On Borrowed Time
Run 1 - My Skulls Give Skulls My Skulls
Run 1: My skulls Give skulls My skulls
Player Characters: Salai, Rikas, Lyorth Escaria, Kan, Joyful Slaughter, Kaladriel
Key NPCs: Usus, Usus’ Pet Chicken, Solumn, Mikhail, Salamander, ‘The Silent Man’, The Red Knights, Adranos (Derro hunter)
Rewards: +2 to max HP, 659gp, Bartonus’ Chronocharm of the Fateweaver (1/day, reroll an acrobatics or athletics check)
This game opened where the previous left off – with the gnome stepping out of his ‘Golem-suit’ and introducing himself as Solumn. He was also impressed – most schools have a lot of trouble dealing with his ‘suits’, but this one isn’t even a full-fledged school yet and already is quite skilled at it.
Solumn described himself as a servant of the Affinity Gods, which refers to ‘every god that is not the War God’. He and his brothers (brothers in the comraderie sense, not the blood sense) are searching for a series of twelve weapons, that he called the ‘Souls of the Affinity Knights’. Except apparently, the group couldn’t see them until actually joining the games, since Solumn was holding one and none of them reacted when he pointed it at them. He gave the group small garishly colored boxes that contained armour, pulled from the group’s memory/mind?
Then Solumn left, the group practiced hard until the evening – Usus’ training is excellent and resulted in the group growing physically more and more hardy. He told the group that they’d be leaving to Pirgos the following morning, and that the chickens would wake them up.
Of course, the evening itself came with trials – as the group’s sleep was interrupted by a quadret of Cyclops. These seemed less prepared than the previous set, however – they were huddled, talking. Discussing how /this/ time they’d have the group trapped, and to definitely not let them escape. Discussing how thoroughly they were going to kill them once this happened. Discussing things other than the various magics and weapons that were embedded within their torsos, as the group elected to react rather than giving the Cyclops time to actually do any of that trapping nonsense.
Then it was morning!
With horrible nails on chalkboard screeching that turned out to be Usus’ pet… uh ‘Chicken’. More accurately a cockatrice. Still, apparently the thing was fairly harmless outside of the unearthly noise it makes.
Usus retrieved it during the great war – the first of several reminders that day that Usus was in it. It was from the expanse – the only survivor of a magical assault that destroyed a building.
Mikhail, now, is the leader of the caravan which would take the group towards Pirgos. The elderly woman knew Usus from the great war, although from her casual thievery and demeanor, she almost certainly had a slightly different role. Quite cheerful, she eagerly answered most of the group’s questions when asked – including revealing that she was blind, but had an incredibly impressive sense of hearing to make up for this.
The one thing she stated that she could not explain was the buffalo, which had a transmutation effect on them and seemed pretty intelligent. Trade secrets and all.
This was where the group also met two unusual cases. One is Salamander, a young boy who looks like he was 6 or 7ish but had the gruffest voice yet, and then a heavily armoured figure who remained silent and did not seem to have a weapon.
After a stop, however, it was revealed that the Imperial Legions were halting caravans for a time. They were conducting an investigation, and did not reveal what the investigation was for – but the caravan needed to halt for a time. Usus suggested the group take the low road to Pirgos and meet him there – so they could obtain the Lametian Torc before he arrived. The quiet figure followed with – revealing that music plays when you near him. He didn’t seem particularly harmful nor hostile, though, and thus just remained in the backround.
The low road then was… strange. Tropical plants abounded in this place far to cold for them, and a detect magic revealed that just about everything in the forest was apparently radiating a moderate source of evocation magic, which also doesn’t make a lot of sense.
But then, more immediately – derro! The bizarre small creatures were capturing people and generally torturing or killing them in madness. Acting quickly, the group managed to tear through the murderous creatures, rescuing a number of their victims who were still alive. They met Adranos, the dwarven Derro hunter, who explained to them a little about Derro and their fascinations, and more focally that if they’re in groups it’s because there’s a leader guiding them with additional madness.
The leader showed that he also had a collective, and could force people therein. Of course, he was then shot through the head, dropping him like a stone and ending the problems the Derro were causing.
…leading to the group meeting with the Red Knights. Usus later explained that they were a school created by Mutuus, another survivor of the great war but not the most… uh, friendly of sorts. The Red Knights school just completed their qualifiers, and seem to be holding up Mutuus’ long held traditions of being jerks. Although notably, they do have spell resistance, which was a thing.
The one who called out the group seemed to particularly know Salai, and seemed particularly concerned about Kaladriel being a Galdr, the latter fact Rikas discovered as he trailed them a bit on the way back.
Still, deed done, the group went to Pirgos! And swiflty discovered that something was up in town – apparently the Lameticus Torc, which is something you critically need in order to join the games in Pirgos… wasn’t sold anywhere? Nobody could actually obtain one? Not to mention the taverns in town were closed up tightly.
The group finally found one jewelry shop which had a gruff dwarf who apparently wanted neither to buy nor sell anything… until Usus entered the shop, in which the dwarf relented, granting the group their Lameticus Torc and buying their things.
But onto the practice! Which were immediately made a bit tricky, as the legendary Bartonus came to watch the practice session as well. The crushing weight of the actual arena was an experience in and of itself – it took a bit, but the group managed to feel out that the arena rewarded those who would seek higher ground. It didn’t effect burning hands either way, though, and once the group managed to get some height the combat was over with quite swiftly.
Bartonus – yes, I mean /the/ Bartonus, squee! – leapt into the arena then. Which is quite literally the case, as he leapt over a hundred feet into the air from a stand and thudded amidst the group to congratulate them – most would-be-teams he’d been watching would all but give up at the first adverse arena condition. Anyway, he handed the group a set of Chronocharms of the Fateweaver – signed, of course – and then left.
Which is where the game ended, at a good stopping point.
Table of Contents
Run 0 – An Introduction
Run 2 – The Red Cloaks, Politics, and being unhelpfully cryptic