Attronarch's Athenaeum



Character Class Description
Ad'wi the Round Thief level 1 A genial dark skinned man, with a large round belly poking out from his blue waistcoat.
Salvatore Glowworm Magic-user level 1 Long black hair combed over a balding spot accentuates his thin moustache, both in service of his dreams of uncovering secrets of long lost kingdoms.
Boots Febalem Magic-user level 1 Shabby looking man of mystery. His tattered clothes reveal many scars.
Ripos Wildcheeks Halfling level 3 A halfling of style as attested by his loose fitting white blouse, silky cravat, and red cap.
Norwell Thief level 1 A finely dressed slim fellow of few words. Carries the scar of betrayal.

One summer day in Altanis

“Finally! Here it is!”

Hara, The Stronghold City of Alyrian Merchants. That's how those who live off of it call it in proud banter.

Hara, The Seat of Red Bitch. That's how those subjugated by it call it in whispering cowardice.

Hara, The Palace of Traitor Baroness. That's how the Altanians call it in roaring rage.

The party of five unlikely allies stood in front of the walled oasis of civilisation in the heart of Barbarian Altanis.

Ad'wi the Round, an agile bundle of charm with sticky fingers; Salvatore, a wizard in search of secrets; Boots, a magician accompanied by a hound he calls Flip; Ripos Wildcheeks, a halfling knight riding a mule; and Norwell, a master thief exiled from Antil for his antics.

The party queued to be granted passage into the walled city. Their names, as well as one gold coin per person, were collected. Or so some people say. Others, who don't like heroic tales but prefer gritty realism instead, claim that the party grovelled and begged because they were too poor to buy their entrance. One of them even pulled out a rotting finger of supposedly famous “Rhovar” and tried to use it as a bargaining currency! Whatever might be true, one thing is certain—the unsuspecting guards let the party in.

“Where shall we go to?”

“Maybe explore the city a bit? Follow the walls to the south and see what we discover?”

“We should find some work to do.”

“There is a money changer up ahead. How about we pop in and ask some questions.”

Obese Blob, protected by iron bars and two guards with halberds, politely explained that all coin entering into Hara must be reported to him. After he counts the coins, he will provide them a letter authorising their use in Hara. Of course, he will take 5% for tax—brilliant system designed to keep the city clean and safe!—and additional 5% for his service—brilliant system to keep his house clean and safe!

“Perhaps we could offer our assistance with... collecting?” Ad'wi offered with a grind and a wink.

“Ha ha ha!” Blob replied with a belly lough so loud even Ripos's mule recoiled. “I like your thinking boy! But tell me, do you have a licence for that? You need a licence for everything in Hara!”

“And where would I get such a licence?”

“Thieves' or Fighters' Professional Association, of course!”

“Of course!”

South the party went, scanning the buildings and peering through peoples' windows and doors like creeps. While standing at one T-shaped junction, a group of rowdy dwarves passing by noticed the halfling. One of the dwarves started pointing at Ripos, grabbing the attention of his dwarven friends.

“What?!” Ripos just flipped him a bird, while mounted on his majestic mule.

The dwarf in question burst into tears, bawling. Other dwarves tried to console him, whilst giving Ripos a mean look.

Salvatore and Boots noticed a symbol of silver flask on a large two-story dwelling. “That looks like the mark of Dyrantil, patron of alchemy. Shall we go in?”

Norwell joined them. Ad'wi stayed outside to polish the boots of passerbys. Ripos remained seated on his mule.

“Welcome. How may I help you?” an old woman greeted the trio in raspy voice. The place indeed looked like an alchemical workshop. After some back and forth the party had learned that the alchemist works for the queen, that she used to be an adventurer, and that she thinks very, very little of the local Wizard's Trade Association.

“Do you have any hooks for us?”

“I'm sure you can buy them at the market square.”

Being curious about the wizard tower, and having nothing but alchemist's description that it looks like “a stiff cock just like the stone-heads inside,” the party decided to ask around about it.

“Oh yes, it does look a bit like that. Although, I wouldn't dare to comment on the people inside! Go north until you run into a river. Then you should be able to see it.”

“And what is this large building of white marble next to us?”

“That's our Temple of Justice! All matters, big and small, get resolved here.”

“Let's check it out.”

Although morning, the temple was already bustling with activity. Many people were queuing, most likely to air their grievances or face trial. One trembling individual caught Ad'wi's attention.

“What troubles you young man?”

“I've been framed. Framed. How could I know? I was just protecting myself! The house is haunted! He just jumped on my blade! It is not my fault!”

“A haunted house? Tell us more about it... Maybe we could help you out!”

The man's eyes lit up and he jumped off the bench with elan.

“Cleric! Cleric!” he started yelling like a mad man, waving at one of the acolytes organising the crowd.

“What's happening here?!”

“He has proof that I am not mad! He will save me!”

“First, stop yelling or everybody goes on trial. Second, is that true?”

“No, this man is truly insane. You should, I don't know, hang him right now.”

“We have abandoned such barbaric ways long ago. First we have a trial. Then we quarter them.”

The party promptly left. Then they worked their way north, seeking the phallus of erudition. On their way the passed the Fighter's Guild, a bunch of residential dwellings, several craftsmen, the Dragon's Lair inn, and a Partihous.

Loud music and rowdy yelling could be heard from the Partihous, despite not even being noon. Ad'wi took a look behind the establishment, hoping to find some unconscious patrons. Alas, dried vomit and rancid pools was all that was.

A finely dressed woman ran into the party. She stopped the moment she saw this weird looking bunch. She covered her mouth. Her scowling faces of disapproval said more than any words she could've chosen. Few select words from Ad'wi did not land well with her at all, and she fled in terror.

“Good man, we are looking for a phallic tower that houses some wizards. Could you please point us in the right direction?”

The bearded man just had to point across the river. The tower looked just like the alchemist described it. The party approached it with speed.

“Here we are.”

“That's them! The barbarians!”

The party could hear a screeching voice behind them. A woman, whom Ad'wi immediately recognised, was marching with eight armoured and armed men towards them. The round thief winked to her, to the party, and disappeared into the alleyways.

Boots slipped into another alleyway, pretending to care for Flip. Rips dismounted his mule and hid behind it. Standing still. Norwell was overcome with deja-vu. Salvatore tried to talk to the guards.

“He is with them! He is with them!” the woman screamed.

“We'll take care of it now.” two guards tried to calm her. “You have to pay twelve gold coins for disturbing peace.”

“I have nothing to do with that man!”

Alas, the guards could not be persuaded. Again, depending on whose story you might be hearing, Salvatore was either misunderstood or very rebellious. The guards would say how he insulted them, Hara, their queen, their civilised ways. They had no other options but to apprehend him. The other guy, whose name they've already forgotten, was quite and collaborative. He was probably just an innocent passerby whom they picked up by accident. But the loud guy? They regret for not silencing him on time.

Either way, the guards escorted Salvatore and Norwell to the citadel by the great river Fairhills. Boots and Ripos followed them, looking for an opening to save their friends. And Ad'wi? He found some loose clothes and disguised himself into a large woman with a burqa.

Bustling market square, full of booths, stalls, merchants and locals sprawled in front of the citadel. Large double gates were open, and portcullis locked in upright position.

“Ripos, listen, I have a plan. If you can cause commotion, I can hide to the side and put some of the guards to sleep. Are you up for it?”

Heck, Boots didn't even have time to finish sharing his plan. Ripos already put a small sack with two little holes on his head, mounted the mule, and started causing wild ruckus in the middle of the square. The mule thrashed and thrashed, kicking stalls and people over.

Ad'wi charged round the citadel, as close to the river bank he could. There he realised that the prisoners were guided to a rowboat. A small island stood in the middle of the river. There was the main citadel, the palace, and one more large building.

“Not so loud now, eh?” one of the guards provoked Salvatore as they were rowing the boat. That was enough to get the magician ranting again. Norwell was quiet all the time, just sighing heavily.

A dozen or so guard came out of the citadel to check on the pandemonium taking place at the market square. Wildcheeks kicked over a baker's stall, so there were several flour clouds out and about, making the whole scene even more chaotic than it was. Boots performed the arcane ritual in as much secrecy as he could. Most of the guards dropped to the ground—sans two of them.

Simultaneously, Salvatore used the guards' ignorance to his advantage. They left him untied and unmuffled. He quickly switched from ranting to uttering words of power. All four guards on the rowboat fell into deep slumber.

“Grab the oars! I'll slit their throats once we are outside of the archers' range.”

Ad'wi unleashed a single arrow. It landed straight into the heart of a guard waiting for the rowboat's arrival at the island. He fell face first into the river.

Norwell sighed heavily.

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Following records of Fra Nevjest were recovered after his untimely death.

Written by Fra Nevjest's player.

Episode 1

Session 47

Fra Nevjest is a cleric of Kodeus, God of Dexterity, Thieves and other minor bits and bobs. Actually, he’s a wanna-be cleric. In as much as the young fellow is intelligent (15) and wise (16), his dexterity is lacking (5) after his uncle, seeking to enhance the family gene, experimented on him in infancy: praying to Kodeus for a stronger bloodline. Kodeus, ever a humorous god, gifted Fra with a Bump of Direction, which is imbedded between his ears… but in exchange left the babe with a rather low level of dexterity (minus 6 to what it was). The uncle, feeling guilty for his experimentation on a family member that would never be condoned by the Clerical Society of the Astral Planes, grandfathered him into the service of Kodeus (or maybe uncle was just getting his own revenge on the deity?).

Fra is a willing servant, lively and healthy, but rather unable to tie his caligulae without making a knot or three. Being no fool, and realising that only Kodeus can reverse his condition, Fra seeks to ingratiate himself in the lawful side of the brotherhood and wishes to catch Kodeus’ eye, preferably favourably...

In his first foray away from the abbey, he has agreed to help 3 brothers: Fitzedward (a veteran fighter), Doud and Hobart (less than bright peasants) in looking for their sister and her husband, kidnapped by some miscreant evil elders. In the process of seeking the decrepit burial temple where the elders have holed up, he makes the acquaintance of Orda, a lawful Mongolic fighter, who seems to enjoy battle cries that sound more like a mammoth in labour and Orion, a chaotic thief, who embarrassingly shares the same deity and is as weaselly as … as… well… a weasel.

A walk from the village pub brings the party into marvellous fields and forests that eventually give way to a large hill, atop which are ruins of the elder’s temple. There seem to be three entrances, two are lower down and barrow like, while the third, the grand entrance is a set of huge iron doors with a carved symbol of law, now circled with drawings of chaos. In better times it was a resting place for great templars and clerics. Concerned the doors could slam behind of us, we sought the SW barrow, a simple access carved in lawful runes.

As they entered the tunnel, a large blue apparition rose out of the ground. They engaged it with respect and learned with relief it was lawful. The figure lamented the condition of the temple and sought their help to cleanse it of the evil elders who had desecrated and occupied the place. Fra and Orda jumped at the opportunity and even offered to help reconsecrate it. They were offered tools to complete the quest on condition these were returned at the end. While this conversation went on, Orion avoided the lawful exchange and scurried off to explore.

Fra and Orda each entered sarcophagi rooms occupied by dead clerics and paladins respectively. Fra found a brooch that would protect him from evil, while Orda got a sword. They thanked the dead and prayed for them. Entering a 3rd room, they found desecrated sarcophagi, collected the bones and tried to put them in the right place, praying again. Meanwhile 2 giant rats assailed Orion and the brothers, the rats were slain with minor difficulty.

They continued exploring, entering a large pillared room. To the south was a corridor with two guardian stone cats, which Fra went up to admire and pat. Orion, fearing a trap wormed past them on his belly. They entered a brightly decorated room with a 3-panel sarcophagus in an offshoot. Orion rushed to a huge gem set therein. Fra warned him off taking it, but was distracted by a scream far behind. As they rushed back to the main corridor, Fra saw the little thief palm the gem out of the corner of his eye … he ground his teeth in disgust.

The horrible sound came from Doud, dying under the claws of a tusked being, covered in wrinkled decaying skin. Fitzedward and Orda slew it.

The party continued through more passages. At one point Fra went on a ways, to guard the passage, while Orda and Orion checked another painted room, bright yellow with patterns and dice painted on the ceiling. A very narrow passage led off to an alcove and Orion squeezed into it, encountering 4 waist height stone balls in shallow depressions, one at each corner of the limited space. Hoping for treasure, he struggled to move the balls and 4 centipedes eventually came out from under one to assail him viciously. Three died under his struggles but the fourth climbed up his pantaloons and bit his privates, putting paid to one of the pair… Orda reached in and dragged him forth, punching him in the groin and crushing the interloper… Orion was greatly diminished (sic) and ill from the poison and pain, but he dragged himself after us rather than return alone to the surface.

Orda and Fra chanced onto a series of rooms, again beautifully decorated. Fitzedward followed, prepared for combat while Hobart carried a torch and Orion hobbled in the rear. The last room dedicated to Aeblos, also contained an ugly statue. Fra approached and the statue hissed and came to life in reaction to the brooch. The group fought it and brought it down. As it fell, shouts for help were heard and a narrow passageway was found leading to a small prison room where the missing couple were shackled to the wall. The heroes released them and the family (what remained of it) was gratefully reunited.

The group left the temple, but not without assuring the blue apparition that they would return to keep their promise.

Episode 2

Session 48

After two weeks resting in Dontrap, a desolate hamlet on the far reaches of the Borderlands, the adventurers sallied forth to return to the temple. Fra, Orda, Orion were again joined by the brothers Fitzedward and Hobart as well as a new colleague, Tamren, a well accoutred Paladin of Coriptis, God of war.

The Fra strode bravely forth, confidence growing from having survived his first delve into the depth of chaos. The party marched across the meadows and fields leading to their destination. Suddenly there came a loud beating of wings as a monstrous eagle swooped on Orda and injured him. The party lagged in its surprise. The eagle had time to lunge for another prey and this time hooked its talons into the Fra’s chainmail, pinning him to the ground. Shaken with surprise, the Fra did not react, hoping his colleagues would strike the fowl fiend and rescue him. They indeed struck the eagle but did not get it to relax its hold. With little effort, the bird lifted the Fra into the air, 160 feet or more… Arrows thudded into it and with a squawk, the bird of prey dropped the Fra… Fra’s last thoughts were “why am I so clumsy?” as he plummeted earthwards and died (16 x d6 damage…).

The Fra’s eyes fluttered open, his head and body ached as if he had been dropped from a great height. How was he alive? He looked around the little temple and saw the old priest who resided there. “Your colleagues thought you were worth the effort of one of the Revive Dead scrolls I had in our meagre treasury. You are fortunate, firstly that the scroll still worked and secondly that you weren’t your colleague Orion, who your colleague’s opted not to save”.

Muttering a prayer of thanks to Kodeus, the Fra re-joined his friends. After his death, the party had been attacked by Altarian barbarians, as the party returned to Dontrap. They were all slain, but at the cost of Orion and Hobart. The party had now been joined by Bright Goose, who looked a little like Orion, with his flaming hair and his odd predilection for all things avian.

The group walked back to the temple, with the Fra nervously scanning the heavens. It was decided to re-engage in the original passage in the hopes of meeting the Guardian again. But there was consternation and disappointment as the apparition was gone and the sarcophagi in all the rooms they had visited were now desecrated and smeared with blood. The entered the skeleton room that had held skeletons – all were shattered. One of the cat statues was broken, as if it had received one or more blows. A little further in was the passage to the sarcophagi that Orion had stolen the gem from. A cat blocked the access and it would appear that it was indeed a guardian and had fought off whatever evil had entered. The Fra immediately went to pat the statue and passed around it into the sarcophagi room. Opening a panel, he found therein two bags. One contained a huge bright green sphere, the other held gold coins and a mace. The Fra called back to his colleagues for advice. Take it all they said, we’ll need everything we can to cleanse this nest of evil. As he withdrew the sacks, the sphere and the gold disappeared, leaving him with light, well balanced mace.

The party returned to the main corridor and explored a dead end or two before finding a narrow passage to the east. Tamren and the Fra followed it into a small room. Two wrinkled creatures shied back from the torch the Fra held. Tamren charged in striking at one of the mole men, while Fra courageously rushed at the other. While Tamren dismembered his adversary, the Fra repeatedly lived up to his lack of dexterity missing his opponent 4-5 time. Ultimately the mole man won through, gouging the Fra badly and claiming his left eye. The Fra was healed in combat but continued missing the mole man who hit him again. Tamren clove the creature, to the Fra’s relief and exhaustion. Tamren found a ring and 11 gp from the rotting remains.

The Fra wondered if he would have been better off dead after all… was Kodeus laughing at him?

Episode 3

Session 49

Bright Goose healed Fra to the best of his abilities, but the damage was serious. Resigning himself to the fickle humour of Lord Kodel, Fra vowed to carry on. In the main corridor, the party encountered a solitary fighter, Harkir, who was welcomed into the party.

A cursory revisit to the narrow corridor revealed nothing but another empty room. Re-engaging in the main passageway, the party came to a forking passageway with strong soot marks on the ground and smell in the air. Heading north they followed a spiralling path which narrowed and forked again. Taking the left-hand fork and following the heavier soot trail, the adventurers came upon a larger room, another dead end. It contained a large, broken, white statue with thousands of coins at its feet, around it were three black statues, abominations similar to the one encountered when Fitzedward’s sister was rescued. The statues charged the party as did a sudden apparition, a dense cloud of soot with a pair of burning eyes pulsing form it. The combat was fierce. Fra’s attempts to dispel the soot creature and to use the brooch failed – perhaps not undead? Fra was hit and fell back. Harker and Oda did their best but could not destroy the adversaries – the soot creature was strangling Orda in a cloud of… soot. Fitzedward leapt in and with amazing skill overcame all 4 horrors. The soot demon exploded in a massive cloud depositing a very thick coat of soot across the room.

As the party caught its breath Fra went to the statue and prayed. He noted a large sword inside, which he sought to extract, to no avail. The weapon carried medallions of a feathered bird, a horse and a resting dragon on its hilt. Fra also recovered his brooch, with extraordinary good fortune.

While this was going, Harker retraced his steps to bring Tamren and Bright Goose to join the party. He discovered them fighting a group of naked maniacs whipped forth by two molemen. Thinking quickly, Harker told Tamren and Bright to withdraw, while he threw oil at the fiends. Thrice he smote them and each time burned one to death. The survivors fled momentarily, allowing Harker to fall back. As he looked over his shoulder, a vast collection of maniacs was rushing towards him and flowing up the corridor that led to where the white statue was.

The monstrous wave hit Orda, Fitz and Fra, who were almost caught unawares. The trio fought furiously, killing the first four, but all succumbed. Fra’s last vision was a filthy hand gouging out his surviving eye. With a sigh Fra fell to the ground, dead. In his mind’s eye he saw Kodel laughing insanely at him, but he also had a strange vision of an elf in in some odd and unrecognisable armour surrounded in light. Then, he was no more.

As Orda died, he sank his Phoenix Sword into the floor and a great gout of flame erupted and incinerated the attackers like a gust of volcanic wind.

Harker, Bright and Tamren cautiously scouted back to the statue room, seeking survivors. There were only charred remains and even the coins had all melted and fused together. Harker noticed that the lawful statue remained, as did the sword. He reached in and withdrew it, a fine two-handed weapon. Suddenly voices boomed out in his head. “This sword will help you, but you will be unable to release it or leave this temple before you have cleansed it, reconsecrated it and returned it to its former glory”. The spirits revealed the lay-out of the temple and directed the survivors to a room nearby, with a fountain of holy water flowing into a pool – a place of sanctuary.

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Character Class Description
Orda Fighter level 3 Very lawful and very goodly Karakan warrior from far east with bushy red mane and beard.
Fra Nevjest Cleric level 1 A rather clumsy devotee of Kodeus, the gnarly God of Dexterity and Patron Deity of Thieves.
Harker Fighter level 1 Top heavy hunk with skinny legs, wielding a massive great-axe with rose-motifs.


Character Class Description
Rashomon Elf level 1 A dangerous looking elf.
Haleth Elf level 2 An albino elf with bright red eyes.

Sunstrong 19th, Fireday


Fra Nevjest was cupping his bleeding wound. Mere moments ago a disgusting mole-like humanoid create had gouged out his eye.

“Stay calm.” Tamren healed the wound, but alas, from now on Fra Nevjest will be an one-eyed cleric.

The party briefly explored other narrow corridors, finding nothing but empty, dusty chambers. They returned to the main corridor...

“Who goes there?”


“I'm Orda, a great warrior! We are here to purge this temple of all evil! Do you want to join us!”


And so the party grew by adding another great warrior. They traversed the wide corridor, deeper into the desecrated temple.

Soon they encountered a T-shaped junction. The path to the left was much rougher hewn-stone tunnel. The ground was covered in ash and soot, with many footprints leading in and out.

“Tamren, Brent Goose, could you stand guard here while we explore the dark tunnel?”


Orda took the front, Fra Nevjest with torch right behind him, Harker watching the one-eyed cleric's back, and Fitzedward watching his back.

The quarter carefully advanced. The tunnel was winding and twisting. The deeper they went, the more did ash and soot cover every surface visible. Ground, walls, ceiling. Everything.

“Might it be something explosive?”

Another split. Ash and soot to the left, nothing up ahead. A clean tunnel—not even a single sooty footstep.

“Let's keep following the ash trail.”

And so they went deeper, following the twisting pathway. It was getting narrower and narrower by each step, forcing the party to advance in a single file formation with little space to navigate.


Orda could see the tunnel turning sharply to left. The turn was almost at the right angle.

“Pass me the torch, and I'll take a peek.”

Leaning around the corner, Orda could see the following:

An irregular chamber, approximately fifteen by fifteen feet, dominated by a tall white marble statue in north-west corner. Thousands of coins laid at its feet.

Several ash clouds ash floating around a human-shaped creature. It had only one leg, black skin, burning red eyes, and was levitating just by the broken statue.

Three black stone statues similar to the one that had attacked Fra Nevjest earlier.

One of the statues lunged at peeking Orda.


The quartet forced their way into the small chamber, each facing one opponent. Karakan warrior went for the red-eyed demon, while the others focused on stone statues.

It was a brief, but brutal skirmish.

Ash demon was navigating clouds of ash, using them to attack Orda. The warrior managed to cut off the monster's arm, only to be rewarded by a huge cloud of ash and soot.

Black mass was alive, crawling up his skin and forcing itself into his mouth, nostrils, eyes, and all other orifices. Orda endured it heroically, although none of his subsequent attacks connected.

Fra Nevjest's turning attempt were as impotent as his melee attacks.

Harker's attacks often landed, but failed to do much.

Fitzedward was the true star of this battle, for he felled stone statue one by one. This in turn made the ash demon focus on him. Remembering his dead brother Doud, Fitzedward took a swing and beheaded the demonic creature.

The monster imploded into a black ball, inhaled all the ash and soot, and then billowed it out in great explosion. When everything settled, the party found themselves knee deep in ash.

“This was for you brother. Rest in peace.” Fitzedward shook his sword and cleaned it of remaining soot.

“Wow, look at this statue.”

A tall, bearded man holding a sphere, made of white marble. Gaping hole in his chest revealed a pommel of a large sword. A medallion was resting on the hilt. Three creatures were engraved on it: a horse, a phoenix, and a dragon.

More than six thousand coins were resting at the foot of the statue; now covered in ash and soot.

Orda and Fra Nevjest started sorting through it, Fitzedward wasn't too interested but was helping out anyway, and Harker went back to report to the guarding party of Tamren and Brent Goose.

“Oh my!”

Tamren stood at the centre of T-junction, a pile of bones and skeletal remains under his feet. Brent Goose was just behind him, brandishing his weapon and holy symbol.

“What's happening?”

Harker ran up to them. And then he found his answer before any of the two had the chance to speak.

A tunnel to his left was full of deformed humans, each covered in dried blood, excrement, and other filth. Their claws suggested these creatures might be less human than they appear.

“Fall back! Fall back!”

The trio ran down the wide corridor they had entered through. Harker yelled insults at the monsters, hoping to attract some of them.

Alas, they all ignored him and went into the ash covered tunnel.

Orda, Fra Nevjest, and Fitzedward were woefully unaware of any of this.

“Ignore this!”

Harker ran back and chucked a burning oil flask straight into one of the monstrous human. It fell down to the ground, a mix of crispy and charred. Other horrors immediately begun feasting on its warm corpse.

“Here's more!”

Downing a second one was enough to get the attention of those that still hadn't gone into the ash-laden tunnel. They went for Harker instead.


The sole warrior took care of them.

Orda dropped a sack filled with coins. He heard their footsteps before he could see or smell them. He took out his Phoenix blade just in time for one of the deformed humans to run straight into it.

Fra Nevjest smashed the head of yet another one. Orda cleaved another one in half.

“Go for the leader!” Orda roared, seeing how a squat, monstrous mole-man seemingly pushing other deformed humans right in front of it.

But his words fell on deaf ears.

Cannibals swarmed the chamber. Two wrestled Fitzedward, while the third ripped out his throat. Another jumped on Fra Nevjest and gouged out his other eye. Screaming, the cleric was forced to the ground. His suffering was ended by blunt force trauma.

Orda, tired and injured from previous encounter with ash demon, took his last stand in the centre of the chamber. His red mane swung as wildly as his sword. Blood gushed wherever the blade went.

Alas. Alas. The sea of hateful flesh surrounding him was too much. Squat mole-man delivered a blow which forced the Karakan warrior to his knees. He could feel the sword trembling in his hand. It wasn't his dying body abandoning him. No. The sword was actually trembling more and more by the second. The phoenix on it started to get bright red.

Orda turned the sword around and stabbed it straight into the ground.

“I must go back!”

A huge explosion threw Harker down to the ground. The whole dungeon shook with great intensity, and a ball of flame roared out of the ash-laden tunnel.

“Orda! Fra! Fitz!”

Harker ran into the tunnel, despite the explosions moments ago. He ignored all the charred corpses and pulverized remains. Dozens of them.

“No! No...”

Marble statue still stood.

Melted Karakan splint mail covered charred remains of kneeling warrior.

Everything else was unrecognisable.



Harker heard a trio of voices. But there was no one present?


The hole in the statue was bigger than before—surely a side effect of the explosion. The giant two-handed sword was now truly visible in all its glory.

Amazed, Harker approached it. He put his rose-covered great battle axe on his back, and took out the sword.

“You will purge this temple.” a masculine voice boomed.

“You will cleanse it of evil.” a deep voice commanded.

“You will restore it to its former glory.” a stern voice ordered.

“I will.” Harker answered.

And he did.

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Character Class Description
Tamren Cleric level 3 Stoic paladin of Coriptis, the Goddess of Battle and Inamorata of Berserkers. Aventail hides all but his two piercing blue eyes.
Orion Thief level 3 Very chaotic and very desperate for money. His bright red pony-tail is so long he could sweep the floor with it.
Orda Fighter level 3 Very lawful and very goodly Karakan warrior from far east with bushy red mane and beard.
Fra Nevjest Cleric level 1 A rather clumsy devotee of Kodeus, the gnarly God of Dexterity and Patron Deity of Thieves.


Character Class Description
Brent Goose Cleric level 3 An eccentric, but charismatic, cleric seeking the Holy Bird. White robes and black cloak conceal his tall, frail and anemic frame. His eagle-like nose is exposed for all to see.

Sunstrong 9th, Fireday

The party spent two weeks resting at Dontrap, a hamlet sitting by the fork of the great River Fairhills, fed by a stream from the Midnight Goddess Hills.

This once prosperous settlement was sacked more then once, especially after failing to pay protection money to Hara, a stronghold city ruled by Alyrian merchants. Many of the locals were either sold into slavery or forced into indentured servitude.

Only the stubborn and stoic remained. The young started going missing over the last few months... This is where Orda, Fra Nevjest and Orion stepped in and offered their help to Fitzedward, the local veteran.

The trio joined Fitzedward and his two brothers on the expedition to the ruins of the Elder Temple. They found it desecrated and violated. Despite failing to purge it, the party had rescued Fitzedward's sister and her husband.

That came at the cost of Doud, one of the brothers, and Orion's testicle. The latter is the reason the party spent so long at Dontrap before venturing back to the cursed temple.

Rhall, an old, one armed, one eyed priest did his best to tend to Orion's wounds, but alas failed. The thief was still alive. Having learned his lesson, he invested in extremely tight, butt-accentuating, leather pants and high heel boots.

“Nothing shall crawl up my pantaloons no more!”

Orda spent his time at Dontrap nursing the Drunk Smith back to life.

“Good tidings worker of steel, my condolences on the loss of your family. I have been venturing to purge the evil that took your family. I ask your blessing to reap vengeance on those vile beings of chaos.”

“See, I bring relics of law against the enemy. Hark. Hear how the blade sings.” He swings the blade several times, then hands it over for the Smith to inspect.

Then he knelled and offered up his old blade, named Wazukana, wrapped in linen.

“This was made for me on my twelfth birthday. The steel workers of my land fold the blade many times and hone it over many moons. They call it jewel steel. I gift it to you, in hopes it inspires you to Smith again. Your blades will be needed in the coming war.”

The warrior from the far east was lucky to encounter Smith sober. The man studied both blade with great interest, offering his comments on their provenance. Although the Phoenix blade was indeed special, the man paid more attention Wazukana since this was the first time he had seen a blade from far east.

“Yes the eastern blade is a marvel, men spend their whole lives trying to master its creation, and many others do the same attempting to master its application. Hang it above your forge for inspiration.”

Then Orda asked if he could stay with Smith whilst living in Dontrap. As payment he will labour on him and help get his forge back into working order.

“Once I gain some coin I hope to commission you to make axes and shovels, so that we can build some walls for this village.”

“Thank you. You can sleep wherever you like.”

Fra Nevjest spent his days helping out Rhall with his garden. The priest was overjoyed to meet a Lawful cleric in good health. He was twice overjoyed upon hearing that Fra and his party are planning to consecrate the Elder Temple.

At the end of two week rest an unexpected newcomer arrived in Dontrap: warrior dressed from top to toe in metal armour. Aventail covered his face. The man was caked in grime, dried blood, and rust.

Villagers gasped at the sight of his bright red sword—a symbol that this man was Chosen by Coriptis, the Goddess of Battle and Inamorata of Berserkers!

Paladins of Battle roam the Wilderlands, ever seeking Chaos to purge further. He must've been drawn by the desecrated Elder Temple.

Man in question was Tamren, and he joined the trio on their new expedition to the fallen temple. Fitzedward joined them, as promised. Hobart, his youngest brother joined as well, at the encouragement of the party.

“We need a torchboy! Come on, he will be safe in the rear. We promise!”

And so the party set out.

Mid-way up the Midnight Goddess Hills a giant eagle dive-bombed the party, surprising them. It took out a chunk of Tamren before landing on Fra Nevjest with all its weight. Then it picked him up and flew away.

Orion managed to stab the bird while it was still on the ground. It towered all of them and easily slapped everyone with its wings.

Unwilling to let the bird devour their friend, the party released a volley of arrows, each hitting a soft spot. The eagle screeched, released Fra Nevjest, and continued flying.

The cleric fell down several hundred feet and splattered all over the rocks. This unexpected turn of events surprised the party.


Orion tensed his longbow, steadied his hand, and squinted.

Then he released an arrow.

And the eagle fell too.

There was very little left of the cleric, such was the impact. Orda recovered fragments of his skull. Orion made sure to pick up the brooch gifted to them by the Guardian Spirit of the Elder Temple.

It was caked in blood and gore. The thief nicely pinned it to Tamren, the now sole cleric of the party.

“Here, looks perfect.”

Finally, they sought the corpse of giant eagle.

“Does it have any treasure?”


“I want to chop it up for food.”

“I want its head as a trophy.”

“Let's drag it back to Dontrap and do all of that there!”

Alas, trouble breeds trouble.

Eight red-skinned men intercepted them at the foot of the hills.

Each was dressed in a leather jerkin and a loincloth. Their bulging muscles were obvious from afar. They were armed with spears, swords, and axes. And they were as quiet as Tamren.

“These must be the Altanian barbarians...”

“We should try to parley.”

“You know what. I have a better idea! Let's use the bird to flip the bird at them!”

Stare down did not last long.

Altanians unleashed a series of ear-piercing war cries and charged the party.

Adventurers released a volley, killing two barbarians. In return they received a salvo of spears and hand axes.


The barbarians were incredibly fast. And even worse for the adventurers, they fought both smart and ferociously. Four of them charged the front line. The other two ran around and flanked them.

One speared Orion straight through his face. The other overpowered Hobart and hacked him to death right in front of Fitzedward. The veteran was driven mad by grief.

Tamren and Orda called on their respective gods as they fought off these ferocious foes. They too fought smart, with their backs pressed against the giant eagle's corpse.

Their skill, and heavy armour, protected them long enough to allow them to slay their opposition. Paladin killed three, while Karakan killed four.

The sun had risen just a few hours ago, and yet the party was reduced to nothing more but two warriors covered in blood and one broken veteran.

At least they were standing on the corpses of their enemies?

“We shall give Hobart a warrior's burial. Let's head back...”

Sunstrong 19th, Fireday

Much to Orda's and Tamren's surprise, Rhall divulged that he had hidden a Raise Dead scroll for time of great need. And since he believed that Fra Nevjest was sent by the God to restore the Elder Temple, he insisted on bringing him back!

Hobart was brought back in the process as well. He was promptly slapped by Fitzedward. He promised not to undertake anymore adventuring. “It is not for me.”

Apparently dying and coming back is extremely draining on the body, mind, and spirit. It took Fra Nevjest two weeks of bed rest before he was even able to don his armour.

During these two weeks the party was joined by Brent Goose, a cleric of small birds. He was most interested in Fra Nevjest's account of a wondrous painting he found in the catacombs under the Elder Temple. It depicted a huge bird wit “Aelbos” written underneath. That was reason enough for Brent to join the party.

Revived and rejuvenated, the merry bend set out on the expedition.

No eagles nor red-skinned barbarians interrupted them this time.

“Let's go back to the catacombs to report to the Guardian Spirit.”

Alas! The spirit did not materialise where they found it last time. In fact, all the intact sarcophagi were now broken. Their inhabitants were smashed to pieces and thrown around the chamber.


Orda engaged in some sorrowful Mongolian throat singing.

The party revisited all the burial chambers. Each was repeat of the previous case—smashed coffins and broken skeletons.

“Where are the stone cats?”

They found one, shattered and covered in blood, in one of the large burial chambers. The other was in front of small chamber with elaborate stone chest. The same chamber Orion nicked a jewel from.

Fra Nevjest tapped the cat, presented the brooch given to him by the Guardian Spirit, and then passed by it.

The chamber was empty sans the large stone chest. It was five feet long, two feet tall and two feet deep. It had three lids, all hinged. The one to the left had an engraved picture of a deer, the one in the center had an engraved picture of a sun, and the one to the right had an engraved picture of a sword.

Fra lifted the middle one. The opening was much deeper than expected. Two sacks were on the bottom. He gingerly inspected both. One of the sacks had a weapon akin to a mace and a number of coins. The other sack had a sphere, roughly one foot in diameter, that was hard on touch.

The cleric took out the mace. Then he proceeded to open the leftmost and rightmost lids. Their respective chambers were empty. The middle chamber was now empty as well.

“Thank you Guardian Spirit.”

He rejoined the party and they went deeper into the dungeon.

First they revisited all the previously explored chambers, just to make sure they don't get ambushed from behind.

Then they continued down the ten feet wide corridor. A Y-shaped junction was up ahead. But before it was a narrow corridor breaking off to the right.

“You watch guard here while I investigate this egress.”

Tamren went in first, followed by Fra Nevjest.

This corridor was indeed narrow, barely two feet wide. Straight they went, then right at the junction, and then right again, into pitch black chamber. Tamren's fighter instincts kicked in, and he blocked a creature lunging at him just as Fra brought the light.

They were flanked by two disgusting humanoids. Both had pale-pinky flesh covered in warts, boils, and sores; their faces a travesty of humanity; their hands deformed claws.


Orda and Brent Goose abandoned their guard position and ran towards Fra Nevjest's painful scream.

They entered the chamber just in time to witness one of the creatures gouging out Fra Nevjest's left eye with its deformed thumb. Fra pushed back the monster back, but not before it finished what it started. The creature immediately slurped the soft delicacy.

Orda stepped in, but a gentleman he is, allowed Fra Nevjest to have the killing blow. Tamren hacked the other creature.

Fra Nevjest stumbled around, trying to process what has just happened. Somehow the the clumsy cleric became even clumsier.

One of the adventurers knelt by the monstrous corpses, shining a light upon them. He wondered in disgust:

“What are these creatures?”

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Character Class Description
Orda Fighter level 3 Very lawful and very goodly Karakan warrior from far east with bushy red mane and beard.
Fra Nevjest Cleric level 1 A rather clumsy devotee of Kodeus, the gnarly God of Dexterity and Patron Deity of Thieves.
Orion Thief level 3 Very chaotic and very desperate for money. His bright red pony-tail is so long he could sweep the floor with it.

Warmshade 19th, Fireday

“This is the Elder Temple. Or what was left of it at least.”

Fitzedward, a veteran warrior from a nearby hamlet Dontrap, announced as the party approached the foot of wood covered hill. Several opening carved into the hill were visible, as was the broad base where once the temple stood. Now it was nothing but rubble and few decrepit pillars.

Few days ago he recruited brave adventurers to help him and his two younger brothers, Doud and Hobart, find their missing sister. His research led him to suspect the long abandoned temple of long forgotten Deity of Law.

Fitzedward was grateful—and lucky—to have secured the help of following three brave souls.

  • Orda, a mysterious and fierce looking warrior from far east. He wielded his scimitar with awe-inspiring speed. His glittering scale mail was completely alien to Fitzedward.
  • Fra Nevjest, a smart and wise acolyte of Kodeus. Despite his wit, Fitzedward couldn't help to notice how gawky the cleric was.
  • Orion, a smarmy opportunistic rogue willing to help as long as he get a “fair share” of the treasure. Fitzedward was amazed by Orion's bright red pony-tail and wondered if he might be hiding a dagger or some other sharp weapon at the end of it.

“You are experienced adventurers. How should we approach the ruin?”

“Indeed we are. We shall begin by inspecting the opening closest to us. Then we shall scale all the way up to the temple ruins. Once there we shall scout the surroundings from our vantage point. Finally, we shall investigate other openings.”

And so they went.

The first opening was a simple affair. A carved tunnel framed with simple stone blocks. It led some twenty or thirty feet inside, terminating in a junction splitting to left and right.

Large carved face was just visible at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately there wasn't enough daylight to make out its features.

Having finished scouting this entrance, the party continued on with their plan.

Scaling the temple ruins revealed that yes, this temple has indeed been ruined. There were broken stone columns and chunks of wall strew all about the plateau. No threat was in sight.

“This is a symbol of Chaos.”

Fra Nevjest spent some time studying the large iron gates at the foot of the former temple. The doors were marked with a large circle. Eight arrows, each crossing the circle, have been gouged into the doors in a star-shaped pattern.

“What do you think Orion? Are these gates safe to open?”

Master Thief's investigation led him to conclude that no, there are no discernible traps on these massive iron doors. They seeming opened inwards, but without any notable handlebars they might require a lot of force to open.

“Let's check the last entrance, just below us.”

This entrance was also carved from the rock. And like the previous one, this opening was also framed with stone blocks. But these blocks were not as plain as the ones they've previously encountered.

Skull and skeletons and unknown runes were carved in all the blocks, with majority of the runes being just above the opening.

“Form ranks.”

Orda and Fitzedward took the front rank. Orion and Fra Nevjest followed. Doud and Hobart took the back, with the latter delegated to the torch-boy status.

The tunnel was simple. The air was stale. The atmosphere was unnerving. Two narrower tunnels were to their right, and a four-way junction just up ahead. Exercising prudence, the party decided to check each narrow tunnel before proceeding forward.

Now, this is where most of the people disagree and think the following has been dreamed up by the adventurers to justify their plunder of the sacred artefacts. I leave it up to you to decide for yourself.

Orda and Fra Nevjest were the only ones brave enough to go down the narrow tunnel. There they found five stone coffers. Orda recited words for the resting as he entered, whilst Fra Nevjest was following closely.

A cloud of light blue mist engulfed both, and transparent human figured materialised between them. Apparently it was a “guardian spirit” whom was in a great distress because the temple and catacombs have been desecrated by a necromancer.

“I have failed my task as the Guardian.” the ghost lamented.

Orda and Fra Nevjest offered their services, stating they are here on a noble quest to rescue the sister of Fitzedward.

“We'd be honoured to purge this place of evil and sanctify the altar.”

“Oh, you remind me of our strongest paladins! The evil that lurks here is strong. Cleric, head to the fourth sarcophagus from the left—there you will find a brooch that will protect you from evil.”

“Warrior, go into the adjacent crypt. There you will find the resting place of three paladins: The Phoenix, The Horse, and The Dragon. Open the first one—and none other!—there you will find a sword that never rusts.”

“Take nothing else and respect the resting. Return the artefacts once you've purged the evil.”

“We shall do so, oh mighty Guardian!”

Orion made sure to be as far way as he could from all this goody-two-shoes talk. The Guardian indicated that the main tunnel will take them deeper into the temple, where they will be able to find the source of evil.

The thief went on to scout it a bit. Two giant rats surprised him from underneath one of the loose stones. Orion wrestled one and promptly stabbed it to death. Orda severed the other in half. Then he splashed blood all over Orion.

Naturally, the party went back and spent an hour checking the crypts, “just to make sure nothing comes at us from behind.” Unbeknownst to others, Orion managed to nick a large gem that was atop a large stone chest in one of the chambers.


Fitzedward's roar echoed down the tunnels. He and his two brothers were left to guard the junction. Orion and Fra rushed to him as quickly as they could.

A grisly sight welcomed them. Doud was lying dead on the floor, a gaping wound on his neck and chest. Fitzedward was wrestling with a stout, naked human-like abomination.

The monsters had pale-pink skin, with many folds. It was hairless. The “head” looked as if someone dragged a skin over human head and then slapped a snout and rodent-like mouth. Its hands were clawed atrocity, and a set of jagged, yellow teeth protruded out of what could arguably be called its mouth.

Fitzedward was red with rage, while Hobart desperately tried to pull Doud from underneath the creature.

Orda was first to reach them, Fra soon joined the fray as well. But it was Fitzedward who decapitated the creature with a blow full of anger and sorrow.

“Brother!” he cried as he dropped to his knees.

“There will be time for sadness. But now we must find your sister. Let us go deeper.”

The tunnel went on and on, turning every thirty feet or so. Eventually they reached a t-shaped junction splitting up ahead and hard right.

Orion and Orda went to check the far right while the others took guard at the junction.

The duo found entered in a curious chamber. All the walls were painted with trees and flower, while the ceiling was painted pitch black and dotted with countless little white spots. Orion went on to explore an adjacent room while Orda was gazing at the ceiling.

Thief entered into a significantly smaller chamber. This was had all the surface painted in vibrant yellow. A blue stone sphere rested on the ground in each corner of the room. A curious man he is, Orion started playing with them.

He slapped one a few times. Then he jumped on it. Yes, it was made of stone. And yes, now he had a sore butt. Finally, he decided to roll one.

Lo and behold, it rolled in place! Next, he pushed it. Yes, it popped out of small floor depression it was in and rolled to the center of the room.

Fascinated by this, Orion went on to next sphere. This one was easy to push out of its depression as well. Only that it was a black hole that the thief failed to notice. Just like he failed to notice four giant centipedes scuttling out.

One of them found its way through Orion's pants, crawled up his thighs to his nether region. Sensing soft flesh, the creature took a powerful bit with its mandibles.

Orion yelped lough enough to draw Orda's attention. Karakan warrior refused to enter the chamber with centipedes munching on helpless thief.

“Here, hold onto this rope!”

He dragged him out of the chamber. As he did so, three giant centipedes scuttled back into the dark hole they came out of.

“My balls! It's eating my balls!” Orion cried in panic.

Orda's eyebrows and anus tensed as he did what he had to do.

He stomped Orion's affected area with all his might.

A stomach turning crunch could be heard as Orion was left breathless.

Orda carried him back to the junction.

“What happened?”

Everybody winced as Orda shared his account.

“I'm sorry this has happened to you, but we must keep on looking for our sister. Let's move on.”

Everyone agreed with Fitzedward's reminder, and the party pressed on. Even crippled Orion followed, refusing to leave the dungeon.

Another long tunnel, another T-shaped junction. This time the party went left, finding yet another junction. One path led to a green painted chamber. Birds were drawn on all the walls. A hug, majestic avian creature was painted on the south-west wall.

“Aelbos” was written on the plaque underneath it. Fra Nevjest spent some time contemplating and praying in the room for guidance.

Following the other path led them into a most disturbing chamber. This one had a number of faces painted on the walls. Faces themselves were various human expressions, but each one of them was gouged or otherwise defaced.

A demon-like stone statue which stood in the north-east corner of the room made everyone uneasy.

“Ha, I have a good idea!” Fra Nevjest announced as he took out brooch given to him by the Guardian. He held it with both hands and approached the statue.

It hissed and jumped at the cleric. The party quickly surrounded it and started hacking it down quicker than it could do the same to Fra Nevjest.

“Help us! Save us!” a female voice yelled from behind the corridor that the statue was blocking.

“That's Etarra, our sister! Begone demon!”

And with a battle cry, Fitzedward cleaved the black statue in half. It crumbled to pieces, black ichor oozing from its wounds, and then it turned gray and turned to dust.

“Quickly, follow me!” Fitzedward rushed in, Hobart besides him, Orda and Fra Nevjest right behind them.

A small, dirty room was just at the end of this narrow corridor. Etarra and Albraita, her husband, were manacled and chained to the wall. The party quickly broke their chains and rushed outside.

“Sacred Guardian, we wow to return and cleanse this place of evil as soon as we return this two good people to safety!”

The ghost nodded at brave adventurers as they left the complex underneath the ruined Elder Temple.

“Thank you for helping us. I have some unfinished business with the evil that lurks there. I promise to return with you.”

“We shall help you avenge your brother.”

Fitzedward gripped his sword and hugged Etarra.

Wilderlands might be tough, but so are its people.

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Character Class Description
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
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.

Thistleburn 5th, Spiritday

“Come on, we have to keep moving!”

“Go on, go on!” Rhovar waved at others in front of him.

“It is time to do the right thing. Pass me the oil flasks! And promise you'll find a wizard to revive me!”

Rad, Kuqhir, Pipluk, and Amanka ran into a dark tunnel and turned right at the junction.

Rhovar on the other hand opted to create as much noise as possible. He wanted the black mass of devouring to follow him instead of his friends. It had already consumed Kallahan and Neremyn.

Skandik warrior could feel his lungs fill with liquid. He found it increasingly difficult to breathe. His sight was getting murkier with every step he took.

“Surely a side effect of that damn yellow cloud I've inhaled...”

He stumbled and turned left at the junction. There he continued onward into yet another junction. The floor there was gummy and rubbery. Rhovar felt as if he was sinking with every step.

Was it a figment of his imagination, his brain deprived of oxygen playing tricks on him, or something else? Little does it matter, for Rhovar found himself engulfed in purple fog. Rhovar's chin hit his chest as he slumped down on his knees and entered eternal slumber.

“Keep moving, just move, move, move!”

Survivors worked their way through meandering tunnels.

“Shit, the other way!”

Seeing a familiar sickly pale light at the end of one tunnel was enough to change their course.

“Uh, another junction...”

“Let's check forward first, it might loop backwards?”

“Good idea!”

Alas, it was another dead end... Until one of the survivors spotted a narrow passageway. It was barely traversable, but Rad managed to fit through—sideways! He quickly backtracked after sniffing that burning acidic smell.

Following the south tunnel the party entered into yet another unfamiliar dark chamber.

“What is that?”

A large floating sphere entered their sight. It was silently levitating in the center of the large cave. The sphere's surface seemed leathery with warty patches. A number of floppy fleshy tubes perturbing from the upper portion of the sphere were hanging to its sides. Some had ball-shaped endings.

“Quiet... be very quiet...”

Amanka remained at the junction, while Kuqhir, Rad, and Pipluk sneaked around the sphere. They wanted to check if there is a passageway at the other side of the cave.

There wasn't.

Turning around they could see that fleshy sphere had a single massive eye on this side. It was closed. Wide mouth with innumerable shark-like teeth dominated the bottom portion of the sphere.

“Pssst—let's get out of here!”

“Ivaar, is that you?”

Pale light approached Amanka just as the others have rejoined her.

“No, my friend. I'm sorry to say, but Ivaar and others from your party are long dead. In fact so are you.” Kuqhir stepped forward to answer.

“What? How? What do you mean?”

“Your name is Grond. We have already encountered you once. Unfortunately, it looked like you've taken your own life away and your gods have cursed you to roam these caves forevermore.”

Having learned their lesson in the previous encounter with Grond, the party went to great extremes to be polite and courteous with him.

At this point Amanka offered the possibility of consecrating his remains. Perhaps that would appease the gods and allow Grond to move on.

“Watch out!”

A large black blob of boiling mass emerged from darkness. It was “merely” ten feet wide and tall—a baby compared to the one that's already consumed some of them.

Grond turned to the mass and then flew straight through it and back. The party marvelled as the blob solidified and then crumbled, until it was nothing but gray dust.

“We know where your body lies! But this horrible thing stands in our way. We will give you funeral rites if we manage to get there!”

“I will escort you there. And I will protect you. Lead the way.”

At this moment Amanka took off her chainmail so she can move as fast as others.

The party went the long way around, backtracking past the cave with wooden sarcophagus, to the illusory cave wall, then through narrow tunnels, all the way to the junction with murder stalactites, until the finally reached the skeleton.

“Allow me to show you how you were...”

Kuqhir demonstrated how they found Grond's skeleton with sword driven through his ribs and his palms resting on the pommel.

“I remember... I wish I found a different way out...”

Amanka, a cleric of of fallen warriors and unsung heroes, spoke funeral rites befitting a warrior fallen in the pits. Rad, Kuqhir, and Pipluk stood in solemn silence.

“Thank you.” Grond said with a smile.

“No, what was it you wished help with?” he asked whilst getting less and less visible with every second.

“Escape! Escape! Escape!” Rad yelled before others even registered Grond's question.

“So be it.”

And they vanished with him.

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Character Class Description
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
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.
Brother Kallahan Cleric level 2 Crooked, broken nose; big bags under eyes; long hair, bald spot hidden under old pilgrim's hat; and emaciated figure. Mosquitoes and the smell of dampness always accompanies him.
BuddyPuddingBottom Elf level 2 Peppermint scented elf followed by jingles, on a quest for the perfect gift.
Neremyn Elf level 1 A tall, pale, and lean scholar of languages with silver hair and a somewhat distant attitude.

Thistleburn 5th, Spiritday

“You have some explaining to do!”


As soon as Kallahan opened his eyes, he found himself being shouted at by Rhovar and slapped by BuddyPuddingBottom.

He was bruised, naked, and had a splitting headache. He couldn't remember much except being beaten unconscious in one of the Shang Ta temples.

The party—Amanka, Rad, Rhovar, Kuqhir, Kallahan, BuddyPuddingBottom, Neremyn and Pipluk—have been thrown into The Pit on the accounts of heresy against the Windgod, the Lawful Deity of Antil. In fact, the whole Hydra Company has been condemned, but only the preceding were brave enough to walk straight into the great Windgod Temple.

Rhovar and Kallahan were completely naked. BuddyPuddingBottom was naked except pants and face painting. The rest were in their adventuring garbs, since they had already learned it never goes planned with the Hydra Company.

“There is a skeleton over there. It's dressed in chain shirt and hold a short sword.”

“Can I take the armour?” Kallahan asked sheepishly.

“Will you take the front rank then?” Rhovar asked impatiently.

“Uh, but I am sooo weak and beaten...”

“I have a big ass flail with which I can hit from the second rank. Neremy, would you like to go up front?”

“I almost died to a piece of rock and just came back to my senses. Could I not?”

“I will be the big man! Give me the armour! I'll protect you! I'll stand at the front—alone!” BuddyPuddingBottom the Hero stepped forward and resolved the adventurers' dilemma.

Unbeknownst to the party, three hours have already passed since they were thrown into The Pit. And nothing did they know of it, nor its nature or inhabitants. All they knew was that they have to get out. Fast.

Most of the tunnels were thirty feet wide, with damp walls and stale air. They'd wind and turn and circle and widen and narrow. Most led nowhere, some led into expansive caves which then led on... It was a sprawling Pit, that's what it was.

A rattling urn scared the party into running away in one of the tunnels. In yet another one the party had found an illusory wall which took them into a large cave.

“Look! An upwards slope!”

Alas, even after climbing for several hundred feet, the party had found nothing but another dead end. This one was different though.

A broad wooden chest was standing just against the cave wall. It was so large two men could sit on it comfortably.

Kallahan approached it from the side. Yes, it was a large wooden chest. Then he checked it from the front. Yes, it was still a large wooden chest. Then he came closer to touch it.

Just as he did so a ghoulish creature jumped on the chest from behind. It crouched, with face to face with Kallahan. The naked cleric could smell the stench emanating from the creature.

“This is mine. Mine!” the creature hissed whilst banging on the chest.

Kallahan slowly backed away while speaking to it calmly.

“You should leave. Now!” the monster screamed.

“I think we should kill it and check the chest. I mean, what's it going to do? It is naked!” Kallahan “whispered” to his friends.

By now the creature had enough, and it jumped straight at the party. Heroic BuddyPuddingBottom stepped in front of Kallahan. He took the full brunt of the assault, successfully deflecting all claws and bites. Rhovar then crushed the monster's head.

“See? Easy.”

“There is a large padlock on the chest. Maybe we should check the creature for keys?”

Indeed, there was a large iron key hidden between the buttocks.

BuddyPuddingBottom approached the chest and unlocked the padlock. Then he grabbed the lid and opened it. He felt a prick on the ring finger. His body went limp and he fell face first into the open chest.

“Buddy no!”

“Quick, pull him out!”

Alas BuddyPuddingBottom had sung his last jingle.

While many were mourning their fallen jolly-maker, Kallahan checked the chest. Inside were five torches, a tinderbox, and a rusty knife. All had dried blood on them. He took them all.

Rhovar gently took off the chainmail from BuddyPuddingBottom and then donned it himself. Leaving the dead elf behind, party backtracked and continued their search for the exit.

They found a cave with an upright wooden coffer in the centre of the chamber. Naturally they set it on fire and fled as soon as something large scuttled out of it.

An hour or so later they found themselves in a remotely familiar large cave.

“This looks like the chamber where we were lowered. But where is the platform?”

“Look out!”

There was a wisp of pale light at the end of the long tunnel they just came out of. It was approaching the party rapidly.

“Form ranks!”

“Who goes there? Identify yourself!” Rhovar yelled.

“Ivaar, is that you?” the figure spoke back.

“Shit, a ghost...” Rhovar whispered to others.

“No, it is Rhovar! We have been thrown into the pit and are looking for a way out. Who are you?”

“I am Grond. I too am lost...”

Now that the figure was just a few steps away, the party could see it much better. It was in fact a man dressed in simple tunic tightened with a leather belt. Grime covered his long braided hair, and his beard braids were scruffy looking. He held a lantern in his left hand. The party couldn't help but notice that they could see through him. Kallahan elbowed Rhovar.

“Have you seen Ivaar? I've been looking for him...”

“Friend, I believe you might be dead. You have to pass on! To Valhalla!”

Grond looked around, his face a cauldron of emotions ranging from confused to scared. Then he suddenly zoned in on Rhovar.

“That armour! Where did you get it?! That is my armour!”

“We found it on a skeleton that looked long dead. Would you like us to take you there?”

“Oh. Oh. OH!”

“Yes. Please do.”

“What a polite ghost this is!” someone whispered.

Grond recounted what he could remember to Rhovar. He was a Skandik mercenary that arrived to Altanis on a paid assignment. Thabrians paid them to fight against various Altanian tribes. He even fought alongside Windriders. Most of his company perished when they demanded a fair share of plunder. Survivors were cast into this pit.

“Here we are. Let me put everything back as we found it...”

Rhovar placed the skeleton in the sitting position, including the sword that was stuck in its ribs with arms resting on the pommel.

Grond went pale(er).

“Oh no.”

He started rubbing his face nervously.

“No no no no no no no”

He mumbled incoherently.

“I remember now. I was here for days? Weeks? I couldn't take it anymore. So I ended it myself. Oh no.”

“Well my friend, Valhalla isn't for everyone.” Rhovar tapped the skeleton.

“I'm sure there are some other afterlives that accept people like you?” Kallahan added in his infinite wisdom.

None of the above landed well with Grond. He lit up like a supernova, his rage boomed through endless tunnels of The Pit,

“You dare lecture me, cur! I roamed the Romilion sea before your grandfathers! I plundered Altanis and stomped nobles into dust! I was the Scourge of Zothay, hated and feared! And you dare mock me!”

The party was absolutely consumed by fear. It was unlike anything they ever felt in their lives. Everybody ran as fast as they could, tripping over each other. They ran in blind panic without any conception or care of what might lie in the darkness ahead. For everything was better than the sickly, ever consuming light that was pursuing them.




Echoed down the tunnels.

The party fled for hours before they settled in some dead end to catch some breath.

“Rad, you don't look like a kid anymore?”

“You look older yourself mate.”

Indeed, all the party members looked ten or more years older.

“What a bad deal this was.” Pipluk lamented to Neremyn.

“We have to move on. We have to.”

By now everyone could feel their bodies slowly failing them. It's been over ten hours in this pit. Adrenaline can only take them so far.

Exploring various tunnels led them to more dead ends: both proverbial and literal. One tunnel terminated with a pit so deep they could barely hear echos of the rocks they threw down. Another led into a large chamber with gold yellow patches on the ground. A tunnel that reeked of rotten flesh, burnt wood, and something acidic was deemed to dangerous to explore. A chamber with many skeletons was also evaluated as too risky to explore.

“I feel a draft!”

Indeed, one of the chambers they were exploring had a whiff of fresh air.

“Everybody stop, we have to find the source!”


After about half and hour of searching, both Amanka and Rad found a spot where they could feel the air stream.

“Give me some rope, and I'll check it out.”

Rad scaled the rough cave wall with ease. It was mostly vertical climb, but after some fifty feet he had to continue whilst hanging from the ceiling since it slopped inwards. Although it was tough, and he was tired, formerly young thief managed to find a narrow opening in the cave ceiling. It was pitch black, but so was everything else.

“It is narrow. Very narrow. I don't think people with armour could fit. And I don't think backpacks could fit either.”

“Do we have enough rope to hang from the hole?”

“I have 50 feet of rope.” Amanka shared.

“I found some 30 feet of rope in one of the caves.” Rhovar added.

“How about we explore a bit more? I'm afraid of what might be lurking above.”

And so the party tried their best to mark the location, and moved on through one of the tunnels.

Eventually they found themselves in yet another expansive dark cave.

“Look ahead. Something doesn't look right.”

Indeed, the darkness up ahead looked like a shimmering sea. A roiling, boiling, glistening, impossibly black sea. It was inching closer by the moment.

“Uh, I think we should leave.”

As the party turned around to flee, so did the black mass pursue. As it came closer and closer, so did the air fill with smell so intense it burned the nostrils of anyone inhaling it.

Tired and bruised, Kallahan tripped on the uneven cavernous floor.

“No, I'm not ready for the great swamps of the afterlife!”

He screamed after the others as black mass enveloped him. He could feel his skin simultaneously burning and shredded to pieces.

Romphlothicus, the Frog Lord of Swamps and Swamp Dwellers, licked its lips. The torture Kallahan endured at the hands of the Shang Ta clerics was nothing compared to the suffering that awaited him.

“Keep moving! Don't stop!”

“Watch out!”

Neremyn could feel the burden of his wounds, despite having guzzled several healing potions. He tried to take a shortcut between several stalagmites. Alas, they were too dense and he had to backtrack. But there was no time to do so.

He pushed, and he slashed, and he cursed as the black mass consumed him, bit by bit. All his efforts were in vain.

“You are faster, move on without us!” Rhovar yelled.

Indeed, Amanka and Rhovar were the only ones in heavy armour. Rad, Kuqhir, and Pipluk could outpace them.

“Head to the cave with yellow patches! Let's get the creature to consume them! Maybe it dies!”

Unwilling to agitate the said patches, Rad, Kuqhir, and Pipluk tiptoed through that cave. Unfortunately, Rhovar and Amanka couldn't afford to move slowly so they did their best not to step on anything.

“Well that didn't go so bad!” Amanka said as she turned back to Rhovar. She could see him standing in a cloud of yellow, coughing violently.

“Take cover!”

Huge stone-coloured grasshoppers suddenly begun jumping across the cave, some of them hitting the walls. Wherever one looked, they could see a yellow cloud rising.

Hydra's heads are getting chopped off one by one.

Will it survive to see another day?

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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.

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This report covers a week of downtime preceding session 44


Character Class Description
Rad Thief level 3 A young, short and malnourished rogue.
Neremyn Elf level 1 A tall, pale, and lean scholar of languages with silver hair and a somewhat distant attitude.
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.
BuddyPuddingBottom Elf level 2 Peppermint scented elf followed by jingles, on a quest for the perfect gift.
Flamthwynn Magic-User level 1 An older gentleman sporting fashionable dark blue robe with purplish overtones. Seeking arcane objects and offensive spell.
Brother Kallahan Cleric level 2 Crooked, broken nose; big bags under eyes; long hair, bald spot hidden under old pilgrim's hat; and emaciated figure. Mosquitoes and the smell of dampness always accompanies him.
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.

Thistleburn 1st–4th

A week of downtime!

Here is how people say the esteemed Hydra Company members spent it.


Having gotten drunk the night before, the young thief woke up to a most shocking discovery! His mythril shortsword was gone!

First he went back to the tavern where he got wasted alongside his Skandik friend. From there he followed whatever lead he could find; greasing the informants with some gold coins.

A mythril shortsword with Firebeard's stamp was apparently auctioned at the Walled Bazaar on Thistleburn 2nd.

Although it is unknown how the sword got there, apparently some Colwyn the Drunkard has been bragging about making quick coin just the day before. He is most often seen at the Seven Vultures.

The auction was an invite only event, mostly with men of fine standing. If reports are to be believed, it was a rather fiery auction, with many bids, harsh words, and several fistfights.

The purchaser's name is Quidsard Caltrap, the oldest brother of Bowie and Krom Molder. He immediately tested the blade against three fools who dared assault him the moment he left the Waled Bazaar.

Taking few select mercenaries, Rad went looking for Colwyn. Indeed, true to his name, the man was at Seven Vultures, red and drunk.

“Look at that boy! Now he has a private army! And to think he gambled his last coin just a few months ago here!” the bartender quipped as Rad sent his mercenaries after Colwyn.

Nobody even tried to get in their way.

“What did I ever do to you?! What do you want from me?! I paid my dues! I swear I did!” The drunk cried.

Dramatically walking up to the men held by the mercenaries, Rad stops just a few inches away from the drunk's face. He stares the man down with folded arms and expressionless face for ten seconds straight.

“I believe you and me have some business to attend to. We can make this quick or agonisingly long.”

The man looked absolutely terrified.

“I'm going to hope that's a yes. Let's take this outside so people can enjoy there drinks in peace.”

Colwyn remained speechless. His bowels gave in, and the drunk soiled himself as mercenaries dragged him out.

Rad tried his best not to retch. He continued “I've heard you have come across some wealth recently my friend. I would love to hear the tale of how you acquired such funds.”

The drunk confessed he stumbled upon a young drunk boy who had dropped a nice looking sword. He took it to a fence in the sewers, to a representative of the Underlight Guild, whom paid him 120 gold coins, and that was it.

At Rad's signal the mercenaries frisked the man for any valuables he might have. Sans the soiled ones.

After a minute or, Rad counted 36 gold coins, 22 silver coins, and 74 copper coins. “Is that all you have? I hope for your sake it's not.”

“I-i-it is!”

And so Rad traded mithril for shit.


The elf spent two days resting and recovering, to heal his bruised body and ego after the crypt delve. Pipluk, the prisoner-turned-retainer, had little interest in sharing more about his past with Neremyn.

He also had nothing of value to share about the crypt. “We just arrived there moments before you burst in and beat us senseless. What more do I have to share? Stop being so nosy!”

Turning his attention to Paxton, the cleric whom they saved from the crypt prison, proved to be much more fruitful endeavour.

Although Paxton didn't know much about the layout, he was able to share more about the sound of rustling leaves and the undead the party had faced.

“When I was much younger I met a druid who taught me about a special creature of nature that looks like a mound of leaves. This creature sucks in the air around it and produces a sound similar to one of rustling leaves.”

“Although barely audible, the sound has a far reach, sometimes up to several miles. That sound is especially soothing to the restless dead, putting them in a sort of stasis.”

“Since they aren't actually dead, you probably disturbed those three in the chamber with runic inscriptions when one of you stepped on them. That might explain their uncommon ferocity.”

Neremyn took notes.


Disturbing nightmares have been keeping Gomm awake ever since he had an encounter in the Solemn Glade. Desperate for sleep, he resorted to look for a dream oracle, or anyone really, who can interpret his dreams.

Failing to find anyone relevant at the Walled Bazaar, Gomm accepted the services from a filthy crone in a dark alleyway.

“Put your trust in the woman!” cost him 27 copper pieces.

Contemplating her words, Gomm went on another mission. Rhovar asked if he could learn more about Lord Warcrown, the man who wronged them at Kelman's Rumble.

Frequenting various places yielded very little intel. Anyone Gomm spoke to refused to say much about Lord Warcrown. One person, even shadier than the crone, offered to share more for a “small price of 100 gold coins.”

Gomm handed over the purse.

The man took it with his grubby hands, and counted them very slowly. Once he finished, he leaned in and opened his mouth. His offensive breath reached Gomm before his words:

“He is a dangerous man. The one you shouldn't be asking questions about.”

The man grabbed Gomm's hand a stabbed him with a dagger. Then he turned around and fled. Gomm pursued the man, but was unfortunately slower.

Looking to outsmart the man, Gomm scaled the nearby two story dwelling, intent on cutting him off by running over the rooftops.

He could see the man making his way through the crowd. Alas he was already quite far. Soon he disappeared from Gomm's sight.

Unwilling to give up yet, Gomm rappelled down to the street, and scaled the building across. Then he ran towards the assumed direction of the man. Alas, he didn't see any familiar figures.

A fat woman with a cudgel peeked out of the rooftop trapdoor, cursing Gomm in unfamiliar language. The thief threw a sack over her head and legged it across the roofs.

Gomm returned home safely and with enough time to lick his wounds.


The wizard set out to accomplish two things: find a learned man who can identify dweomers, and find a truly learned man who can mentor him.

There are no libraries in Antil.

There are no wizard towers in Antil.

This is really fucking middle of nowhere in filthy barbarian lands.

It is a miracle this damn place even has walls.

On the other hand, he managed to track down Dagmar, and old sage—at least twice, if not more, Kuqhir's age.

Dagmar doesn't claim to be a wizard, but does say he can decipher arcane devices and scriptures.

“For simple dweomers I ask for a minor contribution of 200 gold coins per item and a cask of good wine. I will accept quality hashish as well. One needs to be relaxed when dealing with sensitive matters.”

“Now, when it comes to more complex dweomers, I ask for 200 gold coins per day of study and a lovely courtesan to ease my aged body and stressed mind. No slovenly trulls, please.”

“It's hard work.”

Kuqhir paid the asked price for identifying three scrolls. They were as follows: Scroll of Detect Magic, Scroll of Sleep, and Scroll of Levitate.


The merry elf decided he wants to make Hydra Company HQ an even merrier place! Hence he went on a recruiting spree, looking for dwarves and elves.

His approach?

“I'll do it by singing a festive winter theme jolly at the dingiest most cut throat bar I can find disregarding my own safety.”

“I'll warm those hearts!”

The result?

He warmed zero hearts and got covered in spit, urine, spoiled ale, and few other, even more rotten liquids

Once that hadn't worked, BuddyPuddingBottom set up a little shop in front of the base selling wooden horses carved during his adventures and hooked shaped peppermint confections.

Eight orphans residing at the Hydra Company HQ all joined BuddyPuddingBottom in making toys. Most of them actually just played with the toys elf had made.

Passerbys indeed felt a bit merrier seeing the elf playing with the kids. Some even commended him on how obedient his slaves are!

BuddyPuddingBottom sang jingles obliviously.


The magic-user decided to look for rumors around town, trying to frequent places where other magic-users would be, paying special attention to any places of magical knowledge mentioned. He was especially careful not to get beat up by the wizard mafia.

Spending a week in Antil specifically looking for magic-users, one thing became obvious—there aren't that many.

Borlace Kember, The Master Alchemist, is the name he heard mentioned more than once. Apparently he is the most powerful wizard in the region. His tower is just south-west of Antil, overlooking the Romilion Sea.

“Real cranky that one. Better approach with caution!”

Flamthwynn didn't get beat up by anyone.

Brother Kallahan

The cleric used his downtime week to go to a library and look for information on divine bargains or pacts and how they work. Specifically, he was seeking how to break free from them.

Alas, there are no public libraries in Antil. Known places of knowledge are temples in the Pilgrim's Quarters. Lawful temples Kallahan knew of in Antil include:

  • Shanga-Ta, The Windgod Temple being the largest in the whole region and home to the High Priest Panthal.
  • Shang-Ta, a number of smaller temples in the city.
  • Temple of Aladantle, the Goddess of Beauty, where Kallahan was thrown out of for being too ugly.
  • Temple to the the twin God and Goddess of Law, Thyr the Lawgiver and Muir the Lady of Paladins.

The cleric decided to got for one of the smaller Shang-Ta temples, seeking a friendly face.

“If they ask why I left, I will say that I was on a spiritual journey in the wilderness to find myself and learn to know the Windgod. Then I will politely ask them about the library at the Great Temple, and if I would be allowed to visit it, to pursue my religious education.”

Indeed, he came to a smaller temple where he recognised the officiating cleric. Six acolytes were tending to the temple, with two doing pushups and one doing pullups.

“Might makes right, my brothers! Might I bother you for a minute of your time?”

Ingham, the cleric, looked at Kallahan with face of surprise.

“How dare you show your face here, heretic!”

Turning to the acolytes, he yelled:

“Men, this is one of the Blumer's heretical associates! Prove your worth! Might makes right!”

“Peace, peace my brothers! I do not know of this Blumer you speak of? Stay your hand, let us discuss this!”

“Don't listen to his treacherous tongue!”

“Might makes right!”

Kallahan throughout the beating simply tried—in vain—to protect himself with arms raised above his head. The first hit has him go “OW!” and tip toe around for a second, holding his bruised scalp. The second hit sends him sprawling on the floor like a ragdoll, without making a sound part from the thud of his body on the pavement, and the furling of his robes.

“And to think we once called him Brother! Tie him up! We will present him to the...” was the last Kallahn heard before fading to black.


A brilliant idea came to Rhovar after a night of drinking.

“I should joust to gain prestige.”

Naturally, he went looking for opportunities.

Windgod acolytes and priests are organising following matches: bare-knuckle fighting, wrestling, and mixed. Anyone is allowed to participate. The bouts are fought naked.

The most prestigious arena is the one within the Windgod Temple where every Spiritday (5th day of the week) the winners from the previous four days are invited to participate in the Mightiest Fist, Mightiest Suplex, and Mightiest Might.

Current champion in all three disciplines is Brutus “The Bumblebee” Beefcake. Although the fights are to the knockout or submission, many have died facing the Bumblebee.

“Mixed martial arts. That's my jam.”

Master tactician he is, Rhovar decided not to bathe for a full day so he gets that competitive stink advantage.

On Thistleburn 2nd he faced two men.

First match was against Jalk the Merry.

The two naked men faced off in the dusty square. Rhovar's mane was tussled by the light breeze. Jalk, the portly friar laughed heartily, his rosy cheeks squashed with a smile.

“I have twice your bulk lad, best to give up now before I crush you.” The fatling slapped his gut like a drum.

The man was indeed much larger in weight, but Rhovar felt he was far more lithe, and cunning. At the ring of the bell the portly friar dashed forward looking to catch the barbarian in a bear hug. Rhovar, bouncing on his feet, evaded the grapple and circled the man, looking to capture his opponent's leg. He shot forth with both hands, coiling around the friar's knee and waist.

Sand was kicked, and the two men grunted as their bulk swung around the sand. Foot by foot, Rhovar gained ground until, through gritted teeth, Jalk tumbled to the earth. But not before casting down a brutal elbow to the barbarian's face.

Crash. The two men hit the sand, scrambling like beetles in the flow of stream. Strikes dashed out, sand spat like flutes of flame, but Rhovar soon Pinned the man and mounted his mighty gut. Blows soon rained down.

A bloodied hand slapped the barbarians chest and a cry came out, “I yield.”

Rhovar stood and wiped the bloodied sand from his chest and face. He helped the friar up.

“You were harder to fell than a tree my friend.”

The battered friar chuckled, “And I have given you a wound to remember me.” Indeed he had, as Rhovar's front tooth had been snapped from his mouth.

Second match was against Briar Webbe.

The small wiry peasant named Briar Webbe approached from the far wall where he had been leaning.

“I'll face you next Skandik.”

“You, but you narey a man. But a waif.”

The small peasant frowned at that, and pointed to the cleric carrying the bell. The instrument was stuck and the match began. Like lighting the tiny brown skinned man kicked at the barbarian and bopper and weaved. Rhovar was caught off guard for a moment, a few of the blows hitting him in his chest. The skandik parried an incoming kick, and with the twist of his hip, knocked out the peasant with a single straight right. The match was over.

Rhovar won both the matches of the day. Some of the spectators bought him drinks and shared some coin they won betting—a total of 44 silver pieces.

On Thistleburn 3rd he faced four men.

The sun was hardly up, long scrawling shadows scratched across the courtyard. Rhovar had returned to the fighting square, this time with several of his soldiers who wanted to come and watch him work.

He charged once around the sand pit on his charger Umber Fury. Only a single cleric was around, he swept the courtyard and squinted at the barbarian. “Thought you'd be back.” He said.

The Skandik warrior dismounted, took a gulp of wine and disrobed. As his heavy helm hit the floor four red skinned barbarians walked into the arena. They wore animal skins and scraps of salvaged leather armour, carried spears and shields of rattan. One of them wore a leopard skin, and had a shaved head that glistened in the sun.

“A fat merchant said we could earn some coin fighting here. Well. We're ready.”

The old cleric dusted off his robe, put on his feather headdress, took up his bell and read out at the short list of rules. No eye gouging, no hits to the groin or the back of the head, all else was permitted.

The Altanians disrobed and leered at Rhovar, spitting into the sand, and making vulgar gestures. The Skandik stood in silent contemplation, it was the first time he had seen barbarians from the southern jungles, though he had heard about them plenty.

“Watch out boss, they say they are sneaky.”

A small crowd had gathered, they took up pews eating grilled lizard and drinking plumb wine, the Altanians decided amongst themselves which would fight first. One with a dead eye took up the challenge first. He came to meet Rhovar in the centre of the sand pit.

“Rhovar is my name. Good stead.”

“Jann.” The barbarian squawked. Rhovar didn't know if it was his name or a threat. The men took up their stances, five paces distant, then, as the morning prayers echoed out from the great totem, the bell was rung.

“Might makes right! Kill him!” Cried a drunken patron, his white linen thawb stained red from wine.

The two men slammed into each other, fast blows from battle hardened fists. The barbarian got a few good slugs through Rhovar's defence, but the Skandik caught his arm and wrenched it down to the floor. The Altanian scrambled across the sand, trying to break free of the grapple, but the Nordman's knee came down on his shoulder, forcing his face into the sand.

“Yield, yield or I break it.” Rhovar cried above the barbarians scream. It was over. The other three barbarians stared at the towering blonde man, eyes full of venom.

The bell rang thrice more. The next warrior was Glik, and he was a fine boxer, fighting toe to toe with the Skandik for over three minutes, but he eventually ran out of energy, his guard dropped and the Hydra Company officer knocked him out with a flurry of blows.

The next in the pit was Bid, he had a long braided mohawk, twined with bone trophies, but this became his undoing as Rhovar circled him like a puma grabbed a hold of it, swinging him to the ground by his hair and kicking him in the face for a KO.

Their leader was last, he called himself Irnkard. The leopard skin wrapped around, him he had felled with his own hands, or so he boasted before the match. The crowd were cheering, and several betting pools had been set up. The Hydra Company soldiers were several pints of grot deep and roaring like lions. Rhovar's chest rose and fell, laboured, and sweat glistened on his back and head. The summer sun was beating down like a volley of fire arrows. The pale moon Vannis hung like a ghost in the sky.

“Grimir, give me strength.” The northman said.

“No gods, only flesh.” The Altanian quipped whilst beating his chest. The bell rang for the final time. Rhovar made to tackle his foe about the waist, but the lithe Altanian kicked sand into his eyes.

“Cheat! Cheat!” Roared the Hydra men, but no rule had been broken.

Irnkard took the initiative, jumped and launched a knee into the Skandik's face, bowling him over like a pheasant shot in the hunt. He followed this with a flurry of kicks into the Northman's trunk. Coins tumbled into fists as last minute bets were made on the sideline.

But as another rough kick was aimed at Rhovar's head, the barbarian rolled back and swept his opponent off of his feet with his own leg. The two men lunged and rolled in the sand like hyenas. Irnkard managed to take Rhovar's back, and just as he managed to wrap his arm around his throat the vicious Northman bit into it and chewed off a chunk of flesh. As the two men scrambled to their feet, the blonde warrior spat blood into his foe's face, making the red-skinned warrior flinch back, all the opening the Skandik needed, as he rushed in and head butted the Altanian into slumber.

The match was over. The Hydra men grabbed Rhovar and lifted him on their shoulders, he dripped blood, and sweat, and sand, and waved merrily to the jubilant crowd.

Rhovar was the champion of that day as well.

On Thistleburn 4th he faced his most challenging opposition, yet.

Lucky to have a friend with divine healing magic, Rhovar turned up the next day at the battle site full of vigour. Riding his horse naked and bareback, ready for his battle. He tossed his previous winnings to the urchins and vagabonds that loitered around the battle pit. A small crowd had already gathered, and as Umber Fury galloped into the sand strewn square, a silence fell across the area.

“They say that this laddie bites like a jackal, and thrashes around like a beast. Well, we'll see how he fares against the stalwart bulk of Sarforlig Gravelbrew, son of Shamus Gravelbrew, twelfth Laird under the mountain.” The heavy accented voice echoed out.

Rhovar squinted against the sun and scanned the crowd. It parted, and a naked, silver bearded dwarf stomped into view. His body was mired with battle wounds and lesions. His arms were knotted with muscles and his eyes were like deep pits of coal.

“I'ma crush you laddie. I'm gunna make you cry.”

The crowd went absolutely wild.

“Sarforlig Gravelbrew, oh Shang Ta, we are going to get a show today.” Rampant gamblers rushed to make bids.

“You can try.” Rhovar said as he leapt from his steed. “But you will fail.”

The audience became deathly silent. The clerics pushed the crowd back and marked out the ring. The two warriors took their positions. Rhovar tried to steady himself, this dwarf was clearly a veteran warrior, and the crowd knew him, which meant he must be a previous champion. He was going to need to use speed, and keep away from those giant hands.

The bell rang.

“Die!” Gravelbrew spat as he ran forward with unexpected speed. Rhovar stumbled back to keep distance, the dwarf gnashed his teeth and swiped like an ape with his huge arms, but Rhovar was able to keep distance. If one of those hands connects, I'm done for, he thought.

“Get back here and fight, Skandik dog.” Gravelbeard roared.

Rhovar kicked out and hit the dwarf square in the mouth, but he didn't even flinch. The dwarf closed the distance, grabbed Rhovar by the neck and waist and threw him nearly five foot across the sand. Rhovar quickly leapt onto his feet and narrowly avoided being pinned by the massive demihuman.

“You cur!” Gravelbeard shouted. Rhovar again kicked him in the teeth and thin bloody drool flew out of his mouth. Rhovar fell back, throwing out strikes, and connecting once or twice, but the return blows were horrendously powerful. Then, his back met the crowd and several of the peasants slapped and whipped his hide.

Gravelbeard laughed, “Laddie, laddie, nowhere for you to hide now.” And he grabbed the Skandik again and suplexed him like a rag doll. Rhovar sprawled out on the ground, utterly winded, the massive hand of the dwarf grabbed his neck and pulled him up. Gravelbeard laughed bitterly. Just as he was about to speak Rhovar thrust out a jab directly into the dwarfs throat.

The dwarf wheezed, and choked, and doubled over, unable to breath. Rhovar, tumbled onto of him, and began to pummel his face until the massive man fell unconscious.

Rhovar roared and dried the blood from his face with the hot sand of the arena.

His next match was fast, a small dervish named Fath Al-Bazzaz stepped forward, and was dispatched with a leg kick that took away the desert man's ability to walk.

Next was Thalysios the Purist, renowned burglar, archer, and wayfarer. He was also known as a master wrestler, and the finest javelin thrower in Altanis.

“May our match be quick and painless.” Said Thalysios, as he strutted into the arena. His harem of women powdering his neck with perfume and popping sweet grapes into his mouth.

“I promise not to ruin your man.” Rhovar said to the harem, who giggled and fanned themselves from the wretched heat.

The two men faced off, and the bell was rung, and they circled each other like hungry cats.

“I have been watching your matches, with training you might make a good wrestler.” Thalysios jested.

“I'll show you skill.” Said Rhovar, and he attempted to catch the smaller mans neck. But like an eel, he was able to slip his hooks around the Skandik's defence and push him back. But the bigger man threw an elbow into the thief, and disturbed his technique. Back and forth the two men wrestled. One gaining an advantage, and then the other reversing it. For five minutes they struggled, pushing and sliding each other across the sand. Eventually, growing tired, they took to throwing cheap hooks into each others ribs, and the trying to trip each others feet. But neither could be turned or thrown.

Eventually, after ten minutes of constant battle, the two exhausted warriors gripped each others arms, not in a lock or hold, but in a handshake.

“I cannot best you.”

“Nor I you.”

“Then let us both agree on a draw, and forever call each other brothers.”

“Aye, brothers!” And the crowd roared but were disappointed in such an end to a herd racing match.

After Rhovar had finished laughing with the olive skinned master thief, a smaller man tapped him on his shoulder and offered a match.

“Aye, I shall crush you quickly, I need a drink.” Said Rhovar. It was indeed a quick match, and Momo Khoury suffered a terrible broken eye socket from a nasty uppercut from the Skandik.

On his third consecutive day of winning and entertaining the crowd, Rhovar earned 77 gold coins in gifts from various patrons.

He also received three marriage proposals.

“You can be polygamous in Barbarian Altanis, right?” Rhovar pondered.

“Of course you can!” Thalysios answered.

“What dowries do you offer?”

First man offered two pigs. The second offered three bales of hay. And third offered a fine dagger and a donkey. Neither of them were joined by their promised daughters at the moment

Rhovar accepted all three offers.

“The pigs will be roasted at the wedding feast. I will spend all the competition earnings on the ceremony, wine and musicians!”

Little did it matter of these women were ugly, for Rhovar desired a harem of his own.

The men got into shouting match regarding whom will get married first. The situation rapidly devolved into an incompetent fist fight as each demanded that Rhovar marries their daughter first.

“I won't marry anyone if you don't calm down right now!” naked Rhovar commanded.

“Being your daughters before me at the Hydra Company headquarters. There you will lay your case. Then I shall pick whom I marry first!”

“Oh yes, I'll bring Tuliana by next Spiritday!”

“Forget them, I'll introduce you to lovely Yasmine in three days!”

“Listen to these clowns! Janice and I will be at your place by tomorrow evening!”

Each man ran in a different direction.

And finally, Rhovar received an invitation to compete at the Mightiest Might match on Thistleburn 5th which will take place within the Windgod's Temple.

There he will get a chance to compete against the current reigning champion, Brutus “The Bumblebee” Beefcake.

“By the end of tomorrow everybody will know my name.”

Rhovar's matches written by his player, BloodyHand.

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Character Class Description
BuddyPuddingBottom Elf level 2 Peppermint scented elf followed by jingles, on a quest for the perfect gift.
Rad Thief level 3 A young, short and malnourished rogue.
Rhovar Fighter level 3 A generic Nordic guy.
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.
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.
Neremyn Elf level 1 A tall, pale, and lean scholar of languages with silver hair and a somewhat distant attitude.

Sunstrong 19th, Fireday

Having rested at their camp, the party was ready to head back to the crypts. After all, Pinella's arguments about countless riches hidden inside were too irresistible.

The expeditionary force consisting of Rhovar, Amanka, Neremyn, Rad, BuddyPuddingBottom, Kuqhir, Arnbella, Bowerroth, and Galiana confidently marched in. The stone portal was closed.

That's not how they left it.

“Spread out!”

One of them pulled on the hidden lever that unlocks the portal, while others manned the nearby bastion.

Massive stone slab raised lazily, just like the last time, until it stopped some eight feet tall with a loud thud. The chamber with runic inscriptions was as they left it. Three corpses still laid on the ground solemnly.

The party moved in cautiously, making sure to avoid the runes and corpses.

Double doors to their left were wide open—this was the chamber they burst in the previous day. Double doors to the right were still closed. The passageway ahead was wide open.

Few of the members secured the passageway while others took to the closed double doors. It was Rad who heard belly laugh and squeaking sounds emanating from behind them.

He signalled to the others that he heard something of interest. They soon started to form a line in front of the doors that were about to received the same treatment as before.


“What th–”

The corpse Galiana accidentally stepped on uttered a blood-chilling shrill, surprising her. Shocked, Bowerroth stepped back onto yet another corpse!

The first corpse sprung up, torn off Galiana's face as she tried to reach her holy symbol, bit incoming Rad, and clawed at swinging Rhovar. All three fell down to the ground.

Two remaining clerics rubbed their holy symbols.

Two remaining clerics failed to summon their deity's favour.

Then one of them got brutally disembowelled by the other slumbering undead.

Then the last of them, being Amanka, decided to run for her life.

“Look! They aren't dead!”

Kuqhir yelled at the fleeing members.

Indeed, Rhovar and Rad were merely lying in stiff, contorted positions.

Galiana on the other hand, was most definitely dead.

The vicious monster that had already claimed three lives charged at Buddy.

Kuqhir and Neremyn used the opportunity to approach Rad and Rhovar respectively. The wizard managed to pick up the thief, but elf struggled with the bulky, heavily armoured warrior.

As if they weren't it having tough enough, suddenly someone opened the double doors to the south.

That someone being a group of four squat goblins.

The monster jumped on Buddy, but failed to drive its claws into him. It did manage to lick his face, leaving foul saliva all over him. The elf pushed the monster away, and then took a run for it.

In a most welcome turn of events, the monster charged into the group of confused goblins instead after the elf. Perhaps it was put off by his peppermint flavoured skin.

Either way, what remained of the party was fleeing at full speed. Except Kuqhir and Neremyn who were desperately trying to save Rad and Rhovar. There was still one undead that was chasing after them.

In the flash of brilliance, Kuqhir threw his satchel to Amanka.

“There are some oil flasks inside!”

Amanka promptly set the whole satchel on fire and threw it straight into the face of the pursuing monster.

The gods heard her now.

The expeditionary force retreated back to their camp leaving horrible screams behind them.

There they rested long enough for Rad and Rhovar to regain their senses.

And then they marched to Antil.

Sunstrong 19th, Sunset

Neremyn found an obsidian citadel encroached by the jungle.

He took a peek beyond the broken portion of the wall.

There he saw three house-sized spiders consume a giant-sized humanoid.

The party continued to Antil.

Sunstrong 20th, Spiritday

Finally, the Gates of Antil!

Feeling generous, the party liberated Amdor, and hired the rest of their prisoners—Pipluk the Elf and two thugs named Luqe and Argun.

And then Rhovar jovially announced:

“Let's get paralytic for the second time today!”

Illustrations by Idle Doodler.

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

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