Sundered Skies Hardcore

The Ice Tower -- Part 1

The Ice Tower…


The first set of doors that Gorlag buried…


Hidden runes in the floor of second entrance of the Ice Tower’s…


“Go back to the tormentor or through the arch, and the second great hall you’ll discover. Shun green if you can, but night’s good color is for those of great valor. If shades of red stand for blood the wise will not need sacrifice aught but a loop of magical metal—you’re well along your march. Two pits along the way will be found to lead to a fortuitous fall, so check the wall. These keys and those are most important of all, and beware of trembling hands and what will maul. If you find the false you find the true and into the columned hall you’ll come, and there the throne that’s key and keyed. The iron men of visage grim do more than meets the viewer’s eye. You’ve left and left and found my Tomb and now your soul will die.”

The hallway of the second entrance…


The box in the wall…


The end of the second entrance hallway…


“A fork of the red tile path leads directly to a leering devil face set in the mosaic at the corridor’s end. The devil’s mouth gapes wide and empty—in fact it is dead black, emitting no hint of light and allowing none entry…”


“A section of the red tile path leads into a mist-filled stone archway. Three large stones are embedded in the arch. Each has a different hue—yellow on the lower left, bluish at the top of the arch, and orange on the lower right…”


The Ice Tower

The Ice Tower

Hawke asked the group to meet with a buisness partner of his named Skiller. The Phoenix will be ready to sail in about a week and Skiller wanted to hire it and the crew for a journey to the Draining Sea. He has already hired on the group’s old friend Kar Luckfinder and the Chance as well.

Skiller has a map to a place in the center of the Draining Sea that he believes is the ancient Ice Tower, a place created by the Battlelord and his Battlepriests (lead by the famous Orc priest Acerak) long ago and then abandoned. Skiller believes that untold wealth may be gained from the god touched relics left behind by the Battlelord.

Skiller’s plan is as follows; Phoenix will sail to the Draining Sea and moor up along the North East coast, where members of the Ice Bear clan will meet them. The orcs will portage the Chance across land—a distance of some 39 leagues, or about 100 miles—where she can be launched into the sea. Chance will allow the expedition to navigate the Ice Sea and approach the Tower. On the return, the orcs will escort the expedition back to the Phoenix.

The expedition is set to depart in a week. Accompanying the crews of the Phoenix and the Chance will be Skiller, Karag & Volrag (Orc brothers — Adventurers and friends of Skiller), Lean (Wildling Cat — hand servant for Skiller), and Eldeer (Elven Bard — performer to help stave off boredom and Glowmadness).

This was excerpts from Skiller’s tale…

Very few have heard the legend of the Ice Tower. Fewer have dared to seek it. None have returned! -Tales of The Draining Sea.

“Many years ago, I was trading in the Ice Isles amongst the orc tribes. I befriended one small tribe in particular, the Ice Claw, and became a member of the tribe. One day while I was absent, hunting for food on the Draining Sea with the tribal warriors, a rival clan attacked the tribe’s homeisle. Outnumbered and without many of their warriors, my adopted clan was slain.

“Returning to the camp, we found the massacre. Among the dead was their battlepriest, mortally wounded, but not yet dead. With his final words, he made me pledge to stop the returning warriors from seeking vengeance, as the attackers were too many. He asked me to take them to a neighboring island where they could join another clan. I promised to do as he asked, and he rewarded me with an old skin map.”

“I pondered long and hard on this map and the notes upon it. After many years, I encountered a songpriest who sang a tale of the Battlelord. In essence this tale related how the Battlelord resided within a tower of ice while he and his worshippers raised a permanent palace of iron hard ice. Once the palace was completed, the god abandoned the tower, never to return.

“I believe that this map shows both the Palace and the Ice Tower. The surrounding water is ice, melted by the Battlelord’s rage; the islands are composed of harder, glacial ice, like the tower and palace. I am looking for a few more hardy souls to accompany me to the Ice Tower. Within we may find relics touched by the god, himself; our fortune and our legends will be made. Are you with me?”



Aside from the normal gear a ship carries for ad hoc repairs and day-to-day living, the Phoenix will also carry these supplies being loaded by longshoremen from Hawke’s Clearing House:

  • 24 tree trunks (for rollers)
  • 30 barrels of skyler guts (to grease the rollers)
  • 8 ice axes (see below)
  • 20 blankets
  • 20 fur throws
  • 10 ceramic fl asks of oil
  • 10 sets of fl int and steel
  • 5 hooded lanterns (like a bull’s-eye lantern but with a hood that can be shut to keep the wind out)
  • 200 yards of rope in 20-yard lengths
  • 3 grappling hooks
  • 10 yards of sail cloth
  • 4 shovels
  • 4 picks
  • 20 sleeping canvases
  • 20 torches
  • 10 water skins
  • 10 sets of altitude attire (used by everyone who did not already have a set — but must be returned at voyage end)
December 1st
December 1st

Grim has signed a contract with Tomas Hawke of Hawke’s Clearing House giving him a third ownership of the Raven (including a third of all salvage scavenged) and two years guaranteed first chance to purchase all salvage. In return, it has allowed the group to hire six Ordinary Sky Sailors, a Bosun, and to purchase enough supplies for a month along with materials needed to repair the Raven well enough to tow her back to Gateway and then repair & refit her. The materials and men are being loaded on the Chance and another Cloud Skiff, the Unruly Pet, captained by an Elf named Davash Hardwood. The expedition is nearly ready to set sail back to the Raven’s crash site.


New hirelings come aboard…

Shawn “Sails” Laney (Henchman)

  • Race: Human (Male)
  • Rank: Bosun (150 Kogs/Month)
  • Description: About 55 yo. Silver/blond hair. One legged (missing left leg from knee down).
  • Stats: Boating d8, Climbing d4, Fighting d6, Kn: Astronomy d4, Kn: Sailmaking d8, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Pace 4, Toughness 5, Parry 5
  • Gear: Cutlass, two flintlock pistols, sailmaking kit.

Maurice Howard (Extra)

  • Race: Human (Male)
  • Rank: Ordinary Sky Sailor (50 Kogs/Month)
  • Description: Middle aged, short black hair. Brother of Jerome.
  • Stats: Boating d4, Climbing d4, Fighting d4, Notice d4, Shooting d4, Pace 6, Toughness 5, Parry 4
  • Gear: none

Jerome Howard (Extra)

  • Race: Human (Male)
  • Rank: Ordinary Sky Sailor (50 Kogs/Month)
  • Description: Middle aged, bald. Brother of Maurice.
  • Stats: Boating d4, Climbing d4, Fighting d4, Notice d4, Shooting d4, Pace 6, Toughness 5, Parry 4
  • Gear: none

Laurence Fine (Extra)

  • Race: Human (Male)
  • Rank: Ordinary Sky Sailor (50 Kogs/Month)
  • Description: Middle aged, wavy red hair in a pony tail. Balding up front.
  • Stats: Boating d4, Climbing d4, Fighting d4, Notice d4, Shooting d4, Pace 6, Toughness 5, Parry 4
  • Gear: none

Smoki (Extra)

  • Race: Wildling – Bear (Male)
  • Rank: Ordinary Seaman (room & board)
  • Description: Typical look of a ripped apart brown bear reformed into small humanoid.
  • Stats: Boating d4, Climbing d6, Fighting d4, Notice d4, Pace 6, Toughness 6, Parry 4, Claws/Bite Str(d6)+d6
  • Gear: none

Arnauld (Extra)

  • Race: Wildling – Pig (Male)
  • Rank: Ordinary Seaman (room & board)
  • Description: Typical look of a ripped apart wild pig reformed into small humanoid.
  • Stats: Boating d4, Climbing d6, Fighting d4, Notice d4, Pace 6, Toughness 5, Parry 4, Bite Str(d6)+d4
  • Gear: none

Hunee (Extra)

  • Race: Wildling – Badger (Female)
  • Rank: Ordinary Seaman (room & board)
  • Description: Typical look of a ripped apart badger reformed into small humanoid.
  • Stats: Boating d4, Climbing d6, Fighting d4, Notice d4, Pace 6, Toughness 6, Parry 4, Claws/Bite Str(d6)+d6
  • Gear: none
Game #1 Thursday, Nov.20

After some shopping at Gateway, the crew of the Chance set sail for the crash site of the Raven. An uneventful trip to the crash site was met with a brief skirmish with Barnacle Apes. Only after clearing the apes from the crash site, was the crew able to assess the damage to the Raven. The ship was partially covered with the remains of a brick tower that would have to be cleared. With only a few weeks of rations and a lower staircase beneath the tower to explore, a decision needs to be made about the next coarse of action. Grim set the head apes head on a spike at the entrance of the lower tunnel into the ship to deter any more apes from attacking while the group decided the next coarse of action.

Connections and Backstory Items

Warning: Still under construction.

Wanted (minor) — for debts on Shadowhaven.
Family HeirloomSkygrinder (Magic Hammer).

Rival — Nabaalu (Drakin). Business rival of Grim’s father. Wants to discredit the family through Grim.
Enemy — Dukadi (Drakin). He is the brother of Grim’s former lover and from a rival house.

Wanted/Enemy — Oakthorn deserter.

Enemy (major) — Bloody Jane (Human). Pirate and scorned former lover. She feels betrayed by his running away. She is Captain of the pirate frigate “Renegade”. (M49-83)
Wanted (minor) — identified as a pirate by the militia on Plenty.

Friend — Davash Hardwood (Elf). Captain of the cloudskiff “Unruly Pet” based in Heartland which runs food from Plenty, ice from the Ice Isles, and occasionally other supplies to and from Gateway.

Enemy (minor) — Uzgak (Orc). His father. (Zack always has father issues)

Setting Rules


Sundered Skies — Hard Core RPG Setting Rules

== At character creation no Skill or Attribute can be above a d8.

== No Background Edges may ever be taken after character creation.

== Important Knowledge Skills (* can be used as Dwarven Clan crafts):

  • Knowledge: Armorsmith*
  • Knowledge: Arcana
  • Knowledge: Astronomy (the study of island orbits and ability to navigate the void)
  • Knowledge: Brewing*
  • Knowledge: Carpentry*
  • Knowledge: Gunsmith*
  • Knowledge: History
  • Knowledge: Laws and Local Customs
  • Knowledge: Legends and Lore
  • Knowledge: Masonry*
  • Knowledge: Medicine
  • Knowledge: Mining*
  • Knowledge: Performance (choose comedy, singing, or acting — used to help ward off Glowmadness)
  • Knowledge: Shipwright* (skyship construction and repair)
  • Knowledge: Trade and Commerce* (for buying/selling a success reduces/increases the cost by 10%, a raise by 20%; also for appraising to determine accurate value with a success)
  • Knowledge: Weaponsmith*

== All players (not just priests) must choose a god from the book to follow and penalties for sins will be enforced.

== Leadership edges do NOT ever apply to players. (says so in Sundered Skies rules conversion for Deluxe Edition)

== No Mercy, Benny Headed, and Grittier Damage rules are in place.

== Players MUST role-play Persuasion, Intimidation, & Taunt rolls. GM will assign modifier based on how good the role-playing was.

== One Interlude will be done usually each week. The person doing the Interlude will be awarded a benny or an extra Adventure card (their choice) unless they really suck at it.

== Fudge Dice:

  • Roll 2df with any trait roll. Add result to normal result. In addition, if fudge dice result is +2 then an advantage is gained regardless of success/fail. If it is -2 then a disadvantage is incurred regardless of success/fail.
  • Fudge Dice are NOT re-rolled when trait roll is bennied.
  • One type of advantage/disadvantage or GM decision is to “lock” a Fudge Die to + or – on a future roll.
  • Crit fails can be bennied since the Fudge Dice effects cannot.
  • For an explanation of why see… here

== Subtract one from every re-roll on damage dice (so results graph is smoothed without the Fudge Dice).

== Armour Penalties:
For Fighting rolls, non-magical armour rating minus 2 is added as a penalty.
For Shooting, spell-casting, and Throwing rolls, non-magical armour rating minus 1 is added as a penalty.


  • Chain Mail (+2 non-magical armour) would give no modifier to Fighting rolls but -1 to other combat rolls.
  • 2 Plate Mail (3 non-magical armour and +2 magical bonus = +5 total armour) would give -1 to Fighting and -2 to all other combat rolls.

== Coin purses will be issued and money strictly enforced.

== Adventure cards:
Each player will be given ONE Adventure card per game session. In order to use one the player must also pay a benny.

== Drawing weapons and putting on armour rules will be strictly enforced. Weapons will be considered to be sheathed and helmets off when not in combat unless the player specifically says something prior to a combat or if there is a real reason why they might not. There is no such thing as “I always have my sword ready and my helmet on”. Also, local laws about carrying weapons or wearing armour in public will be enforced. Islands or individual establishments like taverns may not allow it.

== Backstories:
If Enemy hindrance or Connections edge is taken then they must be fleshed out with the GM.
Pick a common character type (pages 7-8 in book) and build your character and backstory around it. Detailed Backstories must be produced and provided to the GM. In addition, all players will be randomly assigned something on the chart below. GM will give details and the outcome must be built into the character’s backstory…

  1. Enemy (will kill)
  2. Rival (economic, family, etc…)
  3. Love Interest
  4. Interesting Friend
  5. Family Curse
  6. Family Heirloom (will be randomly generated by GM)

== Experience:
Players will be awarded two points per game they show up for, one point if there is a game they miss, and one player will be voted on each week to be awarded a bonus XP for role playing.

The Wreck of the Raven


Grim was a young Drakin when his family first visited Heartland. He witnessed first hand the cruelty that the Elves show towards their Wildling slaves when he saw one “put down” just for talking back to an Elf. Later, when he was boarding his father’s ship, the Raven he saw an Elf sneaking a young WIldling girl onto the ship. When the Elf tried to leave the ship he was pursued by other Elves in Oakthorn armor and killed. Grim did not tell anyone of Morana (the stowaway) until they were far out into the void. His father, Brimstone, was furious that the child on-board would strain his business relations with the Elves. But he was unable to bring himself to turn the child back over to them. He allowed Grim to feed her and to set her up in his section of the house. But he always turned a blind eye to her existence and concentrated more on preparing Grim’s oldest brother, Rash, for taking a seat on the Trade Council one day. It was left to the middle brother Grealey to basically raise Grim and Morana.

Seven years ago the Raven with Grealey on-board was lost in a void storm and never seen again. Grim and Morana remember vividly the day Grealey sailed away wearing his distinctive black gloves with red dragons embroidered on them. They were extremely upset by the loss and the fact that Grim’s father did not seem to feel it very much. He just kept working towards preparing Rash for his place on the Trade Council.

Recently, an orc cloudskiff captain named Karr Luckfinder reported seeing the wreckage of the Raven on an uncharted island. Karr discovered the island when he had been driven off course in another storm and saved some of the earth from the island so that he could return. Grim’s father did not seem to care when he was told of the discovery and only reluctantly allowed Grim to hire Karr (with his own money) to take him and Morana to the wreckage. He even told Grim that he could keep anything he finds on that accursed ship.

Grim and Morana traveled to Gateway and boarded Karr’s ship the Chance. On board already is Ironmast, a Dwarven Engineer who was a young apprentice during the construction of the Raven. The Raven was a standard cargo frigate that was built under contract for Brimstone’s trade company by Ironmast’s clan many years ago. He has been contracted by Grim to assess the wreck of the Raven and see if anything is worth salvaging.

The group is surprised to find the Orc (Zack) aboard. Grim and Morana once saved his life from pirates several years ago and he is now a crew member of the Chance working for Grim.

The ship is just now setting sail and no one is quite sure just what they’ll find when they reach the wreck.


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