Solo Skald |||

In what I expect will be the final session of this mini-campaign, Nammah the Butcher has allied herself with Thornscale the dracolich in part to depose Sorg, a minor demon lord, as part of her plan to gain power in Koraaz.

As we get started, the Threads List has four things on it:

  1. Acquire Sorg’s hoard
  2. Convert Sorg’s cult to serve Raaz
  3. Convince Thornscale to eliminate Sorg

The Characters List has a little more:

  1. Sorg, a minor demon lord
  2. Jiao, a heretic cultist of Sorg
  3. Vnaud the Withered, leader of Sorg’s cult
  4. The Cryptorum, a vast underground dungeon
  5. Nordak Rumna, Raazite warlock in service to Andastros Qualenethi
  6. The Sundered Temple
  7. Rakim, a prominent merchant
  8. Thornscale, a dracolich

At the end of the previous session, there was an additional thread and related character, but she’s no longer interested in hiring the assassin Tomas for information or more, since she has a much more powerful ally in Thornscale. Once she accomplishes the first goal, and maybe the second, that will conclude the campaign.

Scene 1

The session opens with the Chaos Factor at 5. Nammah is with Thornscale at an old crumbling fort where he has re-established his lair. This scene should be about her trying to convince him to take out Sorg. Mythic GME does not mandate any scene changes.

Her initial angle is that she knows of an opportunity to expand his hoard. However, Thornscale is still a bit confused due to his undead, semi-zombie state. But the one thing he does still focus on is the need for his hoard. So she will lean on that and make a dungeoneering check (feat of lore): success! He agrees that Sorg’s hoard should be his. Now for the tricky bit: should they succeed - no, in fact, when Thornscale triumphs in his draconic magnificence - it would reflect poorly on him if others were to see that his humble servant carried no wealth. After all, as his servant, is she herself not an extension of his wealth? This fails; she will need to content herself with taking over the cult.

Nammah details the location of the Deelian Temple, which is not particularly far. They begin their planning for the assault.

That will end this scene and decrease the Chaos Factor to 4.

Scene 2

The plan is for Nammah to approach the temple and try to turn anyone in the cult who is susceptible, perhaps by calling to the doubts of those who may have been influenced by any of the varying heretics and sub-sects. Those who do not will suffer at Sorg’s side as Thornscale assaults the upper temple. The scene will alter a bit, and I decide that the dracolich, in its mentally-confused state, will show up early and cause panic.

As before, she enters via the Gate of Deel. The fact that the carvings do not burn her immediately is evidence to any onlookers that she has not turned to Sorg’s service in any way. Are there any servants of Sorg here (unlikely)? No. She’s not here for dungeon exploration as before, so we don’t need to track turns and look for treasure today.

However, I do wonder if she notices the water in the small runnel, or more specifically where it re-enters the underground (50/50)? No, at least not for now. She’s focused on the task at hand.

As she ascends the Stairs of Greed Ascendant, do the servants of Sorg notice that she resists the magical effects of the statues lining the steps (likely)? Yes; they will recognize that she has some power of her own.

In the courtyard beneath the high temple, outside the granary and brewhouse, she raises her arms and staff and begins to intone a prophecy” of warning, calling on all those who can hear her voice to join her, as the foul creature dwelling within is just an impostor.

But, despite the plan, Thornscale shows up early, a bloated undead mass with wings descending from the sky. Normally, low-level cultists would immediately flee in fear, but I decide to give them a save given their attachment to a demon lord (minor as he may be) and Nammah’s warning. Do some of them remain (nearly certain)? No, they all begin to flee as the dracolich lands.

Here’s where I drill into the stats a bit: Sorg has 5 HD, which (when rolled) totals 19 HP. Thornscale, as a dracolich, has 25 HD totaling 92 HP. The dracolich definitely hits automatically with that much of a difference in HD, and the damage is 2d6+2d8+2=12, nearly taking out Sorg in one round. The demon’s 1d8 bile spray can hardly miss, given Thornscale’s size, but it only does 5 damage to the dracolich (including damage reduction). Thornscale’s breath weapon sprays foul organs, dealing 6 damage, and Sorg takes all of it. It’s all over but the crying, and Sorg’s remaining bile does 1 point of damage to the dragon before he’s shredded.

However, Nammah still wishes to call the cult back to her, and she’ll make a feat of lore” dungeoneering check to call some of them back to her: success! I decide that, since there were about 18 acolytes and cultists, I’ll just roll 3d6 to see how many return to her side. The result is 10. Perhaps that will satisfy Nordak; if not, she has a patron of her own now, difficult as it may be.

The Chaos Factor increases to 5 (due to the dracolich’s early arrival), and both Sorg and Vnaud the Withered come off the Characters List.

Scene 3

Nammah will now preach the Word of Raaz to her would-be converts. This is another altered scene, and the Scene Adjustment is Remove a Character”. Is this Thornscale (nearly certain)? Yes, it flies off, satisfied with its victory.

She turns her attention to the acolytes before her and begins to explain that Raaz, the Praetor of Slaughter, has sent her to them. He is to be worshiped through the sacrifice of captured foes and sends them chasing after the fleeing cultists. As evidence of her power, she calls for a sign from Raaz. Does he give it (very likely)? Yes, and a sigil of blood appears upon the wall behind her, dripping slowly.

The scene ends with her leading her followers into the desert, chasing after the fleeing cultists, intending to present them to their new master.

A group of about a dozen people dressed for the desert, led by a slender woman in a gray-brown shift, who is prominently holding a wooden staff above her head. They are running towards the viewer, emanating a sense of urgency and determination. Behind them is a stone wall adorned with a demonic sigil painted in blood,The artwork is rendered in the style of 1980s line art, similar to that found on heavy metal album covers of the era, with dynamic poses and expressive faces. Generated by ChatGPT

Wrap-Up

This is where I want to end Nammah’s story. While I don’t think I’m done with Cinderheim, Nammah will transition to an NPC villain (or at least antagonist) in future play. I also want to step back from Scarlet Heroes for a bit, instead having a party of adventurers again. That might mean continuing on with Searchers of the Unknown but I’m also looking at a few other OSR/NSR rulesets, like Mörk Borg or Worlds Without Number.

This weekend I’m participating in an online convention, A Weekend With Good Friends”, hosted on the Good Friends of Jackson Elias Discord server, so there might be a slight pause in posting here as non-solo gaming gets my attention for a bit. But I have pages full of ideas of what to do next!

Up next Cinderheim - Session 3 The Cryptorum - Session 1
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