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THE WORLD OF

Aeronne is a fantasy world of swashbuckling action, intrigue, and romance. Magic is commonplace, and Aeronnes kingdoms are built upon massive floating continents suspended in the Breath of God. Battles involve airships and flying fortresses reinforced with magical constructs. While the Church seeks to control and restrict the most dangerous uses of magic, kings and dukes engage their master crafters to produce greater instruments of war, and their spies to steal these discoveries from their opponents. Years ago the finest military company in Aeronne, the Dragon Brigade, was disbanded by the King of Rosia, who considered them a relic of the past. The dragons they rode into battle returned to their own noble courts; the soldiers and officers turned to lives as mercenaries or simply retired. One decorated dragon rider, Lord Captain Stephano de Guichen, continues to fight for causes he believes in as the leader of the Cadre of the Lost, a rag-tag crew of misfits and mercenaries. Lately, however, hes had to settle for causes that keep the Cadres coffers from being empty.

Written and Designed by Cam Banks and Chris Pierson Edited by Amanda Valentine Illustrated by James Mosingo Graphic Design by Kevin T. Stein Dragon Brigade RPG created by Cam Banks, Dave Chalker, Tracy Hurley, Dain Lybarger, Philippe-Antoine Mnard, Adam Minnie, Andrew Peregrine, and Chris Pierson Based on the DRAGON BRIGADE novels by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes
Dragon Brigade RPG, Dragon Brigade logo, Margaret Weis Productions, MWP logo, Cortex Plus, and Cortex logo are trademarks of Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. 2011. Permission is granted to print this document for personal & non-commercial use.

o Dragon Brigade o

MISSION BACKGROUND
The Cadre of the Lost has received a commission from the Crown to investigate reports of banditry in the inner provinces of Rosia near the Dragon Duchies. The bandits have been raiding merchant ships for several months now, but they recently struck a ship flying royal colors and robbed a tax collector whos a distant cousin of the king himself. The bandits are holding the tax collector hostage, threatening to kill him if any direct military reprisal occurs. Theres evidence that some of the bandits, possibly including those in charge of the band, are TrundlersAeronnes nomadic gypsy peopleand a pistol lost by one of them appears to bear the distinctive sigil of the Dragon Brigade. Because of the proximity of the attacks to the Dragon Duchies and the nature of the pistol, the Dragon Dukes may have valuable information about the identity or location of the bandits. Stephano, as a former member of the Brigade, is offered a modest fee to travel to the Dragon Duchies and safely return the tax collector, as well as apprehend the leaders of the banditsdead or alive. His friendship with Trundler sisters Miri and Gythe makes the Cadre the perfect choice, as they can lend insight in Trundler matters. As always, his childhood friend Rodrigo and the stalwart Dag Thorgrimmson accompany him on the mission. Brother Gaspard is joining the Cadre for this mission as an observer for the Royal Army and the Church; hes under orders to invoke religious censure against anyone of noble blood who might be acting to protect or aid the bandits. The Heroes begin the mission in Miri and Gythes houseboat, the Cloud Hopper, sailing the Breath toward the mountains of Rosia

o Opening Salvo o

THE RULES
Players
This is a game for up to seven people. Six players take on the Heroes of the Cadre of the Lost: former Dragon Brigade officer Stephano, rakish courtier Rodrigo, mighty Dag, airship pilot and healer Miri, mute crafter Gythe, and Church liaison Brother Gaspard. The seventh person is the Gamemaster, who uses this book to present the mission to the players and rolls dice for the villains and other supporting characters. If you dont have seven people, some players can take on multiple Heroes, or the Gamemaster can play them as supporting characters. Hero Sheets for the Cadre of the Lost are provided at the end of this book. The Gamemaster picks up dice based on what your Hero is up against. This is usually a difficulty die (D6 being average, D8 hard, and D10 perilous) and one or more dice based on Traits possessed by the opposition or the situation. Usually, the Gamemaster rolls his dice first and totals them up. This is called setting the stakes. You then roll and total up your own dice from your Action Pool, hoping to raise the stakes by rolling higher. If you raise the stakes, your Hero succeeds in the action you were hoping to take. If you fail to raise the stakes, something else happens. Sometimes you or the Gamemaster get more than two dice. In those cases, you add the two highest to set or raise the stakes. You can spend a Plot Point to add in your third-highest die to your total. Spending a second Plot Point lets you add in your fourth-highest die, and so on. Certain Action Trait pairs are common. COURAGE + VIGOR is often used for battle involving bravery and physical action; FAITH + REASON is the default pair for crafting magic, and so on. For this mission, all the dice are figured out for you. Each section of the mission tells you the dice the Gamemaster needs to roll and what Action Traits the players should roll for their Heroes. Each time the mission calls for an action, we give you an idea of what happens when you succeed, and what happens when things dont go your way.

Dice

The DRAGON BRIGADE Roleplaying Game uses dice of various sizes: four-sided (D4), six-sided (D6), eight-sided (D8), ten-sided (D10), and twelve-sided (D12). You will want several of each on hand, especially D6s and D8s. You might also want some glass beads or poker chips for Plot Points. Dice are used to represent the value of Traits which are how we define characters and objects in the game. The die attached to a Trait is called a die rating. If there are multiple dice associated with the Trait, the quantity comes before the D. Examples: DRAGON BRIGADE VETERAN D10, ENORMOUS PISTOL D8, BANDITS 2D6, ONE-ARMED D4

What Do the Action Traits Mean?


COURAGE represents bravery, will, and mental fortitude. FAITH represents conviction and strength of spirit. GUILE represents craftiness, deception, and wits. REASON represents intelligence and the ability to understand. VIGOR represents physical endurance, strength, and effort.

Taking Action

As a player, you make decisions for your Hero in response to the challenging situations the Gamemaster presents. Whenever your Hero takes action, you choose two of your five Action TraitsCOURAGE, FAITH, GUILE, REASON, and VIGORto form your Action Pool. You can use one Action Trait twice, instead of two different Action Traits.

o Dragon Brigade o

Complications

If you roll a 1 on any of your dice, the Gamemaster introduces a Complication. Whether your Hero succeeds or fails at the action, a Complication means something else has gone wrong, making life difficult for the Heroes. Each section of this mission has a list of Complication ideas for when a 1 is rolled, such as PISTOL MISFIRE or SUSPICIOUS DIPLOMAT. When the Gamemaster introduces a Complication, he hands the player a Plot Point; this is the main way for players to gain Plot Points. The Gamemaster notes down the Complicationsticky notes or index cards work well for thisand adds a D6 next to it. For the rest of the mission, if that Complication comes into play, the Gamemaster gets to roll an extra D6. The Gamemaster may also choose to step up an existing Complication by one die size. A D6 becomes a D8, and a D8 becomes a D10. No Complication may step up to more than a D12. If the Gamemaster rolls a 1 on his dice, any player can spend a Plot Point to step an existing Complication back to a smaller size die. A D6 becomes a D4, and a D4 goes away.

Distinctions, Specialties, and Talents


All Heroes have some special skills, tricks, and abilities they can use; theyre noted on the Hero Sheets. Talents are special rule-changing tricks that often require you to spend a Plot Point; Distinctions and Specialties usually give you more dice to roll. Your Hero may have one or more Signature Assets these behave like the Assets you create using Plot Points, but they dont go away and theyre free to use if theyre on your sheet. You can step these Assets up with Plot Points during the mission, but they always reset back to their default dice at the end.

Tests and Contests

Assets

Players can use Plot Points to create Assets. An Asset is something beneficialimprovised tools, helpful circumstances, etc.that any player can use to help the Heroes out on the mission. When introduced, the player notes down the Asset and writes a D6 next to it. For as long as that Asset is around, any player who can justify it may use the Asset to get an extra D6. If the player spends two Plot Points, the Asset lasts until the end of the mission (or until something happens in the story that would make it go away). Otherwise, it lasts until the end of the current engagement and goes away when the next engagement starts. If you use an Asset in a roll and your roll is a success, you may spend a Plot Point to step the Asset up by one die size. You cant step an Asset up more than a D12.

Most of the time when youre rolling dice, its called a Test. This is a simple case of one side setting the stakes and the other trying to raise them. Sometimes you want to represent a backand-forth exchange of action, which is called a Contest. In a Contest, once one side has raised the stakes, the opposition may attempt to raise them higher. This goes back and forth until one side fails to raise the stakes or decides to give in. If you fail, you usually take Stress and are at the mercy of the opposition; if you give in, the other side wins but you pick up a Plot Point, a D6 Complication, and the freedom to decide where you end up.

Stress

Throughout the mission, the Cadre of the Lost is challenged by dangerous opponents and thrust into difficult situations. Theres plenty of opportunity to get bruised, battered, and even broken. This takes the form of a special kind of Complication called Stress. Each time you fail to raise the stakes in a Test or Contest and theres an opportunity for you to take some fallout from it, the Gamemaster may apply a Stress die to one of the Action Traits you used in the Test or Contest.

o Opening Salvo o
The size of the Stress die depends on the action, but its usually the third-highest rolling die in the Gamemasters pool. If there is no third die, the Stress defaults to a D4. If there was already Stress on the Action Trait, the Gamemaster may either step the Stress die up to a larger die size (if the new Stress is the same size or smaller) or replace the existing Stress die with the new one. The Gamemaster may also step up existing Stress by one instead of adding a Complication when you roll a 1 on your dice. You still gain a Plot Point in this case, just as if he had activated a Complication. When your Hero uses that Action Trait and the Stress die is D6 or larger, the Gamemaster adds the Stress die to his own pool to represent the increased difficulty facing your Hero. If your Stress die is a D4, you must include it in your Action Pool instead of the Gamemaster rolling it against you. In addition, if the Stress die is equal or greater than the Action Trait its assigned to, your Hero is shaken for the rest of the engagement and only keeps the highest rolling die of his Action Pool when that Action Trait is one of the dice in the pool. If your Hero is already shaken, he is stricken and is out of action for the rest of the engagement. Sometimes it makes sense for a kind of Stress to apply to an action even when the Action Trait its applied to isnt included in your Action Pool. For instance, the Gamemaster might decide that VIGOR Stress should apply to a COURAGE + GUILE roll, or FAITH Stress applies to a REASON + REASON roll. In these cases, the Gamemaster must give the player a Plot Point in order to use it against the Hero. COURAGE Stress is fear and doubt, when events give rise to timidity, hesitation, or outright panic. FAITH Stress is despair, melancholy, and hopelessness, when the spirit is weakened by anguish. GUILE Stress reflects being tricked, deluded, or misdirected, making it harder to bring your own cunning to bear. REASON Stress represents confusion, indecision, or madness, a paralysis brought about by shocking or unexpected circumstances. VIGOR Stress is pain, weariness, or physical trauma, usually caused by exertion or injury. Some of these types of Stress may seem to overlap. GUILE and REASON Stress, for instance, may resemble each other, while FAITH and COURAGE Stress could be caused by the same event. When in doubt, remember that Stress usually represents either the opposite of the Action Traits qualities or what happens when that Action Trait turns upon itself.

Recovering Stress

What Does Stress Mean?

Stress represents not just injury or exhaustion but mental and even spiritual crisis. It means something different depending on what Action Trait its assigned to.

To get rid of Stress or remove the shaken and stricken conditions, you need to take a Recovery Action at the beginning of the next engagement. Some characters, such as Miri, can help you recover earlier. Heres how this works. If you took Stress in the previous engagement and you are not stricken, you may spend a Plot Point to step back all of the Stress youve taken by oneD8 becomes D6, D6 becomes D4, and D4 goes away. You need to describe how youre shaking off the pain, steeling your reserves, or clearing your mind of confusion and despair. If this reduces the Stress die below the associated Action Trait, your shaken condition goes away; otherwise, you remain shaken. You may spend as many Plot Points as you want, stepping back your Stress dice each time.

o Dragon Brigade o
To recover when youre stricken, when you dont have Plot Points, or in the middle of an engagement, you need someone to take a Recovery Action for you. Because this can vary from first aid to counseling to spiritual assistance, backed with magic or not, we treat it as a general Test and rely on the player performing the recovery to explain how shes giving relief. Recovery Actions are generally only necessary when someone is shaken or stricken; if the Stress hasnt progressed that far, it probably isnt serious enough to require a healers attention. That player uses the following action, with the Gamemaster setting the stakes.

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS AND VILLAINS

TEST: RECOVERY ACTION


Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (if at rest) OR D8 (if traveling) OR D10 (if in a battle) + all target Heros Stress dice (from all Action Traits) Player (raise stakes): FAITH + REASON, REASON + REASON, or COURAGE + REASON, plus any Specialties or Distinctions. Miris Healer Talent lets her roll in her Channeler Specialty and add the three highest rolling dice together, not just the two highest. Success: Remove one Stress die or step back all Stress dice by one. With an Extraordinary Success, remove two Stress dice or step back all Stress dice by two. Failure: Step back one Stress die by one, but step up another Stress die by one (or, if there are no other Stress dice, add one at D4 to the Trait of your choice). Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls a 1, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: SHAKY HANDS, GUILTY CONSCIENCE, LOW SUPPLIES.

The Gamemaster plays the parts of all of the supporting characters in the story, including the villains and other opposing figures the Heroes must face to achieve victory in their mission. These characters arent as fully detailed as the Heroes. Some of them are only represented by one or two Traits, which the Gamemaster uses when rolling dice to oppose the Heroes. Others may have several Traits and one or two special tricks of their own much like the Talents the Heroes possess. The Traits provided give you an idea of how to portray each supporting character, since they often describe personality, background, or other helpful elements. When a supporting character or villain appears in this mission, we also provide their motivation and preferred course of action to make it easier for you to play them.

How Do I Know If I Win?

This is a roleplaying game, which means all the players are acting the parts of heroic characters in a fantasy adventure. Your Heroes face difficult challenges against dangerous foes, but even failure can lead to interesting and exciting outcomes. What matters is not how the mission ends, but what hair-raising twists and turns the story takes to get there. So play your part, roll some dice, and have fun!

Is That All?

Not remotely, but never fear. You have what you need to get started. Throughout the mission, well introduce new rules as they come into play. If possible, provide the players with copies of these rules; permission is granted to print and share this content for the purposes of playing DRAGON BRIGADE: Opening Salvo.

o Opening Salvo o

FIRST ENGAGEMENT: INTO THE MOUNTAINS


Getting Started
Each player should choose a Hero from the six provided. Give them a brief description of each: Stephano is a brave but cynical leader, Rodrigo is a rakish scoundrel, and so on. Make sure everyone has dice and three tokens for Plot Points. You may want to provide sticky notes or index cards for noting Assets and Complications, as well as drinks and snacks. Once theyve read over their Hero Sheets and are ready to play, describe the following situation to them. The Cloud Hopper is cruising among the mountains of Rosia, en route to dragon-held territory. As it passes through a long valley, smaller airships and a few wyvern-pulled chariots appear on either side and fall upon the ship. These are the bandits the Cadre has been sent to investigate, already making their move to get rid of the interlopers. Miri and Gythe notice that only a few of them are actually Trundlers, while the rest are Rosian provincials dressed in Trundler garb. The lead bandit is Berach mac Crodan , a giant, red-bearded bear of a man armed with a massive, sigil-enhanced blunderbuss he calls Hullsplitter. Berach is a larger-than-life figure in Trundler lore, a robber and villain about whom many folk songs are sung. Miri and Gythe both believed him to be a fairytale character, but here he is, riding a griffon and bellowing curses at you. As the Cadre scrambles to prepare for the imminent attack, the air is split with a resounding boom and a splintering crash. Berach mac Crodan has hit the Cloud Hopper s mainmast with Hullsplitter, his legendary weapon.

o Dragon Brigade o
There are a dozen bandits working for Berach mac Crodan, brandishing pistols and smallswords. Their weapons dont really matter for the purposes of this engagement; each bandit is represented by a single Trait, either NEFARIOUS BANDIT or DANGEROUS BANDIT. When more than one bandit teams up to attack or harry one of the Heroes, pick up a die for each bandit and roll them together, as if it were a single Action Pool, plus a D6 for the difficulty of the situation. Add the two highest rolling dice to set the stakes of this attack. To determine the outcome of their actions, each Hero rolls a Test. All support Tests should be done first, giving Heroes who are resisting the bandits the potential for additional dice. Gamemaster Note: If Complications are created, you can either add a new Complication or step up an existing Complication by one (maximum D12). Use Complications on subsequent Tests where appropriate, adding them to your Action Pool.

Berach mac Crodan


ROBBER BARON D10, HULLSPLITTER D10, GREAT STRENGTH D8, GRIFFON RIDER D6, TRUNDLER LEGEND D4

TEST: TO THE AID OF OUR ALLIES!


Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (difficulty) + D10 (for Berachs ROBBER BARON Trait, as hes the bandit leader) +D4 (for Berachs TRUNDLER LEGEND, if the opposing Hero is Miri or Gythe) Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + FAITH (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) to use hearty encouragement or moral support; GUILE + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) for a clever or heroic distraction. Success: Give a Hero of your choice the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Support Asset, minimum D6. If the result is an Extraordinary Success (5 or more higher than the stakes), step the die up by one (D6 becomes a D8, etc.) Failure: Give the opposition the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Complication, minimum D6. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: CONFUSION OF BATTLE, ITS MAKING THEM ANGRIER!, or THERES TOO MANY OF THEM!

The Bandits
NEFARIOUS BANDITS 8D6, DANGEROUS BANDITS 4D8 Gamemaster Note: The bandits could join Berach mac Crodan in an attack, adding their dice to his Action Pool, but for this engagement they leave that until they mount their retreat. Also, note that Miri is able to use her Signature Asset (the Cloud Hopper) throughout this engagement, either because she knows its decks and rigging so well or shes using it to give support to the other Heroes. This is her only chance to use it!

Bandit Attack

The action kicks off with the bandits trying to leap aboard the Cloud Hopper, intending to seize whatever goods and valuables they can find on the houseboat. There are 12 bandits working for Berach mac Crodan, brandishing pistols and smallswords. Berach hangs back out of range while the bandits trouble the Cloud Hopper. Ask the players: Where is your Hero on the deck? Are you going to put up resistance? Aid another Hero by doing something clever or heroic?

o Opening Salvo o

TEST: RESIST THE BANDITS!


Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (for difficulty) + 2D6 (for two of the NEFARIOUS BANDITS) + D8 (for one of the DANGEROUS BANDITS) Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + VIGOR (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if generally going after them with guns, swords, or some other attack; FAITH + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if using magic or constructs to oppose or deflect the bandits. Success: Look at the third highest rolling die in the players Action Pool. If its a D8 or higher, remove one of the DANGEROUS BANDITS. If its a D6 or smaller, remove one of the NEFARIOUS BANDITS. If the result is an Extraordinary Success (5 or more higher than the stakes), remove two of each. Failure: The Hero gets Stress to his VIGOR Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in the bandits pool. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: CURSED MISFIRE, SURROUNDED!, or ITS MAKING THEM ANGRIER! A player may ask if he can try to attack or otherwise do something to Berach, instead of the bandits swarming onto the Cloud Hopper. In his case, offer the following optional Test.

OPTIONAL TEST: TAKE THAT, YOU FIEND!


Gamemaster (set stakes): D8 (for difficulty) + D10 (FOR ROBBER BARON) + D6 (for GRIFFON RIDER) +D4 (for Berachs TRUNDLER LEGEND, if the opposing Hero is Miri or Gythe) Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + GUILE (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) for taking a shot at the bandit leader; FAITH + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) for using magic or a construct against him. Success: The Hero gives Stress to one of Berach mac Crodans Traits (such as ROBBER BARON or GRIFFON RIDER) equal to the third highest rolling die, or D4 if there are no dice left. Describe the injury or insult. If the player gains an Extraordinary Success (raised the stakes by 5 or more), step up the Stress die by one. Failure: The Hero doesnt give Berach any Stress, but earns the Robber Barons wrath; the Hero picks up the Complication ROBBER BARONS IRE equal to Berachs third highest rolling die. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: CURSED MISFIRE, ROBBER BARONS IRE, OR HIS LEGEND GROWS STRONGER. Gamemaster Note: Once all the players have a turn resisting the bandits or supporting the defense of the Cloud Hopper, its time to move to the next stage of the engagement.

o Dragon Brigade o

Enter the Dragon

The Cloud Hopper loses air fast, and the crew must work together, still fending off the bandits, to bring it down onto a safe patchnamely Lac Saint-Evrard, a long lake at the head of the valley. Once the bandits realize that the Cloud Hopper is bound for the lake and will land safely, they try to seize it. The Cadre must fight them off or lose their ship to the bandits. If Miris player decides to spend a Plot Point to activate her Keep Her Flying Talent, you can tell her that the Cloud Hopper wont sustain any additional damage when it hits the lake. Otherwise, it will suffer several hull cracks and so forth. Either way, Miri cant keep the ship from descending with her Talent, due to Hullsplitters massive damage earlier. The Heroes get an unexpected ally at this pointa young and spirited dragon named Arligash of Clan Cincorn has seen the battle and flies in to help. Describe the situation as follows:

The Heroes each get a second round of Tests against the bandits. This time, the difficulty is increased because of the angle of descent and general chaos, so when setting the stakes you should roll a D8 instead of a D6 (plus the additional dice for the bandits). However, Arligashs assistance adds a D8 to any Heroes taking action against the bandits; the dragon whirls and dashes among the bandits, throwing them off but never actually harming them. Between the Heroes turns, describe the bandits clambering aboard, trying to seize rigging and the wheel, and so forth. The Cloud Hopper hits the lake just before the last Hero has his turn, which is worth an extra D6 Complication on that Heros T est: SPLASH LANDING.

Dragon Ally

With the Cloud Hopper plunging into its descent and the outlook growing more dire by the minute, the sight of a sleekly muscled dragon could be a sign of hope or a grim agent of certain doom. It seems, for your sakes, that the fivehorned youngster diving from the clouds is more interested in driving off bandits than in causing you more trouble.

Important dragons have detailed writeups as befits their status in the game, but for the purposes of the DRAGON BRIGADE: Opening Salvo, the young dragons individual Traits are simplified as follows: Arligash of Clan Cincorn: BREED D10, VIGOR D6, GRACE D8, REASON D6, DRAGONFIRE D6, IMPETUOUS D6 The BREED Trait is possessed by all dragons and indicates their caste and strong bloodline. Noble dragons, like Arligash and the Dukes, have a BREED D10; war dragons have D8. Any time a dragon acts against or in opposition to the Heroes, roll BREED + a relevant Trait. During this engagement, Arligash restricts his assistance to a single D8 from his GRACE Trait, but later his full statistics may come into play.

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o Opening Salvo o

Next Steps

Assuming the Heroes are still conscious after their next round of actions, Berach peels away on his griffon and takes off, shouting in T rundlercant, Dont think this is the last yell see of us, interlopers! The Red Ladys brother will deal with you and your wee dragon! Any remaining bandits flee with him, hurling insults. Arligath the dragon roars in response but flies down alongside the Cloud Hopper, staying with the Heroes as the houseboat lands in Lac Saint-Evrard. Arligath assures the Heroes that if they are seeking counsel with the Dragon Dukes, he will stand watch over the Cloud Hopper. Once the

Cadre scrambles to shore, they can head up a flight of stairs that leads to a pass through the mountains, on to another pass into the dragon-held lands. Note that Miri effectively loses the use of her Cloud Hopper Signature Asset for the remainder of this mission unless her player is creative. Gamemaster Note: Arligash is deliberately cagey; hes not allowed to interact with visitors without express permission of his uncle, Duke Brealgarn of Clan Cincorn. He is definitely not allowed to have a rider, for he is both too young and inexperienced. He comes back into the story during the Fourth Engagement.

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o Dragon Brigade o

SECOND ENGAGEMENT: THE DRAGON DUKES


Bedraggled and exhausted, the Cadre reaches the outpost of the dragon-lands. There they must talk their way past the DRAGON GUARDS 2D10 who belong to Clan Nezarlat, one of the mighty clans in these Duchies. Describe the following situation to the players. Gamemaster Note: You should allow the players to make Recovery Actions or use Plot Points to recover their Stress before they engage with the Dragon Guards. See the Stress section of the rules for more details. The difficulty for recovering is a D8 (Heroes are traveling).

Having crested the ridge and arrived at the nearest outpost, your progress through the massive granite gates is blocked by a pair of Dragon Guards. These are human riders dressed in Clan Nezarlats crimson livery on tough, powerful dragons, older and larger than the youngling you met earlier. The bond of human and dragon is evident, for when they hail you they seem almost to speak as one.
If the writ of passage was destroyed in the crash (see Optional Assets and Complications sidebar), this will require some sweet-talking as a result of the added Complication. Run the Supporting Argument T est before the lead Hero rolls his Gaining Lawful Entry T est. You may suggest to the players that the young dragon would make a useful Asset at the cost of a Plot Point (e.g. WE KNOW THE DUKES NEPHEW D6 or ARLIGASH SENT US D6).

TEST: SUPPORTING ARGUMENT


Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (for difficulty) + D10 (one of the Dragon Guards) plus any appropriate Complications, such as WRIT OF PASSAGE DESTROYED. Player (raise stakes): GUILE + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if the support is sneaky, underhanded, or clever; FAITH + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if the support is earnest and rational. Success: Give the Hero doing the talking the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Support Asset, minimum D6. If the result is an Extraordinary Success (raises the stakes by 5 or more), step the die up by one (D6 becomes a D8, etc.) Failure: Give the Dragon Guards the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Complication, minimum D6. The GUARDS use this when setting the stakes. Possible Complications: Dont worry about activating any Complications for this Test. Leave that to the Hero doing the talking!

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o Opening Salvo o

In this engagement, most of the action is diplomatic or intrigue-related. Its where Rodrigos Talents shine, but Stephanos Lead By Example and Gaspards Oh No You Dont might also help. Rodrigos She Said She Wasnt Married is perfect if the Heroes lost the dragon pistol or the writ of passage in the last engagement and Rodrigo wants to explain how that isnt actually their fault.
Failure: Gain Stress to COURAGE equal to the third highest rolling die in the Dragon Guards pool, or D4 if there were no dice left. You manage to get the Cadre past the guards, BUT at some cost to your confidence. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of these Complications at D6: NOT FROM AROUND HERE, ARROGANT REPUTATION, or UNINTENDED INSULT.

Talent Scout: The Second Engagement

TEST: GAINING LAWFUL ENTRY


Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (for difficulty) + D10 (one of the Dragon Guards) plus any appropriate Complications, such as WRIT OF PASSAGE DESTROYED. Player (raise stakes): GUILE + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if the effort is sneaky, underhanded, or clever; Faith + Reason (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if the effort is earnest and rational. Success: No problems with the Dragon Guards. Youre on your way!

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o Dragon Brigade o
If necessary (such as if the Hero fails the Test) a dragon officer recognizes Stephano from the Brigade. They are given clearance to enter the duchies as long as his fellows give up their weapons. Yes, this includes Dag. If they have a captive bandit (see the Optional Assets and Complications sidebar), the Nezarlat dragons ask that he be handed over to them. If they do, he conveniently disappears to hide the Nezarlat clans involvement. Otherwise, he comes in handy later when talking with the Dragon Dukes. about the pistol recovered from the bandit attack on the tax collectors ship or about the location of the tax collector.
If they have the pistol, Brealgarn asks to see it and interprets a symbol of the sigil as it being related to Clan Nezarlat. If they lost the pistol in the crash, they will be at a considerable disadvantage here, for the lack of evidence will not convince many of the dukes. Mentioning the Red Lady could imply some connection to Clan Nezarlet, whose heraldic color is gules (i.e., red). Mentioning Arligash may help their case with Brealgarn but not the other Dukes; if they already created an Asset connected to the young dragon, they can use it again here.

The Gorge of Speaking

Riding wyvern-pulled air-chariots, which can carry two people at a time, the Cadre makes its way to the Gorge of Speaking, a canyon surrounded by snow-capped peaks and inaccessible to anyone who cant fly. The Gorge features prominent outcroppings of rock with sigils engraved into them denoting one of the five Clans. The dukes of the Dragon Clans agree to see them there, flying down to land upon their respective perches. Duke Brealgarn of Clan Cincorn, the current head of the council and Arligashs uncle, hails Stephano, for Lady CamStephanos now deceased bond-dragonwas a cousin of the Dukes. At this point, the company must parley with the Dragon Dukes to find out what they know

Duke Orchal of Clan Nezarlat is, of course, annoyed that anyone from his clan has been implicated; he claims that the whole situation is suspicious and refuses to be persuaded otherwise. The Heroes must, therefore, sway the other four dukes. Brealgarn is the most sympathetic, and hes genuinely worried that there might be draconic involvement. He also has a connection to the Cadre, albeit indirectly. The other dukes (Duke Gorst of Clan Denlance, Duke Uvaam of Hrbarb, and Duchess Kharguresh of Nageoire) are harder to convince.

Dragons in the world of Aeronne are usually divided among the sleek, noble dragons and the bulkier, low-caste war dragons. Members of each can be found within any given Clan. Regardless of breeding, dragons are all huge creatures, larger than elephants, though they have an agility and grace that belies their size. The five Clans that dominate politics in the Dragon Duchies are as follows, with their identifying markings: Clan Cincorn (SEEN-corn) Five horns, as opposed to the usual two or three Clan Denlance (DEN-lonce) Pronounced canine fangs Clan Hbarb (HAY-barb) Bristly blue-green beards under their chins Clan Nageoire (NAZH-wahr) A long fin along the crown of their heads Clan Nezarlet (NEZ-ar-LEY) Red patch of scales on the snout

Dragons and Their Clans

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o Opening Salvo o
Mention of the Red Lady, however, makes it easier to sway the others, for one of Duke Orchals daughters, Thurien, often goes among the Trundlers and she once served in the Brigades. Consider this a D6 Asset.

TEST: CONVINCING SPEECHES


Gamemaster (set stakes): D10 (for BREED) + D6 (for Brealgarns CONCERNED) + D8 (for Gorsts OBTUSE, Uvaams PETTY, and Khargureshs JUDGMENTAL). Only add in the dice for those Dukes the Hero is trying to sway with this Test. Add any appropriate Complications, such as NOT FROM AROUND HERE, UNINTENDED INSULT, or LOST PISTOL. Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + FAITH, COURAGE + REASON, or FAITH + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions). This is no place for GUILE or VIGOR; the Dukes are unlikely to be impressed by deception or by weaker creatures showing off their prowess. Success: Gain a D6 Asset, SWAYED BY EVIDENCE, for each Duke targeted by this speech. This Asset means theyre listening to the Cadre and it may be used when dealing with that Duke in the future. If the Hero gains an Extraordinary Success (raises the stakes by 5 or more) one of these Assets is a D8 (players choice as to which Duke). Failure: Gain Stress to COURAGE equal to the third highest rolling die in the Dukes pool, or D4 if there are no dice left. Not only have you not swayed the Dukes, but youve taken a hit to your own resolve. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose from one of the following at D6: NOT FROM AROUND HERE, ARROGANT REPUTATION, or UNINTENDED INSULT. These are the same possible Complications from the Dragon Guard parley earlier in the engagement, so they might be stepped up instead of adding new Complications.

The Dragon Dukes

Much like Arligashs statistics in the First Engagement, Clan leaders individual Traits are simplified for Dragon Brigade: Opening Salvo as follows: Duke Brealgarn: BREED D10, VIGOR D8, GRACE D8, REASON D8, DRAGONFIRE D8, CONCERNED D6 Duke Orchal: BREED D10, VIGOR D8, GRACE D6, REASON D8, DRAGONFIRE D10, STUBBORN D10 Duke Gorst: BREED D10, VIGOR D10, GRACE D6, REASON D6, DRAGONFIRE D10, OBTUSE D8 Duke Uvaam: BREED D10, VIGOR D8, GRACE D8, REASON D8, DRAGONFIRE D8, PETTY D8 Duchess Kharguresh: B REED D 10, VIGOR D8, GRACE D10, REASON D8, DRAGONFIRE D8, JUDGMENTAL D8 Multiple dragons working together generally just roll the single highest BREED die of all involved + one appropriate Trait for each dragon. See the Convincing Speeches Test for an example. Each Hero may attempt to say his or her piece, offering up evidence or simply declaring the truth as they know it. Heroes may attempt to convince the Dukes one at a time, or multiple Dukes at once at added difficulty. Let each player frame his or her argument, roll the dice, and then embellish as appropriate.

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o Dragon Brigade o
Once every Hero has had a chance to sway the Dukes, determine how many remain unaffected by the speeches. The Heroes need at least a majority, which means three Dukes out of the five. This should be possible, but if they fail, the Heroes are left to puzzle out the mystery of the bandits without the hefty resources of the Dragon Dukes themselves. Either way, move to the next stage of the engagement. be convinced by pointing out that he doesnt want her implicated in future raids (FAITH + REASON), or he can be distracted while the company searches surreptitiously for the evidence (COURAGE + GUILE). Ask the players which of them wants to try talking to the Duke.

CONTEST: TRYING THURIENS LAIR

TO

SEARCH

Duke Orchals Daughter

At this point the Heroes may have mentioned the Red Lady or the Red Ladys brother and been informed of Thurien, daughter of Duke Orchal of Clan Nezarlet. Orchal suggests that perhaps Thuriens brother was her rider in the Brigades. He doesnt know who that was, so he offers to take the Cadre to Thuriens lair (a cavernous abode in the nearby foothills) so they can find out. Gamemaster Note: If the Heroes never bring up the Red Lady but they have the CAPTIVE BANDIT, the bandit brings her up. In fact, he can confirm that the brother wears a Dragon Brigadiers cloak. If theres no bandit in captivity, the Dragon Brigade pistol the Heroes have with them is sufficient link for Orchal to bring up the brother of his daughter, Thurien. A short time later, at Thuriens lair, the Cadre finds that shes no longer there. A servant living in a hovel near her lair claims shes been gone for more than a week, off to Rosias northern provinces where she was stationed during the wars with Estara. Theres no need to roll dice to determine this. However, to learn more, the Heroes may need to be crafty. Have the players all make rolls of GUILE + REASON plus any Specialties or Distinctions related to Crafting. The Hero with the highest result from this roll notes signs that Thurien left considerably more recentlythe sigils on an illumination construct in her lair have some residual signs of having been active within the past day. At first Duke Orchal refuses to let the company search the cave for evidence of Thuriens riders identity, but he can either

Because this is a Contest rather than a Test, raising the stakes successfully doesnt automatically mean youve won. If the Gamemaster raises the stakes, the player may pick up and roll his dice again, this time trying to raise the stakes himself. This continues until one side fails to raise the stakes or gives in. Duke Orchal never gives in and will always attempt to raise the stakes. Player (set then raise stakes): FAITH + REASON for convincing Orchal of his daughters potential implication, or COURAGE + GUILE for a distracting conversation, plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions. Gamemaster (raise stakes): D10 (for BREED) + D8 (for REASON) + D10 (for STUBBORN) plus any Complications in play, such as NOT FROM AROUND HERE or UNINTENDED INSULT. Success: If Duke Orchal fails to raise the stakes, the Heroes have what they wanted and may search Thuriens lair. They learn that Thuriens rider is Comte Lothaire de Souriz, former Captain in the Dragon Brigade. Failure: If the Hero fails to raise the stakes, he takes Stress to GUILE equal to the third highest rolling die in Duke Orchals last roll and Duke Orchal keeps them from searching.

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o Opening Salvo o
Give In: If the Hero gives in, he earns a Plot Point but gains a D6 Complication, DISPLAY OF WEAKNESS. The Cadre doesnt find anything, as with Failure above. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls a 1, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose from the following: DISPLAY OF WEAKNESS, UNINTENDED INSULT, or NOT FROM AROUND HERE. If the Heroes learn the name of Thuriens rider, it should disturb Brother Gaspard greatly. Captain Lothaire is his nephew, the young man he failed to properly defend in military court and who then escaped custody. Gaspard may, of course, either share this information or keep it to himself, as his player decides. Success: You see or hear the cannon and your muscles respond fast enough for you to warn Duke Orchal. Failure: Although you hear the cannon, you dont grasp what this means or react fast enough to warn Duke Orchal. Possible Complications: Dont worry about Complications for this Test. If the Heroes see trouble first, they can warn him and his wing is broken; otherwise, the shot hits him in the throat and he dies from the grievous injury. The Cadre sees a small frigate turning to flee, moving fast with the wind. Accompanying it are more griffon-riding bandits. Human support and custodians arrive on the scene to minister to Orchal or assess his state. For the Cadre, however, its time to give chase!

Next Steps

As the Cadre leaves Thuriens lair with the Duke of Nezarlet, a cannon shot goes off and Duke Orchal is hit. They have a chance of spotting this trouble in time to warn him and mitigate the severity of his injury .

TEST: ALARUMS! A CANNON!


Every Hero may roll to raise the stakes; the Hero who raises the stakes by the greatest degree may decide to warn Duke Orchal or not. Gamemaster (sets stakes): D8 (for Difficulty) + 2D6 (for the CANNONS) plus any Complications or Stress as appropriate. Player (raises stakes): VIGOR + REASON plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions relating to awareness or observation.

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THIRD ENGAGEMENT: FLIGHT OF THE FRIGATE


When youre ready to move to the next engagement, discard any outdated or old Complications and Assets, ask the players if they want to conduct Recovery Actions (difficulty is d8 for travel) and describe the following situation to the players.

Berach mac Crodan


ROBBER BARON D10, HULLSPLITTER D10, GREAT STRENGTH D8, GRIFFON RIDER D6, TRUNDLER LEGEND D4 with GRIFFON BANDITS 6D8

Pitiless (Light Frigate)


SPEED D8, PILOT D8, CANNONS 2D6 Gamemaster Note: Vehicles in the DRAGON BRIGADE RPG have more detailed game statistics than these, but the stats given here are suitable enough for this engagement. If the Heroes werent in command of their own vehicle (a wyvern-pulled chariot) the Pitiless would have an advantage of scale, but for the purposes of DRAGON BRIGADE: Opening Salvo this is moot.

The Cadre leaps aboard their wyvern-drawn chariots and goes after the frigate. Duke Orchals assassins move fast with the wind. Their frigate weaves through the mountain valleys, trying to lose the company. Led by Berach mac Crodan, the griffons peel off, trying to get behind the Cadres chariots and pick them off.

CONTEST: SPUR THE WYVERNS!


Player (set and raise stakes): FAITH + VIGOR plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions appropriate to piloting a wyvern-drawn chariot. Gamemaster (raise stakes): D8 (Pitiless PILOT) + D8 (Pitiless SPEED) +2D6 (Pitiless CANNONS) Success: If the Pitiless fails to raise the stakes, the Heros chariot catches up with it. With an Extraordinary Success (raising the stakes by 5 or more), the chariot gains a D6 Asset, POSITIONING ADVANTAGE, which the chariot passenger can use as well.

Canyon Chase

This is a classic chase scene, filled with cannon fire and swooping opponents. Each wyvern-pulled chariot carries two Heroes. While one Hero drives the chariot, engaging in a Contest of wits and speed with the fleeing bandits, the other Hero can shoot, use magic, or whatever else in a Test to knock out or weaken the opposition. Once each chariot (driver and passenger) has had a chance to act, move to the next stage of the engagement.

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o Opening Salvo o
Failure: If the Hero fails to raise the stakes, the chariot doesnt catch up to the Pitiless, but does manage to keep pace with it. In addition, the Hero and his companion each take VIGOR Stress equal to the Pitilesss third highest die as the Pitilesss guns pound the chariot, sending up splinters and debris. Give In: If the Hero gives in, the chariot falls far behind the Pitiless. The Hero earns a Plot Point but gains a D6 Complication, EXHAUSTED WYVERNS. The Hero and his companion take no Stress, however. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls a 1, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose from the following: EXHAUSTED WYVERNS, STUBBORN WYVERNS, or UNFAMILIAR SKIES. Success: The Hero has weakened the opposition, and one of the two GRIFFON BANDITS is removed from the engagement. With an Extraordinary Success, the Hero may either remove both GRIFFON BANDITS, or instead deliver the third highest rolling die as Stress to one of Berach mac Crodans Traits and remove a single GRIFFON BANDIT. Failure: The Hero takes Stress to his VIGOR Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in the bandits pool. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: CURSED MISFIRE, EXHAUSTED WYVERNS, or ITS MAKING THEM ANGRIER!

TEST: AGAINST RIDERS!

THE

GRIFFON

OPTIONAL TEST: SEIZE BERACH MAC CRODAN!


This Test is for the truly heroic, as the chariot passenger attempts to subdue or dispatch Berach mac Crodan for good. If the player succeeds by 5 or more, note that he has the choice of either killing mac Crodan outright or capturing him. The risks are substantial, however, so warn the player (and the player of the chariot driver) of the potential for spectacular failure.

Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (for difficulty) + D10 (for Berach mac Crodans GRIFFON RIDER) + 2D8 (for the two GRIFFON BANDITS harrying the Heros chariot) Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + VIGOR (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if going after the bandits with guns; FAITH + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if using magic or constructs to oppose or deflect the bandits.

This engagement once again focuses on battle and action. Stephano and Gaspards Talents beneting their allies should be critical. Miri cant use her Talent to keep the wyvern-pulled chariots in the air, but her Healer Talent may see some use; there are multiple occasions for Stress to be dealt out.

Talent Scout: The Third Engagement

o Dragon Brigade o
Gamemaster (set stakes): D8 (for difficulty) + D10 (for ROBBER BARON) + D10 (for HULLSPLITTER) + D10 (for GRIFFON RIDER) +D4 (for TRUNDLER LEGEND, if opposed by Miri or Gythe) plus any Complications as appropriate. Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + VIGOR (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if trying to take down Berach mac Crodan by force; FAITH + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if using magic or constructs to capture Berach or send him to his doom. Success: The Hero has Berach on the ropes and deals Stress to one of his Traits equal to the Heros third highest rolling die. If he gains an Extraordinary Success (raises the stakes by 5 or more) he can choose to either kill Berach mac Crodan, sending him to the floor OF the valley below, or capture him. Failure: The Hero takes Stress to his VIGOR Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in Berachs pool. If Berach mac Crodans result was 5 or more higher than the Heros, the chariot driver takes the Stress as well. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: HIS LEGEND GROWS STRONGER, SIGIL BURNOUT, or SPOOKED WYVERNS. After each of the three chariot teams has had a chance to close with the Pitiless, update the players on the current situation. Each chariot has closed with, maintained speed with, or fallen far behind the Pitiless. Resolve each of these as follows: Closed with the Pitiless: The Heroes on this chariot may board the Pitiless and engage its crew, hoping to confront Comte Lothaire. Maintained Speed: The Heroes with this chariot may either provide support (pistol shots, constructs, etc.) or attempt to close with the Pitiless. Fallen Behind: The Heroes with this chariot may try to close with the Pitiless or stay out of the remainder of this engagement. If Berach mac Crodan isnt taken out or captured by the Heroes, he and his remaining griffon riders abandon the Pitiless to its fate and peel away from the engagement. They will return one last time in the final engagement.

Boarding Actions

Once the griffons are dealt with, the players can get close enough to the frigate to read the name on its prowthe Pitiless, which both Stephano and Brother Gaspard know belongs to Comte Lothaire. Lothaire is not aboard, however, for the captain is a woman with one eye and silver hair. This is Solvig Jarviksdottir, a disgraced Guundaran mercenary responsible for a major atrocity on the battlefield during the Estaran wars. Dag knows her by reputation. She shoots at anyone trying to board the ship and uses magic to deflect attempts to cripple the vessel. Heroes who are trying to lend support may do that. Those who are able to attempt a boarding action may do so. Finally, those Heroes who wish to draw close may do so. As there will only be two rounds of action, any chariot that fell far behind will only be able to draw close enough to lend support for the second round, not make a boarding action.

Solvig Jarviksdottir
GUUNDARAN MERCENARY D10, ONE-EYED D4, DEFENSIVE CRAFTER D8 with PITILESS BANDIT CREW 4D6

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o Opening Salvo o

One of the fun things about roleplaying games is getting in character, and the battle against Solvig presents an excellent opportunity to put this in the forefront. If Miri is a supporting character rather than a player Hero for the game, have Solvig grab her and threaten her life to give Dag added motivationthis makes an excellent Complication if one presents itself. As Dag is falling for the Trundler pilot, hes forced to decide whether he can risk Miri being hurt, and then whether he lets Solvig live or deals out his own punishment.

Making It Personal

TEST: CLOSE THE DISTANCE


Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (for difficulty) +D8 (Pitiless PILOT) + D8 (Pitiless SPEED) plus any appropriate Complications. Player (set and raise stakes): FAITH + VIGOR plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions appropriate to piloting a wyvern-drawn chariot. Success: The Heros chariot catches up with the Pitiless. With an Extraordinary Success, the chariot gains a D6 Asset, POSITIONING ADVANTAGE, which the chariot passenger can use as well (or steps up an existing Asset of that name by one, maximum D12). Failure: The chariot doesnt catch up to the Pitiless. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls a 1, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose from the following at D6: EXHAUSTED WYVERNS, STUBBORN WYVERNs, or UNFAMILIAR SKIES.

TEST: SUPPORT THE BOARDERS


Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (for difficulty) + D8 (Pitiless PILOT) + D8 (Solvigs DEFENSIVE CRAFTER) + D4 (Solvigs ONE-EYED) + 4D6 (for PITILESS BANDIT CREW) plus any Complications. Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + GUILE (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if using tricks, covering fire, or inspirational shouts; or FAITH + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) if using magic to foil Solvig and the Pitiless pilot. Success: Give another Hero the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Support Asset, minimum D6. If the result was an Extraordinary Success, step the die up by one (D6 becomes a D8, etc.) Failure: Give Solvig the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Complication, minimum D6. Solvig uses this when setting the stakes. If shes already picked up one of these, step the existing one up by one (maximum D12). Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: EXHAUSTED WYVERNS, HIGH WINDS, THERES TOO MANY OF THEM!

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o Dragon Brigade o

TEST: BOARD THE PITILESS


Gamemaster (set stakes): D8 (Pitiless PILOT) +D10 (Solvigs GUNDAARAN MERCENARY) +D8 (Solvigs DEFENSIVE Crafter) +D4 (Solvigs ONE-EYED) +4D6 (for PITILESS BANDIT CREW) plus any Complications, including wyvern-related Complications earned earlier. Player (raise stakes): GUILE + VIGOR (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) Success: The Hero clambers aboard the top deck of the Pitiless and eliminates one of the PITILESS BANDIT CREW. With an Extraordinary Success, the Hero also deals Stress to one of Solvigs Traits equal to the third highest rolling die. Failure: The Hero is pushed back into his chariot and takes Vigor Stress equal to the third highest rolling die in Solvigs pool.

Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: EXHAUSTED WYVERNS, HIGH WINDS, THERES TOO MANY OF THEM! Gamemaster Note: Remember, the players have two attempts to close in and board the Pitiless. If the Heroes on a chariot manage to board on the first attempt, they may either make another boarding attempt action to further harry Solvig and the frigates crew, but risk being pushed back into their chariot, or simply hold their actions until theyre ready to take down Solvig.

Next Events

This engagement ends in one of two ways. If any of the Heroes have managed to board the Pitiless, they have a chance to seize Solvig and capture the frigate. If they failed to catch up to the frigate or were pushed back by Solvig to their chariots, the Pitiless escapes, but the Heroes have gained valuable information.

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o Opening Salvo o
Present the following action to the Heroes on board the Pitiless. Heroes who arent on board will get a chance for more daring action in the next and final engagement. Give In: If the Hero decides to Give In, he gains a Plot Point and a D6 Complication, SOFT-HEARTED. The Heroes are driven from the Pitiless, and Solvig gets away. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls a 1, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose from the following at D6: FALLING DEBRIS, STORMY WEATHER, or TANGLED RIGGING. Regardless of the outcome of the Heroes battle with Solvig and the Pitiless, they have confirmation that Lothaire is the leader of the bandits. They must return with all haste to the Gorge of Speaking, there to present their findings and possibly hand over Berach mac Crodan, Solvig Jarviksdottir, or the Pitiless. The kidnapped tax collector is likely being held at Lothaires castle. They are thanked for their efforts at chasing down the vile assassins, but Lothaire must be brought to face his crimes and the tax collector brought back. They are sent immediately to a nearby Royal Navy outpost, and from there to Castle de Souriz to arrest Comte Lothaire.

CONTEST: DEFEAT SOLVIG THE ONE-EYED


If the players cant agree who leads the attack on Solvig, have them all roll the dice below and the player with the highest result starts the Contest. The others may choose their highest rolling die and give it to the primary player as a Support Asset. Depending on the outcome, this ends with Solvig escaping with her frigate, escaping but leaving her frigate in the Heroes possession, or being captured/killed. Player (set and raise stakes): COURAGE + VIGOR (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) and any Support Asset dice from other Heroes. Gamemaster (raise stakes): D8 (for difficulty) + D10 (Solvigs GUNDAARAN MERCENARY) + D8 (Solvigs DEFENSIVE CRAFTER) + D4 (Solvigs ONE-EYED) plus D6 for each of the surviving PITILESS BANDIT CREW and any appropriate Complications. Success: The Hero has Solvig beaten and bowed, and deals Stress to one of her Traits equal to the Heros third highest rolling die. If he gains an Extraordinary Success (raises the stakes by 5 or more) he can choose to either kill Solvig or capture her. Failure: The Hero takes Stress to his VIGOR Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in Solvigs pool. Solvig leaps over the edge of the Pitiless, whereupon a griffon swoops in to carry her away.

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o Dragon Brigade o

FOURTH ENGAGEMENT: THE CASTLE AFLAME


This engagement is the grand finale, wherein the Cadre of the Lost finally track down the villains behind the attacks on Royal airships and the corruption within the Dragon Duchies, and rescue the tax collector from Comte Lothaires castle. Stephano and the rest of the Cadre should all have an opportunity to flex their abilities and skills, and Brother Gaspard may need to make a terrible decision. The Heroes are also reunited with Arligash, the dragon from the First Engagement. Describe the following to the players once youre ready to move ahead.

Back for More

If the Heroes didnt capture or kill Solvig Jarviksdottir or Berach mac Crodan in the previous engagement, this is an opportunity for a last confrontation with them. As they near Castle de Souriz, the Pitiless (or another frigate, the Salamander, with identical game statistics) drops into view and confronts the Saint-Reynaud with cannon-fire. One or both of Solvig and Berach mac Crodan sneer from the forecastle, their weapons raised in challenge. If neither of these villains is at large, the Salamander and its crew (BANDITS 4D6) is all that stands in the Saint-Reynauds way.

The Cadre reaches the Royal Navy outpost at the hinterlands of the Dragon Duchies, accompanied by two dragons of Clan Cincornyour new friend Arligash, and one of his brothers. Here, you find that word has gone ahead of your arrival and you have been assigned a two-deck warship, the Saint-Reynaud, to confront Comte

Saint-Reynaud
WARSHIP D8, SPEED D8, CANNONS 2D6, CREW 3D6 This vessel has a skeleton crew whose only role is to support the Heroes. If a Hero wishes to include them in any action, any that are used are effectively out for the remainder of the engagement. So, if you include 2D6 Crew, youre left with Crew D6. The Cannons Trait assumes its gunners are dedicated to this role on the vessel; reducing Crew wont have any effect on it. While the Heroes are engaged with the

Lothaire at his mountain home, which is enemy ship, Arligash and his brother descend several leagues into neutral territory.

to break down the castles construct-bound fortifications with their dragonfire. They wont participate in the battle against the enemy airship. You can use the following actions to handle the airship conflict. One of the Heroes (presumably Miri) acts as the Saint-Reynauds pilot; the others repel the boarding party of Solvig, Berach, or the bandits.

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o Opening Salvo o

TEST: BOMBARD FRIGATE

THE

ENEMY

TEST: REPEL THE BOARDERS


This is an all-purpose action for each of the Heroes who arent engaged in piloting the Saint-Reynaud. If Solvig and/or Berach are present, add their dice to set the stakes, as provided. If one of the Heroes wants to take on Solvig or Berach personally, use the To The Last! action instead. Gamemaster (set stakes): D8 (for Difficulty) + 4D6 (for BANDITS) + D10 (for Berachs ROBBER BARON) + D10 (for Solvigs GUUNDARAN MERCENARY) plus any Complications. Remember, only add Berach or Solvigs dice if theyre present. Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + VIGOR for use of guns and force to repel; FAITH + REASON for use of magic and constructs; GUILE + VIGOR for dirty tricks and distractions. Add Signature Assets, Specialties, and Distinctions as appropriate. Success: The Hero has delivered a blow to the boarding party, and one of the four Bandits is removed from the engagement. With an Extraordinary Success, the Hero may either remove two Bandits, or instead deliver the third highest rolling die as Stress to one of Berach mac Crodans Traits or Solvig Jarviksdottirs Traits, in addition to removing a single Bandit. Failure: The Hero takes Stress to his VIGOR Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in the boarders pool.

Gamemaster (set stakes): D8 (for difficulty) +D8 (for Frigates PILOT) +D8 (for Frigates SPEED) +2D6 (for Frigates CANNONS) Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + REASON (plus Signature Assets, Specialties, and Distinctions, such as Miris PILOT Specialty) +D8 (for Saint-Reynauds speed) +2D6 (for Saint-Reynauds CANNONS) Success: The enemy frigate is driven back and sustains heavy damage. If the Hero gains an Extraordinary Success, powder stores and constructs aboard the frigate explode violently; take the Heros third highest rolling die and add it as Stress to either Solvig or Berach, or remove the bandits. Failure: The enemy frigate escapes significant damage entirely and returns fire. The Hero gains REASON Stress equal to the frigates third highest rolling die. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls a 1, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose from the following at D6: HEAVY WINDS or EMBOLDENED FOES.

This is yet another long and potentially complicated engagement, where Miris Healer and Dags Never Lie Down are as useful as Stephanos Lead By Example or even Rodrigos Think Outside the Box. At several points, Gythes Quick Sigil may allow her to work her magic while carrying out support actions, and Brother Gaspards All In Your Head makes taking a lot of Stress somewhat less challenging.

Talent Scout: The Fourth Engagement

25

o Dragon Brigade o
Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls a 1, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose from the following at D6: EMBOLDENED FOES, SLIPPERY DECKS, or SURROUNDED! Possible Complications: Dont worry about Complications for this Test. Move on to the final battle! Once the frigate (the Pitiless or the Salamander) is taken care of, and the dragons have broken down the castles defenses, the Saint-Reynaud closes in with the castle.

TEST: TO THE LAST!


Use this action if one of the Heroes wants to directly challenge Berach mac Crodan or Solvig Jarviksdottir. Its just a Test, not a Contest, because theres a castle to storm below. Gamemaster (set stakes): D8 (for difficulty) +D10 (for Solvigs GUUNDARAN MERCENARY) +D8 (for Solvigs DEFENSIVE CRAFTER) +D4 (for Solvigs ONE-EYED); or D8 (for difficulty) +D10 (for Berachs ROBBER BARON) +D10 (for Berachs HULLSPLITTER) +D4 (for Berachs TRUNDLER LEGEND). Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + VIGOR for physical battle; GUILE + VIGOR for misdirection and dirty tricks; FAITH + REASON for magic. Add Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions as appropriate. Success: The Hero overcomes the villain. Have the player describe the finishing blow or winning maneuver. If an Extraordinary Success is gained, the Hero gains an Asset of his choice equal to the third highest rolling die: EMBOLDENED, SECOND WIND, or TRIUMPHANT! Failure: The Hero overcomes to the villain, but at cost to himself. He gains VIGOR, COURAGE, or FAITH Stress (depending on the approach he took against the villain) equal to the villains third highest rolling die.

At the Castle de Souriz

Comte Lothaire de Souriz maintains a small yet well defended castle with a single impressive spire surrounded by curtain walls and fortifications. The dragons of Clan Cincorn have demolished much of this; Arligash flies up to the Saint-Reynaud to inform the Cadre that the former Dragon Brigade officer has made his way to the spire, connected to the body of the castle by a wind-swept causeway. The spire is most likely where the tax collector has been locked away. The Cadre can bring the warship in close enough for them to disembark and pursue their quarry. Arligash and his brother return to the skies to make sure no other bandits approach the castle while the Heroes are engaged.

Comte Lothaire de Souriz


DRAGON BRIGADE VETERAN D8, MASTER SWORDSMAN D10, DRAGON RIDER D8, HONORABLE D4 A young man when he was charged with treason against the Crown, then-Captain Lothaire de Souriz was counseled by his uncle, Brother Gaspard, to become a devoted idealist. His decision not to set fire to a captive Estaran vessel and condemn its crew to a fiery death saw him thrown in chains, but he escaped and has since been embracing a new, radical idealism. Even so, he retains a sense of honor beneath the bitterness.

26

o Opening Salvo o
Although the Heroes could try something forceful or aggressive, remind them that this is a rare opportunity to talk some sense into a oncegreat officer of the legendary Dragon Brigade. Stephano or Brother Gaspard might try to appeal to him; Gaspard, especially, should be given this option before the others. Also, at least one of the Heroes should go and recover the tax collector from the spire. This doesnt require a roll but it means that Hero wont participate in the confrontation with Lothaire. Give In: If the Hero Gives In, he gains a Plot Point and a D6 Complication, IMPENETRABLE RHETORIC. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls a 1, hand him a Plot Point and choose one of the following Complications at D6: IMPENETRABLE RHETORIC, SEDITIOUS LOGIC, or TREASONOUS CYNIC. If Lothaire surrenders, the Heroes can take him into their custody. Otherwise, they must resort to force. Its also possible they want to go this route to begin with, of course. If this is the way things go, some Heroes may use Support Actions while at least one may try to take him in a rapier duel or similar Contest. Take care of the Support Actions first, as usual.

CONTEST: AN APPEAL TO REASON


Like the other Contests, this involves each side trying to progressively raise the stakes until one side Gives In or fails to roll higher than the other. The Hero is trying to appeal to Lothaires honor, beliefs, or Crown Law. Lothaire is opposed to the status quo and those who would defend it. Player (set and raise stakes): REASON + REASON, FAITH + FAITH, or FAITH + REASON, plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions. The approach taken may depend on the Heros relationship to Lothaire, but it is the players choice. Gamemaster (raise stakes): D8 (for Difficulty) + D8 (for DRAGON BRIGADE VETERAN) + D4 (for HONORABLE) plus any Complications relating to the Heros recent activity. Success: If Lothaire fails to raise the stakes, he rejects his misdeeds and surrenders to the Hero. Failure: If the Hero fails to raise the stakes, Lothaires face twists into a sneer. He draws his pistol and shoots the Hero, who takes Stress to his VIGOR Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in Lothaires pool.

TEST: STAND BESIDE OUR COMRADE!


Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (difficulty) + D10 (for Lothaires DRAGON BRIGADE VETERAN) Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + FAITH (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) to use hearty encouragement or moral support; GUILE + REASON (plus any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) for a clever or heroic distraction. Success: Give a Hero of your choice the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Support Asset, minimum D6. If the result was an Extraordinary Success, step the die up by one (D6 becomes a D8, etc.) Failure: Give the opposition the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Complication, minimum D6.

27

o Dragon Brigade o

TEST: STAND BESIDE OUR COMRADE!


Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: FASTER THAN HE LOOKS, SLIPPERY SURFACE, or WINDY CAUSEWAY.

Give In: If the Hero chooses to Give In, he gains a Plot Point and a D6 Complication, CONFLICTED. As with Failure, above, Lothaire makes a run for the other end of the causeway. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: FASTER THAN HE LOOKS, SLIPPERY SURFACE, or WINDY CAUSEWAY. Gamemaster Note: At this stage in the mission, the Heroes may have acquired a great number of Complications. Theres only one more conflict before the end, however, so it shouldnt get too much worse for them. Of course, now it involves a dragon Whether Lothaire has surrendered or fled, the last and final stage of the engagement takes place. If one of the Heroes freed the tax collector, the poor man, starved and exhausted, can be helped onto the Saint-Reynaud. Just as this happens, everything gets worse.

CONTEST: AT RAPIERS POINT


This is likely a physical contest, one without magic or clever intrigue. Its where Stephano and Dag perform well, as opposed to Rodrigo or Gythe. Player (set and raise stakes): COURAGE + VIGOR, for heroic fencing, or GUILE + VIGOR, for more devious efforts (plus Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions as appropriate). Gamemaster (raise stakes): D8 (for difficulty) + D10 (MASTER SWORDSMAN) + D4 (HONORABLE) plus any Complications where appropriate. Success: If Lothaire fails to raise the stakes, he drops his sword (orthe Hero disarms him with a flourish) and surrenders. Failure: If the Hero fails to raise the stakes, Lothaire makes a run for the other end of the causeway. The Hero takes Stress to his VIGOR Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in Lothaires pool.

Dragon Arrival

At this point, the true mastermind of the bandits reveals herself: Thurien, the Comtes dragon partner. She comes diving out of the clouds while the Heroes are catching a breath after their encounter with Lothaire. If he surrendered, she kills Lothaire; if he fled, she tries to help him escape. She sprays dragonfire along the causeway in either case. If Lothaire surrendered, you might describe how he stands and advances toward the diving dragon before becoming engulfed in a blossom of flame. If he has fled, hes out of range of the flames and waits for Thurien to swing down to collect him.

28

o Opening Salvo o

TEST: AVOID THE FLAMES!


The Heroes arent truly in danger here, though theres no reason to let on. Set the stakes just once for Thurien, then have each Hero roll to raise the stakes and avoid a fiery doom. Gamemaster (set stakes): D6 (for difficulty) + D8 (for Thuriens BREED) + D10 (for Thuriens DRAGONFIRE) plus any Complications. Player (raise stakes): COURAGE + VIGOR, VIGOR + VIGOR, or FAITH + VIGOR. Add any Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions as appropriate. Success: The Hero finds cover or leaps clear of the trail of burning destruction. With an Extraordinary Success, he can give another Hero a Support Asset equal to his third highest rolling die, minimum D6. Failure: The Heros clothes catch fire or his hair is singed. The Hero takes Stress to his COURAGE Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in Thuriens pool. Possible Complications: None for this Test. The Heroes must retreat to the SaintReynaud, for theres little chance of survival standing along the open causeway. Thurien makes a grand sweep around the castle, either picking up Lothaire if he yet lives or building up speed to pursue the Heroes ship. Thurien attacked the two younger dragons of Clan Cincorn before she arrived, but Arligash survived her assault. The Heroes may use the injured dragon as a Support Asset, as described in the Pierce the Clouds Test. Heres where Miris piloting skills are put to the test, as well as possibly Gythe or Rodrigos channeling. The Saint-Reynaud sustained some

damage in the battle; to outpace the dragon it needs to fly faster than its design allows. Have Gythe and/or Rodrigo attempt the Channel Power Test, followed by Miri in the Pierce the Clouds Test.

TEST: CHANNEL POWER


This is a basic use of Crafting and Channeling ability, reaching into the constructs that connect the Saint-Reynauds helm to its airscrews and propulsion. Only Heroes with both Channeling and some form of Crafting may attempt it, thus, Gythe and Rodrigo. Gamemaster (set stakes): D10 + D8 (based on the scope of the Constructs and the general difficulty) Player (raise stakes): FAITH + REASON plus CHANNELING Specialty plus CRAFTING Specialty Success: Give the Saint-Reynauds pilot the third highest rolling die in your Action Pool as a Support Asset, minimum D6. If the result was an Extraordinary Success, step the die up by one (D6 becomes a D8, etc.). This represents the increased flow of power to the helm or the refinement of existing constructs. Failure: Although power was redirected and channeled, the sigils and constructs the Hero manipulated were not immediately useful to the pilot. Possible Complications: If the Hero rolls any 1s, activate the Complication with a Plot Point and choose one of the following at D6: FAILED CONSTRUCT, SHE CANT TAKE THE STRAIN, or UNFAMILIAR SIGILS

o Dragon Brigade o

CONTEST: PIERCE THE CLOUDS


This is a very direct and to the point effort to outrun a swift dragon. Its terribly difficult, but Miri should be up to the task. Arligash is aiding this action, but hes taken injuries from Thurien; while he adds two Traits to the players roll, his Stress also adds to the Gamemaster setting the stakes. Player (set stakes): COURAGE + REASON (plus Signature Assets, Specialties, or Distinctions) plus any Support Assets from Rodrigo and/or Gythe plus D10 (Arligashs BREED) + D6 (Arligashs VIGOR) Gamemaster (raise stakes): D10 (for Difficulty) + D8 (Thuriens BREED) + D10 (Thuriens SPEED) + D6 (Arligashs STRESS) plus any Complications as appropriate. Success: The Saint-Reynaud pulls ahead of the pursuing dragon, leading her back into the Duchy of Nezarlet, her own Clan. If the Hero gains an Extraordinary Success, Thurien is exhausted by the effort to catch up. Failure: The Saint-Reynaud is able to make it to the Duchy of Nezarlet, Thuriens clan, but not before the dragon unleashes more dragonfire. The Hero and all aboard the warship take Stress to their VIGOR Action Traits equal to the third highest rolling die in Thuriens pool and the tax collector is scared out of his wits. If the Heros result is 5 or more points below the stakes (stakes are 10, Heros result is 5) then the tax collector has a fatal heart attack.

Give In: If the pilot chooses to Give In, she gains a Plot Point and a D6 Complication, SHES TOO FAST!. The rest of the Crew takes Stress to their Faith Action Trait equal to the third highest rolling die in Thuriens pool. The pilot loses any Assets gained from Channel Power, but the Crew reponsible for the Channel Power Test may try again, and then this Contest may be repeated until the Crew succeeds or fails. Possible Complications: None for this Test. Once the Heroes arrive back in the Duchy of Nezarlet, Thurien realizes shes been drawn out. Dozens of dragons belonging to Clan Nezarlet rise from the mountains and valleys to intercept her, led by Duke Orchal if he still lives. If Lothaire was killed, Thurien decides she has nothing to live for, and fights back at her clanmates. She is dragged screaming from the skies, a victim of her own ambition. If Lothaire was not killed and is with her, she surrenders to her clans justice. The Heroes have triumphed over the bandits and their leaders! Move on to Denouement and the wrapup of this mission.

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o Opening Salvo o

DENOUEMENT
Back among the Dukes in the Gorge, the Cadre of the Lost are rewarded with plenty of gold and jewels from the dragons common hoard. If the tax collector was freed from Castle de Souriz and survived Thuriens pursuit, he is grateful and promises to put in a good word with the King. If they returned without him, the Cadre may have a good deal of explaining to do to the Crown. If Orchal and Thurien are still alive, she is sentenced to exile for her crimes and forced to leave Rosia forever. If Orchal died, his voice of measured reason is not heard. Thurien has her mighty wings clipped before shes sent into exile. If Lothaire, Solvig, or Berach mac Crodan survived, the Cadre are tasked with bringing them to justice. If Lothaire died, Duke Brealgarn gives the Cadre his sworn confirmation of what happened, to be brought to the Royal Court in Rosia at once. At the end of the mission, the Heroes are taken back to Lac Saint-Evrard, where the Cloud Hopper awaits repair, restocking, and the return of its brave Heroesthe Cadre of the Lost!

31

o Dragon Brigade o

STEPHANO de GUICHEN
ACTION TRAITS
D10 D6 D4 D8 D8

SPECIALTIES

COURAGE FAITH GUILE REASON VIGOR

My heart shall not fail. Honor guides my hand. Truth is the rst casualty of war. Focus is key to success. Stand until the job is done.

Command 2d6, Dragon Psychology d6, Fencing 2d6, Firearms 2d6 When your training in any of these areas is appropriate to an action, you get to roll these dice, too. You still only add together the two highest rolling dice, unless something says you can add in more.

When the Gamemaster asks you to roll something like COURAGE plus VIGOR you take those two dice (a D10 and a D8), roll them, and add them together. If you have any extra dice (such as if you used one of your Distinctions), then you pick the two highest values and add those together. If what youre doing directly relates to one or both of the taglines associated with your Action Traits, you can spend a Plot Point to reroll all the dice, even the 1s. You must keep the result of the new roll.

TALENTS

DISTINCTIONS

Cynical, Dragon Brigade Veteran, Noble Bastard Any time youre rolling dice and acting Cynical, drawing on your experience as a Dragon Brigade Veteran, or dealing with your Noble Bastard heritage, then you can describe one or more of these things and you can add an extra D8 to the roll for each Distinction you use. On the other hand, if you think one of these things might make your life harder, you can describe that and add an extra D4 to your roll and gain a Plot Point for each Distinction you use instead.

Lead By Example: You inspire others by your swift and decisive action. When you succeed at a Test or Contest, you may give your third highest rolling die to an ally engaging in a similar action. Your ally adds the die to her own Action Pool for her next roll. If you already used your third highest rolling die for an effect, like Stress, or added it to your result with a Plot Point, use the fourth highest rolling die, and so on. Tactical Eye: Once per engagement, when youre involved in a battle or other combat situation and you or one of you allies in earshot of you fails to raise the stakes in an offensive Test or Contest, you may roll your REASON die and add it to the result, possibly changing the outcome. When the Gamemaster gives you an Opportunity when rolling dice against you (a 1 comes up on one of the opposing dice) this Talent is refreshed and you canuse it again.

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o Opening Salvo o

SIGNATURE ASSETS

Relationships

Dragon Pistol d8, Sigil-Reinforced Shirt d8 You may add one or both of these Assets without spending a Plot Point if and when their use is appropriate to the success of your action. If someone else wants to use them, he has to spend a Plot Point.

STARTING PLOT POINTS: 3

You may spend a Plot Point to add the next highest die you rolled to your result in addition to the two highest. You may also spend a Plot Point to create a temporary Asset rated as D6 to represent using an improvised tool, exploiting the environment, or otherwise improving your chances of success.

Stephano and Rodrigo are best friends; they would do anything for each other. Despite Dags lack of confidence, Stephano sees his potential and knows he can count of Dag in a pinch. Once romantically involved with Miri, Stephano sometimes thinks his feelings forher are conflicted which can lead him to be a bit overprotective of her; however, he knows theyre best off as friends. Gythe is a mystery to Stephanolike everyone else, hes protective of her; he isnt quite sure what to make of the mute, child-like girl, however. Brother Gaspard is a fellow Dragon Brigade veteran but his deep ties to both Church and Crown make him twice the annoyance.

ABOUT STEPHANO DE GUICHEN

Rumored to be the son of a noblewoman, Stephano was born on the wrong side of the sheets. He was raised by his father, Sir Julian de Guichen, a knight-rider for the famed Dragon Brigade. When Stephano was sixteen, Sir Julian was executed as a traitor for taking part in the Lost Rebellion against the despotic King Alaric. Stephano fought at his fathers side during the last battle. Grievously wounded, Stephano was saved from death by his childhood friend, Rodrigo. Stephano avoided the wrath of King Alaric and obtained a commission in the Dragon Brigade. When the king disbanded the Brigade five years ago, Stephano found himself living only on his pension. He formed the Cadre of the Lost, a group who takes on odd jobs in order to earn their keep, even if it means working for the Crown. Stephano is loyal to his friends, a peril to his enemies. He is proud of his father but suspicious of courtly intrigue. Believing the Church betrayed his father, Stephano has little use for priests. Stephano can fight and fight well, but he does not love battle. He is thirty-four, strong and fit, for he practices his fencing daily.

33

o Dragon Brigade o

RODRIGO DE VILLENEUVE
ACTION TRAITS
D4 D8

SPECIALTIES

Courage Faith Guile Reason Vigor

Combat would ruin this coat! I believe in myself, which only lets me down occasionally. Whats sauce for the goose With the right lever, the mind can move the world. Exertion is for those without style.

D10 D8

D6

Channeler d6, Court Affairs d6, Courtly Crafter 2d6, Seduction 2d6, University Scholar d6 When your training in any of these areas is appropriate to an action, you get to roll these dice, too. You still only add together the two highest rolling dice, unless something says you can add in more. Being a CHANNELER means Rodrigo can flow magic through constructs; he can craft constructs as well (see below).

When the Gamemaster asks you to roll something like GUILE plus REASON you take those two dice (a D10 and a D8), roll them, and add them together. If you have any extra dice (such as if you used one of your Distinctions), then you pick the two highest values and add those together. If what youre doing directly relates to one or both of the taglines associated with your Action Traits, you can spend a Plot Point to reroll all the dice, even the 1s. You must keep the result of the new roll.

RODRIGOS CRAFTING

DISTINCTIONS

Charming, Lazy, Rosian Courtier Any time youre rolling dice and being Charming, drawing on your experience as a Rosian Courtier, or getting out of something by being Lazy, you can describe one or more of these things and add an extra D8 to the roll for each Distinction you use. On the other hand, if you think one of these things might make your life harder, you can describe that and add an extra D4 to your roll and gain a Plot Point for each Distinction you use instead.

34

Rodrigo is a Crafter, trained in making magical constructs by inscribing sigils of power and connecting them through lines of magical energy in order to produce effects. Rodrigo gave up on his formal training as a Crafter, but picked up a number of tricks while spending time amongst the royal courts of Aeronne. His COURTLY CRAFTER Specialty allows him to make constructs related to his training, like constructs related to espionage, entertaining, and keeping his suit clean. His Signature Sigils provide a few examples of the kind of effects that he has practiced. When Rodrigo wants to create a construct, the Gamemaster decides if its within his realm of expertise and if it would be a fairly routine effect. If the answer to both is yes, then Rodrigo simply does it without needing any kind of roll. Otherwise, if its an effect he wouldnt be familiar with or if there are any particular difficulties involved, then he must roll to create it using his FAITH + REASON as the Action Traits. If the effect involves a variant on one of his

o Opening Salvo o
Signature Sigils, he may re-roll any of the dice used once without spending a Plot Point, but he must keep the new result, even if it is worse that the original. all that lace. Rodrigo is thirty-three with melting brown eyes, a long, narrow face, and a sardonic smile. Rodrigo is the spoiled youngest son of the large de Villeneuve family, a lineage that dates back to the Sunlit Empire. He could do no wrong in the eyes of his fond parents, the Viscount and Viscountess de Vellenueve. He spent his youth with Stephano, who was tutored alongside him at the Viscounts invitation, but this relationship to the de Guichens caused political problems later on. It was only with great sums of money that the Viscount could regain the Crowns favor. Rodrigo rarely finds the energy or ambition to pursue his many talents. He is fond of dressing well and spends much of his allowance on clothes. He is a favorite of the ladies of the court and falls in and out of love about once a week. He is adept at court intrigue and knows every secret and scandal about every person in the Royal Palaceknowledge that has saved him from irate husbands on more than one occasion. Rodrigo attended University, his father deciding his talented son should be a priest. Various escapades, including smuggling women into his bedroom and sending the Grand Bishops miter floating around the dining hall, resulted in Rodrigos expulsion. He lives on the allowance provided by his father, sharing a house with Stephano. Rodrigo has a head for numbers and is the Cadres bookkeeper. He is hopeless in a fight.

SIGNATURE SIGILS

I create FIREFLIES to entertain at parties. I EAVESDROP to gather juicy gossip. I avoid prying eyes and pilfering hands by keeping my secrets under lock and SEAL. Lost learning is not lost to me when I RECOVER PAGE.

TALENTS

Crafter: You are a Crafter, able to create magic by carefully inscribing sigils and constructs. Your COURTLY CRAFTER Specialty gives you 4 Signature Sigils, described above. She Said She Wasnt Married: Youre frequently accused of crimes and misdemeanors and have a knack for dodging those bullets. Add a D8 to any roll you (or an ally) make when attempting to try to escape the blame for something you (or your ally) has done. Think Outside The Box: Once per mission, you may add a third (but different) Action Trait of your choice to your pool for any Action you take, but you must also add a D4. When the Gamemaster gives you an Opportunity when rolling dice against you (a 1 comes up on one of the opposing dice) this Talent is refreshed and you can use it again.

STARTING PLOT POINTS: 3

You may spend a Plot Point to add the next highest die you rolled to your result in addition to the two highest. You may also spend a Plot Point to create a temporary Asset rated as D6 to represent using an improvised tool, exploiting the environment, or otherwise improving your chances of success.

Relationships

ABOUT RODRIGO DE VELLENEUVE

Most people judge Rodrigo by his scandalous affairs, his foppish fashion sense, and his refusal to take life seriously. Stephano alone knows that a courageous and generous heart beats beneath

35

As hes already proven, Rodrigo would risk his life and reputation for Stephano, including defy an order from the Crown. Dag is a fairly recent addition to the Cadre and once fought on the other side from Stephano, but he seems dependable. Rodrigo teases Miri as though she were his sister. Hes intrigued by Gythes talent for crafting which is so unlike his own and he feels particularly responsible for keeping her safe. Rodrigo is sure that his checkered past will be a problem for Brother Gaspard, assuming the church liaison is as devout as he looks.

o Dragon Brigade o

DAG THORGRIMSON
ACTION TRAITS
D8 D8 D6 D5

Courage Faith Guile Reason Vigor

Ive got a job to do. God helps those who help themselves. There are no rules in battle. Books dont solve problems, people do. It isnt over if Im still standing.

life harder, you can describe that and add an extra D4 to your roll and gain a Plot Point for each Distinction you use instead.

SPECIALTIES

D10

When the Gamemaster asks you to roll something like VIGOR plus COURAGE you take those two dice (a D10 and a D8), roll them, and add them together. If you have any extra dice (such as if you used one of your Distinctions), then you pick the two highest values and add those together. If what youre doing directly relates to one or both of the taglines associated with your Action Traits, you can spend a Plot Point to reroll all the dice, even the 1s. You must keep the result of the new roll.

Brawling 2d6, Firearms 3d6, Underworld Lore d6, Survival d6 When your training in any of these areas is appropriate to an action, you get to roll these dice, too. You still only add together the two highest rolling dice, unless something says you can add in more.

TALENTS

DISTINCTIONS

Guundaran Mercenary, Haunted, Huge Any time youre rolling dice and drawing on your experience as a Guundaran Mercenary, benefiting from being Huge, or keeping alert thanks to your Haunted past, then you can describe one or more of these things and you can add an extra D8 to the roll for each Distinction you use. On the other hand, if you think one of these things might make your

Mighty: When you need to break down a door, break or smash open something, add D8 to your dice pool to perform the Action and add the three highest results together instead of the two highest to determine your result. Never Lie Down: You dont succumb to pain or trauma easily. When you take Stress that makes you shaken, you may spend a Plot Point to immediately step back the Stress die by one, possibly removing the shaken condition. When you take Stress that makes you stricken, you may spend a Plot Point to ignore the stricken condition and remain shaken, instead. Doctor Ellington (your big, curious cat) d6, Enormous Pistol d8 You may roll one or both of these Assets with your other dice without spending a Plot Point if

SIGNATURE ASSETS

36

o Opening Salvo o
and when their use is appropriate to the success of your action. If someone else wants to use them, they have to spend a Plot Point. special coat with padding on the left shoulder for the cat to use as a perch. Unable to stay in Westfirth, Dag drifted about Rosia, doing odd jobs until he ran into Stephano, who recognized Dag from the Battle of the Royal Sail. Stephano offered Dag a job in the Cadre. Dag would not accept until he had confessed his crimes. Stephano listened and, at the end, shook Dags hand. Dag is haunted by his past and, strictly religious, he is convinced that he is going to hell for his many sins. He takes a somber, serious view of life and rarely laughs. Dag is an expert with all types of firearms, from pistols to cannons. He plays the bagpipes, a skill he learned from his father. Dag is six-foot-two, close to forty years old, big-boned and heavyset. He wears the dark and somber clothing of his strict religious sect.

STARTING PLOT POINTS: 3

You may spend a Plot Point to add the next highest die you rolled to your result in addition to the two highest. You may also spend a Plot Point to create a temporary Asset rated as D6, to represent using an improvised tool, exploiting the environment, or otherwise improving your chances of success.

ABOUT DAG THORGRIMSON

Born in the nation of Guundar, famous for their mercenaries, Dag was eight years old when he joined his sergeant father in the army. Dag started as a drummer and fought in his first battle at the age of twelve. He served for many years as a mercenary, holding the rank of Sergeant, fighting other peoples wars. Dag first encountered Stephano and the Dragon Brigade at the Battle of the Royal Sail. The two were on opposing sides in that conflict, with Dag fighting with the besieged Estarans in a floating fortress. Although they didnt technically meet each other at this point, Stephano was impressed with Dags courage, and Dag was impressed with Stephanos honor. Dags military career ended abruptly when he gave an order that resulted in the deaths of all of the men under his command. The sole survivor, Dag determined that he would never again be placed in a position of authority. Guilt-ridden and traumatized, Dag drifted about until he came to the free-wheeling city of Westfirth. Heedless what became of him, Dag joined one of the citys many gangs as an enforcer. He found the job distasteful, but he went along with it until his partner nearly beat a man to death. Dag killed his partner to save the mans life and spent days at the victims bedside, trying to save him. The man died, bequeathing Dag his only treasurea large orange-andwhite striped cat named Doctor Ellington. Dag and the cat became firm friends. Dag has a

Relationships

Dag feels that he owes a great debt to Stephano for giving him another chance and he would do almost anything to be the man Stephano thinks he is. Ever practical, Dag has little time for Rodrigos antics. Dag secretly loves Miri, but believes he is not worthy of her; he is likewise protective of her sister Gythe. As a devout man, Dag gives Brother Gaspard due respect and may even look to him for spiritual counsel, although their branches of faith are different.

37

o Dragon Brigade o

MIRI MCPIKE
ACTION TRAITS
D8 D4

SPECIALTIES

Courage Faith Guile Reason Vigor

People rely on me. God isnt always there when you need him. Everybody lies sometimes. Thinking, not ghting, solves problems. I dont need you to tell me what to do.

D8 D10 D6

When the Gamemaster asks you to roll something like REASON plus GUILE you take those two dice (a D10 and a D8), roll them, and add them together. If you have any extra dice (such as if you used one of your Distinctions), then you pick the two highest values and add those together. If what youre doing directly relates to one or both of the taglines associated with your Action Traits, you can spend a Plot Point to reroll all the dice, even the 1s. You must keep the result of the new roll.

Pilot 2d6, Channeler 2d6, Lore 2d6, Trade d6 When your training in any of these areas is appropriate to an action, you get to roll these dice, too. You still only add together the two highest rolling dice, unless something says you can add in more. Being a CHANNELER means Miri knows how to flow magic through constructs but cannot craft the way Gythe or Rodrigo can.

TALENTS

DISTINCTIONS

Fiery Temper, Stubborn, Trundler Any time youre rolling dice and acting Stubborn, using your Fiery Temper, or dealing with your Trundler heritage, then you can describe one or more of these things and you can add an extra D8 to the roll for each Distinction you use. On the other hand, if you think one of these things might make your life harder, you can describe that and add an extra D4 to your roll and gain a Plot Point for each Distinction you use instead.

Healer: The power of life is largely misunderstood, but you are able to guide it intuitively when helping others. Add your CHANNELER Specialty to your pool when using a Recovery Action to recover VIGOR Stress and include an extra die in the result (adding up the three highest rolling dice, not just the two highest). Keep Her Flying: Youre a master of holding an airship together. Your instincts are usually right even when your training tells you something else. When your airship is heavily damaged, incapacitated, or falls into the Breath, you can spend a Plot Point to keep it in the air or (in the worst cases) land her safely, although this doesnt negate any Stress the ship has taken. You can repeat this for as long as you still have Plot Points. The Cloud Hopper d8, Healing Salve d8 You may roll these Assets with your other dice without spending a Plot Point if and when their use is appropriate to the

SIGNATURE ASSETS

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o Opening Salvo o
success of your action. If someone else wants to use it, they have to spend a Plot Point. is very protective of Gythe but also knows her sisters inner strength. She is wary and likely antagonistic toward Brother Gaspard, unless he can show her that he is more than just a pawn of the Church.

STARTING PLOT POINTS: 3

You may spend a Plot Point to add the next highest die you rolled to your result in addition to the two highest. You may also spend a Plot Point to create a temporary Asset rated as D6, to represent using an improvised tool, exploiting the environment, or otherwise improving your chances of success.

ABOUT MIRI MCPIKE

Miri is a Trundler Lore Master; she keeps the history of the Trundler people in stories, legends, and songs. Miri became fascinated by dragons and their connection to Trundler history. She met Stephano when he wandered by mistake into the McPikes camp and got into a fight with some of the Trundler lads. The two became lovers, but when that didnt work out, they decided they were more comfortable being friends. When Stephano formed the Cadre, he needed a reliable form of transportationone the authorities might tend to overlook. Miris boat, the Cloud Hopper, proved to be well-suited for the job. Miri has red hair and a temper to match. She never stays angry long, but when she is on a rampage, even the cat goes into hiding. She is a skilled pilot, herbalist, and Channeler, an expert on Trundler lore. She knows almost as much about dragons as Stephano does. Miri can handle firearms and is especially skilled at reloading. Miri has no love for the Church, believing that the Church abandoned her people. She is thirtyfive, with red hair, freckles and green eyes.

Relationships

Miris friendship with Stephano is strong, even if she chafes at his occasionally overprotective nature. Shes grateful to Rodrigo for his care of Gythe. Miri is in love with Dag and is convinced that he loves her, but she knows that if she breathes a word, he will run away and never come back. Gythe and Miri are exceptionally close to each other; Miri

o Dragon Brigade o

GYTHE MCPIKE
ACTION TRAITS
D4 D10 D8 D8 D6

SPECIALTIES

Courage Faith Guile Reason Vigor

Not every horror can be faced. My heart lies with my friends. Its not a lie if you are smiling. I am not strong, so I must be sharp. I have survived worse than this.

When the Gamemaster asks you to roll something like FAITH plus REASON you take those two dice (a D10 and a D8), roll them, and add them together. If you have any extra dice (such as if you used one of your Distinctions), then you pick the two highest values and add those together. If what youre doing directly relates to one or both of the taglines associated with your Action Traits, you can spend a Plot Point to reroll all the dice, even the 1s. You must keep the result of the new roll.

Channeler 2d6, Empathic Insight d6, Singing d6, Untrained Crafting 3d6 When your training in any of these areas is appropriate to an Action, you get to roll these dice, too. You still only add together the two highest rolling dice, unless something says you can add in more. Being a CHANNELER means Gythe can flow magic through constructs; she can craft constructs as well (see below).

GYTHES CRAFTING

DISTINCTIONS

Beautiful, Mute, Trundler Any time youre rolling dice and capitalizing on being Beautiful, avoiding something by virtue of being Mute, or dealing with your Trundler heritage, then you can describe one or more of these things and you can add an extra D8 to the roll for each Distinction you use. On the other hand, if you think one of these things might make your life harder, you can describe that and add an extra D4 to your roll and gain a Plot Point for each Distinction you use instead.

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Gythe, as a Trundler, never received any formal training in magic, but that doesnt stop her from using the magic she was born with. While her self-taught magic is flexible, it often comes with more problems than a trained Crafter (like Rodrigo). Gythe can create effects related to her Trundler background, especially those that help the Cloud Hopper or her crew. Her Signature Sigils give a few examples of this. When Gythe wants to create magic, she must be able to sing (even though she is otherwise mute.) The Gamemaster decides if the effect she wants to create is within her realm of expertise, and if it would be a fairly routine effect. If the answer to both is yes, then Gythe simply does it without needing any kind of roll. If the answer to either is no (either its an effect she wouldnt be familiar with, or if there are any particular difficulties involved), then she must roll to create it successfully, using her FAITH + REASON as the Action Traits, plus a D4 for her UNTRAINED CRAFTER Talent. If the effect involves a variant on one of

o Opening Salvo o
her Signature Sigils, she may re-roll any of the dice used once, but she must keep the new result even if it is worse. Trundler songs. Her voice is beautiful, with a haunting, wistful quality. Despite her vocal talents, Gythe has been mute since childhood, when some sort of terrible incident befell her and her sister. Miri refuses to speak of what happened, even to her friends. Gythe has a childlike quality about her that makes her seem younger. This quality is not innocence, for dark knowledge shadows her eyes. She is skilled in magic, but undisciplined in its use, with very little understanding of what she is doing. She often sings when casting spells, and her singing may have something to do with her magic. Gythe has the ability to empathize with people, seeming to read their souls. She and Miri have a special bond that allows each sister to knowat least most of the timewhat the other is thinking. Gythe speaks in sign language she and Miri developed. Gythe is lithe and dances among the rigging with the skill of an acrobat. Gythe is twenty-one, with a slender, light build. Her champagne-colored hair is wild and wind-blown.

SIGNATURE SIGILS

My SHIELDING protects those I love. The Cloud Hopper is safe because I REINFORCE WOOD. I DIRECT WINDS to arrive at port by nightfall. Our home is well stocked with all you could need because I LIGHTEN LOADS. I HIDE what is valuable to me so nobody can hurt me. I CHARM others with my smile and my music.

TALENTS

Quick Sigil: Youre adept at crafting single sigils quickly and efficiently. If you spend a Plot Point when youre using one of your Signature Sigils, it takes no time to use it and you can combine it with another action. Untrained Crafter: Your magical ability somehow slipped by the usual trainers of magic. You can Craft in another manner different than inscribing sigils and constructs (in Gythes case, with singing). Whenever you do so, add D4 to your Crafting dice pool.

Relationships

STARTING PLOT POINTS: 3

You may spend a Plot Point to add the next highest die you rolled to your result in addition to the two highest. You may also spend a Plot Point to create a temporary Asset rated as D6, to represent using an improvised tool, exploiting the environment, or otherwise improving your chances of success.

Because Gythe can read people so well, she knows Stephanos strength, Rodrigos heart, and Dags stability. She worries about Miri who is too often strong for others at the expense of her own wellbeing. Gythe sometimes rebels against the way the rest of the Cadre tries to protect her. Brother Gaspard may once have been a man of faith but now he seems wracked with guilt and spiritual crisis, though he seems intent on hiding this.

ABOUT GYTHE MCPIKE

Miris younger sister Gythe is a mystery. She sings beautifully, yet she does not speak. She is a crafter so skilled in magic that she ranks as a Savant, yet she knows little about magic. When Gythes uncle recognized her talent and tried to teach her, she ran off, laughing. Gythes talents in music are much like her magic. She cannot read a note. She taught herself to play the harp. She sings the old

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o Dragon Brigade o

BROTHER GASPARD de BEAUDIRE


ACTION TRAITS
D6

Courage Faith Guile Reason Vigor

If you threaten those I care for, you stoke the res of my valor. How can I have conviction in a world such as this? I must not let them see my loss of hope and duty. In all things, there must be a purpose, or we are lost. The Royal Army has given me strength enough.

D6

D8

you can add an extra D8 to the roll for each Distinction you use. On the other hand, if you think one of these things might make your life harder, you can describe that and add an extra D4 to your roll and gain a Plot Point for each Distinction you use instead.

D10

SPECIALTIES

D6

When the Gamemaster asks you to roll something like REASON plus GUILE you take those two dice (a D10 and a D8), roll them, and add them together. If you have any extra dice (such as if you used one of your Distinctions), then you pick the two highest values and add those together. If what youre doing directly relates to one or both of the taglines associated with your Action Traits, you can spend a Plot Point to reroll all the dice, even the 1s. You must keep the result of the new roll.

Theology 2d6, Counsel 2d6, Swordfighting d6, Dragon Lore d6 When your training in any of these areas is appropriate to an Action, you get to roll these dice, too. You still only add together the two highest rolling dice, unless something says you can add in more.

TALENTS

DISTINCTIONS

Church Liaison, Dragon Brigade Veteran, One-Armed Man Any time youre rolling dice and asserting your status as a Church Liaison, drawing on your experience as a Dragon Brigade Veteran, or somehow benefiting from being a One-Armed Man, then you can describe one or more of these things and

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Oh No You Dont: When another character uses an Asset or Complication against you (i.e., rolls the die in with his Action Pool) when he sets or raises the stakes, you can spend a Plot Point to turn the tables and use it against him on your next roll to raise the stakes. If you succeed, the Asset or Complication is stepped back by one (D6 becomes D4, D4 goes away). If you fail to raise the stakes, the Asset or Complication steps up by one (D6 becomes D8, etc.). Either way, the other character gets the die back. All In Your Head: When you or another Hero takes Stress, you can spend a Plot Point to move it from one Action Trait to another, stepping the Stress die back by one (D6 becomes D4, D4 goes away). Give some

o Opening Salvo o
appropriate rationale for why one type of injury or impairment was in truth something else. You may only use this once on any given Stress die. Lothaires fall from grace and disappearance, and his great regret in life is that he has never been able to make amends for failing to save his nephew.

STARTING PLOT POINTS: 3

You may spend a Plot Point to add the next highest die you rolled to your result in addition to the two highest. You may also spend a Plot Point to create a temporary Asset rated as D6, to represent using an improvised tool, exploiting the environment, or otherwise improving your chances of success.

Relationships

ABOUT BROTHER GASPARD

A church liaison to the Royal Army of Rosia, Gaspard is older than the other Heroes, around 50 years of age. He was formerly assigned to the Dragon Brigade and acted as a confidant to several Brigade officers, among them his young nephew, Comte Lothaire de Souriz. Gaspard defended Lothaire in his military trial when the Comte disobeyed orders and allowed the Estaran ship Barca Negra to escape rather than burning it and all the men aboard. His failure to save Lothaire from the headsmans axe disenchanted him with the military, and then when de Souriz escaped from custody, Brother Gaspard was interrogated as a possible accomplice. Soon after, Gaspard lost his left arm below the elbow to a shot fired from a blunderbuss when Freyan privateers boarded his airship. The very next day, while he lay in hospital, the orders arrived from the king that the Dragon Brigade be disbanded. This string of misfortunes changed Gaspards personality radicallyonce a sly and light-hearted friar, he is now withdrawn and bitter, no longer certain of his place in the world. Gaspard has continued in service to the army and the Church alike, but more and more he questions the authority and wisdom of botha building crisis of faith and loyalty that he has kept hidden thus far, but is likely to come to a head soon. He is skittish around gunfire, due to his injury, but ferocious when those he cares about are threatened. He still blames himself for

Gaspard knows Stephano by reputation, although they never served together in battle. Rodrigo is the type of foppish rake that used to annoy Gaspard but lately hes seen the virtue of such levity. Dag is clearly very religious though of a Guundaran sect, which likely means he is stoic and dependable. Miri and Gythe are both Trundlers and the owners of the Cloud Hopper, but they are no friends of the Church. Gythe, particularly, may be an empath and sense the guilt and frustration hes trying so hard to hide.

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