Something stirs deep beneath the town of Tarrwen Harbour. In this fourth Llednevir Chronicle can the survivors of the Sea's wrath face the many faces of of Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep.
The battle was fought and the tide did recede,
Yet the survivors were left in great need
For the currents took them up the coast
And placed in them in a situation most dire and dreadful.
For the Llednevir shores are fjord-like and rugged
All the thoughts of safe return were neatly shrugged
Away to one side as the cruel sea placed the ship inside
A great dark cleft away to the south
A cavernous maw like a tentacle mouth...
La Storia (the ship you recall)
Was forced to make perilous landfall
On the beach of an underground cave
Beneath the cantref the survivors wish to save...
The Survivors of the escape from Tarrwen Harbour had escaped the flood upon the old Todoroni ship La Storia. Both Todoroni and Taffsea Hobgoblin set aside their quarrels and agreed upon a plan of survival by risking the harshness of the storm rather than drowning in the valley under Murkywood.
The voyage, albeit short, was a violent one as both the sea and it’s denizens rose in a bid to destroy those who had driven back it’s master, Dagontwyswifchips. Now, mere hours later, La Storia has come to rest, wrecked deep within a cave far beneath Llednevir. The cave itself is a vast cavern easily able to accommodate the La Storia but of the cave mouth through which it entered, there is no sign.
The tides have seemingly brought them here by some unknown power, for reasons of their own.
The survivors, upon waking, surveyed the scene. Within the cave lay a long beach, wide with sand, sand that is practically shining white despite there being no natural source of illumination. A quick recce of the cavern revealed two tunnels leading away from the wreck. There will hopefully be a way up to the green, green grass of home...
…but who knows what little is left of it.Deep in the darkness an evil stirs… Having equipped themselves with what little equipment they could salvage, the residents of Tarrwen Harbour set off in search of a way to the surface. Assigning positions at point and rear, they march across the eerie light of the mystical sand.
“Sir!”, cried one of the Todoroni survivors, “Someone’s found us!” All turned to see the familiar silhouette approaching from one of the tunnels. “Looks like one of ours sir! We’re gonna be safe.”
The approaching figure moved forward into the light thrown off by the glowing sand, the young Todoroni’s sudden scream shattering what little resolve the survivors had mustered. The creature now approaching was indeed a familiar batrachian form, but most Todoroni did not lurch in quite the unsettling way of the new arrival, nor did they carry the stench of death on them or appear to be rotting away from festering wounds. The form before them was an animated corpse – undead, undying, truly death defying…
The darkness knew this was not really the new threat the survivors believed it to be, but an ancient long dead evil that lay within it’s caves. An evil whose sleep has now been disturbed. The very source of the inaccurately invoked power that brought Dagontwyswithchips to the echoing shores of Llednevir.
As hope itself ebbs from the survivors like the last wave as the tide retreats at night, an eldritch voice rings through the cave commanding it’s creatures to arise and destroy the interlopers. The creatures, now awake, replying “by the power of Night nothing can stop us!”…
An eldritch voice rings through the cave commanding all those creatures it has enslaved to arise and destroy these interlopers. For “by the power of Night nothing can stop us!”
The Temple of Nyarfoxtrottqwikstep...
The temple of Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep has lain beneath the vale of Llednevir for thousands of years when the world was populated by strange creatures beyond our ken. Mysterious hairless ape like creatures, they were, that had magics and engineering that far surpassed the simple blackpowder and steam of Taffsea.
The recent outpouring of magic and summoning in the village under Murkywood had taken its power from the well spring of chaos within this temple. The bodies of long dead explorers and what appear to be overgrown Todoroni have slowly animated whilst the events for Tarrwen Harbour were taking place. These long dead explorers and long dead cultists (yes that’s right kids, they’re cultists) are hungry. On hearing the sound of the survivors stumbling ashore in the underground cave they have new purpose, to feed...
The Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System (D&DAS)
"I'm sorry, Dungeons and what now?" I hear your cry as you read the title above... Yep, that's right, the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System. D&DAS is a cracking series of games by Wizard of the Coast set in the fantasy land of the Forgotten Realms. Each boxed set (available for about £40 each) contains loads of plastic miniatures, cards, dungeon floor tiles, counters and more along with full rules and thirteen adventures for you to play. It's basically the same type of game as Heroquest, Advanced Heroquest, Warhammer Quest and Descent (all of you reading who've got this far will probably have played at least one of those). The thing that makes D&DAS great is the mechanics for exploration and monster movement. Unlike a lot of other games like this the use of randomised piles of dungeon tiles and the shuffled monster cards means it plays both solitaire and cooperative straight out of the box. It is one of the best 'dungeon crawl' games available at the moment, Why am I telling you this, well, it's because I have decided to use it as the backbone of this scenario.
To play Beneath Tarrwen Harbour you will need:
The tiles from any of the D&DAS games, I'm using the ones from Wrath of Ashardalon as they best represent the hidden passageways and large chambers to be found beneath Llednevir (actually, that's a tiny fib. The ones representing the cave systems in Legend of Drizzt are probably best but I don't have that set yet. I'm quietly confident that Santa will bring it for me though).
The Monster, Treasure and Encounter cards from Castle Ravenloft. I've chosen the Ravenloft ones as the main protagonists are Undead which match what urks beneath Tarrwen harbour.
However, this is FLintloque after all. So whilst movement (both players and monsters) is controlled by the D&DAS mechanic, combat (melee and ranged) is handled by the normal Flintloque rules. Sounds complicated but if you've played both games it's not really.
But I Don't have any of the D&DAS Games?
Fear not. You can easily play out this adventure by using any randomised dungeon layout and standard Flintloque rules. You just need a way to randomise what creatures you face and where the dire chamber' actually is. You can also play this as a standard Flintloque adventure with the caverns already laid out and each player taking control of a side as normal. Simply create a an UNdead section of roughly equivalent points as the survivors and play out as normal. I do receommend with either of these options you also include some kind of random dungeon events, a quick Google search will bring up more than a few of these.
Adventure Setup (This bit assumes a familiarity with the D&DAS rules.)
This adventure uses the optional Chamber rules and Doors rules from Wrath of Ashardalon (page 15 in fact).
Set the game up using the normal rules with the Dire Chamber Entrance tile shuffled in with 3 tiles after the 8th tile in the stack.
Remove the Human Cultist, Spider and Rat Swarm cards from the Monster Deck - All monsters move as per the D&DAS Tactics card but use the Flintloque stats detailed below.
Plays continues as per the Normal D&DAS rules - Hero Phase, Exploration Phase, Villain Phase. Each Flintloque character has a D&DAS movement speed of 6.
This brief assumes that four major characters have survived however if you good and loyal fans have been playing the earlier scenarios then use your own survivors.
Veteran Big Todoroni Marine
Hatt has the skills Boarding Technique and Improved Command (1), the trait Iron Hard and the flaws Foul Temper and Milky Eyes
(Flintloque:WIC, p.52-54; Flintloque:DITS, p.51-52)
He is armed with a Standard Pistol and a Sword
High Priest Hoolio Iclazyarse
Expercienced Little Todoroni Irregular
Slimy Tongue / Stealth / Nerves of Steel / Prayer
As Dagontwysifchips has been driven back into the sea Hoolio has lost his powers of Faith.
He is armed with a Staff which counts as +2 in melee combat.
Evans the Deaf
Experienced Irregular Hobgoblin
Evans is armed with a staff which counts as +2 in melee combat.
Druidic Powers - Evans is a practitioner of Wylde Magicke, roll for two Magicke Talents (Flintloque: DITS, p.45; Flintloque:WIC, p. 62)
Veteran Regular Hobgoblin
Owain has the skills Improved Command (1) and the Hobgoblin skill, Valley Voice. He also has the Hobgoblin trait, Slate Skin (both Flintloque: WIC, p.59). He has no flaws.
Rank and File:
2 Todoroni Marines - Generate randomly.
2 Taffsea Hobgoblins - Generate randomly.
1. Escape from Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep's temple via the Secret Exit tile.
2. Prevent anything... untoward from coming to pass should you stumble upon such a thing whilst wandering through Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep's temple...
And so, dear readers, to explain that second objective we must look into the darkness and see what is stirring in it...
Note: No Undead are affected by Brain Freeze in this adventure as they are al controlled by the will of Sirhc.
Experienced Ghoul Regular
Skill: Really Far Gone (DITS, p.60)
Decaying Todoroni Zombie
Veteran Gargoyle Regular
Trait: Chalky Blood (DITS, p.60) D&DAS Note - The range for this is any figure on the same tile.
Flaw: Weak Grip (DITS, p.60)
D&DAS Blazing Skeleton
Armed with a Hunting Crossbow (the creatures here predate the Time of Annul)
Special Adventure Rules (D&DAS)
Dire Chamber Entrance: When a Hero reveals the Dire Chamber Entrance tile, read the text below:
The creatures you have faced thus far are not simply mindless undead and long lived wandering mortal creatures oft found in dark places, within the temple itself is the never sleeping, deeply terrifying, Rep'ooh Sirhc, priest of Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep. He is the great intelligence behind the creatures you have faced thus far. He has also sensed the presence of the survivors but one of the survivors in particular, Hoolio Icklazyarse, has caught his attention. Icklazyarse is also a priest, but of a different god (as we know from the previous adventures in Tarrwen Harbour – the summoning of Dagontswifchips - come on, keep up at the back there), however Sirhc believes he can use the residual power within Iclazyarse to open a doorway to the Dreamlands and meet Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep face to faces...
Draw and place "Dire Chamber" tiles next to each unexplored edge of the Dire Chamber Entrance tile as per the normal rules. Place the Secret Exit tile adjacent to any unexplored Chamber edge. Place the Altar marker on any chamber tile. Place Sirhc next to the Altar. In this game the Altar cannot be destroyed.
One would think our erstwhile heroes could make a run for the Secret Exit. However the altar has a strange allure to it (not to mention a green glow). For on the altar there sits a great glowing crystal bathing the cavern in a stupendous light. This crystal would be worth a fortune out there in the grand light of Caer Dubh’s merchant quarter. If it is seen then it is desired. The first character to gaze upon the crystal cannot face the despair of knowing what they cannot have... such is the curse of all valuables left in underwater caverns... that character must steal it (simply move next to it) before they can leave the chamber.
The Villain of the Piece
Rep'ooh Sirhc (D&DAS Rules)
Activate at the start of each Villain Phase, he will perform two of the following (in this order).
- If within one tile of Hoolio, cast Lure of Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep.
- If there are 1XP monsters in the dicard pile cast re-animate.
- If has Line of Sight to any character with a Blackpowder weapon will use Fanged Hiss (DITS, p.81) - One use only.
- Otherwise cast Frighten - Potent (DITS, p.46) - Range of two tiles. Only affects one character though, randomly selected if more than one potential target.
Sirhc is an Elite Legendary Vampire.
Re-amimate: Randomly pick a 1XP monster from the discard pile. Put in play next to the Necromancer.
Lure of Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep: Move Hoolio six squares towards Sirhc, he will move around any 'freindly' character, if there is not path he will engage in melee (as an additional out of sequence attack) with the character blocking his path. Should Iclazyarse ever be adjacent to Sirhc then Ortloc uses his power to access the residual power of Dagontwyswifchips. Roll 1D6. The players have that many turns to:
(1) Kill Sirhc or, dun dun dah, Iclazyarse. One must be killed for the doorway to the Dreamlands to be sealed.
(2) Escape through the Secret Exit. Even if Sirhc or Iclazyarse is slain the eldritch energies have destablised the cavern and it is beginning to collapse around our heroes.
If our heroes manage the first but not the second of these objectives their sacrifice will not be in vain.
If they do not manage even the first of these, grave events will shortly befall Taffsea...
If they managed to 'somehow' prevent Iclazyarse from being used by Sirhc and escape from the temple via the Secret Exit we may not have heard the last of Nyarfoxtrotqwikstep...
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "Mostly Death in Llednevir" was written exclusively for OITW's 2012 Advent Calendar and was first published on Sunday the 16th December 2012.
CJ's Llednevir Chronicles have been a huge success here on Orcs in the Webbe, if you've not read them (or fancy re-reading them, they are rather good) check out the other chapters using the links below:
Chapter One - 'Tarrwen Harbour' aka 'Love and Death in Llednevir'
The forbidden love ‘twixt ‘Goblin and Toad causes trouble between the Hobgoblin and Todoroni inhabitants of Tarrwen Harbour, a small fishing town in the county of Llednevir, Taffsea.
Chapter Two - 'Battle for Tarrwen Harbour' aka 'Mostly Death in Llednevir'
We return to the village of Tarrwen Harbour in Taffsea the day after the fateful events of 'Love and Death in Llednevir'. The Elder God Dagonwyswifchips has been summoned by Todoroni cultists and he is very very hungry.
Chapter Three - 'Escape from Tarrwen Harbour' aka 'Death Amid Water in Llednevir'
The village of Tarrwen Harbour has been destroyed by a fearsome Elder God but the survivors of the rampage drove him back into the seas. Now the seas themselves rise to take back it's wounded master and the creatures that harmed him. Who will prevail...
The next Llednevir Chronicle will appear in 2013