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Ironsworn: Last Rites 1

I stand in front the burning cabin. The heat draws beads of sweat from my forehead. My home is now the funeral pyre for Master Jihan. The crackle of flames coupled with the cold wind of Spring in the Heartlands floods my mind with memories of the night Jihan found me and pledged to train me in the ways of the Warden-Errant. The night I swore to avenge my family's death at the hands of Ivar the Oathbreaker.

I still watch the embers rise as dawn hides the stars in a blanket of pink sky. I can feel the weight of Master Jihan's Oathblade on my back. I have a new vow, the final lesson a Warden-Errant can give to a disciple. Take his Oathblade and cast it into the fires of the First Forge so that Jihan's spirit can rest. I have decided to travel to the North by way of ship from Five Pillars as it is safer than journeying on foot to the Hinterlands and through the realm of the Varou.

The fire begins to die down and I take my leave into the unknown.

[Move- Undertake a Journey. Roll +wits. Ubba has a bond with this place as it was where he lived with Master Jihan so that is an additional +1 to the roll.

Roll- 5+2= 7 vs 9/3, a weak hit. Ubba marks progress but loses a supply. We reach a waypoint.]

As midday approaches, I find myself on the banks of a wide pond. Sunlight streaks the water with gold and a small flock of geese glides across the surface. I eat a quick meal and watch the birds, tossing an occasional scrap of hardtack into the pond. The geese gobble up the free meal.

[Move- Undertake a Journey. Roll +wits. Roll- 6+1= 7 vs 9/2, a weak hit. Ubba marks progress but loses a supply. We reach a another waypoint.]

I can no longer see the smoke from the cabin. Each new step is the furthest I have been from my home. The familiar rolling grasslands give way to the soggy marshes of the Flooded Lands. I try to stick to the road, but sections appear to have been washed away by a storm. I cannot tell how long ago it has been. Master Jihan once told me that the Overseers do not concern themselves with the isolated regions of the Ironlands.

I scramble over a small mound of ancient paving stones and spy a camp partially obscured by a thicket of reeds and small bushes.

[Ask the Oracle- Is this the camp of a single person? Roll- 68 YES.

Is the occupant here? Roll- 83 YES]

As I grow closer to the camp. I see a single figure hunched over, muttering curses to Aringhee as they try to light a fire in the damp environs. A bow leans against their tent.

"Hail!" I call out to the stranger.

The stranger rises and spins to face me. "What do you want?" She yells back as she reaches for her bow and nocks an arrow.

[Ubba does not wish to fight this person. So we will try a Compel move here to try and defuse the situation. 5+3=8 vs. 7/9. A weak hit. She will do as we ask but will require something in return. We also gain +1 momentum and a +1 to a Gather Information roll to find out what is going on.]

"I mean no harm. I am called Ubba. I am traveling to the city of Five Pillars."

The woman relaxes and lowers her bow. "I am Leela." She returns to her pile of sticks and renews her effort to start the fire. "It'll be dark soon and too dangerous to continue your journey. Help me start this fire and you may rest here."

The mention of the word 'rest' makes my leg muscles begin to ache. I enter Leela's camp and set about helping with the fire.

[Move- Make Camp Roll+supply: 1+3=4 vs 4/5 a miss. We must Pay the Price. A surprising development complicates our quest. ]

I attempt to aid Leela but this area yields no suitable tinder for the fire. The sun slides below the horizon and soon the only light we have is the moon.

[Our result on the Action and Theme tables to discover our surprising development was "escalate war". So it seems that something has rekindled the threatening nature of Leela's behavior. So we will Ask the Oracle a couple of questions.

Is Leela the survivor of an attack? She is on her own so we will call it Likely. 75 YES

Was the attacker human? 50/50 91 YES.

Is the thing she wants Ubba's sword. Likely, 65 YES.]

It is hard to tell in the dark, but it seems that Leela is watching me. Almost as if she is waiting for something. We sit in silence as the frogs croak somewhere in the darkness. An occasional splash from an unknown creature breaks the rhythm. I decide that it is best to at least attempt sleep. I pull my cloak around me, close my eyes and allow the marsh to sing me its lullaby.

I awaken to something cold against my throat. I open my eyes to a shadow standing over me. I feel a slight sting against my neck. As my sight adjusts to the darkness, I see that it is Leela standing over me, holding a sword against my neck. Master Jihan's sword.

"I am sorry." Leela's voice has a sad hardness to it. "I need this."

[Ask the Oracle- Does Leela flee with the sword? 50/50- 61 YES.]

Leela vanishes into the darkness. I attempt to rise and give chase, but I fall face first into the mud. She had bound my feet while I slept.

Leela has fled into the pre-dawn swamp with Master Jihan's Oathblade. Will Ubba be able to locate her and recover the object of his vow? Find out next time as we play Ironsworn: Last Rites!

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