Fire and Ice

A RuneQuest Vignette by Simon Hibbs 

Travellers and minstrels tell of a wild and untamed and primitive tribe that worship two unusual creatures of fire and ice. The Flame Vixen rules their isolated wilderness during the summer, but in winter it is prowled by the Ice Weasel. Legend has it that every spring and autumn they fight to the death. If the Flame Vixen wins in spring then the summer will be hot and dry. If the Ice Weasel wins in autumn the winter will be long and cold, but the true complexity of the relationship between the cycles of nature and the life cycles of these two beings are complex and little understood by outsiders.

Scholars speculate that these are spirits or gods, but the travellers tales insist that they are real creatures. One mad hermit in the mountains has been heard to claim they are realy two aspects of the same being.

The adventurers might be hired to investigate these tales by a curious God Learner magician, or hired as guards or guides by a nobleman after exotic sport. If the Adventurers are friends of the local tribe, they might attempt to spoil the hunt.

The Pelt of the Flame Vixen supposedly offers the effects of the Warmth spell to the wearer at no magic point cost. The pelt of the Ice Weasel offers the equivalent of 3 points of Countermagic Shield versus any fire or light based magic, cumulative with any other magical defences. However the untimely death of either of these beings might have unforseen consequences for the climate, and ultimately the survival chances of local inhabitants and wildlife.

Flame Vixen

Characteristics

STR     15    CON    22     DEX    18    SIZ      15    INT      12    POW   20    CHA    10

Flame Vixen Hit Locations 

D20

Hit Location

AP/HP

1–2

Right Hind Leg

1/8

3–4

Left Hind Leg

1/8

5–7

Hindquarters

1/9

8–10

Forequarters

1/9

11–13

Right Front Leg

1/8

14–16

Left Front Leg

1/8

17–20

Head

1/8

  Weapons

Type                Weapon Skill            Damage

Bite                  120%               1D8 +1D2

Claw                80%                 1D6 +1D2

Special Rules

Combat Actions:     3

Strike Rank:            +11

Movement:             6m

Traits:                    Night Sight

Skills:                    Athletics 120%, Dodge 75%, Resilience 80%, Perception 65%, Stealth 75%, Survival 90%

Typical Armour:    Hide (AP 1, no Skill Penalty)

Runes:  (Note: These runes are inherent to the creature, not separate objects)

            Spirit (70%): Second Sight (3)          

Beast (80%): Bestial Enhancement 4, Strength 3

Fertility (65%): Heal 3 

Fire (80%): Ignite (1)

Notes

The Flame Vixen is strong, but subtle. She will start fires to herd her prey into a trap, or to deter strangers from her hunting grounds. She can even start fires on clothing or packs from cover. She will use Second Sight to assess enemy strengths and help in tracking down prey. The Strength spell improves Damage Bonus to +D6 and gives +6% to Athletics and combat skills.

Her voice is deep, and crackles like damp wood on a camp fire.  If helped by the adventurers she can act as a guide, perhaps helping them find food or shelter. She also knows many magical secrets of her territory that could be useful, as seems appropriate to your campaign. She may know where to find a rune of fire, fertility, earth or heat and offer advice on how to obtain it. For those already with any of these runes, helping her grants up to a 3D6% bonus to their runecasting ability, at the GM's discression.

Ice Weasel

Characteristics

STR     15    CON   18    DEX    20    SIZ      12    INT      12    POW   20    CHA    10

Ice Weasel Hit Locations

D20

Hit Location

AP/HP

1–2

Right Hind Leg

1/6

3–4

Left Hind Leg

1/6

5–7

Hindquarters

1/7

8–10

Forequarters

1/7

11–13

Right Front Leg

1/6

14–16

Left Front Leg

1/6

17–20

Head

1/6

Weapons

Type                Weapon Skill            Damage

Bite                  120%               1D6+1D2

Claw                80%                 1D4+1D2

Special Rules

Combat Actions:         4

Strike Rank:                 +12

Movement:                   6m

Traits:                          Night Sight

Skills:                          Athletics 120%, Dodge 90%, Resilience 65%, Perception 90%, Stealth 90%, Survival 90%

Typical Armour:          Hide (AP 1, no Skill Penalty)

Runes:  (Note: These runes are inherent to the creature, not separate objects)

            Spirit (70%): Second Sight (3)          

Beast (80%): Bestial Enhancement 4, Vigour 3

Earth (65%): Protection 3 

            Cold (80%): Frostbite (3) 

Notes

The Ice Weasel is quick and fierce. He will repeatedly use Frostbite on sleeping enemies to weaken them, perhaps over several nights.  Vigour gives 2 extra Hit Points in all locations, and boosts Resilience by +6%.

The Ice Weasel's voice is harsh, and hisses threateningly.  For allies who prove themselves he can cover tracks in the snow, find prey even in the dead of winter and knows where to find a rune of cold, earth, death or darkness as may be useful for your game. For those already possessing any of these runes, helping him grants up to a 3D6% bonus to their runecasting ability, at the GM's discression.