We’ll be creating three characters in order to build up a network of Oaths around them.
Damia the Monster-Slayer, daughter of Ares, Far-Reaching Nikaie, daughter of Scylax, and Fleet-footed Maeon, son of Arion.
It’s perfectly acceptable to play female characters as the game is not attempting to be historically accurate.
Damia the Monster-Slayer
With Damia we’ve put our two free dice into the combat abilities, and lowered Aim too, which allows us to have a Spear rating of 1d10 to start with. We’ve also boosted Athletics at the cost of Wrestling to help her with positioning in Battles.
Heroic trait bonus
+1 damage to monsters, +2 positioning when fighting monsters
Insight d6, Grace d6, Might d8, Spirit d4
Heal d6, Lore d6, Music d6, Orate d6
Athletics d8, Hunt d6, Cunning d6, Wrestle d4
Aim d4, Spear d10, Shield d8, Sword d6
Athena – at no point does it say that a child of a god has to favour that god – Insight, Lore and Spear
Shield (1d8), Spear (2,1d8+1d4), Sword (1,2d6)
D8 – Greaves (-1 positioning), Helmet (-1 missile attack), Brestplate (-1 melee)
Far-Reaching Nikaie, daughter of Scylax
We haven’t double dipped the free dice and the weapon bonuses with Nikaie, and two of her d8 skill match those of her god, which gives her slightly broader options for when she wants to perform a sacrifice.
Heroic trait bonus
+1 range for melee weapons, +2 positioning when fighting inside
Insight d4, Grace d8, Might d6, Spirit d6
Heal d6, Lore d8, Music d6, Orate d4
Athletics d6, Hunt d6, Cunning d8, Wrestle d6
Aim d4, Spear d6, Shield d8, Sword d8
Hermes – Athletics, Grace, and Sword
Shield (1d8), Sword (1-2,2d6), Sword (1-2,2d6)
D6 – Greaves (-1 positioning), Helmet (-1 missile attack)
Fleet-footed Maeon, son of Arion
We’ve been liberal with the d8s again, with both the free ones going into Craft; both Music and Heal are useful during Interludes, and should be good for building up a few oaths from the others.
Heroic trait bonus
+2 to athletics, +2 to positioning when fighting outside
Insight d4, Grace d6, Might d6, Spirit d8
Heal d8, Lore d6, Music d8, Orate d6
Athletics d6, Hunt d4, Cunning d8, Wrestle d6
Aim d8, Spear d6, Shield d6, Sword d4
Hera – Cunning, Spirit, Aim
Shield (1d8), Spear (2, 1d8+1d4), Bow (5-6, 1d8+1)
D6 – Greaves (-1 positioning), Breastplate (-1 melee attack)
With the characters created, we need to see who owes whom.
Featured Hero: Damia
Scene: Maeon is about to meet his end under the claws of the Silver Lion of Kyra
Backed up against a cliff, Maeon braces for a last pounce by the mighty Silver Lion. A pounce that never lands as Damia interposes herself between the Lion and Maeon, spearing it through the throat.
Featured Hero: Damia
Scene: Damia is climbing down a cliff to steal a harpy’s eggs
So intent is Damia on her prize that she remains oblivious to the harpies about to strike; Nikaie is able to distract them with a barrage of well-aimed rocks.
The same process is repeated with Nikaie and Maeon challenging each other, with the following results
Nikaie vs. Maeon, Grace: Victory Maeon
Nikaie vs. Damia, Lore: Victory Nikae
Maeon vs. Damia, Spirit: Victory Damia
Maeon vs. Nikaie, Aim: Victory Nikae
Maeon’s attempt to be clever and target abilities where the others only had d4s has backfired somewhat due to bad luck on the dice.
Once all the Achievements are rolled and described the final starting Oaths look like this
Nikaie 0, Maeon 2
Damia 2, Maeon 1
Damia 0, Nikae 1
Create an Island
The book provides a list of fairly simple tables to roll on for inspiration and a large list of names. Each island should have at least one human community on it, and will have the attention of three gods, each of which will assign the heroes a quest when they make landfall.
We will be creating the Island of Saria
Terrain: Scrub-brush plains and dusty plateaus
Settlement: Prosperous trading port – a mix of many cultures, and a small fishing village
Event: The port is constructing a great monument, whilst the fishing village is celebrating a harvest (fishing?) festival
Gods: Dionysus, Apollo, and Athena
Dionysus wants the heroes to destroy the River Dancers, a mysterious magical sect, Apollo tasks them with stealing the Silver Horse of Saria, and finally Athena wants them to restore the war gear of Aktor
Three of our interesting things have been decided by the quests, but let’s add another two or three to give the heroes more things to play with.
The plains of Saria are home to Copper Beetles, whilst the plateaus host a large flock of Harpies. On the far side of the island, the Hundred Swords, a mercenary army have made camp.
Each quest is broken up into a number of sub-goals, and only by completing these can the Primary goal usually be completed.
Once the gods have made their appearance and stated their demands, the heroes discuss who’s quest to pursue first. Damia wants them to carry out the will of Athena, and engages the other two in a contest of Orate. Despite her devotion to Athena, her words fail her, and it is Nikaie who wins the contest with a roll of 6, gaining 1 Glory in the process. She offers to Damia that they will follow Athena’s dictate first in exchange for an Oath. Damia refuses and Nikaie decides instead that they will follow the wishes of Apollo and steal the Silver Horse. Both Maeon and Damia’s Orate has been impaired down to d4.
Steal the Silver Horse of Saria
This quest will have three secondary tasks which are described below, and as there are three heroes, the Antagonist has 45 strife to spend, and thanks to Damia’s presence, up to 20 Strife may be spent on a single NPC.
- Find out about the horse and where it is
- The horse is sacred to Poseidon, and was gifted to Apollo
- The horse was stolen in a raid by the Hundred Swords
- The horse is uncontrollable without its bridle
- The bridle was destroyed during the raid, in an attempt to stop the Swords taking the horse
These tasks are all fairly simple, and can be discovered by talking to the NPCs in the larger of the towns. Lore and Orate are the obvious abilities to be tested here depending on the approach.
- Travel to the camp of the Hundred Swords
- Travel by land will see them face beetles and the trackless plains
- Travel by sea will require them to navigate the treacherous shoreline and face a sea monster
- The Hundred Swords do not have the bridle; the horse has killed several of their number who have tried to break it
The plains of Scaria are windswept, and the tracks of the hundred swords almost totally obliterated; the party will face a Hunting obstacle. A further obstacle will be the beetle swarm; the ever hungry creatures will stalk the party through the plains.
Travel by sea may seem easier, but the treacherous coastline and high winds make the journey difficult; a Might test is required to safely sail around the island. They may face an attack by a sea serpent – Poseidon doesn’t want the 100 swords leaving with his horse, and Sea Serpents are stupid.
Once they know the path to the Camp they may repeat the same path with little challenge, but if they travel once by Sea and once by Land, the challenges of both options must be faced.
- Create a new bridle for the horse
- Learn how the bridle was made; from tail-hair taken from the wild horses that live near the shore, whilst they were still alive
- The woven bridle must then be blessed by Poseidon; the heroes must prove themselves worthy to claim the Silver Horse
Hunting is the most likely contest to catch one of the wild horses and remove hairs from its tail; remember that the horse must be alive.
Gaining the blessing of Poseidon will require the characters to either travel to a flooded temple of the god (Athletics, Harmful), perform a sacrifice to Poseidon (Spirit challenge). If both of these fail, Poseidon has noticed the heroes trying to gain his attention and manifests – he will bless the bridle, but they must return the horse to him rather than Apollo, for Apollo is careless with his gifts. (This doesn’t count as rejecting the quest, but Apollo will be annoyed)
The final act, the Theft of the Horse, will require them to enter the camp of the Hundred Swords and gain access to the horse. At some point they will have to face a battle – either an extended Sneaking attempt through the camp, or some blatant attempt that leads them into combat with Pelias, Champion of the Hundred Swords.
As a final option, if the characters try to leave the camp by sea, Poseidon will demand the return of his horse regardless of whether the PCs struck a deal or not; if they refuse he either sends a sea serpent or a great wave (depending on how much strife you have left). Handing the horse over to Poseidon without having made a prior bargain will count as failing the quest.
We’ll stat out some monsters and NPCs, and may go over the Strife budget at this point, but as long as we don’t go over the Strife budget during play, it isn’t a problem.
The Queen Beetle
Name: 1d6 (1 strife)
Abilities: Cunning d8, Hunt d8, Sword d8, Shield d4 (2 strife)
Weapons: Pincers (sword 2d6)
Powers: Defence 1d8, Ambush (3 strife)
Divine favour: 6
Total cost: 6 strife
Name: 1d6 (The Beetle Queen)
Abiltities: Arete 1d6, Craft 1d4, Sport 1d6, Battle 1d6
Weapons: Sword (2d6)
Total cost: 2 strife
Pelias, Champion of the Hundred Swords
Name: 1d8 (2 strife)
Abilities: Might d8, Spirit d8, Orate d8, Heal d4, Athletics d8, Cunning d8, Wrestle d8, Hunt d4, Shield d8, Sword d8, Spear d10 (8 strife total)
Weapons: Shield (1d8), Spear (1d8,1d4), 2 swords (2d6)
Armour: 1d8 (2 strife)
Powers: Fear, Reflect Attack, Multi-Strike (5 strife)
Total cost: 17 strife
Soldier of the 100 swords
Name: 1d8 (Pelias, Champion of the Hundred Swords)
Abilities: Arete 1d6, Craft 1d6, Sport 1d6, Battle 1d8
Weapons: Sword, Shield, Spear
Total cost: 3 strife