An Adventure for 9 Lives to Valhalla
DEATH beckons a warband of viking cats to glory, but their journey is interrupted by a storm that runs their vessel aground on a dark and mysterious island. Their cloaked companion acts as though this is a mere detour on their journey to face down the canine conjurers that would see an end to the Age of Beasts!
Note: The Wreck of the Murderous is in development, and additional sections will be added and updated over the next week. This was written live on stream and published early as an experiment, but until we both have an opportunity to write, edit, and possibly add artwork it should be considered more “GM Prep” than a proper adventure. Follow @gemroomgames on twitter for updates as The Wreck Of The Murderous takes shape!
Before The Wreck of The Murderous
Be sure to discuss tone and comfort levels to ensure that everyone can enjoy an evening of gleeful ultaviolence as discussed in the Tone section of the book (This is available in the sneak peak which can be found at https://gemroomgames.itch.io)
Let the players introduce their peerless warrior cats and who they were before DEATH beckoned them to glorious ruin.
- DEATH and the cat warband recover from a lost battle at sea
- Hear the plutonian waves pounding against the shore
- Taste the saltwater and sand in their mouths as they awaken
- See driftwood, black sand, inquisitive but mostly harmless seagull folk, seaweed
- Smell dead fish, salt, bracing cold wind
- Their vessel has run aground in a nearby cove along the black sand
- To the NW, a ruined city overrun with foliage along ruined roads
- To the NE, an obelisk looms over a high cliff
What Can Kill You Here
Crabs - 2d6 Armored, hidden under the sand, only giving themselves away through small bubbles in the muck, eviscerate with huge claws.
Cats who do not employ Viciousness when attacking armored foes will give DEATH an extra d6 to roll!
Gangs of Seagull Scavengers - 1d8+1d6, fight in huge swarms, will attempt to divest The Murderous of its treasures
The Hull of The Murderous
Much cargo was lost, the ship is beyond repair without time, materials, and an expert shipwright.
Exploring The Murderous, each cat will find a personal possession of their choosing which reflects their past as well as a sack of gold and a sealed jar of catnip.
The Ruined City
- As you approach, cracked asphalt and shards of glass emerge from the earth. Slowly roads begin to coalesce as you approach the city limits.
- Doorways loom and the stairs to them are chest high. This city was built for giants. All ruined, now.
- feel eyes upon you from hidden figures at the windows above
- see paper drifting in the wind, blind alleys, shuffling folk who don’t want trouble
- hear fighting on other streets, wind howling down the road, a priest roaring the glory of lions
- From a decent vantage point you can see a crystalized human skeleton due north, and an overgrown valley from which a giant sword emerges to the Northeast. From the top of a proper skyscraper you can see a ziggurat in the distance, obscured by the mist.
What Can Kill You Here
Cliques of frogs, ducks, rats, raccoons, and dogs in ritual leathers, military surplus, absurd formalwear, rockstar attire, futuristic plastics, or stark naked. They call themselves things like The 5th Street Fangs, The Mendicants, Death’s Chosen, Maneaters, or The Pretty Lads. They travel in packs of 4 to 8 and should usually get 2d6 to roll. Particularly worthy clique members are Tricky. They all act like they aren’t scared of Brunhilde.
Cats who do not employ Cunning when dispatching Tricky foes give DEATH an extra d6!
Brunhilde the Coyote Queen of The Ruined City. Giant, rolls 2d8. She wears a crown of hammered iron. Her hide has scarred over the weapons left in her by cliques who failed to bring her down. The smart ones run if they know what’s good for them. Has no particular grievance against cats but will attack if anything short of utmost respect is paid in her presence.
Cats who do not employ Brutality when dispatching Giant foes give DEATH an extra d6!
Amelia, Priestess of Leo
Following the sound of preaching will lead to a priestess of Leo in the maze of ancient streets. She dresses in clanking iron emblazoned with the sun. She will celebrate your quest at DEATH’s side and laugh at her own jokes. If you accept her hospitality and stay for mead, she will speak of a crystalized human skull where dogs mine for marrow among the bones.
If you have Sacks of Gold, A Coward’s Soul, or A Caged Mantis she will offer her Spirit Lantern, the Paw of a Living Saint, or a Silver Bowl.
The Cliffside Graves
- A city of the dead spilling over a black rock precipice looms over the black sand beach
- See tombstones dot the cliffside at odd angles, marking bodies interred in the rock. Emptied graves. You’re fairly sure one of the statues is a lizard.
- Hear wind whistling though crumbling mausoleums, and nothing else.
- Smell the faint scent of overgrown wild roses carried on the wind.
- Following the cliff inland takes you to The Ruined City. Following it to the sea offers no easier route north.
- From the top of the cliff you can see north past the Graves lies a lush valley. A giant sword rises out of its tangles. To the Northwest, a human skeleton encased in crystal. Beyond both, a distant Ziggurat in the mist.
- Searching the graves can lead to the Paw of a Living Saint, a Silver Bowl, or a mournful ghost (seeks catnip, amber, rumors of the outside world. Will offer their spirit lantern, a dragonblood crystal, knowledge of the armored knights protecting The Crystal Man).
Baxter, Gecko Mercenary
Baxter Sits unnaturally still on a grave about halfway to the top. Could be mistaken for a statue. Will greet climbing cats nonchalantly, ask if they’re interested in acquiring the services of a sellsword. Will accept anything of obvious monetary value, but prefers a sack of gold. Sells his Spirit Lantern and Vials of Poison.
What Can Kill You Here
The Unquiet Dead are a band of animated corpses. They are Magick foes, with eyes glowing a radioactive green. Intelligent but wordless, they sit among the graves, awaiting living foes to add to their ranks. There are usually about 6 of them, give them 1d6 and 1d8 each.
Cats who do not employ Ferocity when dispatching Magick foes will give DEATH an extra d6!
The Self-Made Man is a towering homunculus of stitched together flesh, made in man’s image. it is giant and magick. Looks, sounds, and smells absolutely revolting. A grotesque failure of an experiment, and one that must be destroyed. Give it 2d8.
When fighting a foe that is both Giant and Magick, DEATH will gain an extra d6 if the attack is not Ferocious AND gain an extra d6 if the attack is not Brutal. A Great Weapon, employing both, is the ticket.
The Crystal Man
Hey, Dan here. As I’m writing this the Actual Play starts in like 3 hours so we’re gonna punch up some details to the subsequent sections later! For now, gotta write fast and furious. Also my keyboard has started double-typing Ts for some reason so if there’s any typos that’s why.
- Dogs miners (2d6) and knights (2d8, armored) can be found in the caves of the crystal man, delicately extracting marrow from the semi-preserved bones.
- see the blood red crystals that casts light in technicolor crimson.
- hear the tinkling of condensation landing on crystals, the echoes of a fight further down the caves.
- taste the iron of old, old blood on your tongue as you breathe.
- The Mouse Hero Fitsz Willoughby-Bough was sneaking through the caves when he was discovered, and is now fending off a trio of Dog Knights. They will recognize DEATH and the quest they are on, but be understandably wary of the cats. They will draw steel against them only if honor demands it, and otherwise be happy to trade. Seeks a caged mantis, a single coin of gold, or a spirit lantern. Knows the Ouroboros has an excellent wine cellar, where the profane devices The Incomplete Man requires to live are kept.
The Verdant Blade
- a lush glen, untouched by the canine interlopers and their dark work. A sword lies at its center.
- see frogs, slugs, foxes, and other folk minding their own business. Brightly colored flowers, thorns, disappearing footpaths to Kathar’s shack.
- hear the distant buzzing of flitting hummingbirds, the chaos of life, the chirping of insects.
- smell a riot of sweat, blood, dung, living earth.
- In a shack in the woods, a Witch of Uncia named Kathar speaks in riddles under a wide-brimmed hat. She will request that the cats retrieve the Eye of Newt that those hummingbirds stole, and promises Absolution for all if returned. Vials of poison will be offered to those who don’t claim to need Absolution, so they can get into some trouble.
- While passing through the vegetation, hummingbird assassins will attempt to ambush the cats to attempt to drive them away from the sword. They are devout worshippers of Kandzor The Grand. They roll 2d8 and are tricky.
- The blade rests at the base of the skull of a skeletal crocodile, Kandzor The Grand. If the cats approach, the sword will fall as the crocodile rises, and it will grab the broken blade in its jaw to fight them. Kandzor is Giant and Armored, and will roll 2d10.
- The Cave of Kandzor The Grand contains a Dragonblood Crystal, Eye of Newt, and a Vial of Man’s Blood.
- A Ziggurat of glassy black stone looms, imprinted with the image of a dog with its own tail in mouth. There are dozens of pavilions and arcades leading to empty rooms. This was not of the old world, but new construction intended to be the seat of power in a new age.
- A band of half-dead wolf cult canines, fox and dogs licking their wounds, have made camp near the entrance. Their assault failed against the heretics who have lost sight of the Ciborium Canidae. They will give their last Arrow of Truth to the cats if they claim to put a stop to this heresy, and to succeed where they have failed.
The New Man
A machine-flesh hybrid, scavenged from the Crystal Man. Wires, pipes, and chains lead behind the altar. The New Man’s Left hand (blue, magick), Right Hand (red, tricky), metal skull (steel, armored), and torso (giant) each roll 2d10 and must be killed separately. A cat who ventures below the altar to the cellars below can kill the Heart of the New Man and truly destroy it. Give the heart 2d12, it’s a big finish after all.