Session 38

  • orsk awakes to the sound of a half-giant shouting at him to get up and get ready, his first fight starts in 10 minutes.
  • His head is pounding and he doesn’t remember hardly a thing from the previous night. His body shows little evidence of the encounter with the necromancers the previous evening (providing it is only the morning after) The only thing he is sure of is that by the smell of blood and sweat he is not dead, at least not yet. Fools, he thinks to himself, if I were me I would have put me to dead as opposed to put me in this place…
  • Drax and Frost had already left to retrieve the maps as solzak and eben took time to prepare themselves to venture into the templar district – solzak as the noble from nibernay and eben as his guard.
  • They move carefully through the warrens toward the ziggurat, Eben in front intimidates the local population into not trying anything whilst solzak’s hired shadow follows behind.
  • They get to the ziggurat and notice many small lizards (Z’tal) that now rush over the giant construction aiding in sending messages and carrying small tools and materials. Work is being carried out at a frantic pace and it seems none the worse off for losing Dorjan
  • Their noses are then directed to a stall selling lizard skewers. Their hunger overtaking them they go to talk to the seller, eben purchasing some skewers for himself and ‘Sokura’, his master. The merchant is completely unaware of the disguise and tries to ‘help’ them find their way by lightening their load of coins. Sokura (Solzak) desires a palanquin and some slaves in order to travel in style whilst in the city so the merchant says that for a small amount of coin he can introduce them to the ‘Draqoman’ or city guides who would be able to sort them out.
  • Smelling this obvious ruse Eben refuses to pay the merchant and demands that he tell them where to find the Draqoman. The merchant relents and tells them where to find him and ushers them away realising they aren’t his ‘preferred’ type of tourist.
  • Wandering a little further away from the templar district and back towards caravan way the two soon find the Draqoman about the same time as he finds them. He deals Eben what he considers a ‘fair’ price to Eben who immediately sees through his obvious inflation. They negotiate a palanquin for Sokura whilst the draqoman engages them in conversation, insinuating that he would be a better guide to the noble as opposed to Eben. This begins to grate on Eben who manages to control his temper only as far as to avoid chopping his head off with his axe! Sensing the tension the Draqoman relents and smoothes things over with a drink (for Sokura). Leaving them alone again for a moment they begin to notice that the attentions of the guards and a nearby templar are focused on them. When the templar sees the pair look over he gathers up his robes and marches with great importance over to them, demanding to see their identification. After a sneering look of disgust at the apparent validity of their identity he takes a different stance in effectively demanding a bribe. Neither of the pair are being easily intimidated and Sokura uses some careful bluffing in order to throw the Templar off their scent and get him to look elsewhere (quoting their friendship with the head of state, Abdiel) seems to keep him at bay and he eventually storms off in an angry mood
  • Finally the palanquin arrives and the pair are able to resume their journey, Solzak (Sokura) travelling in the luxury of the Palanquin and Eben striding forth in front as 6 slaves support the elaborately decorated construction. Sokura relaxes inside upon silken cushions and sups fine Asticles wine, eating fresh grapes and laughing to himself, he could get used to this…
  • A few minutes later they pass the Gladiator Stadium and are again accosted by a street peddler. This time the worker is selling tickets to a ‘great fight’ from the ‘unknown warrior’. When they seem interested he goes on to say that the warrior is huge and strong and will single-handedly take on 4 gith warriors! Solzak and Eben look at each other and wonder, could it be Orsk? As they have a little time they decide they may as well check it out to see.
  • The stadium is barely a quarter full, and mostly it is mid to low rank nobles and their entourage. A group of very drunk Elves lines the top tier opposite them, laughing at and jeering the nobles below who treat them with utter contempt
  • On solzak and Ebens side they do not recognise anyone of any importance, a couple of nobles from the fredylav and minthur households who nod at Solzak as a courtesy to someone whom they assume to be of status. Eben is ignored and is ‘encouraged’ to stand at the back with the other slaves. He gets his own back though in a way by spending Solzak’s money.
  • The announcer strides onto the pitch dressed in piecemeal armour of spiked leather straps and a single tough hide shoulder pad. Holding his fist into the air for a moments silence he announces the coming battle as that if the ‘unknown warrior’ against the gith, and after that the survivor will face off against a ‘special’ opponent.
  • Large, 15 feet tall poles are brought out and from the opposite end of the field a pair of half-giants and some mul slaves pull 4 gith into the arena, chained with thick giant hair rope and drooling with ravenous malnourished enthusiasm. The gith are secured temporarily to the top of the poles and then the Half-giants proceed to erect the poles until all four are set into the arena floor and the gith are standing on top
  • The portcullis gate rises and as the crowd cheers a hulking figure of muscle steps forth. The bruises and gait are all too familiar with the exception that this mighty half-giant has upon his head a heavy leather mask, tightly secured around his neck so as to obscure his true features. Solzak and Eben however spot the figure unmistakably as Orsk!
  • The announcer then proclaims the match begun as the ropes that secure the Gith are cut and they raise their spears.
  • A roar of pleasure from the crowd erupts as the first drops of hot blood are spilled from the unmasked warrior who is caught off guard by the gith expertly aiming their spears. All four Gith strike true and Orsk howls in anger and pain
  • Marching over to one of the pillars in one mighty pull he wrenches a pillar from the ground and throws it to the floor. The gith manages to hold on however and scrambles out of the way while recovering his weapons
  • The other three gith throw another spear and yet again more blood as Orsk is hit twice more. Eben leans over to Solzak and they share the same concern that even Orsk cannot take too much more than this
  • Orsk is not to be outdone however and striding over to the grounded gith swings his hammer and connects with the face of the creature knocking it senseless to another roar from the crowd
    Solzak and Eben begin to hurriedly discuss a plan. Fetching the Tyrs Eye ‘tail’ he hired Solzak bids him hurry to the Golden Inix to send word to Drax and Frost that they come immediately to assist. The thief rushes off out of the stadium whilst the two of them turn their attentions back to the arena.
  • Another roar erupts from the crowd as Orsk steps over to another gith and caves its skull in! The lack of proper food and training leaves them vulnerable and weak when compared to the superior martial skill of the unknown warrior.
  • Eben has an idea and, nodding to Solzak the two of them begin loudly proclaiming the match is ‘boring’ and far too easy. They both then head over to the announcer who, chatting to a slave girl seems slightly affronted by the accusation. He goes on to continue that should the unknown warrior survive this test he will be pitted against a much stronger opponent, a Brohg! A slight look of concern comes over the two of them as they look at each other but then they are distracted once more by Orsk finishing off the final Gith. A roar erupts from the crowd as they begin to chant the name ‘unknown warrior’ over and over and Orsk holds his bloodied hammer above his head to recognise the acknowledgment.
  • The announcer, ignoring Solzak and Eben, strides over to the side of the arena where he prepares to announce the next fight. The portcullis at the east end of the stadium raises once more and 4 muls step out closely followed by the same strong Half-Giant they saw before. Orsk is busy trying to rip off his mask as the announcer screams at the slaves to restrain him. The slaves approach and Orsk picks up two of them, smashes their skulls together and they drop dead to the ground.
  • There is a stunned gasp from the crowd and the drunk Elves howl with joy beginning to chant ‘unknown warrior’ part seriously and part sarcastically
  • The Muls rush forward, one managing to hold onto him whilst the other flails around. As one of the Muls loses grip on Orsk he grabs at the belt of the Mul and pulls out his blade. In one swift sweep he cuts the other Mul across the gut and sinks the blade squarely in the other Muls chest. The mul twitches as Orsk twists the blade before he slips off to collapse a lifeless heap on the floor. Orsk then picks up a hammer once more and prepares for the next attack
  • The other Muls, wary of the prowess of this warrior back off slightly before rushing him again in a co-ordinated attack
  • From the entrance the hulking shape of a half-giant steps forth, and as Orsk whirls his hammer crushing the bodies of the muls left right and centre he waits patiently, tapping his club on his hand
  • Orsk is bathed in blood which glistens in the midday sun, then seeing his new opponent heads straight for him before stopping short and waiting for the Half-giant to come to him. The half-giant smirks, tensing his huge hands around the club and causing the bone to creak under the immense vice grip
  • The crowd begins to shout and cheer for the ‘unknown warrior’ and Solzak and Eben, seeing that the crowd are distracted begin to make their way around the terraces toward the slave pens entrance, their intentions to help Orsk in any way they could
  • The half-giant gladiator charges Orsk as he firmly plants his feet in the ground ready to defend against the attack. The two connect as another cheer rings out from the crowd. Orsk is knocked down briefly before rolling to the side and getting up behind the gladiator, bringing his hammer down on his back. It does little but confuse and anger the gladiator, the crowd however are enjoying every minute of the unexpected bonus fights
  • Then Orsk turns and rushes back down the gladiator tunnel much to the surprise and shock of the crowd. They begin to boo but moments later they hear screams and shouts of battle from below. Someone in the crowd shouts ‘the slaves are escaping!’ and then all hell breaks loose…
  • Down in the slave pens Orsk rushes over to the weapons rack where earlier he spotted his favoured weapon, a Craghammer, unfortunately not his own but it would do for now. The slave overseers seemed to step back afraid of the half-giant but as orders were barked from another half-giant they spurred into action surrounding him and trying to beat him down. Orsk shouted out to the other slaves to help and that this was their chance to escape
  • A few of the slaves ignored him and ran up towards the portcullis where the other half-giant was returning. Two of them were caught as the half-giant whirled his mighty club at them as they tried to rush back and the rest escaped (into the arena of course)
  • The few slaves remaining took up arms and the other gladiators in the pens shouted out for freedom. Quickly one of the slaves set about opening the locks on the cage doors while the frantic battle for freedom continued…
  • Drax and Frost, having settled in at the golden inix with a mug of broy were alerted as a shadowy figure entered the inn. Cautious, their hands reached for their weapons as the man approached. He spoke swiftly that Solzak had sent him to find them and that they were needed at the stadium as they had found Orsk! Drax leapt to his feet and shouted out to the inn, all who remember Orsk as a friend follow me! Several of the patrons rose their mugs in salute as others grabbed weapons as Drax and Frost rushed out the door. Already in the streets there was a buzz of people heading both towards and away from the ziggurat. The nobles mostly were retreating as the looters, chancers and thugs headed toward the source of the action.
  • Eben and Solzak found their way to the stadium administrative offices where they hoped to gain access to the slave pens but they were stopped in their tracks by two templars and 4 mul guards. The two pretended to be lost as ‘Sakura’ the noble from nibernay, sought shelter from the chaos outside. The templars rubbed their hands with glee as they offered to ‘protect’ the noble and ‘assist’ them to their destination. Solzak and Eben dithered however and made little decisions which arose suspicion in the templars. They did eventually agree to take them to the noble quarter and ensure their safety, for now
  • Heading out into the blistering sun Solzak, Eben, the templars and guards headed straight out towards the main street, but before they reached there Solzak noticed out of the corner of his eye the Templar closest to him draw a long dagger. Instinctively he shouted to Eben who rolled out of the way and a billowing black smoke ushered from solzak’s cloak obscuring the area.
  • There was the sound of a cut and a gurgle of blood splattering of the floor. One of the templars howled and the mul guards rushed to help, waving around their blades as they could not see from the black smoke…
  • Below the stadium fighting continued as one of the elf gladiators broke through several of the cell locks. The gladiators rushed out and took up arms raising their weapons on Orsks call and cutting down the slave handlers. The two half-giants remained an barked at the gladiators to stand down but they had their sights on freedom and would let nothing stand in their way
  • More slaves were set free equally as some were brought down by the half-giants but they were overwhelmed and eventually cut down to size. Then a terrible roar and a clatter of bone and wood stole their attention to the slave pens at the far corner of the area, the Brogh! It was insanely possessed with the same fervor of escape that had gripped the gladiators, and it smelled blood! Quickly Orsk organised the slaves to make a retreat up through the stadium and sent some of the gladiators upstairs to secure the path
  • A crash from the corridor as the Brohg leapt out angrily. It turns towards Orsk and the nervous gladiators and then roars, bounding towards them with both pairs of arms raised. Clattering into Orsk the pair struggle to keep their balance as their immense strength is tested…
  • The mist obscuring solzak and the templars clears and solzak can see blood on the blade held by one of the templars. Looking briefly at his own body and then to Eben he then realises the templar has stabbed his companion! The templar then gave Solzak another nod and a strange hand sign before turning around to attack the templar once more. The wounded official shrieks at them to get back and lay down their weapons but with fear and rage in his eyes the ground turns to ash around him and foul words spill from his mouth before whipping tails of defiled arcana form around solzak, eben, the other templar and the mul guards! They see the agonised faces of the mul guards as their life forces are sucked dry and used to power the spell. Solzak, Eben and the templar are wracked with pain from the spell but Solzak manages to regain composure enough to fire a bolt from his crossbow. The bolt connects and the templar howls once more, breaking his concentration before Eben charges in with a mighty blow that nearly cleaves his head from his shoulders. The templar crumbles to the ground and with a look of shock and surprise on his face falls to the ground staring at his supposed colleague
  • The templar quickly turns to solzak and signals again in what can only be described as nibernese. It turns out he is an agent templar named Xinn from nibernay sent to spy on Kalak and Tyr to inform the shadow king of the progress and purpose of the ziggurat. Solzak bluffs and informs him that the plan has changed and now they are required to instigate a riot in Tyr and perhaps overthrow Kalak?! The templar looks a little suspicious at this but nevertheless goes along with it and says he will inform his contacts of this change and ensure they are ready. With that he leaves…
  • The Brohg is relentless, its twin arms crashing down as Orsk tries to fend him off but he is losing and as his hammer crashes onto his thick hide once more the strength of the blow and the tough skin cause the weapon to shatter. The brohg moves in for another strike and with a great groan Orsk is brought to his knees and collapses as the Brohg bounds past, crashing into the group of escaped gladiators who were supporting orsk from the rear. The giant creature roars and picks one of the female gladiators by her head and as she screams smashes her into the wall like a small toy sending screams of terror through the rest of the slaves…
  • Outside a crowd has begun to gather close to the ziggurat as more guards fight to get close. A group break through however and confront Solzak and Eben. Eben brings to bear his executioner axe as Solzak maneuvers to get the opportune angle for an advantageous strike and they wait as the guards scream at them to lay down their weapons, their reply is a smile and ‘for the free’ before battle commences.
  • Then, as fortune would have it from around the corner come two familiar faces leading 5 less familiar ones as Frost and Drax arrive weapons ready
  • Frost roars and leaps on the nearest soldier almost ripping his arm from his socket whilst Drax charges in with his halberd hooking a nearby mul and pulling him down to the floor before twisting and crushing his ribcage
  • The ‘bar-room brawlers’ from the golden inix then have their turn, ganging up on the soldiers and bringing them down.
  • It all seems too easy when there comes a bellow from above as a deep and fearless voice calls out ‘Lay down your weapons and surrender’…

Session 38

Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr epileptickitty epileptickitty