Hârn Campaign (2005 - 2006)

Pepper and Spice – Part 2: Doomsayer, Session 1

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Scenario Author: Edwyn Kumar and N. Robin Crossby
Scenario Publisher Columbia Games, Inc.
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: May 14, 2005
Game System: HârnMaster III
Game Master: Allan Goodall
Characters: Kieran of Boru, a Fyvrian Shek-Pvar Satia-Mavari (Jason Gallagher); Merrick of Larani, an ex-gladiator and mercenary (Jimmy Pope); S'arnat of Pherisa, an artist/cartographer (Alana Goodall)

Spoiler Warning: This scenario is taken from the Columbia Games HârnMaster supplement Trobridge Inn. If you are a Hârn player you may wish to ask your Game Master if they intend to run this scenario before reading this write-up, as pertinent scenario information will be revealed.

12th of Nuzyael, 720 TR, 1st Watch

Trobridge Inn, on the Salt Route

The adventurers heard screams coming from the direction of the village. Merrick led the way, followed by S'arnat and Kieran. Without warning, a vlasta jumped at S'arnat, aiming for her eyes. S'arnat ducked, and the vlasta landed beside her. She swung her dagger at it, but missed.

The vlasta leaped at her again, it's claws flashing as it reached out for her eyes. S'arnat slipped out of its reach. Merrick swung his sword at the creature, but it was too fast for him. Kieran swiped at the vlasta with his staff. He caught it in the right leg. There was a sharp snap as the creature's leg shattered. It fell, unmoving. S'arnat stomped on its head, crushing the thing's brittle bones beneath the soles of her boots.

A cry cut through the chilly night air. It came from a nearby house. The adventurers ran for the house. A man in night clothes staggered out of the building. He flailed about as four vlastas snapped and clawed at him. Only two of the four vlasta noticed the adventurers. These two creatures stopped attacking the man and rushed at Merrick and Kieran. Merrick swung his sword at the first one, but missed. Kieran swept his staff at the same creature. He connected squarely, almost tearing the thing's head from its body. The second vlasta went after Merrick. Merrick deflected it with his sword. His blade hit the creature's tail, almost severing it. He thrust his sword at it. The sword pierced the vlasta's chest. It slipped lifeless from his blade.

S'arnat went to the aid of the house's tenant. One vlasta was on his back pecking at his skull, while the other was pouncing at his face. S'arnat swung her dagger at the pouncing vlasta, but missed. The creature pecked the man's arm, and he gave out a cry of pain and fear. Kieran moved behind the tenant. He drove the end of his staff into the vlasta's head. With a sound like torn leather, the creature's skull split open. It dropped from the man's back.

Merrick and S'arnat both swung at the remaining vlasta, but they both missed. Kieran hit the creature, but it was only a glancing blow. The creature jumped at S'arnat. S'arnat swung her head away at the last second, so that it missed her eye. Instead, it gashed her cheek with its beak as it sailed past her. Merrick was swinging at the vlasta even before it had landed. His sword dug deep into the thing's leg, almost dismembering it. It fell still. The adventurers bashed in the heads of the creatures, making sure they were dead. The tenant was bleeding from numerous cuts, but none of them looked very serious.

More screams echoed down the street. They pushed the tenant back into his house. They didn't wait to hear if the man latched his door as they ran down the road in the direction of the latest scream.

After a short sprint they saw one of Terlin's guards sobbing in pain. His hand was pressed up against his left eye socket. On the ground near him was a vlasta eating the eye it had plucked from the guard's head. Merrick brought his sword up over his head and brought it down with a quick, viscous blow. The creature's decapitated head rolled into the gutter.

The sounds of yelling and swords striking rock came from two directions: over the River Farin and behind them, beyond Trobridge Inn. They didn't have to discuss their destination. The other side of the river was patrolled by the men employed by Kurson Ondailis. They ran for the sound of fighting behind them.

Ahead of them, beyond the inn, were two lights, moving back and forth. As they ran closer, the adventurers saw four men fighting a number of vlasta. Two of the men had lanterns. Vlasta jumped at the men from all directions.

As the adventurers moved to striking range, Merrick swung at a vlasta. He missed. The creature leaped at his face. It struck at his head with its beak, cutting it. Merrick hit the thing with the pommel of his sword, knocking it away.

Kieran moved toward a vlasta. It jumped at him. He hit it in the chest with his staff just as it slashed him in the chest.

The four men — who Merrick recognized as Terlin's mercenaries — continued to fight the remaining vlasta. They killed two of the creatures, but not before three of the men were pecked. One of the wounded men screamed in pain and terror, and covered his right eye socket with his hands.

A vlasta shot out from the shadows, aiming for S'arnat. She ducked out of its way and then swung at it with her dagger. Her balance was off. She missed, almost stumbling in the process. Merrick hit the vlasta before him, crushing its leg. It writhed on the ground. Kieran thrust his staff at his vlasta, but he missed. The creature struck at him, but he dodged its claws.

The creature in front of S'arnat jumped at her. She tried to get out of its way, but it still managed to bite her in the shoulder. She collapsed to the ground as the pain overwhelmed her. Merrick slid between the creature and S'arnat. He gave it a glancing blow with his sword. The vlasta jumped for him, but it missed. Kieran was still busy with his own vlasta. He swung at his creature. It hopped out of the staff's path, then jumped forward and clawed Kieran's abdomen.

S'arnat shook her head, trying to regain her senses. A vlasta pounced on her. Merrick tried to pull the creature off her, but it was too fast for him to catch. It turned and attacked Merrick. He dodged out of its way. He slapped at the vlasta, hitting it. It took two steps back, apparently without injury.

A vlasta attacked Kieran. The mage tried to block it with his staff, but when it ran into him it knocked his staff from his hand.

The guards had more luck killing the creatures, but suddenly the night air echoed with the sound of a grown man howling in pain. Another guard now clutched his face as a vlasta made off with his eyeball.

S'arnat scrambled to her feet. She swung her dagger at the creature attacking Kieran. Her dagger sunk into the creature's tail. It squealed and hit the ground. S'arnat jumped on its head. The thing's skull crunched under her feet. Kieran grabbed his staff. He hit a vlasta near him, injuring it.

Merrick tried to grab the vlasta on his shoulder, but he missed. It reared back and then shot forward with its beak. Merrick intercepted it with his fist, grasping it by the throat. He threw the thing into the air and tried to swing at it in mid flight with his sword. His swing was mis-timed. The vlasta fell to the ground, unhurt. Merrick hit its torso with the flat of his blade. S'arnat stabbed it in the tail. Both blows failed to do more than slow it down a little. Kieran also hit it, but this only seemed to catch its attention. It jumped at Kieran. The mage barely managed to get out of its way. S'arnat swung at it. She missed. Merrick swung at it. His blow threw the vlasta to the ground. He jumped on its head. The creature's skull shattered with a sickening pop.

All the vlasta that attacked them were now lying on the ground. Some were quite clearly dead, but others twitched and writhed. The adventurers jumped on the small, reptilian bodies, finishing them off.

There were no more screams, but they could still hear the cries of the wounded in the cold, still air.

Merrick and S'arnat helped one of the wounded mercenaries to the inn, while Kieran and a mercenary helped the other one. The last mercenary carried the lanterns ahead of them, illuminating the way. All of the band were on edge, expecting another vlasta to jump out from nowhere at them. There were no other vlasta attacks, though. Guards opened the fortified doors of the inn for them and they quickly hustled inside. Once behind the walls of the inn, they told the nervous guards what was happening. A mercenary sergeant ordered a band of volunteers to pull on their armour. They intended to sweep the streets of any remaining creatures.

Two mercenaries helped the injured men to the barracks. The adventurers entered the common room. Merrick cleaned and bound his own wounds, and then did the same for S'arnat and Kieran.

Kieran cast the Balm of Griesan spell on himself. The spell's Form was flawed, and he had to abort the casting. He was too tired to try again.

All three of the adventurers were aching and exhausted. Kieran and S'arnat climbed the stairs to the inn's second floor and headed for their rooms. Merrick went back out into the cold, and walked to the mercenaries' barracks. In spite of the sobs and cries of the wounded, Merrick was soon fast asleep.

12th of Nuzyael, 720 TR, 3rd Watch

Trobridge Inn

The adventurers slept until just after the start of the third watch. Kieran was the first to awaken. Alone in his room and rested, he cast Balm of Griesan again. This time the spell worked. He could feel the flesh on his abdomen stretch and knit together. The dull ache there lessened. He hadn't healed the wound completely, but he was further along on the road to recovery.

Kieran went downstairs. He found S'arnat and Merrick in the common room. Both of them still hurt from the vlasta attack earlier that morning. Kieran offered to heal his two companions. They both agreed to let him try. Kieran suggested they go up to S'arnat's room, where he could work undisturbed. They left the common room and went upstairs.

Kieran began by casting the Balm of Griesan on S'arnat's shoulder wound. The Form was flawed and he aborted the spell. He tried again. Once more, the Form was flawed, and he aborted the spell. He took a short break, and then cast the spell again. This time the spell worked. Unfortunately, though she felt a warmth as the spell's energy entered her body, her shoulder wound was still as tender as it was when she woke up. The spell seemed to have no effect.

Kieran now concentrated on the cut on S'arnat's cheek. Once more he conjured the Form of the Balm of Griesan, and once more the Form was flawed. He aborted the spell. He tried again after a moment's rest, but the same thing happened again. Like before, the third time was the charm; the Form was perfect, the Principle flowed into the form, and the spell warmed S'arnat's face with its energy. She felt the skin move and grow as the pain subsided. The wound was completely healed.

The Shek-Pvar turned to Merrick. He cast the same spell on the gladiator's abdominal wound. The Form and Principle were perfect, but the spell failed to heal Merrick's wound. Kieran sat down on the bed and rested. He wasn't finished treating his companions; there was still another spell he could cast.