Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 40


Character Class Description
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
Gomm Thief level 4 Swarthy, good looking, dark-skinned thief. Sweet opium-like aroma is his fragrance of choice.
Kuqhir of the Wastes Magic-User level 2 A thin, tall, dark skinned man with a magnificent beard that tickles his bellybutton. Dresses in silk robes and tightly folded turban embroidered with names of all known angels.
Rad Thief level 3 A young, short and malnourished rogue.
Eccy Throi Elf level 1 Wears a dark green cloak to hide his bulging muscles and crippling anxiety.
Barad the Bald Magic-User level 1 Bald, beardless, chinless, and lazy-eyed.

Sunstrong 12, Waterday

After months of adventuring, all Hydra Company members have finally returned to their Antil headquarters. It was a bit dusty and empty, with all the men Winslow had previously recruited gone.

The city was bustling with activity, its streets chock-full of pilgrims from all over the Wilderlands. The Great Pilgrimage to Lagh Anon is announced to begin on the hottest week of the year, which is expected soon.

But our adventurers care little for such trite matters!

It was time to rest, heal, and revel in recovered riches!

Rhovar commissioned a magnificently terrifying horned helmet and bearskin-cloak. Gomm found an artist skilled enough to make a statuette of the gold-cloaked man he had encountered at the Silent Glade. Eccy found it difficult to rest and study ever since he came in the possession of that serrated axe. Violence seemed like a correct answer to every obstacle. Oberon was left in the capable hands of Shang-Ta acolytes. They tended his wounds as they flexed their muscles.

But none of them were as happy as Rad.

A tall, gaunt, bald albino man in purple robes delivered an intricately carved, palm-sized, wooden box specifically for young thief.

“Oh, it must be THE invitation!”

Indeed, it was an invitation to the annual Kelman Rumble, a high ticket, invite-only gambling event. The letter enclosed stipulated that he is allowed to take up to two guests, that there will be eight rounds of gambling at 100 gold pieces per round, and that the final, ninth, round will with starting bets at 500 gold pieces. Oh, and attendees are heavily encouraged to come in elaborate costumes. No weapons allowed either.

“Rhovar! Barad! You won't believe this... Come, we have only three days to get ready!”

The trio decided to costume themselves into a three-part hydra-like monster. Hence they procured scale tunics and shirts, green paint, and some reptiles' scales—crocodiles' if they were to trust the seller.

Sunstrong 15, Spiritday

Rad donned the scale shirt and tunic, and then glued additional scales to his back and arms. He also glued some to his face, after painting it green. “This colour” the woman told him “is safe 18 out of 20 times. I promise!”

Rhovar applied the same paint to his arms, neck and face. He also doused his blond Skandik hair until it was vibrant green, and formed an upright spike. Then he threw a scale tunic over and rubbed saltwater in his eyes to get that menacing red look.

Like Rhovar, Barad also painted his arms, neck and face. He also dressed in scale tunic. Then he painted an elaborate Hydra face on top of his bald head.

Rhovar, being the largest of the three, stood in the centre. He'd open his arms, with Rad and Barad walking underneath them. Together they voltroned a mean looking scaly, green thing.

Accompanied with eight mercenaries—also painted in green—whom were tasked with carrying a chest with 3000 gold pieces for gambling, the trio marched on to Lord Kelman's manor.

People followed them with a great interest and envy.

The walled manor, situated in the Warden's Quarter, indeed looked immaculate.

Our costumed adventurers were greeted by more silent, purple robed, hairless albino men.

Lo and behold, one of them could actually speak:

“You have arrived just in time. We will take care of your belongings. Your men are most welcome to wait for you outside.”

The trio proceeded alone beyond the gates. The courtyard was dominated with a white marble fountain shaped like a cupped hand. Water was jetting out from each finger tip. Rad noticed a few coins glittering in the depths of the water below.

“You have been invited by the esteemed Lord Kelman. All guests are required to sign the Code of Secrecy. What happens here, stays here.”

Rhovar and Rad signed hastily, the latter just stamping his thumb. Barad studied the contract a bit more. It was harsh one, with quite strict penalties.

“I'm sorry, but only those that sign will be admitted.”

The bald man signed.

“Please follow me into the bar. We will put your belongings into a safe place.”

Lavishly furnished room was populated with many people in costumes—a large ape, a courtesan, a peasant, a woman with large feathered mask, an old matron dressed as a fairy, a nobleman continuously counting his coins, a man with cloth armour boasting how he killed a bear with his bare hands, a huge man in loincloth, a giggly butterfly, a man in golden suit, a man in grey robe who claims he is a gargoyle, and a bumblebee—just to name few!

Drinks were served at no cost, something Rhovar exploited generously. The gorgeous courtesan quickly constricted his biceps.

“Ohhh, are these real or are they part of the costume?”


His further advances are best left forgotten.

The man in gold clothes was fully uninterested in any talk with Barad. He used every opportunity to deride or ridicule him.

“May I know your name?” Barad asked.

“Oh, you will know it soon” the man replied.

And so on and so forth.

The “gargoyle” was more open to conversation, but had trouble coming up with sentences.

“Uh... Yeah. I'm a sculptor.”

“Great, my friend was just looking for one! Maybe you could help him?”

“Oh. Yes, yes. Sure. He can visit me next month, I'm very busy.”

“Where about?”


“I'll let him know. Do you know who is the man in gold dress?”

“That? Oh, that's Lord Taramek Warcrown.”

Rad was having the time of his life, chatting around with people. He did not go straight for drinks, readying himself for the thing he came for. Gambling.

“Give us space!” Rhovar announced.

“Come guys, come, quick!”

Rad and Barad scuttled to him.


The trio performed their hydra reenactment to the the cheering crowd. Everybody but Warcrown clapped.

A bell announced that Rumble was about to begin.

Attendees were led into a large round chamber, even more lavishly furnished than the bar. Half of the walls were glass looking outside. A humongous red carpet covered most of the room. Several lacquered wood tables were scattered about, with several candles, series of dice and card decks set upon each table. An elaborate candelabra hung above the room. Finally, an immense blood-red curtain dominated the northeastern part of the circular room.

“Welcome to my humble abode!”

A finely dressed man with an elaborate tiger mask greeted the group. Rad immediately noticed a number of jeweled rings adorning the man's hands. Belt looked expensive as well.

“Please take a seat around the table of your choice!”

The Hydra trio now broke up, to ensure they don't gamble against each other.

Oh how the dice had rolled!

By the end of eight round Rad and Barad had lost 500 gold pieces each. Rhovar fared better, but he too at the end had a net loss of 200 gold pieces.

Barad's table went through a fair bit of drama. Warcrown kept winning and insulting everyone at the table. His provocations landed poorly with the counting noble, whom first accused Warcrown of cheating. The gold dressed nobleman brutally refuted and humiliated the counter:

“Oh “Looord” Aronulus, when will you learn? Are you so lost without your daddy around? Will you gamble away yet another daughter of yours?”

His provocations did not land well with Aronulus. He flipped the table with rage and punched the foul speaking Warcrown. Albino baldies overpowered him with surprising ease, and carried him out like he was a little child.

“This is not a game for everybody!” Warcrown announced triumphantly to Barad, as he won yet another game.

“Huh, not so many of us left...”

“Ladies and gentleman, thank you for playing. I hope you've been enjoying yourself so far. I kindly ask everyone to return to the bar as we prepare the room for the final game.”

The final players, in addition to our hydra trio, included the muscled barbarian, the courtesan, the peasant, the “gargoyle,” and Lord Warcrown.

“The final round is about to commence. Please follow me.” the sole albino speaker announced.

The group was led to the same round chamber, although this time they were face with a huge red curtain.

“Welcome! This is my favourite part of the night!” Lord Kelman spoke, barely containing his excitement. “The winner will receive this wonderful golden mermaid statuette with tiny sapphire scales.”

After Kelman finished explaining the rules, albino servants rolled back the thick red carpet revealing a glass floor that seemed to have a pit of boiling liquid below it.

Then they pushed the curtain aside revealing a giant box resting on top of the glass floor, straight above the pit of boiling liquid.

Inside the box were nine people tied to nine wooden planks each attached to a swivel. Aronulus was one of them. Three were lepers, the one Hydra Company helped find a “safe” home in the Antil's sewers.

“What the fuck...” Rhovar murmured.

“Who will roll first?” Kelman boomed.

“Hand me the dice, friend!” Warcrown yelled.

“Eight!” Kelman read the result.

“I close number four first!”

One of the bald servants flipped the board with large white number four in front of plank Lord Aronulus's was tied to. As he did so, the plank turned on the swivel, dropping the man into the pit below.

“I'll take good care of your daughters Aronulus!” Warcrown shouted at the screaming man dissolving in front of their eyes.

“Close one and three next!”

“What! I'll kill them all now!” Rhovar whispered.

Rad stood numbly, paralysed.

“We are unarmoured, outnumbered, and without weapons.” Barad tried to calm the Skandik warrior.

“Morjen! Listen to me!” Rhovar turned to the scantly dressed barbarian. “Are you enjoying this?”

“I don't understand what's happening. How is this game played?”

“Don't you see? You roll the dice, and then you are forced to kill these innocent peo–”

“Like this?” and he rolled them.

“Two!” was the result.

“I close two?”

And yet another person was dropped in the vat below.

The courtesan played next.

The “gargoyle” and peasant joined in as well.

“Won't you play?” Kelman inquired.

“No. Are we allowed to leave?”

“Oh! Woe! Have I invited wrong people? Are these the famed officers of the Hydra Company!”

“Yes, you are free to leave. Your coins will stay with us, though. For the expenses, you see.”

“What have I told you Barad? This game isn't for everyone!”

Kelman and Warcrown heartily laughed as the trio was escorted out of the room.

“I hope you head a pleasant evening.” albino servant said whilst escorting them out of the manor.

The party was quiet, for the first time.

“We will return. We will have vengeance.”

“We will kill them all.

Morjen, the barbarian.

Liana, the courtesan.

Yorlen, the peasant.

Meldorian, the gargoyle.

Warcrown, the asshole.

And Kelman, the host.”

“We should report them all! This is horrible!”

“To whom? There is no police in the Barbarian Altanis.”

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

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