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gwangi32

Tears of the Goddess

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Fridion takes the coin and rubs his fingers over it. He sniffs it. He takes a round piece of glass held in a golden frame and looks at the coin. From your position nearby you can see that the coin looks bigger when viewed through the glass. The thought enters your head that Fridion might be a sorceror, a worker of evil. But almost as soon as the adrenaline snaps through you you realize that he is an accepted citizen of the town. Known and respected apparently, shouldn't be a threat, should he?

 

Fridion hums to himself and hands the coin back to you. He asks you to wait and leaves the room to return a few moments later, before you have much more than a chance to look over at Cruidha and return a smile.

 

"Yes indeed," says Fridion, "I do know that coin. I have a few in my collection. The ones in my collection were brought out of the Border Kingdom by searchers for some jewels stolen by bandits a few years back. The jewels were known by various names, one being the Tears of Ishtar, and had come from Ophir for trade to some local noble. The, shall I call them gentlemen, who found the coins had been tracking the bandits who had stolen the jewels, lost the trail and found an old ruined wall in the woods. They thought it might be part of a larger set of ruins and when digging a firepit found these two coins. They searched briefly for more and moved on the next day. Finding that they didn't like the feel of the coins they sold them to me. I collect many things and I will tell you that this coin is touched by sorcery. Your coin and mine have their origin in the ancient empire of Acheron."

 

He waits a moment to see if either of you recognize the name. Seeing that you do not he continues "Many years ago, Stygia and Acheron were the powers in the world. Their armies raided through this country. This land we sit on was ruled by the Kings of Acheron, who was in turn ruled by the sorcerors, Priests of Set and necromancers of Acheron. These men and women of sorcery were deeply entangled in evil magics, dark frightening rituals were common place. Eventually the Hyborian tribes crushed Acheron and pushed Stygia's Empire far to the south. But there are ruins here and there, fraught with danger but also holding treasures. This coin depicts a sorceror called Thunotos, the Hand of Set and the reverse side shows a symbol of the worship of that evil god."

 

Fridion pauses to sip from a cup of water and goes on to say, "I will purchase this coin for 10 gold coins, good Aquilonian gold mind you. I will place it with these others that I have purchased. They are at best bad luck charms for the uninitiated. A magnet for evil creatures if not contained properly."

 

He looks at you and the coin you hold.

 

Do you have any questions? Would you like to sell the coin? In game time it is late afternoon with three hours of daylight left. Your original plan would call for you and Cruidha to ride out in the next half hour. I was waiting on some other players but we can move on to some more active adventuring at this stage, I think all the necessary background has been discovered.

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The old man's story and sorcerer's ways cause a feeling of dread to well up within Mycaelis. By the time that the old man has finished, he feels as if the coin is physically on fire, the heat of it burning the young man's palm and he is more than willing to part with the foul thing for the offered 10 gold coins.

 

"Your offer is gracious, wise one." He says, trying to keep the fear from creeping into his voice. "Please keep this evil talisman hidden away so that none can use its power. Thank you for your kindness." With a slightly less than desperate glance at Cruidha, he indicates his desire to leave as soon as possible.

 

We can wait for other players if you would like. I'm in no rush

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Let's move on and if anyone wants to join in we'll add them on in the wilds.

 

You and Cruidha pick up your horses and ride out of town in the late afternoon. She is an able horsewoman and has changed into proper travel gear, including a shirt of mail, a helmut and greaves. Her horse is smaller than your own, a riding horse not a warhorse. She has a spear available for use, tied to the saddle.

 

You ride for an hour and then she turns to you and says, "I was wondering if I could get a couple gold pieces from the sale of the strange coin, it may be the only treasure we get on this adventure?"

 

Also, consider whether you want to set up camp. You are in forested hills, in the wilderness following a trail that has seen some horse traffic in the last few days. You have not yet left Aquilonia but are heading for the Border Kingdom.

 

"We're about four or five miles from the border. It's marked, on this trail by creek, a lot of people camp there and there iare traders set up in tents at this time of year. We might be able to make it before nightfall."

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"I was wondering if I could get a couple gold pieces from the sale of the strange coin, it may be the only treasure we get on this adventure?"

 

"Of course you can have some of the spoils. Half of them as a matter of fact." Mycaelis responds, a large grin splitting his face. "We are equal partners on this treasure hunt after all!!"

 

"We're about four or five miles from the border. It's marked, on this trail by creek, a lot of people camp there and there iare traders set up in tents at this time of year. We might be able to make it before nightfall."

 

"Then let us spend the night there. It will be nice to spend one last night around other people before we move into the total wilderness." He gently coaxes his mount to a faster pace in order to reach the border before nightfall.

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The trail continues higher into the hills. The trees become bigger, and the terrain wilder. You begin to smell woodsmoke and cooking meat just as the sun is setting and in the twilight you come into the trading camp. The name given to this location is Deer River Run. It is an open meadow, about an acre in size, surrounded by forest and on one edge (the north) there is a small river-the Deer River.

 

There are many camp fires all along the east side of the meadow. Some camps have been set up on the west side as well and this is where you have entered the clearing. There are perhaps fifty people chatting, swearing and trading around tables and fires set out in the center of the clearing, trade is for furs and ivory and other natural raw materials mainly for civilized goods but also for gold coins. To the south are some tents where alcohol is being sold, there is dancing and music at that end of the gathering. By far the majority af persons present are men, mainly fur trappers and hunters from the look of their clothing and the trade at the center of the clearing.

 

As you watch a violent brawl breaks out to the south. The a crowd surrounds the brawlers, rough insults and crude encouragement is shouted out. There is a scream of pain. The crowd begins to break up immediately you hear one loud complaint that there wasn't even enough time to bet. You see a tall man in a fur kilt with blonde hair, a bloody knife in his hand, standing over the body of another man. He spits on the corpse, grabs a woman standing near by the hand and moves off into the shadows of the trees.

 

"Looks pretty wild," says Cruidha with a smirk, "But it's been that way every time I've been here. Be very careful if you head down to the Swamp," shes gestures toward the south, "that's where all the beer, wine and other vices are sold."

 

She leads her horse to an empty section of forest on the west edge of the meadow, dismounts and begins setting up camp. The pair of you split chores and soon have a fire going, tarps placed to keep any rain off your gear and keep your sleeping area dry. "We should take turns sleeping, and make sure to guard our things, there are plenty of sneek thieves here."

 

"It looks like it will be a great cloudless night," says Cruidha. "Let me go buy some meat and bread instead of using any of our rations. While we're eating I'll let you know more about where I think we're going to have to go. And maybe we can get some word about the mountains, make sure the Cimmerian's aren't raiding or some such."

 

She moves out into the clearing. You shake your head, she is a direct one. There are more people milling about, though trade has dropped off and celebrating seems to be on most minds. To the south the Swamp is the loudest with music, singing and screaming. Crudha dissappeared into the center of the clearing and you notice a man coming your way from there now.

 

He is of medium height and wears the trappings of a hunter. He is heavily bearded, his hair wild and long. He puts his hand to the hilt of the knife at his belt, "Boy, mount up an ride away, I want your woman and you haven't got the wind in you to stop me. I'd just as soon kill you but that might upset the little girl. So get gone now." He is twenty feet away as he challenges you. His knife is a mountaineers blade, more of a short sword than a knife.

 

I feel that it would be logical that you would have no real armor on but would have furs or heavy clothes as it is cold. You would have your knife and your ax available. What will you do?

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Fingering his axe handle lightly, an icy expression comes over Mycaelis' face. "She's not my woman and she can make her own decisions. However, I warn you not to try anything foolish. If she doesn't kill you for it, which she is certainly more than capable, you'll have to deal with me and my axe." His glare intensifies and his muscles tense in preparation for the stupid cur's reaction.

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The man glares at you, his hand gripping the hilt of his knife. Then he begins to laugh, big open hearted laughter. “Youngster, you’re travellin’ with my niece. Thought I’d see if you were made of sand or stone. Cruidha pointed me in this direction and said you might still ave some bread, warm by the fire. I’ve got news from over the border and a jug of ale to trade.” He looks at you for a moment and continues, “My name is Garm and yours in Mycaelis. Don’t want any hard feelings but I just can’t pass up a chance for funning someone.”

 

Before you can frame a reply Cruidha appears and gives the man a hug. “Uncle Garm, you were playing at jokes again, it looks like Myca was about to cut your gizzard.” She turns to you, “Uncle Garm hunts the border mountains and trades furs. He isn’t the smartest man but we can trust him. He’s been in the area we want to go to in the last month.”

 

At this moment two large Hyperborean men, over six feet tall, gaunt, and pale, push into your camp. “Woman come with us.”

 

Both Hyperboreans are armed with Clubs and carry bucklers, short swords and hand axes are at their belts. They wear no armor but are clothed in heavy cloth and furs.

 

Garm draws his knife and says “Back down Heiglyr, this is my niece and she’ll not be going with you.”

 

Cruidha also has drawn a pair of knives, “Go away oaf, I said no and I meant no.”

 

Heiglyr replies, “The two of you can not stand against us, you’ll come with me now woman!”

 

Standing back by the fire the Hyperboreans had not seen you yet, what is your plan?

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Swiftly drawing his axe and taking a defensive posture, Mycaelis brashly announces, "Cretin, there are three of us and we will stand against you if need be. You WILL let the woman be!"

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With a curse the man called Heiglyr takes another step forward. "An old man and a boy, girl come with me now and they might live. If not I'll make boots from their hides."

 

At that Garm surges forward. Knife swinging at Heiglyr. The nameless Hyperborean circles to your left attempting to get behind Garm. Cruidha also goes for Heiglyr. Your party has initiative so you get an active choice as well

 

I had planned to do all rolling of dice and will consult your character sheet for input, but if you have something special you want to try let me know. If you would prefer to roll your own dice we can do that using PM.

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Repositioning his axe in order to get a firmer grip, Mycaelis moves to intercept the tall Hyperborean attempting to attack the backside of the older man. "I hope that you are prepared to meet your god, slaver scum!!" he growls, aiming a blow at the man's torso.

 

Sounds good to me. Roll away!!

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Your attack slips through the Hyperborean's defence, scoring a minor wound and opening a cut on the abdomen. Heiglyr is also gathers in some small wounds. The pair of Hyperboreans step back to guage the response. They were not ready for violent resistance.

 

Men from other parts of the gathering are moving toward the fight. With a wordless snarl of hate Heiglyr stamps away. The unnamed Hyperborean follows but keeps his eyes on you. Though Cruidha moves to follow, Garm motions her and you back.

 

"Let them go for now, there are ten of them in camp trading furs for Aquilonian gold, Heiglyr isn't popular with their leader Kloifnier. They won't bother us here. But out there," he motions to the wilderness, "I bet they might come looking for us."

 

The Hyperboreans are still only about fifteen feet away at this point. You can continue your attack or stay with your companions.

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Mycaelis hesitates just long enough to see the wisdom in the older man's advice and reluctantly backs down, still glaring icily at the retreating barbarians.

 

"Cruidha, I think it best for you to stay near the two of us from now on. Your beauty only serves to cause us trouble around this rabble."

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Cruidha spits after the Hyperboreans. Then she turns on Myca, "I'll go where I please, as I always have."

 

Garm steps in, apparently calm again, "Aye that you will girl, always have been a headstrong lass. And now going off into the mountains, Silverhorse no less. Did it occur to you lass that it might be safer to go jump caravans in Brythunia? No don't answer," he says to forstall an angry retort from Cruidha, "I can see that you've made up your mind. Maybe you'll hit the riches. But two isn't really safe. Wait." Garm walks off.

 

Cruidha stares at Garm's back as he fades into the dusk for a minute and then produces a bag. "I've got some duck and some bread here, Shetla had some and it only cost a few coppers. Uncle Garm is over protective and I don't think that's a good habit."

 

sorry got to hurry here getting pushed out the door

 

Garm returns with a young Hyborian man, "This is Almuric, he may want to join you little group Cruidha."

 

I leave intros to you.

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Adjusting his longbow that's across his back Amalric greets the pair with a nod before speaking “I’m Amalric from the Bossonian Marches, if you could use another swordarm I’d like to join with your group.” Amalric pauses a moment.

 

“Tomorrow is another day, and my money pouch lessen once again.” He says with a sheepish grin “ For an even share of our endeavors my blade will strike as hard as any man…or woman” the last part he adds looking at Cruidha, noticing the heavy sword strapped across her back. “But perhaps a bit of info as to where or how we will find our fortune.”

 

Amalric is young and roughly the same age as the other two before him. He stands with his hand causally resting upon the pommel of his broadsword which hangs on his hip, the hilt of a smaller weapon rest on its twin, a dagger is strapped to his left leg. The light from the camp fire shows him to be of a medium frame with shoulder length tawny hair, he has somewhat of a barbaric look about him but his demeanor is one of discipline. He’s wearing a leather jerkin, cloak, loincloth and boots. His grey eyes seem to pierce the darkness as he awaits for encouragement to join them about there campfire.

 

Edited to give a more accurate description of Amalric

 

ERL

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"I am Mycaelis," the large horseman replies, keeping his face stern. "I come from a small village outside of Guaren. If the lady will have you with us on this mission, I welcome you. If not, beware."

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