Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 44


Character Class Description
Rad Thief level 3 A young, short and malnourished rogue.
Amanka Cleric level 1 Dour, glum, tight-lipped, and baggy-eyed cleric with a gravestone-shaped talisman. She reveres the Fallen One, a petty god of fallen warriors and unsung heroes.
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.
Neremyn Elf level 1 A tall, pale, and lean scholar of languages with silver hair and a somewhat distant attitude.
BuddyPuddingBottom Elf level 2 Peppermint scented elf followed by jingles, on a quest for the perfect gift.

Thistleburn 5th, Spiritday

“Today is the day.”

Over the last four days Rhovar had been competing in matches organised by the Shang-Ta clerics. That earned him the right to challenge the current reigning champion.

“Be there at noon. You can bring whomever you want, but you are responsible for them. May the Windgod smile upon you!”

It was a closed-door competition held in the bowels of the massive Windgod Temple that dominates the landscape for miles.

Standing 900 feet tall, it indeed is impressive by all accounts. The base is a simple box-shaped building, measuring 450 by 300 feet. On it stand a tall totem-like statue of an eagle spreading its wings, with a mind boggling wingspan of 750 feet.

People say the statue was built with divine assistance and help from the Windriders. The latter used to land on the statue's wings. From there they'd marvel at the sea, hones men of Antil, and bask in the glorious sun. But it's been decades since they graced the Temple with their presence.

“Who shall join me?”

Rad, Amanka, Gomm, Kuqhir, Neremyn, Pipluk, and BuddyPuddingBottom decided to accompany their Skandink friend. Some out of curiosity, some out of support. Buddy was the only one who decided to go in nothing but pants and face paint. The rest, with the exception of Rhovar, went fully decked out. Just in case.

“It never goes as planned.” Neremyn said to Pipluk.

Rhovar trodden on his precious warhorse, Umber Fury, sporting his cloak and horned helmet, and carrying the Hydra Company banner in his muscular hand.

The outsides of the temple were swarming with people wanting to get in. They were all pushed away by the Windgod's clerics. The crowd separated and allowed Rhovar and his entourage to pass.

“Beat his ass blondy!” somebody yelled.

“Hah, another dead man ridding!” yelled another one.

“Brutus is the bae!” a woman screamed.

Wide stairs led to the sixty feet wide and thirty feet tall iron double doors. They were currently completely open, revealing a huge chamber bathed in sun.

“Challenger, I'm afraid you will have to dismount. We will take good care of your horse.”

Gomm volunteered to take Umber Fury to the stables.

The party marched into the temple boisterously.

The grand hall was a circular chamber with 300 wide diameter. Thick marble pillars, covered in motifs of eagles, winged men, and feats of strength, supported the ceiling. They were arranged around the full circumference of the chamber.

Sun illuminated the grand hall, coming down from a huge circular opening on the 30 feet tall ceiling. The eagle statue was in fact hollow. The sun would penetrate it's many orifices, and was somehow guided all the way down into the grand hall.

Looking up, the party could see many balconies on the inside. They were all full of people. The hall too, was jam-packed. Most of those present sported the Windgod insignia, but there were many others as well.

In the center of the hall was a 30 feet wide round ring. To be fair, it was more of a round plinth with colourful mosaic. The ring was warm to the touch. That was hardly surprising given that it was noon and burning hot. The sun rays seemed to be focused on it.

On the other side of the ring Rhovar spotted a man towering above all others.

The man was no freak giant. No, no. The man was perfect; as if Gods themselves made him. Tall, broad chested and shouldered, with elegant, elongated muscles. He moved with such grace that he was more akin to a panther than man. He stood perfectly naked, his dark framing the chiselled features of his face. His manly jaw revealed a heart-melting, pearly white smile.

A gaggle of women, and men!, surrounded him. He smiled at each, and was patient and gentle in his responses. At the same time a trio of acolytes were rubbing his naked body with oil, making sure to cover every inch of his copper skin.

“Our champion, I'm sure of it.”

One of the clerics explained all the championship rules to Rhovar.

“There are three categories: fistfight, wrestling, and open fight. There are three challengers per category, called forth at random. Each will face Brutus “The Bumblebee” Beefcake. Fights are to knockout or submission. Step forward and introduce yourself when you are called out.”

Rhovar planted the Hydra Company banner with an audible thud. Then he proceeded to stretch. Amanka, Neremyn, Pipluk, and Kuqhir stood by the banner. Buddy was ready to cheer. Rad tried to get some people interested in gambling on outcomes.

“Bah, nobody wants to gamble anymore because Brutus always wins. We used to gamble on how long his challengers last, but he ruined that too by knocking people out with one punch.”

“Brothers and sisters!” a chubby man with deep voice boomed. “We are about to begin! Please find your spots and observe in silence!”

“Let's see if we will have our new Mightiest Fist!” the orator laughed as he called forth the first challenger.

The man stood proudly and spoke loudly. He made sure everyone can hear his name, his heritage, and his accomplishments. Then he stepped into the ring.

Brutus approached the ring with ease and elegance. He greeted the man with a smile.

The man went for a right hand hook; Brutus ducked and countered with left uppercut to the ribs lifting the man off the ground with the power of his blow. In the split second he caught him with the right hook to the side, knocking him several feet to the left.

The man whizzed with pain, having just had both sides of his ribcage broken. Brutus carried the man outside of the ring and handed him over to the nearby acolytes.

Next man stepped in, noticeably less courteous than the challenger before. He included several insults and provocations in his attempt to rile up the crowd. He did get some laughs.

Assuming guard, he feinted several right jabs. Brutus fluently tapped the feints, and then offered and opening. Falling for it, the challenger closed in, intending to deliver a left hook. The champion took it without flinching, locked the man's arm with his right, and delivered a powerful blow with the edge of his left palm to the man's neck.

Amanka flinched at an audible crack. She was not enjoying this competition.

This time Brutus left the man lying in the ring. Acolytes carried out his lifeless body.

Third challenger made sure to remain polite. He too listed his accomplishments and issued a challenge to Brutus.

This man was more fond of kicks than punches. He was lighting fast, delivering feints and low kicks at high speed. Brutus was no slouch either. He evaded and blocked most of the kicks. Finally, as the man went for a roundhouse kick, Brutus intercepted him with a straight kick to the chest. The man was sent flying straight out of the ring, landing into the crowd. The kick was so powerful it knocked him out.

Rhovar was intently observing from the side. Brutus was moving surprisingly fast for a man of his size. Even worse, there was logic and thought to his moves. He wasn't just counting on his impressive strength.

“Oh my, I wouldn't want to be in your skin now!” Thalysios smacked Rhovar's shoulder.

“My friend! Are you competing as well? Wrestling is coming next.”

“No, no. I haven't won enough matches. But I managed to get an invite as spectator. And what a spectacle it is!”

“How about your harem? They here too?”

“Nooo, I couldn't get them as well.”

“Let's see how the man wrestles. Maybe we can identify some weakness.”

A break was announced. Once again people swarmed Brutus, and once again several acolytes rubbed oil onto him as he smiled and spoke with his fans.

“Brothers and sisters!” the orator summoned everyone once more “The Mightiest Suplex is about to begin! Take your spots and enjoy the spectacle!”

These three challengers fared no better than the previous ones.

Brutus chocked the first one with great ease.

The second challenger tried to hug Brutus from behind, to which the champion responded by dropping his core down, opening his arms in an O shape, breaking the challenger's lock. Then he grabbed his right arms with both arms, and knelt down on his left knee as he threw the man over his shoulder. The man landed with a cringing, bone-shattering sound. He too was carried out of the ring by the acolytes.

Final competitor charged in for a clinch. Brutus jumped to the side, caught his left arm, and swung him like a ragdoll. Enraged, the man got up and charged like a raging bull. Brutus laughed and jumped over the man, mocking him. Furious, the man charged once more. This time Brutus stomped his foot, pivoted slightly, grabbed the man by the back of his neck, and redirected his charge into the ground. Face first, of course. Blood and teeth splattered all around.

The crowd cheered in ecstasy.

“Bee! Bee! Bee!”

“Oh man, he wrestles darn good as well.” Thalysios lamented.

Another break was announced.

Orator summoned Rhovar, Dio, and Trine, three challengers for the next segment.

“Men, you know the rules. When I call you out step forth and introduce yourself. There are no bells, no nothing. Get ready.”

“Brothers and sisters!” a chubby man roared once more. “You are in for the final bouts of the day! The ones everyone is here for! The Mightiest Might! Give a round of applause for our brave challengers!”

Now Rhovar stood right next to the ring, desperate to catch any weakness in Brutus's fighting style.

Trine was called forth first. He gave a boisterous introduction, and stepped into the ring.

His stance was unorthodox and unfamiliar. Even Brutus kept his distance for first few seconds. The man stood with his feet quite wide apart whilst holding one arm outstretched and other by the hip.

He'd deliver lighting fast strikes and kicks from the stance, which Brutus evaded with ease. Finally, the champion lunged forward, sweeping the man of the ground.

“Stay down.” Rhovar could hear Brutus saying to the man.

But the man bounced off, assumed his stance once more, and launched a series of attacks. Brutus slapped them all to the side, countering with a straight blow, sending the man down to the ground. The challenger vomited blood.

“Stay down.”

Trine slowly pushed himself off the ground, gathering all his strength to get back into the fight. Brutus smashed his head with a knee kick. Another corpse was carried out of the ring by acolytes.

Orator waved at Rhovar. He was next.

Rhovar went to great lengths to introduce himself properly. He list his affiliation—Hydra Company—his many achievements. He gave proper respect to Brutus. Some might say that Rhovar was quite humble in his speech, but those people never saw Brutus in person.

The ring was warm, nay, hot. Rhovar could almost feel a burning sensation under his feet. Now that he was closer to Brutus he inhaled the heavy smell of lavender and olive oil.

Brutus did not step into the ring. He looked at the balcony with the High Priest. He did that before every match. The High Priest would usually wave him, but this time he rose with both hands raised.

“Sons! Daughters! Brothers! Sisters!” the High Priest's voice filled the grand hall. Although far up, Amanka could see that the man had quite a stature. He projected this booming voice with surprising ease.

“We are truly blessed by the guidance of Shang-Ta!”

“I commune with him everyday! And let me tell you, I am still shocked by his generosity!”

“Soon we will undertake the grandest pilgrimage of all times!”

“Do you remember the nasty heretics that tried to ruin our order?!”

“Do you remember how we purged the Grand Liar Dwarvard Blummer?!”

“And do you remember how he had associates we failed to hunt down for they fled like dogs they are?!”

Rhovar looked up in confusion. Amanka, Kuqhir, Buddy, Neremyn, and Pipluk huddled tight around the Hydra Company banner. Rad slipped into the crowd.

“Today Shang-Ta sent us a gift!”

As the High Priest was talking, a group of clerics brought forth a plank on which a naked lied. He was bruised and tied.

They dropped the plank in the center of the ring, right in front of Rhovar.

Gagged and unconscious Kallahn lied on it.

“Behold! The heretics came to our home!”

“They call themselves the “Hydra Company” and they dare insult us with their sheer presence!”

Rhovar looked in confusion and tried speaking up as the massive crowd started surrounding his friends.

“I don't know this man! We are no heretics!”

“Do not lie to me! He told us all!”


The ring tightened. Rad took off his Hydra Company band.

“Followers of Shang-Ta! Let it never be said that I am not merciful! What fate shall these heretics suffer!”

“Quarter them!”

“Hang 'em!”


“Let Brutus break them one by one!”

“Throw them into the Pit!”

Rhovar made failed attempts to challenge Brutus for one-to-one combat for freedom. Thalysios shrugged and urge Rhovar to try to sway crowd towards whatever seemed like the most survivable punishment.



And so the Hydra Company members started chanting for the pit, and soon most of the crowd joined them in their request.

“I can't hear you!” the High Priest riled the audience.


“So let it be!”

“I sentence you to the trial by the Pit! By the power of the Shang-Ta, I strip you off everything! Your belongings now belong to the Windgod! Your lives are now his!”

“Should you live to see the light of day no man of faith in Antil shall be allowed to challenge you! Might makes right!”

The crowd roared with joy as they ushered the party into the ring. Rad too was caught, despite almost getting away. Thalysios grabbed Rhovar's flail and quickly passed it to him. Alas, Rhovar was still naked, but at least had his trusted weapon.

The mosaic-covered, sun-bathed ring begun trembling. Then it started to spin, slowly inching downwards. The party was cheered (or booed, depending whose account you are reading), and they descended into dark abyss.

Finding themselves in pitch black and dank environment, the party formed a tight marching order.

“Let's follow the left wall.” Amanka suggested, finding little resistance.

“Allow me to scout ahead, I can see in the dark.” Neremyn offered.

Whatever this “Pit” was, one thing was true. It was damn cavernous.

“Ouch!” Neremyn yelled from darkness as loud thud could be heard.

A 500 pound stalactite fell right on top of him. The party could barely see his body sprawled on the ground. The stalactite rumbled. The party did the only natural thing they could. They started shooting it. The stalactite fell over, and crushed even more of Neremyn.

“Maybe it's dead?”

“Maybe it isn't!”

“Let's hit it!”

And so they did.

Finally, somebody remembered to check on Neremyn. Despite his horrible shape, he was still alive, albeit unconsciousness. Kuqhir volunteered to carry him.

Pressing on, the party found several dead ends. One of them had a skeleton in chain shirt. It held a shortsword in one hand and rotted backpack in the other.

Will party suffer the same fate?

Illustrations by Idle Doodler.

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

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