This is where I start to get a bit bored with the dungeon crawl in general. The old prisoner seemed unlikely to provide much of interest, at least not right away, and I couldn’t think of a way for Fin to approach the NPC party (or be able to offer them much if he did so). Fortunately things started looking up immediately after we went down a level.


Dungeon is now ... Fan Cadfan. Current area is Fortress (Respite, Abandoned) [1].

[Area] Fortress (Fungus, Desolate) [2]. Explore 2 rooms, then roll again.

Fair enough.

[Room] stuffed, extreme [Purpose] exercise [Size] extensive [Shape] round, rectangular

[In the Room] a fire, a row of manacles, a round sphere hovering in mid-air

[Room Contents] Monster Only

Yikes!

I'll just randomly random up a monster from SH since I have nothing planned and don't feel like making my own.

Rolling 3d6 1 times.
[ 2 2 3 ] 7

Rolling 1d4 1 times.
[ 2 ] 2

3 minions or civilians and possibly an elite

Is there an Elite?

[fifty-fifty, 12 ≤ 50] YES

[List Options] Minion, elite,

[Choice] Minion

Rolling 1d20 1 times.
[ 18 ] 18

Three bitter purists and a hardened warrior.

Fin slipped down the ladder into the shadows. The room was vast and cluttered with training dummies and targets; it must once have been a training room.

In the center of a cleared out space, a campfire.

Is the warrior in the manacles?

[fifty-fifty, 60 ≥ 50] NO

Are the purists?

[fifty-fifty, 22 ≤ 50] YES
[RANDOM] Ambiguous event "Release Fame"

Well, in this world, purists would be anti-Elderspawn, and not that far out of the ordinary.

Is the warrior an Elderspawn?

[fifty-fifty, 89 ≥ 50] NO

[Age - Mature] Mid-twenties.

[Gender Appearance] female

[Modifier] Is more in some way than they appear.

[Visible Quirk] limping

[Visible Quirk] broken limb

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 2 8 ] 10

Are the purists bandits?

[fifty-fifty, 32 ≤ 50] YES

[Hit Locs] Right Hand

Three bandits were secured by more of the manacles he'd see upstairs. Next to the fire a warrior rested. Her hand was bandaged crudely, as was her leg.

Fin hesitated a moment.

Is there any way to slip around the room to the nearest exit?

[fifty-fifty, 3 ≤ 10] Exceptional YES

There was plenty of shadow, deep shadow, and the campfire would ruin her night vision. He could easily slip around to the far exit without notice.

Does she have any way of detecting him, since she's more in some way than she appears?

[fifty-fifty, 95 ≥ 91] Exceptional NO

Is she unconscious? Maybe she was ambushed, barely defeated them, got them tied up and passed out.

[fifty-fifty, 60 ≥ 50] NO

He shrugged and slipped up closer. "Excuse me," he said mildly, "Have you seen any wine about?"

[Reaction] Embarrassment [strong], disappointment [weak] hidden behind contentment [weak], trust [strong]

She shot upright, a flash of embarrassment whipping across her face. "Who are you?" she demanded, her hand dropping to her sword.

Does she appear to be Atriu?

[fifty-fifty, 33 ≤ 50] YES
[RANDOM] PC negative "Judge Portals"

She was tall and fair; one of the Atriu, he guessed.

I'm guessing that the round sphere reacts to him, "judging" him and opening a portal.

Is it reacting to:

[List Options] Merodr heritage, Elderspawn heritage,

[Choice] Elderspawn heritage

Interesting; well, let's see if he needs to make a saving throw?

[fifty-fifty, 14 ≤ 50] YES

[Roll] Saving throw vs. Constitution

Great. He has no modifiers to that.

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 6 1 ] 7

Failed.

[What Did It Do?] It removed an aspect of your alignment or morality. You are knocked unconscious.

Huh, interesting.

He started to introduce himself; the round sphere hummed and suddenly flared to life with a brilliant flash.

How long will the effect last for?

[More or Less] Much less than one day.

Well, I don't know too much about Fin, to be honest. I know he was raised by a stoic and unloving mage who treated him like an experimental tool. That he's trained as an assassin. That he's stoic.

[List Options] his willingness to murder people, his independence, something else,

[Choice] his willingness to murder people

Ok, it's a neutralization device. It's designed to remove the will to fight from Elderspawn; he'll suffer the effects for the next hour. Going to have it affect his willingness to lie, too.`

How long until he comes to? A few minutes?

[More or Less] Less than expected.

He's only out a moment then.

By the way, I'm not sure he actually HAS killed anyone. Just that he's willing to do so.

He was lying on the floor, and it was cold and hard and dusty. He didn't feel particularly upset about it, though. He sat up, feeling... peaceful.

I also am not sure he knows either of his major backstory points.

"Finian of Cadoc," he introduced himself. The calm, peaceful feeling was persisting, even as she stared coldly at him.

Did she notice the light flash?

[fifty-fifty, 45 ≤ 50] YES

"What was that?" she asked.

He shrugged. "I don't know, but it's completely removed my ability to fight," he said placidly, then clapped a hand over his mouth, eyes widening in as much alarm as he could muster. Had he really just said that?

She cocked an eyebrow at him. "I'm the queen of Sentar Nystu," she said experimentally, then shrugged. "I seem to be unaffected." She grinned wryly. "Unless my parents have something they've been keeping from me."

Fin made a face, and she laughed. "Sit by the fire, Finian of Cadoc, and tell me what brings you to this hole in the ground."

"I don't know," he said honestly. "But my captors demanded I retrieve a cask of wine for them. I'm actually looking for a way out."

Her eyes gleamed with mischief. To forestall any questions he'd be bound to answer, he asked one of his own. "What brings you here, then?"

[List Options] looking for something, looking for someone, other,

[Choice] other

[List Options] being hunted, revenge, whim, money,

[Choice] money

Was she hired as a bodyguard?

[fifty-fifty, 60 ≥ 50] NO

"Whim, mostly," she said, "And the promise of treasure." She sighed, glanced down at her hand and leg. "But all I've found are bandits and new expenses."

Is she from Whitefell?

[fifty-fifty, 74 ≥ 50] NO

Glywel?

[fifty-fifty, 15 ≤ 50] YES

Well, Fin is a mage, and is torn between the healing side of his magic and the shadowy part of it.

"If I may," he said a bit diffidently, "I do have some skill at healing."

She cocked her head but acquiesced. He closed his eyes a minute, composing himself, and let the magic work. It was tiring work, but only dangerous if he overextended himself.

So, he's got three points in it, plus one more makes four. He can heal 1d8+1 points of damage per casting, and it costs him 1 magic point each time.

Will one casting be enough to heal her hand?

[fifty-fifty, 94 ≥ 91] Exceptional NO

It's pretty smashed up; he'll need to cast at his full strength to fix it.

He frowned a little; her hand was pulped, every bone broken. Nothing he couldn't fix, but it'd take a good chunk of his resources. Still, if he was stuck not wanting to kill anything for a while, it would be good to have a strong arm who owed him a debt.

Ok, so, the max he can pull off is a 4 level, which would be twice that in cost, or 8 tokens, minus one because healing is a specialty for him. So 7 token, leaving him with 2.

Normally that'd be a whopping 4d8+4 hp back. That has to be enough to repair her hand and leg.

He felt drained, but pleased. He hardly ever got to use his magic for healing; his patron had demanded he use it for darker purposes and the punishments for disobeying were severe.

She unwrapped her hand and flexed her fingers a little. Gave him a grateful look. "Thanks," she said.

He nodded. "What's up with them?" he asked, tilting his head towards the three zoned out prisoners.

She grimaced. "They thought I was an easy target."

He nodded, looked thoughtful. Obviously she wasn't. "If you're not doing anything else," he said slowly, "I could use a hand locating a very old cask of wine..."

---

I won't bother statting her out at this point. Just add her as an actor and some Elite stats.

I tend to deviate from standard SH by giving my NPCs a lot of chances not to just die when the going gets tough. I don't mind retiring them or sending them off to recuperate, but I don't want to get interested in them and have them die instantly because they have basically 3 HP.

So Elite stats: Elite: HD T, AC 5, Atk +T, Dmg 1d10, MV 30, ML 10

That sounds good; I'll check if she has a little more HD than that, though.

[How Difficult?] A bit difficult. [1]

So 1 more HD; she's 2 HD, slightly more than he has. AC 5, Atk +2, Dmg 1d10, MV 30, ML10.

[New Actor] Isacara Ravaeri, swordswoman, adventurer. Likely Atriu.

One last room to explore under the aegis of "fungus" too.

[Room] bright [Purpose] recuperating [Size] negligible [Shape] round

[Exits] 3 West or Left, South or Down, East or Right

West, then, is a small room for resting up. A locker room.

[In the Room] bones sorted by type, grass, a hole in the floor

Three exits lead out of the practice room; the west led to a small room, once used for changing gear, but now used as a lair for some animal. Bones littered the floor arpund a grass nest. There was a hole in the floor where ot had crumbled over yawning darkness.

[Room Contents] Empty

Anything of interest?

[fifty-fifty, 32 ≤ 50] YES

Treasure?

[fifty-fifty, 10 ≤ 10] Exceptional YES

Rolling 3d6 1 times.
[ 5 1 2 ] 8

Rolling 1d4 1 times.
[ 3 ] 3

300 gp, nice. Portable?

[fifty-fifty, 81 ≥ 50] NO

Since we're moving to a new area I will recalculate the Threat and roll up a new area.

Rolling 2d6 1 times.
[ 4 6 ] 10

As anticipated; roughly PC level. So no change, really.

[Area] Fortress (Garden, Swarming) [3]. Explore 6 rooms, then roll again.

East door. Plant-themed.

[In the Room] a bloodstained table

[Room Contents] Empty

[Room] smooth, ostentatious [Purpose] killing [Size] expansive [Shape] round

Execution room.

South.

[Room] unmarred, wood, slippery [Purpose] imprisoning, planning [Size] medium [Shape] round

[Room Contents] Empty

[In the Room] a coffin; something is banging on the inside of the lid, a hole in the floor, a weathered journal

Man, this place is falling apart!

Also, coffin with something in it. Is it a sentient creature?

[fifty-fifty, 8 ≤ 10] Exceptional YES

Ha, it's a genius!

"I'm not sure this is such a good idea," Fin said doubtfully.

The warrior shot him a look. "We can't just leave whoever it is in there, to die," she said firmly. He sighed and inspected the coffin. This room, like the rest of the fort, was falling apart; there was a large hole in the floor and part of a shattered desk.

And a coffin. Someone'd been banging on it when they entered but now there was just faint mumbling.

Is the coffin secured in some way?

[fifty-fifty, 20 ≤ 50] YES

Lock?

[fifty-fifty, 7 ≤ 10] Exceptional YES

So a hard one. Lockpicking then, DC 13.

Rolling 2d8 1 times.
[ 8 1 ] 9

Got it in one!

Hey, I should be using dice qualities.

[Dice Qualities] Skill, Luck

The lock was a tricky one, solid, but nothing he couldn't handle -- he'd practiced opening locks for hours on end, until it was second nature.

The person inside is human?

[fifty-fifty, 96 ≥ 91] Exceptional NO

Alfar, then! Interesting. We just let a super-genius vampire frost elf out of a coffin.

Is he hungry?

[fifty-fifty, 18 ≤ 50] YES

Or she, I suppose. Let's see what this Alfar looks like.

[Age - Mature] Late twenties.

[Gender Appearance] male

[Modifier] Is not what they seem.

[Visible Quirk] muscular

Nothing too evocative, yet.

[Visible Quirk] looks shocked

As does Fin, I guess.

He didn't have more than an instant to enjoy his triumph before the lid flew open and something surged out, slamming into him and bearing him down to the floor. He saw fangs and wild eyes, and then darkness as the back of his head hit the stone floor hard.

---

My thought is that the Alfar will quickly come to his senses, stop draining Fin, and parlay with Isa before she skewers him. Or tries to, they're not easy to kill. In fact, that's what made being locked in a box a punishment -- Alfar can't really die.

Isa will grab the journal.

Any chance the wine was in there?

[fifty-fifty, 65 ≥ 50] NO

It was just a pretext anyway, I think.

Will they take the unconscious Fin somewhere?

[fifty-fifty, 60 ≥ 50] NO

Fin felt groggy and weak and his head hurt fiercely. He opened his eyes and winced a little against the light. He was on the floor again.

His eyes focused; Issa was in heated conversation with what looked like an Alfar. The same one that had attacked him, he thought, and was relieved to find that he was capable again of thinking murderous thoughts.

"Oh, you're awake," Issa said, breaking off the argument. She extended a hand and helped him to his feet.

Does the Alfar recognize his parentage?

[fifty-fifty, 10 ≤ 10] Exceptional YES

"Viandus Crespy," the Alfar said formally, giving him a half-bow. "You have my apol-" He stopped, mid-word, and his jaw dropped as he stared, eyes narrowing, at Fin.

Exceptional yes says he recognizes both parents. Hahaha.

Fin resisted the urge to rub the back of his head. "What?" he said a bit crossly. He wasn't in the mood for subtlety.

Does the Alfar reveal what he knows?

[fifty-fifty, 1 ≤ 10] Exceptional YES

I'm going to say he reveals the elderspawn part and the bastard part, but not the emperor part, at least not directly.

"A bastard, by a nymph," the Alfar said, as if musing out loud. "How very unexpectedly rebelllious of him." He was staring at Fin but his expression said his thoughts were a thousand miles away. "But there's no mistaking it. I wonder how you survived to adulthood."

"If you're calling me Tainted," Fin said, "You'd best be prepared to back up your words with steel." It was a bluff, mostly, he felt as weak as a kitten, but he'd be damned if he let anyone-- well, it'd be hard to insult his parentage since for all he knew he'd hatched from an egg, but still. You didn't call a man Tainted without--

"Tainted? An odd word for one with the good fortune to not be entirely Man," the Alfar said dismissively, then looked thoughtful again. "If you didn't know about that, you likely don't know about... well. Perhaps it's better you don't."

Fin scowled, dropped his hands to his swords. Issa was looking baffled. "Are you saying he's Elderspawn?" she said bluntly, and the Alfar glanced at her. She gave Fin a look like he'd grown a second head.

"I'm saying one of his parents was a nymph," the elf said irritably. "The stamp of it is as clear as the stamp of his father." He paused. "Though perhaps not as clear to human eyes," he allowed.

Fin wanted to argue, but the elf was so very certain, and to be honest, he knew nothing to disprove -- or prove -- it. He was starting to feel a rather unpleasant suspicion that the pieces of his life were coming together. If he was Tainted, what Issa called Elderspawn, was that where the magic came from? Why old Krex had trained him? He'd always felt like an experiment, but he'd never dreamed he might be -- well, anything other than an entirely human street urchin.

"I owe you a debt," the Alfar said formally, giving Fin another half-bow. "I will travel with you until I discharge it."

---

That was quick. We have a fighter and a...

[New Actor] Viandus Crespy, Alfar, mid-twenties, knows both of Fin's parents.

Rolling 1d8 1 times.
[ 1 (Outside Influences) ] 1

Rolling 1d8 1 times.
[ 6 (Skill) ] 6

He's a fighter-mage.

So, where's the next exit?

[List Options] map, execution, gym, lair,

[Choice] lair

They decide to drop down the hole in the lair.

Fort Iseu Sublevel 1
I am really bad at mapping