Way behind on my SGAM updates. A short, single scene today, continuing Valda’s contract. In this one, an ophidian twist squeezes our heroine. Lesson to be learned: always check unfamiliar bathrooms for critters.
10. Steam Room
Location Roll — random (efficiently lovely), trap, random (peacefully lonely) (7, 6, 4)
Valda loped down a corridor with a descending grade. The tunnel grew hot and steamy. Presently, she emerged into a large room tiled in white and sometimes colorful slate. Steam was thick and immediately made her skin glisten. The details of the room were hidden within the gloom. Somewhere above, a skylight shed some illumination about the bathroom.
Large baths divided the room, all fed by a fountain in likeness to a great stoic warrior with closed eyes. Some of the areas were also for washing laundry or crockery.
Q. What does the trap do? abandon hope
As she lurked and watched for danger, she stepped on some sort of loose tile. Suddenly, the doors at either end of the room slammed shut. In desperation, Valda turned and tried to push the solid stone door open, but it was closed fast.
She was trapped!
Glodol (unique creature)
A glodol is a large snake found in the jungles that grows extremely long. Although not poisonous, they have a tremendously strong body and are very quiet and sneaky. They kill their prey through strangulation.
Traits: furtive; special attack: constriction. If a glodol attacks by ambush when its prey is unaware and hits, it inflicts automatic damage each turn (d6H) unless the victims can break free with a Hard strength task.
Strength: 4 Attack: +2
Agility: 1 Damage: bite (d6) or constriction (d6H)
Mind: -1 Defense: 1
Lifeblood: 20 Protection: 1
Hard (-1) observe roll — fail (4)
She fought with the slick door, but there were no latches, rings, or catches that could open them from within. Beyond the periphery of her awareness, a small trap door opened in one of the pools, and an immense camouflaged serpent swam slowly out and over the lip. Its forked tongue darted out of its mouth as the large reptile gauged its prey.
Then, it struck!
Note: since the snake is statted as a full monster, I’m going to summarize this struggle round by round, instead of as a whole…
Glodal attacks for free with a bonus — miss (8)
Initiative roll — Valda scores a mighty success!
Valda: attack — hit (11; 4 damage)
Glodal: attack — miss (8)
From behind, Valda sensed something as the giant slithering doom poised itself. Suddenly, the monster lunged to wrap its great coils around the slender northron. The ice princess deftly moved aside and readied her blade. She had but a moment to regard the thing with loathing and then struck, scoring the smooth scaly hide along the great snake’s flank.
Valda: attack — calamitous failure! (Valda earns a hero point)
Glodal: attack — miss (6)
The assassin pressed the attack, but a thick coil checked her step, tripping her backwards. Her Valgardian blade skittered from her grip. In desperation, she drew her dagger dove aside as the great head of the serpent struck.
Valda: attack — hit (14; 1 damage)
Glodal: attack — mighty success! (12; 4 damage; knockdown)
Valda turned and struck again, but another unseen coil tripped her afresh. This time, she was pinned underneath a heavy sinuous length. However, she still had her dagger in hand. The creature’s hissing head loomed closer, its slitted eyes regarding its prey deviously.
Valda: attack — hit (12; 2 damage; 1 hero point spent for mighty success — bloody slash)
Glodal: attack — miss (7)
Rather than try to gain her feet, Valda awaited the inevitable strike. She turned to the side at the exact moment when the deadly fanged attack came, and the next moment drove her dagger hard into the thing’s head, gouging one of the monster’s eyes.
Valda: attack — hit (9; 1 damage)
Glodal: attack — miss (7)
Valda struck again and again, but her small blade was largely ineffectual against the great serpent.
Valda: attack — hit (9; 1 hero point spent for mighty success — 1 point + bloody slash)
The creature struck again. This time, the ice princess latched on with her hind legs, wrapping herself around the beast’s large diamond-shaped head to keep its deadly jaws trapped shut. The thing smashed and thrashed against the tiles, but still Valda held. She plunged her dagger into its head. With a final quiver, the giant beast slumped to the floor atop the gasping assassin. She had killed the monster!
3 Lifeblood restored
She wriggled free of the heavy serpent and immediately went to the water to wash herself clean of the serpent’s filth and clean her wounds. The fountain continued to stare sightlessly at her. The play of water gurgled despite the violence that had just transpired. She recovered her sword and next sought a way out of the bath room.
Tough (-2) find a release mechanism — failure (2)
Tough (-2) climb to the skylight — success (9)
The barbarian once more sought a way out. She felt about for hidden mechanisms, trap doors, and concealed pressure plates, but found none. Next she observed the statue fountain as it spilled its waters into the now bloodied pools. She belted her sword about her waist and climbed the statue. Using a combination of determination, agility, and luck, she squirmed her way to the skylight by wedging herself into the oddly shaped chimney. Eventually, she found freedom in the open air above the structure’s roof. As she did, the sliding door below to the bath room opened, guards pouring in only to find the slain guardian.
A harrowing encounter! But Valda lived. Tune in again when Valda makes her final confrontation with the concern of her contract. While Valda emerge successful, or we she succumb to a greater foe? Find out next time...