Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 46 play-by-post

Events presented in this report happened at the same time as sessions 44, 45, and 46. We played them out via play-by-post.


Character Class Description
Gomm Thief level 4 Swarthy, good looking, dark-skinned thief. Sweet opium-like aroma is his fragrance of choice.
Basso Halfling level 1 A stable boy whom got tired of shovelling horse shit.
Flamthwynn Magic-User level 1 An older gentleman sporting fashionable dark blue robe with purplish overtones. Seeking arcane objects and offensive spell.
Oberon Fighter level 3 A tall, supple hunter adorned with bones and horns of his prey.
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.

Thistleburn 5th, Spiritday, Late Afternoon

The day was coming to an end.

Rhovar, Rad, Amanka, Kuqhir, Neremyn, BuddyPuddingBottom, and whomever else went to cheer for the Skandink warrior at the Windgod Temple competition still haven't returned.

Nothing worrisome given that these competitions are known to last—especially when one accounts grand feast that follows.

Gomm is the only one who has returned, together with warhorse Umber Fury, to the Hydra Company headquarters.

At that time, the following characters could be found at Hydra's base of operations: Gomm, Basso, Flamthwynn, Oberon, Eccy Throi, Barad the Bald, Pinella, Herat, Paxton, and ten archer mercenaries.

In addition to them, there were also eight kids of varying age: Ithiel, Musemour, Govier, Wycliffe, Valnea, Eweora, Audrey, and Honeyie.

Here is where everyone was:

Ground floor

Oberon was training three archers in the main hall. Gomm recently arrived on Umber Fury, and was greeted by Basso whom had been tending to two draft horses. Paxton was lounging with them. It's a really hot day so they left the double doors open to let in some fresh air.

Eccy was studying in the small library in the west wing of the house. Little Govier was eavesdropping on the elf. He thought he went unnoticed. Eccy was always aware of him.

Ithiel was quietly playing cards with two archers standing guard in the lobby.

Naughty Eweora was once again going through the personal belongings of the Hydra Company officers'.

Second floor

Valnea was sitting on the deck overlooking the main hall. She was the oldest and smartest of the kids they've saved from monstrous slave-traders. Although initially interested in Kuqhir's teachings, recently she has shown much more liking for strategy and tactics.

Herat had once again caught Musemour and Wycliffe breaking into the vault. She is currently scolding them, threatening to dump them in the “Caves of Horrible Shroom!”

Audrey was silently gazing through the west window.

Barad and Flamthwynn were discussing arcane matters in the resting area. Honeyie was sleeping on the floor. He farted occasionally.


Pinella has recently been spending a lot of time in the basement. She has been keeping something to herself.

“Well met, men of Hydra Company!”

A wiry, olive skinned man stopped by the Hydra Company's HQ entrance. He was sweaty, breathed heavily, and carried Rhovar's horned helmet under his left arm.

“I'm Thalysios, and I'm afraid that I'm bringing you bad news!”

“Rhovar and his friends were labelled heretics by the Windgod's High Priest. There was no trial or hearing given—only judgement!”

“Rhovar asked me to take his stuff and inform you as quickly as possible. I have no idea what you guys did, but leaving Antil might be a good idea.”

“Here, take the nordman's helmet. I'll take my leave now. Godspeed!”

Eccy, hearing what happened to Rhovar and the rest of the crew, stalked up to Thalysios and investigated the helmet. Alas, it truly was Rhovar’s.

“They threw him into a dark pit. Apparently some horrible horrors lurk there... Still, I have no doubt he will survive. I've seen him fight!”

“And where is this pit?!” Eccy demanded.

“Right in the middle of the temple. To be honest, I didn't even know it was there! The central ring rotates and then goes downwards.” the man took a pause to take in a big breath, and then continued “Friend, going there might not be the best idea. But if you insist, it might be wise to take off that Hydra Company armband...”

After hearing all this, Basso begun preparing the horses for departure. He also organised the crew to start packing valuables so he can evenly distribute the load between the animals. Paxton and Herat jumped to help him. Kids kept getting in way. Only Valnea understood what was happening.

Gomm rode Umber Fury around the dockland asking any ship crew he passed for passage on a boat for all the company. Two ships caught his attention. One seemed unmanned, sans the guards at the dock, while the other, shabbier looking one, had few figures lounging on the board.

An hour or so later, they managed to pack roughly one fifth of their total treasure from the vault.

Gomm found out one of the ship's would be willing to take them on for a “fair payment” and “appropriate services during the journey.” Their final destination is City State of the Invincible Overlord, but will stop at several places along the coast to restock and trade. Hara being one of them. Their planned departure is three days from now. Guards of the other ship didn't have any useful info.

Eccy approached the massive Windgod Temple. Large double doors open a little bit and an exquisitely dressed nobleman stormed out, followed by eight thuggish characters. As soon as he descended the stairs he was greeted by eight more, one of them bringing forth a majestic chestnut brown stallion.

The man jumped on the horse and condescendingly sneered at his men: “Pick up the pace! I want to reach them before Panthal's lapdogs! There is still one I have unfinished business with.” They completely ignored Eccy and briskly moved in the direction the elf came from.

Eccy stood at the bottom of staircase leading into the temple. The iron doors closed behind the man. There were roughly twenty acolytes outside, not counting a mass of people moving around.

The elf approached an acolyte and in a boastful voice said the following: “I have heard your god is a great god and that you who worship him value strength. Tell me, what does it take to join your ranks?”

“Shang Ta welcomes all, brother! Why don't you come back tomorrow at noon and I'll introduce you to my Brother who takes care of new followers like you?”

“I feel a calling. Is there no way to proceed today? Something calls me from within the temple to do battle and win glory! Is this not what Shang Ta demands?!”

“Your calling is strong! Might makes right! If you wait until nightfall I'm happy to walk you to my temple just a few streets away from here!”

“Your temple!? What's wrong with this temple here? I feel there is a great battle for me within those walls!”

“The Windgod Temple is closed to the public today. What's with the aggression, brother?'

“For what reason is it closed? What stands between me and glory?”

“It's a weekly match of champions. If you wish to participate you must compete for a full week in matches of your choice. The best fighters are then invited to challenge Brutus, the reigning champion.”

“Do you not see brother? This must be the fight to which I have been called! There is no time to lose, you must lead me to this Brutus!”

“Hmmm... How should I know if you are a worthy challenger? What deeds have you accomplished? What foes have you vanquished?”

Eccy brandished his serrated handaxe. “I have cut the scalp from many a man, and taken the head off beasts the likes of which I cannot describe! Do you stand between me and glory? My destiny lies beyond those doors!”

“Might makes right, brother. If you can submit 5 of us in a row I might let you in.”

Elf quickly took care of the first acolyte, but alas, the second one threw him off balance.

“I'm afraid you are not good enough to face Mr. Bumblebee.”

“Mr. Bumblebee, his name will remain etched into my mind as I train. Is there no other way to meet this man?”

“Probably, but I can't help you with that.”

Gomm managed to negotiate rather favourable terms: 450 gold coins for the whole company, and they set sail within two hours.

Another hour later, preparations for departure are in full swing.

Basso & Oberon were overseeing the packing process. Four mercenaries, Paxton, Herat, and Pinella were hard at work.

Barad was in the library checking if there was anything critical to pack. Flamthwynn was in the master bedroom. He packed all the potions and was now hiding under the bed, waiting for further instructions.

Gomm, whilst returning to the HQ, noticed four figures hugging the north side, and four hugging the west side. He also noticed a mounted figure with wand-like object in hand pointing at the direction of the Hydra Company building.

The thief promptly ripped his cloak, doused it in oil, tied to an arrow, lighted it, and shoot it through the upper floor widow on the west side of the building. Alas, he missed! His attempt was noticed by four figures on the west side!

Next he rode up to within 60ft and begun peppering the enemies with arrows and shouting as loud as he could “They're here, they're here, fly you fools!” His next arrow landed true, pinning one to the wall.

Gomm reared up on Umber fury and shouted out, “Dogs! You'll feel the barbed tongue of the hydra! Attackers! Attackers! Be on Guard” and then he loosed an arrow into another figure at the north side. This time it was a miss.

Mounted thief could see the north figure turn around right corner, out of sight. The mounted man was also now out his your sight. Two men by west wall charged him.

Others scaled the wall and reached the window Gomm had targeted mere seconds ago. As one smashes it a child-like scream could be heard. Another one reached in and then yanked his hand out, throwing a small girl to the ground.

Her scream was brief.

Her flight was done in a blink of an eye.

Valnea's life was gone before it begun proper.

Eweora screamed at the sight, bringing to everyone's attention that something was happening. Basso and Oberon caught glimpse of Herat running up the stairs. She turned red and yelled “NO!” like a wounded beast.

“Flamm, it's time to nut up!” Barad shouted. Flamthwynn was very content being under large, secure bed. “Well, I tried...” Barad exhaled and move to entrance chamber. He took command of nearby mercenaries and ordered the kids to get back and hide.

“Hold the doors!” he was preparing to cast Hold Portal. Mercs pressed just in time as someone tried to burst in.

Sounds of fighting were coming from top floor. Basso & Oberon heard heavy footsteps, yells, and metal clanging. And then they heard Herat's broken yelp “Sister!”

“We need help up here!” Paxton yelled.

“Die, knave!” Herat roared as she crushed the head of her sister's murderer.

Gomm was having trouble controlling his warhorse in melee, but so far no one managed to knock him down. And horse was doing fine on its own; what could few thugs do to it? Well, after it was slashed for the first time, Umber Fury decided it had enough—both of the inept rider as well as the attackers. First it threw Gomm of its back. Then it stomped the thugs into bloody mess.

Flamthwynn heard doors crack open. Then he saw unfamiliar boots snooping around the master bedroom. He held his breath.

Barad's spell went off, causing the enemies to hit the doors in vain and curse profusely. “Follow me to the center. We must gather everyone, head into the cellar and retreat into the sewers!”

Basso and Oberon finally reached the second deck only to see Herat fighting off three thugs. Pinella was lying in a pool of blood, and Paxton was lying next to hear. Musemour and Wycliffe, Valena's younger brothers were attacking one of the thugs. Wycliffe managed to drive a kitchen knife into the man's leg.

Unlike mercenaries, the kids didn't really follow Barad's commands. “Just pick them up and carry little brats!”

Herat fell to her knees, blood dripping from her cracked skull. Next blow dislocated her jaw, and she fell, lifeless, next to her sister.

At this moment, three men burst in through secondary entrance, encountering Barad and few mercenaries carrying children. One dressed in chain shirt asked:

“Is any of you Barad?”

“I'm a clerk for these folk, Reston, what are you doing here? We heard screams from upstairs.” Barad replied.

“We are here to kidnap a man named Barad and kill everyone else.”

“Well, then I am Barad, aren't I?”

Without missing a beat, the man standing next to the asking man stabbed Barad straight through the gut.

Barad went out how he'd always hoped: yelling at the children.

The man in chain went pale.

“You imbecile! We need him alive!” he grabbed twitching Barad and started dragging him out.

“Let him go!” “Scoundrels!” “Face your fate!”

Mercenaries rallied and hacked to death two thugs flanking the armoured man holding unconscious Barad.

Basso killed the thug whom had killed Herat. The surviving two pushed past the kids, going for Basso and Oberon respectively. Both thugs failed to strike the duo. The second one also fumbled, and in the process his bandanna slipped, blinding him.

As blindfolded thug stumbled, Musemour crouched behind his knees. The man stepped back, tripped over, and fell flat on his back. Wycliffe, struggling to lift Paxton's mace, just dropped it on the man's head. There he lied, dead in a pool of blood, just like the kids' innocence.

Basso killed the remaining thug on the second floor, and then called the children to stay close to him. Kids spat on the thugs' corpses and then ran up behind the halfling. Oberon checked on their fallen friends—Paxton was still alive but unconscious.

Flamthwynn, hiding under the bed, could see the unknown boots scuttle away, through doors leading to the kitchen.

Barad, in hazy confusion, could feel being slowly carried while familiar voices shouted from behind him. Mercenaries charged out, trying to rescue Barad. There they encountered three more thugs, one also in chain.

Basso ran down and reached the wide double doors used to roll out the wagon. There he could see five mercenaries fighting three attackers. One of the men in chain held Barad's limp body.

In distance he could see a mounted figure flanked by two armoured figures. The man on the horse had the evilest grin Basso has seen in life.

He took a shot.

And missed.

The man laughed.

In fact, as he leaned back to laugh he missed an arrow discharged by Gomm.

The man reined in his horse and waved the stick in his hand at Gomm—discharging a shining yellow orb, akin to small sun.

The orb flied right past Gomm, scorching some of his arm hair.

Mercenaries surrounded the thugs holding Barad and hacked them all down—but the man in chain shirt. Basso tried to hit the mounted man, but missed again.

“Your fate is sealed, knaves! I'll make sure to buy any survivors!” the man yells. Then turned around and galloped off southwards, in the direction of the Windgod Temple.

His two bodyguards ran after him, but are nowhere near as fast as his riding horse...

The polite man who stabbed Barad dropped his mace: “I yield! I'm naught but a muscle-for-hire, just like you.”

Hydra Company has successfully defended their HQ against unknown assailants.

Herat and Pinella, the sisters, have died protecting the children.

Valnea, the oldest and brightest, died from blunt force trauma after being yanked through the window.

Paxton was knocked unconscious, but is now fine. He tripped whilst fighting and knocked himself out.

Barad is now stable, after being magically healed by Paxton.

Four kids were nowhere to be found: Audrey, Ithiel, Govier, and Honeyie.

And they had one prisoner.

After checking that the assailants are gone, Flamthwynn emerged from his hiding spot to assess the situation. He offered to help find the kids or help the wounded. He is a coward, but not an evil one!

Oberon frisked the corpses, recovering 56 silver pieces, 11 daggers, 9 clubs, 2 long swords, and 2 maces.

“Gather your belonging and follow me! I shall wait not longer than ten minutes!” Gomm announced loudly.

Their captive introduced himself as Notred. ““Uh, Lord Warcrown doesn't really tolerate failure. May I join you as well?”

“Why did they want me young man?” Barad interrogated Notred.

“You probably know better than me. It isn't difficult to insult Lord Warcrown. I just know that we had the orders to get you alive.”

Gomm lead Basso, Flamthwynn, Barad, six kids, and five mercenaries towards the ship. The captain was surprised to see them return so quickly.

“I'll summon the crew once you pay. No horses. And what's with the kids?”

Gomm instructed the mercs to load the treasure, paid the captain, and then took the two draft horses and Umber fury around the dockland saying “For Sale, all offers considered. All offers considered folks, grab a good bargain on a genuine thoroughbred war horse and two draft horses. I have twenty minutes, any offers considered.”

“I will buy Umber Fury.” Eccy announced. He just caught up with the rest, having returned from the Windgod Temple. “I'll take Ithiel home.”

“You... buy him? Don't be ridiculous.” Gomm stared firmly at Eccy for a beat. Then he smirked. He patted the stallion's neck, and handed Eccy the reigns. “There will be no buying. He's yours. Ride safe. Ride fast.” Gomm thrust out his arm for a hand shake.

Eccy grabbed his hand and held it firmly. “We leave Rhovar and the rest to their deaths then? I can only hope they die with blood on their blades. Good luck in whatever land you find yourself in.”

“We weren't meant for this place, Eccy of the elves. Rhovar is Skandik, he will prevail, or, if he dies, then it will be glorious, and he will meet with his ancestors. The Gods of this land are fickle. Come with us aboard a ship and find finer pastures, of milk and honey. Raise the lad as your own. One day, you might discover you are happy.”

“I will meet my death here in this land. I know death now, and no longer fear it. I once was an elf, now I am something else. And besides, I made this child a promise. I know that were I to renege on it I would lose what is left of the elf that once was Eccy. Go well Gomm.” Eccy turned away, and helped Ithiel up onto Umber Fury.

Following the news of Hydra Company denounced as heretical association, and surviving the savage assault on their HQ, the Hydra Company had successfully boarded a ship destined for the City State of the Invincible Overlord. Eccy remained in Antil, his mind set on fulfilling a promise he had give to Ithiel.

The seamen slowly trickled in, protesting being called back so soon. Many reeked of alcohol and debauchery. Their protests were quickly crushed by the Captain's generous bribe of one gold coin to each.

It was a long, hot, and humid day. The ship lazily rolled out of the port, until making enough distance to drop down its sails and roll off into the Romillion Sea.

The Windgod Temple's massive frame loomed over the survivors; their former headquarters shrinking by the moment in its shadow.

Flamthwynn stood on the deck and looked overboard wistfully.

Gomm climbed to the crows nest for some brief respite. Up amongst the sails he can't keep Antil and its evils from his mind, so he takes his knives to a whetstone. With the scrape of steel on stone the blade gets a little sharper, and he begins to plan for the future.

Basso watched as Eccy rode off into the distance. He gives him a small wave, despite knowing very well that the elf won't be able to see it.

Oberon was resting on a rail by himself with his back facing the others. As people passed him, they left him alone allowing him peace to stare out into the ocean and be lost in his thoughts. In reality, Oberon has never been on a boat, let alone a ship, before and does not have his his sea legs. He was in pure agony, puking his brains out.

Eccy rode hard for Weststar, the place Ithiel called home. From there he will likely continue “adventuring” until he meets an untimely end.

And thus ends Hydra Company in Antil.

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