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Author Topic: [TROS] The Riddle of Hârn  (Read 24099 times)
John Kim
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2004, 12:43:43 AM »

Interesting.  I'm sort of contrasting this in my mind with my recent HarnMaster campaign, the http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/harn/">Cuthren Village campaign.  I had been playing an Agrikan priest, Baraud Valain, who was quite devout although secretly heretical to the orthodox sects within Rethem (he was secretly a convert to the Order of Eight Demons).  

It's neat to see contrasting takes... I'm thinking particularly of Baraud vs Vynscythe.  Our game seems much more cynical and down-to-earth, which might well have something to do with the Riddle of Steel vs HarnMaster.  Baraud quite loathed the Laranians because of the hypocrisy and corruption that he felt they fostered.  By idealizing and protecting weakness, they encouraged false weakness and modesty rather than encouraging people to show their strength.  

It seems like our game was much more about compromising of principles (even Baraud's rather perverse ones).  We made a deal with a Morgathian priest, and also with a Morgath-corrupted Peonian saint.  Baraud hated Morgath as much or even more than Larani, but practical concerns drove him to make those deals.  

Your RoS game seems more over-the-top heroic in flavor, which I suspect is influenced by the Spiritual Attributes.
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- John
Sigurth
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2004, 09:02:53 AM »

Quote from: John Kim
It's neat to see contrasting takes... I'm thinking particularly of Baraud vs Vynscythe.  Our game seems much more cynical and down-to-earth, which might well have something to do with the Riddle of Steel vs HarnMaster.  Baraud quite loathed the Laranians because of the hypocrisy and corruption that he felt they fostered.  By idealizing and protecting weakness, they encouraged false weakness and modesty rather than encouraging people to show their strength.  

It seems like our game was much more about compromising of principles (even Baraud's rather perverse ones).  We made a deal with a Morgathian priest, and also with a Morgath-corrupted Peonian saint.  Baraud hated Morgath as much or even more than Larani, but practical concerns drove him to make those deals.  

Your RoS game seems more over-the-top heroic in flavor, which I suspect is influenced by the Spiritual Attributes.


I'll definitely have to go and check out your game. Maybe get some ideas...borrow some NPCs ;-)

I agree...I think SAs make for a more heroic game. Plus many of the pcs have these Hârn-changing destinies!

edit: Hey! I've been to your page. I borrowed your Political Map so Vyn could get an idea of the politics of Rethem.
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November Kilo
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Posts: 13


« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2004, 04:48:21 PM »

Sig - great story!  I've been wondering, how long are your sessions?  Or are these write ups covering only 1-2 sessions?  Really, good stuff.  Jealous.  I'm only 5 hours from San Antonio - got room for another?  :)  </kidding>
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November Kilo
Sigurth
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2004, 06:01:15 PM »

Quote from: November Kilo
Sig - great story!  I've been wondering, how long are your sessions?  Or are these write ups covering only 1-2 sessions?  Really, good stuff.  Jealous.  I'm only 5 hours from San Antonio - got room for another?  :)  </kidding>


Thanks NK.

Actually, the first write up was one session. We were working out battle mechanics.

The second write up is wholly fictionalized based on conversations that I had with the players during character creation.

The third write up is about 3/4 of the first session.  I glossed over the travel as quickly as possible since I had not gathered all the pcs together yet. It was a challenge running Halifax going south and the rest going north. The next post will be the rest of that session. On average I will have 2 posts/session.

We have had one more session (this past Sunday) and they ususally run about 6 hours.
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Sigurth
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« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2004, 11:39:26 AM »

Quote from: November Kilo
 I'm only 5 hours from San Antonio - got room for another?  :)  </kidding>


If you are ever in San Antonio on a Sunday evening when we play. SURE!

There are legionares or crazy Ilviran pilgrims to play.

At the last session we had one friend play an NPC legionare. I have to say that because of SAs, he really got into the pre-gen'ed character and now wants to either adopt that one or make his own.
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Sigurth
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« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2004, 03:49:02 PM »

A Meeting of Destinies

The trail meandered through the Rayeshea Mountains and although the surrounding land was barren wilderness, the path saw much traffic and as such, it was suprisingly navigable. Up ahead, the Rethemi knight rode point. Markus rolled his eyes thinking about the hedge knight. He had given him a spyglass, and the fool had not known what to do with it until the Thardan had shown him. Why the legions had not overrun Rethem yet was unbelievable. He would mention these first hand observations to his uncle and maybe they could persuade that brat of a Marshal to make a push. Then again, there were too many internal problems, and he was more of a mind to have the Gerium Legion clean up Hefiosa bandits once and for all. He had already figured out that the young knight, and his barbarian companion were on the run. They both hated Agrikans--not that he had any love for those warmongers himself--and that alone was strange for a Rethemi. What was wierder still was that Markus suspected that this Vynscythe Paque was a Larani-worshipper.

"Another useless god," he expressed out loud, but no one was in ear shot.

He stopped his horse and looked back to see if the rest of the column were keeping the pace. Pelar Vomilost and Rhygar flanked the foot traffic of three pilgrims while his two legionares brought up the rear. He squinted west watching the sun drop behind the mountains. Too many shadows...he readjusted his grip on his lance. Then a sudden clamour arose from near where he was looking as a small flock of birds took wing.

He heard a cry of "GARGUN!!!" echo across the mountains. Instinctively, he brought up his round shield and heard the whiz and THUNK! of an arrow.

"We're under attack! Vynscythe! Legionares, guard the pilgrims!" he cried.

Spinning his horse to his left, Markus saw that it was too late for one. The poor lass had taken a arrow to the head and was on her way down. He saw movement beneath the trees and spurred his horse forward and upward into the forest of pine.

More arrows flew. Two struck the pony on which Rhygar rode. One grazed a pilgrim and landed a few feet from Pelar. With a battle cry, Rhygar vaulted from the saddle, drawing his falchion in mid-arc as his mount fell beneath him. Landing cat-like on the muddy trail, he snarled. Then, following his leader's example, adjusted his shield and charged into the woods. Vynscthe of Paque, hearing the commotion behind him, wheeled his horse around, and urged the stallion into a gallop. He feared he would be too late.

**

Halifax hoped he was as lucky in combat as he was at dice. The young man drove the hyeka-gargun back slashing and thrusting with both blades, but he could gain no advantage as the viscious creature ducked and parried.  An off-balance slash from the thing's short falchion slashed across his leather scaring him. In response, still with the initiative, he stabbed at the gargun's unprotected neck, hitting its armored shoulder instead. The gargun grunted, but shrugged off the blow. Suprised at their toughness, Halifax desperately pressed his attack.

The muffled sound of hoofbeats on snow carried up to Halifax, and he spared a quick glance. A mounted soldier charged down one of the other gargun, spearing him in the neck.

**

Markus cursed, "Stupid beastie!"

He let go of his lance which had become stuck in the gargun's hairy throat, and he drew his sword. Above him a woodsman, possibly their saviour, battled one creature. Closer at hand five more ran down the slope towards the trail.

He manuevered around a fallen log and with a kick to his horse ran down a gargun from behind, cleaving its skull and sending it tumbling to the ground. Space was tight and another one of the creatures closed on him. Instead of dashing away like he wanted, he could only rear his horse. When he came down, the gargun had moved to his non-shielded, right side. It slashed him across the thigh. Markus grimaced in pain as blood began to ooze down his leg.

On the road Pelar dismounting hastily, yelled, "C'mon! Get under cover!" to the other two pilgrims.

The other woman ran behind the horse, and he pointed towards the trees on the opposite side of the trail from the attack. The injured pilgrim dove under his horse and Pelar roughly pulled him to his feet. Pushing him and then following him to the cover of the pines ahead. Pelar drew his weapons just in case, but he hoped that the warrior-types he traveled with would deal with the problem.

**

Driving the gargun back again, Halifax heard movement behind him thinking that his luck had finally run out. He turned to have both foes in front of him, but sighed in relief as Beknyr yelling with his staff held high over his head, brought it crashing down on the gargun's skull. The hyeka' staggered, but did not fall. However, now dazed it was extremely vulnerable. Halifax thrust at its neck while Beknyr brought the staff down again on its head. It slumped to the ground staining the white snow red with its blood.

"Go, lad! I will make sure."

Beknyr stepped on the neck of the fallen gargun while Halifax tore down the mountain to help the others.

**

Rhygar of Kubroa hit the first gargun head on striking before it could and forcing it back against a tree with a mighty, across-the-body blow to its abdomen. The gargun gasped as the wind was knocked out of it. It put up a meager defense when Rhygar gave a follow-up, backhand slash to the neck. The cut was not overly deep, but it was enough to force the gargun to drop its weapon and clutch at its now bleeding neck. There was no time for the Kuboran to celebrate his victory as two more Gargun closed on him quickly, and the legionares struggling with their heavy tower shields were too far away to help. He smiled showing the beasts his teeth, and began to circle for a better position, just like he would have in the arena.

Markus barely parried the gargun's attack. Pain hindered his fighting ability. The junior equite clenched his teeth and stabbed weakly. The gargun knocked his sword aside and attempted a thrust of its own to Markus's belly. He leaned back and the mankar's blade scraped across his mail. He looked into its feral yellow eyes as it drew back for another stab, but the attack would never come. Hollering like a wild man, Halifax kicked up snow and mud and pine detrius, and stabbed with both weapons at the gargun's head. His short sword punched through the base of the skull and as the dying creature jerked his head back reflexively, he brought its dagger up into the base of its jaw. He heard and felt the sick grinding sound as both blades met somewhere in the gargun's brain.  

Markus nodded his head in recognition, and regaining his balance on the horse, turned and charged down to help Rhygar.

"Your welcome!" yelled Halifax in his best, sarcastic Hârnic.

The young man had to kick the gargun to get his blades free, and then gagged realizing that he was now covered in blood. He hastily grabbed a handful of snow to wash it off.

Markus Cosele rode past another gargun, slashing it from behind. Connecting on the side of the head, the force of the blow spun the creature almost fully around. It collapsed in a heap. The legionare's momentum took him past his men.

"Help him, you slow fools!"

The last gargun saw that it would soon be outnumbered tried to break its engagement with Rhygar, but as it turned to flee, the barbarian slashed it across the lower back. The gargun tripped and fell to the ground.  Rhygar straddled the prone body lopped off the gargun's head, then raised his eyes and weapons skyward, and yelled, "KEMLAR!!!".  

After the barbarian's victory cry, a dead silence fell on the forest.

**

Markus, tore a strip of cloth from his cloak and bandaged his leg as best he could. He reached to his hip and drew out a flask of Coranan's Best and took a long swig. He hissed as the whiskey's warmth coursed through his body. He doused a little on his wound for good measure and let out a sharp breath as the alchohol burned his leg.

The legionares were finishing off the fallen beasts, and Rhygar stripped one body of its scaled and leather armor. He took a couple of mankars as trophies. He contemplated taking something more gristly, but remembering he was among civilized company refrained. Beknyr grabbed Halifax and hurried towards the horsemen.

"Well you were useless, hedge knight. Thanks for nothing," commented Markus scathingly, as Vynscythe had arrived.

He was already becoming more bold and bit surly from the spirits and the hurt in his leg. Vynscythe could only give Markus a look of hurt. He moved away from the legionare to see to his downed animal.

"Sorry about the horse, Vyn," said Rhygar standing over a very dead pony.

He helped Vynscythe unload the pony.

"Sir," called Beknyr to the remaining horseman, "we must make haste from this place. Undoubtedly, more gargun will come."

"Yes, yes. What do you suggest? Oh, and by the way thank you for coming along. It may well have been worse for us had you not given away their ambush," Markus proclaimed like an astute politician.

"To the other side of the trail. There are some caves higher up the slopes. We may hide and, if neccessary, defend there."

Pelar had dressed the wound of the injured pilgrim and then, having consoled them about the loss of their friend, had discussed what they wanted to do with the body. He now approached Markus Cosele.

"What now?" asked the equite.

"The pilgrims wish to return to Ochrynn and the Pit of Ilvir to leave their fallen comrade in the 'arms' of their god."

"Great. Well we are not going to do that today."

He shouted out orders for the column to regroup, and they moved out, following Beknyr and Halifax up the mountain.

"Uncle, I hate this place," said Markus bringing up the rear, again to no one within the range of hearing.

He snorted and took another drink.

Game Notes: I have admit that writing this story has been a blast. The simulated combat makes it so easy to visualize step by step what is going on in the individual melees.  You can probably see words that relate to TROS terms in the text. I think that the game play encourages so much drama, that I have let things happen to enhance it.

The arrow shot: I gave Markus a Per at a target number of 13. He made it an I allowed him to get his shield up to block the shot.  To me that was one of those drama enchancers. One of the pilgrims was not so fortunate.

Rhygar's leap: Also contributing to the drama I gave him Challenging (TN 10) of Agility.

In all honesty, I did not forsee how tough the gargun would be (I used the template for gols in the TROS book). Araki-garugn and kyani will be weaker while vissal and khanu....well after the gargun fights with the hyeka, I am sure that the players will not want to have their characters run up against those tougher, meaner gargun. In response I was very generous with SAs at the end. All Destinies and some Faiths, got a check. Hal used his luck alot. Markus the surly got Drive (this whole mission is to better his family after all). I also gave Pelar some Conscience for showing compassion to the Ilviran pilgrims.

Running combat was so fun.
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Sigurth
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2004, 02:20:13 PM »

Thanks for all the reading (as shown by the views/post ratio!). I'll try and have the story from the last session soon. We play again on Sunday.

Tentative title: The Sons of Ilvir :)
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Spartan
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2004, 07:38:22 PM »

I for one am really enjoying it.  Please keep posting. :)

-Mark
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November Kilo
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Posts: 13


« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2004, 09:52:26 PM »

Quote from: Spartan
I for one am really enjoying it.


To dangerously court the status of 'fanboy' - me too.  Great stuff.  First thread I check on login.

Do your players Forge?  It'd be fun to see the story from several points of view.  I always enjoyed websites that detailed Ars Magica Sagas like that.  Perhaps as new threads, to avoid hijacking yours...
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November Kilo
Sigurth
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« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2004, 06:29:35 AM »

I know that a few of them browse but haven't registered on the Forge. Pelar's player and Vynscythe's player are keeping journals so maybe we'll see some excerpts.
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Sigurth
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2004, 01:21:14 PM »

The Sons of Ilvir

Orthor of Then, reserve manus from the Gerium Legion, strained his eyes. He kept thinking that he saw movement among the rocks and trees below.

"Bahh! It is just shadows and mist," he told himself as he kept watch.

Tivir, the Shirnan Legionare had volunteered for bed, not for guard duty like Orthor had. Behind him, still in the front cave, the strange Rethemi muttered prayers he hoped to Larani, like he suspected and not to Agrik like most of the murderous men from Rethem did. Granted, there were Agrikans in Tharda, but they seemed to be much less bloodthristy, at least in Orthor's experience. The Kuboran barbarian also made him nervous. That one had harrassed his injured lieutenant until the Manus milites had chased him away. Now, even though the easterner had checked his wounds, he could hear his superior officer groaning in the throes of a fever.

"Good job, mate. Ya scared 'em away," came a whispery voice from his right flank.

He half-spun to that side, leveling his spear, but keeping his tower shield to the front. He lowered his guard as he saw that the younger of the two woodsmen who had saved their lives from the ambush smile broadly.

"Please, don't do that again!" hissed the legionare.

Orthor made a face, wanting to hold his nose. The boy stank.

"That's the idea, bub, and it worked too."

The legionare shook his head, and thought, Strange folk these northerners.

He watched as the young man went towards the back cave presumably to talk with his elder, and then turned back to resume his watch.

**

Halifax unstrapped the hyeka-gargun "scale" mail and let it clink to the ground. He broke an icicle from the roof of the cave and did his best to wash away the smell and drown the fleas, then he put on his traveling leathers and leaned against the wall. The traehan watched and then waited until the younger man had settled.

"Well?"

"You were right. It's warming up and a fog is rising. We should be well covered by sun-up."

"Then we should depart as early as possible and leave this group behind. Our mission is paramount."

Halifax made a face.

"I do not like the idea of abandoning this party. There are more than just the browns out there. I snuck behind a small group of white gargun. A couple were injured. I think they thought I was a brown. When the wind changed and blew my smell towards them, they ran away. I would not want these pilgrims to be caught in between."

"These 'pilgrims' are well protected."

"Then we should remain with them. Did you not say, that there is more safety in numbers?"

Beknyr had not, but he knew that for the moment there was no persuading Halifax. He shrugged his shoulders and curled up next to the dying embers of the fire.

**

Pelar tossed and turned in his sleep. Something nagged at him. The Holes...the Holes! Awakening, he stood up and looked at the very narrow, very dark crevices at the back of the cave. Nothing except maybe a rat or mouse could get through there. Something inexplicable drew him to look inside. A gaping maw, ringed with teeth jumped out at him!

...And he woke up with a start, breathing heavy and heart beating fast. He rolled over to his side as his eyes adjusted to the dim light here in the rear cave. Now he remembered. The party had found a cave and it had turned out that there had been two caves, a smaller outer cave, and a larger inner one. They had led the horses to the rear cave, and most of the non-combatants had put down their bedrolls and unloaded the equipment here as well. The solider-types watched in the front cave.

A woman's giggling caught his attention. He moved to see in that direction, and then recoiled in horror standing up slowly, and drawing his weapons. Two small creatures that looked like mud-brown lizard-chicken cross-breeds, hopped at first on the pilgrim's lap, and then one jumped to her shoulder. A couple more were feeding on the dead body of the Ilviran who had been hit in the head with a gargun's arrow.

"See..the vlasta," she whispered to Pelar, who apparently was her co-conspirator in this little secret,"I am blessed by Ilivir."

Then she began to scream as the vlasta that had leaped to her shoulder began pecking out her right eye. Startled by the noise, one of the little devils hissed at Pelar and jumped surprisingly at his face. One of its pack-mates joined in the attack. Somehow the wizard deflected first the attack at his eyes, and continuing his desperate circle of defense, knocked the other viscious little critter away from taking a bite at his leg.

"Help us! Help us!" he yelled, and backed away, hoping that he would not have to fight the small beasts.

The warriors in the front had already heard the screams and dutifully rushed to the attack. Rhygar tore into the room and recognizing the danger to Pelar, pushed the Melderyni away and slashed at one of vlasta and sliced it in half. Halifax ran to help the woman, and whimpered as the vlasta pulled out her eye, barred its teeth at him and then vaulted from its perch on her bloody head to poke out his eyes. He closed them and stabbed wildly with both his blades. Ichor sprayed on his face and he ventured a peek. The vlasta stared buggy at him, a dagger in its head, sword in its belly, and its beak a mere hair's breadth from his nose. With a yell he tore the dead creature in half.

Orthor pushed passed him and stabbed at the second ivashu that had attacked Pelar. It screeched as he pierced its hide skewering the creature on the end of his spear. He stared at the strange monster as it squirmed on the end of his weapon, still snapping its jaws towards his face.

"Kill it! Kill it, before it pokes out yer eyes!" called out Rhygar.

The fourth vlasta had skittered across the ground towards the last large target, Vynscythe of Paque. The Rethemi, geared for battle, blinked as the vlasta leaped to his face before he could act, and scratched with its sharp claws at his metal face mask. Undaunted, the knight brought down his blade on the beastie, cleaving it in twain.

Orthor had put his vlasta-on-a-stick to the ground, and was about ready to crush its skull under his heel, when the other pilgrim began to protest, "No, do not kill the sacred creature of Ilvir!"

"You crazy fool," growled Rhygar kicking the Ilviran pilgrim back away from the legionare.

Seeing the bleeding woman, Orthor stepped on the beast. With a gasp, the pilgrim drew his dagger on the barbarian.

"You best know how to use that blade, boy. In my culture an unsheated weapon demands that blood be drawn. Are you ready to die?"

Rhygar stared down the Ilviran.

"Enough!" called out Markus Cosele, leaning weakly against the opening to the front cave, arming sword drawn.

"Cannot a sick man get a descent rest. Stand down, soldiers! Go back to sleep. Rethemi, see that it is done."

The legion captain turned around and left the rest of the men blinking. They heard a heavy crash in the adjacent room. Vynscythe hustled the combatants away and sent Rhygar to check on Markus. Orthor looked around for Tivir and noticed that he had not joined in the attack. As he went to confront the other legionare, the other man lowered his eyes and turned away. Scowling at the man's cowardice, he resolved to take up this issue with the captain, in the morning.

Pelar and Beknyr had run to tend to the young woman's severe wound even as the others postured. Beknyr pulled a poultice of herbs from his pack as Pelar tore cloth to make a gauze.

"What a bloody mess...," he observed and sighed, directing Pelar to apply pressure to staunch the bleeding.

The traehan also forced some leaves into the girls mouth, which seemed to ease her pain as she stopped yelping. She was already in shock as he expected, but if they could make it to Ochrynn soon, she would live. Pelar covered her with several blankets and stuffed the holes in the back of the cave as best he could.  He gathered up some snow at the cave's entrance and stuffed it along with the least damaged specimens of the vlasta into one of his saddle pouches.

Sitting over the injured pilgrim, and watching the back of the cave, Pelar Vomilost did not sleep the rest of the night.

Game Notes: I really think I was able to translate the vlasta well. I made them very agile, and very fast in combat, but not so tough, that a single hit couldn't kill them.  Mostly they chose "attack" as their combat option :)

I can't remember if Pelar used any Luck, but I do know that he went all out defense, splitting his die pool against the vlasta...and he won both times! Still it wasn't the luckiest roll of the night...that came later!

Not to ruin your mystique of Halifax, but he burned a Luck point to successfully beat the reflex of the vlasta when they both attacked (i.e. two red dice).  Unlike, Vyn, Hal doesn't have a scary looking metal mask to protect his face.

If you're wondering about Orthor, I made him up quickly for the session and gave him to one of our group who had not made a character and used O. as an NPC. Don't know if he'll keep him, but he had a great time in this fight, that's for sure.

Hope you like the changes in perspective...Orthor, Hal, and then Pelar. I love how Hal has consistently tried to look out for the pilgrims even though he is irrelegious. It goes with is Conscience.  Next post, the second part of this session, up soon...
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Sigurth
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« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2004, 01:58:09 PM »

Wow! over 1000 views!

http://www.geocities.com/festerdp/leriel.html

So here's a link to an image of Leriel from the south as a reward. The party should be there soon after tonight's session...unless they run into more bad things in the mountains :)


though I wish the image  would work :(

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Sigurth
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2004, 02:34:15 PM »

"For Rethem, For Larani!"

Vynscythe of Paque kept watch from the back of his white charger Tylaen*. Gripping his lance tightly, he peered into the darkness as best he could watching to the south, towards the blasted wasteland of Misyn. They had marched all day back towards the village and the Pit of Ilvir. Now they camped, on the top of a hill, having left the mountains, and hopefully any more wierd creatures that lived there. On the opposite side of the camp his would-be squire, Rhygar, the Kuboran, paced back and forth, round shield and falchion in hand. Over time he had scraped off the symbol of the Demon Pameshlu the Insatiable. Vynscythe hoped that he would replace it with the Checkered Shield, but he felt such a notion was in vain. Rhygar constantly berated him for worshipping a woman.

He adjusted his position in the saddle and gazed southwest. Beyond the mountains and Lake Benath lay Rethem. How long before they came after him? Would he be ready?

"Larani, give me the strength to do what is right...even when it is hard."

His horse nickered.

"Who's there?"

He thought that he saw movement.

"More ghosts to torment me, Tylaen?"

He patted the muscled neck of his horse. Vynscythe shuddered remembering the spectacles of torture that he had witnessed and all the innocents he had seen perish in Agrikan fires. If Rhygar only knew.

"And I did nothing..."

There it was again, a shadow of something. Then he heard the rustling of brush...and the scraping of a drawn weapon...

"Alarm!Alarm!" he cried.

Almost simultaneously, he heard the war cry of the Kuboran from the north of the camp.

He responded, "We are being attacked from all sides!"

He spotted the hairy form of a gargun climbing up the hill towards them, its wicked, serrated short falchion was already drawn. More shapes detached from the shadows.

Spurring Tylaen towards the nearest gargun, he gave his own battle cry...

"For Rethem! For Larani!"

The gargun was impaled through the gut even before it had time to scream.

**

Pelar opened his eyes as he heard the yells.

Not again, he thought as he sat up and fumbled for his weapons.

The Shek P'var rolled to his feet and quickly tried to assess the situation. He saw two legionares running towards the horses. He could tell by one's gimpy gait, that one of those was Markus. Another Thardan soldier ran off to his right. He heard hoofbeats and the familiar ring of metal echoing in the darkness. Before he could decide on a course of action, however, a gargun materialized from the shadows and pointed at him. Shouting something in its guttural language, it charged.

There was no time to draw steel. Pelar dropped his weapons and rapidly drew an arance symbol in the air and  recited an incantation. Throughout the camp, a barely perceptible whisper sounded in everyone's ear. The noise even made Vynscythe flinch as he charged down another gargun. The hyeka that bore down on Pelar slowed to a halt, shook its head and began to walk away. The pause gave Pelar a chance to grab his sabre and dagger and run to help the others.

**

Where was that Halifax fellow! thought Markus as he limped towards the restless horses.

He had spotted a gargun heading towards them, and his first instinct was to preserve them. However,Halifax was supposed to have hidden nearby just in case tribals or gargun attacked.

"Phaw! Maybe he's already dead. This way Orthor! The horses! Tivir, guard the pilgrims!" barked the Legion captain, as he drew his arming sword and hobbled at his best speed to intercept the gargun.

Off to his right, he spied Rhygar dancing around the trees against two of the beasts. One wielded, a two-handed sword-axe thing. The Kuboran looked like he was fighting defensively, avoiding being flanked by both creatures, while continuing to take hits to his shield. Rhygar was being driven slowly back.

But soon, the captain had troubles of his own as he clashed with the viscious gargun. Back and forth they went, with neither gaining a significant advantage. The gargun grunted as Markus struck him on the shoulder, but the tough hyeka kept on.

"Sir! Duck!"

Markus fell to one knee as a pilum sailed over his head, slicing the gargun across the face. The beast howled, and clutched at its face with its free hand. The opening presented itself to Markus, and he lunged forward swinging hard and downward to the gargun's bleeding head. A satisfying crack! was all Markus needed to hear to tell him that the beastie would rise no more.

He turned and gave an approving nod to Orthor.

"It's yours to finish, lad."

He scanned the camp. Across the way, Tivir was holding his own against a gargun, and one lay at his feet, but another was closing fast. Rhygar was still playing around with the sword-axer, but Pelar had distracted the other one, and was now in full flight back towards the center of the camp, with the gargun hot on his heels.

"Stupid wizard. I thought you guys were smart!"

He began to move in that direction, but pain shot though his injured leg. He reached for his flask, and realized that he had left it by the side of his bed roll. Anger roiled up in him and he gritted his teeth, running and half-hopping to rescue Pelar...for Senator Aeb of course.

**

The Rethemi knight reveled in his death-dealing. He had paused to shake the first gargun from his lance and charged up at another as it headed towards the center of their bivouc. That one fell to his lance as well, and he steered Tylaen to trample the creature into the ground for good measure. Tossing his bloodied lance aside, he drew his hand-and-half and rode down a third, removing its head from the rest of its body. A fourth looked to bolt for the trees. Vynscythe reared Tylaen and gave chase. Letting his trusty mount guide him, the knight caught the gargun as it broke into a moon-lit clearing and headed for a stream. A slice to its back knocked it to the ground. Turning his horse around, Vynscythe rode back splashing water as he went, and as the gargun rose weakly to its knees he lopped of its head.

**

The Kuboran was surprised at how agile and skilled the gargun that he faced was.

"You are a worthy opponent!" he yelled.

The brown-furred gargun only roared back with an overhead swing. Rhygar easily blocked the attack and dodged around another tree. So far he had hacked high at the creature, to no avail. It had deflected his attacks and regained the initiative, only to lose it again, as Rhygar knocked his mang** away with his shield. The wizardling had already lured away the other gargun, so now it was time to try a different tactic. He side-stepped and slashed across the gargun's thigh and drew blood. His second, backhand slice across the same leg, tripped the creature, and it spun to the ground. Before it could recover, Rhygar stepped on the arm that still held its sword-axe.

Looking into its wide, scared eyes, Rhygar said, "Thank you for the combat, foulspawn, but today, it is your day to die!"

And he ran it through the gut. Then he ran back uphill towards the camp to help the rest.

**

Markus knew that he would not make it, and Pelar was running out of room. He saw Rhygar rejoin them and pointed towards Tivir, who was farther from him, but closer to the Kuboran. The gargun on Pelar took another swing and the wizard fell prone to the ground barely avoiding a fatal blow. The captain closed to ten paces. He could go no further. His leg wound was re-opening. He stopped, knowing that there was only one chance. The gargun raised his blade over its head, but the captain was quicker, and he hurled his sword. It flew true and struck, point first, right in the foulspawn's neck. The gargun gurgled in surprise and toppled forward.

Pelar looked up in amazement and crawled over to the fallen gargun. He yanked out the sword and handed it to Markus who had limped over.

"Sir, I am not worthy!"

Markus scowled and harrumphed.

"Bahh! I need a drink!"

Then he smiled and changed his tone.

"Would you be so kind?"

The legionare pointed towards his bedroll, and Pelar, still in awe, obliged.

**

When it was all done, they had downed ten foulspawn. Rhygar had cut down a second gargun to relieve the young legioare, Tivir who with luck and patience eventually stabbed his own second gargun in the neck. The Kuboran, with relish had proceeded to behead as many as he could and place their heads on makeshift stakes. It took him hours.

"This way, any more foulspawn will think twice about attacking us," he explained.

Markus was too tired to argue. He was upset upon learning that Halifax and Beknyr had abandoned them, apparently sneaking away earlier in the evening. He would have choice words with them if they happened to meet in Ochrynn. Then again, who cared about the actions of peasants, plus that would free him of any obligations to them for saving their lives the day before. He shrugged his shoulders and took another swig of his whiskey.

**

Vynscythe sat on the ground next to an unsaddled Tylaen feeling guilty for his delight in the bloodshed.

"Am I too far gone, already, Lady? Can I rise above my upbringing?"

Tylaen snorted and rubbed his muzzle against Vynscythe's face. The knight smiled and scratched his horse's jaw.

He sighed,"For Larani, then, and someday again, I promise, for Rethem."

Notes:
*Tylaen is the name of Laranian Saint: a Serolan (Abbot) who led a mission into Rethem in 470 TR. He built several churches but made relatively few converts. He established a bishopric at Merethos. None of his foundations survived the Theocracy of Tekhos.  (Ref. Harn Relegion Team/Larani/Saints and Heroes. Author David Milliams). It means White Spear.

**mang is a gargun sword-axe. Rhygar, from time in the arena would know its gargun name. Hal' might also, but he wasn't there :P
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Halifax
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Posts: 2


« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2004, 07:31:30 PM »

Hey :) I know it only took me 2 months or so to finally register and post... I suck this I freely admit :D

Anyways I really like the way you have fleshed out the characters in the group and tried to show how they interact with one another. Also the scene with Marcus throwing his sword through the neck of that Gargun was way cool. It really recreated the feel in the room when he did it in the game.

Well keep it up Sigurth, I am looking forward to seeing how you write up Halifaxs sticky finger syndrome, heheh.
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"I have no use for the gods... I make my own luck"

Halifax speaking to Vinscythe
Sigurth
Member

Posts: 74


« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2004, 10:09:27 PM »

sigh... wish I didn't have so many aliases...should stuck with one..

Anyway, I believe that I am TWO sessions behind.

The next post will be entitled The Serpent's Path which will seet the men of destiny return to Ochryn.

The the most recent session Dark Days in Gwaeryn where Halifax gets really, really Lucky :)

...or does he?
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