Last time, our favorite magic-user rolled poorly enough and rolled well enough to lose a henchwoman and take down three undead with one salt-filled box. The dice gods are swingy. Today, we explore the rest of the ruins.
• Jutoomb’s brothers and sisters
• The lampmen
• Lorn’s former halfling employer
• Lakehome’s ferryhalfling
• Lorn, that traitorous hireling
• Explore the creator ruins
• Find out what is bringing adventurers back to life
The Creator Ruins
Creator Fort, Small Size
deepening mystery •○
Common Areas (1d12)
5-6 Winding stairs down
7-10 Common room
11-12 Caved-in dead end
■ The storeroom
■ The control room
□ The engine room
Scene One: What is this place?
Jutoomb is heading back to the room she found the undead adventurers. So it was a long room, a row of seats on either side, and an underground window that gives her a lovely view of dirt?
Correct. Also, in front of each seat is a pedestal, some of which have glowing orbs on top of them. The sight reminds you of your family’s feast table, except tripled in size. I imagine as the black sheep of the family, you took your usual seat at the far end, away from everybody else.
That sounds about right. Since the rest of the family is Good-aligned, they tried to be more welcoming to her but then she’d go on a tirade about how they were shaming the memory of the once-proud snake people with their softness. Eventually, they stopped trying.
If this game were a movie, then that would be a flashback. Then, we cut back to the entrance to this room, where you’re at the far end of the room again, and facing you is your own reflection. There’s symbolism in there somewhere.
What do you do?
Bad memories aside, this place also gives Jutoomb the creeps. She’s going to stay away from those pedestals for now, lest she end up like the zombies she just dropped boxes on.
Shoot, I just came up with the perfect one-liner. “I guess you weren’t worth your weight in salt.”
I should take away XP for that.
Moving on. Are there any exits to this room?
You walk around the room—with haste, as the memory of the clawed-up containers fresh in your mind—and find two trapdoors on either side of the room.
Jutoomb flips a coin and goes left.
3) Guardroom A — rolled 6 (Unthemed: Common, Discovery)
You heave open the trapdoor and it raises with a groan. A ladder descends down into a room below.
Jutoomb will poke her head down just enough so she can see what’s down there.
How cautious of you.
You are greeted with an upside-down view of a roomful of dilapidated beds. At the foot of each one is a chest, which are surprisingly intact. Standing next to the far wall, you spot the empty remains of a weapon rack.
Besides that, there is a doorway leading to under the window room.
This place must have had some kind of armed guard if they were sleeping here regularly. Is there any evidence in here of whatever clawed up the storeroom? — Likely CF 7, rolled 52 (yes)
The rest of this place might be dead and forgotten, but you smell something that is too alive for your liking: droppings.
Fresh? — Likely CF 7, rolled 92 (no)
The best I can tell you is that it’s not a strong smell and I can only imagine what kind of ads Google is going to show me for the next few weeks.
Safe enough for me, dubious as it is. Jutoomb climbs down, and takes a look at those chests. Have they all been looted?
While several of the chests have either been ransacked or smashed by a blunt object and then ransacked, you’re surprised to find that one of them has been untouched. Alas, it’s locked.
Suckers. Jutoomb is going to cast Elyalto’s blessing of salt on the mechanical workings of the lock to render them useless.
You’re turning it into salt, you mean?
Another time, another place, Jutoomb would have made a great cook.
Thievery must come naturally to you, if this was your first instinct.
You know when you see shopkeeps chasing kids out of their stores and yelling something about grubby mitts? That was her, except scaly instead of grubby. — Cast Spell, rolled 10
Jutoomb takes the lock in her hand and recites the incantation. The lock already starts to feel lighter, but when she finishes and blows on it, it falls apart. All we’re left with is a pile of salt on the floor and a chest full of goodies.
And those goodies consist of a ratty journal and a clear glass cylinder that has the same blue glow as the orbs upstairs.
I was hoping for silver, but I’ll take plot items. I pocket the cylinder. What’s the journal say?
You don’t recognize the script, but it’s pages and pages worth of material. Either you scour the world for someone who still speaks this language, or you find a time machine and go back to when this was being written.
I’ll put it on the to-do list. She’s taking the journal, too. Let’s go to the next room. Jutoomb opens the door. Slowly.
4) The engine room — rolled 11 (Themed: Unique, Discovery + Danger)
You enter the room and are confronted by some sort of metal machine taking up most of the floor space. Several pipes protrude from its rusty center and go up to the room above. Whatever it is, it seems to be inactive.
The sound of pained wheezing comes from the other side of the machine. Does Jutoomb think it’s the monster? — 50/50 CF 7, rolled 33 (yes), Random Event: NPC positive
She takes her staff out, her grip on the weapon unsure, untrained. Before she steps into view she’s going to raise it over her head so she can swing it down on a moment’s notice.
When you turn the corner of the machine, a familiar face is there to greet you. It’s Lorn, her peasant flail in her arms and an ashamed look on her face. At her feet is the creature that must have made this place its home.
“I’m sorry I ran away,” she says, but you barely hear it.
You must have built the monster up in your own mind. Yes, it has horns and wicked claws and a face like a dragon, but it looks pathetic, lying there on the ground in pain.
Lorn didn’t bring this thing down. A pile of broken glass cylinders lie near it, blue liquid pooling in the gaps in the stone. The same blue gunk dribbles out of its mouth.
Without taking her eyes off Lorn’s, Jutoomb drives the bottom of her staff through the thing’s head to put it out of its misery.
She says, “Run away again, and you’ll regret it.”
Inside, though, she’s stoked about having some muscle around again.
The creature, whatever it was, breathes its last.
Jutoomb isn’t going to wait to see if Lorn has anything to say. She’s going over to the machine. Does there seem to be a slot of any kind for the cylinder I found?
It’s like you read my mind. Yes, there is a small hole that seems to be about the same size as the cylinder you found. Does Jutoomb play the scientist today and experiment? — Very likely CF 7, rolled 80 (yes)
She left home to seek knowledge. She’s riding the high of conquering this place, and for the first time she feels like an adventurer. Yes, she’s sticking that cylinder in the machine.
Nothing happens at first. Then, the blue glow turns into a blue beacon. The room is bathed in the light, and smoke escapes from the pipes.
A thunderous groan, like time itself was waking up, fills your ears. You and Lorn are thrown to the ground as your entire world shakes and turns. You would call it an earthquake, but something feels wrong.
It stops for a moment. You are about to get up when there is another lurch, and the room itself is now positioned at an angle.
That’s not normal. Can we still walk around?
The slope isn’t too extreme, but if you want to get out, you’re going to have to climb instead of walk.
Who needs to climb when you have a walking set of muscle? Jutoomb says, “Lorn, give me a lift to the door over there. We’re getting out of here.”
She follows your order.
That’s more like it. Jutoomb assumes she’ll be able to climb up herself and moves forward.
You make your way back to the guardroom and climb up the ladder, which is now at a precarious sideways angle.
When you get to the window room, you stop dead in your tracks. It’s still dark out in there, but it’s not because you’re underground. You look out the window and you’re looking across the lake. Beyond the mist, you can just make out the lit windows of Lakehome.
This building is standing.
Interesting. Jutoomb walks up to the window. Is the ferryhalfling still out there?
He’s looking up at the window, and his jaw is still hanging open.
Good. Jutoomb gives him the smuggest smile she can muster.
Lorn shuffles up next to you and presses her face against the glass. She’s almost as speechless as the ferryhalfling.
“What in the world just happened?”
“We just took one step closer, Lorn.”
With the first dungeon as delved as Jutoomb wants to, she’ll be heading back to town and pawning off the goods she found and banking her silver for some sweet XP. I will not be continuing this game, but if anything, I hope it has been an effective demonstration of The Perilous Wilds and Freebooters on the Frontier. Next time, I’ll go into what I’ve learned about solo gaming.
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