Kalara Heights

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Played 6/13/20 IRL, 12/28/21212 IG.

  • Ivo Flynt (Imre) Support, Gunsmith, Engineer. (Apprentice, Tella)
  • Vanmil Glowhide (Kriss) Vanguard, Adept, Jeweler. (Fleshpacter, Fishel)

The Mission

Ivo and Vanmil got the opportunity to conduct a stealth operation out past the Golden Vent. Thoreson was attending a Hollowing Party as a guest chef from nearer the surface, hollowing out a massive beetle the size of a building as a community feast activity.

Over four centuries ago, some rogue dwarves built a hidden base just beyond the Golden Vent during the War of Fences, and the fortification was named Kalara Heights. The Elefrangy suggested they might be okay with Rumbleseed taking it over and using the fortification as a base for further exploration. Ivo and Vanmil were went to work it out through diplomacy or violence, as long as the Elefrangy agreed. There were sure to be threats, but they were poorly understood; maybe the site was haunted.

Ivo and Vanmil visited Sypert where he was soaking and resting and eating in a pool, got their briefing, and prepared to slip out during the festivities the next day. They procured a grubbly to carry their gear, and prepared for a wide range of possible outcomes.

To the Elefrangy Stretch

Vanmil and Ivo took Tella (Ivo’s apprentice) and Fishel (Vanmil’s fleshpacted Sithic) and followed Sypert into the Golden Vent, avoiding various dangers. Vanmil studied the energies of the place, and melded with Sypert to understand that the big spores here were dangerous as they came from the decomposing cosmic energy of a dead god; the dwarves collected some spores to experiment with weaponizing them.

Funderbunk

They reached Funderbunk on his fungal throne. He was a mystic and elder among the fungaloids. Vanmil liked his feather-antennae friend who turned metal to rust, but the other dwarves kept their distance. (Vanmil’s weapons and clasps and so on were chitin, as she lived among the Sithics and borrowed freely from their culture and gear as an admirer.)

The dwarves melded with the elder, and had a wild psychadelic experience of what one-ness of identity could be; what it would be like to be holistic with no compartmentalization. They experienced the life cycles of the fungaloids, who grew individuals from a seasoned mass of fungus that had generational consciousness, and they explored other far out experiences that redefined their awareness of themselves and the world.

Funderbunk made them aware of Kalara Hall, now called the Silkpurse by the spiders that inhabited it for decades. He gave them consciousness of its layout, assembled from the alien experiences of local wildlife above and below the ground’s surface, and also shared some background.

Some vent spiders had been twisted into magical spider monsters called goldspinners. They were ruled by two powerful casters, Lord Spittle and Lady Twitch. Their webs could extend their senses and give them magical ability to move from one location to another. These terrible mutations had weaponized the creatures, a late-stage creation for terrorizing the area, carried out by Burrowers during the Dream War. Funderbunk suggested they approach the Silkpursers, as the spider tribe was known locally, and see about driving them out or making some kind of deal; so few would be allowed to approach and could handle carrying out the plan, whatever the Fellowship decided to try.

By the time the meld was over they were well rested and nourished, if a little wild-eyed. They followed Sypert deeper in.

Approaching the Silkpurse

The Fellowship approached the Silkpurse (a.k.a. Kalara Heights) and encountered webbing. They didn’t think they could sneak past the webs without touching them and attracting attention, so Vanmil poured energy into some webbing (as an adept) and attracted a goldspinner’s attention.

The Fellowship carefully managed the diplomacy, not seeming so weak they were dismissed nor so strong they seemed threatening. The goldspinner parlayed with them, and agreed to take them to meet Lady Twitch.

Escorted by the goldspinner, they entered the webbed grounds of the Silkpurse, and passed the Jade Hunter, a massive war spider defending the site. Going down into the lair, they passed through a columned hall for hunting intruders, and passed a side chamber where a scholarly spider was spinning energetic three-dimensional maps of some location; Ivo and Vanmil both found these magical spiders fascinating.

Lady Twitch

After passing through a larder chamber where some meals were still whimpering, they followed their guides until they entered a large hall where Lady Twitch was embedded in the wall resting. Her mind spoke to theirs in wicked hissing whispers. She was pleased to see them, as dwarves have a reputation for killing anything, and she needed something killed.

Her people only took the Kalara Heights over because they were driven from the Screenhall, their home deeper in the Various Gardens. A horrific monster, the spiderstalker, was a huge wasp beast that was immune to their magic and venom. It paralyzed her people and planted eggs inside them to hatch multi-dimensional beings. The spiders could not defend themselves, and were forced to flee. Dwarves, however, could slay the creature and allow the Silkpursers to return home.

In exchange the dwarves would get the keep, all the webbing in place would be theirs to use, and they could potentially share information and resources for further adventuring as they would be allies.

Somewhat intimidated but thrilled with the possibilities, the dwarves agreed to take the offer back to the council.

In closing, Lady Spittle asked them to look into Taliferro, to know what the current status was. They agreed, themselves curious to know more about whether that was a person, place, thing, event, or what.

Messengers Return

On their way out they spoke with the Archivist, the spider working in the library full of scrolls and magical materials. The Archivist was a sneering creature, but respectful enough, and as intrigued as they were at the possibilities were apex predators like dwarves and magical spiders to join forces. Pleased with the possibilities, the dwarves retreated from the Silkpurse and carried their news of new possibilities back to Roachseat and the expedition council.

They were granted 5 Ledger.

A History of Rumbleseed Wars

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These wars have helped shape the Rumbleseed Clan’s relationship with the local Sithics, an insectile race.

(Current Year 2,121)

  • 1,218. (900 years ago) Rumbleseed Founded. A clan was commissioned to investigate the petrified underground forest and its hexagonal cell buildings, and the insectile culture therein. The clan was called Rumbleseed, the underground area was called the Delve, and the insectile culture was called “crickets” informally and “Sithics” formally. In turn, the crickets called the dwarves “Ravenous” because they ate everything.
  • 1,412. (700 years ago) Song War. Dwarven predation peaked and the Songwar broke out with the Sithics, with the general understanding that the winners would devour the losers. Conflict centered in the Nightsong Cyst, a major Sithic city that was destroyed by the fighting. After a decade of conflict, both sides entered the Phageous Accord. Dwarves would not eat Sithics under any circumstances, and Sithics could eat any dwarves that died outside dwarven territory.
  • 1,655. (450 years ago) War of Fences. Beyond frustrated with dwarven expansion, the Sithics struck back and leveled the Cairn Redoubt, wiping out most of the Carrydell family and triggering a fifty six year conflict over expansion rights where the Sithics experimented with above-ground colonization in response to ongoing dwarven aggression into their territory, encircling the dwarves. This time other clans were mobilized, and other underground races joined the Sithics, and the conflict tore through the Alabaster Corridor right to Powder’s Rest. The war only ended when the Sithics reached out to dread forces deep below, threatening to unleash ancient restrained forces that might wipe out all the dwarves of Stoneshadow and survive any races who survived. In the Permissive Pact, the dwarves agreed to only open territories with the approval and involvement of the Sithic neighbors, and in exchange, the Sithics surrendered all surface colonies.
  • 1,994. (about 100 years ago) Dream War. A horrific race of spindly tentacle-faced conquerors from below encountered dwarves who explored too deep. Enthusiastic about the flavor of their thoughts and dreams, the Burrowers sent psychic intrusion into dwarven dreams combined with espionage action to isolate the dwarves from allies and weaken them for the strike of slave armies of deep dwellers. As masses of dwarves were captured, the Sithics allied with the dwarves to battle the Burrowers, and in a five year conflict they drove the Burrowers back and spent the next fifty years reinforcing their mental and physical defenses to keep the Burrowers from assaulting the clan again.

Roachseat

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This frontier town is at the edge of Rumbleseed territory in the Deeps, at the end of the Delve. The town is shared between Rumbleseed dwarves and a local tribe of Sithics, bug-like natives with hive lifestyles and a complicated history of conflict and cooperation with the dwarves.

Roachseat is in a massive cavern, a cluster of buildings suspended by cabling (both organic and built) with many wires and walkways connecting them. Below the hanging city is a range with many stone dish shapes built into the floor where deep moss grows, cultivated to produce a fresh crop every three months.

This efficient production uses up the city’s waste, and allows much bigger herds of housebeetles (the size of a two story building when full grown) to be maintained. The beetles get a rune carved in their shell when young, and it striates as they grow until they are big enough for the community to come together and have a hollowing party, slaughtering the housebeetle and packing the meat to last the community for a long time. They also export the moss to other communities that need roughage for their insectile livestock.

The local dwarves are led by the Grimeater family, and Roachseat Grimeaters tend to adopt aesthetics and materials to echo the stylish exoskeletons and tactics of their Sithic allies.

There is significant trade with neighboring fungaloid communities. The nearby cavern known as the Golden Vent has forest-scale fungus that is metabolizing something long dead that gives off cosmic energy. The spores from the biggest fungus are therefore dangerous to breathe (and the size of snowflakes) as they put the breather into the dying mind of something beyond their comprehension. There are many predators that frequent the area. Beyond the Golden Vent is the Elefrangy Stretch (a fungaloid community) and beyond that, an entry to the Various Gardens.

Beyond the Firescreamer

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Played 6/6/20 IRL, 12/22/21212 IG.

  • Thoreson Grimeater (Anders) Berserker, Chef, Healer.
  • Ivo Flynt (Imre) Support, Gunsmith, Engineer. (Apprentice, Tella)
  • Vanmil Glowhide (Kriss) Vanguard, Adept, Jeweler. (Fleshpacter, Fishel)

Roachseat

Thoreson and Ivo represented the Dunn family, and in Roachseat they met with Vanmil, a local representative from the Grimeater family who was also working with the expedition into the Various Gardens. While they waited in Roachseat for the council leading the expedition to hand out assignments, they were supervised by Cerise, a local Sithic assigned to watch them and make sure they got everything they needed. A Rustad family team led by Lady Jeet was also waiting for an assignment.

Confronting the Firescreamer

Word came in that the Dunn team was assigned the task of clearing out a monster on the road into the Various Gardens, while the Rustad family team was assigned local errands. Triumphant, the Dunn team (Thoreson, Ivo, and Vanmil) met with their guide, a fungaloid named Sypert. In order to get the full story, one or more dwarves would have to breathe in Sypert’s spores to meld communicate, as the little fungaloid could not talk. Vanmil had experience communing with fungaloids, and handled the briefing.

The mission was to travel through the Golden Vent, an area controlled by the local fungaloids. The Golden Vent was troubled by attacks from a firescreamer and its victims, sporehounds it corrupted to become fog breathers. They target those who breathe, so the fungaloids and Sithics were relatively safe.

A year ago the fungaloids agreed the expedition could pass through their lands, and the Sithics agreed to allow the expedition a few months ago. In the last week the fungaloids withdrew their approval, so the whole expedition was impereled.

The fungaloids were concerned that additional traffic would draw more predators, and they needed a sign the dwarves could handle themselves and not suffer predation. They must confront the firescreamer, behead it, and present the head as a trophy to an elder of the fungaloid circles in the Elefrangy Stretch. The elder would then decide whether they could proceed with the overall expedition or not. Only a few dwarves could go; they didn’t want to scare the firescreamer off. Sypert would serve as guide.

Preparing to Go

Before heading out, they handled some business. All three visited a few alchemical and enchanter workshops in Roachseat, collecting magical fragments and chemicals. Ivo retreated to build several fragmentary explosives, tutoring Tella in constructing explosives.

Thoreson and Vanmil asked around for an invitation to a scheduled hollowing, a community event where a crowd showed up to butcher one of the massive beetles in the herd below the city, hollowing out the towering bug and preparing a feast to feed the town for days. As a visiting chef, and a Grimeater from the Shallows, Thoreson was eager to share the experience and demonstrate his skill. Thoreson also purchased some climbing harnesses and supplies, and secured a grubbly as a beast of burden.

Vanmil checked in with the local Sithic elders, arranging a meet with a shaman to see what she could find out about the sporehounds and the firescreamer and the fog breathers. The shaman told her the firescreamer’s flames were fire, but not fire; fire turns physical material to heat, light, energy, and motion, and the firescreamer burned memory and connectedness to this world instead. Vanmil thanked them for sharing some information on the threat.

Into the Golden Vent

They traveled in relative safety, attentive to Sypert guiding them around hazards. They didn’t breathe the “snowfall” of spores from the giant fungus, they didn’t get too close to big wet holes full of predators, and they avoided the local wildlife on their way into the Golden Vent. Vanmil attuned to the life force of the place so she would be better able to pick out anomalies in the teeming ecosystem.

Ambush!

They reached the Golden Vent Passage, and fog billowed in as the fog breathers attacked. The fog triggered panic and deadened the ability to see life and motion in the combat site. Ivo’s gunfire blew one of the tough fog breathers away as they closed, and he also shot a second one as the Fellowship finished off the third.

The Firescreamer attacked, but was backed off by more gunfire and mystic assaults from Vanmil. Relocating, it sprang out to tear her face off, but she drove it back. It withstood a pounding from the berserker before Vanmil managed to shove the mighty creature back further, demanding Ivo hurl his explosive. He did, and the grenade exploded in the air, showering everyone with enchanted shrapnel.

The firescreamer tried to escape, but somehow Vanmil wrested it into position so it could not, then her chitinous fist weapons shattered its jaw and she twisted its head, snapping the neck.

The Fellowship removed the head altogether as the fog breather corpses dissolved unpleasantly; Vanmil memorized the energy flavor in their skulls as they smoldered out, and Thoreson removed some spicy glands from the firescreamer’s throat to spice up the upcoming hollowing party.

Elefrangy Stretch

The Fellowship followed Sypert to the Elefrangy Stretch, and he led them to one of the conscious elders that was not melded deep and unable to communicate. The elder was a mystic called Funderbunk. (The fungaloids don’t bother with names, they have a deeply rooted sense of identity and don’t need titles, so the name was assigned at some point by a dwarf.)

All of the Fellowship melded with Funderbunk, whose thoughts were somewhat inscrutable. The main takeaway was that the fungaloids approved the expedition going forward, and the dwarves were successful.

They returned to Roachseat without incident, earning 5 Ledger each.

Open Table: June 27

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RSVP IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

This is an open table invitation. Only respond if you are able to attend. If you sign up but are no longer able to attend, please let me know as soon as possible (and I don’t need to know why.) The game will go forward as long as there are 2 confirmed players plus myself.

Attendance is first come, first serve for five players. You RSVP here, then I confirm with you. If I do not confirm with you, then you will be on the waiting list and I will notify you if a spot opens up. 

Please make a character ahead of time. We play on Roll20 here: https://app.roll20.net/join/5979643/fXhc5g

Need rules? Here’s the quick start. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296327/Axes-and-Anvils-Quickstart-Rules?manufacturers_id=5544

These are the adventures of Clan Rumbleseed. You can read about the clan and their exploits so far here. https://axesandanvils.com/play-reports/

So what’s the plan?

To the Gilded Tower!

Cagroot and Thorgrim promised to take Baroness Elenor’s ashes to the Gilded Tower to help her ghost find peace. Looks like it’s time for a side trip to human lands on the surface to tidy up that loose end.

RSVP Confirmation

  • Vanmil Glowhide (Kriss) Grimeater Family
  • Cagroot Hopstrider (KC) Dunn Family.
  • Thoreson Grimeater (Anders) Dunn Family.
  • Ivo Flynt (Imre) Dunn Family

Open Table: June 20

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RSVP IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

This is an open table invitation. Only respond if you are able to attend. If you sign up but are no longer able to attend, please let me know as soon as possible (and I don’t need to know why.) The game will go forward as long as there are 2 confirmed players plus myself.

Attendance is first come, first serve for five players. You RSVP here, then I confirm with you. If I do not confirm with you, then you will be on the waiting list and I will notify you if a spot opens up. 

Please make a character ahead of time. We play on Roll20 here: https://app.roll20.net/join/5979643/fXhc5g

Need rules? Here’s the quick start. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296327/Axes-and-Anvils-Quickstart-Rules?manufacturers_id=5544

These are the adventures of Clan Rumbleseed. You can read about the clan and their exploits so far here. https://axesandanvils.com/play-reports/

So what’s the plan?

Hunt the Spiderstalker!

Travel to the Screenhall to slay the hideous Spiderstalker that preys upon the Spiders of Silkpurse. The Spiderstalker lays its eggs in paralyzed magical goldspinner spiders. What horrors hatch? If the Spiders of Silkpurse can reclaim their home, then the dwarves of Rumbleseed will gain Kalara Heights and predatory new allies as they push into the deeps of the Various Gardens.

RSVP Confirmation

  • Ivo Flynt (Imre) Dunn Family
  • Thoreson Grimeater (Anders) Dunn Family

Open Table: June 13

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RSVP IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

This is an open table invitation. Only respond if you are able to attend. If you sign up but are no longer able to attend, please let me know as soon as possible (and I don’t need to know why.) The game will go forward as long as there are 2 confirmed players plus myself.

Attendance is first come, first serve for five players. You RSVP here, then I confirm with you. If I do not confirm with you, then you will be on the waiting list and I will notify you if a spot opens up. 

Please make a character ahead of time. We play on Roll20 here: https://app.roll20.net/join/5979643/fXhc5g

Need rules? Here’s the quick start. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296327/Axes-and-Anvils-Quickstart-Rules?manufacturers_id=5544

These are the adventures of Clan Rumbleseed. You can read about the clan and their exploits so far here. https://axesandanvils.com/play-reports/

So what’s the plan?

Expedition to the Various Gardens.

Kalara Heights! Over four centuries ago, some rogue dwarves undertook construction to fortify a hidden base just beyond the Golden Vent during the War of Fences. They were driven out of the position and the fortification was abandoned. If it could be reclaimed, it would be an excellent base camp for further exploration…

RSVP Confirmation

  • Ivo Flynt (Imre) Dunn Family
  • Vanmil Glowhide (Kriss) Grimeater Family

Open Table: June 6

Tags

,

RSVP IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

This is an open table invitation. Only respond if you are able to attend. If you sign up but are no longer able to attend, please let me know as soon as possible (and I don’t need to know why.) The game will go forward as long as there are 2 confirmed players plus myself.

Attendance is first come, first serve for five players. You RSVP here, then I confirm with you. If I do not confirm with you, then you will be on the waiting list and I will notify you if a spot opens up. 

Please make a character ahead of time. We play on Roll20 here: https://app.roll20.net/join/5979643/fXhc5g

Need rules? Here’s the quick start. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296327/Axes-and-Anvils-Quickstart-Rules?manufacturers_id=5544

These are the adventures of Clan Rumbleseed. You can read about the clan and their exploits so far here. https://axesandanvils.com/play-reports/

So what’s the plan?

Clan Rumbleseed has assembled an expedition to probe the entry to the Various Gardens, a territory adjacent to the clan’s holdings. Families have sent delegates to assure fair play in exploring the new territory. Everything should go smoothly with all these experts on hand, right?

RSVP:

  • Ivo Flynt (Imre) Dunn Family
  • Thoreson Grimeater (Anders) Dunn Family
  • Vanmil Glowhide (Kriss)

“Under the Mountain” is the Deal of the Day!

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“Axes and Anvils” GM book “Under the Mountain” is the Deal of the Day at DriveThruRPG today! The $15 .pdf is on sale for $6 today only.

This book has the rules for the game in the first half, and the second half is GM generators and tools. If you want rules for playing humans and elves (as well as dwarves), mass combat, GM-less play, collaborative setting development, monster randomizer and benchmarks, and more, this is the book for you. The book concludes with an analysis and summary of the GM role in the unique context of an Axes and Anvils game.

Check it out!

utm cover

GM Book

Guiding Ancestor Runes (Enchanter Upgrade)

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GUIDING ANCESTOR RUNES (ENCHANTER UPGRADE)

  • Ancestral Shield. The bonded bearer of the rune retrieves a glimmering echo of an ancestor in the line. This ancestor can assist, in combat or a challenge and/or risk test. It usually takes a full round and a Resolve to manifest the ancestor, who can assist for up to an hour, for one scene or one fight. A Resolve may also be spent to manifest the ancestor for a single round as a free action. This ancestor counts as one of the two maximum assistants a character can have.
    • There are powerful iterations of this rune that can summon two ancestors, manifest them more clearly and in a more articulate way, or more visibly or tangibly, for longer times. These bear costs related to legacy and bloodline in addition to permanent Vitality.
  • Ancestral Lookout. The bonded bearer of the rune retrieves a glimmering echo of an ancestor in the line who can stand guard for 1 shift, 4 hours, automatically waking the bearer if detecting something unusual. The echo can also scout up to a mile away, moving about as well as a dwarf would. Ancestors chosen as lookouts and scouts tend to be ones who had primary skill in those roles. If the lookout is attacked, it dissipates, and the bearer gets a fleeting impression of what did it. The lookout cannot fight.
    • There are powerful iterations of this rune that can fly, move through walls, act with greater intelligence, connect with the bearer as though scrying, and detect supernatural energy. These iterations tend to manifest remarkable traits in the ancestor they echo. Most only bond with bearers from the same family, whether by blood, by having the same Guiding Saying, adopting the same mission, or by living out of similar perspectives.
  • Ancestral Rebodying. These runes can bond an ancestral spirit to an animal that the ancestor had an affinity to in life. The animal gains the ability to talk, and takes on shades of the ancestor’s personality and memories. An enchanter can spend 1 Vitality to coax the ancestor’s shadow into the animal for a brief conversation, or 1 permanent Resolve to bond the ancestor to the animal for the rest of the animal’s lifespan. A permanent bonding is a challenge/risk test, where the risk is breaking the rune and losing the spirit echo and the challenge is sucessful bonding; neither success nor failure means the bond doesn’t work, the Resolve is not lost, and the enchanter can try again with another animal (but that particular one will never work for that echo.)
    • There are powerful iterations of this rune that bring physical mutation to a hybrid animal/dwarf, or allow the fusion to use one or more abilities the ancestor had in life. There are cheaper versions that only bring forward one or two aspects of the echo. Some versions retain the memories the echo earns in each body and conversations, others start from the reset point each time, others don’t bring memories only personality and some abilities.