Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another foray into the world of Sword & Sorcery

The Hunter, Blacksmith, and Man-Servant were joined by a hard scrabble Farmer of the Zorab mountains to try and finish off exploring the tomb of Rakoss the Undying.

First they had to try and heal up from their current wounds which put them short of rations to last the week. If there is one condition which cannot be overlooked in the gritty world of Sword and Sorcery is where your food, wine, and water is to come from. The heroes of pulp literature were always on the edge of thirst from trekking across endless wastes, or being nailed to a tree, or left to rot in some subterranean dungeon.

With the hills teeming with degenerate hill-men a confrontation is most assured. As far as game to be had, well, the party does consist of a hunter so bagging a mountain goat was assured also. The hunter and the farmer survived their encounter with the three hill-men on the narrow mountain trail and returned to their encampment with meat enough to last a many day.

The tomb itself was clear of overtly malignant forces outside of acid dripping giant ants. The Farmer had purchased a jar of honey during his initial character creation, and he was wise enough to use it in a simple plan to neutralize the animal threat. Unfortunately once again an encounter with the ants left a party member grievously wounded. In this instance, the Blacksmith. Undeterred they proceeded to loot the sarcophagi found in what appeared to be the final resting place of Rakoss, and his lieutenants. The players may have been surprised the mummified remains did not rise to choke the life out of those who defiled them, but they stuffed their bags with their loot, and made all speed back to the city of Dipur.

Concluding their business with Avant the Failed, the party searched out a merchant who would be interested in gems and jewelry from a long dead necromancer. An exchange which Avant warned them to be careful about. The Grand Inquisitor's men would look dimly on items tainted with dark history to be openly traded in the markets of Dipur. But of course such a merchant was found, and after trading the smaller trinkets for more gold then they had ever seen the party revealed the most mysterious object in their possession. This was an artifact of significant blasphemous origins. So much so that the merchant refused to trade with the party then and there. No, the transaction must be concluded in utmost secrecy, discrete arrangements must surely be made. The merchant assured the party he would call for them in a few days time when all such arrangements had been secured.

This left the party free to commence a classic debauch, and banter about future tasks and adventures in which they could involve themselves. The Blacksmith desired to purchase his trade shop back from the corrupt tax collector, while the Farmer mused about assembling a mercenary force or perhaps purchasing a high commission with the Grand Inquisitor's guards. The Hunter, well, he was satisfied with endless wine, wenches, and joints of meat. I decided this traditional approach was well worth an immediate health bump for they all still had wounds from their previous adventure.

I was also determined to start applying the pace of sword and sorcery adventure. The simple elements which keep the players on the go. When it came time to pay for the nights romp in the wine shop one of the player's fat coin purse came up empty. The swarthy gentleman who had purloined it was sauntering out the door pleased with his luck. Of course the players had to pursue. Of course they were to lose the thief in the twisted warrens of the cities slums, and of course horrible screams would lead them to the thief, now dead and absent the fat money purse. A passing sergeant of the guard advised the party to consider the money as good as gone for it was obvious mad cultists had done the poor wretch in. They were in front of the Shrine of the Seekers, and the open gate before them told the tale plainly to the drunken sergeant. Leave it be he spoke once again as he hurried on to safer parts of the city.

While the Farmer and the Blacksmith debated the wisdom of penetrating the evil shrine in the dead of night, the Hunter was obviously wise to the cannon and declared his intent to win back his gold, and win it before the morning sun gilded the spires of the Grand Inquisitor's city! So onward and inward they went...