NPC Card & Mini Dungeon
This is content that can be used for MORTIS, or any other OSR game out there on the market. It's something fast, easy to understand and quick to throw into a session if you haven't had time to prepare anything. I'm sure you can turn this into an adventure all its own for your players. Have fun!
Order of the Gravenwolf
The Order of the Gravenwolf was founded in the Age of Shadow by Roric Brahn. During a desperate skirmish, Roric and his personal guard were assailed by a terrible host of demons. As Roric’s men fell or fled, he was forced to battle the beasts alone. Determined to die on the battlefield, he intended to kill as many of the foul creatures as he could. Brahn was battered and heavily wounded, but just as he readied himself to return to his ancestors a great wolf sounded in the distance. Roric’s vigor was renewed, and he found the strength to fight. One by one each demon was cut down by Roric’s blade until only he was standing among the countless bodies of the host. His warriors eventually returned to him and those who saw the display were sure that the divine power of Harmok himself had been gifted to Roric in his time of need. Once at home in Loclan, Roric founded the Order of the Gravenwolf. He would repay the Silver Wolf (Harmok) in service. The Order of the Gravenwolf specializes in the use of war hounds, fighting in tandem with beast against all foes both natural and unnatural.
Created based on Holo's character background and lore we developed during a playtest session.
Micro Fiction: The Book of Signs
Meredith looked over the four cabal members in front of her lead by the man known as Kedwyn, then back to her own companions. Ellena, Tize, and Aslak. She didn't particularly care for any one of them, but she was caught out. Alone. Her options were limited.
"We would be leaving this place behind, I fully suspect I will never return. Which is why I'm not going to part with that book. Travelling with me or not won't change my opinion on the matter. I've seen the alien threats that lie just beyond the veil, they are waiting to break through into our world. Eadris. This... King in Yellow, there are worse things out there in comparison to him. I can assure you of that."
Meredith Lockridge nods her head toward a somewhat impatient silhouette some distance back.
"I'm going to get my mount, then. The book.. we'll keep discussing. But we can talk about it while we move."
Tize Ash-Hand yawns a little bit where she stands, watching the two groups go back and forth.
"...If we're travelling with you... Why the need to have the book in your hands? Not like we're going to run off in the night... At least I'm not.", scoffs.
"He's concerned I'm going to open it in the night when he can't watch and learn from it."
"I pray that you do."
"I'll put forth my argument again that I'm neutral... But really I don't care that much about a book..."
Kedwyn closes his eyes, shaking his head.
"The book, Meredith. There is no room for discussion. Information will be shared with you when I deem it necessary. I've said this once. I'm done with the games, you have two options. Hand the book over and travel with us. Refuse and die."
Aslak accompanies Lady Meredith and pets the horse; feeding it a little portion of oats.
Tize sighs a tiny bit and frowns.
"...Knew that was coming...", holding up her hands lightly.
Fedot, one of Kedwyn's cabal members looks around confused as tension is getting thick again.
Meredith scoffs in the wintry air.
"I've seen what glimpsing a simple scrawled symbol can do. This is..what, a thousand pages? I've little desire to start poring over it like a children's novel," she states as if such a thing from her example were common. When Kedwyn addresses her again, however, her tone comes in a cooler and more authoritative tone. "I am the Lady Lockridge, sole surviving member of my house, and I will not be threatened by some.. -cultist-. If I hand you this book -- if -- I want your word that you fill me in each and every day. Not when you deem it necessary, only so that you can die like every single person that's traveled with me. Daily. That's as far as I'm willing to bend. I came to you in good faith, I lowered my weapons first, and I didn't pick you off at a distance when we rode up on this fucking tree in the first place. You've done nothing but point pistols at me and my companions and tell us we don't deserve to know anything. So -forgive me-, Kedwyn, if I don't seem particularly enthused to part with the only tether to understanding what happened to me."
"I think maybe you forget your standing in the new world, names don't mean a damn thing to me. Grey Cabal members aren't hampered by political intrigue and we certainly aren't influenced by the powers of nobility, your house ends with you. We can make it a reality and snuff it out permanently if that's what is required. I have no desire to kill you, but I will if it means that the Grey Cabal is in sole possession of that book. If there is pertinent information, you'll get it. You're better off never knowing what's contained within those pages but I'm willing to keep you informed if it's relevant to you."
Meredith Lockridge 's gaze narrows thinly -- though it was already somewhat slitted due to the light coming up off the bare snow -- and after a half-minute's silence during which she looks over those gathered, and particularly Cycil's plate-clad form, the rigid locking of her arm holding the book close to her chest starts to ease.
"..I do not appreciate your tone or your threats, and I will not forget them. We have an agreement, but you do not decide what's relevant to me. I do. Learn to negotiate, Kedwyn -- I have conceded at every available opportunity."
"You will continue to concede again and again, when it comes to matters involving the Grey Cabal. You are an outsider. Until I say otherwise you will be privy only to the information that I choose to share with you."
Meredith Lockridge rubs her lips tightly together, pressing them back and forth as if the taste of something soured and bitter had been brought up into her mouth. She again looks between the strangers, and with tight, rigid motions she extends the thick tome.
"Your inability to avoid pressing people into corners and allowing them to save face will not serve you well, Kedwyn. You best learn to adapt for the future. Take your fucking book."
Micro Fiction: Ancestors Welcome
Branin - Small village outside of Masfort
Gormley rested his hand on the aging stone building and studied it as if the hairline cracks were some puzzle to be solved, a hidden meaning behind all the carnage left in the god's wake. The town was a complete mess, to put it nicely. Few souls had survived the plague, and those that did died horrible deaths at the hands of the infected. Gormley’s eyes flickered, and he turned to look back at the other soldiers who had followed him to this hellhole at the behest of the Council of Osterdale. He spoke in a low, gravely voice.
“Not what I expected to find. Usually, there’s something left, someone. I’m starting to worry that Masfort will not fair quite as well as we had initially thought. This is virulent in a way I’ve never seen. It moves with purpose through a community. It turns those that don’t die outright into the things we met on the road a few nights back. We need to hurry.”
The Gates of Masfort
The inky darkness sank into the marrow of Gormley’s bones as he looked towards the sky, Aith’na was fading far earlier than he had expected. A storm had already made their journey to Masfort that much more difficult, but now it was all going dark, and it would remain that way for an unknown amount of time. The Dread was making its glorious return. Explosions of thunder, like high waves of discordant and demented sounds rumbled over the hills. The noise level became so intense that it rattled the helmets of the soldiers and made each person tremble in fear. The winds howled and cried, acting as the last warning for Gormley and his men to turn around. A shame they didn’t.
By the time Gormley’s banner had reached the barricades outside of the city, night had already fallen. The darkness was thick and the torches they carried in high right hands hardly lit the paths, allowing them to see at most an arm’s reach in front of themselves. Someone broke an uncomfortable silence by the sounds of a scream and a struggle in the night. One of Gormley’s knights pulled a young woman from the darkness and pushed her to her knees in front of the captain. Her lip was mangled and her nose broken, dried blood covered her hands and face. Gormley kneeled and placed a hand on her shoulder.
“What happened here? They told us that a contingent of soldiers from Osterdale was manning this barricade, though the gates to the city are intact they have left the barricade abandoned. Where have they all gone?”
The woman’s broken face made it difficult for her to convey emotion; she whispered something that Gormley couldn’t quite hear. He leaned in, and she whispered once more. Pulling back, startled he looked the woman over. Her breathing slowed, and she glanced up at Gormley, her shattered features contorted into what once upon a time may have been a pretty smile. She convulsed and her body engorged itself, a wet tearing noise echoed out into the night as she exploded into a mist of armor melting poison. Gormley had just enough time to throw himself out of harm’s way, but two of his soldiers weren’t nearly as lucky. They screamed in agony as their flesh began to run and then drip away from their body like the way plastic melts, hanging in large fleshy drops. Gormley pulled himself to his feet, time blurred as stinking lurches of toxic fumes covered the area. The putrid waste made every breath a focused task, scarring his insides as he fell back to the rest of his Bannerman. It was a moment of abrupt and horrible violence; the woman looked nothing like the horrors they had seen on the road. The disease was adapting, making it easier for them to kill.
Gormley was met by a knight who grabbed his shoulder and helped to prop him up against one of the slanted barricades. He turned and vomited, his breathing still disrupted by the poisonous fumes. He barely had time to collect himself before the thundering sounds of footsteps rang out in the night. The things attacked with a frenzy the mercenaries had not seen since the great wars, horrifying in their silence they did not cry out in rage, and noiseless they allowed themselves to die to suffocate the mercenary’s defenses. A string of curses unraveled from his tongue as the creatures advanced. He called for a retreat, and his Bannerman followed him to another barricade as they lost three soldiers.
“Down to seven, keep count. These things aren’t going to get the best of us.”
One of the knights went to answer but was cut short as a thick spine lodged itself through his chest, a wet gurgle and a cry was all he could muster before being thrown back some fifteen feet away from the other Bannerman. Gormley pulled his weapon and shield to the front; this was something new. The creature was a bloated mass of flesh, teeth and other sharp bits all writhing in unison. He and his warriors took the monster to task and attacked, the swords cut through the creature but were greeted with showers of acidic blood that caused them to wretch and die after a few moments. Gormley tried to fend off a swing from its massive claws, but it caught his side, and it forced him to the ground. The shrieks of his dying men were muffled, all inaudible. All he could manage was to stare up from the frosty ground toward the stars. He prayed that his ancestors would welcome him and closed his eyes.
Micro Fiction: Warstriders
The glinting of weapons flash in the light of the three moons, wraith-like figures slowly approach a small clearing. A roaring flame is at the center, numerous serpentine horrors wielding cruel blades and spears hiss and speak with one another. Mezoar warriors. The men move slowly and carefully, drawing arrows and readying themselves for the attack. Gulnar of the Order of War stands grimly at the edge of the clearing, surveying the scene before him. A massive figure, wielding an axe as large as any of the men standing next to him.
The soldiers waited, their eyes focused on Gulnar. Finally, he raised his axe high into the night air and let out a guttural, yawp that signaled their advance. Gulnar and his warriors burst from the forest and attacked without mercy.
"Leave none alive!”
A Mezoark warrior turns in time for a blade to slice through its upper neck. Arterial blood sprays freely over the ground and the soldiers begin to clash with the rest of the serpent-men, most of which are in utter shock due to the surprise attack. Gulnar frantically charges forward and swinging downward at another foe and takes its head with his strike. A serpent hisses and lunges at him, Gulnar shifts and backs away, the blow beating against his armor but finding no purchase of flesh. Bellowing another war cry, Gulnar raises his axe aloft as the serpent attempts to defend itself with a parry. The axe smashes aside its cowering defense, biting deep into the top of its head, brains, and gore bursting clear and drenching his armor.
"Lord Gulnar. I count twelve, a scouting force. Light armor. Simple weapons."
"Then we ready ourselves, the serpents are a thr-"
Gulnar's words are cut short as the thunderous sounds of advancing columns of Mezoar warriors march towards their position. The knight raises his axe and orders his men to get into formation.
Micro Fiction: Field of Red
Baldor pulled his cloak closer to himself, the cold winds cut deep and he couldn't afford the energy required of shivering to keep himself warm. Glancing from one grizzly scene to the next, Baldor seemed to be looking for something among the carnage. The dead bodies of the slain had been cast far and wide over the valley. Gore crows were already feasting on the eyes of the fallen, plucking them free from their heads. Maggots were busy at their grisly work and ensured that there would be little left to remember the battle that took place. Armies of peasants used crude tools to wrench teeth from mouths, and to pull or cut hair from the heads of those who had died. They could sell them for a few copper at one of the cities, dentures or wigs were always in demand among those who could afford such things. Baldor shook his head and turned towards Fulred, a sturdy looking Briagothian.
"Even if he survived, which I highly doubt, we'll never find him. I'd of run and kept running, and I'm not nearly half the coward that he is."
"If he's dead, I hope he died poorly. If he's alive..."
"He isn't, but I'm not going to search for his rotting corpse among the rest of the rabble. Sleep soundly, Fulred. The man didn't live through this. He couldn't have. Not him."
"What do we do now? Do we continue to search for the others?"
"We head to the city of Daggermark. I have a "friend" there who might be able to assist us. When we arrive, just make sure you keep your blade close to your side."
Fulred closed his eyes before reaching down to place his hand on the hilt of the blade that was hanging from his belt. He knew all too well what those words meant, Daggermark was not going to be kind to them.
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