Romance of the Rock
The purpose of this adventure is to reveal a bit about the Passions’ role in Earthdawn. The tone is light, even whimsical, and the theme is exploration.
Two Questors are trying to hire them to escort one of them to a pre-Scourge town in the Throalic mountains. According to his journal, it was the home of a famous sculptor, and the last work that he completed is still there, as they had to abandon the village in a hurry. The Questors are friendly rivals and have entered into a competition to see who can get there first. One follows Astendar and wants to put the statue up by the Royal Road for everyone to admire. The Questor of Chorrolis wants to sell it to a high-class coffee house in Throal, a place known for being the spot to go if you want to make certain business connections.
Both parties have a copy of the map, but need protection against beasts or outlaws they might come across.
Non-adept female dwarf, Questor of Chorrolis. Member of House Ludi, known for their sharp deals. She’ll prefer the path to Panvee, but won’t insist.
Non-adept male dwarf, Questor of Astendar. Member of House Neumani, known for their adventuring reputation. Lonro knows the mountains and doesn’t need to hire a guard.
Dwarf male, non-adept guide. Nearly his entire body is covered with tattoos.
Dwarf Wizard, 45 yo woman. She has family in the hinterlands of Barsaive but loves adventuring. There may or may not be a husband back home that she is avoiding.
Har’stuul of Jerris
Troll Sky Raider. 20 yo man. He left Jerris with Gertrud a couple of years ago, tired of the grit and ash. He’s horrified that Iopos has annexed his home, but is uncertain what to do about it.
Human Scout. 23 yo woman. Willia is almost comically dark, dressing in all black studded leather. She is given to making over-the-top, overly dramatic statements punctuated by long stretches of sullen silence..
Windling Troubadour. 34 yo woman. Fizzie left Glenwood Deep at top speed as soon as she could and hasn’t slowed down since.
Take the Job
How do they find out about the job? Job board? A connection tells them about the job? They can choose either Questor.
Whoever touches the sculpture first wins.
Prepare for Mountain Travel
Hire a guide, if going with Ferdi Ludi.
Purchase traveling gear, mountaineering gear.
Ludi will Haggle on their behalf
Power of Coin
Ludi will use his pull to get the merchants in Bartertown to over-charge the party, promising them lucrative deals in exchange. Each merchant has a 75% chance of being in cahoots with Ludi. They will claim that key goods are promised to another, it will take a small favor to get them to agree to sell and they will start the price. They can be Haggled down.
Power of Heart
Neumani will talk with Ludi’s guide’s partner, convince them that they need one more night together before they can go. She’ll use all of her wiles! The party will then need to try to convince her to let him go, or to convince him to risk her wrath, have her come with them, or some other stratagem to avoid losing the time.
-- Steep Mountain trail to small Garahamite mining settlement, Booketun (suspicious of outsider, but shorter path).
4 hours, 3 mounted.
Grazing trail to highland meadow
12 hours, 1o mounted, depending on Animal Handling test.
-- Caravan path to Panvee,
To Mountain Post 4 hours, 3 mounted
Path to larger Garahamite settlement, Panvee. (Panvee is said to have a talented amateur historian Named Heridot Panvee, a retired adventurer and Troubadour.)
8 hours, 6 mounted.
Grazing trail to highland meadow.
8 hours, 6 mounted.
-- Highland meadow to the valley. There are two choices, but they can’t make this choice til they get there, because they won’t know they need to make it.. They can climb over the ridge. (4 hours, no mounts) go around, (8 hours, 6 mounted.)
Special rules: GMG 193, for every 2 hours more 8 traveling, Tou TN (7) or -1 to all tests.
Track how many hours the party spends en route. When they camp, add 10 hours.
Sleeping outside requires Wilderness Survival test (7). On failure, choice of:
- Minor injury
- Minor encounter
- Fatigue tests
- Loss 1 day rations
Once they get into Booketun or Panvee, they are in the mountains, and it is chilly. If they didn’t procure cold-weather gear, they suffer -1 to all tests they make during the night and morning hours.
The Rivals take the following route: Mountain Post (8), camp (10), Panvee (8), camp (10) to Highland Meadow, climbing (4), for a total of 40 hours.
Both parties leave at the same time from the Royal Road. Make this a big deal, with a crowd and a send-off.
Surrounded by high wooden palisades. Mining & herding town. There is a Proving Shed outside of the walls with a cast bronze bell. Etiquette (5) to know to ring the bell and demonstrate an artisan test.
The Steward is a severe dwarf named Eine Reind. She is a novelist, and she will read from her work-in-progress, Shatlass Shrugged. The GM can of course read the piece in her voice. She will only allow the party in if everyone gets 5+ on the Artisan test. They will trade and converse with people who pass.
Steep Mountain Trail to Highland Meadow
This is tough on mounts. Requires 1 success per mount on Animal Handling to get there in 10 hours instead of 12.
Mountain Post is a more established town. The walls are of dry cut stone, and there is a 20 foot tall wooden watch tower topped with a shiny new ballistae. Throalic patrols still depart from here regularly. There is a stone quarry and some agriculture, but the town’s economy mostly depends on trade. There is a pretty nice inn here.
Should the party stay in the Post-Pole Inn, they might be invited to dance around the eponymous post pole.
Panvee is a mining town, though there are a good number of sheep and goat herders as well. One of the earliest Garahamite settlements, it is not very large but it is very well established, with stout stone walls. Panvee is beginning to be noted for its craftsmen, particularly metalsmiths. The Head of the village is Heridot Panvee, a Troubadour and Questor for Chorrolis.
Wheeling and Dealing
Heridot can give info about the settlement, but only as part of a deal. He has records of an Elementalist and skilled enchanter who also lived in the town, and was said to have abandoned his laboratories and workshops.
This is an interconnected group of highland meadows held in common by several of the local towns. At the time of the adventure, all the herds are in the lowland pastures.
This a pretty straight-forward combat. For reasons unknown, this quarrel of q’wrils has been pushed into this meadow, and they are hungry because there aren’t any fruit trees here. They will try to ambush the party. They will always try to reduce armor with extra successes.
The characters make a Navigation test (7) to figure out where to go from here, as there is no path.
- Failing adds 2 hours to their time. come across a pair of troajin cubs and the mother ambushes them. She will fight aggressively, but not pursue if they flee. 1d4-1 more troajin arrive each round they fight, up to 1 per character. They get 1 route chosen at random, once get out of the troajin fight.
- 1 Success: They find out one route chosen at random.
- 2 Successes: They learn of both and get to pick.
Climbing the Ridge
The characters can make a straight shot straight over a ridge. It is very steep, and they will need to climb at points.
Climbing up (TN 5, Step 15 falling damage, though because the fall is broken by bushes and briars it is considered Stun Damage.) Climbing down (TN 7. Step 10 falling damage.) Only Padded armor protects against falling.
This route takes 4 hours.
Around the Ridge
This is the easy route, but it takes 8 hours, or 6 mounted.
Locating the Settlement
Finding the settlement is really just a matter of searching. The party will make a contested Awareness roll. They can teamwork this test. Assistants can use default perception and appropriate knowledge skills. Total up their time and add 10 for every time they camp. If this number is less than 40, add +2 to the result. If greater than 24, then -2 from the result. If equal, no change. The TN is the rival group’s result.
- 0 successes: The Rivals get there first. Gertrud Stonecrop, Har’stuul, and Willia Saddle charge back towards the party while the other Questor and Fizzie Bluebottle rush forward to search the town. The Rivals will attack to knockdown and delay, using non-lethal damage.
- 1 success: They arrive just before the Rivals, but can see them coming round the bend.
- 2 successes: They get the chance to make 1 test to find a building and to go into it before the Rivals arrive.
If either group gets 2 successes on the other, Florannus makes an appearance. The Name-givers see a burst of light leaping from ruined building to ruined building. He steps out, appearing as a 4’ tall androgynous windling with troll’s horns, grinning from ear to ear. They give the party a wink, then zip straight up into the air at unbelievable speeds. Florannus has burned off all Astral Taint in the area. For a short while this is Safe Astral Space.
Searching the Village
There are three buildings that appear mostly intact. Finding the intact buildings among the rubble, stray trees and boulders is TN 5 for most abilities that could be used. Each success reveals one building.
- Longhouse. The people that lived in this village would gather here for meals or celebrations. This is where the sculpture is located. It is about 3 feet tall and represents King Garaham, the legendary founder of Throal who is said to have made a deal with the spirits of the mountains. Carved of luminous, pale green stone, it is a dramatic example of pre-Scourge stonecraft. It weighs about 3oo lbs.
- Fort. Made of stout stone, the walls of this fort survived, but the wooden floors inside did not. Stairs going down lead to a vaulted cellar, where there is a beautiful wooden chest. It is actually a manifested hearth spirit disguised as a treasure chest. Anyone who attempts to pick the lock or force it open are attacked. There is a place in the cellar where an ancient secret door has collapsed, revealing the entrance to a maze-like series of laboratories.
-- There are 10 rooms and hallways, including an exit into a natural cave which comes out on the side of the mountain. This complex can be developed as the GM desires, with traps, treasure.
-- Treasure: 3d20+10 silver, Dowsing rod, Journal (+2 to Kn: Pre-Scourge Throalic Settlement history, worth 40 silver).
-- Monsters: Krillworm swarm (not triggered until they are well and truly in, will smother torches); Strength 4 earth spirit (still loyal to the enchanter. If they take any treasure, it will manifest and attack. Optional Powers: Aid Summoner, Find, Engulf, Manipulate Element)
-- Traps: Dart with poison, weakened Shatterstone (step 15 damage), spikes
Sculptor's hut. This building has lumps of stone outside of various types, some showing chisel marks. There is a set of magical stonecarver’s tools. +2 to Artisan tests, treasure worth LP.
The two parties may work together to get the statue down the mountain, there are probably not any hard feelings.If they win, each party member gets 20 silver plus 50 silver. Their questor will offer to throw them a party dedicated to their Passion, which the party members can help plan. If they lose, they only get 20 silver each, but are invited to the party, where they are subjected to good-natured ribbing.
- Fizzie Bluebottle and Lonro put on a great performance celebrating the race.
- Toast Competition
- Orks playing shiptka
Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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