Ravenloft Ironsworn, part 12, The Icon and the Flail

WHEW it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to play.

Okay, when we last saw our heroes, Brig was kneeling over the body of her mentor, Reinhardt, who seems to have died while fighting some berobed figure in the shadows of a long-abandoned chapel in Castle Ravenloft. Rather than his great hammer and mighty shield, she finds him with a silvery-headed flail in hand, and that plus the silver figurine on the altar reminds of Brig of an old, old legend among the farwardens – one of the stories Reinhardt used to tell her when she was too young to even dream of joining him in his adventures.

If she’s right, the figurine is one of the greatest – perhaps THE greatest – relics of the farwardens, the Icon of Ahmeshki. So old it predates the farwardens arrival in these cold lands. If it is the Icon, the weapon in her mentor’s grip is the Flail of the Heavens, always associated with the prophecies that tell of the Icon’s return.

Ismark nods as I retrieve the weapon, feeding the chain of the flail back into hollowed handle, then twisting and locking the head into the end, to form a mace – it’s a familiar weapon design among the farwardens, though she never guessed why.

[So what I’m initially doing with the Flail is introducing it as an Artifact, which just means it’s “this thing that narratively allows a thing, or makes a thing happen.” In this case, it basically “steps down” Strahd as an opponent from Epic to ‘merely’ Extreme. As Brig continues and becomes accustomed to the thing (and if I ever get any XP), I’ll ‘unlock’ the weapon as an Asset or maybe Rarity. For now, it’s just a cool mace/flail thing.]

Ismark gestures to the slim silver figure on the altar. “I’m not much for churches, but it seems an important thing.”

“It is,” Brigitte reaches across Reinhard, laying him flat on the flagstones and arranging his arms in peace. She stands, then approaches the altar. “I’ll need to get it out of this place, and soon, but not immediately.” She reaches out, then hesitates.

“I will return this Icon to hallowed ground, and from that bastion, bring it to the Wardens.”

[Troublesome vow: get the Icon to the hallowed ground of the chapel of Barovia.]


I could burn Momentum on this for a Strong hit, but I’d rather not. A weak hit still gives me +1 momentum, taking me to 10, and I think Brig’s plan of “take it with me, but don’t head straight out of here” seems aimless enough for “not sure what to do next.”

Okay, I also want some kind of test of worthiness, here, not least because I think that’s going to be the first step in getting this thing out of here – if Brig’s not worthy enough, she’s going to need Ismark or, more like, Ireena, to carry the thing.

Brig reaches to pick up the thing, her expression tight, as if she expects a shock at the touch.

[The most amusing thing about is it marks the first time I’ve actually used the Face Danger move, which in many PbTA games is one of the most commonly hit.]|222x118

Again, I could burn momentum on this for a strong hit, but I kind of like the “-1 momentum” cost of a weak hit.

Brigitte doesn’t flinch, and there is no sign touching the Icon cost her, but her expression is still troubled. Thoughtful. Her life has become much more complicated in a very short time. She tucks the Icon carefully in her pack. “Let’s move. We’ve more to do here.”

[-1 momentum, but marking progress on the quest to get the Icon out of here]

When she looks up from her pack, Ireena is looking down solemnly at Reinhardt, her eyes lowered. Brigitte wonders if she should say something, but Ismark interrupts her train of thought.

“Who’s the robed fellow with the dent in his head, do you think?” He nudges the remains of Reinhardt’s opponent with a toe.

[I don’t know what Brigitte might know here, so I’m going to use a move to see what’s up.]


And there’s the first time having the higher stat array on Brig would have made a difference.

Okay, that’s a dire threat or unwelcome truth.


Brigitte seems to actually see the figure for the first time. Her expression goes slack. “The Qashida?” She reached down, tugging aside the hood, exposing a strange, broken-glass patterned tattoo on the man’s neck. “They’re…”

“A terrifying bedtime story, suddenly all to real?” Ismark finishes. He looks meaningfully around the chapel. “There’s a lot of that going around.”

I’m adding the Qashida as a Threat to the epic Vow to get answers about/avenge the disappearance of the farwardens, and Advancing the Threat by one, right away.


Somehow, somewhere, the Qashida know what’s going on, and they’re coming. Suuuuper.

[Also, in reading up on threats for the first time in the actual Delve rulebook, I realize I’ve assigned the Threat of Strahd to a vow that’s “too high” for a threat. I need to think about how to address that, but for now I’m leaving it.]

Now, let’s get out of here:

EXITS: The center of the western wall has a great double door that leads into the rest of the ground floor of the castle. On either side of the great door are smaller, arched openings that lead into smaller shadowed alcoves and stairwells.