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Ironsworn Delve - Part 2

Our apprentice Warden, Amara, has journeyed deep into a corrupted cavern” in search of a demon. This foul horror possessed a local bandit and terrorized the local populace. We’ve discovered its lair, where an innocent fisherman is being prepared for the demon’s next host.

While we don’t yet fully understand how to destroy it, rescuing the fisherman (named Flint”) is both part of our general responsibility and represents at least a temporary setback.

First, Amara will try to get Flint out of his iron cage. Do we have a lockpick or something to open it? She Checks Her Gear and gets a weak hit, leaving us at 1 supply. Rather than bring in any mechanics from Starforged, we’ll Face Danger. This requires a careful, correct approach so as not to be discovered by the demon, and we get another weak hit. Flint is free, but Amara will need to Endure Stress for opening the cage in such a high-stakes situation.

To disrupt the ritual will require her to Face Danger once more as she destroys supplies, marks up sigils, and redirects various arcane objects. But she only needs to do it enough that the ritual doesn’t function correctly when she flees with Flint, relying on what he previously learned about it. She would end up with a miss and a complication, but this is a good time to burn that maxed-out momentum. The pitiful form of what was a human bandit stirs in the next area, so she sets the circle ablaze and they flee! This marks progress on both vows, rescuing Flint and purging the demon.

What’s the narrative twist? The oracle says the true enemy is revealed! This is a positive (because of the momentum), not a negative twist, so the true enemy isn’t Flint. Is this a larger horror (likely), like a demon lord or whatever inhabited these lands before the Firstborn? Yes, and between those other two options, it turns out to relate to those ancient legacies and ruins.

What do we see, then? The oracle says Attack / Structure which indicates that somehow the cave itself is hostile to us.

Looking out from Mount Pilatus, Alpnach, Switzerland Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

The time has come to Escape the Depths and get Flint out of here. With the cavern itself attacking us, they need to find the fastest way out, but we get a miss. When we Reveal a Danger, it turns out that a discovery undermines or complicates our quest. Is Flint injured (50/50), no, so it’s something from the cave itself. The walls themselves close in, and deep laughter echoes around us.

The pair will need to Face Danger to plot their way out (with Wits), giving us a strong hit with an opportunity. The apprentice finds a hidden path and can now escape the depths as the cavern roars behind us.

Some distance away, they try to catch our breath. Amara’s supplies were already running very low and now there are two of us, so we’ll need to forage. First, Amara tries to Make Camp but we roll a miss that gives us no comfort. In addition to losing momentum, what other problems arise? Is Flint harmed in some way (likely) or has a beast found us? The oracle says yes, Flint is hurt. Amara will need to tend to this somehow and attempts to Heal him, getting a weak hit. Her care helps, but the momentum drops even further.

With supplies almost gone, she’ll Resupply by foraging a bit here. That yields a weak hit, boosting our supply and dropping our momentum. Things are feeling bleak. Before they get moving, Amara should Gather Info: Where are they? What’s the way home? But we roll a miss with a complication.

The most obvious negative outcome is having something bad happen to Flint. Either demonic corruption has set in (likely), or he actually dies from wounds more severe than we knew. The oracle says yes to the corruption, but can Amara deal with this? To save him, all she knows to do is pray, Facing Danger with Heart and getting a weak hit (because one die is cancelled for matching the negative momentum). The prayer has the desired effect and Flint is violently ill, as the cleansing purges that corruption. Amara will need to Endure Stress but somehow we get a strong hit with a match!

Embracing the darkness, Amara knows in this moment that she is indeed serving her purpose. We’ll mark progress on the vow to free Flint, then try to give him more time to recover by Making Camp and getting a strong hit. Amara can finally relax a bit and prepare for the journey home - next time.

Up next Ironsworn Delve - Part 1 Ironsworn Delve - Part 3
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