Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Slight Delay

Well I'm sorry that I've not been able to post anything for a week or so. I have been (and still am) suffering a bout of ill-health.

I've got some small kidney stones (roughly sand-sized) moving through my system. This isn't life threatening or anything, but the medication to control the pain leaves me with a "fuzzy head".

Once this "gravel" has passed, I plan on resuming the adventure.

-- Jeff

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Scene 4 -- Attack of the Trees

18th of Spark

(Chaos 5: Expected Scene -- arrive in Breem, meet Cil-Drith, get information about what lies ahead. BUT, Mythic roll of 4 -- Interrupt Scene (44 -- move toward a thread; Fight/Attention), which made me think of the thread of Zilwen's dislike of forests. Again for languages, Grenis will appear in green; the normal Mergan will appears as normal text.)

As the party pushed through the Dark Woods, suddenly Zilwen went sprawling. As he attempted to get back up on his four feet, a low branch (as if in a strong wind -- but there was no wind) swung and knocked Zilwen back down.

As he attempted once again to stand, a large come fell from a branch and conked him on the head. "Stop, please. You must know that it was a mistake" called out Zilwen.

"Nevertheless, you were warned to stay out of the woods." said a Dryad as she stepped from her tree.
"Gralarren was but a young Dryad and you should have been more careful of your arrows."

Glenrick interjected, "Gracious lady, we needs must travel amidst thy lovely trees in order to avoid enemies. Yon young centaur resisted entering, but we gave him no choice . . . and now we are bound to see Cil-Drith to ask for aid in leaving your fair desmense. So say I, Glenrick of the Yalf."

"Ye speak with wise tongue, Glenrick of the Yalf. I be Daanlaria, Dryad of the Dark Woods. Yet the centaur needs to pay for his transgretion for entering my desmense." replied the dryad. "For he slew Gralarren with a foul arrow."

"Yet assuredly the bolt was not intended to strike your kinswoman," replied Glenrick. "Thou canst see that even now he is but young himself. Surely he was but a colt when this deed was done."

"'twas indeed an accident, Dryad Daanlaria, and one that I rued then and every day since. Still, it was a fault which I own to. I am prepared to suffer your justice . . . but know that these, my companions, know nothing of the sad events by the shores of the Lake of the Crown Beast. Do not punish them for what they knew not of." spake Zilwen.

"Very well. Your words are mete. This then is thy forfeit, the rest of thy party must proceed to Breem, but thou shalt spend the next five nights with the dryads of this wood, doing our bidding and bedding as we demand. The sixth night shalt thou spend with me -- and if thy servicing be pleasing to me, I shalt lift the curse from thee. Thus rule I, Daanlaria of the Dark Woods."

"Come," said Glenrick to the others. "Zilwen must remain with the dryads for a week and a day. He will meet us in Breem."

And so it was that all save Zilwen proceeded to their judgement at Breem, there to await the eventual return of Zilwen if his service to the dryads be deemed acceptible to them . . . and the mystery of why Zilwen shunned the woods was solved.

(to be continued)


  1. Glenrick
  2. Helga
  3. Jack
  4. Nikos
  5. Yobella
  6. Zilwen
NPCs Present:
  1. Agatehead (mule)
  2. Brambles (mule)
  3. Feovass (elf)
  4. Cernalin (elf)
  5. Daanlaria of the Dark Woods (dryad)
NPCs Elsewhere:
  1. UNKNOWN ENEMY of Zilwen's Family
  2. Wenthar (Zilwen's father)
  3. Cil-Drith (elf leader)
  • Escort Zilwen Home
  • Avoid Detection by Unknown Enemy
  • Survive Examination at Breem
  • Find out who "warned" Elves about "monster"
  • How does Zilwen fare during the Dryads' justice

Abelard de Amber
(presumed dead)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Scene 3 -- a Woodland Encounter

17th of Spark -- Chaos 6

(note -- while characters speaking in Mergan will be in the color of normal text, those speaking in other languages will be distinguished by color. Dialog in Krege will be in blue; in Eldish, in green.)

The party had traveled deeper into the dense woods for over an hour before the rains let up. Then, when they chanced upon a small barren spot amongst the trees, they decided to take a break and enjoy some of the venison from the deer Jack had shot.

Had Abelard perished in the violent lighting bolt attack? Or had the old alchemist's tower saved him from harm? Indeed, was it an attack? Or some experiment of his for which he needed them out of the tower? Or even a weird natural phenomena?

There was no way to know . . . and none felt like returning to the tower to find out.

After they ate, it chanced that Nikos spied a rounded edge protruding from the soil that seemed to gleam of bronze. When he loosened it from the earth, a hoplon was revealed. When he cried out his surprise in Krege, his native tongue, Zilwen responded in the same language. "What hast thou found, swordsman?"

"A shield from my homeland, Zilwen. It looks sound, but very old."

"Careful," the centaur responded, "let me check it out." So saying he prepared himself, then waving his hands over the shield, said:

"Oh shield of old, let us see,
Is there magic cast on thee?"

When nothing seemed to happen, Zilwen relaxed and said, "It seems safe enough. I don't believe it's magic at any rate."

"So, you're a wizard then. What else haven't you told us?" asked Yobella, who'd been attracted by the spellcasting, speaking in Mergan.

"I have started my studies, yes." responded Zilwen in their common trade tongue. "But I am far from being a wizard. Just a lowly student of magic."

"And who are these 'enemies of your family' who kidnapped you?" asked Helga. "And why would they want you?"

"I honestly do not know who they are. I presume it has something to do with politics. My father, Wenthar, is a great chieftan amongst the centaurs of the Glow-Worm Steppes. You Snero might call him a 'king' but we centaurs don't, although he is great among us. As for why they want me, I can only presume it is to put pressure on my father."

Nikos meanwhile had discarded his small wooden shield and fitted the hoplon to his forearm. "See how well it fits me?" said Nikos as he thrust it in front of Zilwen. Just as he did so there was a sudden gong-like sound as three arrows bounced off the shield.

A lyric voice called out something from the edge of the trees in a language most didn't know. To which Zilwen replied in the same tongue, "And why should he move the shield so that you may 'slay the monster'? For I assure thee that I be no monster. Wouldst a monster know the tongue of the Elves?"

The voice from the woods called forth again. To which Zilwen replied, "Tis not as you say. Yon deer wast slain to the west, on the open knolls, and not within the confines of this wood. Thou mayst indeed find the deers entrails and blood spoor there . . . and not here."

Then, indicating the puzzled faces of the rest of the party, Zilwen said, "But come, Archer, my companions do not ken the Eldish tongue, can you not speak Mergan, which they all know?"

"I can, and will. By your speech I deem that the warnings we received of a vile monster, half horse, half ape, do not fit thee." Stepping into view was an elf. "I be Feovass, a warder of Breem. Who here slew the deer? And where didst thou do so?"

Jack said, "I did. On a knoll outside the forest. It is a knoll where you can look to the south and see the tower the lighting struck. If you'll stop shooting at us, you can join us and have something to eat, if you like."

"Rather you will needs join me. For you have entered the Dark Wood without permission and so you must be taken to Breem, where Cil-Drith will decide your fate." Feovass then said something in his native tongue . . . and a voice from the wood behind them answered in the same language.

"Cernalin will backtrack your path and seek to verify your claims. In the meantime we will head to Breem. And, while you won't see them, the rest of my patrol will be pacing us. If you try to escape, you will not leave the Dark Woods alive. Come."

Two days later the Feovass, Cernalin and the party arrived at the elven town of Breem, where Cil-Drith would judge them.

(to be continued . . . )

Clicking on the map to the left will bring up a larger version of it. The red arrow (upper left) shows where the adventure started. The green pentagons show where the major action of various scenes takes place. The number of the scene is on the pentagon.

Scene four is indicated in Breem even though that scene has yet to take place.

And please be aware that this map is only a very small segment of the way to their ultimate goal.


  1. Glenrick
  2. Helga
  3. Jack
  4. Nikos
  5. Yobella
  6. Zilwen
  1. Agatehead (mule)
  2. Brambles (mule)
  3. UNKNOWN ENEMY of Zilwen's Family
  4. Feovass (elf)
  5. Cernalin (elf)
  6. Cil-Drith (elf leader)
  7. Wenthar (Zilwen's father)
  • Escort Zilwen Home
  • Zilwen's Aversion to Forests
  • Avoid Detection by Unknown Enemy
  • Survive Examination at Breem
  • Find out who "warned" Elves about "monster"

Abelard de Amber
(presumed dead)

I have not actually had that many Mythic throws . . . and yet on dicing to see if there was an encounter, I got another double (22). Subsequently I got "PC Positive", Nikos, "Block" "Wounds", which is why he found the old bronze hoplon and it blocked the arrow from striking Zilwen when the elf patrol found them.

I will try to post a map showing their progress relatively often. The numbers will refer to the scene and the location will be where the primary action of the scene takes place. Note, I've marked Breem for Scene 4 even though the party won't get there until the 19th of Spark.

-- Jeff

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Interlude -- a Few Words About RPG

For those who are interested, I thought that I would take a brief pause in the story in order to mention the "Role-playing" rules that I'm using.

"Bluvardy" is what I'm calling my variant of the old "Red Book / Blue Book" Dungeons & Dragons rules. To learn more about the changes I've made, take a look here:


And start with the oldest post "What's a Bluvardy", then work your way forward.

-- Jeff

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Scene 2 -- A Change of Plans

17th of Spark

Even though the party had been delayed by Agatehead's antics, they made relatively good time. The day was overcast and a bit muggy, it felt like rain was on the way. And even though the terrain was "open", it was far from being a flat pasture. There were lots of gentle "ups and downs" and quite a lot of cover -- brush and trees and far too many rocks for comfortable walking.

Fortunately, some two hours north of Abelard's Tower they spooked a deer. With a lucky bowshot, Jack downed it just as it was cresting a knoll. Despite their meager supplies, now they'd have venison for their supper.

(Mythic rolled an 11 on question of whether they got any game to eat -- meaning an altered scene. I rolled "Close a Thread" and "Separate" "Plans". Well we could hardly call off the quest, so the only other thread was going to Garthian. The following is what came to my mind.)

They had just finished skinning and cutting up the deer when a bright flash of lightening pulled their attention to the south. Even before the thunder reached them, they saw a second bolt of lightning hit Abelard's Tower. Then a third and fourth; and more and more the bolts poured down -- all striking the tower.

"That's not natural" said Yobella. "It's almost as if someone or something is targeting Abelard. But why?"

Zilwen answered, "I fear it isn't Abelard that's being targeted. I fear my family's enemies have learned that I was there."

"Whether those bolts are targeted or not, I suggest that we get off of this knoll and under cover." interjected Glenrick. "It's about to pour -- I have Elven blood, I know."

So the party moved off of the hill toward a wooded valley to the east (in part to get out of the rain that did indeed pour down). Once under cover, Zilwen said that he'd release them from their promise to help him get home. That Abelard was probably dead and that they didn't owe him anything any more.

Nikos responded that as far as he was concerned, his honor bade him keep his word. One by one the others agreed. "However," offered Nikos, "as much as I'd like a day in town, I don't think it would be wise to be seen anywhere near here soon. If there is someone hunting Zilwen, it would be best not to be seen. Which means travelling through the Dark Woods."

And so it was decided. Even Zilwen, who had a great aversion to entering the Dark Woods, finally agreed. So the party followed their wooded valley east into the dank, dark wood . . .

(to be continued . . . )


  1. Glenrick
  2. Helga
  3. Jack
  4. Nikos
  5. Yobella
  6. Zilwen
  1. Agatehead (mule)
  2. Brambles (mule)
  3. UNKNOWN ENEMY of Zilwen's Family
Escort Zilwen Home

Zilwen's Aversion to Forests
Avoid Detection by Unknown Enemy

Abelard de Amber
(presumed dead)

I had certainly expected a different scene. Perhaps even reaching Garthian and interacting with its denizens . . . but it was not to be. I must confess that some of the ideas given me by folks making comments here and on the Mythic Role Playing Group on Yahoo! have inspired me with both ideas and approaches. My thanks to you all. Please keep the comments coming.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Scene 1 -- The Quest Begins

16th of Spark
(note -- click on graphics for larger image)

"You all owe me a debt because I saved your lives when your ships foundered in the storms. Well I've decided how you can repay your debts." said Abelard de Amber as he addressed the group of adventurers.

"To my left is Zilwen, a young centaur kidnapped by his family's enemies. He managed to escape by triggering a teleport; and eventually he found his way here.

(note -- Abelard is in red with his back to you, Zilwen is the centaur, Helga is the large lady in red, Nikos is in brown with the crested helm, Glenrick is in orange, Yobella in yellow and white, and Jack is in dark colors with the two pack mules, Agatehead and Brambles.)

I would ask that you escort him back to his family. They live somewhere on the Glow-Worm Steppes, near The Lake of the Crown Beast. Now you must go overland because Zilwen's family suffers under a curse . . . whenever any of them travel on salt water, they never set hoof on land again."

"You come from many different backgrounds and speak many different languages . . . but that is only good, for you must journey a long way and will undoubtedly come across many different cultures . . . so a wide range of knowledge is a good thing.

"I know that you have very little money . . . and I'm sorry that I cannot add to it. However I am giving you two pack mules, Brambles and Agatehead, to carry your supplies. Nevertheless, I suspect that you may have to stop and work from time to time in order to be able to further this quest."

"I ask you now to each pledge yourselves to this task." And so each of the five adventurers swore an oath upon their honors.

"Good. I fear that I cannot aid you with information about the lands that you must travel through since I've lived all my life within a few miles of here."

"I do, however, have this map which a traveller left with my grandfather's father. And while it lacks detail (and much may have changed in the intervening years), hopefully it may help give you some idea as to what course you choose to take."

(note -- red arrow on far northwest coast shows starting point; red question mark indicates their goal.)

"One final word of warning. At some point in your journey it is possible that the enemies of Zilwen's family will learn of your quest. Therefor, the closer you get to his homeland, the more dangerous your journey may become. Take care, my friends, I will bid you farewell now for I do not rise early and the stars tell me that you had best begin your task before the sun rises on the morrow."

After bidding Abelard good night, the six questors examined the map and debated various paths. The Dark Woods contained the Elven town of Breem . . . which was said to inhabited by friendly wood elves. It also sheltered a coastal village called Fairlea . . . perhaps that would be the best way to go since they might not be able to locate Breem.

On the other hand, while a longer journey, looping northeast around the Dark Woods might allow them a better chance to get to know each other. And there was a town, Garthain, some 15 miles due north of Abelard's tower . . . perhaps it would be wise to visit there and see if they could find a guide.

After discussing it (Mythic throw of 91. emphatic "NO" on going through the Dark Woods), Zilwen insisted on avoiding the woods for now. "We need an easy trek to start with so that we can learn to work together. We will have to take to the woods at some point, but let us start in the open."

Discussion then centered on whether or not to go to Garthain or to just follow the border of the woods. Nikos opined that even if they didn't find a guide, they might pick up some supplies that Abelard hadn't been able to provide.

(Mythic throw of 33, YES on going to Garthain first -- resulting in a random event -- NPC Action -- take, mundane).

17th of Spark (early morning)

Arising early, the party had finished loading the first pack mule, Agatehead and were almost through loading Brambles when suddenly the first mule took off, headed for the coast. Zilwen was the only one fast enough to catch Agatehead; and grabbing the halter, brought the mule to a stop . . . but only after Agatehead had managed to lose a good portion of what had been packed . . . and, of course, he then dug in his four feet refusing to move.

By the time all of the lost items had been recovered, and the mule re-packed, the sun was well up and they were late getting away. They would have to push it if they were to reach Garthain before dark . . . and tempers were already a bit frayed.

(to be continued . . . )


  1. Glenrick
  2. Helga
  3. Jack
  4. Nikos
  5. Yobella
  6. Zilwen
  1. Agatehead (mule)
  2. Brambles (mule)

Abelard de Amber

Escort Zilwen Home

Zilwen's Aversion to Forests

For some reason I was sure that they would be going through the woods -- but Mythic said otherwise. Then I expected them to circle the forest -- whoops, wrong again (and I nearly missed catching the "doubles" for the random event; but finally did remember.)

-- Jeff

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Pause Before the Storm

Okay, I think that I've set up most of what I need to before beginning the actual Mythic Quest Adventure.

But I'm going to take a few days to re-read the Mythic GM Emulator and Variations to make sure that I've got things straight in my head.

Well as straight as they can be with the pain pills I'm currently on (I've got some "kidney gravel" moving through my system -- sand-sized kidney stones).

Also this will give any readers a chance to make any comments about what I might have missed.

-- Jeff

Fangharm's Calendar

Since I will be using dates, I should summarize Fangharm's calendar. There are 12 months of 20 days each. A week lasts 5 days. Here are the months.

Spring (the season of AIR):
  • month of Still
  • month of Breeze
  • month of Gale
Summer (the season of FIRE):
  • month of Spark
  • month of Blaze
  • month of Ash
Autumn (the season of EARTH):
  •  month of Mountain
  • month of Rock
  • month of Sand
Winter (the season of WATER):
  • month of Drip
  • month of Stream
  • month of Pond
    The date is important for spellcasters (but unnecessary to explain here). This calendar also makes it easy to establish a date. Roll 1d12 for month and 1d20 for day. For example, I just rolled 4 and 16 . . . so the campaign will begin on the 16th of Spark.

    Terrain and Travel Time

    The Judges Guild Maps have lots of terrain types. I've come up with a simple chart for how far the company will travel (on foot) depending upon the terrain:
    • On Roads --4 hexes/day on flat; 3 hexes/day most of the time; 2 hexes/day in bad terrain
    • Open -- 2 hexes/day
    • Steppes -- 2 hexes/day
    • Woods -- 1 hex/day
    • Hills -- 1 hex/day
    • Marsh -- 2 days/hex
    • Jungle -- 3 days/hex
    • Mountains -- 3 days/hex
    • Crossing a River -- 1 day
    • Crossing a Lake -- 2 days
    In addition, there is usually a chance to go astray from the intended path. The general rule-of-thumb is that when following an obvious terrain feature (for example, a river) the party will not go astray.

    However, in the absence of such a feature, when a "1" is rolled on the die, angle 60` to the left. When the highest number on the die is rolled, angle 60` to the right. Otherwise stay on intended path. The following die types are rolled (per hex) for different terrain types:
    • d10 -- Open
    • d8 -- Steppe
    • d6 -- Woods, Hills
    • d3 -- Marsh, Jungle
    • d6 Special -- Mountains
    For Mountains, use the following chart
    1. veer 120` left
    2. veer 60` left
    3. go straight
    4. go straight
    5. veer 60` right
    6. veer 120` right
    Finally, of course, events may cause longer delays . . . but this will give me a basic travel guide as to how fast the party moves.

    The "Seed" for the Quest

    Since I want a relatively long overland adventure I needed a reason for it . . . so I came up with returning a lost young centaur to his family.

    As for the "escort" I decided that they would be young adventurers who had been shipwrecked and who were saved by Abelard de Amber, the ruler of a tower on the barren coast. He will charge them with safely delivering young Zilwen to his family . . . who are somewhere around the Lake of the Crown Beast, which is deep inside the Glow-Worm Steppes.

    Finally there is the problem of how Zilwen ended up several hundred miles from his family.

    Aha! Here's where we get to introduce an as yet unknown enemy. Zilwen was in the process of being kidnapped when he triggered a magical device that teleported him to this remote coast. At some point (much later in the adventure), this enemy will become aware of their quest . . . heh, heh, heh.

    So this is the setup prior to the start of the adventure.

    Who's Who -- the Starting Characters

    While Abelard de Amber (a high level mage) sets up the quest, he remains behind and is not expected to make any more appearances in the adventure.

    Please note that the "circles" indicate the "elemental nature" of the characters . . . which has to do with some mechanics in my variant OD&D . . . but they also become an easy way of identifying characters. The adventuring party (all of whom start at second level) consists of the following:

    Glanrick -- a half-elf fighter. His primary weapon is a short bow, secondary weapon is a long sword. He stands 5'8" tall and weighs in at 150 pounds. He has red hair and normally wears an orange jerkin over his leather armor. He speaks Yalfish, Mergan, Sylvish, Eldish and Grenis.

    Helga -- a human fighter. Her primary weapon is a broadsword, secondary weapon is a hand axe (which she occasionally throws). She stands 6' tall and weighs in at 245 pounds (at least that's what she admits to). A member of the Snori clan, she normally wears a horned helm and a red jerkin over her leathers. She speakes Snero, Mergan, Rokish, Irontongue and Koor.

    Jack -- a human rogue. His primary weapon is his short bow, but he also carries a short sword and some throwing knives. He only stands 5'6" tall, but is rather stocky at 170 pounds. A member of the Zuff clan, he is usually garbed in dark colours (favouring dark green and charcoal), his face is often hidden by his hooded cloak. He speaks Zuff, Mergan, Romashi, Onaks and Gobb.

    Nikos -- a human fighter, he wears leathers and a closed helm. His large round shield and bronze broad sword mark him as a native of Krege, as does his skill with a sling. His dark brown leathers tend to hide the fact that, although he stands 6'1", he only weighs 160 pounds. He speaks Krege, Mergan, Eqwa, Koor and Swaash.

    Yobella -- a human priestess of Freyr. Her yellow and light grey garb marks her as a member of the Yarp clan. She is 5'7" tall and is an attractive 130 pounds. Her primary weapon is a war hammer, but she also carries some throwing hammers as well. She speaks Yarp, Mergan, Runic, Snero, Irontongue and Taltish. She has the following spells: Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Light and Locate.

    Zilwen -- a young centaur fire mage. Aside from his short bow and quivver, he is skyclad (as are most centaurs). Far from his full size, he stands 6'3" tall, but weighs a mere 330 pounds. His hide is dun-coloured, while his mane and tail are a glorious chestnut shade. He knows (well, at least reads) the following tongues -- Eqwa, Mergan, Krege, Grenis, Tilian, Eldish, Baraik and Elin. His spellbook contains the following spells (some of which he can't throw yet):
    • First Level -- Detect Magic, Magic Missile, Read Fire Magic, Alarm and Mend Wounds
    • Second Level -- Levitate and Entangle
    • Third Level -- Lightning Bolt

    Starting Map

    (note -- click on the map below for a much larger image)

    The above map shows the initial map for my Mythic Fangharm Quest. "Fangharm", by the way, is the name of my FRP world.

    The party will start out at Abelard de Amber's tower (labeled "7 ALC") which is on the extreme western edge of this initial map (which is a long way from their final destination). Their initial decision will be whether to loop northeast around the Dark Woods OR to venture through them.

    My Initial Concept

    I'd like to try using the "Mythic GM Emulator" to help create a solo adventure campaign. The overall concept will be of a party of low level adventurers escorting a young centaur to his home hundreds of miles to the southeast.

    I will be using some of the old Judges Guild maps (Valon, Valley of the Ancients and Tarantis) because I've always liked them and never had the chance to adventure using them. They are available in .pdf format from DriveThruRPG and RPGNow for about $2 a map.

    Both of the above locations also carry the "Mythic GM Emulator" in .pdf format, which I will use to conduct the adventure.

    As for the gaming rules, I will be using a modified "Dungeons & Dragons" . . . but the old red book / blue book version, not the current version of AD&D which is (in my opinion) way over-detailed.