2 – Down, Trophy Gold: Roots of Old Kalduhr

Read over the first level of the Roots of Old Kalduhr – The Climb, the Streets and the first level Sets. Naturally, I decided to jump into the Set I seem to have barely skimmed.

Roots of Old Kalduhr title pic

Beams of light streak down on subterranean stone with a climber in front of a faceless statue of a Lost Sister in a cyclopean alcove.

Last game Kel and Baso and Aksil made camp after getting lost in the forest. This week, Baso’s player was feeling poorly and so Aaron’s character, Kel, and the NPC Hireling, Aksil, had to meet Jay’s character, Pela.

I had read the Climb and the Streets but the Set they eventually arrived at I had only skimmed but the way the Sets are laid out, short sweet descriptions and lots of bullet-points, make them easy to jump into as we go. If I had needed to, I could’ve easily just asked for a minute to read it over but it wasn’t necessary this time.

Spears Subject Divider Image 
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1922.26.a
Ancient and worn gold coin with Trophy Gold written above it.

We decided that Kel and Pela had known each other back in the day before they had set aside their backgrounds. Aaron described Kel as reaching for a purpose like he had when he was a Kingsguard and Jay described Pela as growing his hair out and trying to move past his days as a priest. When I asked how hard we had to work to figure out where Pela had been or how Kel and Baso had been separated, I was assured the table wasn’t fretting about it all that much. We got to playing and will figure the rest out later.

Ancient and worn gold coin

In the midst of ancient statues to primordial deities whose names are lost to time, worn away by wind and rain was a Kalduhri glyph and a scroll amidst some leavings. After some Hunt rolls to figure out the details, Pela did the Ritual, spilling some of their own blood and asking Kel to spill theirs in order to open the entrance to the Roots of Old Kalduhr (see cool-ass Devil’s Bargains below).

Ancient and worn gold coin

The entry led to The Climb, which was a huge, hewn pit with stairways corkscrewing downward. Kel found tracks of Treasure-Hunters who had come before them and the Hunt roll asked for something awful – so one of the Treasure-Hunters had been killed by their comrade. They had to fight the Petty Imps, left behind by the Treasure-Hunters’ in-fighting and violence – they took a short-sword off of the corpse.

Ancient and worn gold coin

Aaron asked me about the architecture and I started to stutter a response and so he helped me out, “Judd, I’m going to see what I can learn about Old Kalduhri society from the buildings.” After the Hunt Roll, I described the simple, square villas in this area and how he could tell that the Kalduhri society was highly hierarchical, with these simple hovels giving way to villas and then on to palaces made of stalagmites and stalactites – also, Cave Hounds…

Ancient and worn gold coin

I had described crystal lights flickering on as they passed, but not creating really useful light, just making the shadows creepier. Kel got out a torch when I asked who was dealing with the lack of light and they made their way around a pack of Cave Hounds, gnawing on the flesh and bones of another dead Treasure-Hunter. I asked how they were looking for an area with treasure. Aaron said they were looking for areas where the crystal lights were in good repair – and with that, I picked my Set.

Ancient and worn gold coin

They found a villa that was in unnaturally good repair. There was a fountain in the courtyard with a statue of children leading 6 animals in a circle – one of the animals’ statues was broken. Kel put the broken one together and I said it was a Cthonic creature that was unsettling. Pela was sifting through the algae-thick water when the construct attacked them with a porcelain-lion head and a silver bell in one hand.

The unnamed construct went down after some effort, dealing out Ruin as it went. We ended the game with the construct ringing its silver bell as it perished and other silver bells answering the call throughout the villa.

Devil's Bargain with a scary black and white stag with a flame above its head between its horns.

Devil’s Bargains from this session:

Exit will be complicated by forest creatures, drawn by the blood…

The denizens will look at Pela as a Blood-giver…

What is a blood-giver? We’ll find out in play.

Spear Subject Divider

What is a Devil’s Bargain, you ask? From the book:

Treasure-hunters laugh at danger, fueled by the folly of their pride. But failure nips at their heels, waiting
for the perfect moment to strike. When you gather dice to make a Risk Roll, the gm or any other player
can offer you a bonus light die if you accept a Devil’s Bargain from them. Common Devil’s Bargains include:

Causing collateral damage or unintended harm 

Getting lost or separated from your companions

Sacrificing an item or piece of treasure

Betraying a fellow treasure-hunter
Attracting unwanted attention

The Devil’s Bargain occurs regardless of the outcome of the roll. You make the deal, pay the price, and get the bonus die. The Devil’s Bargain is always a free choice. If you don’t like one, just reject it (or suggest how to alter it so you might consider taking it).

Anyone may veto or suggest alterations to a proposed Devil’s Bargain, especially if it would also impact their treasure-hunter. You may only offer and accept Devil’s Bargains when making a Risk Roll.
Bestiary with Trophy Gold and Trophy Dark symbols embossed on the worn leather of an ancient looking tome.

Petty Imp, ghostly spectres, ENDURANCE: 4
Weakness: holy stuff

Cave Hounds, six eyes, crunch bone, long legged crocodile

Spears Subject Divider Image 
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1922.26.a

Takeaways: On one hand, I want to read the rest of the Sets carefully. On the other hand, if I don’t it won’t be the end of the world.

Ready for Next Week: Do they want to run or delve on or spend 3 Treasure Tokens, get the treasure and get the eff outta there?

These designs and more in my Threadless shop – t-shirts of all kinds, mugs, stickers and even shower curtains…

Blog of Judd Karlman from Daydreaming about Dragons

This session was played via Zoom on

2 thoughts on “2 – Down, Trophy Gold: Roots of Old Kalduhr

  1. Pingback: 3 – Out from the Roots, Trophy Gold: Roots of Old Kalduhr – Githyanki Diaspora

  2. Pingback: 4 – Buzz, Trophy Gold: Roots of Old Kalduhr – Githyanki Diaspora

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