Swept away by the huge wave, Eirik and Sherman struggled to stay afloat for what seemed like hours, but was probably only a few minutes. Their feet first brushed, then settled on solid ground and, as the water drained away, they could just make out in the dim Fuzz light, that they had come to rest on a smooth stone floor. Beyond more than a dozen feet or so, what little light there was faded into a grey nothingness. Taking some time to gather themselves, they moved off.

The Long Road

Stumbling around in the near-darkness, they soon came to a wall rising from the stone floor. Sherman climbed the wall to find it became rough rock after only a short climb and then started to incline backwards into an overhang which quickly became too dangerous to scale further. Dropping back to the floor, our explorers decided to avoid walking in circles in the darkness by following the wall to see where it lead.1

They walked on for hours; tired, thirsty and hungry. Neither of them had eaten for several Brights and they had only what was left of the flood that had almost killed them in their bellies for liquid sustenance. Stopping briefly to rest, Sherman managed to find some small, spongy mushrooms growing on the wall that helped slake their thirst, at least for a while.

Rested, they moved on down the road, still following the wall.

11 Brights and Darks in the Wilderness

Hours further on, they began to see light in the distance and soon came to the end of the road as it opened into a much larger, better lit tunnel. Leading off into the distance, the floor of the tunnel was a small stream with crystals of various sizes and colors lining it’s bed.

Once again hungry and exhausted from the previous bright’s travel, our adventurers decided to spend some time camping and foraging. They now had a ready supply of drinkable water, so focused on finding any ‘shrooms or fungi that would fill their bellies and scouting around for landmarks that might help them find their way.

Sherman managed to coax some small green button mushrooms from the banks of the stream that were not only tasty but seemed to heal some of his recent wounds within a few hours. Eirik, meanwhile, came across marks scratched onto some nearby rocks that he was able to match to the maps and notes they’d taken from the Alchemist’s Tower in the city2. Later, back at their camp, they decided that while several other realms were mentioned, it looked like Bone Falls was closest and so they decided to follow what little guidance they had in an effort to get back “home”.

With a potentially long journey ahead of them, they spent the next Bright foraging for as much food as they could. Sherman found some coral-like growths on the stream bed that smelled and tasted a little like honey while Eirik came across some black puff-ball mushrooms. Hours later, still giggling like hysterical schoolgirls from an extended conversation about the nature and taste of Eirik’s hairy black balls, they settled in for the Dark.

Waking next Bright, it was apparent to Sherman that something was wrong. Eirik, normally a strapping 6 feet or more tall now only reached to Sherman’s chest in height and his clothing was considerably more baggy than it had been. Something he ate?3

Setting off, it wasn’t long before they came to a low ledge where the stream dripped down into a dark lake which extended off into the distance. With little idea of the depth of the water and no boat to traverse it, they were forced to backtrack and choose an alternate fork of the stream to follow for the next Bright. Eirik was frustrated by the fact that his boots, once well fitted and sturdy, were now more like a pair of waders on him, making even normal walking more difficult.

The next few Brights they made little apparent progress. The papers from the Alchemist’s Tower hinted at no recognizable landmarks they could follow, and they were forced to forage to keep up their food supplies.4

Eirik tried hard to study the Alchemist’s papers and look around for at least some indication of a route to Bone Falls, or anywhere for that matter, but was still unable to find anything that might help them find their way.5 With nothing more to do but press on in any direction, on the next Bright they came to the end of the crystal stream and entered a set of large but unstable caverns.

Spurred on by the blue glow and rushing noise coming from the far end of the caverns (could this be Bone Falls!) they pressed on, but carefully to avoid the falling rocks that threatened to crush them at any moment.

Sure enough, pushing on through the caverns they came to a sight they had met before, and, standing on a narrow ledge overlooking a massive shaft with water falling from somewhere high above at it’s centre, hundreds of feet above they could just make out the lights of Bone Falls in the mist.6

Home, at last!

Sherman led the climb up the steep walls of the shaft, making it to the top easily while trailing his rope at each stage to ease Eirik’s climb. Eirik, now almost an experienced climber, made it within reach of Sherman at the lowest platform of Bone Falls. Then, in a final push for the top, Eirik’s hand slipped on a patch of wet rock and he hung in the air for a fraction of a second before dropping into the watery depths.

Sherman called to his friend, “Eirik!!!” and made his way down to where Eirik had fallen. Against all odds, there was Eirik, holding on to a narrow outcropping by one hand, grimacing in pain at the shoulder he wrenched when he caught his handhold. As Sherman reached him, Eirik tried to reach up with his other hand and regain his purchase but slipped once again. In a last ditch effort, both Sherman and Eirik reached for each other’s hands, making contact at the last second before Eirik disappeared from sight altogether. Sherman hauled his friend back to the rock and wrapped a rope around him for the final climb.

What seemed like an excruciating age later, they collapsed, exhausted, onto the platform.


Slowly, painfully, and exhausted, Eirik and Sherman made their way back up to their rooms at the top of Bone Falls. There they collapsed onto their beds, their eyes closing almost immediately in need of rest from their adventures.

Before he slept, Eirik reached briefly into his pack pulling out the possessions that mattered most to him in the world: an unopened letter from his wife and a vial of tears. Silently, he wondered whether he would ever make it out of this underground hell and be able to fulfill his vow of revenge. Then fatigue overtook him and he was asleep within seconds, the letter and vial falling to the bed beside him.

Due to a lack of much prep on the part of the GM (sorry), we decided to see how the Downcrawl journey rules worked, so pretty much all of this session was randomly generated and fleshed out on-the-fly. This actually worked out better than expected and, despite there being no combat at all, there were some distinctly good and hilarious roleplaying moments from Krystal and Yong.

They found out that even when trying to reach somewhere close by (Bone Falls, Journey Clock 3), if you’re unprepared you can waste an awful lot of travel time having to encamp and forage. It’s also possible to get lost frequently if you don’t spend Tack, and sometimes even if you do.

Next Session: Back to the Bone (Falls)

  1. They start Lost but with the 6 Tack they gained in Bone Falls and from the papers found in the Alchemist’s Tower. As Bone Falls is Well Known, I started the Journey Clock at 3. ↩︎

  2. Eirik’s Scout move earned him +1 Tack; now 7 in total. ↩︎

  3. The crunchy orchid-like plants Eirik ate for supper caused a 25% reduction in height… but at least his little belly was full. ↩︎

  4. Lost again, due to a bad Travel Roll and despite spending 2 Tack on their efforts. A couple of rolls of Strong Success for the Lost move did, however, give me the chance to secretly advance the Journey Clock by 2 without them knowing. ↩︎

  5. Krystal spent 4 Tack in an effort to lose the Lost status and make some progress, but another bad roll kept them Lost↩︎

  6. That final day, they managed to lose the Lost status and tick the Journey Clock on by the last point, hitting the target number of 3 and triggering the Arrive move at Bone Falls with just 1 Tack left. ↩︎