LWG Guild members log
- 1 Guild Member Logs
- 1.1 Aryan
- 1.2 Basalic
- 1.3 Boulder
- 1.4 Drum
- 1.5 Eric
- 1.6 Human
- 1.7 Lizette
- 1.8 Mehb
- 1.8.1 The Qualifying round
- 1.8.2 The Parade
- 1.8.3 Dinner and Cat hunting
- 1.8.4 Fighting The Grut Orcs
- 1.8.5 Fighting Destiny's fortune
- 1.8.6 Fighting the The Wild Hunt
- 1.8.7 Fighting the Players of Games.
- 1.8.8 Fighting Mordrins Team.
- 1.8.9 Fighting Tehe's Team.
- 1.8.10 Dinner.
- 1.8.11 The Fantastical Games.
- 1.9 Mordrin
- 1.10 Nicola
- 1.11 Sabrina
- 1.12 Starflower
- 1.13 Tehe
- 1.14 Thorn
- 1.15 Toledo
Guild Member Logs
We get challenged by the Ogres, it should be a good tough fight. After discussion with the team I decide to have us enter through the same door using a standard wedge formation with Sabrina on point, Boulder and I flanking, then Tehe and Starflower outside us. The ogres charge in a line mobbing Sabrina and Boulder, Boulder bounces their attacks, Sabrina ripostes wounding two and decapitating the third, and then hits them again in a blur of sword work. Sabrina reports that they have a lethal defensive magic from Celestial, Earth and Wicca (Blood Magic) colleges that must be resisted every time we hit them. Sabrina, Boulder, and Tehe strike at the Ogres again and drop another two. Starflower casts her phantasm at the Ogre mage at the rear of their group, I skirt round the melee to reach the mage ready to disrupt his casting. As we pause for breath several Ogre magics activate encasing their mage and remaining fighter in sheets of stone, and raising their previously headless warrior. Sabrina, Tehe, and Starflower drop the last warrior and his raised companion. Boulder and I smash the stone shield around the mage, but not in time to disrupt him triggering a huge dragonflames which tires several of us. Outnumbering him five to one we call for the last Ogre to surrender, which he does. All over within 10 seconds of entering the arena. Sabrina and Boulder have been cursed with significant loss of agility but we are otherwise in good shape.
After all of the fights are over, we're awarded our qualification letters and a gift fom the Emperor.
The Calimar challenge us to an exhibition match, I'm dubious, concerned that they are planning to take out Sabrina permanently in revenge for previous encounters, but she is confident that while it is a grudge match they are honourable. We agree to a few ground rules before entering the arena - no lethal magics and no lasting (Spec Grev) injuries. While they are honourable, they take advantage of the agreed rules. Ununable to keep him out without inflicting lasting injuries, Tog closes with us one at a time and using his strength in close to win. Their dwarf has a weapon specifically designed to hurt Sabrina which slows her down more than expected. In the end the healing from their Calimar Mind Mage keeps their side up while we are slowly whittled down until Sabrina as the last one standing concedes the match to them.
We decline any further exhibition matches and heal up while we watch the remaining fights.
Exciting at the start, the block, the massive crowds, the buzz, a chance to see a bit more of the Lunar Empire, all start to pall and the heat sets in and we shuffle our way to the city, then through the city up and down endless streets and stairs. The final day has renewed interest as we get to look back at all the local nobles in their finery.
Finally a chance to meet with our Senator and hopefully learn a bit more about how the games work and what sort of tactics we should take. Tomorrow is the running of the tigers, normally taking the head of a tiger would be our best bet as it brings prestige to us and our Senator. But because the Blackshire Hobbits poisoned and took out the Defenders of Ascalon (local giant heroes) in the qualifications they are extremely unpopular. Our Senator wants us to hunt down the Hobbits and take them out before anybody else does. It seems that hunting other teams is perfectly acceptable, something we will need to be careful of.
Running the Tigers
Starflower does her magic trick over a map and finds that the Hobbits are somewhere down in the warehouse district. We get fully armed then head down there. The local merchants and street kids are able to direct us to the Inn where the Hobbits are staying, we even pick up a small crowd who want to see justice down to the Hobbits. The other bit of news we get is that one of the other teams attempted to take out the Hobbits last night and were defeated. While we are opposite their Inn doing final preparations, the Hobbits swarm out of their Inn to bring the fight to us. When they kill a few bystanders to power themselves up my doubts about whether we are doing the right thing are banished, these are bad guys!
Tehe, Nikola, and Starflower use the cover of merchant wagons to approach the Hobbits and get several of the Merchants and other bystanders killed when they are blackfired. Then we all get in close with the Hobbits and start dealing out some justice. After a furious battle we drop three of them but two run away. Sabrina and I consider chasing them down but we have injured companions to look after and they have too much of a lead on us. With the battle over the crowd swarms in cheering us and beating the unconscious Hobbits until they are all dead.
The Wild Hunt
Eresea Wild Flowers
The Sword World Confederation
Southhaven Acadamy for Girls
The 10th Legion
Guild vs Guild
- Mermaids of Hope
Travelling 100 miles north to the Thunder Delta by flying ship we enter the mermaids cave with over-confidence. They know we are coming and are well prepared. While we are considering our options they grab Nikola and take her away underwater, she is not hurt by them but is taken a long way quickly and handed over to the mermaids/sirens. Starflower starts picking off the song twisted walrus guards that have Nikola, Sabrina grabs hold of another walrus to ride it to the mermaids, I miss the walrus but manage to grab Sabrina and get towed along, Tehe leps into the water to swim after us but gets summoned to the mermaids by magic instead. Four of us are now gathered at the sirens feet, they have us surrounded and outnumbered, we're keen for a fight but we would probably take significant losses. Tehe keeps the sirens talking while we consider our options, his success and the sirens not attempting harm on us yet lead us to try negotiating. Sabrina plays a flute for them while Tehe talks. After successful negotiation we are loaned the Chalice, given three belts made from the Golden Fleece to help against the Kraken, nine shell necklaces, and a large slab of walrus fat. We persuade them not to eat Nikola and offer them one of the Krakens mandibles instead. We are unsure how the Sirens gifts will help us but hopefully Divinations will give us some idea.
- Gargoyles of Ice
Four hours flight brings us to the Gargoyle Mountains and the Temple of Ice and Stone. Within the temple is the dehydrated corpse of a man, as we approach he returns to life, intoduces himself as Sirus the Sage and challenges us to test our will against his favours with three riddles.
Victorious we leave the temple with several (10 or 16) favours from the Sage and start flying back to the Arena, we should be there in four hours and then we get to fight the Kraken.
- Kraken of Horror
Arrived in the Lunar Empire and all our teams got juggled around, proesumably to make use of available resources i.e. military scientists. I ended up with Eric, Drum, Nicola and Human. When asked for a team name, Eric came up with 'Splat!'. I guess we can get a working acronym out of that.
Round 1 was against the 'Sword World Confederation'. Didn't see much of that match as I passed out from knock out vapours just as I was lining up a crossbow on their Calimarian team member. Nicola was also affected which left the others trying their best to deal with the others. We lost, but we did gain valuable intelligence such as an 'oblique splinge' is a weapon that can take out one's highest buff spell.
Round 2 was against the ogres. This time we made a better showing of ourselves although there was some confusion between the Bane Grenado I threw and Eric's casting of Disjunction. Sorry about that mate. Also, at the start, I felt another Quickening stack up against the Quickening I already had. Most odd. The other odd thing was burning body that was thrown into the arena just afterwards. However, our immediate concern was laying into the opposition .. which we managed to do thanks to some mighty blows. Nicola got decapitated during the battle but the Trollskin kept her alive long enough for a Master Healer to fix it. The ogres also had Death Curses which resulted in Human being blown up by a Whitefire. Thank goodness for those Celestial Protection nuggets someone provided otherwisde most of us could have been toast. Speaking of toast, I went to check out that burning body after the fight but it wasn't a body. So I backed away, just before it exploded. I also suffered a broken offhand shoulder during the fight but it was an easy job for the healers.
Anyway we managed to qualify. Next up is the Parade ... or any other exhibition matches.
Meeting with the Guild reps. They told us that we should wear our usual stuff for the parade. They also recommended good walking boots. Human and Tehe were also announced to be leaders for the parade. The Parade itself lasts three days, Block to City Walls, Through the Lower City, Through the Upper City. We would be put up in various places. Maeb also obtained translation amulets for us all, granting Rank 6 Lunar and Rank 6 Giant.
Get coaches and are taken to the Block. I have to admit it's a rather spectacular ediface, reaching high into the sky. A permanent storm surrounds the top adding to the spectacle. That night, we stayed in inns nearby.
First day of the Parade which started at 6 in the morning. It was led off by the Sword World Confederation. The Dragonlords and the Ogres are missing while the Defenders of Askalon (the Titans) had been transferred straight to the Fantastical Games. Also the Elementals had been disqualified for cheating and the Black Guards had decided not to continue.
So we were all buffed up and oiled up in our finest. I went for the topless look in an attempt to impress with muscles and tattoos. Drum rode a warrhino while the rest of us walked. Sabrina was on Axis. Each team was seperated from the others by a squad of Imperial Guards however we did notice that the Tac Adventurers Team had a mist that rained coins around them. Tac-ky Starflower called it. Ptolemy is in there somewhere.
We were in the middle of the procession as it wound its way from the Block. The day was bright and sunny, as it would be for the duration of the Parade. At the end we ended up at a large inn. Our rooms had been decorated with murals of Seagate which I thought was a nice touch from our hosts.
More parade. Thank goodness for these combat boots I got on Riftworlds. Maeb entertained the crowd, and us, with her singing.
The last day of the Parade. As we paraded, we noticed a large flying ship going over Lunar City. Remided me a bit of the Calimar. At the end, we entered the Arena, going up a thousand steps past statues of past Emperors then were led into the Colessium area, one team at a time. Each of us bowed to the Emperor's box as we went past. The place was packed, as there must have been 60 thousand people in here. We also noted the 30ft high walls around the arena with lit torches spaced around the walls.
Finally, that evening, after the Opening Ceremony of the Games, we were taken back, by carriage, to the Guild Rooms.
Tonight is the Running of the Tigers where tigers are let loose in the city. Most people barricade themselves inside and watch from the rooftops but some brave souls go out and hunt them.
Tonight was also when we were going to meet our Senator, Senator Marumbalista, for dinner. Before we went, we powered up, just in case.
Just after that a boy in a toga arrived. He wore a brooch shaped like a heart with grapes engraved within. We later discovered that was our Senator's house symbol. As he led us along the streets we saw people barricading themselves in and quite a few gathering on high roofs. Finally we arrived at a hilltop villa where we were ushered in and sent to rooms to freshen up.
Finally we were led into the dining room by the major-domo, a man in purple and white robes and a jewel encrusted house brooch. Our senator was shown to a a large round man who was being pampered by seven slave girls, all wearing skimpy outfits and skin tones ranging from ebony black down to pearl white. I had to admit I entertained thoughts of Flamis wearing one of those.
The major-domo smacked his staff on the floor and everything went quiet, literally, as if a Silence spell was in effect. However he could be heard clearly as he announced the Senetor, our presence and dinner. Another smack of the staff and all the background noise came back. There was lots of food, mostly meats and fruits and dinner conversations with the Senator's other guests. I was listening for news on the other teams hoping someone would say something about their strengths and weaknesses.
After dinner we were led into the Senator's private rooms, which were very secure. Several guards, no windows, and even the door was made invisible. After greeting us, he showed us his collection of of animal heads and told us that he wanted to add a sabretooth head to the collection. One was being released and he knew where and when so we could set up an ambush. Most of the tigers were already out but, this one had been delayed. Mechanical failure in the cage release he said.
So, after going back and getting our combat gear, we formed up in the designated ally with loaded crossbows etc. This time I decided to wear the leaf armour. I had not worn it in the arena as it would be embarrising to have it suddenly fall apart in mid-combat. Also, I put up a series of Walls of Earth behind us, in the hope the tiger would be trapped here, but there were small gaps in each Wall for us to slip out if necessary.
Finally the tiger came out. It was 20ft tall, with some leather barding and glow could be seen around it's claws and teeth. We all fired at it while Drum advanced to meet it. So it charged at Drum who blinked and leapt upon its back resulting in a cat/dragon fight.
Just then arrows rained down upon us while four whitefire globes impacted upon Drum. He was blasted off the tiger by Whitefire and lay there, unmoving. Toledo and Maeb were poisoned by the arrows while mine bounced. I backed up against the wall and charged my light crossbow in an effort to bring the tiger down before it tore into Drum but the bolt missed. Then an assassin phased through the wall behind me and backstabbed, twice. The leaf armour took the first blow but the second one caused it to shatter and the dagger pieced me mortally to the heart.
Mehb was taken out later while Human used a breathmint to take out the tiger with a fiery breath. Meanwhile an assassin (one of four) was in the process of cutting off Drum's arm. Human shield charged the assassin that was beating up Toledo then smited it, causing the assassin to fall over and turn to stone as its collar flared. Human was then backstabbed and died. Toledo blinked out and headed off to the Guild lodgings to get help.
By the time help arrived, Mehb had woken up and everything was still there except random small change. Human's face and the soles of his feet had been torn off and Drum's arm had been removed. Unfortunately the nature of the enchantments on the weapons used meant that no regeneration was possible. The tiger was still there so the head was quickly hacked off by the Senatorial Guards and taken to the Senator. It was discovered that the assassins were three elves and one drow and all of them wore matt-black bodysuits.
Today marked the first day of the Trial of the Gladiators where we had to get through with what resources we were either given or could scrounge. All our usual abilities were being supressed by these collars. Basically it was just like being beginning adventurers at the Guild again.
Braegon had managed to pull off a small miracle and created some sort of stone heart as a substitute until there was time for a Guild Healer to regenerate a completely new one. Two attempts at subsequent resurrection also failed but when I was finally revived (-3EN), it didn't really seem to matter. All I wanted to do was get out there and take it for the team. Drum had also been fitted with a troll arm as a substitute.
First up was the Grut Orcs. After entering the arena and hailing the Emperor, I was tripped by a javelin wielder. As I got up, Human waded in to attack the same person. I then attempted to close but was knocked down. Undeterred I strode over and hit him back. Drum was knocked unconscious by now by several orcs ganging up on him while I had another go at knocking this one down. His next blow was unfortunately a killing blow and I was down again. The eventual victory went to the Orcs.
That afternoon, after being resurrected again (-4EN), thank you Mebh, and healed up, we were up against the Destinians. As they came in, looking very nervous with their improvised weapons and armour, they all called for rapiers. Somehow, that was not surprising. We waded into them. I was beating up two at once at one point then attempted to close with one. Note: Never attempt to close with someone waving a pig-sticker after he had kept you at bay. It might look good for the crowd, but it is definately bad for your health. Fortunately Human arrived in time with a potion.
Finally most of the Destinians were knocked down and we were awarded the victory.
That morning a set of scrolls were delivered to us by a lady clad in blue. Two were empathy wille the third was something that made people unconscious.
This mornings match was against the Wild Hunt. Basically once we came in, it was salute the block then call for weapons. I went for a broadsword and shield. The fight went very well with us winning convincingly. Our senator made a lot of money on the betting and, for a reward, we were offered the services of Sureme slave girls for oiling and massaging. We let Human enjoy all their ministrations.
That afternoon, we were up against the Players of Games, the crowd favorites. We figured that they were experts at this, so our strategy was to play to the crowd and last as long as possible. So, I buffed up with some power water then, once in the arena, called for a glaive.
Two of the gladiators had managed to get stuck in the door, presumably trying to beat the other one out. Meanwhile Mebh had accepted single combat with the lady gladiator and Drum was facing up against Olaf, their giant berserker. Toledo cleared the obstacle in the doorway by attacking them while I sort of 'politely' asked if they needed assistance. Their reply was to net Toledo then I stepped in to help him.
Just then the crowd called for the troll to be released. So both teams combinded forces to bring it down with Olaf making the deciding blow. Human and I leapt on the troll to salute the Emperor. I was also planning on stabbing the troll with the glaive to ensure it stayed down. Unfortunately while I was up there, I discovered that the troll must have been of the vamperic variety, i.e. it was sucking my life force to reinforce it. So, when it woke up I was tossed right over to the other end of the arena, minus the glaive. Olaf knocked it down again.
When I finally recovered from the landing I found I was facing one of the other gladiators. So I laid into him with my fists until Human was able to knock him over with a shield charge. I then called for another glaive and charged the woman gladiator who obliged by falling over.
It wasn't long before the fight was over with us the victor. I hope the crowd weren't too upset. Also I was able to retrieve the first glaive. I hope I get to keep them as both of them seemed to be made by a skilled weaponsmith.
Looks like the crowd were definately upset. Our first match of the day was against one of the other Seagate teams, specifically Mordred, Boulder, Lizette, Thorn, and Eric. We figured we'd better make it look good. However, as we entered, we noticed that the crowd were unusually hostile - at least those ones that weren't asleep. There was lots of booing and calls for blood, as we faced off, as well as calls for the Troll.
Speaking of trolls, Drum seemed to be turning more trollish as there was a green line running from his troll arm to his troll foot - and I was sure the line was wider than it was yesterday.
Anyway we saluted the Block then charged to meet the others. Drum and Boulder met in the middle while the rest of us met to make it look good. Unfortunately the crowd was definately not in our favour and it wasn't long before the first troll lumbered in. So, we all turned to face it .. well .. at least most of us did. Boulder did a spectacular charge and headbutted it in the groin. Lizette was going for a torch, just as a second troll was released, which promptly charged over Thorn and Maeb to get to her. Maybe it was enraged by her flaming red hair as well as the flaming torch as it then proceeded to jump up and down on her.
We had just about got the first troll down when Boulder inexplicitly stepped away from it and saluted the block. I just kept stabbing at it as it was attempting to squash Drum. Eric attempted to cleave its head off and between the two of us we finally suceeded in bringing it down. Eric triumphantly waved the troll's head which was now stuck on the end of his sword.
At that moment, there was a resounding crash, and part of the arena wall caved in, right on top of the second troll and the group around it. Several members of the crowd then swarmed onto the arena floor, evidently out for blood. Many of the rioters were wearing green or blue stripes, which marked them as supporters of the gladetorial team. So Maeb had been right in her earlier concerns. As I said to Eric later, I hadn't seen a riot this bad since the F&F inn in Seagate ran out of beer.
The second troll recovered and rampaged up the ramp into the crowd. We were attacked by the crowd. I was brought down momentarily and attacked by sticks, rocks, and a cushion, but managed to shake them off and dashed for one of the arena entrances. Several other team members had already sought the apparent safety of the cells and had already dropped the portcullises over the entrances.
Finally all the Seagate team members were safe inside the arena backstage area being addressed by one of the officials. The news was not good. The rioting had spread to the streets and even now, several senatorial mansions were under siege. The third Seagate team was also being attacked during their match. However, it was hoped that a hailstorm should cool things down. The resulting mess though would result in this afternoon's matches being postponed until tomorrow. So we headed back to our cells for rest and exercise. As we did, we could hear the hail thundering against the roof.
The rankings after this round were posted and our team, plus Tehe's team, were in the top six. To my surprise, we were actually at the top of the table. Our senator came to see us and asked us to do something about this as he feared an assassination attempt. So, after some negotiations, we managed to arrange to swap Drum for Boulder from Mordren's team. The resulting transfer of points dropped us down to third place but allowed Mordren's team to get into the top six. It was blamed on an administrative error.
Late that night, we heard that the Senator for the Drow team had been asassinated, forcing them out of the games. After the reshuffle, they had been in second place after the Players of Games. It was also rumoured that the entire Tenth Legion team had been wiped out owing to the riots and an exploding troll that was loaded with naptha.
This time we were put up against the other SAG team, Tehe's one. Tehe himself was out with some sort of stomach upset. Basically our strategy was to try and make it as good as possible while amassing as many points as we could as this round would be the last chance for us to do so. Even if there was a rumoured seventh round, only the first six counted.
The crowd were calling for blood so we did try to oblige them and the disarm tactic became very popular. Curiously enough, there were a large number of Guild Security in the crowd who were leading the chant. I did manage to scratch Aryan then joined Sabrina in a rather complex dance which resulted in me falling down a lot. On the other side of the ring, Human and Starflower were alternating tagging each other and bowing to the Emperor.
Body blows were then called for so there was a lot of that going on. Also, javelins, clubs, and short swords were being thrown in as well and the crowd were calling for those to use. Those that weren't, which including me, were targeted by the archers.
Dancing with Sabrina basically left me stunned so, as previously agreed, I decided to lie down for the rest of the match. Some others of our team were also doing that so, before the crowd got too frustrated and started calling for the troll, the match ended in Tehe's team's favour.
All three SAG teams had qualified for the Fantastical Games, thanks to the loss of the drow team (their senator was assassinated) and an administrative error in the point count. It also got the Southhaven Academy of Girls in and they decided to throw an open air street party in the Guild's honour. Probably Liessa's doing.
That night, all the teams and supporters gathered for a feast of traditional Lunar Empire food, which primarily consisted of flat breads with melted cheese on top which had various toppings embedded in it. Was rather delicious. We found out about what was required for the Fantastical Games and also obtained several clues about things we were likely to meet. each team also had to decide what path we would take to get through the Games and finally defeat the Senators of Decay. Plus we also had to decide what we were going to take with us.
Today was the start of the Fantastical Games. We had decided to take the path that started with the Plains of Ice. So we were taken to a hall with a vaulted ceiling held up by pillars. This was the Guild of Transport and High Travel. We met the person who was going to transport us to the Ice Plain of the Seal King. After some preparation, we were teleported there.
We were teleported to a vaulted atrium, made of ice. At least fifty columns could be seen and, standing next to each one, was a rather large ice elemental. We were taken to a thone on which sat a 15ft tall ice elemental with seals stamped into him. Also there was a man and a woman (brother and sister) who were going to accompany us.
The rules were, we had to answer some riddles. Either a bit of willpower or an item could be used to pay for the riddle and, if we answered it correctly, we got it back. However, if we failed, the cost for the next riddle doubled. Also bits of willpower could be offered in exchange for favours. All three riddles were answered correctly and we received two seals and an icy mace.
Our next stop was the Plains of Earth. Here, we were on a pinnacle floating on a lava lake that was in the middle of a crater. Sitting on the throne was a diamond elemental wearing an obsidian crown. Again the same rules applied. The first question was answered correctly and we got an emerald. The second one we got wrong as we went for the obvious answer, which turned out not to be correct, but we got the third one right.
Last stop was the Plain of Luck. This time we were in a garden with a multitude of paths. Three thrones were here but all were empty, at least at first. Again the same rules applied. It was becoming apparent that not all battles are fought by strength of arms.
We got the first question right, when they finally came round to my way of thinking although Drum had to prove it to himself first before he was convinced. The second one, even after we asked for a couple of clues, we finally had to forfeit especially since our questioner had been sharpening his sword and itching for a challenge. We could either fight, and hope to win, or forfeit. We chose the latter. We also lost out on the third question as well, even after contacting Sabrina for help.
Finally we all staggered out of there down several bits of willpower. I was down two myself (-2WP).
16th of Snow
We were conducted to one of the main arenas where four Gabrielite vestial virgins would be summoning the Hags of Corruption. The first that turned up was a beautiful woman, which several members of the team were in so much awe of, they could not bring themselves to harm her. Personally I could not have cared less, it was still a threat to be removed. Second was some sort of chaos creature, the third looked more like a standard hag and the fourth looked more human. They will be designated for conveniance sake as Hag 1,2,3 and 4 respectively.
I had to rally the troops to order to suppress the awe effect from hag 1 and the fear effect from hag 3 - neither of which was bothering me in the least. I had seen worse on Greyhawk. Hag 4 tapped Toldedo with a wand while Hag 1 attacked Maeb and her face took on snoutish tendencies. Meanwhile Hag 2 gave birth to a little monstrosity.
I shot at Hag 1 but missed and she responded by disabling one leg. So I dropped to one knee and triggered the sword tatoo. Unfortunately I missed with that too and was knocked out. Meanwhile Maeb took out the offspring Meanwhile Toldedo managed to cause part of the portal gate to destablise forming some sort of darksphere which started pulling everything towards it. A couple of the crowd and Hag 4 is sucked in - along with her wand. Toledo also drop kicked the second offspring into the hole.
Drum suceeded in banishing Hag 1. Hag 3 was trying to cast but Drum's Bane area was preventing that. Toldedo was battling the chaos monster, aka Hag 2. Meanwhile I was now in a pile, still unconscious, with Human and another chaos offspring. Maeb dragged me out while Human restrained the chaos offspring. Meanwhile Drum charged in to help defeat the chaos monster while Human and Maeb finished off the chaos offspring. I had managed to anchor myself to a crack in the rock to prevent myself from being pulled into the hole then chewed on my last healing acorn. By the time I had finished, the battle was over and the local wizards were rushing in to restablise the portal. Incidently all the virgins were dead, one had been killed by Hag 1 and remaining three by the Imperial Archers at the battle's conclusion. They definately do not like pacted people here.
It took three hours until the arena was ready again. During that time, we healed up and recast what spells we needed. We were also told that the Mistress of the Moon is the living avatar of the God, who's Blood was used to fuel the glowlines. Toledo had some stuff to assist with warding off the effects of Celestial spells. I got some, so did Human.
Finally, when she appeared before us, she was dressed as an archer and also carried a sabre. Both Toledo and Maeb shot at her ... and both bolts turned around and hit me. She then shot Human. Toledo and Mebh charged in, however their attacks were ineffective.
It was then decided to use one of the favours we had gained, the second one from the Earth Lord. When the gem was broken, we gained the effects of a Trollskin, rank 20 Strengths of Stone in both endurance and strength as well as making what armour we had, twice as effective. It also brought me back from unconsciousness.
I drunk a healing potion while the others attempted to bring her down by sheer strength. She shrugged them off but then seemed to blink across the arena and changed phase. I charged in with my galive, hitting her but the glaive broke. Oh well .. easy come .. easy go. It was only one of the two I had obtained during the previous challenges. She then moved to attack the others and I got a Human thrown at me. Fortunately he missed.
As I moved forward, she screamed, and I felt my soul being ripped from me to join the souls of her worshippers who had died. Fortunately Mehb was able to rally me back. However I now had minimal willpower(1). Drum went into the attack and got her sword stuck in him. He had also lost an arm so was going to have difficulty getting it out. Meanwhile the others suceeded in rendering her prone. Drum then stepped over and decapitated gaining a death curse 'to be hated by those who serve the moon'.
We discovered that the trollskin effect remained after the battle, after the others had dropped off. I also think I'd better grab my old armour before the next fight .. the tattoos are not powerful enough yet. I also rested in an effect to get as much willpower back as possible before the next set of battles.
Mehb was rather worried about where and how the Gabrielite Nuns had got into the Games to be shot and killed. So we went to find out. It turned out one of them is Lizette's sister. Last that was heard of her, she was supposed to be safe in a Michaeline hospice. So she was resurrected and questioned.
We were told that a special chalice, a relic of Mchael which allows instant resurrections, had been stolen by some Sier Cultists. So she enlisted the help of some Gabrielite nuns to go and fetch it back. The trail led them to the Lunar Empire where they were captured by orcs and sold into slavery. It had been Max who stuck them on the dais. Arrangements were made to get her, and the bodies, back to the Guild.
A short while later as we discussed what to do, a message came in that our Senator wished to see us. So we went. He was very pleased with our progress but concerned that we intended to win. The Titans were expected to win otherwise there would be a major upset. Also there was a price on our heads by the drow - 50,000sp each. We were also advised that we should recover the Tetragnomatica before taking on the Senators of Decay.
We retreated to a private room to discuss our options, and managed to scare off a spy who decided that he did not really need to know what we were talking about. I was standing guard on the door for unauthorised visitors, even though we were constantly being interrupted by servants bearing refreshments. However, one group came bearing welcome gifts for our team.
Mehb was rather concerned about the willpower drains we had suffered so she wanted to get in touch with a Titan she knew, Matt Toumbledown. As soon as she said that, there was a knock on the door. Matt was there to see us. When I said I wished that my wife would arrive as quickly when I wanted her, I was presented with a recipe for a teleportation device. Cute. May follow that up later. And I even get to shoot a certain demon again. Excellant!
He had a draught that restored some lost willpower so we all took a drink. He was pleased with us as well even though he was betting on the Giants to win. Still, he was only betting cows and if he really needed replacements I was quite sure I could get some.
He also told us that the glow lines were a result of unrequited love between Asteron and the Priestess of the Moon Goddess. However, we were warned before hearing the story that it was so sad, that we might be driven to suicide. We declined.
Finally, receiving some Stength of Darknesses, and some Shadowwings, Matt transported us to the edge of the Dog Plains. In the distance we could see a ziggurat and a large plume of smoke. We flew in that direction.
After a while, down below, we could see eight foot golems roaming about and the ground below looked like a giant slagheap. On top of the ziggurat was a plinth, on top of that, a throne, and on the throne was a bejewelled humanoid. Perification and Bubble of Force wards were detected in the air around the plinth so Binder Counterspells were put on us before we landed at the base, avoiding the 20ft spider that was catching people and tossing them onto a basket on it's back. We then walked up the stairs to the top. Partway up, the spider passed us. Near the top there were transparent walls through which we could see the arch.
By the time we got to the top, the people had been ground up in a meat grinder and the jewelled golem was conducting a ritual to turn the resulting meat paste into flesh golems. On his forehead was engraved a Word of Power which Human read.
Toledo had a Dark Sphere on a stick so he launched it at the jewelled golem. At the same time, Mehb charged the flesh golem as a couple of spiders charged out of pits towards us. One leapt into close with me and I was effectively stunned and out of the combat. Toledo managed to knock his spider back down the pit with the Dark Sphere then used it to suck an arm off the jewelled golem. He then got his legs knocked out from under him and fell on the Dark Sphere. Mehb knocked over the flesh golem and the rest of the party defeated the rest of the spiders. The poison affecting me was cured and we retrieved the head with the Word on it, the tinderbox, sword and the heart of gold before returning to Lunar City.
Heard that one of the other Guild teams had been disqualified and accused of cheating by Max. So, we decided to go down to the administration block and enquire on what had happened. When we got there, we discovered the other Seagate Teams there and it was soon apparent that something was not right, especially when it seemed that Max was working with the drow. Max may not even be Max, as Matt had hinted yesterday, so .. it was decided to 'have a few words' with him .. maybe 'making a few discrete enquiries' in order to get to the truth of the matter.
We were at the back when the ceiling opened up and someone poured burning sticky stuff. Most of us managed to avoid it but Maeb was hit and had to jettison her armour before she was burnt. That was when a troop of guards arrived, wanting to know what was going on. Drum managed to convince them something was wrong and formed them into our strike force. However, getting past the crowd to get into the room where 'Max' was could be a tad difficult so I punched a Tunnel through the wall and into the room beyond before marshalling the troops through.
There were some drow in there who had summoned some elementals. Fortunately Tehe had something that would banish all elementals in a range so that was used to get rid of all of them bar one. Starflower, in dragonform, then managed to knock out three of the drow with her breath weapon.
The fight was rather confusing, but, in the end, it was determined that Max was not Max, but a doppleganger. Said doppleganger and the three unconscious drow were taken away to be questioned by the authorities. Apparently a Calimar had also been sighted on the oppositions side.
We were temporary under arrest while enquiries were made but, once everything was sorted out, we were released and the Guild team reinstated.
Got whitefired in round 2
We arrived in Lunar City and meet up at a house the guild had bought for the purpose of housing us for the games
The Qualifying round
The teams got to pick their oposition in order of Tallest picks first. The trolls choose us to fight with, it apears many of the teams don't want the trolls to qualify, as we have been given a weapon of flames on all our weapons and 16 invested dragon flames. Lizette gave us each some very powerful fire special counter spells and we powered up with Fire Armour. Mordrin, Toledo, Thorn and I formed a shield wall betwen the trolls and Lizzette, We Started setting off the Dragon Flames. The trolls lasted 5 pulses. The crowd lasted 2 pulses, luckily only 5 people seemed to have turned up to watch us and 3 of them where immune to fire
For Three days we walked through the lunar City. The days were always clear and sunny and the people of the Lunar city crowded in to see us go by waving and cheering. It took 9 hours for the parade to even completely move out. The hobbit team had to go last as it apears they are out of favour for beating the Giant team in the elimination round. The crowd were turning on any hobbit seen on the streets as they where so upset with that their team had been beaten. First we marched through the country estates with their rolling green fields and small wooded areas life here looks to be easy and pleasant,then we entered into the lower part of the city people throng around us in their mulitudes I sang to the crowds as we passed hoping to give them a bit of extra entertainment, and then on to the upper part of the city where wealth and statues of naked men abounded, . Each night we stayed in well apointed rooms, the organisers seem to have gone to alot of trouble to make it seem like home, as their were pictures of scences from around seagate painted on the walls, and they served us up familiar foods.
Dinner and Cat hunting
On the last night dinner was arranged with our Senator, The guild has rearranged the teams so off I went with my new compainions. The town seemed to be shutting down for the night, all the doors and windows are boarded up and barracades are being set up. Some people appear to be setting up seige weapons. The chattlean of the house is introduced to us. Everyone is wearing the Senators colours and badge, they are purple and white this means he must be of the royal family I think, his badge is a heart with an arrow in it. Our Senator is a very fat man with pleasure slaves feeding him tidbits at all times. There are many people at dinner so we ask about the other teams in the lunar games and what the story is Cat hunting , they give us some gossip on the other teams and tell us their are rewards for killing the cats. Our Senator calls us to a private meeting and asks us to get him the head of a Sabre tooth tiger for his collection we agree.
The senator has arranged for one Cat to be released later than the others from a specific warehouse, We power up and set up for the Cat. When it comes out it is terrifing. With determination and quaking boots the warriors face down the beast. Just as things appear to be going our way assasins step through the walls and mercelessily slay Drum and Basalic..
It was a set up.
We manage to kill the tiger and get its head. Someone saves me from dieing as I lie bleeding to death on the ground. Toledo goes for help. Human kills one of the assasins horray they maime him.
The party gets healed up as best we can. Drum now has a Troll arm and Basalic a heart of stone. Human has no face or souls to his feet
We enter the Gladiator Pits
Fighting The Grut Orcs
These orcs powered themselves up with their earthy defense magics and used their weapon of flames straight off. They hit like an out of controll dark sphere and rampaged over us.
Two of our team made a tactical error in closing with them in spite of being kept out of close an error I hope we do not make again.
Fighting Destiny's fortune
Gamely we entered the arena to meet our next oponents, determind to do better after our bad showing in the first round.
Our opponents limped on in a half rectangle with their backs to the wall.
Human, Basalic and Toledo charged forward, unfortunately Human was standing in a rain of arrows and took 3 visious blows wiping his fatigue, Basalic charged onto one of their sharp pointy rapiers with no thought for his endurance or our emperor points. Our oponenets having called for rapiers did not brandish them, so we could tell this team was not willing to put on a show for the crowd.
We set about relieving them of first their weapons and then their dignity, We set out to do our maximum damage and immediately knocked out two of their numbers. Actually they seemed not to be trying to hard to retain their dignity, they are probably courtiers or something.
Fighting the The Wild Hunt
Leasurely we stepped out upon the bloody sands brandishing our weapons and surveying the opposition.
Lord Ash, A dark skinned muscular elf painted in strange runes with a strange animal magnetism. Lady Autumn, An ivory beauty even amongst the elves ,Lord Frost ,Lord Darkness and Khaine a tall and shambling figure. Our enemy wore no metal armor as is befitting for true Elves.
I stepped up to fight the female elf, Khaine shurffled forward. Drum posed the sunlight glissening off his well oiled muscles he stood back and received the adoration as befitting one of his stature in the lunar empire, Toledo charged forward to meet Lord Frost.
Toledo disarmed his oposition Lord Frost.Lady Autumn ran from me to the other side of the arena and I was left to engage Khaine. Lord Darkness threw his spear into Drums leg, Human pulled it out again, and Basalic engaged Lord Ash We put on a spectacular show for the crowd, blood flowed onto the sands like water, and the crowd cried themselves hoarse Lord Frost tried to do two actions a pulse as he has very high agility, however we where having none of that and called for him to be Winged reducing his agility by 5 points
At one particularily notable time Drum in an attempt to gain favour with all factions of the crowd threw his Javelin at Lord Darkness who was currently attempting to garrote Basalic. He struck Human in the back for a fearsome blow causing him to bleed profusely, and the crowd was mightly pleased to see male blood from behind by a spear user all in the one action. Human with little thought for his injured body disarmed Lord Darkness taking the garrote for himself. Shortly thereafter the fight turned in our favour for good.
Fighting the Players of Games.
They had THE famed Gladiators Lothario and Horatio at one door , So we appointed Basalic and Toledo to match off against them.
They had the Giant Olaf in the central doorway known for his bulging eyes and berserk rages, so we matched Drum in our Central doorway and sent him forth to do battle.
They had Drusella a warrior woman and Donetello a hero, so we matched Mebh and Human against them.
The crowd called out for Blood
Lothario blocked Horatio from getting in the doorway and then Toledo shield charged Lothario back into the pits, we all stepped up and did mighty and impressive blows to the oposition. The giants stopped for a beer.
The crowd called out for Blood
We traded blows many a fighter was disarmed
The crowd called out for Blood
We traded blows many a fighter was tripped
The Crowd called for the Troll
A fearsome troll starved for many days and carrying 3 goblins on it's back stepped out into the arena
The Crowd went Wild
We teamed up and defeated the troll
The Crowd called out for Blood
Human and Basalic climbed onto the troll and saluted the emperor
The fight resumed
The Crowd called out for Blood
We traded blows and Drussella was knocked out
The Crowd called out for Blood
We traded blows and Lothario was knocked out
Oops the evil pacted ones have beaten the home team infront of a sell out crowd. Can anyone say we are soooo toast.
Fighting Mordrins Team.
Today the crowd seems muted and sleepy.
With a flashy twirl of my weapons I swanter into the arena.
We start to work together, but then Drum rushes up and attempts to slay other guild members. Giants are so stupid sometimes..
The crowd gets antsy and calls for a troll, they definitely seem to be against our team, When it becomes aparent we can handle our own vs a troll they call for a secound troll.
The pitch gets invaded when the crowd realises we have no difficulty with two trolls.
Fighting Tehe's Team.
We ham it up big time and alot of fun is had by all.
I found out that Clarissa has been putting it about that I am morally loose and have been sleeping with Toledo, the coniving two faced trollop. No wonder Max isn't speaking to me. I am so sick of Courtiers messing with my life. Maybe the sneaky team has some plan involving romancing him just for power, how disgusting.
The Fantastical Games.
So far so good just a bunch of riddles to answer - we are down 4 points of willpower each however we defeat the Mistress of the Moon, and the Hags of Decay...aren't namers great.
I have had it with these games Max arranged for 4 Gabrielites to be slain in front of me after we had saved them from the Hags of Decay. I am so sad, one minute it is all talk of rose petals, love and poetry, next thing you know your compatriates are being slain infront of you for sport.
I see no reason to stay here and take part in these games for the entertainment of Titans who have suddenly turned out to be the bad guys and Max who is obviously not the man I thought he was.
My team agrees to investigate a bit. It turns out that Lizzette's sister bought the Gabrialites to Lunar City ,that Max hates me and has been hanging around with the Drow. Could my day get any worse atleast Max wasn't hunting the Gabrialites in the Western Kingdoms, maybe he is controlled by the Drow. Just then Matt Tumbledown turns up, he tells us that he gave Max a very powerful love potion to use on me. What is wrong with me the way I am.
Matt insists we leave right away to go to the Mechanitian challenge, as he can see the future and it is important. He says he will get his friends the fates to write a happy ending to the story of my life. He seems not to be paying attention when I mention contented adventuring to him. I am a little scared of what Matt's idea of a happy ending is and how long it takes to come about. Somehow I think it doesn't involve puttering about at my manor and going on the odd adventure.
Decapitated in round 2 but trollskin kept her alive long enough for a master healer to reattach her head
Enjoyed my first dance in the Arena. 3 Ogres rushed to accompany me, but I was unhappy with them insisting on leading and they seemed unable to 'hack' the pace for more than 5 seconds. I guess the words 'Ogre' and 'pirouette' were never meant to be in the same sentence.
Ahhh, the Sworlds World Confederation, now they can dance. I may not like their overall style, something we have discussed at length before, and Negotiator Tog is very lacking in the finer points, but they do show promise. I was impressed by their use of named accoutrements though I hope, with a disarming smile, to divest them of such next time. I will need to work on some of the more complex elements of this dance, but will look to better execute them next time. I look forward to the opportunity.
I felt the crowd warmed to me even in these early contests. I will have them chanting my name even before I am the last person standing.
I felt some thought should go into my appearance during each of the three legs of the parade, to most likely appeal to the crowds lining the way. I settled on the 'strong, martial, down to earth, good in the saddle' look for the countryside, wore something rather more seductive for the city commonfolk while going for the 'winsome but sexy, girl next door but dangerous to approach' look, then finished up in a local fashion ensemble for the upper classes while parading the 'stylish, elegant, graceful, hint of steel' look. Overall I felt it went very well
We are introduced to the Senator, his lovely wife, and their sons. They prove to be reasonably down to earth, and a first pleasant evening is spent discussing many topics. The Senator is very involved in mechanician type projects, so our gifts of notes from the reowned mechanician, Mortimer Graves, and a wind up trinket we found at the shops went down very well. We discuss options to further our cause in the Games, and the lady suggests it would be very popular if we were to take the hobbit team down a peg or two. After their defeat of the Giant team, they are not well liked by the general populace. We agree that the concept is sound, though I tell the team I am a warrior, not an assassin, so the conditions must be right. We go looking for the hobbit team on the day of the tigers being released, and eventually track them down to an inn. They are obviously not completely unaware of our coming, and come out to dance with us. They prove to be very highly competent, though their use of the poisonous arts I find very dishonourable. After a very tight struggle, during which I broke a nail, we defeat them, with the survivors turning tail. The locals show their appreciation, and the outcome is successful. We return to spend our last couple of days before the trials with the Senator and his family. We find they have been sorely tried by dishonourable attacks during the night, which has depleted their forces to turn back. They are grateful of our offer to not only stay, but also shore up the defences. I will have to wait for another time to cross swords with the very harassed Captain of the Senators Guard.
Round 1 - The Wild Hunt A most enjoyable dance this was. I ran out to greet them, and they welcomed me into their embrace. Tehe joined me in the dance, and proved an able partner. Only the crowd asking for arms length dancing, rather than up close, led to us parting ways. The dance broke down somewhat, each taking a partner, though poor Nicola swooned from the effort of partnering two. They showed no honour to a fallen lady, and danced her beyond endurance, a low act of social grace. Ably assisted by Aryan, Starflower and Tehe, we showed them the error in their style. Amidst much bowing, posing, weapon juggling and showering of gifts from the crowd, we emerged tired, but victorious.
Round 2 - Eressea Wild Flowers Sadly, this team of elves did not wish to dance with us at all. We did hear whispers as to their intent, but sadly we were unable to decipher them. I still find myself disappointed by my fellow elves. We were able to beg sustenance from the crowd, and even in the face of such a disappointing engagement, they relented and provided such. I hope that is a measure of our standing A victory, but a hollow one.
We rest and recuperate as best we can, and await the dancers for tomorrow. Who will they be?
Round 3 - The Swords World Confederation Just before this round started, we found Tehe passed out. We suspect foul play, but can do nothing to rouse him, so must start a lizard down. We decide that we must be aggressive initially, especially against Negotiator Tog, to try and even things out. Unfortunately I narrowly avoid an assasination effort, wearing a nasty arrow wound for my troubles, and then end up tied up in a long dance with Negotiator Tog, while Aryan starts out netted, and with the help of Starflower struggles clear. We soldier on, but it is clear we are outmuscled and outpointed. The clinical dissection of Starflower by the Calimar Betheltagan, leads me to start thinking of a gracious surrender, however this obviously distracts me enough to allow a short blade through my defenses and the world goes dark as pain blooms in my chest.... I awake in the team cell, groggy and disoriented. Some healing and a small amount of rest later, we ready for the next contest. I am not in the best shape for a dance, but at least Tehe has recovered from his malaise. After our loss this round, we are keen to make amends.
Round 4 - Southhaven Academy for Girls I will admit here that I was angry and embarrassed after my loss of concentration last round, and this showed in my level of passion and aggression in this dance. I was shot at again, which did not help my mood, and Starflower and I had to work on removing another nasty lodged arrow. I then took my mood out on the girls, and while they responded well, it soon proved too much for Bakarena Chakras, as a particularly viscous right cross laid her low. We had been pointing quite well up till then, but this action caused a swift capitulation by the girls, which I regret.
A victory to bring our tally to 3 and 1. It has been quite a struggle thus far. Missing out on a proper dance in the 2nd round seriously impaired our ability to earn Emperor points at such a crucial stage. Then having to dance with a tough team in the 3rd round while a man down added to our difficulties. The fact that we are still well placed is a credit to our whole team.
Two rounds to go in the Trials. Since I threw my spear away in the 1st round, I have limited myself to unarmed in an effort to stretch the fights out. It might be the time to live up to our team name....
Round 5 - The Xth Legion A very tough dance to have next up. We will have to try and step lightly given that they are favourites of the crowd. The legionaires are quick to create a hectic pace, a tempo which we are forced to match. The dance gets a little frenetic and uncontrolled because of this, leading to Aryan losing control of a decapitating blow, with predictable results. The legion waver at this point, and look ready to throw in the towel, but at this point the crowd, and a released troll, intervene. Part of the wall in one corner of the arena is knocked down by the crowd, and in they swarm with crude weapons. It is noted that they all wear bandanas with the colours of the Players of Games. It would seem this is revenge for another of our teams taking them down a peg or two. As if the crowd was not enough, a giant troll, complete with dwarven archer riders, comes barreling in from the opposite side. We quickly call in a storm of arrows to lay low this threat, more to try and save the crowd than anybody, as the troll has proved previously to not care who he tramples. The troll soon falls, but this action sets off some rather nasty fireworks involving greek fire, which ends up liberaly spread around the arena. Given that the crowd had surged in and swamped a number of the combatants already, it would be true to say the scene was one of major carnage. Fire everywhere, burning bodies, screams, etc. We managed to extracate ourselves and make for the now opened doors. We did what we could for the legion members, but given the crowds continued hostility, and the sound of many bow strings being drawn, we were forced to beat a hasty exit.
We were awarded victory, but this is not a dance I will remember fondly. I fear for the wellbeing of some of the Xth Legion, and will have to look for news of their status.
Round 5 - Human's Team TBC.....
The Fantastical Games
Used as a battering ram and suffered a broken jaw in round 2
Killed in the non-lethal exhibition match by a loose sword swing from Boulder.
Well we drew the Were Trolls Team for qualifying, so we figured fire was probably a good thing to use against them. And that they or their trainer would realize this and take steps to protect them from it. So we prepared to hit hard and strip any protections quick.
Our plan was to enter from all 3 entrances so we could cover a good area of the arena, and not foul each others movement or line of Fire. But when the door opened Lizzet and I couldn't get though our door. Neither could Mebh or Mordrin on the farside, that left Toledo all alone facing 5 trolls in a nice bunch so he let them have a Dragon Flames or two while the rest of us trotted around and joined him.
We managed to get in a bit of sword work as well some more D Flames before they surendered. The only worrying bit is the Trolls tendancy to get up again the pulse after you knock them down. I don't usually advocate hitting a downed opponant but in the case of Trolls an extra blow can avoid you getting a nasty surpise from the flank or rear.
Oh and we did note these trolls where healing up fire damage too.
After this qualifying fight we had a nice prize giving, with entry certificates for the Winter games, and gifts from the Emperor.
One of the Guilds teams hadn't qualifyied and I kind of felt bad for them, but then they got though in their second round so the Guilds goals have been met so far.
We didn't get challenged in the second or third round, well we had rather convincingly toasted the trolls. So I took the time to watch some of the other fights. Now we need to get all three teams though the trails of the galadiators, and into the trails of the Empire.
Running of the Tigers
After the Qualifying the teams were shuffled again, we spent the time until the parade sorting a few things out, and tried to get an understanding of the way things work here in Luna. Then for three days we took part in The Parade. By the day of the Running of the Tigers we were restless, and despite the danger needed to find some action. We were told several hundred Tigers would be let loose across the city and that there were prizes for bringing in the head of one. It didn't worry me that the animals would be enlarged, what was more worrying was the news that some people thought that enlarged tigers where too tame a prey, and hunted the tiger hunters. Four of us Mordrin, Eric, Lizzet and myself set out from the senators house to hunt Tigers, we had a magic bird as a guide and moved as a tight group with Lizzet in the midle. At one point Eric had a bad feeling about the street ahead so we circled the block, looking back at the spot some time later we could see the inquistion waiting in ambush. Not sure if it was Eric or Lizzet they wanted but they went home disapointed in any case.
We found a pair of tigers, each 8ft plus at the shoulder, who went straight into close with Eric and I. That Eric he wasn't even half as tall as the tiger, but he gave it a good beating, took one too. I wasn't so badly hurt, Bless the Dwarven Armourer that made my Plate, but was happy when my playmate went down.
Mordrin was keen on taking the huge skins as well as the heads but just as we started to skin 'em a group of about 15 armed people rounded the corner, so we withdrew, lost the mob and went back for the skins. Having been forced to use magic to loose the mob we decided to cash in our heads before it ran out and a good thing too as we were able to slip past the inquistion unnoticed who had taken up a new ambush site.
Not so keen on being hunted as we were on hunting, and Eric's armour having taken damage and needing repair we decided we had done enough and went home.
Trials of the Gladiators
So Mordrin broke her ankle and we started the games one fighter short, with the team leader out of commission Boulder wanted to wrestle the bear during our first morning in the pits. The bear won it killed both him and Lizzett, Eric and I managed to recover the bodies before he ate too much of them but it meant we went into our fight with the Team from Kinlu 'Mr ?? Presents' a bit mauled as well as down a member. The Kinlu Elves showed good faith and one of the number withdrew once they obseved this. We all had a joy nice punch up, the Elves and Boulder showing of their skills at kinlu unarmed combat, while Eric, Lizzett and I stuck to the regular kind. But one of the opposition got some silvered short swords thrown to him, he soon ended up full of arrows. In the end we won, although I ended up with a broken pelvis. That evening we fought the team from Tac. Things started out well Eric got one down quickly so it was 4 on 4 and begain playing with their mage. I stopped their bowman from turning Lizzett into a pin cushion as she suported Boulder. And Boulder took on two opponants as is his custom. And thats where we had the problem, turns out one of the his opponants was a draining undead. Unarmed he coulding hurt it and in the end it took Him out, then Lizzett and finally Me. We lost but I can't help wondering if having Mordrin would have changed the out come.
Next Morning we beat the Orcs, had a bit of trouble with their plow horse sized Cat but we did manage to get in a couple of slautes to the emperor between being knocked down and biten and clawed. That Evening we drew the Xth Legion and lost by then I had a nice silvered hand & half looted from the orcs, but could barely hit them with my best weapon. Three on one Mordrin didn't stand a chance, and it took the combined effots of both Eric and Boulder to knock one down. Needless to say we lost, the fight was short bloody and we had no chance to work the crowd or salute the emperor after they engaged.
Our fight next day was against Human's Guild team the crowd was rather subdued on the teams entry and once combat begain, imediatly started calling for blood and trolls. There was an ugly tone to the crowd, an angry feeling. While Mebh and I squared off and begain to play with each other for a bit, Drum was doing nasty things to several of the others. Then in came the first huge troll, (big enough to trample) members of both teams attacked it. It was shortly followed by a second troll. While nearby members of both teams set about killing this second troll, Eric finally taking it's head off to make sure it stayed down. The first troll had charged though our defencive line and in its frenzied attack on Lizet brought down the wall of the arena allowing the now roiting crowd to invade and the troll to escape into the stands. Members of both teams where then attacked by supporters of the "Players of Games" which Humans team had beaten the day before. We all withdrew from the arena, Boulder, rescuing Lizzet on the way. The rioting aparently spread and it took a magical heavy hail storm to carm things down.
Our problems didn't stop there, Humans team had too many points, it was coming first and this made the senitor sponcering the team the number one target of assassins. As we had the least points of the three SGA teams it was in both teams best interests to swap giants for the final rounds, insuring we well into the 6 team progressing to the next stage, and taking the heat off the senitor by droping Humans teams placing.
So they gave another dinner and another prize giving. The rules for the next stage of the games were explained, and each team got to pick its own path to try to qualify for the final.
Eric and Lizzet where keen on a path with 3 of the 9 "Horrors of the Empire" it had potentaly the most points in it, and it would be hard for another team to able to cut us off. With seven teams and the 12 start points reducing down to only 5 finishing points, it was a forgone conclusion that some teams where going to be cut off.
I got the majority of my Gear back and my eyes working properly again for this part of the games. I didn't worry about my ablility to 'aputate' curses, with two namers in the party it shouldn't be needed.
First 4 of us (no Boulder he got sick) we went to Dragon Pass in the far south of the empire to "Defeat the thing you fear most. With newfound fearlessness recover what will be lost." Dragon Pass was the sight of an ancient dragon battle and as a result reality is broken and the dimensions sort of run together and that sort of stuff. All of which of course means those who go in never return... Well in we went, the thick mist cut visablity down to only a few feet for almost everyone. There was in patches some that even I couldn't see though so I helped the others avoid them. Lizzet said they where dimenional changes. Then we came to a lost traveller (seem from things we learned later he'd being lost for 500 yrs) at first he wanted to come with us, then he decided to back track us and just set off down the trail. But within a 10 yards he was drifting off course so calling for him to head more left we carried on, not quiet sure he had even been real. Eventally we came to a point where the dimenional mist blocked our path and this big skelital dragon head was sticking out of it. The real mist in area must have been thinner as the others could see it too, and it could see us as it begain to advance. Natually we split up to avoid all being breath weaponed at once but the path was very narrow 15 to 25 ft. Eric, Mordrin and I charged in to attack, Lizzet started slinging cheep gemstomes at it and then things got weird, very weird. While the dragon was bone it also had shadowly organs inside, had some sort of dark breath weapon (that change Mordrin into a goblin), and the second or third time I hit it I changed too. In the end Lizett was able to knock the creature out (so it can't have been undead) and then Eric poured some stuff on it that he was sure would destroy it. We ran though the dimentional mist. "Safe" on the otherside of the mist, Eric and Lizzet where mostly ok, but had lost some magic items passing though the mist. Mordrin was a smelly little female goblin dressed in fur with only the helm and boots from her orginal gear. And I was a male Ghoul with none of my mundane stuff, most of my magical stuff (not that I could use all of it with that body) and a strong desire to feast on brains. In this new dimention we met 4 Humans? in black robes which they quickly change to white in order to gain our trust when told bad guys wear black. It was a lost cause as they were Shrivers and although we followed them for a way the second one of us felt magic impact... well one died we took two prisoner and left the third laying in the road after taking his robe and belt. While the others questioned the prisoners I gained new insight into the evils of necromancy, it is a true mercy that ghouls do not retain their sentiance. At Lizzets insistance we left the Shrivers alive, when we went back to take a different trail. We followed the new trail and came to a water fall with a cave behind it, in the cave was a Sphinx. We negotiated, answer a riddle correctly, be returned to where and when we came from with our orginal bodies and all our gear, anwers wrong and become lunch. If we got it wrong there wasn't much hope of our being able to prevent the becoming lunch bit, so it was life or death on the correct answer. Now despite my growing fixation with brains (freshly dead brains) I was sure that the answer was brain related, it just took a while to convince the party my mind wasn't totally clouded by my Ghoulishness and get them on the same train of thought. We got the answer right, the Sphinx delivered on his part and here we are.
After that (with Boulder well again) we defeated our first horror The Spider Queen in the arena, we went straight to the Health of Titians, which became an exersize in trust, first trust in Mordrin, that she had correctly rembered the the way though the maze of portals then in Eric that he could see, guide and protect us in the elemental Darkness at the end. And then to finish off the day we each dueled ourselves at the Temple of War. Not to make it sound easy it wasn't it was a nerve racking hard graft day, but thats the life of an adventurer, half dead and six different planes before lunch, the same again in the afternoon.
We then let Eric as our alchemist loose with The Book we had recover in the Titians Health to make some potions to help us against the next Horror the Medusa of Light and Shadow, and several days later we defeated her and then the Lord Carzo the blood Devourer, a minator. But no sooner had we done so than Maxramus, the big guy in charge of the games was telling us we were disqualified for cheating. Needless to say this did not sit well with the team, particularly Boulder. And as we figured we were probably leading the games at that point we thought that there had to be some fix being put on 'Max' by the Drow that was with him. DA's showed no magical effect controlling Max but he was Scry Shielded in some way, nor was the Max we saw an illusion of the real Maxramus so we thought they may have some other hold over him, a relative prisioner or some such.
Whats up with Max ?
While none of us could quiet put our finger on just how Maxramus the guy in charge was different, we knew some thing was wrong with him, that he was not himself. Eric having drawn a blank on the magical control was thinking along the lines of threat or blackmail. After our 'Disqualification' we were placed under house arrest, but that didn't stop our investigation of what could be wrong with Maxremus. As we questioned those we could about Max's posible vunrabilities, I became even more convinced that despite the lack of illusion, Max's odd behavour and our disqualification was due to it not really being Max.
It seems that following information and leads of their own the other Guild teams had come to the same conculsion we had, that Maxramus needed rescuing from the Drow and we all met up outside the Admin block of the Arena where we knew 'Max' and the Drow to be. With Drum recuiting most of the gladiators on guard it didn't take long for us to storm the building and capture 'Max'. The Drow and Calimar being totally overrun by a coordinated three front attack by the SGA.
The captured Max turned out to be a Doppleganger, and a short time later we learned that the real Maxramus had been recovered.
The Senators of Decay
Well the real Maxramus reinstated my team back into the games, and then all three teams got this breifing from Him, the Senators that sponcered the Guild teams, and some Titans. It seemed the Drow we defeated had been messing with not just Max but also one of the other teams, and the politics of The Empire. The end result of all the meddling was that the Senators of Decay would be in the Arena the next day, active and ready to be fought. And if they where not stopped they would break free of the last magics restraining them, escape, reak havoc and war on the nice orderly peaceful Empire.
Now a bit of fine print in the games rules, meant that because the Guild teams had all got this far and the Senators sponcering us all came from the same provance, we could all of us fight together in this battle. The titans that had come to talk to us about what the Senators of Decay could do, as they were some of the ones who had fought them long ago. Unfortnately the passage of many hundred of years had clouded their memory some what, and as they has been drunk at the time they admited to it having been pritty cloudy to start with. I don't even want to think how much alcohol it takes to get a Titan drunk.
So next day 13 of us, wearing every enchantment, spell, or magical item we thought or hoped might be of use waited behind a huge portculis to be let into the arena. At the far end stood three huge statues, easy big enough to trample, with too many limbs, these where the Senators of Decay. As we watched slowly in they began turning from stone to flesh. The gate begain to rise, all the spells and enchantments we had just gone. And I heard a voice in my head, if I'd just say I wasn't opposed to him, when he escaped and was restored to power, I'd be well rewarded.
Now I'm not a follower of either Light or Dark, if these guys had pacted to some power that was okay with me, they had yet to do anything to me personal and it took me a moment to answer. I am a God certified People's Hero. I thought about what was best for The People of the Luna Empire. About what I knew of the time before their imprisionment, about my impressions of the titans who had imprisioned them. And decided in an instant that for all the Empires faults, its Slavery, its bias, that The People of the Empire were better off without these creatures roaming free. I was opposed......
Into the arena we all went Tehe's team down the right in a loose group. Human's up the centre spread a bit to keep people clear of Toledo's cool borrowed ice sword. And us in a tight group with Lizzet in the centre. The Senators teleported down the field as we new they could one in the middle of each of the other groups and one behind our group. It attacked Lizzet, Boulder and I were in the wrong place, Mordrin got stuck into him, Lizzet and Eric where doing namer stuff. Boulder and I headed for its flanks, Boulder got there first. One of the others came in behind Boulder and he went down. Mordrin was backing out of the fight having dropped her sword. When I went in I found out why these two warriors where in trouble so quick, it hurt to hit,em as well as to get hit. still I did my bit. Aryan and the crippled Mordrin where able to get Boulder back up. Lizzett was in full healer Namer mode. Eric swapped to warrior mode and joined Boulder and I in the attack and it was about that time that we had the only Senator still standing, but not for long.
Once these thing where 'dead' they began to revert to stone and sink back into the earth. It seemed this was a problem for Sabrina as she was in close and pinned under one. But Aryan leavered it off her and she was rescued. The whole fight took less than 30 seconds, I think the crowd was a bit stunned at how quick we took these things down and with no deaths, although it was close with a few people, and Boulder was a bit of a drooling fool until we got some magic boots on him.
My Best Moment in the the fight was when I disarmed my second Destinian. I had stepped into the arena unarmoured and armed only with an Arena Short sword. They stepped into the arena and dramatically called for Rapiers. The crowd responded enthusiastically throwing down quality weapons for them to use. Things were looking grim, they were fighting with their preferred weapon and the crowd was calling for blood.
I charged the nearest Destinian and engaged him we traded blows and I deftly disarmed him before Drum the Giant crashed into him from the side and they tumbled to the ground. Mehb and another Destinian also leapt into the fray and there was a meelee of bodies rolling on the ground. I ran and engaged another Destinian, this time meeting him rapier to rapier. I sliced through his guard and caught him in the hand. The crowd roared at the spray of blood and the rapier flew through the air spiraling over the bodies rolling on the ground to land in the sand 20 feet away. Ignoring my disarmed opponent I ran and dived over the bodies fighting on the ground, racing another Destinian who had seen the weapon fall. As we converged on the weapon I dropped my shoulder and piledrove him into the wall of the arena before diving on the fallen rapier and emerging with a weapon in each hand. As I prepared to take Steele to Destiny the fight was won and we carried the day.
The best combat so far has been against the Gladiators. A hard fought battle of attrition between two camps of seasoned warriors. Both teams were adept at goading the crowd and the crowd was in mahem right from the start.
The battle started with the Green and Blue gladiator heros attempting to come out the same door at the same time. Neither of them was able to get through the door and I ran over to the door just as the Blue hero stepped through. I engaged him in the door way and together we blocked the green hero off the field of battle for several pulses, neither one of us wanting to see the green hero on the field. Neither one of us wanted to see him on the field and we had a cameraderie of arms in our single purpose to keep him off and entertain the crowd. The crowd was calling for blood, blood and more blood. The blue crowd was ecstatic to see their hero on the field and the green crowd were almost rioting because their hero could not get out the entrance. Then the chant started TROLL! TROLL! TROLL!
The troll charged into the arena into the thickest fighting knocking over gladiators and guildies like ninepins. An alliance was formed and all 10 combatents descended on the troll like an avenging angel of death. The troll was hacked down where it stood and a hush fell over the stadium as the crowd was subdued by this sudden ferocity. Together we basked in the glory of the defeat before turning to each other and resuming the combat. Twice more the troll got up and twice more it was hacked down. The battle wore on and one by one the combatents dropped and didn't get up again and when the third gladiator went down the fight was called to a close and we were awarded the victory. The those of us that remained standing picked up our fallen comrades and left the field of battle.
The best moment so far is neither bravest or heroic. In fact its right up there for stupidest. In the battle against the gladiators Drum the Giant picked up a fallen spear and hurled with all his considerable strenght at one of the gladiators, completely overlooking the fact that Human, our only healer, was standing between him and the galdiator. The spear struck Human right in the middle of the back earning Drum cheers from the crowde as well as sticking a 6 foot long spear in the back of the only person on the battle field who could get it out again and it doesn't matter how good a healer you are you can't pull a spear out of your own back!
The best death. We haven't had any deaths in the arena but its not for want of trying. In the first fight Basilic charged into the orcs they raised their wepons in a vain attempt to keep him out but bouyed on by the crowd he charged on into them taking horrific injuries and collapsed in an unconsious heap at their feet. Human the healer leapt into the fray and healed him and Basilic was once again up and able to fight for the party. Spying another lonely orc armed with only a small spear Basilic once again charged. As Basilic closed with the orc the crowd roared and a blood lust came over him.
The orc stood there trembling as this granite warrior with a heart of stone charged, with only the heel of the spear planted in the sand to defend him he knew he was doomed. The orc made a frantic attempt to ward off the warrior but Basilic ignored the weapon. With the spear impaled in his chest he ran down the weapon until his chest met the trembling orcs hands and his hands reached out for the orcs throat.