I remember, as a child, a particular groan that my father would sound when he crawled from the bed in the morning. I hear the same groan now, precisely, every morning, when I emerge from my own lair. It’s more than an expression of physical weariness – it’s an aching of the soul. Even the groans get passed down.Kevin Barry
Session 21 – Odyn’s Lair
Advice to the reader
In order to interpret the structure of my gaming session posts effectively, it is strongly suggested that you peruse A Readers Guide to Play Sessions on The Old Bard, if you haven’t already.
To better grasp what I mean when I bring up Fate questions, you might find it useful to keep the Mythic Fate Chart accessible, potentially in a new window or tab in your browser.
The Story So Far
The party, along with Blyris and Alaric Bledstone, have gathered at a breakfast table at the center of the carnival.
Day 19 – Scene 58 – Continued
After some small chatter and bantering during breakfast, Blyris rises from his chair and directs everyone to his office. “Come along everyone, we have much planning to do if we are to deal with Odyn in the proper way.”
Building Odyn’s Lair
ATGM: Before we continue on, we have an important task to perform. Since this will be quite a bit of text following, we won't be formatting this section as typical for our ATGM etc. sections, therefore we've simply separated this portion out with text separators from the rest of the story.
As you may have read, in Investigation Check: Spectacular Settlements, I’m a big fan of that book. That’s why I was excited to also receive Nord Games Dangerous Destinations book as well. I’m also excited that Nord Games is also planning a book called Wonderous Worlds which will be the 3rd book in this series, but I can’t seem to find where I found out where I heard about it. Regardless, I’ve had Dangerous Destinations since March of this year, and I’ve been patiently waiting for an opportunity to put it to use, so that’s what we’re going to do now for building out Odyn’s Lair.
One great thing about Spectacular Settlements, is they had downloadable Fillable Sheets for the type of settlement you were designing. Unfortunately, these do not exist for Dangerous Destinations. If you are a member of the Nord Games Discord Server, you can search on Dangerous Destinations and see why there isn’t a set. We’ll just have to continue without it.
Dangerous Destinations starts with the Prelude chapter that helps guide you towards the type of destination you need, helping to set the stage by giving you ideas to be interwoven into the story surrounding it.
The Prelude section starts with the Theme.
ThemeDangerous Destinations – Prelude – Theme. Page 7.
What is the important or overarching theme of this destination? It is likely that the theme is closely tied to the danger, but it could be related to other aspects as well. Let the theme be a guide for your imagination as your dangerous destination takes shape.
Since some of this information that we build out will need to be based and rooted in our existing story, I’m not going to roll specifically on the Theme table, but rather pick something that is fitting. Much like Spectacular Settlements, I expect these options will probably be key in driving the rest of the build out (or maybe not).
By looking at the table, I believe the most logical choice is 17 – Curse.
Curse. A looming negative occurrence bound to a person, place, or thing. Curses are often in response to some perceived wrong in the eyes of whoever cast them.Dangerous Destinations – Prelude – Theme. Page 7.
After the Theme, there are three more tables we need to look at. Previous Presence, Continued Presence, and Destination Type.
Was there something else here before? I think this is a table we will certainly roll on. I roll 1d20 for a result of 9.
Secret Spot. This area was known only to select individuals, and its use and purpose was confidential to all but the trusted few.Dangerous Destinations – Prelude – Previous Presence. Page 8.
Hmm, we will have to see how this morphs into our story.
Is the presence still there? This table requires a 1d10, so I roll for a result of of 3.
Traces. What was here has been replaced by the destination, however there is still evidence, or small clues, pointing to what was once here.Dangerous Destinations – Prelude – Continued Presence. Page 8.
Let’s roll on the final table before we form a final thought here.
So exactly what type of place is Odyn’s Lair? This table requires a 1d12 roll. My result is 4.
Headquarters. Central location where command of a company, organization or fighting force has been established.Dangerous Destinations – Prelude – Destination Type. Page 9.
Interesting, so our destination is going to be a Headquarters that was once a secret spot that has trace evidence of the previous use and purpose. I have a very distinct idea now of who occupied this spot last dealing with what has already occurred in our story. Since we now know what type of destination we are building, we can turn to page 35 in Dangerous Destinations and start working on that.
Part One: Destinations – Headquarters
A headquarters is the central hub for some sort of organization, be it military, commercial, political, or just a club of private individuals who share the same ideals, ambitions or skills. It is usually the place where the organization’s leadership can be found, a place where documents or other important items are stored and used, and where plans and decisions regarding the future of the organization are made. The headquarters may be established and widely known and visited, such as that of a prominent banking chain or guild or may instead be a secret known only to those with membership privileges. Similarly, it may be located in a bespoke structure, or use other buildings on an ad hoc basis.Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters. Page 35.
The first step in building out a headquarters, is to determine the Age of the destination. When the headquarters was established. For this we need to roll 1d12. I roll 1d12 for a result of 7. This is between 4-7 as specified on the range for this result, so this headquarters is considered Old.
Old. This place is between 100 and 200 years old.Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters – Age. Page 36.
To determine the size, we need to roll another 1d12. My result is 12. A Large Compound.
Compound (Large). The headquarters operates out of a group of structures.Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters – Size. Page 36.
1-4: 1d10+4 small structures
5-6: 1d10+4 large structures
(Roll six times on the notable contents table)
So, we have some additional rolls we need to make. First, we I roll 1d6 for a result of 2. Since this is between 1-4, we need to roll 1d10 and add 4 to determine the number of small structures in the compound. My 1d10 roll results in 5, so it has 9 small structures.
We also need to note that we’ll need 6 times on the notable contents table discussed soon.
To determine the condition of this headquarters, we need to roll 1d12 for that. I roll for a result of 10. Since my result is within the 10-11 range, it’s in Excellent condition.
Excellent. The headquarters is well-organized and very clean. Structural maintenance has been made a high priority, and there are no apparent vulnerabilities. The structure’s doors and windows seem to work, locks function, and it is sealed off from the elements the best that it can be.Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters – Condition. Page 36.
As per the note for a large compound as noted under size, we need to roll 6 times on the Notable Contents table via a 1d20. I roll 1d20 6 times for the following results: 6, 10, 19, 15, 6 and 5. Therefore my notable structures are as follows:
Notable Contents Results
|Alcohol. This is an intoxicating beverage which, when consumed beyond one’s physical limits, leads to drunkenness.
|Maps. These depict various locations, either of the immediate area, or other areas of interest to the occupants of the headquarters. Though likely to be documents, they could also be found on a wall, or even a tabletop or other surface. (Since we got 2 different results of 6, we’ll have two maps in the headquarters.)
|Maintenance Tools. These tools are used for repairs around the headquarters.
|Specialist Equipment. Kit issued to an occupant of the headquarters tasked with a special kind of job, such as a demolitionist, siege engineer, field medic, spy, etc.
|Contraband. An item not allowed by those in command of the headquarters.
Who currently occupies the headquarters now?
For this, we need to roll 1d20. My 1d20 result is 2, which is in the range of 1-8, so the Original residents.
Original. The original residents, their descendants, or successors currently occupy the headquarters. They might be responsible for constructing the headquarters, or those they stationed here (or their descendants/successors).Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters – Current Inhabitants. Page 37.
This is making a lot of sense for what I have in mind since we discovered its previous presence from the Prelude section.
For this table I need to roll 1d10. My result is 9. The inhabitants of the headquarters are Disciplined.
Disciplined. The inhabitants have firm structure. Roles or jobs appear to be clearly defined, with individuals moving about with purpose. Evidence of routines or schedules can be seen clearly. Significant failure to adhere to the system in place may result in punishment.Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters – Inhabitant Discipline. Page 38.
(Treat all vigilance roll results of ‘None’, or ‘Wary’ as ‘Prudent’)
So now we need to roll 1d20 to determine how much effort has been devoted to establishing security. I roll 1d20 for a result of 2. This WOULD be None, but based on the description for Disciplined Inhabitants we have to choose the result of Prudent.
Prudent. The headquarters is taking necessary precautions.Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters – Vigilance. Page 38.
(Roll twice on alarms table)
(Roll once on traps table rolls)
We need to roll twice on this table based on the headquarters Vigilance with a d6. I roll 1d6 twice for a result of and 5 and 1. So we have both types of alarms in the headquarters.
|Certain key points near or within the headquarters have a simple noise alarm, such as a string with pieces of debris hanging on it, which make noise when jostled.
|Certain key points near or within the headquarters have a mechanism (or, possibly, magic) which, when triggered, gives off some kind of alert. The alert may be loud and startling, more subtle, or may even only be audible in certain locations or to certain individuals.
Since the Vigilance of the headquarters is Prudent, we need to roll 1d6 on the Traps table. I roll 1d6 for a result of 3 which is Basic Traps.
Basic Traps. The headquarters is protected by simple traps intended to inconvenience, slow, or otherwise hamper unauthorized individuals.Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters – Traps. Page 38.
Environment & Danger
On page 39 of Dangerous Destinations, we find that now we need to roll for the Environment of the headquarters and also its danger. I honestly had a thought of where I was planning on placing Odyn’s Lair within the realm of Epica, however I’ve decided to allow the fate of the dice tell me. Besides, depending on the results here, there are additional details in Part 2: Environments and Part 3: Dangers within Dangerous Destinations we can take advantage of.
To determine the environment for this headquarters, we need to roll 1d12 on the Headquarters Environment table. I roll 1d12 for a result of 5. Jungle (page 123).
We’ll come back to this once we roll on the next table.
At first, I was thinking to myself, there is no need to roll on this table. The danger is obviously Odyn… but wait why couldn’t there be other dangers here? So, let’s roll a 1d20 on the Headquarters Danger table and see what our results are. I roll 1d20 for a result of 13. Mercenary Company.
Mercenary Company. Turn to the Danger: Humanoids chapter and roll on its tables (p. 188).Dangerous Destinations – Part One: Destinations – Headquarters – Headquarters Danger. Page 39.
Your group type result is automatically ‘Mercenary Company’.
Part Two: Environments
Since our result for the Headquarters Environment was Jungle, we need to jump to page 123 in the second part of Dangerous Destinations – Environments for the Jungle section.
Jungles are rich with all manner of life; countless plants, insects, birds and other creatures call them home. However, they are utterly deadly to those who are unprepared. Many an expedition to the jungle has been overcome by the sweltering heat, dangerous wildlife, and virulent diseases, or simply been swallowed up by the pressing foliage, never to be seen again. The desert may kill you with indifference, but few places seem to actively wish death upon those who travel there as much as the jungle.Dangerous Destinations – Part Two: Environments – Jungle. Page 123.
We need to roll 1d10 on the Destination Location table to determine where in the Jungle the headquarters is located at. My result is 5 so that’s the Inner Jungle.
Inner Jungle. The destination is roughly equidistant between the outer edge of the jungle and its heart.Dangerous Destinations – Part Two: Environments – Jungle – Destination Location. Page 124.
Notable Environmental Features
Now I roll 1d20 for a result of 1 to determine any notable landmarks nearby. For my result, this means Cliffs.
Cliffs. A steep rock face, 1d100 x 10 feet high.Dangerous Destinations – Part Two: Environments – Jungle – Notable Environmental Features. Page 124.
I roll 1d100 for a result of 40, so this cliff is 400 feet high.
Destination Tree Density
A 1d12 roll is needed to determine how dense the trees are at this location. My result is 5 therefore the density is Natural.
Natural. The trees around the destination are spaced naturally. Movement of medium creatures and vehicles to and from the destination is unimpeded, though larger varieties may need to take special care or use a specific route. There are a good number of long lines of sight from multiple directions. During daylight hours, light is mottled through the canopy, to illuminate the forest floor in patches, but there is at least dim light everywhere.
Night Time Effect: The destination remains dark until an hour after sunrise, and is dim for an hour after that. The destination descends into dim light two hours before sunset, and is fully dark an hour before sunset.Dangerous Destinations – Part Two: Environments – Jungle – Destination Tree Density. Page 125.
Jungle Floor Terrain
To determine the jungle floor, I roll 1d6 on the Jungle Floor Terrain table for a result of 3. The floor is Uneven.
Uneven. The jungle floor around the destination is uneven with random swells, depressions, and some exposed roots.
Travel Effect: Approaching the destination without adequate light or familiarity with this specific area is difficult, and tripping is very possible. A path may need to be cut in some places. Movement under such conditions should impose penalties against stealth, speed, etc.
Maximum Travel Speed: NormalDangerous Destinations – Part Two: Environments – Jungle – Jungle Floor Terrain. Page 126.
Present Natural Hazards
I need to roll 1d4-1 (minimum 0) to determine how many times to roll on the present natural hazards table. My result is 1, minus 1, therefore I won’t be rolling on this table.
For Recent Weather, we need to roll 1d8. My result is 2, therefore the recent weather has been Mild.
Mild. The weather has been unremarkable, tame, and average for the region and season. If there was any precipitation, it was not enough to leave behind any difficult terrain.Dangerous Destinations – Part Two: Environments – Jungle – Recent Weather. Page 127.
However, we need to also determine what the weather will be like when our party arrives. For this I roll 1d6 for a result of 3. Still Mild.
Mild. The current weather is seasonably normal; any recent precipitation or rough weather has let up.Dangerous Destinations – Part Two: Environments – Jungle – Current Weather. Page 128.
And lastly for Part 2: Environments, we need to roll 1d8 to determine the what beasts, if any, are typically found in or near the destination. My result is 4 which is None.
None. There is no additional wildlife.Dangerous Destinations – Part Two: Environments – Jungle – Local Fauna. Page 129.
Part Three: Dangers
As a reminder for what we rolled for the Headquarters Danger table, it was Mercenary Company and we needed to turn to page 188, the Humanoids section in Part 3: Dangers for this. We also need to keep in mind that the group type result is automatically ‘Mercenary Company’.
Humanoids, in this context, are considered to be bipedal creatures with the overall capability for complex thought and organization. By no means are all humanoids extremely intelligent or civilized (just visit any tavern on a Saturday night…), but they, at least, have the capacity to think and act in ways more complex than those creatures covered by the Beasts & Unintelligent Monsters chapter, which tend to be far more animalistic, instinctual, or just exceedingly simple.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids Page 188.
Since our Group Type is already specified as Mercenary Company, there is no need to roll on this table. I assume it’s a typo either in page 39 or on this page, but we’ll quote the Mercenaries result on the table here.
Mercenaries. A private fighting force for hire, either for direct combat, or as guards.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Group Type. Page 189.
For Group Size, I roll 1d10 as needed for a result of 6 which is Moderate.
Moderate. The group is made up of 1d10+10 individuals.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Group Size. Page 189.
Another 1d10 results in 5, so we have 15 individuals. We also need to make a note that the number of individuals rolled on this table may factor into rolls on the group leadership table.
I need to roll another 1d10 to determine how many of the group (if any) are from the area in or around the destination. My result is 4 so that’s All Locals.
All Locals. The entire group is from the area in or around the destination.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Group Locality. Page 189.
This makes perfect sense for what I have in mind.
Once again, I need to roll 1d10 to determine the Group Leadership. My result is 6, Solo.
Solo. There is one leader; all others are considered equal.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Group Leadership. Page 190.
For leader strengths, I roll 1d12 as required for a result of 1. Smart.
Smart. The leader possesses great wisdom, learned from their peers, observations and life experiences.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Leader Strengths. Page 190.
This of course sounds fitting for Odyn.
Now I need to roll 1d20 to determine what the primary flaw or deficiency is for Odyn.
I roll 1d20 for a result of 13 which is Cruel.
Cruel. The leader has very few qualms (or none whatsoever) about wilfully causing pain to others (or ordering others to do so, on their behalf).Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Leader Weaknesses. Page 191.
I think we already knew that about Odyn Bledstone didn’t we.
To determine general attitude and demeanor for the group, I roll 1d10 on the Group Attitude table for a result of 7 which is Serious.
Serious. The group is straight-laced and humorless; there is hardly a smile between them.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Group Attitude. Page 191.
What about Group Loyalty? This requires a 1d10 in which my result is 6 for Heritage.
Heritage. The group is driven somehow by their ties to an important legacy or shared history, and it is that bond that keeps them all together.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Group Loyalty. Page 192.
To determine just how loyal they are, I roll 1d20 on the Loyalty Extent Table for a result of 9. This falls into the range of 7-11 on the results table which means they are Loyal
Loyal. The group is dedicated. So long as they aren’t given a decent reason to change their minds, they will do what’s in the group’s best interest, as well as that of the leadership.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Loyalty Extent. Page 192.
Non-Group Local Familiarity
We need to find out how familiar are the locals in the area with the group and their
activities. I already have something in mind, but once again I’ll leave that up to the fate of the dice. I roll 1d8 for a result of 3 which means Familiar.
Familiar. Most locals are familiar with the group, and know a fair amount of general information about them, but nothing the group expressly tries to keep secret. The locals are relatively ambivalent towards the group.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Non-Group Local Familiarity. Page 193.
Are there any other complications going on in the group? Let’s find out by rolling 1d20, in which I get the result of 3.
No Complications. Nothing is currently complicating things. Things are business as usual.Dangerous Destinations – Part Three: Dangers – Humanoids – Group Complications. Page 193.
I guess everything is just peachy for them.
For the final portion of Part Three: Dangers, I roll 1d10 on the Situational Influence table for a result of 1. This is Seeking Someone. The result also has an additional table to determine who that someone is, but I’m going to intervene and say the group has been looking for Mara. She has Odyn’s Rune, and he seeks to have it back so he can in turn become more powerful to ultimately regain control of the Umbral Sphere.
So, we’ve completed the build out of this Dangerous Destination, but what does it all mean now? I’m going to take all this information and feed it into ChatGPT in my chat set aside for this solo game. I’ll then take the results and work it into the narrative.
Now, back to our story
After a hearty breakfast, the party gathers in Blyris Bledstone’s office. The atmosphere is charged with a sense of urgency as Blyris addresses the group. “I’ve compiled reports from our scouts regarding Odyn’s recent activities,” he begins. “While they couldn’t determine how Cord Stomrock had come across the Umbral Sphere, they did manage to track Odyn’s movements.”
He pauses, allowing the weight of the news to settle in before continuing. “Odyn has taken over a headquarters located in the jungle on the west side of the mountains and southwest of Dreadmere. This headquarters was previously controlled by Cord Stomrock and his Disciples of the Shadowed Eye. It seems that after losing the Umbral Sphere, Odyn relentlessly pursued its whereabouts, which eventually led him to this stronghold.”
Mara raises an inquisitive eyebrow. “A headquarters? Tell us more about it.”
“It’s the former meeting place of the Disciples of the Shadowed Eye,” Blyris explains. “Odyn recognized it as Cord’s hideout due to the lingering traces of the Umbral Sphere’s magic.”
Alaric chimes in, his voice heavy with concern. “It’s a substantial compound consisting of nine structures, each with a history dating back around 200 years. It’s located in the jungle near a cliff—specifically, a steep rock face around 400 feet high. The jungle is rich with life, but it’s treacherous for the unprepared.”
Mara leans forward, absorbing the information. “And the security?”
“We have the details,” Alaric replies. “The Disciples residing in the headquarters have established a disciplined system. Roles and routines are clearly defined, and they’re organized and efficient.”
Thenelis adds, “What about the security measures?”
“Indeed,” Blyris confirms, “they’ve fortified the headquarters with various security measures. From basic noise alarms to more sophisticated alerts, they’ve taken precautions.”
Ulmog interjects, “What about traps?”
“The headquarters is equipped with basic traps,” Alaric answers. “They’re intended to hinder intruders or slow them down.”
Mara leans back, contemplating the situation. “So, Odyn seized control of Cord’s operation. But for what purpose?”
Alaric’s gaze sharpens. “Though Cord might not be present, Odyn saw an opportunity to assume leadership over the cult. The Disciples, driven by loyalty to their legacy, embraced Odyn’s command.”
Morn interjects thoughtfully, “And what’s his interest in the Rune?”
“Odyn desires the Rune because it’s his, in a way,” Alaric explains. “He circulated rumors about its existence, knowing you were nearby. It’s part of his scheme to reclaim it and restore his power.”
Mara clenches her fists, resolve hardening. “Our priority is to stop him.”
Alaric nods emphatically. “Exactly. But we must proceed with caution.”
Blyris adds, “Odyn and his followers are formidable adversaries. We need a meticulous plan before we act.”
Mara’s eyes narrow as she solidifies her determination. “Then let’s formulate that plan. Our goal is to neutralize Odyn’s threat and prevent him from regaining the Rune and Umbral Sphere.”
The group shares determined looks, united against the darkness that has emerged. The air in Blyris Bledstone’s office buzzes with purpose as they begin to strategize against the enigmatic and dangerous adversary that lurks in the shadows. With Odyn’s lair located deep within the jungle, adjacent to a towering cliff, and inhabited by fifteen disciplined cultists, their mission is poised to be one of the greatest challenges they’ve faced yet.
This turned out to be quite a lengthy post with the build out of Odyn’s Lair, however in the next post our party will finalize their plan to confront Odyn. There was nothing to change our our Mythic Scene or characters sheet IMHO, so the scene will still continue on in the next post as well.
Till next time!