The Arioniad – Scenes 13 – 16

Posted: 2 March 2010 in Arioniad

Scene 13: At the end of Scene 12, Arion and Dmitri were captured by the Gimirri henchmen of the evil Schrodinger… This is covered by the “Captured” section on p. 38; I read this carefully several times and it looks like characters roll individually, so that’s what I’ll do. I think that the Gimirri warriors, being Extras, should not be allowed to take part in this challenge.

Arion swims back to consciousness, and finds himself tied up and propped against a cave wall. A few metres away, Dmitri is in a similar state. Two Gimirri warriors are watching them, silently. They notice Arion wake up, one nods towards the cave entrance, and the other steps out for a moment. When he returns, he is leading Schrodinger, complete with cat.

“So,” says Schrodinger. “Dmitri. We meet at last. And this must be Arion, at least that’s what it says on the nametag.” He gestures at the nametag on Arion’s service jacket. “Is that really your name? Well, as good as any other, I suppose. Now, tell me; what are you doing here, hmm?” There is no reply. Arion surreptitiously tests his bonds.

“Let me tell you what you are doing here: Wasting your time! I already have the Eye of the Cat; even if you had divined my plan, which you are obviously too stupid to do, you would not be able to stop me now. I am not even going to torture you for information, because nothing you know could possibly be worthy of my attention.” One of the Gimirri looks visibly depressed.

“Well? Have you anything to say before I have you thrown into the lake, where your otherwise worthless bodies can feed the teuthids?” He strikes a melodramatic pose.

Schrodinger rolls 6d6 (Rep) vs 3: 2, 2, 4, 4, 5, 5 and passes 2d6. Arion rolls 4d6 (Rep) vs 3: 4, 4, 4, 5 and passes 0d6. Dmitri rolls 5d6 (Rep 4, +1d6 because he has Interrogation, which seems applicable) vs 3: 1, 1, 1, 2, 4 and passes 4d6. We now reroll successes. Schrodinger passes 0d6, Arion is already down to 0d6, and Dmitri passes 2d6. The Talk Me To Death table on p. 38 shows that Dmitri flusters Schrodinger with a snappy retort, ending the soliloquy.

“Nah,” says Dmitri. “We’re cataleptic. Cat’s got our tongues, you might say.”

“Throw them in the lake,” Schrodinger hisses. The Gimirri wrestle Arion and Dmitri to their feet and out of the cave.

When the soliloquy ends, all surviving characters roll their Rep to escape, or not. Schrodinger rolls 6d6 (Rep) vs 3: 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 6 and passes 3d6. Arion rolls 4d6 (Rep) vs 3: 2, 3, 5, 6 and passes 2d6. Dmitri rolls 4d6 (Rep) vs 3: 1, 3, 5, 6 and passes 2d6. We now reroll successes. Schrodinger passes 0d6, Arion passes 1d6, Dmitri 0d6. The Escape Table on p. 39 shows that Arion and Dmitri escape, which leads us into a Chase Scene.

Scene 14: The Gimirri henchmen should do the chasing, I feel; Schrodinger has evil plots to hatch. Both sides now roll against their lowest Rep for the chase; that’s easy, Rep 4 all round. Team Arion rolls 4d6 vs 3: 1, 3, 3, 3 and passes 4d6. Team Gimirri rolls 4d6 vs 3: 1, 4, 4, 6 and passes 1d6. Since Arion and Dmitri have at least two successes more than their opponents, they escape, and we move to the Advance the Story table (p. 30) for the next scene; Star Rep (4) + Clues (2) + 1d6 (4) = 10, so again Our Heroes must get info from someone in a Story Advancing Scene.

Cut to Exterior, Day; Arion and Dmitri are being frogmarched along a cliffside jungle path near the waterfall we saw earlier. After only a few minutes, Arion slips and falls to his knees; the Gimirri escorting him makes the mistake of moving around in front of him, and is headbutted viciously in the stomach for his pains. While he is recovering from this, Arion scrambles to his feet, yells “Come on!” and runs off the edge of the cliff. While the Gimirri are still deciding what to do about this, Dmitri breaks free and follows Arion off the cliff. Zooming up to a helicopter shot, we see them fall into the lake below. An underwater shot reveals their plummeting entry, acrobatics as they pull their bound hands from behind them, over their feet and in front, and a struggle to the surface. Behind them, several large, tentacle creatures slide past.

Scene 15 is a Travel Scene, taking Arion and Dmitri to the next Story Advancing Scene. The Where To Next table on p. 31 and a 1d6 roll (6) reveal that they will travel to a Lost World, and the How Do You Get There table shows that they will be on foot. I roll 1d6 vs 1: 4, so no encounter. This makes most sense to me if they are still inside the Pyramid’s pocket universe, or whatever it is.

Arion swims to the side of the lake, crawls out, and turns to extend an hand to Dmitri. Tentacles appear briefly above the surface of the water, but fortunately whatever else it is, it is not hungry. Arion pokes around the beach and finds a sharp shell of some sort, with which he cuts their bonds.

“How did you know where to jump to land in the lake?” asks Dmitri.

“I didn’t,” says Arion. “This way,” he says, pointing along a path into the jungle. They move off at a cautious walk.

Scene 16: I roll 2d6 for the difficulty of finding the informant: 3, 5 so I use a 3. There seem to be no modifiers. I now roll 2d6 vs Arion’s Rep (4): 3, 3 = pass 2d6. Finally, 2d6 vs Difficulty (3): 1, 4 = pass 1d6. Arion has passed 1d6 more than the quarry, so finds the Quarry but will suffer complications. Arion may now make one opposed task challenge to see if he retrieves the info and gains another clue; the complications mean he will roll at -1d6, but he gets +1d6 for being Stubborn, so those cancel out.

What could the skill for the challenge be? Well, they will have taken his pistol I’m sure, and I can’t see First Aid or Piloting being applicable. So it will have to be Melee. The plot outline I have in my head from the last post calls for the encounter to be with a member of an Ancient Civilisation, so I shall roll 2d6 on that table on p. 19 to see who it is. A score of 10 means a Citizen; the table on p. 13 shows he or she will have a Special Skill (something to earn a living with) and use the Civilian crisis test table. The Citizen will therefore roll using a Default skill of 1d6.

After a while, Arion lifts a finger to his lips, silencing Dmitri; listens intently; then points to a tree overhanging the path. They quickly climb out of sight. Moments later, a humanoid figure in green, hooded robes with golden trim walks up the path towards their hiding place. The robes look very similar to those worn by the statues on the ancient roadway outside the Pyramid on Cyrene.

Arion rolls 2d6 vs 3: 1, 1 and passes 2d6. The Citizen rolls 1d6 vs 3: 2, passes 1d6. Reroll successes: Arion passes 1d6, Citizen passes 0d6. Since Arion passed 1d6 more, the table on p. 26 dictates he has succeeded, and acquires another clue.

As the robed figure passes beneath the tree, Arion leaps down onto it and wrestles it to the ground. Rolling on top to a position of advantage, he draws back a fist to punch the figure unconscious; then the hood of the robe falls back, to reveal the face of a beautiful, but terrified, girl. (This is pulp. Of course she’s beautiful.) Startled, Arion leaps to his feet.

“I’m so sorry,” he says. “I thought you were someone else. I am Arion,” here he points to himself in case she doesn’t understand. “Arion,” he repeats, and offers her his hand. “Who are you?” Her brow furrows for a moment, and Arion puts his hands to his head in pain. The woman takes his hand and rises.

“My name is Coriander,” she says. “I see you meant me no harm, so I accept your apology, Arion. I think you should meet my father; come with me. The Gimirri are not far behind, and I do not have the skill to divert them.”

“How do you know all this?” Dmitri asks, suspicious.

“Oh, I know a lot of things, Dmitri,” Coriander smiles. “And what I do not know, I can find out, quickly. Come.” And with that she sways off into the jungle. Arion and Dmitri look at each other, shrug, and follow her.

Things are starting to get more interesting now… It’s time a heroine was introduced, so I made the citizen a woman. I wanted a name from a civilisation even older than ancient Greece, so thought of the Phoenicians; and a quick search on the internet for Phoenician girls’ names led me to Coriander. As you can see, once I get used to the rules this fairly flies along. I am starting to see how a whole adventure in two hours might be possible. This took about 20 minutes to game, and maybe an hour or so to turn into a story; both would get faster with practice. I note that the story part works better if I do all the rolls first, and then retrofit the narrative to lead up to the end point. Scene 17 will be a travel scene as Coriander leads Our Heroes through the jungle, and scene 18 will be the meeting with her father. See if you can guess what Coriander’s special skill is before then…

  1. David says:

    Ho, ho! Things are getting interesting! Wonder if Schrodinger knows that the inhabitants of the Pyramid are still around? Coriander obviously knows something about the Gimirri and, I suspect, she may be psionic.

  2. andyslack says:

    Hmm, rereading this I can see that in my mind, Schrodinger is the Big Bad, but that according to the original dice he is merely an adjunct to a King Beast. This doesn’t bother me much, but I thought I should note I am diverging from the Rules As Written.

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