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Page history last edited by Nick 11 years, 4 months ago

Last updated November 29th, 2008.

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Game Summary





Previously, on Rumors of War...





Episode 3

Date: November 22nd, 2008

The bandaged creature ceases all hostile action against the party when the last priest falls; the moment the call went up that the priest had gone down, Ala-din shouted out for Telemachus and the creature to stop. Both combatants lower their arms, and the battle comes to an end, though Telemachus is looking the worse for wear. He immediately channels a bit of divine energy to restore some of wounds sustained by himself and the mage Ala-din, though it isn't much.


Anaxagoras orders the bandaged creature to leave, and the creatures laughs with a dry, raspy voice. "Where would you have me go?" it asks. Surprised at the creature's speech, Anaxagoras is unable to answer, and merely asks it to step aside so he can inspect the torture victims chained to the wall. Of the eight men and women, three of them appear to be alive, one of whom is Trias, the brother of Trimedes. Anaxagoras releases the survivors from their bonds, and does his best to treat their wounds.


Polynices sets a cold gaze on Katri and sizes her up after she kills the priest he was tying up. "This priest had information I needed about the curse he placed on me." Polynices indicates to the ugly black mark that's appeared on his chest where the priest's spell touched him. "My curse is now your curse. Sons of Dis, if this mark has consigned me to the depths of Tartarus, I'll see you go first." Katri dismisses his threat.


Sounds echoing from farther down in the catacombs brings puts the party back on alert. Rounding a corner, they find a chamber piled high with amphorae, crates, and heaped with discarded items of varying descriptions. Once the rest of the party has joined them, Katri scans the room with detect magic to sift through the baubles and trinkets for any magic items. The sounds from down the hallway continue, and the party quickly stuffs what items they can carry into sacks and backpacks, and retreats out of the catacombs. Two items of note are a marble bust of Athena, which Polynices volunteers to carry, and a 180-pound strongbox carried by Telemachus.


Anaxagoras drags the unconscious form of Trias, now bandaged, and tries to find someone else to carry the two other unconscious torture victims. Katri coldly demands the victims be left behind, as they will only serve to slow the party, and Anaxagoras firmly reminds her that they came to the temple to rescue Trias in the first place. Eithne steps in and volunteers to carry the survivors, hefting one over each shoulder.


The party makes their way from the temple back across the city to the barrack of the Order of Orion, laden with treasure and the three surviving torture victims. Trimedes is horrified at the state of his brother, and calls for a healer at once. He is unable to speak with the party, but thanks them and asks that they return in a day so he can thank them better. The party converges to split the treasure they looted from the temple catacombs.


The party lays out all the items found under the temple: a small ivory bottle carved to resemble Aphrodite, a papyrus scroll of identify, two "doses" of an oily substance, a heavy cord, a 10-lb. coil of rope that resembles viscera, a pair of leather sandals with tiny etchings of wings, a pair of silk gloves, a nonmagical girdle housing four thin wooden wands, a fist-sized chunk of amber (containing a scorpion) on a leather cord, a brooch with a picture of the god Hermes "winking," a small crystal etched with a pair of crossed swords, and a small blue pearl.


Anaxagoras dredges his knowledge of folklore and history, and manages to conjecture on the use and abilities of the various items that the party has found. The only items whose uses are known for sure are the scroll, the "Aphrodite" potion, the oils, and the four wands. The small crystal with the crossed swords seems to be made to fit a weapon, and Telemachus tries unsuccessfully to affix it to his axe. Polynices then manages to adhere the crystal to his blade, and tries to determine the item's properties.


Anaxagoras also takes some time to study and appraise the bust of Athena, finally concluding that the bust is a masterpiece of unparalleled quality, and is priceless in its own right. Ala-din takes the magic cord to wear around his shoulders; Anaxagoras takes the brooch of Hermes, the blue pearl, and the length of the gut-like rope; Polynices takes the bust (as no one else wants to carry it), the sandals, and the crystal; Katri lays claim to the "potion of Aphrodite," the scroll of identify, the amber amulet, the silk gloves, and two of the four wands, one of mage armor and the other of magic missile; Telemachus and Eithne each take one of the remaining wands, which both contain the cure light wounds spell.


Telemachus opens the heavy strongbox to learn that it has more room inside of the box than readily apparent; it houses nine thousand silver coins, which the party splits into even shares, despite the uneven distribution of magical items. This fact is brought to light on several occasions, especially given that Katri claimed the lion's share of the equipment despite having performed unfavorably during the fight in the temple. She dismisses all accusations of greed and insists she laid claim to many of the items before the rest of the party even advanced as far as the catacombs.


Each member of the party goes a separate way; each with silver burning a hole in their respective money-pouch. Anaxagoras accompanies Polynices as the latter goes in search of an armor-smith. Polynices acquires some armor of master quality; the former seeks out a making of lyres. Finding an instrument-maker, Anaxagoras attempts to purchase his instrument at reduced cost, telling the craftsman "the tale of Eithne and the rowers," but the merchant is unimpressed. He agrees to the discount only if Anaxagoras can prove that he knows the Eithne he spoke of in the tale.


Meanwhile, Eithne searches for a stables where she can purchase a horse for traveling. She finds one, but she is unable to afford the cost; meeting up with Anaxagoras again, the two make an arrangement: Eithne will spend the evening on the town with the music-seller and Anaxagoras will contribute to the purchase of a mount for Eithne. The merchant is duly impressed with the bard's tale, though overall he is unimpressed with Eithne herself. Her feeling on the manner remains ambiguous.


True to his word, the merchant reimburses Anaxagoras a portion of the cost for the instrument, and the bard helps Eithne purchase her mount. Elsewhere, Telemachus negotiates for the sale of his pony, having decided to trade up to an animal that can carry him. Ala-din finds a bowyer and purchases a longbow. Polynices finds a street urchin and gives the boy a silver piece in exchange for word of any gossip. The boy is flabbergasted at the warrior's generosity, and promises to find him first as soon as he hears anything worth knowing. That evening, Anaxagoras and Polynices hit up the red-light district.



Anaxagoras offers to "buy one" for Polynices, and so convinces him. Anaxagoras takes two for himself.


The next morning, the party gradually converges on the Order of Orion once again to learn more of the details of the trials Trias faces in the temple. They receive payment from a grateful Trimedes, and visit his recovering brother. The other victims they rescued from the temple are also faring well.


Trias is a scattered young man. He begins by telling the party some about his gift, that he sees visions sent to him by the gods, and how he has made prophesies before. Generally, he makes prophesies on a small scale, generally only a step or so above an astrologer on the street, since he has the "gift," but it also comes at the cost of his sanity. The gods show him many things that he doesn't have the mental fortitude for, and so a little over a month ago, he went to the temple of Apollo seeking solace and guidance.


While at the temple, Trias found peace and comfort, until their was a large influx of madmen that crowded the temple. He was no longer able to receive the special treatments that were helping him regain his mental stability, and the behavior of the once-kind priests radically changed. They began abusing many of the madmen and forcing them to perform physical labor. There was also a drastic change in the disposition of the head priest, almost like he were a different man entirely.


Trias remembers having a vision, which he tried to bring before the priest; the priest didn't like the contents of the vision and tried to torture more details out of him. Trias tried to explain to the priest that his visions weren't under his control, but the priest didn't seem to care. Days passed, and Trias took note of the many of torture victims in the room. He also saw that many of the madmen were taken down into the tunnels with digging tools. Unfortunately, he can now no longer recall the details of the vision he had, or most of the questions asked of him while under torture; he seems to have blocked it out.


That afternoon, a young boy finds Polynices, the same boy from the day before. He tells Polynices about an escaped goblins slave that assaulted some men on the outskirts of and was taken into custody by the city guard. The city guard is trying to find an owner and is keeping the goblin locked up in the meantime. Polynices thanks the boy, gives him another coin, and sends him on his way. Polynices seeks out Anaxagoras and the two head to the holding pen of the city guard.


With a little negotiation, the two manage to get in to see the "slave," who turns out to be the goblin shaman Krest, who was their guide in the desert. Krest is covered in bruises and seems weary and unable to speak; whether these injuries are from the fight the boy spoke about or from the guards' abuse, is uncertain. One of the guards tells Polynices that they're looking for an owner, and that a fee must be paid for "damage done." Anaxagoras convinces the guards that he and Polynices are the "slave's" owner, they pay the fee of 50 silver, and take Krest back to the barracks of the Order of Orion for healing and rest.


After a good night's rest, Krest is able to heal himself with magic, and tells the party his reason for coming to the town: his tribe was attacked by hobgoblins who killed many members of the tribe, and took over a dozen others as slaves. He left his tribe to seek the city and the party to ask for help. Once he reached the city, he was assaulted by some men who tried to force him into labor. He fought off five men before they overwhelmed him, and by then, the city guard arrived and took him away, where they kept him in a holding cell while they searched for his "master."


The party sets out straight away to track down the hobgoblin slavers and recover the kidnapped members of Krest's tribe. They take with them minimal food and water, and set out at once. Within two days, they make it to the site of the goblin's camp, from which they begin tracking the hobgoblins. Though the trail is fairly simple to follow, they encounter difficulty in places where the tracks have been wiped clean by the desert winds.


On their second day of tracking, the party is attacked by a pair of large, darkly-colored worm creatures that burst out of the sand. At first, the worms remain above ground to attack the party with their venomous stingers, but once they've been injured, they retreat below the surface to attack at random from beneath. The worms' attacks seem largely ineffective, though they manage to score a hit or two against Polynices or Telemachus. The party gradually takes on a more defensive attack stance against the worms, and readies attacks for when the worms burst out of the ground.


The party slays one of the worms with this mode of defensive-fighting, however the other worm manages to deliver a mortal wound to Ala-din before the party can finish it off. Katri practically pounces on the fallen body of Ala-din with a greedy glint in her eye, and Polynices demands that she leave his body lie. She ignores him, and rifles through Ala-din's possessions; Polynices threatens to cut her arm off if she doesn't desist. Still, she ignores him, and the warrior grimaces at her shameful act.








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Date: November 29th, 2008

Link: rw081129


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