Mikamuro Then I realized the person sitting on the floor was an employee stocking the game section with new used product. Each book has over pages and summarizes much of what FASA published—not only the game mechanics, but also the setting, narrations, and stories. Step 2 is rolled as step 3, but you subtract 1 from the result. Does the magic book add spells or is it necessary to run magic in the game? Do not submit video game content unless the game is based on a tabletop RPG property and is newsworthy. I love that weird coincidence feeling.
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But we were not yet ready to pay the price. This was a somewhat common technique with setting-focused games in the 90s. I know different people have different opinions of game fiction. Others like how it can provide inspiration, guidance, or insight into the game. I personally fall in the latter camp, though I will freely admit that game fiction can sometimes get a bit dire.
We start in media res with our POV character fleeing up a hillside from ork scorchers, finding his companions taking cover behind some rocks, with Lorm clearly upset with Mestoph because there is no sign of the lost city or its treasure.
The group fights the orks, taking advantage of a spell from Mestoph Ethereal Darkness, an iconic Nethermancer spell , and shortly thereafter discover a shaft carved into the hillside that was hidden by an illusion, leading to the entry chamber of Kaer Jalendale. The team are not the first to discover the kaer. The doors are broken open, and the walls are inscribed with gashes in the rock, which according to Mestoph, drained the magic from the wards, and probably took years to work.
It appears a Horror took its time breaking into this place, and there was nothing the residents could do -- they might not have even been aware before the first ward failed. Entering the kaer, we find that while it started out with a systematic and logical design, structures were added over the years--up more than out--resulting in a maze of blocked-off streets and alleys. As the explorers try and make their way toward the center of the kaer, they remark on the lack of bodies with an exchange that always stuck with me.
Lorm shifted the lantern to his other hand, then whispered, "Where are all the bodies? Maybe it stacked all the bones in a corner somewhere. The group is attacked by shadowmants--a flying, manta-ray looking beast with a poison stinger--and manage to drive them off, but not before Lorm is stung by one. As Ragnar treats the wound, applying a poultice, Lorm describes a time he and some clan-mates went to a village and found it had been affected by a Horror.
It had killed the adults but left the children alive. They took the children back with them, but over time they were all touched by the Horror, and had to be cast out. Injuries dealt with, the group moves closer to the heart of the kaer. They soon arrive at a deep chasm, and a group of cadaver men sort of the Earthdawn equivalent of zombies approach. Rather than attacking, though, they drop ropes off the edge of the chasm, which magically snake across to create a bridge.
The task done, the cadaver men place themselves between the group and the exit. He wants something from us he cannot get if we are dead. The group crosses the makeshift rope bridge, and soon after crossing is set upon by the Horror.
The pain passed a few moments later, but the group retreats to the massive structure that makes up the center of the kaer. Hundreds, if not thousands of them, dead and laying on large shelf-like furnishings. There are two gold-colored shields in the center of the room.
While Ragnar was recovering from the effects of the spell, Mestoph had done some investigating and determined the shields were enchanted. One prevented the Horror from entering the structure, the other prevented the Horror from moving away.
They prevented the Horror from moving on to destroy other kaers at the cost of their own lives. The Horror wants them to bring it the shield that it must stay near so it can leave the kaer. The group develops a plan. Lorm carries out the shield, then beats on the Horror while Mestoph prepares a spell.
Ragnar retrieves the shield and runs it back into the central structure. Before they put the plan into motion, Lorm says that, according to his grandfather, his axe was destined to blood a Horror. Mestoph advises the Horror is weak to life magic, and Lorm covers the axe blade with his blood.
The plan almost works. Lorm runs out and attacks the Horror, Ragnar retrieves the shield and returns it to the crypt, and Mestoph casts the spell, injuring the Horror. Unfortunately, the Horror appears next to Mestoph and kills him. Lorm, likewise, is killed, but Ragnar manages to escape. His grandfather made it for his father. It has blooded a Horror. Perhaps now it shall slay one.
[WIR] Earthdawn Core Rules (1993)
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