Shattered Swords of Hyboria

Dagoth Hill

I appear before her, she glances at me with mock surprise… “You again?”
I glare at her and she chuckles, saying “fear not, you time is not yet nigh, though I do have to wonder why you choose to spend so much time with me?”
I have seen her far to often in these times, her name is death.
I sit and wait and contemplate my future and I know that one day I will arrive here and she will gather me under her wings and spirit me off to the bosom of Bel; until then I can only sit, wait and watch as she gathers others unto herself.

My thought return to how I came to be in the ladies presence once more…

Our company of four joined to the caravan heading east toward the city of the Count, a place where there is a bounty upon our heads. We rode in pursuit of Malakho; out traitorous sorcerer who has taken the maiden that we promised safe passage to. I also feel that he bids her harm and that our time is short.

After the third day it came to our attention that the caravan master would enter a certain wagon just after the

To be continued…

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Betrayed

We rode south following the road our Captain Appius and his presumed captors had trod, eventually we joined with a caravan that was traveling south until we found a small city where upon scouting we discovered Appius and his captors were holding up.
In short order we found where they were staying and shortly after we started to observe the place, one of the captors; a former Lieutenant in the service of Appius left headed into a more prestigious part of town. We followed him where he entered a rich house and then left after a short time. We ambushed him and discovered that our presuppositions were false, Appius was not a captive but those holding him were protecting him. We also discovered that the Count (Appius’s father) had orchestrated the whole coup so he could clean house.
We encountered a barbarian from the north named (insert name here) who joined our group and pledged his sword to our cause and companionship.
We left Appius and headed south away from his father who was still seeking our heads. Shortly after we departed our ears were met with the cry a woman over yonder hill; we charged forth and discovered a naked maiden beset by 5 ruffians. To say that this was a battle would be to exaggerate; although the men appeared to have training in warfare; we slayed the thugs in short order leaving two alive; the leader ran and one of the others surrendered when commanded by the barbarian. Again Malakho did nothing…
We found that the woman was of brythonian decent and that she was being taken to a scoundrel named Miraslave. The mere mention of Miraslav caused our barbarian friend to almost enter a seething rage, he has a scar that runs up his face and he claims that Miraslav was the cause that he will be paid back in kind. We decided to return her to her father’s home where his coin purse and armory would be open to us, at least a sum of 500 silver was offered.
We brought the woman into town and I bought her some clothes then we investigated why she was so precious and we found out from Malakho that she is what is referred to as “the perfect sacrifice” and although he mentioned some of the qualities that made her such I cannot recall them except that she is a virgin and pure.
We rented a room at the local Inn and the woman and I slept there, she on the bed and me on the floor.
Alas, we are betrayed; I awoke with a painful head even though I did not partake in excessive drinking and I discovered that the woman was gone… as was Malakho.
Malakho had mentioned a ceremony that could be conducted in 3 weeks that required a “perfect sacrifice” at a place called Dagoth Hill (or something like that); so we suspect he is taking her there to become powerful. I knew I should never have trusted him.
In the morning we mounted up and discovered that Ubanwa’s horse was taken as well as Malako’s; we set off in pursuit; got lost then found a caravan who had seen her and pointed the way he went… back to the Count Tiberius…. figures…
The caravan guard leader ask us to join him, he indicated he did not trust the caravan leader nor the men under his charge. We agreed.
Tonight we rest uneasily as those who ride with us may not have our best interests at heart.

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Rumors of our deaths.. are greatly exaggerated

I am alive still, though it seems as if someone really wants us dead.

It all started at a bar we were resting at, Ubanwa was drunk as usual and more obnoxious than usual, Ruslan was dashing as usual and Malakho was nowhere to be found. A serving girl was bringing our drinks and I could not help but notice that she was nervous; more importantly our drinks smelled and appeared to be tainted with something; and it appeared that I was the only one to notice this i took action. just as Ubanwa was bringing her drink to her lips, I knocked it out of her hands. She stood up and screaming at me and knocking the other drinks to the floor, whereupon I speaking in a low calm voice informed her that the drink had been tainted. Her response was to scream even louder about the drink being tainted. The serving girl brought us another round of drinks, but this time Ruslan who had been watching her and noticed her apparent fear of some men at a table across the room. He motioned her to take the drinks complements of himself and present them to the men, which she did very fearfully and the men after receiving the drinks got up disgusted and left.
We got up to follow though Ubanwa needed to be helped along as she had difficulty walking let alone shadowing the men. Once we were outside, it was decided that I should assist Ubanwa to the barracks and then join up with Ruslan; we parted ways as he set off in pursuit of the 3 would be assassins.
As Ubanwa and I began our trek to the barracks we heard a cry from the alley near the tavern we had just left and in the alley was the serving girl with a grievous wound. I went to her aid (dumb me) and found that she been mortally stabbed, she died in my arms. No sooner did the breath leave her than I heard the cry of “murderer!” and upon looking up I noted the presence of a man pointing at me and screaming (seems to be too many loud people in the town) out drawing a crowd and the city guard.
I felt pity (for a second or two) on leaving Ubanwa to the guard and I took to the shadows, I needed to find Ruslan.
I found Ruslan in short order, he was casing a building that the 3 men had entered, a building that appeared to have only one entrance. Shortly after I found Ruslan 2 of the men left the building, the third must have staying inside. Again I took to the shadows but Ruslan was careless and they spotted him. He was crafty and drew them past myself then pulled one to himself. The leader stood back and commanded the second man to kill Ruslan, little did he know that in short order his life would soon be forfeit.
I struck first blood against the leader, he scarcely felt pain as his life was snuffed out by the steel of my arming sword. He made no noise as I put him down with but a gurgle of surprise.(see image below)
Adora f mod
Ruslan then struck out but caused barely a flesh wound upon his foe, then he retreated out of harms way around the building. The thug then turned to me, his blade went off it’s mark and I suffered no hurt; my blade though was true and in short order he was soon a cooling corpse laying next to his leader.
We searched the dead men and found only a note with our names and what appeared to be bounties. We found the 3rd man dead inside the building.
We decided to approach our captain about these turn of events and headed toward the barracks.
What happened next is confusing, as we approached the barracks we saw the troops of the free company charging past us, only the Sargent noted us and upon recognizing us he cried out in disbelief that we were alive, we were supposed to be dead.
He attacked us and Ruslan and I slew him in quick order, then we ran into Ubanwa and Malakho who apparently knew more about what was going on that anyone else. He had heard that Capt Appius had been abducted and taken to the south.
We left town heading south to find and rescue our Captain.

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Shadow of Death

Ouch! I awake certain I am dead except for one nagging fact… I am in great pain!
Okay, the I guess at least I am alive… barely.
The last few days are clouded in the mist of pain and shock, almost like I was drunk with something that I could not overcome.
I remember Ubanwa laying out stakes and the wolves and what Malakho described as a werewolf, he demanded Appius’s lackey which Ubanwa was more than pleased to provide, but Malakho denied him and then I remember the wolves attacking. In fact the last thing I remember before I woke up in pain was the wolves fangs tearing my flesh.
I have been living in a haze, between the pain and shock, my body has been very weary and my mind has not totally been aware of what is going on.
I know that sometime while I was incapacitated Appius returned, to my knowledge nothing else important happened. I guess since he found us we can return to Nemedia.
Owie…

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Village of the Dead

We rested over night then departed as soon as we received our weapons back from a old man from the east who claims he had done something to them to allow them to kill magical wolves and werewolves. According to the old man we are facing a pack wolves led by a werewolf, while I do not know of such things exist I have learned that there are many things in this world that we cannot explain nor should we even try.

The ride was uneventful during the day as we made haste to the next village where we were told would be a excellent basecamp from which to forage out to find and kill the beasts.

As we arrived it quickly became apparent that something was amiss, the stench of death hung over the landscape nae we set eyes upon the village and once we approached and noticed the destroyed gates, the demolished buildings and the scattered corpses our suspicions were confirmed. Dead as far as the eyes can see; men, women and even children had been torn apart as if by the teeth of a great beast.

We have sought out a defensible place because many of us are feeling that we are no longer the hunters but have entered the realm of the hunted. As I was searching out the debris I heard a faint cry for help and found a man named Bek; he was the lackey of Capt Appius who ran when the beasts attacked the captain and his retinue. It is now that we learn that of the 30 men that he led, only 5 and himself were acquainted with the ways of the blade. The rest were laborers for digging and such; what are many times called fodder when in battle. I suspect their fates are sealed and I only pray that they died quickly and will not rise to face us.

Now we are preparing to face the coming onslaught, surrounded by the bodies of those who failed before us, we ready our defense for the night is nigh upon us. Even now we can hear the yips and howls of the wolves just beyond the treeline. But is there something else there that we have not yet perceived? Only time will tell. I close this Journal entry with these words; if this Journal is found please return it to Lord Tiberius Sempronius Varus in Nemedia, the fate of his son is not known to us at this time. ((I only write this in the remote possibility that I may not escape, I for one do not plan on dying among the corpses of the dead village.))

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A plea for help

We rode on deeper into the Borderlands and toward evening we found ourselves approaching a walled village. As we approached we noticed that many of the villagers were outside the gates and they were burning bodies in a great pyre. At first our arrival was met with suspicion and fear, we were told to move on; Ubanwa our token mouth was able to persuade the leader to talk to us, he invited us in to his home; fed us a good meal, good drink and then asked for our assistance.

Seems the local area has been plagued by some very cunning and fearless wolves; wolves who would attack a armed man in broad daylight. The leader asked us to find the wolves and kill them; thereby saving the village; he was willing to pay us 100 silver each if we could remove this curse from them. After much discussion it was decided that we would help them. The leader also provided free room and board; I was boarded with Ubanwa, Ruslan slept with his new mistress and Malakho slept alone. Sadly I am not getting much sleep as Ubanwa snores like a Argossean sailor!

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Out of Nemedia

We rode till the border where the road forks north to Cimmeria, as we reached the fork there was a man standing in the middle of the road. When we approached us, he called for us to pay the toll which he told us was 10 silver per person, Ubanwa our quick tongued nomad tried to barter him down; which resulted in the lone man calling forth his master. He was man dressed in finery who was riding on a horse. As this man rode up to us, it became very clear that there was at least 10 men with blades and bows all around us; the master indicated to Ubanwa that there would be no negotiation and that the toll fee remained at 10 silver per person. After talking to the master and getting details of what protection he was offering for the 10 silver, she paid him 40 silver, enough to cover all of us.

We rode past them and in to the countryside of the borderlands to the north of Nemedia. After enter Nemedia for a couple of miles, we stopped; hid our horses and made our way back into Nemedia seeking the camp of the robbers. We easily found it not far off of the road, upon approaching it we saw few guards the master and his lackey were discussing something across from the camp; as Bel would bless us; the masters tent faced away from us and the back was both exposed and unguarded. Ruslan and I snuck up to the back of the tent, he cut a hole it the back and we looked in; we saw nobody so he enlarged the hole big enough for him to enter. He entered while I remained in the shadows outside covering for him; while in there he found a slave girl; a bag of 50 gold coins, some silver coins, an Akbitanan shortsword and some scroll tubes. We escaped and without any issues and after we were a distance away we heard the primal scream of anger and despair as the master discovered our deeds. All in all it was a good night; we each received 10 gold, Ubanwa received her 40 silver back and there was some silver left over as well. I received the shortsword since I am the only one in our group that uses one. We will ride a little further tonight then we will rest until daybreak.

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The journey ends (and then begins)

Prelude to the game…

As one journey comes to an end, another journey must begin.

Where will this journey take us and what will we learn?

Only Bel truly knows…

To be certain, there will be tears of joy, of pain and of sorrow; but each day will wash the tears away a little at a time as is known time and vengeance heals all wounds.

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For every story, a beginning...

For whatever the reason, whatever the excuse, they have come to Nemedia.

Barbarians, Thieves, Warriors, even Scholars…all have found a home with Cruenta Framea.

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