Bridge of the Damned: Unexpected

We’re currently (as of last night) 6 sessions into our Torchbearer campaign.

They tackled “Dread Crypt of Skogenby” in the first 2, did an extended Town phase in Session 3, and then have spent an excellent 3 sessions (so far!) on “Bridge of the Damned”.

Our characters are:

  • Bricks the Boots (Halfling Guide)
  • Oddbjorn Bjornson (Bjorning Skald)
  • Osric Godtouched (Græling Shaman)
  • Tösk (Changeling Thief - played by @DaveHiggins, of this parish)

I’ll keep this spoiler-vague / spoiler-light, but I’ve been surprised / rather delighted at how they have been tackling “Bridge of the Damned”.

For starters, whilst they chose to head down to the cairn and ship (and had an excellent Trick conflict with Egil), they then chose to climb up the side of the bridge, rather than use the bridge like normal people.

For the tower itself, they (again) decided to clamber all the way up the outside, and tackle the tower from the top down.

To quote Tösk’s climbing advice:

“A point of contact, most of the time”

His fylgja may be a squirrel, but he acts a lot like a cat, and seems to view gravity more as a suggestion that a Rule.

So, last night, they head back to the pickets to convince them to cede the bridge to our adventuring heroes, in exchange for their (surviving) group members and the party conducting a funeral for the non-survivors.

Now, with regards to this talk of “surviving members” and “dead”, @DaveHiggins may chime in, but it was not the party’s intent for previous matters to escalate to a Kill conflict, but there you go.

Still, here we are now: some survivors, the PC’s (feeling the weight of a number of Conditions) wishing to negotiate a settlement.

So, we’re going into a Convince conflict, and we’re building dice pools, looking at options, and I’m muttering away to myself.

“Right, so there’s Leif Friggsson and Saga Friggsdottir. Huh, cool: looks like they’re brother and sister”

Osric’s player chimes in:

“Wait. Do I know them? My friend is Frigg (the Sailor).”

I blink.

“Would that be cool with you? Sure! That’s awesome.”

Osric Godtouched knows these two: he’s friends with their mother, and has sat down to dinner with them all through the years.

Now he (and the party!) are responsible for killing several of their friends.

And suddenly the world expands and is enriched.

That next reunion with Frigg, her children and Osric is going to be rather an awkward family gathering…

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Definitely a squirrel. Orange fur, pointy ears, fluffy tail, good at climbing.

Eats nuts?

No! Mice eat nuts. Squirrels eat mice.

It was not. It was our intention to use stealth and cunning to avoid harm to us or them; it went lethal because we failed two attempts to mimic their friends in a row and there wasn’t a way for Tösk to scurry down the outside of the tower carrying Osric the second time so the inhabitants could be clonked on the head from behind in a non-lethal way.

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Wonderful! Those two are siblings. I wondered if anyone would make use of that!

Also, fwiw, one of the horrifying facts we learned while working on Mouse Guard is that squirrels, like many “herbivores,” do eat mice.

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Every animal is an omnivore with sufficient motivation…

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This is my favorite part—very Torchbearer. After all, why wouldn’t they just see the bridge as something else to climb. Love it!

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Perfect use of relationships in TB!

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Indeed they do: I just like the idea that Tösk’s fylgia is a cat but because no-one actually liked talking to him as a young troll-child, the shaman didn’t ask many questions and mistook his description for a squirrel. So, it’s only when people ask follow up questions about nuts or whatever that they discover his squirrel fylgia isn’t very “squirrelesque”.

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