Here begins the second part of Shadowbringer. Shiro has journeyed to the Ironlands to free her sister and at the same prove the power of the Gloom – the magic resting in the depth of the sea. It has already cost some scraps, and both Shiro and her travelling companion, Setara, are worn out).
It is morning, and day is dawning over the hills forming the natural rampart of the southern Ironlands. The clouds hang heavy and pale like swelling cocoons. Shiro and Setara aer resting their heads upon their gear, and Setara is first to rise. She calls to her, but has to shake Shiro before the chieftain’s daughter wakes up. Blood-loss and exhaustion has drained the warrior – her eyes are unfocused and lie in deep shadow.
‘We have to get you to someone with knowledge of healing, or a mystic,’ Serata says. ‘There must be other settlements along the coast, and by Krakan, they can’t all be as sinister as the the one we just left.’
Shiro gives a weak nod and sluggishly finds her footing. They only eat a little. Fortunately, there are enough brooks carrying fresh water that they can get by another couple of days. Setara maps out a direction and they start walking.
(I am ruling that it is isn’t interesting to make a roll for the journey – Setara holds the reins, not Shiro, and there most likely will be a village.)
Ask the Oracle about a village: large; passing through; dark secret; White Cliffs (I am setting aside the dark secret for now)
It is the middle of the afternoon when they find what htey are looking for: A settlement centred around a group of shiny rock rising from the green sward, jutting out like the fingers of a giant’s grave. They see that the landscape on the other side of the village has a steady decline towards a fjord that cuts a deep wedge into the land, but with less forbidding cliffs than the ones the two women of the Barrier Islands climbed. It seem likely that the locals will be used to receiving strangers from the seaside.
‘You brought us here, Setara. Now it’s my turn.’ Shiro straightens herself, grimases in pain and walks determined towards the settlement nesting in the shadows of the white rocks.
Several representatives from the Ironlander village are gathered about the visitors. They have offered them something to drink, some fish and bread, but the mood is not exactly inviting. Two of the locals, Aida and Glain, act as spokesmen.
‘Why do you come from the landward side? Judging from your robes, you look like people of the Barrier Islands.’ Aida speaks the name with an distaste she is incapable of hiding completely.
Shiro comes to the conclusion that these people have heard of, or perhaps even encountered, the Shadow of the Deep or others of the raider tribes.
‘You have sharp eyes, woman. We come from the islands. But we are not from there,’ Shiro lies. ‘Our tribe only made the crossing from the Old World recently, a mere two years ago, and we never made it past the Barrier Islands. Our people were killed or captured, and only now did we manage to escape. We are looking for more survivors along the Ragged Coast, but the slayers of our people are still in pursuit of us. We need help. Time to heal our wounds and take in supplies, and then we will be out of here.’
Secure an Advantage: roll +2 (shadow) +1 (Trickster) = 6 vs 3 & 3 = strong hit
take control: add +1 to next move
match: either they know something about the Warlock or about Stonespire.
Oracle: The result is 50-50 vs. 75… = Stonespire it is
Sojourn: roll +3 (heart) +1 (advantage) = 8 vs 5 & 5 = strong hit
recuperate: +2 health (2); consort: +2 spirit (3); match: Oracle: These people can also be helpful concerning mysticism, perhaps Shiro’s attempt to make new spirit allies.
Aida nods as Shiro tells her not completely truthful story.
‘You are welcome here at White Cliffs. The raiders from the Barrier Islands do not come here – they fear the white rocks. As they are right to do. Glain here is our priest, and the power of the pillars do permit our enemies to come here.
Glain, a man dressed in a flowing white robe adorned with knotted patterns, makes a small bow for Shiro. ‘The rocks may warn against islanders,’ Shiro thinks. ‘But if that is the case, Glain is both blind and deaf since he does not fear us.’
Shiro has her wounds stitched, and Setara’s bruises are cared for. The eat and drink well for the first time in a week. And the inhabitants of White Cliffs finds pleasure ind helping the runaway prisoners. The travellers spend the time to prepare the next leg of their journey and make the most of White Cliff’s kindness.
Secure an advantage: roll +3 (heart) = 8 vs 2 & 3 = strong hit
take control: add +1 to next move
Gather Information: roll +1 (Wits) +1 (advantage) = miss
Burn (7) momentum (reset: 2) = strong hit
something helpful & specific; +2 momentum (4)
Shiro takes the time to talk to Aida about the travellers passing through White Cliffs. Discretely, she turns the story around to Stonespire – how she hopes to find kinsmen there, without suggesting that it would be her own relative, because she cannot be sure about the relationship between White Cliffs and Stonespire. Aida tells her that many travellers, caravans, and traders pass through White Cliffs, and she does remember that last group from Stonespire. They were led by Eos, one of their chieftains, a man known for his cruelty which he explains away referencing an Ironvow, without ever getting into any details – but it’s something about reforging some pact. And yes, they came from the seaside and a young woman was with them – not a prisoner, but she didn’t speak much. Auda doesn’t much care for the people from Stonespire – it is saud that, like the islanders, they keep slaves. Their defence is that they are the only ones keeping the ancient horrors of this land in check, but Aida is not convinced. Shiro considers the tale. It sounds a little like the Warlock who kept the wyrm pacified in the gorge? This is useful knowledge that she will take with her. And Eos will get a lesson in true cruelty if he doesn’t relinquish Jakira.
Reach a milestone: Release my sister from false betrothal (formidable) (now at 2)
The next days she spends with Glain. She feigns ignorance in regards to the spirits even though she has a hard time standing the man’s stupidity. He eagerly regals her about how the white standing stones absorbs sunrays reflected off the waves of the sea, and how that power is then bound within the rocks. He describes the ritual in which he, tied to one of the white stones, let himself be filled with light and ever since has been in communion with a higher power. Shiro remains doubtful, but she does make a mental note of his description of the spirits of the Ironlands.
Reach a milestone: Make an alliance with the spirits of the Warlock (dangerous) (now at 2)
(I used the same roll for these two infodumps – keep it simple)
Time to move on, and the islanders indulge for one last time in the comforts of White Cliffs in order to recuperate, gather supplies, and heal.
Sojourn: roll +3 (heart) = 4 vs 10 & 6 = miss
Pay the price: two consecutive rolls on the Oracle both gave me ‘something is lost or destroyed’ while Online Companion said ‘Someone or something goes missing’ so I guess that’s how it has got to be… and this is when the dark secret comes into play.
But the next morning, on the day of their departure, Setara is nowhere to be found.
(Apart from healing, it was also a goal to work towards an excuse for playing Delve, and I believe I just found it. I had though that it was probably the gorge with the wyrm I was supposed to explore, but White Cliffs seems to have it’s own ‘dungeon’. Maybe there is even a connection?)