacks — miss (8) — HP spent for Luck of the Gods — hit (9) — another HP spent to get Precision Blow — 0 damage

The warrior-priest was stunned. Valda did not falter, smelling victory. She wrapped herself around him from the back, and brought her dagger across his eyes. He cried out and thrashed. Blood freely flowed into his sight.

“She-demon! Morgazzon curse you!” he screamed.

Paol attacks — hit (10) — 3 damage
Valda attacks — hit (12) — final HP spent for Bloody Slash — 8 damage

By luck, the speaker of Fyrzon struck a glancing blow. Valda was bloodied but felt not the slice of the blade. She danced close and sank her dagger into Paol’s abdomen. He sank slowly in a wordless curse.

“No!” she whispered. “Nemmereth take you!”

She recovered her dagger when he had passed on to the realm of the dead and scooped up his scimitar to replace her own blade. It would also serve nicely as a token to show Erion.

Hard (-1) escape — success (13)

She slipped out quietly into the night into the sleepless and windy city…


She met with her master the very same night, dropping Paol Steelgard’s sword at Erion’s feet. She gloated over the trophy and her mentor’s passive facade.

“I did it!” she bragged.

Q. Was the timing critical in the mission? (likely) Yes (4)

“You failed,” he said simply, robbing her of her victorious mirth. “Your task was to be completed the same night we spoke — before Steelgard’s meeting with King Bley. Also, the King now knows your face. You cannot work in Parsool again.”

Fires roiled in Valda’s breast. She wished to cut Erion down where he stood. “No matter!” she said, salvaging some composure. “I have the skills I need. It is time for me to move on.”

Q. Does he agree? (50/50) No (5)

“Not yet,” Erion said. “You are reckless and uncouth. You are not an assassin yet. What would complete your skills is an even more daunting task though the King spares no expense to hunt you down. This job calls for subtlety.”

Valda cocked her head to the side, intrigued. “What do you wish of me…?”

Not sure if I will add more adventures of Valda, but I like the process and result. BoL plays fast and deadly, even though it's fairly traditional mechanics. Lots of fun in this little indie gem.

1 comment:

  1. Nice saga! I play BoL with my group but I had fun using it for some solo sessions. It works well.
    I'd like to try Dogs of W.A.R. that uses the same system but with few differences(firearms rules, and specialized/focused careers)

    Anyway I find this game more indicated for heroic scenarios, if I'd like to play a solo dark/horror adventure I'd probably choose another system, maybe Warp/Over the Edge.