The Red Hand

Game 1: Into the Necropolis
2015-09-27

An excerpt from the journal of Holy Mavrikos, Ch. 17, 1-22

13th of Kythorn, 340 AF
1 And so it came to be that Blessed Kryseis charged me with a holy duty of expunging the evil of the Necropolis of Whadi.

2 “Go!” said she “and visit destruction on those things that are dead yet refuse the sweet embrace of Phos. 3 Destroy the children of Skotos, cursed be his name”.

4 And thus I made ready for my voyage with meditation and prayer for is it not said 5 “Let the peace be within you if you wish it to be without”?

6 My meditations were peaceful save for an interruption of one of my erstwhile companion, a follower of Ananrath, 7 whose twisted teachings on combat stain the sands of gladiatorial stadiums across Lyria. 8 I took his measure and he took mine.

14th of Kythorn, 340 AF
8 In the morning, my companions and I, eight in all, 9 were transported through the grace of Phos to the road south of Whadi.

10 Here we made our way into the decadent city and heard the words of the priestess of Nepsis, 11 who proclaimed the doom of many a group of fool hardy. 12 Our turn came and we were assigned to clear the crypt of a heathen General.

13 That day, we met many heathens with none of any note save, perhaps, for the Sand Scorpions, 14 a band of ill repute, visibly thieves in search of loot undefended by the living.

15 We reached the crypt and made our way inward. 16 Of the battles of the first day, I will say little if only to underline the state of unreadiness of my companions and I. 17 We explored the crypt, discovering a vast underground extension to the humble above-ground building.

18 Traps were many and caught us unprepared. 19 We discovered much wealth but little of any spiritual significance. 20 What dangers we fought, while significant, were of the mundane variety. Perhaps Blessed Kryseis was mistaken about the taint of evil in this place?

21 Even so, Orfée kor Samfund fell repeatedly against the giant spiders and we won only with great effort. 22 I resolved to double my efforts, lest on of my companions fall through my lack of devotion.

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Letter to Professor Carrow
Game 1: Into the Necropolis

Dear Professor:

I hope this missive finds you in good health. As you had predicted, we were both woefully under-prepared for this task and lacking coordination, which resulted in casualties – myself included. Fortunately, there were no deaths and our injuries, while major, can be tended to.

The senior students have performed admirably. The thralls summoned by Fellows Maudril and Eydan were instrumental in keeping at bay the dangers of the crypt. Eydan’s mastery of the elements and Rhialla’s skill with force projectiles also allowed them to dispatch our foes with haste. My own performance, however, was definitely sub-par. While your training in the art of prognostication did allow me to sense my enemies’ murderous intent and warn my companions, I did not have the tools in my arsenal to handle these threats. I may have to follow my better’s example and conjure some bodyguards of my own, or else find another way to assist my group in a more proactive fashion.

The junior students also played their part, but they relied heavily on skills learned prior to their entry in the academy. Of particular note would be Scholar Goldentongue, who took point in matters related to snares and pitfalls. The level of skill he demonstrated when interacting with the numerous mechanical devices set against potential tomb raiders was underwhelming at best. Samir attempts at skulduggery resulted in him getting slashed, poisoned and peppered with crossbow bolts. Repeatedly. That said, I highly value his contribution as lightning rod.

However, I must disclose that I suspect him to be the source of an apparition of what I can only assume was intended to be the god Nethys and which addressed the adventurers in the main plaza, prior to the event. One of the priestesses dismissed the glamour post-haste, and I am led to believe that will be the end of that. Do note that I do not have any proof the mischief came from one of us, other than the horrendous accent of the pseudo-god, and Samir’s renowned penchant for pranks of this nature.

Scholar Thesh is a brute, which is proving to be extremely useful in this underground setting. The architects of this place have designed with an overabundance of doors in mind, each thicker and more massive than the next. Were it only for his ability to push heavy object out of the way, Hasdrubal would have still earned his keep. His experience in the arena is also proving useful when confronted by foes. Had it not been for his sword, and Fellow Maudril’s force missiles, I would likely have been overwhelmed when rushed by a swarm of constructs, midway through our journey.

I plan to keep a close eye on Scholar Tora, as his enjoyment of the Necropolis is greater than the one even a student of necromancy should have a right to. Otherwise, he keeps mostly to himself and I find myself with very little to report.

I also need to be mindful of both Scholar kor Samfund and Scholar Gavras. Both have shown inclinations towards wresting control of our ragtag group from those rightfully ranked above them – the former subtly and with cunning, and the latter more openly. I will not run for leadership. Even if I had such a notion, my pathetic display of skill of the last twenty-four hours would quickly take me out of the running. However, I do plan to support whichever of Eydan or Rhialla best rise to the challenge.

Please find in annex the list of items found in the first crypt we visited. Those that have been returned by portkey to the Academy are identified by a mark. The remainder are enchanted and may help us complete our task. I will send a more complete description once we find the time to examine and identify said items.

Dutifully yours,

Rhea Amelia
14th of Kythorn, 340 AF

P.S. I had noticed, prior to leaving, that your stores of Varanus niloticus mentula were low. I understand fresh ones can be obtained here, at a fair price. Should I go ahead and purchase a bag?

– Next Entry: Journal of Rhea Amelia Namtab -

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Samir’s Adventure log.

Just received my first mission! Being a graduate FINALLY starts to get interesting! I get to not die at the hands of my master (minions of his tend to be scarce at the Academy, despite a steady flow of “recruitment” in this little specialization of ours). Good thing I get to be away, as my usual chatter doesn’t seem to make myself endearing to the old grump Drakt[blood smudge].

**

Terrible headache. Don’t know why. As I was saying, my cheerful personality seems at odds with my master’s legendary sense of hum[unfinished word]

**

Okay. Lesson learned, no more witty thoughts about my oh so nice M[unfinished word]

**

No sarcasm either.

**

Turns out it’s a mission involving graduates of all the Academy’s schools of magic. 8 in all.
Great! I just hope none of them were victims of my boredom at one point of my illustrious career as an Academy student…

**

Not bad for an adventuring group. No one I’ve had too much fun with in the past. The gods a smiling upon me, because if Theofyr would’ve been a member of our merry band, I don’t think I would’ve survived a night out of the Academy’s watchful eye (how long until he stops being angry at the Shrunk Spell incident? We’re indentured to the Academy forever! It’s not like he’s going to use it or anything!).

The group seems to be well balanced and no animosity is apparent, aside from this arrogant brute with a strange voice, like he has a cold or a similar ailment. He dared call illusionism a pathetic endeavor! Dared! Jokes on him though, as I Arcane Marked the back of his headgear with a phallus while he was busy measuring male organs with that rapier-wielding fellow. I can’t help thinking how Theofyr would be severely outclassed in such a contest.
chuckle

On a side note, I seem to have the only commoner accent in the group. The rest seems to be nobility by the way they talk.

**

Long hours spent at the library reading up on ancient traps of Whadi. A little more complicated than the ones students are improvising around their meagre belongings in order to keep me out of them. But hey, a trap is a trap, yes? What could possibly go wrong?

**

Welp, we’re to be named the Mewling Quims. It’s either an insult to the strength of our group or we are named thusly for others to underestimate us while on our mission. It is a question to be pondered by my betters, as I can’t help laughing at the contest of leadership already going on between a few of us.

Commoner: Oh Great Wizard Leader. What art thou company’s name, so that I may regale my children with tales of thy great deeds?
Leader: Why, the Mewling Quims, dear farmer. Spread the word of our greatness! And don’t forget my name as the fearless leader of it! History shall not forget me!

Ha!

**

Wow, not much time left to prepare for teleportation! No details about our plans once there, aside from getting into a necropolis to loot trinkets. And learn things? I can’t remember.
I’ve hence decided to split my spell studies between a few illusions (we’re going to a city, might as well make the odds in our favor) and offensive spells, in case my shenanigans backfire.

And off we go!

(this teleportation room looks familiar…)

**

Of course, we’ve appeared out of the city limits. Makes sense, as fierce-looking scribes like ourselves appearing in the middle of the city might strike terror in the hearts of the local population.

Already, as we colossus of the minds are wont to do, we’ve started our mission by debating which way was north and expounding on the definition of deltas, rivers, and other things I was too bored to listen to.

Kill me.

**

Finally inside the city! Now to work on giving us some advantages for the coming days! We should drop at the nearest tavern to scout out the competition. I’ve a hundred golds saved up for such an occasion. My plan is to look at any tension within an adventuring party and maybe exploit this to snatch a cleric or a warrior to our cause. After all, a band of scribes like ourselves will surely need medicine or a shield by our side, no?

**

Are you KIDDING me!? We’re to be at the city centre for the loot lottery right away! Our mentors sure made a stup[word not finished]

**

Ow. As I was saying, our mentors are geniuses. How did I not think of that before is beyond me, but we have two specialists capable of handling wands with healing capabilities. With thousands of gold each for supplies, we’ll have plenty of healing magic at our disposal. It’s fool proof! I feel way more optimistic now!

**

Wow, lots of people showed up for the lottery. I’m still a little upset over my lack of opportunities to start the mission on a more favorable footing. And we’re to start right away. I’ve not prepared spells for dungeon exploring! What if… What if I try to scare a few adventurers away with a little something-something? Might be able to persuade a coward or two to accompany us as fodder for promises of riches and fame.

Well, let’s give it a shot.

**

Well that was a spell well wasted! The grand priestess dispelled my illusion!
Yet they HATE the fact that a bunch of non-believers will be desecrating their ancestors. Guess they hate sacrilege more than desecration?
But then again, I don’t think a cleric exists that is not as dense as an ox…

**

We get a crypt of some general who did something with someone over a place somewhere or something like that. Anyway, we “won” a tomb. Time to explore!

**

Sigh. AGAIN with the discussions and the debates over opening a freaking door! Thank the gods I’m busy looking for traps on a smooth stone that is impossible to contain a trap instead of participating in this joke. My fellow adepts of magicka are too busy coming up with ideas and scenarios to figure out my laziness (and I get recognition for my skills! Ha!). Looking at a piece of rock sure beats shoveling sand, I’ll tell you that.

**

Curse the gods and curse this band of scribes! While they were busy chatting away, two scorpions slipped through ALL of them, UNNOTICED! And guess who got stung first? Yours truly! I could feel the venom draining me of strength the instant I screamed “Ow!”

On the bright side, guess who won’t get asked for manual labor for this mission? This handsome young man!

Two measly scorpions to kill. This shall be like taking candy from a baby.

**

I should’ve said HUMAN baby… We struggled to end those buggers. We actually struggled! This does not bode well for us. The 1st room we penetrate (hehehe) and I’m wounded already! I’ll ask for a dose of some sweet, sweet healing wand magic from my brothers and sisters.

**

**

Note to self: Study. MORE! Those traps are brilliantly hidden! I think I’ve activated them all by accident while looking for them. I guess I “found” the traps anyway…

**

This is humiliating! We got our butts kicked by dolls! Dolls! And of course, the mewling quims (I’m beginning to think the name was prophetic instead of insulting or strategic in nature) were too busy mewling to shout out to me, so I was jumped on when I was on all four, looking for traps at the entrance.

Mea culpa on my part: I should’ve stopped looking for traps the moment some of them entered the chamber, but my bruised ego demanded a thorough examination.

**

Are you kidding me!? Two of us nearly died by big spiders hiding behind a mummy preparation table. I jokingly mentioned that it might not be in our best interest in letting others outside our group know of our um, tribulations up until this point. The group nervously laughed while looking at the ground. I think our secret is safe.

**

Master Draktooth decided to get a progress report through me. I told him the truth, that we were struggling. He replied something cryptic about not having to fight everything we encountered. Brilliant idea! That is EXACTLY what we could’ve done if we HAD TIME TO PREP[unfinished word]

**

Ow.

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Orfée's nebulous thoughts

I have seen the sky; the world beyond the walls of the academy and then the world go dark and darker yet. It felt strange and at the same time reassuring knowing that I may move to my next life. I know, there is yet much to do and accomplish in the world to fulfill my harmony, it would be a shame not to continue.

Reflecting on how I ended up in this predicament is a tale on its own. It all started yesterday where I was selected amongst other fellow students to go into the city of Wadi and into their necropolis. Why? Simply because it was now opened for plunder and treasure retrieval. Now that necropolis of Wadi is opened, we have to go, seven of my fellow students and me into the unknown of the world with our limited power, outside the security and containment of the academy. We arrived to the city quickly and got assigned our area of the necropolis – why did it had to be a necropolis… undead and all, this was not good. We needed to investigate the area, report our findings and go back.

I must, my first impression of the place was a good one, many old stones, beautifully sculpted, decorated with care and artistry. All build to stand the test of time, transmit to younger generation the knowledge of the previous, underlining important aspect of everyone buried here for the future. We are more than a thousand years after and their memory is still around and not entirely lost to time. The mausoleum assigned to us does not make an exception. The tomb of Akhen Tepis is illustrated with his life accomplishment and major milestones depicting his strength and family.

While we were exploring, we founds animals, deadly traps and many interesting artefacts. Most animals were hostile and did attack us, I hope out of their instinct of territory protection more than just to arm us. It while we were exploring a room that looked empty at the beginning that my faith changed completely. Big desert spider – Solifugae to be precise, most likely hungry and wanting to protect their area decided to attack me. I had never before experience such cuts and bites, such speed and ferocity upon my person. Inevitably my poor body resistance was put to the test and failed quickly. I must say and recognized that without my companions I may now be traveling the my next life or be floating into the netherworld.

With such companions, that barely knew me and still help the best way they could; I know I am in my place. I need to find my harmony, understand better the other’s point of view and their interest. I think I need to offer even more my support for us to succeed in our task and to hope to get more of these tasks so we can learn a more practical approach to magic, life and adventure.

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Nasah's guide to practical Necromancy
Chapter 1: The Necropolis (Part 1)

Prologue

Although I came from an humble forester’s background, I am confident my studies at Coldspire Academy will shape me into a capable necromancer and my writings will be remembered through time. All too often we see manuals written by wise warriors, scriptures by profound philosophers, codex from successful guilds and even druidic lore gets its fair share of sheep skin writings. What about necromancy? Yes we’ve all heard about the scarce ramblings of mad Liches but my gift to the world is something practical, something that will make your learning easier. Don’t be fooled, this is in no means a replacement for your mentors, always respect them no matter what their teaching methods are and what you might have to endure through the long years of study.

“Necromancy is a fundamentally good magic !”
-Nasah Tora

Embrace the living
In order to successfully pursue field research, it is imperative to surround yourself with a cohesive group of people. On my very first assignment I was sent with a group of seven other students, which I barely ever heard of, to a necropolis located in the far city of Whadi. Although I believe I am perceived by others with some degree of suspicion due to my inclinations, I am well surrounded and would not have it otherwise.

Mavrikos the sanctimonious, wears his faith as a shield to protect the group from peril and keeps us on azimuth with his moral compass.

Hasdrubal pugilatus, the unequaled weapon wielder, the alluring wall of muscles seemingly chiseled by the gods themselves, selflessly spills his own blood on the front lines in order to brutally slash, cut, pierce, maim and dismember anyone or anything posing a threat to the posse.

Orphée the hedonist, has a golden heart and roaming hands; always ready to give encouraging words and a shoulder rub, she uses her innate and acquired talents to mend our wounds and soothe our pains.

Rhea the insightful, naturally takes a leading role in major decision making processes, most of the time she overthinks things and occasionally butts heads with Mavrikos. However, she always seems to be one step ahead of everyone and that makes her a great leader. She also is peculiar, especially when a threat arise, a bone-chilling almost hysterical cry can be heard from her announcing our impending DOOM!

Samir the lucky, or perhaps the unlucky… has an uncontrollable curiosity and a knack to find traps, often to his own demise, that would otherwise be lethal to the octet. At first glance he might appear as a simple-minded fellow to some but scratching the surface reveals layer upon layer of craftiness.

Eydan master of the elements, is always thoughtful in his decisions but doesn’t overdo it. He is only extravagant in his display of power where he ‘blows our enemies to tiny bits’ or reduces them to a smoldering pile of ashes.

Rhialla the mysterious, is as much as an enigma as she is attractive. Her summoning skills allows her to be surrounded by helpful entities but otherwise keeps to herself especially when not adventuring.

Spending time with others is precious and also a necessity to progress in the mastery of necromancy. Countless times we have saved each other’s lives and shared intense moments; it is a life lesson I would never forget…

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Letter to Mentor
First day in Wati's city of the dead

Dear Mentor,

Reporting in as requested on our travel to Wati. Our first morning has been productive. We entered the city as expected and waited at the main square for the Death priest to draw and announced the assignments. This ceremony was presided by Sebti high priestess. Our first assignment was an unknown building in the north of the closed quarters. The building is in good repair and intact. After opening the main door it was evident that none had entered and that we were the first in many years of not centuries to enter. Upon entering, we discovered that this building is a Mausoleum for the renowned general Akentepi. Nothing of note on the first floor beyond some carvings of the god Pharasma.

We descended a pit to reach the second floor. On this level we found various rooms dedicated to specific tasks or theme. One room contain information of his career, another room described his family, a room for embalming and 2 more contain some favorite trophies. The tomb was defended by a few standard traps, some stout doors, a local vermin a type of sand spider, a bound defenders and a few animated tiny statues. One trap was magical and appears to be a mirror of despair.

Your servant

Eydan

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Samir's Adventure log - Part 2.

What a morning we’ve had! What with the stingings, and the bitings, the trap triggerings and the humiliation-by-dolls…

We’ve come to the conclusion that some extra healing is in order, so a delegation was sent to the market to sell some of our loot and acquire healing apparatus. I’ve decided to stay in the crypt and work on my trap-finding “skills” on the unopened door we still have. I’m still flustered over my lack of positive results so far.


Nothing found! Dare I open it…?

Ha! Like I wasn’t gonna! “He who hesitates, masturbates” as the saying goes. Who am I to go against folk wisdom?


Damn that meddling Rhialla! She was spying on me the whole time and intervened the moment I pushed those doors open!

How am I to sneak peeks and poke around with her and that addled brain Nasah in the vicinity? They dragged me away from the door and I spent the remainder of the time in deep “conversation” with Nasah over a bandaged dead cat. That lad is so fascinated with dead critters (or anything dead for that matter) that I suspect he has a stash of Goblin Mushrooms on his person. I shall have a talk with him about the virtues of sharing in the near future. Humpf!

So I decided to be a gentleman and suffered through an ad hoc presentation on embalming while using my acting skills to look interested. I might have to work on that, too.

Curses! What is taking those hagglers so long? Oh. Mavrikos is with them…

Maybe it’s for the best I didn’t go scout ahead after all. I think I saw blood in my urine and I’m still a little weak from all that poison I unwillingly “consumed” previously.


They’re back! Finally!

Before we go on, I wait in line to get some healing from that nice Orfée broad with the wandering hands. Some seem bothered by her constant touching, but for my part I don’t get the same weird feeling I used to get while with uncle Savir back in the day, which is nice.

And off we go!


My master will be proud! I opened a door, saw some big-ass bugs in them, and turned around!

Yay for recently acquired Entomophobia!


Another trapless door and a room containing a sarcophagus lies ahead. Screw looking for traps this time! Good ol’ Samir will save the day and jump STRAIGHT on that coffin to prevent a scary mummy from coming out!

And to think all my teachers frowned upon viewing my extracurricular reading lists back in the days!

“Sir Vagi’sil and the curse of the Pharaoh” prepared me for this!

You should have seen the acrobatics I performed to land on the lid! If we survive this I shall spin a tale so grand my name will be on everyone’s lips, just like Vagi’sil!


Of all the…!

Guess where the trap was?! I’ve done goofed this time. I’ve endangered the life of all my teammates with my brashness. The doors closed the moment I did my circus act and lightning bolts are flying around the sarcophagus. Oh, and the room is slowly filling up with water…

While I’m tap-dancing on the lid, trying to avoid spiked hair, I quickly looked around, anticipating disappointment or resentfulness from the other scribes. To my relief, they didn’t seem to care. I guess having caught the brunt of all the OTHER traps gave me a few points in my favor. Thank the gods for small favors.

Wait! The lid is trying to lift! Something’s inside!

I KNEW it!


Not the least bit surprised by that mummy being there (Ha!), I quickly called for help to keep the mummy inside. Eydan jumped into the fray and we rodeoed together for a few short breaths until we were unseated by the brutal strength of that cursed mummy. I quickly jumped away and moved near Hasdrubal, who was frantically (and successfully!) chipping away at the barred door.


Well that’s a weird-acting mummy. I’ve never read about one who used the sarcophagus as an armor, trying to clamp on fingers with the lid. I guess it’s a smart strategy defence-wise…


I’m inside the sarcophagus (don’t ask). No mummy there. For now I guess, unless I get out. Thankfully, Hasdrubal cleaved the Mimic with skill, barely chopping my head off in the process.

Waiddaminute… does he know about the graffiti and tried to kill me??!!!

Oh well, I’ll figure it out when (IF) I come out. I’ll keep an eye on that one.


We survived! I survived!

And more easily than against the previous bugs we’ve encountered. Weird…


Ok, Mavrikos has a good point: No mummy found yet, which means there’s a secret door somewhere.

After some searching, we’ve found the general’s secret stash.

We’ve also found ANOTHER secret door… and of course, a SWARM of bugs…

I HATE Bugs!


Another fight we pulled through! I’d celebrate, but the overwhelming smell of vomit in the room acts as a deterrent. These filthy bugs made everyone sick, except me and maybe another, I’m not sure.

I can see a room with ANOTHER sarcophagus inside! We’re nearing the end of this bug-infested shithole!

There can’t be two similar traps in the same complex I’m sure! Time to do a repeat my previous performance!

Oh look, snakes! Made of metal…

Damnit.


After a brief fight with Iron Cobras, we finally get to loot the good stuff! AND, our masters arranged for room and board to the Tooth and Hooker! All. Expenses. PAID!!!!

Guess who’ll be wrestling the sheets tonight with three or four lovely lasses!


Oh… Tooth and HOOKAH…


Hasdrubal praised the size of my proverbial testicles. In front of everyone! I’m sure glad he didn’t try to kill me back in the crypt. I am thus indebted to him for my life. He’s not a bad fellow after all.
He even offered to buy my drinks for the evening. I smell a burgeoning friendship with him.


I like Hasdrubal’s style. Offers to pay for drinks. Zero money on him. We’re like brothers separated at birth!


Oh crap, the phallus mark on his head gear!

I’ll have to remedy this somehow.


Let the festivities begin!

There’s an awesome crowd in the common area. Other parties are also lodging in the Tooth and HOOKAH (…) and the mood is quite positive.

Time for some socializing.

Started a conversation with a cleric named Falto. The leader of the Crypt Finders spun a grand tale of treasures and dangers on their first outing into an old brewery. They even fought a mummy and survived.

I quickly smelled a turd in his so-called “exploits”. Why the hell would there be mummies in a brewery? I’m pretty sure they didn’t laid to rest the town drunks in there.


While smiling and nodding (between sighs) at Falto’s tales, I saw that Orfée and Rhialla were busy flirting with a drunk Halfling and having a good time. Good on them! I’ll be sure to bring up this anecdote to Theofyr next time I see him. I’m sure he’ll be glad knowing that half-men are successful in love, too.


My newfound friend Hasdy invited me over to his table and introduced me to the lovely leader of the group of rogues we briefly met on our way to the general’s crypt this morning. Despite losing members, they seemed willing to talk and have a good time. They apparently landed right in the middle of a clan battle.

A GHOUL clan battle. I somehow kept my curiosity in check at the novelty of Ghoul gangs prowling the street, on the lookout for trouble or rival gangs. Pressing her with details seemed inappropriate in light of their losses in the event.

It sure kept my imagination going though. How were they called? Surely something sinister, like the “Brain Eaters” or the “Bone Marrows”. There’s a small part of me that wish that there’s a tale between two houses feuding over the honor of a further-spoiled (ha!) princess by a member of the Shrivelled Nuts clan or something. THAT story would sell more books I’m sure.


Hasdrubal iz AWESHOME! Heej now danzing on a ta*hic* tabul to the enjoiychment of all!

Time to rem*hic* remove the graffiti on his headjeer…


Cant hic can’t perform that dishpell shpell right meow… I’ll have to modify HIC modify the phallus to not be a phal hic phal hic a dick.


Ow. My head hurts SO much. What the hell happened last night? Oh well, time to study for another day of looting. I’ll refrain from learning any shenanigan spells this time.


Why the hell is there a butterfly with a huge nose on Hasdrubal’s head gear now…?

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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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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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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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