Black River – Realm of Spirits

When an individual dies, that is not the end of them. Their spirit moves on to reside in another plane to continue its existence.

When a person dies, their body is prepared for burial through a very precise ritual. During this ritual, the ones preparing the body recite, over and over, a type of prayer. The words of this prayer are spoken in the holy tongue and give the spirit instructions on how to proceed to judgment so they can continue their life in a spirit-deified form.

While the body is being prepared for burial, the spirit of the person finds itself in the Halls of Judgment, lost in the maze of it all. It is only by listening to the litany recited by those preparing their body and repeating it to themselves can they make their way through the maze and find the Room of Scales.

While they wander through the halls, they can return to the world of the living and watch their family and friends and observe the events of the world, but they can only interact with the world in limited ways. Chills, foreboding feelings and minor mischief are all the powers they are granted in the living world before their judgment.

Once in the Room of Scales, the god of death weighs their heart against a feather provided by the goddess of order and right. In their heart is stored the weight of all their deeds performed in life. Evil and selfish deeds weigh more heavily on the heart while righteousness makes their heart as light as the feather. Those whose heart balances with the feather are taken into the divinity of the god of death and are released to continue living their spirit-lives in a reflection of the world of the living. Those who are found wanting are cast down into the cold river of death where they languish in hopelessness.

The divine spirits, the ones whose heart balanced, are granted the power to manifest to their loved ones during times of need. While they still only have limited ability to interact with the living world, they can appear in a spiritual image of themselves to give help and advice. This costs the spirit a great deal of energy and so is done only in times of great need.

Spirits who fail to find their way through the Halls of Judgment to the Room of Scales are lost in limbo. They are never weighed and so never receive divinity or banishment to the river of death. Such lost spirits wander the land of the living or the Halls of Judgment forever, cursing the lives of those who draw their ire, until such time as someone recites the litany over their grave, allowing them to find the Room of Scales, or their spiritual form is destroyed by Faith or by Magic.

The divine spirits who continue their lives in the spiritual reflection of the living world maintain the status their bodies were buried with, living the best life they can with the goods that were left with them. When they do trade with the other divine spirits, they trade the one thing that has any meaning: favors for their living relatives. Divine spirits tend to avoid the lost spirits completely. Their is no war or conflict in the Realm of Spirits. Only peace.

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Five Minute Adventures 02 – The Birds

Hook: Birds drop dead in the city center at dawn for several days in a row, exactly when the sun peeks over the horizon.

What’s Going On: The city’s grain supply has been tainted with scarab eggs by a rogue element trying to start a war between this and a neighboring nation.

Twist: The bird bodies become incubators for scarab larvae that emerge from the birds as fully formed, predatorial beetles.

Reveal: They come across a member of this rogue element trying to taint an emergency supply of grain sent by the capital.


  • Beetle swarms.
  • Beetle eggs.
  • Jumped Conclusions.
  • Rogue Element.
  • Corrupt Officials.

What’s Next

  • This rogue element is not done with this one attempt. If they were revealed, they’ll try open instigation of battle. If they were not revealed, they’ll try to inspire anger towards the other nation again.
  • Corrupt officials might still exist in the government. They’ll try and cover up the events and their involvement.

Games That Fit

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Five Minute Adventures 01 – The Gift Giver

Welcome to a new experiment, 5 Minute Adventures! In this quick podcast, I create an adventure for you to plug into your game. All you need to do is plug in the stat blocks. Enjoy!

Hook: A young child has gone missing from the village. The mother suspects that the Wild Father lured the child into the forest.

What’s Going On: The child felt lonely at home and ran away. The child encountered a kindly old man in the forest who swore to help the child get revenge.

Twist: As the PCs search for the child in the forest, they are fought by animated children’s toys, blocking their path.

Reveal: As the PCs are in the village between excursions into the forest, the village is attacked by a large army of toys led by a giant tin soldier. The tin soldiers cries out for its mommy, saying she’ll be sorry for leaving it alone.


  • Swarm of horse pull toys.
  • Blowgun wielding corn husk dolls.
  • Pinwheel hornets
  • Spinning tops
  • Toy knights on horses
  • Threadbare dolls wielding huge bone needles
  • The Tin Man

Games That Fit

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Spark of Ra #13 – Wondrous Companion

Scene Setup: I’ve given the documents to Rakunapten and told him what I’ve learned. I’ll then go out and find another priest from the Priesthood of Ra and try and plan a coup to overthrow my uncle so that, when the Priesthood of Ra makes it back into the palace, my uncle cannot join them.

Die of Fate: 6! Random event happens. The GameMaster’s Apprentice card says, “Inflict, Wonderous, Companion.” Wow… what could that be? I think it would be cool to get a divine familiar that Tekrinto doesn’t want for some reason. Let’s play and see why!

Scene Goal: With the random event happening, I don’t think I need a goal.

After returning to the compound where the Priesthood of Ra is and giving the documents and what I learned to my uncle, live quiets down as he reads through everything and determines how he wants to proceed. The priests continue about their business and I’m left to my own devices.

I’ll spend some time practicing my Knives skill. I probably have a few days to do that, I’ll roll a d6 to see how many. 3 days.

After being left on my own and having time to think, I realize how much better life would be without my uncle always present and hanging over me like a stone block. I decide that it’s time to do something about it. I start talking to the other priests, trying to find one that would take up the job of High Priest in his place and help overthrow Rakunapten.

This is going to be a Circles roll. Priests are in the same setting as I am, but they most definitely are of higher station. That makes it an Ob 3. I’ve got Circles of B2 and a 1D affiliation with Ra’s Temple Guards to use. That’ll be a difficult test, but I need a Routine to advance Circles… I’ll try for a Linked Priesthood-wise test to see if I know who would be in line for the position and an enemy of Rakunapten. That’s likely an Ob 2 roll and I’ve got to roll with Beginner’s Luck with Perception B4, double Ob penalty.

The roll is 4, 4, 5, 6. Fantastic! Spending Fate to open end that 6: 5. Great, I get a +1D to my Circles roll! I know that there are several priests in a position to take over as High Priest, all of which work closely enough with Rakunpaten to hate him.

Rolling Circles now with 4 dice v. the Ob 3. The roll is 1, 1, 5, 5. That is not going to cut it. Circles does go up to B3, though! Woo! I think I’ll just take the failure and kick off the random event.

Asking around sends me to a small shrine at the entrance to the city, where a priest who has been an enemy to Rakunapten for many years is consulting with Ra as he travels the highest part of the sky. I walk into the small stone structure and look around for the priest. The shrine appears to be empty. I call out, but no one responds to me as I walk further in. I stop before the small statue of Ra, in his golden chariot. There is no one here. Shaking my head, I turn to go when a glint from the statue catches my eye. I stop and look back at it. Ra’s light glints off the tip of the spear wielded by the statue in the shrine. Enraptured, I stare at the light, mesmerized by it, somehow. I’m confused as I see wings beating in the light glinting off that spear. The wings get closer and then the light flashes brilliantly in my eyes, blinding me.

The light is gone and I blink my eyes, shaking my head, trying to clear them. I hear the beating of wings in the room with me and as my vision returns to normal, I see a hawk sitting on the tip of Ra’s spear, staring at me, its head cocked to one side.

I’m a little shocked by these events, so I shake my head and turn to leave, but half turn back to bow at the hawk. Because of how it appeared, it might be a messenger of Ra and I can’t disrespect it. I give it a little bow, then leave.

As I return to the busy city street, I hear the flapping of wings. I turn and see the hawk, following me. It glides over to a merchants car, lands on the side and regards me again, its head cocked to the side.

I look around nervously, wondering why this avatar of Ra would follow me. I give it a small bow again and say under my breath, “You honor me, Ra. Please, return to your duties.” Turning, I walk away from the hawk, back towards the center of the city. A few seconds pass, and then I hear the beating of wings again, and the dark shadow cast by the hawk flits over me as the bird lands on a canopy to watch me again, its head cocked to the side.

I stop in the middle of the street and stare at it, not knowing what to do. As I watch it, the hawk opens its wings and a glint of light forms on the tip of its beak. The glint quickly grows and flashes. The brilliance of the noon-day sun blinds me and I have to take a few moments to blink it away and refocus my eyes. The hawk is still there, judging me, its head cocked to the side.

I take a step towards it and ask, “Do you represent our god, Ra?” The bird stares at me through one eye, then it’s head bobs down and turns its other eye to me. I pause, then ask, “Did he send you to watch and help me?” The bird stares for another second before its head bobs down again. I nod and sigh. An avatar of Ra, following me? This might make it more difficult to bring down my uncle, if he has Ra’s support.

I shake my head and turn back to the center of the city, waving the bird on. “Come one, then. I have work to do.”

The bird steps off the canopy and opens its wings to glide over, landing heavily onto my shoulder as I walk towards the compound.

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Black River – Belief

The Kingdom is a land ruled by a living god, the God-Empress, and the belief in a pantheon of God-Spirits. The God-Empress rules over the Kingdom and the land of the Black River. The God-Spirits rule over the rest of all the world. Each one rules over a specific domain, or multiple domains. Sometimes, the domains overlap between gods.

For the average citizen, the gods are something present and worshiped, but largely ignored. For regular citizens, there are no formalized worship meetings, no ceremonies and no rituals performed. Should a person need help or protection from a god, they craft or obtain an idol of the god and make offerings and prayers to it, begging the god to give the help or protection needed. They might offer a prayer to a particular god when performing an act in that god’s domain, but other than that, the gods are not present in their daily lives. For particularly grievous personal hardships, the person might travel to a temple to make an offering there and to seek counsel of the priests of that god.

Ceremony and ritual are the realms of the priests. They watch over the gods and force them to watch over the people of the Kingdom. Priests exist in a constant struggle for power with their chosen deity. Priests entreat the they serve god for the entirety of the Kingdom. While a farmer may travel to a temple to make an offering begging the god of the harvest for richer soil on their land, a priest would burn incense, perform ceremonies and demand that the god bring the floods to relieve famine in the Kingdom. In those ceremonies, they threaten the god with anything that might spur the god into action. These threats might be the cessation of worship, help sought from another god or some other threat the god finds unpleasant.

This antagonistic relationship between the gods and priests means that the common people look to the priests as being responsible for the great times and culpable for the bad times. Priests can gain much respect and many favors while their god is seen to make the land prosperous and just as quickly can be beaten, whipped and chained to a stake when their god is seen to be punishing, or failing, the Kingdom.

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Spark of Ra #12 – Corrupt Reading

Scene Setup: Tekrinto needs to get these documents read. He’ll try to find someone who can read them, who is trustworthy.

Die of Fate: 4, the scene setup does not change.

Scene Goal: Find the records showing that the Priesthood of Anubis hired the assassins to kill the immortal diplomat.

Returning to the main body of the city, I quickly find an alley in shadow and flip through the documents that I found. The signs on them make no sense to me, as I’ve never learned how to read. I glance around and slip them all back into my clothing and set off to find someone who could possibly read them.

This is a Circles test! I’ve got to find a scribe, since they are the ones who know how the read and write. Scribes are in the city setting, so I can circle someone up. It likely won’t be easy, though. Scribes are higher in the social strata per my Black River setting notes, so I’m adding +2 Ob to the base of 1. Because I’m looking for someone I can specifically trust to be quiet about this, I’ll add another +1 Ob. That’s a total of Ob 4. My Circles is B2. I’ll pull in my 1D affiliation with Ra’s Temple Guards as that will lend some legitimacy to what I’m asking.

I have no Persona points left to add in another die. I’m going to need to roll a 6 to open end to have a chance at this. If I fail, I’m going to invoke the Enmity Clause and have this person be cheerful at first, but reveal at some later time what Tekrinto had or that he’s actually a member of the same group of assassins who were hired to kill the diplomat.

Rolling B3 v. Ob 4: 1, 4, 6. Spending Fate. Rolled a 3. Failure! This scribe is named Kanitho. He’s a low level scribe working for the Nomearch and looking to increase his station.

I forgot to say after the assassination, but I got paid 1D of cash for the job.

I make my way around the city center, asking the contacts I know where I might find a scribe who can be trusted and discreet. After an hour or so, I get the name of one Kanitho, a young scribe working in the Nomarch’s office.

Entering the office of the Nomarch, I ask around and am directed to a small table in a back room. A young man, extremely slim of body with naturally dark skin, looks up at me. “Yes? May I help you?”

I move into the room and sit on the mat across the table from him, pulling out the papyri and setting it on the table. “My name is Tekrinto and I am a temple guard of Ra. In my duties, I’ve come across some records and I need you to read them. Tell me what they say.”

He stares at me, obviously tired and irritated by my request.

“Please? Can you help me?” I ask.

He blinks at me then smiles. “My time is valuable. I have much work to do, as you can see.” He waves his hand over the documents on his table. “I will do this for you, but you must compensate me for my time.”

Of course, I should have expected this. I nod. “I have a little money. If you find what I’m looking for, it’s yours.”

Resources test! I have only one die, my Cash die, to roll. He’s just doing one small job so I’ll set it at Ob 1. I gotta succeed on this. If I fail, he takes the money, reads through it and says there’s nothing like what I’m looking for there.

Roll B1 v. Ob 1: 6! Success! My Resources bumps up to B1! Fantastic.

I sit on the mat and watch Kanitho sort through and read the records that I gave him. I watch his face as he goes through it all. He is bored, surprised, fearful and perhaps a little frightened by what he read. Upon finishing, he pushes it all back across the table at me and leans back from the table.

“Where did you find these documents? No, no don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.” He takes a deep breath, then continues, “I have found what you are looking for. I know who hired the assassins to kill the diplomat.” He pauses. Just as I’m about to ask, he says, “The Priesthood of Anubis has worked with that guild of assassins many times, across many years. And the records are quite clear.” He pauses again, but only to take a breath. “The Priesthood of Anubis hired the assassins to kill the diplomat.”

He looks at me and gives me a strained smile. “And, with that, our business is concluded. Please take everything you brought and leave. I don’t want any of this to endanger me.”

After gathering everything I brought with me up and standing, I pause and look back at him before leaving his room. “You will keep quiet about this?”

He nods, “Of course. I don’t want those assassins knowing that I know what’s in those records.” He shudders and turns back to his work.

That feels like a good place to cut this “session”. Time for Artha awards!

I think I’ll earn a Fate for my first Belief, “The palace is the right place for the priesthood of Ra. I’ll do what I must to restore them.” Definitely worked towards that.

I’ll also take a Fate for being Impulsive. I’ll take a Persona for Moldbreaker since I think I had plenty of internal strife going on, and a Persona for completing my third Belief, “I am a slave in all but name. I will find my fortune and freedom”. Being a successful assassin has put me on that path and I think it’s time to make another Belief. I think that’ll do it for Artha. That’s a total of 2 Fate and 2 Persona.

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Spark of Ra #11 – Leverage

Scene Setup: The next morning, the city is all abuzz with talk of war with the Immortals. Rakunapten approaches me, convinced that the death of the Immortal diplomat is the work of the Priesthood of Anubis. He wants me to prove it.

Die of Fate: 1, nothing happens different from the setup.

Scene Goal: Find some way to “prove” that the Priesthood of Anubis had the Immortal diplomat killed.

“Tekrinto, get up!” I hear my uncle’s voice hard and urgent through my sleep. I turn over on my bed, looking in the direction of his voice from under the arm that is draped over my eyes.

“What? What’s going on?” I ask.

He steps forward and shoves my shoulder. “Get up you lazy, good for nothing man!” His voice is tight with emotion.

I open my eyes and sit up, swinging my legs over the side of my bed, hand resting on either side of my thighs. I blink the sleep from my eyes and look at him. He is tense, yet I see a slight upward curve to his mouth and his eyes glint with predatory ferocity.

“Ok, I’m up. What’s going on?” I ask.

He looks at me, his smile growing, showing his teeth in a not so pleasant manner. “The immortal diplomat was killed last night on his way to meet with our God-Empress. His entourage blames the God-Empress and they are threatening war if those responsible are not found and punished.” He breathes in, looking out a window towards the city. “I know it was the priests of Anubis who did it. I can feel it. They are responsible for this.” Turning, he meets my eyes. “I need you to find the proof. I need you to find the person responsible for the murder and their link back to the Priesthood of Anubis.”

My blood turns to ice in my veins. I reach up, rubbing on eye with the heel of my palm as I quickly think. Obviously, I can’t tell him who is responsible. He’d sell me out in a heartbeat and I’d end up exiled to the Red Desert or offered up for whatever punishment the immortals have planned. So, I’ll have to find someone who can take the fall.

Letting my hand fall, I look up at him. “Ok. I’ll head out right after breakfast.”

“No, no, no, no!” He says, pushing me off the bed and up on my feet with both hands. “It’s almost time for noon-day meal, anyway. You’ll start right now.”

I nod, “Okay. Where do I start?” I ask.

He shakes his head. “I don’t know. I don’t care. Just find who is responsible and bring them back to me.”

After getting cleaned up and grabbing a small loaf of barley bread and fish, I leave the compound, my sandals slapping the stone streets as I quickly walk to the pleasure house. Perhaps, if I can find out who hired us to kill the immortal, I can frame them. Somehow.

Arriving, I make my way to the back and give the password to the guard and make my way down the stairs.

Is anyone there? They might all be sleeping somewhere else or, something else. I’d say chances are poor anyone’s down here. Rolling d100 v. 25%. 41. No one is down here.

The underground rooms are empty. Shaking my head, I lick the last of the fish from my fingers are start going through the place, looking for papyrus, tablets, any kind of records to show who hired the assassins for what jobs.

This is going to be an Observation roll. It’ll be v. Ob 3 I think, as the documents are hidden from normal people but not from the assassins. Success, I find some documents but I won’t be able to read them. I don’t have the Read skill. If I fail, I’ll hear a fight upstairs as guards are pushing through to arrest the assassins, having been sold out by whoever hired them. Observation B4 v. Ob 3. I’ll work carefully for +1D. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6. Spending a Fate to open end the 6: Another 6, then a 2. So I succeed!

After about thirty minutes of searching, I finally find a clay bowl hidden in a corner with documents covered in the script the scribes use to record their histories. I look at it, but the symbols all mean nothing to me. I quickly take the contents and return the bowl to it’s hiding place and leave the pleasure house.

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Black River – Red Stone Nome

Deep in the South of the Kingdom, bordering the Lightning Peaks and the source of the Black River, lies the first Nome belonging to the Kingdom. This Nome is called Red Stone Nome, named for the red stones found in the cliffs that can be seen from the main settlement.

Historically, this Nome was sparsely populated, with only a few villages towards its Northern border. Most people are hesitant to approach the Southern border as monsters can be found roaming the territory in search of victims that close to the mountains. However, all of this changed a little over 100 years ago.

A young dwarf by the name of Heradon approached the God-Empress of the time to request permission to search the Kingdom for iron. She granted permission for his expedition on the condition that she would keep 60% of the iron found. At the time, the metal most commonly in use for tools and weapons was copper. Iron was imported at great expense and was very rare in the Kingdom.

Heradon’s exploration led him to Red Stone and the Lightning Peak cliffs. The quantity of ore was so great that he immediately mined a quantity and returned to speak with the God-Empress to renegotiate the terms of their agreement. Once she realized how much iron was in her kingdom, she immediately named Heradon the Nomarch of Red Stone and instructed him to mine the ore and send the tax to the capital.

Heradon has completely fulfilled his duties as Nomarch by all appearances. The Kingdom’s stores of iron have grown beyond the God-Empress’s expectations. However, Heradon is still extremely angry at being forced to serve the Kingdom as the Nomarch, having his knowledge of mining and refining taken by force to serve a realm not his own. Long ago, he vowed to take his revenge and leave the Kingdom.

To this end, he began falsifying reports of iron production long ago, stockpiling the excess for his eventual flight back home. Through the long years, he has bribed officials who discovered his plans, threatened the families of those who refused and assassinated the few who weren’t deterred by the accidents suffered by their loved ones.

Currently, his head scribe, Tamhotep, doctors the Nome’s records reluctantly. He only cooperates because his wife is held as a “guest” in his Nomarch’s mansion. He is allowed to see his wife for one night a month. Little does he know that she is a willing participant in Heradon’s ploy, having fallen in love with him before she wed Tamhotep. He promised to take her with him when he returns to his homeland with enough iron to make him a king. She plays her part to make sure Heradon’s deceptions aren’t discovered.

There is a fortress occupied by a small company of soldiers by the Southern border of the Nome, ostensibly to protect the mines from monsters. However, the monsters aren’t interested in the mines or iron and Heradon uses the soldiers as overseers to the slave miners. The conditions in the mine are hellish and most of the slave miners don’t last more than a year. The soldiers recently started journeying into the desert West of the Nome to capture slaves from the nomadic tribes to fill the vacancies.

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Black River – Nomes

The Kingdom stretches from the Southern end of the Black River, at the foot of the mountains from which it comes, all the way North, to its mouth where it joins with the Green Sea, a distance greater than 4000 miles.

The great floods happen all along the length of the Black River, making both sides all along the river’s length productive for growing the crops that support the people of the Kingdom. Cities, towns and villages exist all along the 4000 miles length of the river, on both sides.

This makes it difficult for a central government to directly rule the entirety of the Kingdom. Long ago, one of the first God-Empresses, with the wisdom of the gods, formed Nomes, or districts, and placed over each a local ruler, called a Nomarch. These Nomarchs have absolute control over their Nome and are responsible for collecting the taxes for the God-Empress and getting them to the capital.

The position of Nomarch is generally a hereditary office, though the God-Empress may remove a Nomarch and bestow the office on another should she feel the present Nomarch has failed her and the gods in some way or that a situation demands different leadership. A Nomarch may even name a successor should they be left without a worthy heir to the Nomarchy.

There are currently 40 Nomes organized in the Kingdom. The Southern Nomes, where the population is more rural, stretch over larger distances than the Northern Nomes, where the population is more condensed and urban. Each Nome sends its taxes to the capital once per year. The taxes are twenty percent of the goods produced in the Nome. A scribe from the Nome accompanies the tax shipment with the Nome’s books to show the total amount of goods produced in the Nome for the year and to show that the tax is sufficient. Once every five years or so, the God-Empress sends out her own scribes to do an audit in each Nome to verify the taxes paid.

The Nomarchs gather local leadership to help them govern the Nome. The leadership always includes priests from the temples inside the Nome’s boundaries, guild leaders and scribes.

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Spark of Ra #10 – Assassination

Scene Setup: After giving the piece to Rakunapten, I meet with the assassins and we have a mission! We are intercepting a caravan from the East and assassinating the leader of the caravan as elves don’t take kindly to Anubis and death.
Die of Fate: 1, nothing interrupts the scene.
Scene Goal: Kill the leader of the elven diplomatic group.

I look at the group of assassins as they explain to me the mission we have received. A caravan from the East. A diplomatic envoy from the Immortals, abominations to the Priesthood of Anubis and the god himself. The High Priest of Anubis wishes the negotiations between the God-Empress and the Immortals to fail. And we are to help that along by killing the leader of the envoy.

As the new guy, I don’t have much say in the planning of the hit, but it all looks like what I might have expected, if I knew what to expect at all. My training as a soldier applies in general strokes to this operation, but the details are all different to what I would have planned. Observing the caravan, identifying the target, getting close to them and terminating. Then escape with no one the wiser. Looks good on the sand table.

We leave and arrive at the ambush site in about two hours. I give the place a once over, looking for the best approaches to the road.

Going to make a Tactics test, which I don’t have, to identify the best approach. I want to make this a Linked test to get an advantage on the upcoming Stealth test. I’ll call it Ob 2, 4 since it’s doubled. I’ll be rolling Perception B4 for it. Roll: 3, 3, 3, 6. Well, that’s a failure. That’ll give me a +1 Ob to the Stealth test as I chose the wrong site.

All the members of the group find sites with good approaches and hunker down to wait for the caravan. It’s a long wait and my eyes get heavy from being up all day and this late into the night.

Make a Forte test to see if I fall asleep while waiting! Ob 3. I was busy today. Forte B5, failure means that I am awakened by yells from the caravan as one of the assassins is discovered before completing the mission. Roll: 3, 4, 4, 5, 6. Success!

Several hours pass by but I’m able to keep alert and my eyes on the road. Soon, we hear the quiet rumble of elven wheels rolling over the road and strange animals pulling them. The Immortals are here.

I slide out of my hiding spot, hugging the ground, trying to reach the wagon that’s supposed to have the envoy leader in it. The tall grass helps to hide me even as the full moon shines down on us.

Rolling Stealth B4 v. their Observation B3. I have a +1 Ob penalty and I’ll take an Advantage die for the tall grass. My roll: 1, 2, 4, 4, 5. Their roll: 1, 1, 5. I got three successes and they got 1 + the 1 Ob penalty. I succeed!

I reach the side of the wagon and carefully climb up the tailgate, rolling into the box without a sound.

I expect it to be pitch black inside here, but I think the elves might have some kind of magical light going. 50/50 odds? Roll: 60, so no light.

The inside of this covered wagon is pitch black. I blink my eyes, trying to focus and see something in the dark.

Perception B4 v. Ob 3 for the darkness. Failure means that the leader is awake and aware of me. Roll: 3, 3, 3, 5. Ouch.

A dark shadow leans forward from the wall of the wagon and grabs my wrist. “Who are you? Why have you come?” a musical voice asks.

I’m very surprised, so it’s time for a Steel test! B5, Hesitation is 5 as it’s reduced by one for Cool Headed. Roll: 2, 3, 3, 5, 5. No sixes so I’m Hesitating. I will Stand and Drool.

As I fumble for words, the grip on my wrist tightens and a lithe hand darts to my belt and removes my knife and holds it up. “I presume you were here to use this on me?” The voice sounds sad at that and with a flash, the blade of my own knife is at my throat. “Someone sent you, yes? I wonder who it could be.” There is a short pause and then the voice continues, “I suppose we’ll see when we arrive at your capital. Together.”

I can’t let that happen. Without a word, I jerk away, my hand trying to wrest my knife free of this Immortal’s hand.

My Brawling B3 v. their Speed B5. I’ll ForRK in my Knives and Stealthy to use my fighting knowledge and to catch them off guard. So 5v5. Failure means that I’m restrained and will arrive in the capital as their captive. My roll: 1, 2, 2, 2, 6. Spending a Fate to open end that 6. 4. Two successes. 1, 3, 3, 3, 5. Oh, thank the gods!

My hand darts out and grabs the thin wrist, twisting it around while my other hand punches out, hitting a nerve. The fingers spring open with a gasp of pain. My knife is back in my hand, the blade thirsty for the blood of this elf. I grab the front of their clothes, yanking them towards me as I thrust into them with my blade, trying to accomplish my mission.

Knives B3 v. their Speed B5. My intent is to kill. If I fail, they will cry out and I’ll have failed. FoRKing in Brawling and I’ll take an advantage die for my knife. My roll: 2, 4, 5, 5, 6. Fate to open end that 6, roll: 5. Five successes! Their roll: 2, 2, 3, 4, 6. Yes!

The blade bites deep into the Immortal’s throat and their words are choked off in a gurgle of blood. Thin fingers grasp at my upper arms and shoulders for a second or two, then nothing. Then, their thin hand pats my cheek before the fingers slip from my face and fall lightly to the padded floor of the wagon. I check for a pulse and find nothing.

I quietly slip out of the wagon and roll off the side of the road. The caravan continues on, the rumble dying slowly into the dawn.

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