Welcome to Lost Letters

What is Ironsworn?

Ironsworn is a famous, award-winning, completely free solo-TTRPG that you should totally play! You play as โ€œa hero sworn to undertake perilous quests in the dark fantasy setting of the Ironlands.โ€ Ironsworn is perfect for folks who want more TTRPG time in their lives, but find it difficult to coordinate group play OR folks who find it hard to pay attention for marathon TTRPG sessions. In this game, you can play as little or as much as you want in a session while still advancing the fiction rapidly just by yourself!

Additionally, the player community around Ironsworn is simply the best. Theyโ€™ve created resources like Iron Journal, which is a web app I use to easily play the game without having to click around in the PDF to read all the moves and how to resolve them. I highly recommend using this for solo-play.

Unlike my Starforged logs, which I co-write with my partner during sessions, my Ironsworn logs below are extremely brief, but it should give you a sense of how I play the game in case it helps any newbies get started. I also highly recommend watching Me, Myself, and Dieโ€™s Ironsworn campaign, because it shows you how fun the game can be and gives you a taste of the snappy, high-suspense pace of Ironsworn.

Character Creation

Amara is sensitive to the mystical world and travels with her Cave Lion companion, healing for coin. She roams in search of herbs for potions and has an affinity for the natural world. Magic courses through this land as the rivers flow through the hills, and she feels the wild magic pulse in her veins. The tips of her fingers are ivy green and her back bears a huge maple leaf birthmark that changes colors with the seasons, a sign of her god-touched existence.

She comes from a nomadic clan, yet grew up with found family after her family was murdered by monsters when she was too young to go out hunting with them. Her family was ambushed, barely escaping with their lives. However, they were left poisoned by the claws of the horrors, and Amara never felt so hopeless as when she watched them succumb to the spasms that eventually killed them.

  • She greets all nomadic people with warmth and kindness.
  • She seeks to understand the poison of the horrors, so she can save lives in honor of her family.
  • Her god-touched nature was noticed early, and she was sent to train with her mentor, High Druid Temir Namba of the Grimtree Coven.

Session 1 - Cleanse the Afflicted of Shield Rock

Starting Quest: In treating wounded hunters at the settlement of Shield Rock in the Deep Wilds (p.122), Amara sees a pattern of wounds with magical signatures that do not heal by known means. The afflicted claim they were ambushed while out hunting by the Rapids. Amara must act quickly in order to save the lives of those slipping away and ensure the settlement doesnโ€™t lose their best hunters and starve.

  1. Swear an iron vow - Strong Hit, +2 momentum - The location is clear, and she knows the route.
  2. Travel to the Rapids - Miss - Terrible weather makes tracking the route impossible. She makes progress, but doesn't realize she is off track until it is too late. 2 of 7 hunters succumb to their wounds.
  3. Identify the Magic Source - Strong hit - Making up for lost time, Amara meditates by the rapids, taking in all of nature's sights, smells, and sounds to identify a matching magical signature to that of the wounds. She tracks it to a cave near the rapids. Within the cave, she sees the desecrated carcass of young white stag. No animal could have done this.
  4. Determine Cure - Weak hit -1 Supply - Amara leans down to understand the nature of the curse that grips the carcass of this beast. She uses her supplies to ritually channel magic. Green spectral forms rise from the ground. The stag races towards the rapids as something ominous gives chase. The beast and its rider are upon the stag, and perform a ritual in the cave with its body, but something goes wrong and the magic surges, corrupting the rider. Looking around, Amara can see the totems from the ritual and must cleanse the space to break the curse.
  5. Cleanse the Cave - Strong hit, burn momentum- channeling her magic, she calls upon nature to reclaim the stag and consume the totems maintaining the curse. They crumble as moss grows rapidly on top of them. The stag swells with maggots, leaving the clean bones atop new compost. She takes the budding antlers from a being whose life was taken too soon to use for the salve the wounds require.
  6. Prepare the treatment - Strong hit - Amara races back to the settlement without issue, now knowing the way, and prepares the wound salve, using powder of the antler.
  7. Heal the afflicted - Weak hit - Amara works diligently to apply the salve and monitor the wounds. The infections have worsened due to her delay, and it takes longer than expected to ensure all patients are stable.
  8. Fulfill Vow - Strong hit + match - As the afflicted recover from the lifted curse, their memories come back to them in bits and pieces. It was a Ironlander who ambushed them and inflicted these wounds, yet all descriptions of the magic and afflictions seem to point to a magic unknown to Amara--perhaps magic of the Firstborn.

Session 2 - Travel to Arakhi in Green Bridge of the Flooded Lands

Undertake a Journey: Travel to The Flooded Lands to meet Arakhi, an elf warrior, who knows the secret of the corrupting magic. (1 progress per waypoint)

  1. Swear an iron vow - Weak hit - Amara is determined to seek out this person and put an end to them, but she needs to understand the nature of the magic first.
  2. Gather Information - Strong Hit - Consulting with the settlement elders, Amara seeks information about where she might find the Firstborn. They only know of an influential warrior in the Flooded Lands, far from Stone Shield. The warrior is experienced with all sorts of magics, but will demand a heavy price for such knowledge.
  3. Undertake Journey (1) - Strong hit (1 progress) - Amara makes it to Shattered Hill, which is made up of massive glacial rocks with deep crevasses.
  4. Undertake Journey (2) - Strong hit (1 progress) - Amara ascends to the Otaan Foothills, finding a breathtaking white waterfall that crashes into the hills below.
  5. Undertake Journey (3) - Strong hit (1 progress) - The foothills give way to forest. To orient herself, Amara climbs to a stone overlook that rises far beyond the tree line. She finds several felled trees and carrion and animal remains. A large predator must be nearby, but doesn't crosses Amara's path.
  6. Undertake Journey (4) - weak hit (1 progress, -1 supply) - As the trees grow fewer in number, Amara enters rolling fields coursing with flora and fauna. In a hidden thicket, Amara takes some time to harvest the rich herbs to resupply (weak hit, +2 supply, -1 momentum).
  7. Undertake Journey (5) - Strong hit (1 progress) - pressing on, a shrouded glad with a watering hole provides a suitable stopping point for the day. Amara relaxes as the fauna come to rest and drink from the clear, sparkling water.
  8. Undertake Journey (6) - Strong hit (1 progress) - Amara continues through an iron ravine with walls pocked by territorial markings. Foul weather bears down, so, although this land seems disputed, she allows the rain to cloak her as she passes through unnoticed.
  9. Undertake Journey (7) - weak hit (1 progress, -1 supply) - The heavy rains lead to rock slides and new bodies of water that are difficult to traverse. Amara loses some supply when she slips into a large, fresh pond.
  10. Undertake Journey (8) - weak hit (1 progress, -1 supply) - ponds give way to just pure swamp lands, and she can tell she is finally close. The wooden road that is stilted atop the water is old, worn, and treacherous. More than once, Amara loses her footing and soils part of her supply.
  11. Reach Your Destination - strong hit (1 progress for Iron Vow) - Despite the difficulties of the path, the swamp swells with life. Fireflies guide her through the night as bullfrogs sing in a chorus. Moss from trees part for her as she tracks signs of settlement-style habitation within the swamp. Finally, she has arrived in Green Bridge, home of the swamp elves.
  12. Gather Information - strong hit - Amara seeks court with the leader of the swamp elves. She explains the wounds, curse, and treatment from her experience in Shield Rock. The court is amazed that one woman and Cave Lion could travel so far alone, and recognize her medicinal knowledge as true. Arakhi, the veteran elf warrior, steps forward to introduce themself to Amara and affirms of what she speaks. They have seen this too for the Ironlander murderer has harmed settlers here as well. Arakhi says that without a purifying weapon made from iron of the Brackish Caves, there is no chance of freeing the corrupted soul of the Ironlander. These caves are difficult to traverse, and Arakhi can only verbally guide Amara there as they are needed to help hunt while they are short of capable hands. She will need to harvest the supplies herself if she has any hope of forging such a weapon.

Session 3 - Delving the Brackish Caves

Swear an Iron Vow: Forge a weapon with iron of the Brackish Cave. (Travel, Delve, Mine, Return, Forge; 2 prog each) - Strong hit - Amara understands there is no one available to help her in this quest, so, in front of all, she swears an iron vow to retrieve the iron and forge a weapon with it to avenge the dead and put a stop to the corrupted Ironlander.

  1. Discover a Site & Delve the Depths - miss (Reveal a Danger) - The Brackish Cave is not far from the settlement, but upon her arrival, Amara is stunned by the age of it. The ancient cave is actually a system of tunnels, partially flooded with water at high tide, yet somehow markings on certain walls appear to be evidence of lost knowledge that has never eroded. It seems to be low tide at the moment, but Amara is not familiar with the tide patterns, so she does not know how long she may have until it will be high tide, rendering the cave inaccessible and potentially trapping her within.
  2. Delve the Depths - miss (Reveal a Danger) - The cave is extremely difficult terrain. In navigating the entrance, part of Amara's pack gets wet and soiled (-1 supply)
  3. Delve the Depths - strong hit - As Amara gropes around to collect her things, she noticed a peculiar ebb and flow of water that doesn't match the tide. As she looks up, she sees a pebble path that was originally obscured from the entrance with an orange-tinged gravel, hinting at the presence of iron.
  4. Delve the Depths - strong hit - As she pads her way through the cave, her Cave Lion protectively moves out in front to show her the path. It gives a wide birth around a fathomless pool of water, so Amara follows suit as the lion snarls softly. It's not clear what is in the water, but Amara thinks it's better to make haste and not find out.
  5. Delve the Depths - strong hit - As Amara continues to traverse the cave, the orange gravel gives way to grey silt, streaked with rust colored streaks that meander down the walls from long, thin iron veins within the wall. The veins begin to form more symmetric patterns the further she delves, mirroring the ancient cave markings towards the outside. She takes a moment to make a quick sketch of that pattern for future reference.
  6. Delve the Depths - strong hit - A miraculous glowing cavern emerges, filled with mushrooms flourishing in the damp dark environment. This area provides an opportunity to scavenge mushrooms (+2 supply, -2 momentum), so Amara fills her sack with these powerful fungi.
  7. Locate Your Objective - strong hit - After passing the mushrooms, Amara enters a dry chamber. The ground is no longer wet, but the air is stale. Holding the glowing mushrooms, she can see the metallic reflective surface of iron, an ore that she's only seen in such a state in her dreams: completely untouched by rust in the forms of large obelisks that appear to have surged from the earth. The magic of this ore reverberates within her, and she begins to hack at the ore to secure enough to make a weapon (-2 momentum).
  8. Escape the Depths - miss - The tide has shifted significantly as Amara emerges from harvesting iron ore. The water is starting to lap at the floor of the mushroom cave, and her way is significantly obstructed. She must swim out of the cave. She and her lion steel themselves for the chilly plunge and head for the exit. The waves batter her against the rough cave walls (-1 Health), but she emerges from the cave, fresh cuts across her body stinging with salt water.
  9. Compel - strong hit - Amara makes it back to the swamp settlement of Green Bridge quickly despite her wounds. Upon her arrival, she seeks out Arakhi to present the iron and seek assistance in forging it into a weapon. Arakhi approves of Amara's tenacity and speed. They agree to help her forge the weapon and seek out the best ironsmith to see what can be made from the ore. They leave the ore with the ironsmith as Amara seeks refuge with the settlement.
  10. Sojourn - strong hit (+2 health, +2 supply) - Green Bridge takes good care of Amara to ensure she is strong enough to carry out her mission. While she is recuperating and waiting for the weapon, she seeks Arakhi to persuade them to join her in her quest. They reluctantly agree, but they swear Amara to an oath of secrecy in exchange. Arakhi tells Amara that the true identity of the corrupted Ironlander is actually not an Ironlander, but a Firstborn, an elf from Green Bridge, masquerading as an Ironborn. Arakhi's brother.
  11. Fulfill Your Vow - strong hit (+2 EXP) - on the morning that the weapon is ready, Arakhi comes to Amara to wake her. Settlers beat drums in line up on either side of a processional with the ironsmith at the end. Amara slowly steps towards the Ironsmith, taking in the rhythm of this momentous event. The ironsmith presents her with a pristine morningstar that sparkles in sun reflected off the nearby waterways. She turns to look at Arakhi. They nod. Amara raises the morningstar triumphantly above her head in one arm and bellows a war cry that she wasn't sure she was capable of until that very moment. The elves answer in chorus.
  12. Forge a Bond - strong hit (+2 momentum, +1 bond progress) - The destinies of Arakhi, champion of the Flooded Lands, and Amara are inextricably linked at this moment as Arakhi grabs hold of the morningstar with Amara. Their voices reverberate throughout the settlement as they war cry in unison.

Session Summary

  • Delve the Brackish Caves (2 prog per area) - Completed
  • Fulfill Your Iron Vow: Forge a weapon with iron of the Brackish Cave - Completed +2 EXP
  • Acquired Arakhi as an ally and fighting companion. - 1 progress towards iron vow of stopping the corrupted Ironlander.