Druid’s Children – Death in the Woods

In the first encounter Evrard discovered that the thieves appear to be children – and very hairy, according to one farmer. He needs to venture into the Deepwoods to find them – they could be orphaned children,  children from a caravan of Wanders, or perhaps even the elusive Druid’s Children of the deepest places of the woods.

Encounter #2 – Wandering

The boughs of the Deepwood enfold you, reducing your world into a sun-dappled gloom of foliage. It’s easy to get lost in these ancient woodlands, easy to hide. Plenty of bandits have made their home here – and…other beings and creatures.

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Evrard will be travelling in the Day Part — he’s not that keen on going into the Deepwoods at night! Evrard, Giles and Oxbow set off on foot into the Deepwoods, horses being more a hindrance than a help in such a forest. I need to roll 2+1/2d6 PEFs to see how many PEFs my character needs to resolve, scoring a total of 4 PEFs.  The PEFs could resolve as a range of things – Animals, Monsters, Beings (Elves, Goblins, etc.), or Challenges that need to be resolved.

into the Deepoods

PEF 1 – Physical Challenge 

Evrard and company follow a promising series of game trails into the Deepwoods, scouting for tracks or signs of the children – or creatures – they seek. However the game trails lead them to a rugged area of steep wooded ravines with deadfalls, swiftly flowing streams, and some mucky ponds.

“Oxbow, do you recognize this area?” asked Evrard. “I don’t see an easy way across this area, we may have to back track.”

“Nah, sahr, Oi thinks Oi knows where we are,” replied Oxbow, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “There should be a path which takes through the worst of it.”

“Very good, Oxbow, lead on.”

This is a Physical Challenge representing some difficult terrain that has to be traversed. I’m not sure if it’s an Easy or Difficult Challenge, I don’t have to determine that – but I decide it would be interesting to roll randomly. I decide that it will be a 1d6 roll,  1-2= Difficult, 3-5=Normal, and 6= Easy. Evrard rolls a 2, this is a Difficult Challenge. So he rolls 2d6 vs REP 4 (REP 5, -1 for Difficult). He scores 5, 6 and passes 0d6 – Failure!

This means we haven’t resolved PEF 1 yet, and immediately for another PEF. They also get one Decreasing d6 rep.

After hours of going up and down rugged wooded ravines, crawling under fallen trees and plodding across mucky ponds and streams Evrard calls for a halt and confronts Oxbow.

 

PEF 1, re-roll – Animal Encounter

Rolling again on the Encounter table we get an Animal Encounter. So then we check the What Animals Are They Table and end up with a Great Cat.

Cat

Class: Melee

REP: 5

AC: 4

Special: Loner, Stealthy, Rage

After hours of going up and down rugged wooded ravines, crawling under fallen trees and plodding across mucky ponds and streams Evrard calls for a halt and confronts Oxbow.

“Look here, Oxbow, you say you know these woods, yet we’ve been blundering about for hours — do you know where you’re going??!,” demanded Evrard, arms crossed impatiently. “We’re mucky, covered in bug bites and no closer to our goal.”

“Well, about that…Oi, you see…say, Sarh Oi think that’s a pawprint yonder,” replied Oxbow, eager to change the subject, pointing to what appears to be a game trail ahead of them.

Oxbow rushes over to the tracks, squatting down to examine them, where looks up excitedly and says, “”Oi think they moight be from a…a Great Cat!”

ROOAARRR!!!!

AAAHHHHH!!!

The great cat attacks

The Great Cat rolled the Advantage, and then each side rolled on the Action table. The Great Cat gets an additional benefit for being Stealthy, and ends up winning on the Action table and gets to attack first. I rolled 1d6 to see which figure is attacked, and rolled Oxbow’s figure (thus the narrative).

The Great Cat…an albino which us unusual for the Deepwoods (it’s the figure I had on hand…) is REP 5, but with Rage fights as REP 6. Oxbow fights at REP 4. The Great Cat rolls a 2,5 and passes 2d6. Oxbow rolls 5,5, pass 0d6! The Great Cat passed 2d6 More, and Oxbow is Obviously dead.

The Great Cat leaps from the dense foliage near the game trail and lands full on Oxbow’s back, its powerful jaws clamping down on his neck and skill while the clawed hindlegs rip at his back and legs, killing Oxbow in a spray of blood.

“NOOO!!!” yells Evrard, pulling out his sword and charging the Great Cat. Giles shrugs with a bare grunt, and follows Evrard into combat, his blade also at the ready. Since multiple figures are fighting, they all roll in this Melee action.

  • Evard rolls as REP 5, scoring 1,3 for a Pass 2d6
  • Giles rolls as REP 5, scoring a 2,5 for a Pass 2d6
  • The Great Cat rolls as REP 6, scoring a 1,5 for Pass 2d6

Claws flashin, jaws snapping, swords whirling, the melee continues with each figure counting as -1REP.

  • Evard rolls as REP 4, scoring 3,5 for a Pass 1d6
  • Giles rolls as REP 4, scoring a 1,1 for a Pass 2d6
  • The Great Cat rolls as REP 5, scoring a 2,5 for Pass 2d6

Evrard was beaten by the Great Cat with a Pass 1d6 more result, but he has armor. Rolling a 1d6 vs his AC4, the score of 3 is lower than his armor, so he fights again at -1 REP. But since Giles and the Great Cat also Passed Same, they also continue fighting at -1REP.

Evard is knocked to the forest floor and the Great Cat leaps on him, attempting to disembowel him with its powerful hind claws, but is foiled by Evard’s chainmail armor. Giles knocks the Cat off of Evrard and the Melee continues.

  • Evard rolls as REP 3, scoring 1,2 for a Pass 2d6
  • Giles rolls as REP 3, scoring a 3,4 for a Pass 1d6
  • The Great Cat rolls as REP 4, scoring a 5,5 for Pass 0d6

Evrard beats the Great Cat with Pass 2d6 or more, and as Giles distracts the Great Cat he rolls to his feet and slashes the beast’s neck open, killing it. Whew, close call. Evrard gets one Increasing d6 Rep for defeating the Great Cat, but also one Decreasing d6 Rep for Oxbow’s death.

 

PEF 2 – A band of REP 4 and 5 Elves

As Evrard and Giles lean on their swords, panting and covered in blood and minor wounds they hear the sound of slow clapping, and an exotic lilting voice says loudly, “Oh, well done, three men in armor against a dumb beast with claws, slain with only one loss of your own. I see the warriors of the Border Kindoms are in fine fettle!”

Turning towards the sound of the clapping, Evrard and Giles see an Elf in light armor and clothes that seem to bend and shift in their vision standing some 10 yards away up the game trail. With barely a sound, two other Elves appear like ghosts from either side of them, bows held loosely in hand.

Surprised by this turn of events, Evrard struggles to form a reply, and says heatedly, “Who are you, Elf, to mock us in our sorrow – we have lost a friend here today!”

“Ah, yes, my apologies, we had been following your blunders for some time before growing bored — the Great Cat did make things more interesting, but we should leave you to your grief,” sighed the Elf. “Come, let us leave them – perhaps they will draw more attention to themselves and less to us.”

One of the Elves gives a barking laugh before they all draw back out of sight. Head spinning, Evrard can scarcely believe the Elves had been there, no sign of their presence remains. “Blasted Elves!!”

This was an NPC Interaction challenge, each side’s Leader rolling 2d6 against their REP or People Skill. The Elf leader rolled against a REP 5, Evrard rolled against a People Skill 4. Evrard ended up getting a Pass less d6 result, and since the Elves are also Red Sun Alignment the result is that they make snarky comments, offer no help and Evard gets a Decreasing d6 Rep for having failed the challenge.

 

PEF 3 – Physical Challenge

Evrard and Giles bury poor Oxbow, and after Gile deftly skins the Great Cat’s pelt (“worth a few pints,” he grunts when challenged by Evrard), they both make their way up the game trail seeking a way out of the maze of ravines and streams they’ve gotten lost in. This time Evrard gets a Pass 2d6 result and they manage to leave the rugged terrain behind and push deeper into the forest, aware that the Sun is starting its slide towards the horizon. He also gets one Increasing d6 Rep.

 

PEF 4 – Mental Challenge

As the the shadows lengthen and a deeping gloom begins to settle on the forest, Giles stops suddenly and raises his hand.

Peering around, Evrard asks, “What is it, what do you see Giles.”

“Not what I see, it’s what I smell — wood smoke. From further up ahead.”

Evrard lifts his face to the evening breeze and also detects a whiff of smoke. He and Giles carefully follow the smoke trail, now catching a glint of campfire through the darkening woods. Moving quietly to the edge of a clearing, they see what they’d been searching for.

Evrard gets a Pass 2d6 result and resolves the Mental Challenge and the last PEF, completing the Encounter. He also gets one Increasing d6 Rep

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