Early Homecoming in the Fifty-Second Year of the Leopard, in Kularni
Drogo and Galadiir had buried Shadows body underneath the statue of Geoff the Mighty on the farm, then spent some time with Gallmus and the family. There was growing excitement as Miriam’s baby was due during Festival, although Galadiir was due to meet with his uncle in Lhobanport during early Harvest. Kerim Shah awarded them a generous sum of money on behalf of the town for dispersing the Ayaka threat.
They were in the tavern in Kularni, having a quiet drink, when suddenly the flickering shadows around them started to deepen and form into small hideous demons, clawing at them.
“We are under attack!” cried Galadiir. “I know this spell, it is of House Dyath; one of my ancestral enemies”
Through the door strode a dandy, clad in leather armour with an ornate decoration, bearing a short sword and a dagger in either hand.
“I am Ilyrios of Syranthia and I claim the bounty on Galadiir of House Xymart”. Behind him was a large man clad in bronze armour with a large axe.
“I am Bullias of Ekul, here for the bounty on Khal Drogo, a savage from the Savannah Tribes.”
With a roar, Bullias ran down the tavern towards Drogo, pulling his axe as he did so. The other patrons in the tavern rose and fled out of the door, all except for one. A young man sitting alone, he put down his drink, sauntered over to Ilyrios and casually enquired “what’s going on here?”
“We are here to collect the bounty of ten thousand Moons offered by the Priest-King of Caldeia for these men.”
“What did they do?”
“They destroyed a large part of the city. Thousands of innocents died. Now stand aside, this is not your fight”
The young man stepped back, thought for a moment; and then kicked the table towards Ilyrios, drawing his sword as he did so. Ilyrios jumped back, startled as the man said “now it is a fair fight”.
Galadiir stood to face the charging Bullias and cast his “Army of the Dead”; two ghostly warriors materialised in from of him. From out of nowhere appeared a black raging shadow demon that tore the warriors to pieces* Bullias was upon him and struck a blow with his axe. Galadiir fell back, blood streaming from a wound in his side.**
“I am Drogo and I need no armour. Armour is for weaklings”.
Drogo leapt to his feet, up onto and over the table and dived upon Bullias, trying to wrest the axe from him.
Ilyrios danced forward, his twin blades flashing in a blur. The young man put up a spirited defence but to no avail, he took a gash along one arm. The transformation was startling, he stood for a moment bolt-stiff; then his eyes turned blood-red and he launched a frenzied series of attacks against Ilyrios.***
Revealed out of the shadows was a black-skinned Tricarnian, who cast a whirling network of clawed shadows towards Galadiir. Galadiir recognised him; “Xythen of House Dyath”. He sent three “Roses Thorns” at the wizard, who took a hit directly in the chest. Galadiir then re-summoned his “Army of the Dead”.
Drogo and Bullias were struggling in a grapple, Ilyrios pressed an attack that wounded the berserker again but then took a massive blow in return that he barely survived. Yelling to the others to regroup, he ran from the tavern.
Bullias broke free and moved to defend Xythen, he took out one of the “Army” but then had to defend against a fresh assault from Drogo, who had drawn his war club. Xythen broke for the door but was cornered by the berserker; at this point he surrendered. Bullias also lowered his weapon; a chorus of yells broke out to try and snap the berserker from his rage. Fortunately, this worked and the redness faded from his eyes.
Galadiir went up to Xythen and offered him his hand; Xythen accepted and they shook.
“You are Galadiir of House Xymart”.
Drogo said “You are a good fighter” to Bullias. Bullias grunted and made a crude reference to Drogo’s loin cloth being used to hide a weapon; Drogo laughed at this. He went to the bar and broke open a barrel of ale.
“Drogo says drinks all round”. They all righted a few chairs and sat round a table and shared stories. All eyes turned to the berserker.
“My name is Geoff and I am from the Empire. My father was a famous fighter; he was killed and I am here to avenge his death. I am as skilled with bow and sword as he was.” ****
“Why do you want to kill us?” asked Galadiir.
“Kill you? We don’t want to kill you,” said Xythen. “You’re worth nothing dead. The Priest-King wants you alive. I would imagine that it will be a long time before you are permitted to die. You understand; it’s not personal; it’s just the money.”
At this point, Kerim Shah and a group of guards entered; followed by the tavern keeper who was wailing about the damage caused.
Kerim Shah was prepared to let the matter drop provided they made reparations with the tavern keeper. After all, they were heroes; having helped defend the town against the Ayaka and being instrumental in stopping the war. However, this sort of thing could not be tolerated in the town, more bounty hunters will likely turn up; he suggested that they ‘lay low’ for a while. As it turned out, he has just the thing for them; a message needs to be taken to a remote keep up on the border with the Red Desert. He has no men to spare, many are still recovering from the battle and others are still being trained.
Geoff went off to buy a bow, quiver and arrows whilst Galadiir settled up with the tavern keeper. After some negotiation, the man settled for 100 Moons. Galadiir was suspicious about this, but paid up and left. *****
* The trappings of a Dispel spell cast by Xythen.
** Matt rolled Snake eyes on a Soak? We couldn’t decide on a Critical Failure for this, since Soak is a meta-Game concept anyway.
***Another Berserker! I rule that berserkers attack the nearest target, friend or foe, and keep fighting until the snap out of it or there is no-one left. They cannot voluntarily try and break the rage; it needs an outside stimulus for them to attempt to roll.
**** Yes, this is Harry’s new character, Geoff, son of Geoff the Mighty (Harry’s first character, who died in Caldeia)
**** Persuade gone wrong (Matt rolled Snake-eyes). The tavern keeper accepted 100 Moons, but Galadiir is going to find that his purse fell off his belt and that he has lost a further 500 Moons.
A major fight with Wild Card opponents. In the first session, the Players dice were not with them and they were getting well and truly kicked. The second session they were really cooking and the tables were turned.
Notable quote: Galadiir “I can’t believe this. One minute they’re trying to kill us, the next they’re sitting and having a drink with us!”
XP = 2
GM update (24/09/17) – Things have changed a lot in real-time. Matt (Galadiir) is at Uni now and is not a regular attender and back in the early days of this Game there were a lot of mistakes made (too much XP for example).
There has been a lot of interest expressed about carrying on; but there may be new characters. The issue of the Burning Moon? – that’s a different issue. I have a good idea of what’s going on there.