Friday, May 3, 2013

Crypts and Things Session One Chapter 2

Cast of player characters:
Zardoz, a magician played by Sam
Motard of the Cave Bear Clan, a barbarian played by Kevin
Huven, a thief played by Casey.

Many in the city of Belthaar are celebrating the death of the bandit lord Ragnor, none more so than Darius Khas, Ragnor’s lieutenant that betrayed his friend and leader over a chest full of gold.  Among the poor, Ragnor was seen as a heroic figure that robbed only from the wealthy.  Those that knew Ragnor scoffed at such praise:  What is the point of stealing from those that have nothing worth stealing anyway?  Sitting beside Khas is Ithmar, the commander of the city’s mercenary guards.  He shows none of the joy that Khas displays as he finds Darius’ company repulsive at best.  As he mulls over his wine, he wishes that Darius could hang alongside the bodies of this former friends and compatriots.  Ragnor was as rotten to core as any, but he was no worse than Darius.  Besides, he thought to himself, no one loves a traitor.

Sitting beside a traitorous cur like Darius Khas was not all that troubled Ithmar:  He sent five of him men into the valley with the forgotten temple to investigate Ragnor’s fate.  Only one had returned and he had been driven mad by whatever he had encountered in the ruins.  His men deserved better than that and he would definitely sleep better if they would have returned with Ragnor’s head.  Feeling that diplomacy has been satisfied, Ithmar decides to leave Darius to find better company.

Ithmar watches as a young thief darts for the exit, narrowly avoiding the trap that had been laid for him. The thief had attempted to snatch the purse of the wizard Zardoz, not realizing that the purse was bait. Zardoz’s hireling Brutus sprang for the young man but missed.  A moment after the young pick pocket made it past the door, Zardoz’ hireling that had been watching outside (Chellick) walked in shaking his head, indicating that the lowlife had made good his escape.   Ithmar was well aware of Zardoz’s game of “acquiring” test subjects and sacrifices. As long as he kept his targets to the scum of the streets, Ithmar did not mind.  Moreover, Ithmar had employed the wizard on more than one occasion to be rid of undesirables.  It is wise to fear a viper, but they certainly are good for dealing with vermin.  Ithmar certainly found him to be better company than Darius Khas.

Indeed, Zardoz the sorcerer, and his hirelings are watching Darius Khas celebrate with cruel intentions.  Sensing the distain from Ithmar, Zardoz believes, correctly that it would not break the mercenary commander’s heart if Darius Khas would to go missing.   Zardoz is quickly joined by Ithmar, the mighty Northman Motard and the street fighter Huven.  Over drinks, Zardoz decides that that Darius Khas’s blood money would do better in his pocket and concocts a plan with the others and how they will relieve Khas of his money and probably his life.  Ithmar’s silence is a sure sign of acquiescence.   Motard and Huven readily agree to help.    Ithmar retires for the evening while Darius Khas head upstairs with a pair of women.  Zardoz and crew wait patiently for the party to wind down.

Just after midnight, Zardoz and crew creep upstairs to the door of Darius Khas’s room Huven attempts to pick the lock but fails miserably.  Realizing that the time for subtly has passed Motard breaks down the door.  Flaying about blindly, Darius tries to resist as his two bed companions run off into the night.  The fight is short, brutal, ugly ad without honor.  The inn keeper staggers up the stairs but quick turns around with the coin that Zardoz gives him.  .  In the end, Darius Khas is trussed up and dragged off to Zardoz’s dwelling.  Then the integration begins…

Elsewhere in the city, a group of cloaked figures come climbing from the sewers grates.  A city guard approaches with his sword drawn.  “Get back in the sewers where you belong gutter trash.”  The tallest of the group turns towards the guard, his eye glowing green.  Crying out in terror, the guard stabs forward into the robed figure with his short sword.  The sword thrust strikes what feels like solid stone.  The guard can’t believe it.  The short should have entered under the man’s rib cage and pierced his heart.  Instead the blade is broken in his hands.  The tall figure extends his right and grabs the guard by the throat.  He gasps out as his neck is snapped like a twig.  The guard falls to the street a lifeless lump.  “Come my children.” says the tall robed figure.  “Tomorrow the city will be ours.” More and more of robed figures leave the sewers and disappear in the shadows of the street.

By morning, Darius Khas is willing to tell Zardoz and the others the location of where he is keeping his treasure.  He tells them that he keeps a lock box under a floor board under his bed in his apartment. Huven and Chellick leave for the apartment.

While on their way to the apartment, Huven and Chellick notice that there is a commotion taking place at the city palace.  Since they are in a hurry get the gold, they do not pay much attention to it and instead make haste to Darius apartment.  Once again Huven fails to open the lock and brute force is used to open the door.  Huven looks under the bed and finds the loose floorboard.  Without checking anything, he lifts it.  Out of the opening shoots a dart that strikes Huven in the throat.  He flops down on the ground grabbing his throat as a gurgling sound escapes his lips.  He only suffers for a moment as his twitching ceases and his bowels empty.  Realizing that Huven is dead, the Chellick carefully removes the lockbox and leaves for Zardoz’s home.

Upon his arrival, Zardoz asks Darius if he has anything else that he might want to tell them.  The more valuable the information, the more likely it would be that he would live.  The hireling mentions the commotion taking place the City palace and Motard decides to investigate.

Motard arrives at the city palace and a massive crowd has gathered in front of the palace.  He can see Ithmar on his horse, leading his men, trying to hold back the masses.   It appears that the city’s down trodden have arisen against those more fortunately than they.  Leading them are a number of robed figures.  The largest of the robed figures speaks:  “Too long have you lay under the feet of those that oppress you, those who have grown fat on the work of others.  No more will you have to go without. We will TAKE what we want!  The large figure casts off his robe to reveal the Bandit Lord the people city believe to be dead: Ragnor!  A rain of crossbow bolts and arrows come crashing down on Ragnor but all of the missiles bounce off of him.  His eyes glowing green, a massive sword in his hand and a manic smile on his face, Ragnor yell’s “Take the palace!  It is yours!”  The mass of humanity moves towards the palace and the wall of guards defending it.

Ithmar realizes that clubs will not work to keep the rioters at bay, he orders his men to clear the court yard with drawn steel.   Ragnor grins at Ithmar.  “Did you lose something captain” he yells as some of the robed figures throw four severed heads in his direction.  The heads land nearby, their faces frozen in terror, their dead eyes staring at Ithmar in accusation of him having sent them to their deaths. Ithmar watches as his men are dragged down and torn to pieces by the crowds.  They are slaying as they fall but it will not be enough to turn the tide.  He looked to his well-worn longsword and said “Come my oldest and truest friend in all my endeavors.  Let us see how many of this rabble we can send to hell before we join them.”  He charges forward in desperate attempt to cut his way to Ragnor.  Maybe, just maybe, his blade will work where arrows and bolts did not.  Ithmar doesn’t get to find out as eventually he is dragged from his horse and torn to bits but he does not make that the trip down to oblivion alone. ..

Motard grips his axe in frustration as there is nothing that he can do to save Ithmar.  Realizing that the crowd is likely to turn on him as well, he runs back to Zardoz’s dwelling to relay the news.

After hearing that an immortal being that is immune to arrows and crossbow bolts has just taken over the city, Zardoz response was very short and to the point.  Let’s get the f*** out right now.  He asks Darius if there were any hidden caches out in the nearby hills that they might be able to hit on the way out of the city.  When Darius says no, Zardoz stabs him through the heart and comments “Too bad..”

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