Author Topic: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything  (Read 1406 times)

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2019, 06:45:50 PM »
Concerning.... Battles

Just survived the battle of Ravenia. Had a nicely painted shield and everything.

So... battles then.

Not every clan celebrates war like the Karits, rejoicing at the chance of blood upon the battle-claw, but war is a part of life. Everyone has seen blood, carnage, and death. But mostly not like this.

We had wars before: The Spider King; the war of Karlaban uppn Karvosti, when I first saw the Wrathguard and Aleona stride the battlefield; the Ambrian invasion. These times were real wars - war like the Ambrians speak of, desperate and without restraint – you know, part of the problem with Ambrians to begin with.

Most of the time, clan wars are really just raiding and counting coup, stealing cattle or wives or the seizing places like the Arch Bridge, which is really just another way of proving you or your clan’s greatness. So, the first question you must ask is always “why are we fighting?” What’s at stake, the fate of all Alberethor, or just a chieftain’s vanity?

Most battles aren’t fought to the death. They’re not about killing everyone where they stand; usually its “take this thing” or “make them run away” instead. Know what you are fighting for, that is the first rule. It matters. This I have learned: Battles are not about who kills the most people, they are about whose resolve breaks first, and which band ceases first to be an army, and become a mere mass of men. Good leaders win battles. Do not underestimate the power of a good speech, or a good singsong before hand. 

We have spoken of Fear, the hound of Death before, and how the breaths just before combat, the anticipation before the fight begins, is the best part of being alive. But how do you stay alive?

    Dress to impress. Endings matter, and if your plan is glory and reward for valour, make sure you stand out.

    Leave your junk at home. Don’t be weighed down by anything you won’t need in the fight - or afterwards, if you think you’ll be running away. Weapons, armour, bandages and healing poultices. That’s it.

    Know your companions, those who will stand beside you, right and left. To your right, that’s the side whose shield will protect you. To your left, they need your shield to help protect them. It helps if you are all the same size.

    Speaking of shields: Carry a shield. Its handy when It’s raining arrows. Don’t drop it, that’s how routs start. Come back with your shield or on it.

    People at the front are busy fighting and dying, too preoccupied to run. People at back can’t see what’s going on, but they can see the commanders watching them. Routs start most often upon the sides.

    Do not fear the hound of death, it cannot touch you.

They often put us in the front; the ogres, goblins, the reckless, the expendable. Every game has pawns, and pawns mostly die – just make sure you are one of the ones that reach the other side of the board. I think you can tell a lot about a leader by who they send up front. Do veterans lead by the example, or do they bring up the rear to herd the young ones forward?

Being put in the very front may seem like a death sentence, but standing your ground is often by far the best wager of survival. It’s trying to run that attracts Death’s hunting hound. I have seen more men cut down from behind in battle than I ever saw hewn from the front.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 06:53:12 PM by The Dan »
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2019, 02:05:07 PM »
Lessons from This Year

So, quite a year: Explored the Davokar, went to the spirit world, trespassed in Karvosti, got bit by a thousand spiders, saved a Duke and killed a lot of bad people. But what did we learn?

Be friends with the healer. Good friends.

Some of your companions are assholes. You don't need to be friends but you do need to work as a team.

Every group needs someone who's prepared to do stupid things. Is it you?

The taller the elf, the more you want to avoid trouble with it.

Templars are bad news.

Black Cloaks are annoyingly jumpyabouty (same as blightwolves). Space out, try not to hit each other as they are dancing about. Especially try to not get hit by me while they are dancing about.

If you encourage the goblin, its your own fault.

Poison is more dangerous than steel.

Don't mess with things warded by witches.

There are no prizes for being unprepared.

Your light is how long you have to explore. Know your limit, give yourself time to get out.

Thistlehold is bloody expensive.

Who is watching the mule? What are you abandoning when it dies?

If you can't use it, give it to someone else. If nobody wants it, sell it.

Casualties are inevitable.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 02:10:46 PM by The Dan »
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2019, 02:24:47 PM »
Concerning... Hoodlums

So it has been a few months, and I know my fellow Hoodlums better now. I think I will write down what I think of them, just in case. I do not approve of this really, hear truth or lies from a mouth, if you want to know which is which. But here it is:

Bran. A good soldier, good fighter, good talker too. This is a rare skill.

Father Ulavan. Decent fellow, braver than he appears, but not cut out for this. He has strange ideas about goodness and evil, as if they were real  things, like day and night. I do not understand this, people are just people. Still, he is a good man, except that he hates the cursed dead. This  is because he remembers when  they were his enemies, and he believes the lies that are told to pawns in war. Knows much about Symbaroum, and the old ways. Not an asshole.

Freya. Ah our happy changeling. I wonder sometimes, how much the act she puts on for others is also the act she puts on for us? I don't know, but she is one of us, does us no harm and much help.

Doctor Kirsten. Hahaha, the rich girl playing with bad people and loving every day of it. Always be good friends with your medicos, especially if they also like grenades. She likes cutting people, I think that is why she became doctor. Family is important in Thistlehold. Bad friend in time of peace, I suspect - but these days, very good.

Korik. He is like bad winter. A killer. He is not nice dwarf. Or maybe he is just an honest dwarf, without a smile and lies for big folk. He cares about money, and power, about revenge and beautiful crafted things. If you do not try to make him human, he is a good battle-brother. Ulavan would call him a terrible, wicked person, but the world needs terrible people to keep the other terrible people in check. Difficult, sometimes. But he has earned the right to be our brother.
   
Will the Scholar. Old I think, as human's measure it. Sharp but brittle, like over-hardened steel. I think he is practical man, struggling to be a good man in his heart, but lacks faith in it. I think he is ill-lucky too, but a fine shot and could track a black moth upon a moonless night. Never underestimate a Queen's Ranger.... also stole my kill, you thieving bastard archer.
 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 02:55:46 PM by The Dan »
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2019, 07:38:20 PM »
Yndaros

Yndaros, I do not think I like you. Yet, at least.

The first I ever heard of the outside world was rumours of the death of Lindaros. When first I came here it was just a ruin beyond the halls of the Kadiz. We camped on the northern side of the river and sang poems about the pride and plague that brought them low. I wonder at the cause, now, knowing what I do.

The second time was after the War, among hundreds, thousands, of captured clansman. For all the hard winters and elf arrows, I count myself lucky that I was sent north to Thistle Hold, not indentured to this foul monstrosity. How long has it been now, 20 summers? The place still looks half-built.

This is the heart of Ambria, and it seems to be the Ambrian people, for all the good and ill that entails. It is where the queen resides. Her hall, her ‘palace’ looks as wide as Thistle Hold. How can anyone need so much space? Like everything about these people, Ambria’s capital city is too big. It claims too much land, too much ambition, and rams its hordes together like rats in too small a cellar, filthy and stinking and biting each other. If Thistle Hold is a machine to take your coin and drive you back out into the forest, I wonder what this machine does? Whatever its task, the machine seems half-complete or half-ruined, or both at the same time.

Everyone says the city is dangerous, its people treacherous, its guards corrupt. This is the heart of their nation?  I have likened Ambrians to wolves before. I think Yndaros is what happens when you trap too many wolves in a single cave.

The people are people, like people everywhere. Goblins in the slums, a few ogres hauling and fighting for others. A few clan faces, but newcomers everywhere, dirty and desperate. All the east is slums by the look of it, facing the mountains. They tell me there are still people coming over the mountains each month: The squat in a place they call the ‘refugee camp’ where they languish, almost citizens. Like Blackmoor but worse. Its no so bad further west, but that’s where the dwarves are, people say. People don’t like the dwarves. The rich lair to the west, on the palace side. It looks like the safest streets for the rest of us are between the palace and the docks.

Still cheaper than Thistle Hold, though.

Lots of talk of the underworld in town. Dwarves control some of it, smugglers and thieves hold other parts. Its easy to get into but even easier to get lost in. They don’t recommend you go in there without a guide.
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2019, 06:02:31 PM »
Death and Magic Doors

Death, the patient, always following us, lead by his hounds, Fear, Sickness and Ill Luck. Is he hungry for us, or just interested? Saving us from all the horrors of life, maybe - I don't know, we never ask the dead, and they do talk often with us - if dead is what they truly are. Well, today, I feel like Death swallowed me down and couldn't stomach me, threw me back up: I feel like a bellyful of last night's ale and late night goblin food, vomited up to see the light of day once more.

Fucking magic doors. Fucking runes and sigils you can't read.

Under Death's unseen eye we fight our wars, great and petty; shout our victories and fume at our defeats - suffer and nurse our wounds and hope he is busy elsewhere. You endure life for as long as you can, and when you've had enough, there Death is. Never known them to be a bastard though - that's all work of the living. Death's embrace is like the mountain, certain and silent, ungrudging, like the peace of the earth.

Feel like Death's on my shadow today... so thinking about what I'd like after, what I'd want. Don't know if I'd mind or not what folk did, but here's what I'd want: A good drink for all, and my place kept open; my things put to use, one thing each taken as proof you knew me, and one story told to someone who never did. That's all the funeral I'd need - though I'd not turn down a cairn filled with the skulls of my enemies, ha!

It be nice if part of me were to make it to Symbar, if the place still exists. 

Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2019, 11:50:23 AM »
Dwarfs, Again

Well, I finally seen me some other dwarfs. Not sure I have learned much new, but I was mostly smacking heads in. Think one of them was a woman but didn’t really have time to check. She didn’t punch any less hard or seem nicer or anything, just another dwarf. Fact number one: There are dwarf women, so they are not all carved from the same stone.

So in Yndaros, there are lots of dwarves. Divided into families but I think ‘clans’ may be closer: I have the suspicion blood and business are intertwined. When Korik says ‘business’, I think he means a gang, ours or theirs. They are not like goblins, living among humans. They live within Ambria but separate, at least here. They do not try to walk as one of them, or mimic them as ogres and goblins do. They are not one people, either. There is bitter in-fighting, every dwarf is for themselves, with everyone else fair game. But a dwarf's clan before any non-kin, and all dwarfs before everyone else…. Maybe. They are like a nation within a nation, and I suspect 'loyal' only because it is good for business. But the feeling I get is they are not where they should be - Escaped? Exiles? Refugees. just like the Ambrians themselves? That is useful. It binds them to Ambria, but it does not make them loyal.

These ones, they do remind me of Korik. Hard, inflexible, practical, good at violence, disliked by humans. Disliked by Korik too, far as I can tell. I think this is because they are not his clan. Tough, not much for talk or mincing words, so far; Bloody good wrestlers, brutal. Don’t know if that’s just this clan though. They seem single-minded, like a starving wolf or a charging ox or a berserker. Wouldn’t negotiate, wouldn’t retreat, even when there was only one left.

I would not ask one for mercy. But I might say "can we make a deal?"

We found one in a cage, and Korik said it was atoning, and seemed to respect that. It was... voluntary, I think. This makes sense to me; that duty, that being "reliable" is so important to them.

I learned more about their curses, too. If they curse you before you strike them, they will have luck in battle against you. If they curse you because you struck them, then later blows against them will harm you also – unless you can kill them before the curse strikes. You must be very sure before you try this, especially if you are a big lad.
 
This power is a good way to keep your people safe, I think. Fear hurting a dwarf, for they will make you suffer and feel equal pain. They must have other curses. I hope to not discover them.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 05:09:29 PM by The Dan »
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2019, 07:31:33 PM »
Will, and Corruption (Again)

I am beginning to understand our ranger a little better. A good man, worn away.

Of all things, it is our guest and our work at the Vearra estate that has taught me this. We have heard his occasional war stories, though he does not speak much of the old days – too painful, that is clear. Understandable, I suppose; humans have so little time to come to terms with the troubles of the world. His night terrors speak more about the horrors of war than he ever could. The war is like a wound that’s festered in his side. Scar tissue on his soul, maybe.

Like a body sunk inexpertly, much buried deep has resurfaced for our ranger. Age has given him great discipline (this I recognize) but not enough: After a moment of shock, he struck out at the Dark Lord, and would have slain him - or tried to - had I not held him back. I wonder if I did the right thing there. I sympathize. I am not sure, if he had asked me to, made me think on it, if I would have stepped aside. With all that I have heard of the war, I am surprised no one else has tried to murder our prisoner.

Kalthar’s apparent reasonableness, and his explanation that the War was a distraction for his people in the midst of corruption, seems to anger Will all the more. The prisoner says he is trying to advise Korinthia against her current course, and that caught him off-guard and stopped him. Its only a thin twine that's holding him back though. So he compromises again, as always, but its eating at him; I suspect it may gnaw through his reserve and someone will do something that cannot be taken back.
 
I think he worries that he will later regret not acting on his hate.

I worry I may regret not letting him.

Corruption (Again)

Both Elori and Kalthar said the old ceremonial magic would taint both target, origin, and invoker. It appears I underestimated their words.

The Vearra estate is a horror story. The kind of story they tell about the war, about the destruction of Alberethor. I was expecting land subtly twisted, an unseen ‘wrongness’ we might spot because we knew the truth. It was not like that.

The plants are dead and rotted, the bodies bloated, the living hideously transformed and foaming with corruption. Animals became monsters, people monstrous beasts. You can smell the taint in their blood, their breath, feel it on your hide, like cold skin suddenly exposed to fire. The place was not merely tainted, it is abominable. Like Gob, the land is dead and something terrible has clawed its way out.

For the first time, I believe, truly believe these people, about the wrecking of Alberethor and why they had to come. I don’t know if that makes me happier they are here, but I understand how hard they fought to force their way in.

This ceremonialist, Artel the Vile, must be stopped. This isn’t about gain, about patrons or favours. This is cauterizing a wound, lopping off infected limbs to stop spread of a plague.

These people, if people they even remain, are enemies of all the living. No mercy for them. 
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2019, 03:24:21 PM »
Crackbones’ Guide to Inns & Taverns

Crackbones Corner
Tavern
Where is it? Thistle Hold, Sinkhole Street
Tolerance: 5 (you’d better be, or else)
Fanciness: 2 (Comfortable)
Ogreppropriateness: 5
Cheapness: 5, because I make my money elsewhere
Flagons out of Twenty: 17

Built by me, for me, so it better be ogreppropriate, right? Also its built for goblins too. Good singers and storytellers drink free. Humans welcome but you’d better watch your step. Mess with Freya on pain of, well pain.


The Winged Ladle
Inn
Where is it? Thistle-Hold, in the nice bit, in a big tree
Tolerance: 2 (had to wait outside, only that because I was a noble's bodyguard)
Fanciness: 4 out of 5 (looked pretty nice from the outside)
Ogreppropriateness: 2 out of 5 (I could fit in if I had to)
Cheapness: 1 out of 5 (but hey, its Thistle-Hold)
Flagons out of Twenty: 9

Used to be Nightpitch’s house. He probably left when he got sick of climbing up all the stairs in the tree trunk. I could physically fit in, in theory. No ogres allowed, no place to wait either. Also, even large trees aren’t really made for ogres to hang around in. Pretty safe;  posh area, guards on door but otherwise not really that secure. It is off the ground though. I mean, you’d need a goblin with a rope or something to break in.


The Salons of Symbaroum
Tavern
Where is it? Thistle-Hold, near the Toad and the Beacon
Tolerance: 4 (only occasional funny looks)
Fanciness: 3.5 (decent quality, lots of stuff to do)
Ogreppropriateness: 3.5 (not bad but bring your own cushion)
Cheapness: 3 (but hey, its Thistle-Hold)
Flagons out of Twenty:  14

One stop shop for food, drink, gambling and sex. A bit small for me but I can fit in the private booths, at least. Pretty tolerant too – no real trouble for ogres or goblins, unless it’s from the patrons.
 

The Witch and Familiar
Inn
Where is it? Thistle-Hold, near the west gate
Tolerance: 4 (Ambrians might get funny looks)
Fanciness: 2.5 (not a lot of stuff in there, nice if you like plants)
Ogreppropriateness: 4 (decent ceiling height, comfortable sleeping hides)
Cheapness: 4 out of 5 (pretty good for Thistle-Hold)
Flagons out of Twenty: 14.5

Clan Zarek place. Nice place to ease clan newcomers into life in the Hold. No beds, its all soft moss and sleeping hides – so this is the rare place without beds too small. Hope you like plants.


The Longhouse
Tavern
Where is it? Karvosti, east side
Tolerance: 3.5 (staff fine, patrons vary)
Fanciness: 2.5 (does what it needs to)
Ogreppropriateness: 3.5 (long houses are tall, but the benches are low)
Cheapness: 4 (good stuff, cheap; 5 if you are clan folk!)
Flagons out of Twenty: 13.5

Traditional feasting hall. High Chieftain pays for the food here, if you are of his people. You buy your own drink though. They have a good stock of blackbrew. Be nice to Crueljaw if he’s in.


The Promised Land
Inn
Where is it? Ravenia
Tolerance: 4 (they were OK, a bit better than average)
Fanciness: 3 (simple but comfortable)
Ogreppropriateness: 2 (had to sleep in the stables)
Cheapness: 4 (affordable)
Flagons out of Twenty: 13

Like much of Ravenia, it’s a mix of clans and Ambrian style. People fairly nice. Had to stay in the stables but they weren’t asses about it – the place is just too small for a big ogre. Stable pretty comfy.


The Tower
Inn
Where is it? Yndaros, Artisan district (it’s the big tower)
Tolerance: 3 (staff snooty, but can be won over)
Fanciness: 3 (from basic to luxury, what do you want?)
Ogreppropriateness: 3 (usual problems)
Cheapness: 2 (expensive for what it is; no stabling)
Flagons out of Twenty:

Apparently the Ordo Magica used to be based here. Now it’s just an inn. I have seen adults, but it seems to be mostly run by children? Has an ogre-powered lifting platform to get to the top levels. It is not a tavern, there is no bar. It’s like the people who stop here don’t want to drink at all hours, weird.


Scratch & Rodent
Tavern
Where is it? Yndaros, the bad bit
Tolerance: 5 (they’re goblins, they’re nice)
Fanciness: 1 (missing a roof in places)
Ogreppropriateness: 2 (small portions)
Cheapness: 5 (great goblin food, great value)
Flagons out of Twenty: 13

Goblin tavern. Nice place. Run by three goblins – err, Unkh, Dudo, and Pulsuk, I think. I was very drunk when I was here. Door-mouse on toast was excellent. No humans, also excellent.
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2020, 09:24:16 PM »
The Song of the Ogres

There was this song, we would sing sometimes... on nights among the Karohar, or billeted at Karvosti, or in the great army of Haloban in the war, when there were more of us gathered than ever before. Anywhere that ogres met, with fire and meat and maybe ale and time to talk. It reminds us that we are not alone. That life is woe, but that we are strong.

I will sing it now, in honour of our little sister who is gone.

I have no father; I am of no woman born
Seed of the wild, old as the forest’s dawn
I’ve no kith, no kin to bind my name and deeds
No mother mourns me, nor sons avenge me should I bleed

Bellow loud, to land and sky,
All men fear our bloody cry,
For we are ogres, born to die!
For we are ogres, born to die.

Yet I have brethren, scattered far
No stronger beneath sun or star
Greater than the blood men can bestow
I have brothers against pain and woe

Bellow loud, to land and sky,
All men fear our bloody cry,
For we are ogres, born to die!
For we are ogres, born to die.

We care not what the witches rhyme,
All men are doomed upon their time
Into battle, come what may,
For each of us will die some ay.

Bellow loud, to land and sky,
All men fear our bloody cry,
For we are ogres, born to die!
For we are ogres, born to die.

Though death my come, and bring his hound
We know no fear, our steel resounds
And though in time we’ll feed the wolves and crows
They are well fed by ogre blows.

Bellow loud, to land and sky,
All men fear our bloody cry,
For we are ogres, born to die!
For we are ogres, born to die.

I have no father; I am of no woman born
Yet all men know me, my deeds and oaths I’ve sworn
Though men are scornful, and do us many wrongs
We are strong and the speak the truth in songs.

Bellow loud, to land and sky,
All men fear our bloody cry,
For we are ogres, born to die!
For we are ogres, born to die.



Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2020, 09:35:46 PM »
Concerning... henchmen.


Winter engulfs us, and we have little to do but warm ourselves, drink, and tell tales – and plan next year’s expedition. So let’s do that.

Let's hire some people. People to carry, people to dig, people to know things and to fight and die. You'll be doing the heavy lifting, the dungeon-delving and such - unless you are just a fat purse looking for a thrill - but there's plenty of jobs you can pay people to do, so you don;t have to. Of course, not all work is equal. And like Blackbrew, you pay for the good stuff.

Wisdom the First: You need a guide – an expert on the wild and dark furlongs of the forest. We have Crooked, bent-back ogress and expert on the deep forest. She’ll keep us alive in the wild. She knows how long it will take and so how much food you’ll need to take, and so how many mules and bearers you’ll need.

Yes, she’s even able to keep mules alive in the forest!

So, we’ll need food for the three or four MONTHS we’ll be slogging through the Davokar. Wisdom the second: Know how long it will take and give yourself twice that time in case of trouble. What if someone gets sick, or breaks a leg, or there’s a lindwyrm in the way? You’ll need mules and bearers to carry all your crap going in.... and all that treasure on the way back out. We’re going with two mules in case we must eat one or something awful does.

Also, bearers, for digging and hauling and all the work you’ll be too tired to do every night, because you’re a lazy adventurer. I like goblins, Ulg and his crew are my choice – small but burly. Good lads. Do NOT hire optimistic unskilled labourers, unless you like burying them.

Do you want to sleep at night, or be on watch for blight-beasts or wandering corpses? Wisdom the Third: Maybe hire some sell-swords. Just make sure they are good men. Unless you don’t want good men, but expendable ones? Personally, I like trusting the people on watch enough to sleep. Most sell-swords charge per day, but they are not folk of quality. You want quality, they will want a cut – a percentage of your profits, and sometimes a deposit. A good captain or two to keep order, or a team of crack professionals? It’s your money, your risk, your choice. Just make sure you don’t end up as their bearers... or victims. Find people you can trust. Trust to watch  your back, trust to fight well - or at least to die while you are packing up and running away.

Concerning Killers

Looking for a few quality killers? I have recommendations. Depends exactly where you are going, what you are after. Sometimes you might need clansmen. Sometimes you might want to avoid certain Ambrians. Whatever.

Rangoi is a brash and cocky fighter, specialising in the classic sword and board. He wants 5%

Vadina is an Ambrian noblewoman from a lost house. Mean shot with a crossbow. 5% and probably some baggage, but a good crossbow-woman is handy.

Vikomer the Spearman of clan Baiaga is a fine spearman, from a tribe known for its wanderings.

Tarn is a veteran halberdier. A little twitchy, but who wouldn’t be after what he’s seen – and you want someone alert in the forest, right? (4% cut)

Solveig is a masterful axe artist, if you can put up with his gloomy disposition. Morale is no small thing when you’re lost three weeks deep in Davokar. Then again, so is axe mastery. 4%

Oaf is a relaxed lady ogre who wants to know the secret of where ogres come from. A worthy addition if you need someone who can pack a good wallop – and she’ll only set you back 3%

And of course, there are always a few people looking for adventure for whom the chink of gold isn’t the main thing…

Take Gondo for instance. A young, keen Ambrian up for anything, who only wants a 1% cut.

Or Tulga the gobliness, a talented sneak looking for only 1%

Useful when the monsters turn up.

Monster Hunters

You know all about the monsters, yes? All of them? Maybe you need a helping hand with that. Monster hunters are specialists, and they specialise in danger so they want a cut, rather than a daily rate like bearers and sell swords.

Maybe Maria, a trapper will be useful in keeping you fed.

Or maybe you prefer, Nori – a spearman. Or maybe you want to play it safe and hire both. They’ll be looking for about a 4% cut each.

Experts

Now there’s more than monsters out there of course. All kinds of ruins and runes, terrible traps and famous treasures you need to know about. You a lore master? Thought not. Best take one of them too, if you want to know you’re dying for a legendary artefact and not some piece of rotten or corrupted trash.

Maragoi is good, damn good, even though he’s ageing, he’s one of the best treasure hunters of his generation…  Passed his prime for certain, and unlucky maybe, to be that good and never made it rich – but that’s Thistle Hold for you. Medicus and lore master, both useful skills, but he’ll want 6% or more for them.

Constance is a scholarly Ambrian, reminds me of a lost friend o’ mine. Trained at one of their fancy learning places: medicus and alchemist. Handy given the number of useful herbs and such deep in the forest. Maybe she can help you find a patch of that fancy heather, Nightpitch found and used to buy a whole town. Just 1% cut, but I guess she’ll want time to gather herbs – and well-trained aint the same thing as experienced, but worth checking out.

the Sage Theon is a changeling, and I aint got anything against him for that. Problem is, he’s a twat. He is big damn expert on Symbaroum though and can read and speak the tongue – a rare and useful skill, if you can put up with him. 5% cut.

Speaking of Symbaroum, its obviously full o magic, so the stories go – so maybe you want a mystic in your team. Mystics tend to come with opinions of course.

Fiona is an Ambrian hungry for the power that can be prized out of the forest. 4% cut.

Balon is a witch of the battle loving Karohar, a people well known to dislike the Ambrians... but maybe because they go plundering the forest. You are not a plunderer, are you? She’ll want a 2% cut, but more than that she wants to stop the war because he clan is likely to be caught dan smack in the middle of it.

There are other things you can do too, because you'll need to keep your men and women happy in the deep, dark depths of Davokar. So invest in portage ale for hauling, herbal salves and unguents, those little treats that make life bearable and keep everyone's spirits up. And try not to be a jerk.

A few good men frequently makes the difference between failure and success - and great new companions if your friends get whittled down by traps and terrors. But choose your people wisely, or you might end up in the shallow grave.
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.

The Dan

  • Out Of The Shadows
  • Games Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1299
  • Seek and Destroy
    • View Profile
Re: Crack-Bones Guide to Everything
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2020, 08:55:46 PM »
Concerning.... Spites

Spites are the kind of horrible ill-chanced bollocks that Davokar throws at you nowadays to wreck your party. Are they new or were these little bastards always around? They *are* beasts, or so my experts say, but I cannot shake the idea that they were once normal wasps or wasp-like things the Darkening got a hold of, or that maybe the forest just decided to throw at us because of all the Ambrians.

Looks like a big wasp, but quieter than you'd expect a wasp the size of a small dog to be. They hunt in small packs, half a dozen or so - or at least that's what the group that struck us was. Stingers are barbed; rip one out and its like being gutted by a knife - better to kill the damn thing while it is still attached. Crush its head if you can. Difficult without hitting their victim. Did I mention  they cling on to you, stabbing and twisting?

Will says that their sting drives you mad - paranoid, angry or something. So even if you survive their attack you might be murdered in the night by the very people you saved, before they run off, crazy, into the forest.

'Spite' is a  good name.


 
Dan: A title of honor for respected men, equivalent to Master or Sir. Any of 12 levels of proficiency at the grade of black belt in martial arts such as judo and karate. An expert or expert level in shogi and other such games. He that judges.