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3/04/2019 5:30 pm  #1


Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"The carrack wallowed on the purple breast of the sea, groaning and straining with every wave.  It seemed to us that only vast consumption of rum, the unlikely enthusiasm of her scurvy crew and undeserved luck kept the leaking hulk of a ship afloat.  On the horizon, the ancient city slouched like an old whore, beckoning with arthritic fingers, whispering obscene promises through rotten teeth.  Our destination: Xambaala.  We couldn't get there soon enough.

Many times in the last weeks I had wondered what brought me here, to the ends of the Earth, to this place.  To lose myself, to die, to be born again. To forget. Maybe all these things. When I looked in a stranger's face looking for my beloved, all I saw were the bones beneath.  I needed to be away, in a place whose ubiquitous imbecilic depravity matched my own, and would provide my soul with comradeship if not oblivion.  Xambaala.
"  - Bytorr the Necromancer, at sea.

Starting a game log for our AS&SH  sessions, and I have 2 sessions to go before I catch up!





 


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
 

3/04/2019 8:29 pm  #2


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Cool, man! Looking forward to it. 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/05/2019 12:19 pm  #3


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Looking forward to this. Will be checking back.

 

3/05/2019 5:28 pm  #4


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"It seems my conversations with Mother have unnerved the captain, he wishes us gone from his deck. It isn't her fault she is feeling talkative, having never been nearly this far from Khromarium.  I know she is proud of me for being so bold. Her jar sloshes with all her frenetic activity, with her incessant eye rolling and her jaw working up and down. I have spoken sternly to her, but she will not listen.  Between her caustic opinions of the threadbare vagabonds I have temporarily allied myself with, and seeing a new city, she gabbles on like magpie.  In fact,  I must replace the wiring of her mandible before it falls off of its own accord.  What a sight she will be then indeed!

The ship docked with little fanfare, grinding up against the wharf with such a crashing clumsy lurch I was amazed we didn't founder immediately.  The eye-rolling crewmen nearly flung the gangplank into the water in their haste to have it down, simultaneously making the sign of the evil eye at us and pulling on their forelock to the officials that were boarding.  Mother made a graceless comment that nonetheless drew a chuckle from me.  Again, everyone was staring.  I left the ship.

The docks were like those in ports everywhere, the human dross washing ashore mixing with the dross from the land, salted with the activity of vulgar commerce and spiced with the stench of waste and decay.  Obviously they don't care for sanitation, the animals Mother observed.  She may have been right.  Such a collection of human vermin I have never seen before.  Men of all derivations milled about in an untidy melange, all seeming to stare with their shifty eyes, especially the Esquimaux-Ixians hybrids that seemed to be everywhere. Before I could hold forth on the ideal racial mixture to my companions, the one that has deemed himself the leader of our band led the way to the nearest inn, a dank pit of degeneracy that looked to be my lot until I could greatly improve my finances. 

Some artless negotiations gained us a nondescript meal and a place in the communal sleeping chamber.  Some curious information about the dangers of walking the streets after dusk was imparted.  The conversation was jejune and I quickly tired of their lame witticisms, so I retired.  As usual, I found that others left me ample room for me and mine, especially when I drew Mother out for inspection.  Indeed, her wiring was looking weak at points, and one eye was becoming clouded.  Unaccountably, the rest of the room cleared with alacrity when I unsealed her jar for some long overdue maintenance. Mother has become modest in her reduced state, and she appreciated the gesture.

When I finished, a thought occurred to me, one which of course was brilliant.  A rat unwisely chose that time to amble across the floor, mayhap to chew on the drunk curled in corner. Instead I leaped upon it and slew it with a decisive blow from my staff.  A short cantrip later, it arose and moved to my will.  My path to empire is sometimes paved with the smallest of stones.  Mother approved.

Shortly thereafter, the rest of our collective came back from their carousals, stinking of ale and wine to find Mother and I ready to go.  However, only one of them decided to go out, a louting hairy barbarian that deemed himself our leader.  Since since the doors were barred, he left by the window.  Apparently some miscreants walked the streets at night causing a commotion, so he sought to reconnoiter from the roof.  So out the window he went." - Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala

Last edited by Hackhamster (3/06/2019 9:57 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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3/06/2019 5:27 pm  #5


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Oh snap, Hackhampster. Eloquently written! Im glad to have the gang back together again! You write it so much better than I DM it, lol.

 

3/06/2019 11:06 pm  #6


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"We closed the window behind him.  With his cunning uncivilized ways, he would easily scale the rotting brickwork of the inn like the howling man-ape he was no doubt scarcely a generation or two descended from.  I put him from my mind, and I took my new familiar from my cloak.  An opportunity for close study of my newest companion was a worthwhile pastime while we waited.

My only indication of danger was the ripping of the air as an axe blade passed a mere hairsbreadth from me.  Taken aback, I looked up into the drawn white face of the Viking who had unaccountably attached himself to our party.  His eyes were wide and his lips were drawn back from his chattering teeth, and he trembled with his excess of passion. His axe was clenched in both hands and it waved as if in the wind.  Such fear of a natural thing, a dead rat.  What of its somewhat stiff movements and now silent chittering?  Twas a pity his small mind could not comprehend the dark vistas I surveyed.  My hand flashed out, and my mouth uttered words of power, dread mind wrenching syllables that would send him cowering in terror before me.  He would know fear, and know indeed I was his master!

Unfortunately, a morsel of my earlier repast was caught in my teeth, and I tripped over a critical fricative ululation in the second stanza. My incantation glanced off him and caromed into a corner of the room, where it struck the drunkard on the temple, fizzling out with a pop.  The Viking and I both stared in amaze at his sleeping form, our quarrel abated.  Was he dead?

We were not so fortunate.  The derelict snorted, drew his threadbare blanket over his recumbent form as he rolled away from us in his noisome cot, emitted a stench, and fell back to sleep.

I glared at the Viking and to his credit, he glared at back.  Someday he would meet his doom at my hand, but for the nonce we came to a mutual agreement: for him to not wave his axe at me, and I would not annihilate him with my dark powers.  The tension left the room.  We resumed waiting for the barbarian to return." - Bytorr the Necromancer, Saturn' s Luck InnXambaala

Last edited by Hackhamster (3/06/2019 11:21 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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3/11/2019 3:43 pm  #7


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"We barred the window and settled in for the oaf to return with news.  I had my studies to continue, and my companions were sufficiently daunted by rumor and innuendo to while the time away with boasting and crude jests. Mother certainly did not approve.  The fire mage held himself slightly apart, and made little yellow flames dance across his fingers.   I made sure he didn't see me watching.  After a short while, we heard a dog barking, and some yelling, then more dog barking, and more yelling. Quick on the heels of that, a scratching at the shuttered window, and a muttered "um, guys?"

Upon opening the window our barbarian is revealed, looking slightly chewed and bloodied. With a sheepish grin he says, "Uh, we just got kicked out of the inn."  It turns out on his route to the rooftop, he tried the private stairwell up to the landlords apartment, where they turned their hounds on him.  He killed one, and subdued the other, and then tried to apologize to their owner.  Some gold and dignity later, he was evicted and so were we!  The landlord did give us until morning, but the barbarian had to sleep in the gutter." Bytorr the NecromancerSaturn' s Luck InnXambaala


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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3/12/2019 7:34 pm  #8


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"In the morning we leave the Saturn's Luck, trailed by tight-lipped looks of reproach from our erstwhile innkeepers.  We must find another inn to take us... in.  We wander the dusty alleys of Xambaala all morning, drawing hostile and suspicious gazes from the denizens of this squalid pesthole. I may have been mistaken, but the eyes of some of the seediest seemed to follow us with a yearning and desperate hunger. One ancient wreck goggled at our somewhat pink and plump barbarian with a slackjawed look, drool running into his matted tangle of a beard.  He wiped it away with the back of his hand and leered after him, licking his lips until he caught me looking and his eyes darted away, his visage resuming a blank senility. The youngest of the ubiquitous hollow-bellied beggars clawed at us, beseeching in their mongrel street Ixian for a half-copper venghk, or a thin tin rilk in return for some half-understood but certainly iniquitous service.  At my curt denials, they would give a start with eyes wide and cry "ai! ai! ai!" and run off.  Quickly we were left alone.  I realized my Ixian is flavored with the harsh gutteral accents of its ancient form and is more suited to dire invocations and curses, not curbside palaver in some dank alley over a crippled whore or a morsel of roasted goat meat.  I was marked as one to be avoided." Bytorr the Necromancer, the streets of Xambaala


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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3/14/2019 7:00 pm  #9


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"Eventually, with much aimless meandering, we finally arrive at the caravansary, where after negotiations remarkable for a lack of subtlety on our part, we hire a room for a sum much too dear, only exacerbated by the weeks stay in advance abandoned at our previous lodgings, not an inconsiderable sum. Our new host, one Aramis, seemed pleasant enough, but his look as he gathered our gold in his palm was pure avarice. However, our chamber is indeed better than our last, with a door and beds seemingly free of vermin, and all the rest, but I was not learning dread secrets with my head lying on a pillow no matter how fine, despite Mother's evident approval of the linen’s thread-count and the embroidered curtains on the windows.

Some conversation regarding rations commenced, considering we had just spent the majority of our remaining funds. Assuming a mood of frugality, I suggested purchasing a pig and contracting with the kitchen to dress, salt and smoke it, whereupon I would reluctantly animate its now toughened corpse as an undead minion. Given a sufficiently large animal, maybe a week or more of preserved meat would be available. What bounty! Perhaps we could even lash saddlebags to it, if it were of a size! My mooncalf companions waxed enthusiastic about the rashers of bacon that would soon be theirs to consume at their leisure. In jest I suggested one of them could ride it into battle, ha ha! but their sense of the absurd seemed not to extend to riding their food. The joke would indeed be on them, for I wonder if my companions had considered what eating undead flesh would be like as it squirmed between their teeth, writhed in their uneasy stomachs, and quivered in their bowels. Would it convey nutriment? Would it even be digestible? We would find out together!

Procuring the animal did not prove difficult, as livestock were in a pen adjacent to the inn, but as usual with us, our plans quickly went awry. It was suggested that before it’s ultimate transformation, we use the animal as a sacrifice at the ludicrously oversize temple of Helios that dominated the town. I noted that a sacrifice is usually left at the scene of the sacrifice, and not taken away, but as usual my logical objections and protestations were in vain. To the temple we went, our snorting and squealing offering seemingly gaining holy afflatus by the second. After we joined the line of supplicants, we moved forward towards the altar in shuffle. The pig grunted in evident pleasure and wagged its little curly tail, simply happy to be there. When we finally arrived at the head of the line, the priests were certainly impressed by our show of piety, and the quick slash of the bronze knife splashed red on the altar, surprising us and the pig with its volume. Visions of lazy afternoons lolling with pork filled bellies and greasy chins no doubt occupied the plump priests' imaginations. This divine culinary daydream and their favorable impression of us was quickly shattered as our berserker gave a curt thanks and threw the lolling carcass over his shoulder and headed to the door. Behind us there was much grumbling as their cloven-hoofed buffet disappeared forever. This scene I think did us no credit on the ecclesiastical front, and came back to haunt us in the end."  Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala

Last edited by Hackhamster (3/14/2019 7:01 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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3/14/2019 7:53 pm  #10


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

“Back at the inn, the pig went into the kitchen to endure the tender mercies of the cook. In a few days, our delectable salty and smoky ambulatory rations would be ready for us to lead forth. Despite this accomplishment, still we glumly gathered in the common room. We were in a new town and still had no prospects. Our foray to the temple gained us no offer of work, only pious animosity. We had been evicted from our first lodgings after an embarrassing peccadillo involving our barbarian and two dogs. We had been overcharged by innkeeps and leered at by scrofulous peasants! Our woes were many, but luckily for us, our host brought to our attention the existence of a ruined mausoleum out in the desert that was rumored to have claimed the lives of several of the more desperate residents of the slums ringing the town. Our ears pricked up, and our palms itched with the possibility of treasure in our future. The hunt was on!

We quickly gathered our gear and headed into the sands. As promised, at a ruined stone wall beneath a towering dune, a dark opening gaped wide. Lighting torches and a lantern we entered into a wide low-ceilinged passage slanting downward, blocked portals ranked to either side. The portals were blocked with doors of stone and metal covered in old Ixian pictograms. This was more like it!  On the floor, our feet were not the first to disturb the dust of ages.  At least a hundred feet the passage disappeared ahead into the gloom, and scuffed prints led away before us.

The portals proved to be sturdy, and did not budge to any of our shoving  At the end of the hall, a doorway opened to the left and thence our steps led.  Inside, a room lined on the perimeter with sarcophagi that turned to the left some fifty feet in.  Around the corner, more sarcophagi.  We decided on a system of guarding fore and aft while the fighters flipped open the cover.  Skeletons, immobile on their biers. Some had brazen and gold trinkets, some had weapons rusty and notched, another had a small shield.  As we progressed down the hall, the tramp of feet from the far end was heard, and a horde of lurching zombies shambled in our direction.  Quickly we assumed a defensive formation and pelted them with arrows and sling stones.  Still they came on!"   Bytorr the Necromancer, desert near Xambaala, in peril 

Last edited by Hackhamster (3/14/2019 9:50 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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4/01/2019 5:55 pm  #11


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"I have heard it stated that Skeletons and Zombies are the least of all undead perils. This may be true, but this person has obviously never faced the dubious prospect of their entrails being torn from their abdomen and consumed in front of them by these paragons of mindless hunger. Others observe that zombies kill people. To them I make the rejoinder: zombies are simply tools: a necromancer kills people. I must say thoughts like these focused our minds to a needle point as we were confronted by a dusty shambling horde. Quickly we strung our rope between a two sarcophagi as a makeshift barrier, and spread a pool of oil on the floor before it. When the dead came upon the rope, they piled into one another, and then we ignited the oil. Silent screams shewed on the ruined faces before us as the flames purified their flesh. Judicious arrows and stones did for the rest. I for one desired more time to observe and take notes on their construction, but the zombies alas were not as durable as one could have wished. These zombies seemed to be a product of some ad-hoc animation of little sophistication. I considered if I were to create a zombie, I should for one first armor it, and then ensure it was soaked in water to prevent flammability and keep it limber.

At any rate, this first foray was enough to quicken the blood and ignite captious avarice in my companions eyes as we found scattered simple treasures about the room. Enough to pay for our outrageous lodgings at any rate. In the last coffin, we found a twisted black staff, one which gave off chill crepuscular emanations and froze the bones to gaze upon to closely. The others backed away from it as if were some lodestone of evil. When I casually made an offhand reference to the item perhaps providing the least interest in my studies, there was no objection made, indeed they seemed eager for me to have it. Ha! It was mine! My half-witted companions had given up a relic of undoubted tenebrous puissance as if it were a mere trifle. Such secrets I would learn with it in my grasp. At the time, I indeed knew not of its use or history, nor its method of activation, but I could feel the dark thrill of power that ran up my arm when I first laid my hand upon it.  With my fate clutched closely to me, we returned to the inn in triumph." Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala

Last edited by Hackhamster (4/01/2019 9:30 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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4/01/2019 10:15 pm  #12


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"I awoke the next morn aflame with the desire to plumb the secrets of the staff. It was crooked and gnarled, strange branches and twists of its ebon substance cradled a strange gem in the center. Altogether not a weapon of mundane power, for it seemed ungainly. My knowledge was insufficient to the task of teasing its secrets from it, so I resolved to go to the bazaar to see what materials I could find. As I passed through the common room, the innkeep bade me good morn and noted my comrades had gone out earlier, perhaps to the bazaar as well. My errand there was uneventful, and I quickly returned with a tome of local history which I closeted myself with in my chambers. I spent the morning reading and in meditation, and I took Mother out for some air. The book proved to be a common history of Xambaala and its environs. Some mention was made of the staff as being an object of power who’s genesis was unclear. Considering the dread aspect of the staff and my desire to keep it near me, I wrapped it in rags to conceal its shape so it would not attract undue attention. I continued to read. The chambermaid came to change the linens, but she left with alacrity after I merely frowned at her for interrupting me. She must have felt my dread aura becoming more potent, ready to erupt with power.

After some time, I noticed my companions had not returned, so I put my clothes back on and returned to the common room."  Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala 


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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4/03/2019 9:06 pm  #13


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"A scullery maid begged my pardon and informed me the swine had been prepared as directed, and was hanging in the smoke room. With eagerness I repaired thither and directed the servants to carry the pig to my room. Alone, I spoke the dread syllables and once again thrust my intellect against the shimmering curtains of reality. My mind’s eye burned with visions of necrotic landscapes inhabited by wailing spirits writhing in torment. Selecting a likely candidate from the least of them, I wrested it from its doleful matrix and embedded it's unholy essence in the savory sweet carcass of the pig, now toughened with the kitchen’s culinary preparations. With a surge of pride I surveyed my handiwork as the beast clambered to its feet to do my bidding.

I had animated some 10 stone of preserved and salted pork. It would not go bad, as many such preserved victuals do. It could not be lost or easily stolen. It would not have to be carried, as it would carry itself. Its baleful gaze would discourage the curious. Items that we wished to conceal could be stuffed into the body cavity. As a last resort, it could be loaded with fire oil and sent into an enemy formation to be set ablaze, causing consternation to our foes. The benefits were too numerous to count. I’m sure that some of the more squeamish of my compatriots would balk at a strip of salted pork writhing on their palate, but they were more than welcome to eat their own provisions.Thus I spent the rest of the morning. I considered how best to fit the beast with saddlebags, and measured it with a knotted string. I made a note to consult with a leather worker of strong constitution to fit it with a harness. I read my book, lamenting its lack of pertinent information. I gazed lustfully at my staff. I polished Mother’s jar. I had the unPig trot across the floor at my command. I peeled off a small strip of flesh from its hollowed out rib cage, and popped it in my mouth. Salty, sweet and smoky all at once, accompanied by a slight frisson from beyond the grave. Delicious!

Still, even the contemplation of my triumphs palls after a time, and I went searching for my absent companions. The innkeep had not seen them, and neither had the barmaid nor the trull at the hatch to the kitchen. I left the inn and made my way to the bazaar, and what did my dumbfounded gaze perceive but my two companions in chains being marched under guard into some large building adjacent to the arena! I asked one of the ubiquitous urchins that frequent the area, our relationship mediated my reluctant parting with our hard-earned largess.Biting the copper coin to check its provenance, the soiled little creature allowed that my two acquaintances had been seen incoherently begging for work, to no avail. They had then partaken of wine to excess.  Then they had a nap in the shade, paying a small boy to wave away the flies. After waking, and still in an inebriated state, they went to the temple and insolently accosted some priests. Thereupon they were arrested for their temerity, but miraculously were imprisoned instead of immediately slung onto the altar and their lifesblood let out with a quick stroke of obsidian.

My look of astonishment was met with the boy’s sullen silence. I loosed his tongue with another coin, whereupon he related that before they went to the temple, a woman of the slave caste had accosted them, and in their addled state they joined her for a series of fumbling erotic conjunctions under an old tarp in the alley behind the tannery. While I would put nothing in the way of coarse and immoral transgressions past them, I would not have expected the barbarian and warrior to just exit the inn under the pretense of seeking employment, and finding none seek the bottom of a wine skin and and then go a-whoring. The boy was undoubtedly embroidering his tale with fanciful flourishes in the hopes of relieving me of more coin, so in response to his latest confabulation I fixed him with a baleful gaze and demanded to know the whereabouts of the grimy slattern they had consorted with. Again his memory was prodded by a coin, and he stated he’d lead me to her if I was feeling a certain urge. I replied the only urge I was feeling was the need to see the color of his entrails if he did not expedite my search. At this and the production of another coin, the unnamed creature led me to a hovel not far from the sandy borders of the town."  Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala  

Last edited by Hackhamster (4/03/2019 9:08 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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4/08/2019 7:05 pm  #14


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

The woman was dirty and unkempt, her rags only held together with grime, but her fevered gaze held me as her pimp insisted he was her husband, and they knew nothing about the two I sought. She was silent, but quivering in the thrall of some strong emotion as the man lied to me. I could see nothing in this little drama to catch my interest, so I turned to go.“The priest killed my daughter.” the woman’s words seemed choked from her.

Her man raised his hands to deny it, to make us go, but my look silenced him. He looked down shrunken in defeat.  “She used to play outside,” she continued, “but he came and took her. He used her and threw her away, as his kind do. Kill him, and I will give you all my treasure.”  I couldn’t see anything in this mean hovel that I would value, so I made to leave again. She was mad, and it was hollowing her out. I knew the look. As for myself, interfering with the business of the priests could only lead to ruin. She grasped my robe to hold me back. With the other she reached into some dank recess and withdrew a small gem. “I will give you this, please help us!” she beseeched me.

Even I, master of fell landscapes of pain felt a twinge. It must have been the muesli I had for breakfast. Again I demurred, tossing a copper in the dust at her feet, and I left her weeping.The horrible little creature serving as my guide had remained in the doorway, his eyes big as saucers. I said to him, “I need a slave, find me one.” He didn’t even put a hand out as he led me back towards the bazaar.  Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala  

Last edited by Hackhamster (4/08/2019 7:07 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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4/08/2019 8:00 pm  #15


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

At the door to the arena, the nerve of the boy broke and he ran. He wanted no business here. At the portal, sealed with two brazen doors carved in heroic style, I gave a silver to the guard, who gave an obsequious nod of his head and pulled the door open. I entered into bedlam. 

Whips cracked, men shouted and sobbed, animals roared and grunted, and all was enveloped in an unholy fug of torch smoke, ripe sweat, damp, rust and blood. Weapons clashed and rang and dull thuds boomed as shields were struck. In the dimness, a man behind a tall desk bade me come near. He was chewing a horrible stub of brown leaves in his cheek, and brown dribble coated his chin. He made inquiry into my business there and I replied I was looking for a slave. At this he laughed. He said slaves were for the taking in this town, but here there were fighters, and fighters were expensive. A fighter was what I needed, I told him, one that wouldn’t run and would be loyal. We haggled for a bit, and with a wily chuckle, he finally sent a runner to fetch a likely one from the pen below. What returned was the most evil aspected individual I had ever seen. His eyes were shining black beads under a squinting swarthy brow and they peered out from behind skeins of lank hair reeking of rancid fat. His lips and cheeks were cut and slashed, and primitive tattoos of some tentacular creature were writ on his skin. He was short of stature, and wrapped in skin-tight hides, but he moved quickly and with power. On his belt was a knotted whip, which he caressed as if a lover’s thigh. He gave me the most insolent look I had ever received from a human and gave me a smile filled with filed teeth. The overseer grinned, and sold him to me for ten gold, which while seemingly a bargain, somehow I felt cheated as I left with him trailing behind me. 

“What is your name, slave?” I asked. 

“Atanaq” he repied in the sibilant accent of Esquimeaux. “It is Snowdog in your tongue. Heh, you are now my master. Lead me well.” Now I knew why he had come so cheaply: he was the least submissive of slaves.


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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5/05/2019 7:23 am  #16


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

I wish to hear more of the exploits of that Viking berserker!

 

5/08/2019 10:07 pm  #17


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Using the funds left to me, I had him equipped and armored in a short time. For some reason the merchants haggled less than enthusiastically when my slave gave them his blank obsidian stare, and I received good prices as a result. I considered my options. Of course, I could leave my bumbling companions to their fate. Certainly they were receiving their reward for their ineptitude right this minute, pent in some muculent subterranean chamber receiving the lubricious attentions of a cohort of sweaty gaolers! Perhaps they were even now being taunted and shamed in their nakedness, or even tortured! Such sweet utterances must be issuing from their strained throats! I amused myself for a brief time with visions of their imagined torments until it was with a jolt that I collected my wits and set off for the prison. I had to see what had become of them before I could decide on their destiny.

The pens beneath the arena were guarded by as slovenly and grasping a lot as I had seen, but they seemed to know their business. To their credit, Snowdog was not allowed to accompany me into the depths were the prisoners were kept, so following a guard of leering mongrel visage I went below. Such a bacchanalia of Gehennan excess I beheld: mouths agape in anguish, whips brandished in the gnarled grip of authority and wielded with grunts of exertion, their flicking tips drawing forth sorrowful exclamations and entreaties. Chaos reigned in the flickering light of oil lamps and guttering tallow candles. Toothy beasts scaly and furred roared and hissed. And in their midst, shackled in rusty chains and crouched in fouled rushes were the sorry duo I sought.

They looked none the worse for wear. They were begrimed and doleful looking, yet not overly bruised. Their injuries must be internal. So as to not show undue attention to them, I inquired of the prices for this or that miserable prisoner, telling my procurer I was uninterested in their health, and I only sought a couple men for their… parts. At that, the more abused and decrepit of them sought to appear robust and vital, strutting and posing. I was quoted ten, twenty gold for the least of them. They were a sad lot. I furrowed my brow and pondered my choice. As if by chance, my gaze alit on my companions, who for all this time were surreptitiously trying to catch my gaze.

“Those two look like they will last under the knife quite some time. How much?” I asked. The “For them? Two hundred and feeeeefty, my lord. They will do well in the arena. It will cost much to replace them” The turnkey’s oleaginous smile could have greased a hundred axles.I concealed my dismay as best I could. I had only forty gold or so with me, and the look of this place was forbidding enough that even with my dark arts and stalwart slave there was small chance of liberating them. I declined the offer with a superior sniff and said I might be back.  Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala  

Last edited by Hackhamster (5/08/2019 10:08 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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5/09/2019 8:52 pm  #18


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Well, two hundred and fifty gold weren’t going to earn themselves. Retrieving Snowdog, I reluctantly went back to the old woman’s hut on the edge of town less to hear her tale of woe again but more to review her paltry reward for exacting her revenge. It was as small as I remembered. It might have been easier to give Atanaq the command and it would be ours, but as I considered having him just slay the pair and take the gem, I looked up and his beady eyes met mine. He knew what I was thinking, and was judging me. For some reason I felt diminished. Did he expect the order to come? I could tell he would do it without qualm, for they were prey, and weak. But the words could not pass my lips. Looking at my toes, I mumbled my agreement to her terms.

Helios was rolling like a drunk towards his fetid bed, his sickly garnet rays bathing the city in the crimson hue of fresh blood, and casting shadows as black as pitch as we filed out into the street. The woman said the priest prowled the neighborhood in the evening, so we picked a ruined hovel of broken mud brick with windows and door gaping like a skull for our hiding place. Inside, the sands were piled against the walls, and the beams of the ceiling bellied down low. The place was cluttered with broken pottery and glass, and was rank with the smell of urine. Snowdog took no notice however, and squatted stoic and immobile in the shade of the doorway like some profane idol.

The shame burned in my belly. I had been faced down by a slave, a lesser man than I. He would pay someday for that. But still my hands shook and my lip quivered. If I could strike him down now I would, but even that he allowed me, presenting his back to me in silent affront. He knew I could not move against him and he was right. Fear had no part in it. He had to live to keep alive the chance of freeing my idiot companions. Otherwise, I should just collect Mother’s jar and board the ship back to Khromarium and return to the stares, the knowing looks and the still face of my beloved.

Brooding upon these thoughts, I nearly missed the child running past our hide closely pursued by a reaching figure in flapping robes and slapping sandals. Snowdog muttered low “It is he” and he moved from his crouch to a low run in one movement, unlimbering his whip as he made to pursue his target. I scrambled to follow him up the street, his bare feet outdistancing mine easily. Our quarry turned a corner ahead of us, close to the child. She gave a low cry as she looked back, whether for the leering priest or the shadow of death behind. As the priest reached for her with grasping hands, a whip cracked around his feet and he was wrenched off his feet. The girl ran off as the burly primitive hunter fell upon him and with swift blows rendered him senseless.

“Master, what shall we do with this… worm?” he said, his hand firmly clasping the priest’s mouth. I thought for a moment, and then with some linen tied his hands and gagged him. “Bring him” I commanded and strode off into the desert.  We may have found the key to freeing my cretinous partners. Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala  


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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5/09/2019 8:54 pm  #19


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Birgir wrote:

I wish to hear more of the exploits of that Viking berserker!

Getting there!
 


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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5/15/2019 7:12 pm  #20


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Snowdog dragged him along, prodding our prisoner with a shrewdly placed kick as required. Thankfully it was but a short distance to her ramshackle hovel. The priest made mewling noises around his gag as Snowdog hauled him to his feet and presented him to her.

“Madam, is this the miscreant?” Her glare and swift nod saved us from an interminable sequence of hunting down enrobed pederasts for her identification, but it seemed we got it in one. I cared not either way, as long as we were paid.  My extended palm was soon filled with our paltry bounty. It was not two-hundred and fifty gold, but is a grave dug with one spadeful?

“Come Snowdog, bring the vermin along.” I had a place in mind where we would enjoy perfect privacy, for I had questions that needed answering.  This disgraced excuse of a priest might be the key to winning my loutish companions' freedom.


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
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