The Red Hand

Samir's Adventure Log, Part 3

What a terrible headache. My mind is still groggy from yesterday’s festivities.
There’s always a price to pay when too much of a good thing is experienced. That is our lot in life, us poor mortals. But no time to contemplate on the virtues of hangovers, for we have some loot to liberate from the clutches of cadavers!
Anyway, who cares! Hasdrubal and I got BUSAYYY last night!! No, not together, you perverted simpletons, but with some witch sisters of stunning beauty and indescribable skills in love-making, especially with their hair, of all things! Hair used as limbs to caress in ways to make a man lose his sanity.
…although I’ll never understand why women of all ilk think it’s a great idea to erm, stimulate men’s ass cracks during a tumble in the sheets. I wish her a prompt hair wash though, especially after the day I’ve had.

**

As I’m being gently pushed out the door by the Dhavoran sister, I come face-to-face with Hasdrubal, who can’t keep a dumb smile from his face, as I’m sure I have as well, despite the goblin war drums pounding every inch of my skull. Damned cheap wine.
We discreetly make our exit and meet the rest of our group in the common area, ready for the day’s lottery.
At the city centre, all surviving members of the previous day’s loot festival are present. A good fifth of them a missing, meaning quite a few of them ended up as undead meal; a grim reminder of the dangers awaiting our merry band of fierce scribes.
Before the lottery starts, High Priestess, Septi the Crocodile, Party-Pooper Extraordinaire, brings forth prisoners to the chopping block for execution, a clear statement to us all about the dangers of failing to respect the cadavers we are sent to kill and rob. Message received, loud and clear!

**

This time, we are assigned the villa of a merchant fellow named Pentheru, which bodes well for our group, since merchants, by their very nature, should theoretically have possessed vast riches… and also traps… and otherworldly guards… and more traps. Sigh.
Still, it’s not a brewery or a latrine complex, so I count ourselves lucky.

**

As we are walking towards our allotted spot, again ignoring Mavrikos’ pleas for strategy, we are suddenly ambushed by a group of thugs.
The first arrow hits Hasdrubal right in the face, a brutal poke I sincerely hope matched his similar attempts with the Dhavoran sister last night.
(To this day I still can’t shake the feelings of guilt I have over that arrow, as if I was the shooter…)
One thing’s for sure, this handsome young man will heed Mavrikos’ words in the future, though with my luck, he’ll be smart enough to send me as a forward scout ahead of the group. Samir the Lightning Rod doesn’t sound as sweet as Samir Goldentongue in my mind.
Aaaaanyway, a mere second after Hasdrubal’s pirate makeover, another thug gets Mavrikos in a net and starts pounding him to the ground. With our two greatest “fighters” out of commission, we were off to a bad start.
Arrows and leg traps are flying all around us, often finding targets. Two of us reverts to a tactic that proved successful yesterday: summoning monsters to our aid. The thugs were clever though, so they peppered them with arrows, with partial success. Turns out the summoning spell takes a long time to complete, making the caster an easy target. Something we should’ve known.
We managed to summon a dire rat to our aid, thus shifting some pressure from us. Rhea was successful in casting a sleep spell against a few or our enemies, but we were still in deep Dhavoran-hair-after-a-night-with-Samir.
That’s where Uncle Samir saved the day, with a simple illusion cantrip, no less! Suddenly, an otherworldly voice scream-whispered “Desecration!” for all to hear. The added stench of death I managed to add to the spell convinced a good chunk of our enemies to flee in terror like the pansies they are and no one knew I did it! Even Miss know-it-all Rhea was oblivious to my involvement. In your FACE, Septi the Croc of shit! In. Your. FACE! Just like Hasdrubal! Arrr dee arr arrrrr!
(Ok, I shouldn’t laugh at Hasdrubal’s situation right now, I know. Well, until I know he survived that is)

**

We should be able to get the upper hand on the remaining thugs, if Mavrikos can get the damn net off of him. Every attempt he makes is met with bad luck: the net got caught on his shield at his first attempt, the next his scabbard was the culprit. I saw him shake his head at his ridiculous streak of bad luck, which I sympathise with. It won’t stop me from playing a prank on him involving a net in the future though. A man’s gotta stick to his principles after all.
I can’t WAIT to brag to our group when the fight is done. Samir, the saviour of scribes! WAY better sounding than Lightning Rod! I’m in awe at my level of ingenuity. I’m simply a genius!

**
Ok, maybe I’m an idiot after all. The kobold I saw running in my direction, screaming “ghouls!” in draconic? Well, turns out he was running away from REAL ghouls that probably came investigating the sweet smell of rot-bacon I created. Oh, look: a ghast is tagging along, too.
If I survive this, I think I’ll keep my involvement on the down-low for that one. I’m sure another occasion will rise to make me look the savior.
While the ghouls are busy eating some sleeping thugs, the ghast charges me, but I’m able to retreat to safety and start my own casting to summon help.

**

Looks like Samir will remain Samir for the time being. My companions quickly dispatched the ghouls and by the time my dire rat appeared, the ghast had ran away, making a joke of my saving-of-asses attempt.
Sigh

**

A little worse for wear, we survey the scene around us and, of course, start debating our next move.
We got ourselves three prisoners. Mavrikos is adamant: they are not to be killed, tortured, or to be used as disposable trap fodder. I think Mavrikos secretly hates me.
So, fearing other bands of marauding ghouls, we quickly make our way to the Necropolis’ gates and surrendered the assassins to the city’s authority.
Rhea took an immediate liking to the kobold and pleaded for mercy. The official reluctantly agreed to spare him, but refused to leave it in our care for the day. Too bad, a dunce mascot for our group would have lighted things up a little.

**

Because of our unfortunate encounter, priests were fetched to patch ourselves up and we quickly returned to our allotted villa.
Most of the dead thugs were long gone, dragged away to Ghouls’ lairs. We had a little luck though, as the legs of the assassin’s dead leader… detached from the body while being dragged away, leaving most of the corpse on the ruined street. A quick search produced a bag of gold marked with the symbol of Nethys, god of magic, an ailing god popular in the past. The same god worshipped by the company of the Scorched Hand, in which members had an altercation with Mavrikos the night before at the Tooth and Hookah, which makes them suspect in my mind. I’m undecided as to the reason why though. I mean, Mavrikos wasn’t THAT bad in his paladinning around them, but nothing positive can come up when dealing with two zealots of opposing inclinations.
Regardless, it is something to think about when we get back tonight.

**
We arrived at the villa to partially opened doors, swinging slightly with the wind. Not having learned our lesson, the lot of us barged in into the courtyard together like children at a menagerie. The place, long abandoned, revealed to us a dark past: we started to hear the sounds of an angry mob, clamoring for blood, and the desperate cries of what I presume to be the merchant’s wife, giving orders to her servants. The door shook, reminiscent of being battered with a ram. Such a sad event.
This haunting memory of the past shook our group to various degrees, but Orfée and Rhialla took it the worse. They panicked, and ran away in terror in opposing directions: Rhialla to my left, Orfée to my right.
Rhialla quickly calmed down in front of the courtyard’s door, shaken, but recovering. Orfée wasn’t so lucky. She barged into the house, running, screaming like a hysterical housewife with smudged makeup.
As I normally deal in stressful situations, I couldn’t help but quip something out loud, asking her to trigger the traps inside if she could while she was in there. That tongue of mine will get me in trouble someday.
Yet again, everyone rushed after her, leaving me with my wand of armor in hand, with no one to use it on. I sighed, closed the door Rhialla had opened (not without having taken a look inside) and followed the Kamikaze Bunch inside the house.
What I found was a scene of chaos. Orfée was being bitten by snakes (again!), still in the thrall of terror, One-Eye Hasdy was being throttled by death dogs, the works.
Having triggered the wrath of all these foul beasts, Orfée wasn’t yet satisfied with her work, as she crashed into the room at the end, filled with corpses of the animated variety. The gods smiled upon her though, as the beds the skeletons were lying on, rotten by time, ALL caved in, saving Orfée from an immediate death. How convenient!
We were able to dispatch the ad hoc gang of monsters in the end, and we are now taking a small break, catching our breaths. I took the opportunity to use my wand of armor on ARRstrubal and I. Better late than never!
Now for some looting!

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SHITTY DAY

Ouin bin 2e journée de recherche et a peine 2 heure de passer et que nous somme submerger et devons retraiter vers les gâtes. On est même pas arriver sur le site encore … somme nous vraiment a la bonne place, i sooo miss the library …. et retourné a l’école, maitre Broju vas surement me le faire payer.. **** SOUPIRE **** allons continuons …
A Boy encore de la merde … on vas-tu finir par passer une journée relativement normale…
Bon bin let’s try to not use all the spell …
…..
“After the last fight” GOD THEM!!! What are we doing here … we soo need some pawn to take the front line, the day is not even half way and we didn’t we had to go twice at the town , we look like wimp…..
…Je me demande vraiment qui veux nous voir échouer, est-ce nos maitre qui essayer de nous tester ?? Est-ce encore un de leur tour tordu???

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Dha-No the Merciless
short biography of a hired thug.

Three months now. It’s been three whole months since my wife and children left me. What turned out to be a great business opportunity ended up being a nightmare for me and my dreams of acquiring wealth.

Back in Sekunta, I made a drinking companion at the Docks’ tavern who came from Whadi on a merchant ship selling mirrors, window glasses and beautiful ornaments made of glass destined to the city’s rich.

After striking a friendship with Lumir and getting quite drunk with him that evening, he accidently let slip that glass-making ingredients were very cheap to buy if you removed the middle-man from the equation and anyone who’d import the “Whadi gray grains” himself would become a rich man indeed.

Immediately after uttering this he looked up sheepishly towards me, regretful of this careless slip of what seemed a trade secret.

Sensing an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I started buying more and more drinks to Lumir and his companions to ingratiate them towards me. My plan worked marvellously!
After some coaxing, Lumir finally caved in and, out of earshot, explained how someone could, with 500 gold pieces, buy enough Whadi gray grains to make twenty times the investment in one trip! Twenty times! You simply had to buy this mysterious spice there and then rent artisan slaves for a pittance to make whatever you wanted in glass. Prices were so high in Sekunta because the merchant ships made a fortune charging ridiculous prices for them. So the trick was to go there, buy the ingredient, make what you wanted and come back here to sell at half the price the Whadi merchants were selling, eventually running them out of business and getting a monopoly on the trade. After all, Sekuntians would much prefer dealing with one of their own then with strangers from faraway lands.
Poor Lumir came back the next morning, begging me not to tell anyone this secret, as he could get hanged for treason should someone in Whadi find out. I reassured him that his secret was safe with me. Even so, I did not have any contacts in Whadi for this gray grain he was telling me about, that I would have to bribe people there to get permits and the like. I knew immediately that my lure worked, as I saw greed in Lumir’s eyes.

His fear of hanging was soon overcome with his desire for money and he casually mentioned knowing someone in Whadi that would help him forge the proper permits to buy gray grains. Of course, his price for the information was steep, but the rewards awaiting me made it pocket change once I made it rich in the glass trade.
I paid 600 gold pieces for the privilege of Whadi connections, all my savings from my bow-making business and left a grinning Lumir, who called me “Khaffit”, which he says means “dear friend” in Whadian.

Needing money for suppliers and transportation, I sold my business to that weasel-faced Shentry and set off to Whadi with my wife and children.

After a long and hard trip, we’ve finally arrived to Whadi and I set out to find my connection of Whadi gray grains. It turned out that the name provided and the location of my contact did not seem to exist.

After a week of frantic searching and constant nagging by my now pissed-off wife, I resigned myself to the fact I had probably been swindled by Lumir, if that was even his name. No matter, I told my angry wife, no need for connections here, I will use what little remains of our travel funds to bribe an official.

It did not take long to get a corrupt official. The first one I approached in fact, perked up when I casually enquired for a Whadi gray grains permit. He discreetly pocketed my gold and went on a long walk outside the city to show me the gray grains mines, accompanied by two guards.

**

My life is ruined. Turns out that “Whadi gray grains” is a euphemism for… sand. Yep, glass and mirrors are made with sand, something prevalent in Sekunta already. You should’ve seen that bastard official’s smile when he showed me. I was livid, but unable to extract revenge on him, due to the two guards present. I know now the general meaning of the word “Khaffit”, as the official kept calling me that.

**

When I came back, my wife had left me, along with the wagons, supplies and my five hundred investment gold. She only left a note about leaving me for Shentry.
The next couple of weeks were miserable. Now destitute and too poor to travel back home, I had to accept any jobs offered to me in order to survive. Within a month I accepted my first thug job for a fellow named Dieb for more coins than usual, so of course I ended up being a member of a gang. My rage repulsed any moral outrage I would have felt in the past. I was so good at dealing out violence that I was soon known as The Merciless, which gave me pride, something I thought I would never get back.

**

Dieb approached me with a dangerous assassination job inside the Necropolis. I accepted readily, indifferent to the sinister beasts that were reputed to prowl there in the night. It seemed irrelevant to me, since the job would be taking place in the morning.

So early in the morning of the second day of the Necropolis’ admittance of adventurers, Dieb, myself and 8 others (including a kobold of all things) set out in the direction of our ambush location. How Dieb ended up knowing which lot our targets won is a mystery to me. Probably the priests were in on it? No matter, I get to kill successful adventurers and let their corpses rot under the damned sand, which is enough to feed my lust for blood.

The party arrived as anticipated and our trap worked perfectly. My first arrow flew right into their point man’s face and put him out of commission. Dieb successfully entrapped their warrior and proceeded to beat the living snot out of him. Our archers even shot a wizard in the midst of his spellcasting, thus fizzling whatever spell was coming our way. The plan worked marvellously! We were going to kill them all easily… until an eerie whisper came from the underworld: “Desecration!” it whispered in a snarl. The stench of a thousand corpses soon followed this doom prophecy.

The shock it created in me soon gave way to panic, and I ran away as fast as I possibly could without a look backward. I ran and I ran until my heart was about to explode and hid myself into an old ruined building, catching my breath. I could hear nothing but the rush of blood in my ears and my heavy breathing. I could stand it no more and closed my eyes, hoping the darkness would protect me.

I soon heard a low growl near me and before I could react, felt the cold embrace of steel caressing my throat. I slowly, fearfully opened my eyes and saw the huge maw of a war dog, inches from my face.

“Nice morning, isn’t it?” a casual voice said, presumably from the owner of the dagger at my throat.

“Seems to me”, the voice continued nonchalantly, “that you are our new scout today, hmmm?”

The face of a Hafling gradually appeared in my line of sight, smiling. A quick look around showed other hardy Haflings, small but well trained by the way they stood. Other war dogs were there, too. I was terrified, yet resigned to my fate.

“I guess so, Sir”

“You meant Master, right, scout fodder?”

“Yes… Master”

“Good. Now up, Meat bag, time to earn your life back”

I slowly climb to my feet, resigned to my fate. “Master?” I ask, dejectedly.

“Yes, darling?” the leader replies.

“What does ‘Khaffit’ mean?”

“Idiot man, my trusty meat-shield. In fact, that is your new name, yes?”

“Yes, I guess it is… Master”

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Journal of Rhea Amelia Namtab
Game 3: Ambush and House of Fear

– Previous Entry: Letter to Professor Carrow –

We were ambushed today. I was almost caught by surprise. Almost. I need to analyse what happened, work on my weaknesses, and acknowledge which strategies used by myself and my cohorts were the most successful.

Our survival was more due to luck than skill. I must come to the conclusion that my cohorts and I do not work well as a unit. While in terms of raw power, we had our foes outmatched; their singularity of purpose and adherence to a simple yet effective battle plan was almost our undoing.

Our front line was effectively neutralized by a concerted attack on Hasdrubal – during which he almost lost an eye – combined with enmeshing of Mavrikos by an enemy retiarius. In her haste to assist our fallen comrades Orfée was also caught in the crossfire, and Nasah had the misfortune to be hit by a high arcing shot.

Samir and Rhialla both attempted to summon reinforcements, only to become the target of enemy archers. Conjuration spells are extremely effective, but their long casting time are a liability in this kind of situation. Still, Rhialla’s summoned rat was a welcomed addition to the fight.

As for myself, I hope to have regained some measure of respect from my teammates. After cloaking myself in a Mage Armor spell, I took out a pair of archers from the fight with a Sleep spell. I attempted to repeat the feat using a scroll, but my nervousness must have betrayed me as neither target fell. I did manage to use a second scroll to neutralize two others, who would later become our prisoners. Scrolls are an effective, if expensive, mean to increase our capabilities.

A cry of “Desecration!” marked the turning point of this battle. What I originally thought but a typical prank from Samir turned out to be the convenient arrival of a pack of ghouls, which turned upon our ambushers. When these unliving joined the fray, and it became clear a tactical retreat would be the wiser option, I dispatched the exhausted retiarius with a ray of frost, provided covering fire for my comrades, and levitated the poor Orfée – who had gotten paralyzed from contact with what we now suspect was a ghast – allowing a revived Hasdrubal to carry her with greater ease. One of the ambushers, a kobold, switched sides once the undead hit our ranks. He is a fair shot and managed to wound the ghast. Perhaps we can hire him as a mercenary.


Upon our successful withdrawal from the Necopolis, Mavrikos insisted we turn our prisoners to the city guard. Unfortunately, and while we were able to postpone his sentence, this meant our new-found kobold ally would not be able to join us in our next foray in the doomed city. I plan to send him back to the Academy by portkey upon my return.

We then retraced our steps back into the necropolis. We returned to the location where we were ambushed and – conveniently – stumbled upon the half-eaten body of the retiarius, who turned out not only to have been the leader of the ragtag group that attacked us, but also the carrier of orders identifying our group in particular as a target. These orders bore the seal of a religious group based in the city. This merits further investigation, and we will have to be on our guard until we get to the bottom of this.


We finally made it to our destination, a walled compound. Eydan and I were about to step within the main gates when a shadow descended upon our companions, who had preceded us. Orphée and Rhialla were particularly affected by whatever befell our friends, and while a simple touch of the arm was enough to bring Rhialla back to her senses, Orphée fled in a panic to the eastern courtyard of the compound, where she disrupted the nest of a pair of poisonous snakes, attracted the attention of two dual-headed zombies of a canine nature, and woke a dozen skeletons from their unnatural slumber. Only a convenient turn of event allowed her to escape that last predicament and rejoin our group, which had followed and was now stuck in melee combat with the menagerie she had left in her wake.

Spent, my only contribution to this particular fight was long-range support in the form of a weak barrage of Ray of Frost spells. If only I had paid more attention in necromancy class! I will need to get one of my companions to teach me how to muster a ray of Disrupt Undead if we are to remain in the Necropolis for much longer.

– Next Entry -

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Game 3: Ambush!
2015-11-22

An excerpt from the journal of Holy Mavrikos, Ch. 17, 33-52

15th of Kythorn, 340AF,
33 The next morning, I arose and prayed for guidance at dawn. 34 After preparations for the holy trials, I headed to submit to the will of Phos. 35 The priestess of Pharasma played her part and 36 we were assigned the mansion of a wealthy merchant in an older area of the Necropolis.

37 On our way to our assignment, Phos set before us a great trial: an ambush by evil who threatened to overcome us. 38 Caught in evil manifest, I was unable to fight until the get of stench of a more powerful undead evil drove fear into our attackers. 39 The attackers broke off the attack, 40 leaving several of their number for Phos to judge.

41 We fought off the undead evil and saved from a gruesome fate those attackers left behind by their cowardly kin. 42 We brought three agents of damnation to the guard as Phos would not look well upon those who would leave even enemies defenceless before the undead.

43 Two were handed over for summary judgement but the last, a kobold, we asked be spared. 44 Phos’ mercy is infinite and even the wicked shall know the warming light of Phos.

45 We bound our wounds and returned to the battle against the ever encroaching evil.our assignment. 46 Upon our arrival at our assigned battleground, a trap surely laid by Skotos himself drove two of our number to madness. 46 While one quickly regained her mind, Orfée kor Samfund panicked and created a great commotion throughout the mansion, 47 drawing to her many evils.

48 Phos proved merciful yet again as he collapsed furniture around several undead, granting her reprieve.

49 A great battle was fought. 50 Many wicked were slain, but the cost of bringing 51 the light of Phos was great as it is often won’t to be. 52 With so many wounded deeply, we retreated for the second time this day for help from Phos.

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Xiao Hu's Lament
Game 3: Ambush and House of Fear

我的名字是小虎。我已经离开我的部落,并正在寻找一个新的龙服务。我的旅程把我带到了一个陌生的地方,没有人理解我。我见过谁讲我的语言的一个沉默寡言的人。他换来了我的服务承诺的食宿。这是最好的处理我曾在时代。我接受。

我们埋伏在死亡的地方。食品的承诺尚未兑现。我后悔。我们的猎物到来时,他们排名第八。乍一看,他们似乎是学者前来探索遗迹。只有两个看起来他们构成威胁。我会尽快食用。

学者们挥动龙的力量。没有快有我让一只箭飞不是一个精灵女性已派出我的同伴进入一个神奇的睡眠。我叫醒他们只听到一个可怕的咆哮。我们不安的亡灵。我跑。我跑错路。

有没有其他的选择。有实力的数字。我逃往学者。他们可能会手下留情不死不具备的。我帮尽我所能,打伤了这似乎群雄的领袖。

我的九个同伴,只有两个仍然存在。他们交给城市的守卫。我的命运似乎不明朗,通过讲对我的同伴我谴责我自己。我面对流放。再次。精灵女性讲我。她说,我会得到回报对我的行为。我不敢相信的。然而,我等。


My name is Little Tiger. I have left my tribe and am looking for a new dragon to serve. My journey has brought me to a strange land where no one understands me. I have met a man who speaks a few words of my language. He has promised food and lodging in exchange for my services. It is the best deal I have had in ages. I accept.

We lie in wait in the place of death. The promise of food has not yet materialized. I regret. Our quarry arrives, they number eight. At first glance, they seem like scholars come to explore the ruins. Only two seem like they pose a threat. I will soon eat.

The scholars wield the power of the dragons. No sooner have I let one arrow fly than an elven female has sent my companions into a magical sleep. I wake them only to hear a terrifying growl. We have disturbed the undead. I run. I run the wrong way.

There is no other choice. There is strength in numbers. I flee towards the scholars. They may show mercy the undead do not possess. I help the best I can, wounding that which seems the leader of the pack.

Of my nine companions, only two remain. They are handed to the city guard. My fate seems uncertain, as by speaking against my companions I have condemned myself. I face exile. Again. The elven female speaks for me. She says I will be rewarded for my actions. I dare not believe. Yet, I wait.

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The Morning After

On each side of the split screen is a POV scene. An attractive, mostly naked, young woman stands in a Tooth and Hookah room on each side.

Their strikingly similar features betray their filial relation, but they are far from identical.

The girl on the left’s hair is long, white and currently holding the two different tunics she is considering while her hands are otherwise occupied with kaf and some sort of pastry.

The young woman on the right’s auburn hair falls naturally on her alabaster shoulders. Despite her milky, iris-less eyes, she seems to be staring directly at the other occupant in the room, a playful smile on her lips.

The girls speak as she lightly pokes her bedmate’s foot:
“Come on twinkle toes/silver tongue, you don’t want to miss the assignments this morning. Thanks again for a fun night. I left you some kaf near the door. Just make sure to lock up on your way out. With some luck, maybe we can do this again tonight.

They smile.

The scene cuts to the hallway where Samir and Hasdrubal run into each other, kaf in hand, as they close different doors behind them. They look at each other, slightly uncomfortably, then share a laugh and make their way to grand temple.

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Game 2: Two Sarcophagi
2015-10-24

An excerpt from the journal of Holy Mavrikos, Ch. 17, 23-32

14th of Kythorn, 340AF,

23 Once our battle against the spawn of evil were over, my comrades and I resolved to send some back to town for supplies. 24 I made the journey back to town and exchange the tainted items for various objects necessary for our continued success 25 such as a wand of healing.

26 Upon our return, we continued our search of the tomb. 27 Many traps caught the unwary including an animated sarcophagus that trapped Samir Goldentongue inside. This tomb room was but a lure to fool the unwise.

28 We continued our search, eventually finding the gravegoods room. 29 Within this room, we found a secret door that led to the real sarcophagus where we were attacked by two iron cobras.

30 Once we inventoried the tomb, we sent some goods back to our school via a portal 31 and the rest we sold for monies to further our quest. 32 That evening, we returned to town and stayed and to Tooth And Hookah.

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Orfée's first day

“I must say the end of this first adventuring day is one special day. My companions and I continued exploring the tomb, finding a trap that threated to drown us all. I am wondering if I would ever do a good adventuress as I was not sure what to do. I was scared and at the same time fascinated by the ingenuity of the human race to think and develop such traps. In the same room, water to drown us, with electric pillar protection the sarcophagus of what we though was the warrior of this tomb which turn out to be a construct trying to eat us all! I would not have survived alone.

Well, the rest of the tomb was fairly ok. We managed to get by, explorer some more, find the 2 secret passages that the tomb had to secure the valuable of the noble warrior resting inside. Going back to the inn where we would reside the night over, I took a small rest and prepared myself for another adventure, the evening celebration. I was delighted to meet the Dog soldiers, a small band of Halfling very friendly with their dog mount. They were mourning their loses, mainly some of their valiant dog mount and some of their comrades. Most of which were against an infamous gelatinous cube a plague of ruins and such places, I hope we will not meet one tomorrow.

Well, what a surprise, Hasdrubal knows how to dance! This is a shame for me. He moves well and has a presence that seems to increase the atmosphere of the inn. I am happy for him that he holds his word true in paying beer to our Samir. This is unexpected I am happily surprised, I will have to learn how to dance it looks like fun enough and yet another adventure to try.

O my, what’s this? I will do so immediately, I will be ready in a few minutes… “

Standing up, moving quickly to Nasha, Orfée give him the wand of cure light wounds (25 charges left) acquired earlier in the day and insure he can use it to heal group the next day.

“Yes, I have been called home for an undetermined time, I will be back as soon as I can. Use this wand with care.”

And on these words, Orfée walks to her room, gather her equipment and step through the portal that opened for her…

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The Avatar

The religious chanting of the priest of Ananrath, cleansing the amphitheatre grounds of mischievous spirits, could be heard reverberating in the underground gladiatorial waiting area. Hasdrubal scooped chalk from the stone bowl and rubbed his hands together in ritualistic fashion, too concentrated to pay attention to the distant incantations.

Hasdrubal’s heartbeat was already steadily increasing in anticipation.

His contest was next.

While his opponent was being introduced, Hasdrubal engaged in the tunnel leading outside, his peers giving final words of encouragement as he walked pass them. In the last leg of the corridor, he was joined by two young attendants wearing stolas leading the way for him by throwing of rose petals.

‘And, hailing from parts unknown, the Slayer of Sargon, The wielder of Gwalhir… HASDRUBAL THESH!’

Outside, Hasdrubal’s eyes took a moment to adjust to the light as he walked toward the center stage. All around him, 16000 spectators filled Oudna’s amphitheather to the brim. His largest crowd yet.

«Show them what they came in to see» he thought to himself.

Hasdrubal slowly unsheathed Gwalhir, then with dramatic flourish, raised his falchion to the crowd maintaining eye contact with the spectators has he turned from left to right, his adamantine sword glinting under the Sekuntian sun. This did not get as much of a rise from the crowd as Hasdrubal had hoped, but perhaps it was inevitable as he was facing a local talent. He would play the ‘villain’ of the current contest.

Standing twenty paces in front of him was Pontus, an old career soldier driven to the amphitheatre when he ran out of conflicts to fight, a monster of a man chosen for his fearsome appearance and his notoriety in the region. Pontus had led phalanxes units of Sekunta‘s conflicts against Taviros’ Dorian League for over two decades, but this meant very little as the Gladiatorial arena was no ordinary battlefield. Hasdrubal’s task was to make the man’s debut in the business his last appearance.

Hasdrubal and Pontus looked up to the main booth from where the cream of Oudna’s oligarchy would be spectating the fight. The two combatants gave a final bow, in respect to their the most esteemed attendees, then faced each other, entering their fighting stance. At last, the head priest ordered the strike of the gong, signaling the start of the bout.

«This is it…»

Hasdrubal wasted no time charging Pontus, catching his opponent flat-footed.

Hasdrubal jumped in the air as he was about to meet his quarry… Time seemed to slow as he swung his falchion downwards towards Pontus’ exposed collar bone, sixteen thousand souls watching Gwalhir descent, willing him to make that killer blow.

The silence before the strike, and the noise afterwards… raising… like a storm!

In these moments… he felt as he was Ananrath himself.

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