Nov 26 2020

Shady’s Solo Adventure Continues

Posted by

Picking up right where we left off

The Dragonfly was a more imposing ship than its name implied. A three-masted frigate, it dwarfed Shady’s own Moonlit Horizon and outgunned it by half. On the dock below teamsters came and went, loading the ship with stores. Shady sauntered casually among them, looking from crate to crate as any curious mariner might; but there was no sign of any munitions to be found.

“Shade-Of-the-Candle!” came a voice from above. “What are you doing poking your nose around my ship?” Shady looked up, smirking. Captain Ainsworth peered down at her with good-natured suspicion.

“Keeping an eye on the competition, what does it look like?” Shady replied. “It’s lean times for us little guys who don’t have the Lady Patrician’s ear.”

“We don’t have to be competitors,” Ainsworth said. “Come on up and sign articles, I could use an escort on this trip.”

“Ha! And have to hear you calling yourself ‘Commodore’? Not likely,” said Shady.

“More fool you,” Ainsworth replied. “Turning away easy money.”

“If it was so easy you wouldn’t want an escort,” said Shady. “What’s the journey?” (SHADY PERSUASION DC 15: 15)

“It’s not for the ears of the world to hear,” said Captain Ainsworth. “C’mon up, we’ll talk over a drink, I could use a break.”

(FATE QUESTION: Does Ainsworth intend to tell Shady the truth? NO)

A quick bound up the gangway and to the sterncastle of the Dragonfly led Shady into Ainsworth’s cabin. It was larger than Shady’s equivalent on the Moonlit Horizon, with a large table that doubled for holding large maps or hosting shipboard dinners. Currently it was covered with charts and logbooks, which Ainsworth was already covering by the time Shady stepped in. “There’s a bit of that crazy slime ale from Winnowing Reach if it suits you,” Ainsworth said. “Otherwise, help yourself to a bit of port.”

“Oh hell no,” said Shady, laughing. “Why do you even have that stuff?”

“Sometimes I want to impress visitors,” said Ainsworth. “I’ll stick with the port, myself.”

Shady chuckled as she poured the drinks; Ainsworth gestured for her to sit. “So what’s this journey of yours, then?” she said.

“Mostly precious ore and gemstones to Dragonwatch Keep,” Ainsworth said. “It’s a short trip, but if word’s got to pirates somehow…”

(SHADY INSIGHT DC 16: 17. She already knew he was lying because she saw the manifest; what she wants to figure out is why. EVENT MEANING ROLL: Why is Ainsworth (and the L.P.) keeping it secret from Shady? 23/23, “Judge/Balance”. It sounds like they’re worried that this shipment might tip the balance of power in the region. FATE QUESTION: Did the L.P. order Ainsworth to keep it secret because he was the only one she trusted? YES. That 23/23 is close enough to a double digit roll that we need a random event! Heck, what are the chances of two d100 rolls coming up the same twice? EVENT FOCUS ROLL: PC Negative. I think it’s time for Shady to open her big mouth.)

“Gemstones my ass!” Shady spat, slamming her drink glass down on the table. “Don’t LIE to me, Ainsworth! What’s really going on? Those are no gemstones you’re loading into your hold.” The Captain of the Dragonfly narrowed his eyes, but said nothing at this outburst. Shady glared at him for a long moment.

“Fine,” she finally said. “Nothing to say, huh?”

“I have my orders,” said Ainsworth. “If you want to stop being ‘one of the little guys,’ you’re going to have to learn what that means, Shade-Of-the-Candle. You’re sharp as a razor and you’ve got a good nose for the wind, but neither of those are any good without discipline. What does it matter what’s in my hold? If you wanted a piece of this job, you’d be expected to follow orders regardless of whatever it might be.”

(SHADY WISDOM SAVE DC 13: 9. She’s been goaded into saying more than she means to!)

Shady rose to her feet, coming nose-to-nose with Ainsworth. “I could deliver munitions to Dragonwatch Keep as well as anybody, and faster too. You might have more guns, but I’m way better for a chase and you know it. I don’t see why the Lady Patrician shouldn’t know it too.”

(FATE QUESTION: Will Ainsworth try to keep Shady prisoner so she doesn’t reveal the secret? EXCEPTIONAL NO.)

Ainsworth looked pained. “There’s no way you should know what’s in that shipment, Shady,” he said. “Somebody’s got loose lips.”

“And YOU should get better at covering your tracks, Dryden,” said Shady. “But I don’t give a damn about your munitions. I want to know why you’re getting jobs, and I’m not.”

“It’s not like that,” said Ainsworth. “You’re not being singled out. Even Kia, Sterling, and Adric don’t know. It was just going to be an ordinary job before… things got complicated.”

Shady’s brow furrowed. “What THINGS?”

Ainsworth shook his head. “Don’t want me to lie to you, Shady? Then don’t ask me questions I can’t answer.” He strode to the cabin door and opened it. “Go on, get out. Head back to your ship. In fact, you might want to take it to some other port for a while. Zan-Xadar maybe, or Oriab. If word gets to the Lady Patrician that you’ve been spying—”


“Well what else do you call it?”

“I call it trying to get a straight answer.”

Ainsworth looked away, pointedly holding the door open. “Go, Shady. There’s nothing more to discuss.”

“No,” said Shady. “I guess there’s not.”

Lady Patrician
Dragonwatch Keep
Captain Dryden Ainsworth
Wharfmaster Fean Wavecrest
Kia (Captain of the Recluse)
Sterling (Captain of the Silver Corsair)
Adric (Captain of the Blue Fin)


Steal the alchemist’s fire
The privateers’ rivalry
The L.P.’s intrigues
Ainsworth’s botched security vs. Shady’s spying
What are the complications?

Next Scene: Now you’ve made Shady curious. But first, some meta-work…

Nov 25 2020

A Very Short Solo Adventure ¬.¬

Posted by

Shady On the Attack!

In response to my Playing Shady Instead of Writing Her post, RebelSqurl gifted me with a copy of the Mythic Game Master Emulator and a few other similar items, with a brief description of how he’s basically been using it to run solo adventures with his own characters. So, having today off, I dug into it, combining it with some of the random adventure generation tables in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and a few notions of my own to create a “random Shade-Of-the-Candle adventure generator.”

Learning the system and getting comfortable with it took most of the day, but I developed a very intriguing story premise by taking a few seed words, asking a few pointed Fate Questions, and then creating the first scene which I played out using Shady’s D&D character sheet. Now that I’ve got a feel for it, I’m looking forward to “running” Shady through the rest of this adventure, and discovering the story as I go!

For your entertainment, here’s what I came up with, so far. If the final product comes out well (and I think it just might), I’ll go ahead and write it as a full-fledged story.


Step One: Create Setup

Generated Keywords: pirate, Dragonwatch Keep, pursuit of energy

Shady has found out about a shipment of materials used to make alchemist’s fire on its way to Dragonwatch Keep, and would love to get her claws on it, whether to sell it in Everkeep or to keep it for the Moonlit Horizon.

FATE QUESTION: Did the Lady Patrician point Shady toward this?
RESULT: “Exceptional No.” The Lady Patrician has agents working against the capture of the shipment!

FATE QUESTION: Is the Lady Patrician’s agent somebody Shady knows?
RESULT: “Exceptional Yes.” It’s somebody that Shady’s close to.

FATE QUESTION: Does Shady know that the agent works for the L.P.?

FATE QUESTION: Are they lovers?

FATE QUESTION: Is the agent another privateer?
RESULT: “Exceptional yes.” It’s the L.P.’s best!

Step Two: Generate Lists

Lady Patrician
Dragonwatch Keep
The Privateer


Steal the alchemist’s fire
The privateers’ rivalry
The L.P.’s intrigues

Step Three: Create and Resolve Scenes

Opening Scene

A person of interest (the Harbormaster) sends Shady on the adventure
MODIFIED: Shady learns about the shipment by finagling a look at the Harbormaster’s log

“C’mon, Fean,” said Shade-Of-the-Candle. “There has GOT to be something. I’ve got a ship and crew both just baking in the sun and not a cargo in sight. Did Everkeep suddenly fall off the trade routes?”

Fean Wavecrest, the imposing, gray-skinned wharfmaster of Everkeep, blinked down at her impassively. “You don’t usually ship cargo,” he said. “And when you do bring it into the town, I always assume that it came from some other ship first.”

The tabaxi scowled. “Are you calling me a pirate?” she snarled. “The Moonlit Horizon is a licensed privateer. You’ve seen the letters of marque, signed by the Lady Patrician herself.”

“What the Moonlit Horizon may or may not be, there are no cargoes for her. Now move along, I have work to do.”

“How can you possibly have work to do if there are no cargoes in port?” Shady demanded.

“There are repairs, new ships to build, customs to levy, and hundreds of laborers to keep in line,” replied the goliath.

(SHADY INSIGHT DC 10: 2. She believes it. But she has another idea.) “The Dragonfly is prepping for a voyage,” she said. “How is it Ainsworth has a cargo and I don’t? I know he’s not on commission.”

“Captain Ainsworth has a private arrangement, you’d have to take it up with him.”

“But he had to put down something for your log.”

“He did. And your eyes will never see it.”

“Oh, c’moooon, Fean. Have I ever been anything but good to you? Give us a hint.” (SHADY PERSUASION DC 16: 17)

The goliath sighed. “I’m not getting you out from underfoot without throwing you a bone, am I?”

Shady grinned. “You bet your stoney butt you’re not.”

“Fine.” The goliath picked up his logbook, making a big show of holding up the logbook as if he were looking up something else, in a manner that Shady couldn’t help but see one of the pages. “What time is the tide today? Ah yes. Surely it must be soon. Why, it’s nearly upon us, isn’t it? I have it written down here.”

Shady’s eyes quickly scanned the page, until she came to the desired row. “Dragonfly, frigate out of Everkeep, Captain Dryden Ainsworth. Cargo: Munitions. Destination: Dragonwatch Keep. Leaving: Evening tide, 22 July 1704 N.K.” Shady’s eyes widened. Munitions could mean anything from cannonballs to empty muskets, but a shipment like that meant there was money involved.

Money that Shade-Of-the-Candle was not collecting.

Not yet.

She smirked up at the goliath wharfmaster, who quickly slapped the logbook shut. “Right,” he said. “I’m going now. I wonder if I might find a few loose coins just lying around on my desk when I get back.”

Shady grinned, already spreading a bit of gold on the desk before making for the door. “You just might, at that,” she said.

Lady Patrician
Dragonwatch Keep
Captain Dryden Ainsworth
Wharfmaster Fean Wavecrest


Steal the alchemist’s fire
The privateers’ rivalry
The L.P.’s intrigues

Shady sneaking aboard (or snooping around) the Dragonfly to learn more about the shipment