[Year Zero Engine] Adventure in The Raven Lands

Love the game themed dice. Not essential but do some of the cognitive heavy lifting for the chucking.
I should have borrowed yours. I constructed different types of dice from my random collection but always had to think carefully about what I was looking at after each roll, regardless of how much I’d concentrated on my classification beforehand.

Though next time I could bring my small d6 (acquired for Wordplay) and use those for base dice. They’re distinctive enough!
The dice are great; they really add visual spectacle to the game.
It's early days in getting a feel for how the rolls work and how fragile our characters are.
Starting characters seem to struggle to get their 10 points of skills across 16 skills; we'll see how that changes as our characters gain in experience - assuming they don't die first...

1. This is the location start point of the campaign, as the heroes leave the trade caravan and head west from the heart of the wilds of the Forbidden Lands in search of The Hollows.
2. Orcs surround an Elfspring armed only with a lyre. The orcs are dispatched by the players and the Elfspring tells a tale of his love, bound in an emerald and of a great crown artefact. He declares himself to be Merigall, his strange yellow eyes speak of something otherworldly. He claims to be very old and there is something about the way he tells his story that suggests he is not entirely to be trusted.
3. The Hollows, a village built on a resting place of restless dead. A home is found, supplies are traded, deals struck, chased by ghosts, a misadventure with boats and a return to understand the mystery of the shunned old temple on the hill.

We are just getting used to the system. Characters are fragile in an RQ sense, but not ridiculously so. Nobody needed to throw their emergency d12 of Pride and the orcs were dispatched fairly quickly, though not without some significant wounds. Characters are pushing rolls, gaining Willpower, breaking weapons and weighing up options. Resources are being managed. Experience was gained, but probably needs another session or two before it can be spent.

We had much fun, much laughter and looking forward to the next adventure.
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3. The crypt on the hill and the meeting with Countess Ursula, buried with her son and husband, the Count Nepola. She persuades you to leave and avenge them, but curiously didn’t want you to free them. The legend of Stoneloom Mines

The Goblin raid. Everyone wants to be a leader.

4. You elect to travel North to the location of the mines, tracking the goblins to their village on the way. No retaliatory attack, instead plunging into the deep forest, noted to be the home of the Rocka Orc tribe. Drums in the deep. Kekus finds paths of safety in the tangled forest of danger.

5. Here you encounter the restless spirit of a commander of the Alderlanders in a forgotten war. A blade protrudes from between his shoulders. Kes uses her power to banish the spirit.

6. Rest as you escape the forest and meet with Garrion and his fellow riders. Human warriors, brightly helmed. His eyes are amber coloured, reminding you of Merigall. He spoke of the fate of the sorcerer, the very real and present dangers and the power of Vond.

7. Here you meet Darja the Aslene and her daughter, Lumi. They tell tales that make the legend of Stoneloom Mines real and a short distance away you stand before the fetid maw of the Mines.

We are starting to get a feel for the rhythm of the game. It's good. Push that roll. The legends are starting to gather and the reaver band are starting to get into the story. How they will fare in the mines is to be determined next time in early March. It'll be a tense one.
And we did not yet starve, though Elowin consumes more food than Brienne of Tarth, probably the superb cooking of the halfling chef being a valid excuse.
Stoneloom Mines

This was an intense session exploring the haunted and demon infested mines. Hard fights, demon's that may have connections to the great sorcerer, some handy loot, and the acquisition of some magical artefacts, including a sword with an inlaid emerald.

Steps are slowly being made to uncover long held secrets. It will be interesting to see where they go next and what further revelations will emerge from the dark pits that have been lost for so long.

More XP, an increase to Reputation, and I failed to kill off Andy's character, though we hope to play again, possibly in April, so I will have another go at that!
The heroes decide to press south and east heading away from the mountains, in the footsteps of Garrion, to track down Weatherstone or the Graveyard of Thunder. At their camp (8) they have a visitor - the elven druid Mergolene who is desperately trying to find a peaceful solution to the conflict between the Redrunners and the orcs of the Eye of the Rose. You decide to help and travel to the Eye of the Rose before a great slaughter.

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And in dead of night they enter the faded and lost elven city. Totems that make three look like orcs. A series of traps and encounters, via an artefact Book of Knowledge to Emperor Hroka the First and the Greatest and Soria the Empress. A dancing orc with a halo, a feast from the little man to remember and a dwarf in orc form dallies with the orcish handmaiden of the Emperor. Soria dances with Elowin and agrees to the jewel switch, but with a blood pact of sisters that the gem will be returned when needed in the great battles to come. Elowin also discovers that she carries the soul of the shieldmaiden Viridia in her blade. Iridne in the blood gem, now whispers to you of Stanengist, as you realise that you are starting to piece together something that will change everything.

A fun, combat light session with much ad libing in the court of the Orcish Emperor. More legends and artefacts acquired, XPs to spend and the story moves on to new possibilities.
Yes, this was a deeply immersive session. Getting too attached to the characters now. And by George R. R. Martin's design philosophy that means TPK. Feeling anxious now.
Yes, this was a deeply immersive session. Getting too attached to the characters now. And by George R. R. Martin's design philosophy that means TPK. Feeling anxious now.

Yes, an excellent session. My character is starting to feel she understands the others now, especially Elowin with whom she has mutually shared secrets. She feels for the dwarf Dergeth who went above and beyond for the team.

Kes' halo could be a potentially fun source of light & problems in the future. Thanks Graham! ;) .
From The Eye of The Rose the heroes decided to explore North and ended up in the slothful fishing village of Tardy (10). There, in the ever full Inn of the Golden Goblet we discover a place in decline, clinging to a trading post that provides a conduit of goods to and fro with the elves.

An adventure was had on the old island tower on the lake, where demons and ghouls were faced and treasures of coin were gained. Magical time windows told stories of the past.

And so on and North West to the more prosperous village of Drahl (12). Plagued by unlife from the nearby old fortress of the once oppressive lord, the heroes agree to clear it out, accompanied by a local young hero and passing elves who kneel to the blade Maligern and its current owner.


All the while they head closer to the mysterious site of Stonegarden, where legends await...
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It has been an age.

At least! We shall pick up from where we have left off. Events will gather pace over our monthly games. I've seen into one of the futures. It's scary.

Meanwhile, there are frosty whispers from the far Bitter Reach...