Warlock! at Firetop Mountain, Solo Part 4: Death and Freedom
Warlock! British RPGs Rolling Solo

Warlock! at Firetop Mountain, Solo Part 4: Death and Freedom

Duncan Thomson

Continuing with a solo playthrough of Warlock!, using random tables built to reimagine Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Today they attempt to enter the Spire.

Warlock solo - intro | start | approach | outer chambers | at the river | finalall rolling solo

Disclosure - I'm a DriveThru RPG affiliate

Thoughts on Warlock!

House Rules. I'm using Advantage / Disadvantage from 5e as my only house rule for Warlock!

Already said a fair amount of Warlock. This time I noticed how the Career skill for each character makes a career a unique thing. So Snoranina has Mercenary +9 and Erasmus Tomb Robber +9. Which actually gives something concrete for each career without needing to think up abilities for each.

Also at it's heart warlock is very simple. A d20 plus a skill against a target number. Easy to use for a one-shot for beginners as I found a couple of weeks ago!

Thoughts on Solo

Not much to add, except the tables are providing some consistent themes of arcane, sacred sites and dwarves...

Adventures of the Seekers of Tenstones

A quick reminder that the characters are

  • Snoranina Durgellasdottir (dwarf mercenary, Impolite, imaginative, brilliant)
  • Hakgan (dwarf miner, warm-hearted, grouchy, generous)
  • Erasmus (human tomb robber, puzzled, fierce, unfriendly)
  • Nadra (human wizard's apprentice, independent, eager, cold hearted)
  • plus Sufeen of Tenstones (torchbearer) and the Pike the pack horse

Scene 7 - Digging for Graves (Controlled Situation)

Erasmus leads Tenstones villagers in digging up a few recent bodies, while Snoranina and Nadra investigate a nearby ruined farmstead. They find a dwarven ghost of a herder. Snoranina agrees to search for their body in a nearby cave and look out for a map, telling the party it's their only way forward.

Sadie and the militia from Tenstones take a couple bodies of recently dead acolytes on a skittish mule and head back to town. Don't want more to do with Runescorch Rock.

Scene 8 - A Cave of Spiders (Risky Situation)

(Altered scene - a companion joins or leaves)

Hidden behind rocks is another entrance. A worn statue watches, turning its head to survey them. A stone door marked with dwarven runes moves aside as Hakgan approaches. At this point their torchbearer Sufeen decides she has had enough, leaving after a brief argument to join the militia heading back to Tenstones.

In the cave they find a cave with the likeness of dwarf leaders and lots of glowing webs. Spiders watch but don't disturb them. Some kind of dwarven sanctuary. Find remains which could belong to the ghost in a sack.

After Nadra's divination follow a tunnel instead of exploring doors among the webbing. A moving candle reveals an undead acolyte, promptly shot down by Hakgan. They find a symbol of Nua on the body, so Erasmus sneaks up the tunnel to investigate more.

Finds dining room with a fireplace, being prepared by two acolytes. He listens to them talk about a ritual the Magician is trying to complete, aided by her huge library.

Scene 9 - Putting a Ghost to Rest (Controlled Situation)

Happy to have found entrance group returns to the ruined farmstead and lay the ghost to rest. Then discuss next step.

Scene 10 - Kitchen Madness (Risky Situation)

Returning to the dining room via the spider cave, they find an ogre with sinister symbols and one tentacled arm, and a space laid for another guest. As a bound dwarf is about to be put to roast on a fire, a fight ensues. The tentacle grabs Hakgan, but angry dwarves soon end the would be chef after some bellowing.

Untying the dwarf, they find her name is Eramina, who they give a club and crossbow. But a door opens to reveal the other guest, a scarred female ogre with a metal leg they quickly identify as Ironfoot, the overseer of this area!

It quickly appears Ironfoot will outmatch them, with Snoranina soon with a useless arm and Eramina hobbling. But Erasmus desperately activates a lever they found earlier, and a pit opens up behind the ogre. Hakgan barges Ironfoot into it, managing not to get pulled in after.

Before they can finish off the ogre with crossbow bolts, goblins start to appear and they make a getaway, putting Eramina on Pike the pack horse.

Scene 11 - Divine Aid (Desperate Situation)

(Event - an extra is present)

Making a hurried return to Nua's Cave, warhorns sound in the distance. They are surprised to find Coscana Sweet there, the mayor of Tenstones, along with her bodyguard Osric and Sadie of Nua (who they rescued from a cage). They left militia heading back down to Tenstones

They are here to reconsecrate the sanctuary to Nua, as it's a full moon that night. Coscana remembered her mother doing the same in the past and awakening a protective guardian.

(Event - extra takes action, Coscana). Hearing about the approaching goblins, Coscana takes horse to warn militia down the mountain. Group rests, consuming fortified stout the mayor had brought with her. Find out Erasmus is also a follower of Nua and ! Snoranina can still only use one arm and is Eramina is hobbling

Hear bellowing outside of Ironfoot looking for them, but either can't find them or protected by the sanctuary. Prepare defences and to perform ritual of Nua.

Scene 12 - Slaughter in the Night (Risky Situation)

(Interrupt - Group positive and negative plus change of environment).

The ritual goes smoothly, Sadie sacrificing a sheep but Osric says he won't leave cave, staying to protect Sadie. Looking outside they find a group of goblins guarding way to the cave and assume Ironfoot will be back with reinforcements next morning.

Going ahead with an unsafe plan they sneak out of the cave, hearing an ogre there complaining about Ironfoot. "What kind of ogre gets pushed into a pit by a dwarf!?". An ambush happens, a sentry fleeing before ogre berserker and dazed goblins taken down by missile fire and angry dwarves.

Scene 13 - Waiting for Trouble (Controlled Situation)

(Event - Thread more complex - map of the dwarf ghost)

The next part of their plan sees them waking up by statue at the entrance to the spider cave. Within the cave a strange humanoid made of webbing creates dwarf runes to communicate with them. The spiders have some kind of sentience, and find out map of dwarf ghost taken by a sorcerer who like to wager. Then do a trade with the webbed figure, one of Hakgan's keys for quill, ink and boots for Eramina.

See Ironfoot with ogres, goblins and other creatures go past outside the cave. Group head into the complex.

Scene 14 - Looking for Boat (Controlled Situation)

Continuing their plan, they are guided by Eramina through tunnels to the other captured dwarves in the complex, Hakgan making a map as they go. Eventually reach an old stone bridge, leading to island where dwarf prisoners kept, but said to be guarded by a hungry undead spirit.

So they look for a boat to row over, instead spotting a fountain with a glowing red key floating above it, possibly one to the Magician's treasures. Eramina tells them it's trapped.

But they do spot boats over on the island so Hakgan strips down to swim over. Before he does, an aquatic troll spotted in the water and a brief fight ensues, Eramina, Snoranina and Erasmus cutting it down so Nadra can finish it with a torch.

Hakgan swims over and retrieves a boat, only to be watched by an undead dwarf as rows back to the group. Eramina whispers there might be more undead dwarves...

Nadra offers to stay with Pike the pack horse and equipment as can't all fit in boat.

Scene 15 - Death and Freedom (Risky Situation)

The centre of island had a smiling dragon statue supporting the cavern roof, beside a squat stone building and an arena pit out front. As the watch a cadaverous dwarf in plate amour flies up to the roof, kind of a surprise to everyone. Snoranina recognises her cousin Boltar

Joined by two skeletal dwarves a fight ensues. At some point, four dwarf prisoners, chained to each other carry out a chair with an old woman who watches. The skeletal dwarf archers cause some trouble but soon dispatched in melee. But the undead Boltar is far more trouble, taking down Erasmus and disabling Snoranina's other arm.

Hakgan manages to break chain of two dwarf prisoners, who rush to help in the melee. But it's too much, they both fall along with Eramina to the skilled undead champion, who is also badly hurt by now. However Nua seems to bless them when Hakgan's thrown pickaxe pierces Boltar's eye and puts it to rest.

Counting the cost, Snoranina and Hakgan find Erasmus and Eramina dead, along with the two dwarves. Hakgan releases last two prisoners and greeted by old human. She is Alina, respected by the dwarves and an artificer who serves Nua.

She knows a place they can rest, so the battered group load all bodies and bones into a couple of boats, that they row over to a surprised Nadra. Guided by Alina, they locate a secret door in a nearby passage, where they can rest by a sacred pool.

Scene 16 - A New Purpose (Risky Situation)

The group are lucky, and manage to hide away in another sanctum of Nua. They wash down the bodies of Erasmus and the dwarves, then say final rites as they make a cairn for them under a watchful cat statue.

Alina tells them she has been making items of a magical nature here for years. A devotee of Nua, when the Sanctuary of Runescorch Spire was taken over, she agreed to keep on making items for the Magician, with her latest something with levitation for a creature that guards the end of a maze deep in the complex. She tells them what she can about the complex but plans on staying here now.

The two other dwarves they rescued are Balna Fimaborasniz, a roadwarden, who escorted another dwarf here. And Rolik Hargunson, a noble who sought to find a powerful ally here. Now both have seen fellow dwarves dying in the complex and grim-facedly speak for revenge.

(Event - close a thread)

The four dwarves and Nadra make an oath to hunt down the Magician, blessed by Alina. Nadra mostly seems interested in the library and spellbooks said to be deep within. Lastly Nadra reveals she rescued that red key floating above the fountain, while she waited for them to rescue dwarves from the island.

After five days they are all healed, no-one has found them and they are ready to forge deeper into the complex, to slay the Magician of Runescorch Spire...

Next expected scene - Heading to River, on way to find the Magician (Risky Situation)...

Plot Threads and Character List

Creating a list of Plot Threads, I had...

  • Find the weapon of Majud the Ratcatcher
  • Find remaining acolytes from the Tenstones and bring back any they find
  • Find out more about the treasure said to be in the heart of the sanctuary. Maybe library
  • Find keys of red stone, said to be for the Magician's treasure
  • Help Nadra find magic of the Magician
  • Find map of dwarven ghost, with a sorcerer who likes wagers
  • Find out about ritual Magician wants to complete, linked to a dark power
  • Slay the Magician
  • Avoid Ironfoot and minions, searching for group

The Character List / Extras is...

  • Coscana Sweet, mayor of Tenstones. She is gaunt and cunning, drinks alot, worshipper of Nua
  • Sufeen of Tenstones, younger cousin of Erasmus, desperate for work, hired as torchbearer by group but to afraid to enter the spire
  • Majud the Ratcatcher, capable adventurer last seen entering the Spire, said to carry a silver holy weapon
  • Goblins of the mountain, capturing dwarves for Ironfoot
  • Villagers of Tenstones, a mining village of humans and a few dwarves
  • Sadie of Nua, Oracle of Nua, and former quartermaster of Runescorch Sanctuary, keeps beetles. Rescued by Seekers of Tenstones
  • Ironfoot, ogre (f) gladiator, one metal leg, capturing dwarves, overseer of outer area of Runescorch Rock, wants Hakgan.
  • Magician of Runescorch Rock, a woman who befriended the leadership of Runescorch Sanctuary and then took it over with help of goblins and other creatures. Has some kind of treasure at heart of sanctuary
  • Bertha, acolyte of Nua from village, under thrall of Magician
  • Acolytes and Priests of the Rock
  • Nua, Goddess of Magic, Moon and Mystery. Beetles holy to her
  • Osric, veteran guard from Tenstones. Loyal to Coscana, follower of Nua
  • Beetle Cave of Nua, blessed bool and fountain of Nua. Area protected by guardian spirit of the mountain.
  • Goblin Warden, of prisoners, said to wield a silver blade
  • Alina, old frail artificer of Nua, respected by Rolik and Balna

Seekers of Tenstones

They bought some equipment and supplies and I gave them 1 xp each too, to get things moving.

The Fallen and Fled

  • Sufeen of Tenstones, the torchbearer and cousin of Erasmus who (wisely) decided it was too dangerous to enter Runescorch Spire
  • Erasmus of Tenstones, human Tomb Robber from nearby town, who was slain by an undead dwarf champion.
  • Eramina Meganasdottir, dwarf Thief / Tomb Robber, rescued by party from the Spire, but also slain by an undead dwarf champion

Snoranina Durgellasdottir

Stamina 20, Luck 9, female dwarf Mercenary. Impolite, imaginative, brilliant, hardenend

Worked for - The king's guard, who were in need. Haunted by a death - no one, you are made of stone and death.

Skills - Crossbow 8, Dodge 9, Endurance 8, Large Blade 12, Streetwise 8, other skills 5

Equipment - axe, heavy armour (plate), crossbow, quiver of bolts, book of religious scripture, backpack, 3 days food, waterskin, eating knife, clothes, boots, 10 torches, rope, 3 sp, 3 pennies

Hakgan Darunsson

Stamina 22, Luck 13, male dwarf Miner, Warm-hearted, grouchy, generous, spikey black beard

Dug up - nothing but dirt and ghosts. Seen a goblin town, complete with brats.

Skills - Athletics 6, Endurance 8, Navigation 10, Survival 8, Swim 7

Equipment - pick and shovel, mace (2h), leather armour (light), hardy and rough clothing, lantern, sack, wooden carving of a mine spirit, backpack, 9 days food, waterskin, eating knife, clothes, boots, heavy xbow and bolts, glowing key of red stone, bunch of keys, 3 sp, 2 cp


Stamina 24, Luck 11, female human Wizards Apprentice. Independent, eager, cold-hearted, worshipper of Nua

Been - the Golden Cave, magical! Learned - the road is a harsh mistressss

Command 7, History 9, Incantation 12, Languages 10, Persuasion 7, other skills 5

Equipment - 8 days food, backpack of trinkets, knife, waterskin, staff, books on magical theroy, leather armour (light), spellbook of Path, spell scroll - sleep (ogre), light bow and arrows, 5 sp

Rolik Harginsson

Stamina 21, Luck 12, dwarf male Noble. Independence, build a legacy, revenge

Left because...father disowned as a wastrel. When return...when you are triumphant.

Command 9, Diplomacy 9, History 10, Languages 7, Medicine 9, other skills 5

Equipment - shortsword, shield, sturdy boots, 3 days food, light xbow, leather armour, 3 sp, 8 cp

Balna Fimaborasniz

Stamina 19, Luck 9, dwarf female Roadwarden. Burn the witches, sacrifice, redemption

Travelled...the Great Way, full of refugees. Seen...Beastkin in the forests, watching

Crossbow 10, Dodge 10, Ostler 7, Navigation 8, Polearms 9, other skills 5

Equipment - 3 days food, spear, shield, Pike the pack horse, lantern

Finishing Up

Well this might take longer than the sessions and articles I originally had in mind!

Next will be entering further into the complex (probably).