Legacy of War
Two adventurers find their way into a strange park for an encounter they were not expecting…
The temperature is 20 degrees Celius, perfect for combat. The domain smells like fresh grass mixed with hard leather and metal polish. The sound of battle rings distant from somewhere around them. The land in front of them is an open field of poppies (upon closer inspection is seems spots of the ground are stained in blood.) And in front of them is a single building, a small white gasebo, behind it an unmarked grave. Beware, you have entered Crab’s domain, the God of Hate, where none are safe and the ability to kill is the only skill respected.
They feel as if they are not welcome…
Before them kneels a Dwarf in the most terrifying armour they’ve ever seen. Floating around the dwarf is what looks like a large saucer or plate covered by a red silk cloth. The dwarf is Crab, War, God of Hate. Beside him on the ground is a wicked looking crown. The walls are covered in racks of weapons. Weapons of all sorts and of obvious magical abilities. He speaks to anyone making it past the spells around the park, “You may wonder why I would have use of such as you. That is not a question for you to ask. The question you have to ask is what would I have you do. You are to fetch me a weapon. It is called Unfettered. Rumored to have been last seen in the hands of a human from the Empire, Reshar. I have arranged transport for you from the city here to the Empire. Return with the sword and you will be given great honor and respect.”
At the port a massive man named, Vintash, who looks like he would be more comfortable wrestling baby giants then with a normal job, showed them to a boat which took them across the sea without incident.
Once at Gilgamesh, a port city in the Empire. However the two adventurers are brought to a tavern called the Black Shire. Outside there are shirtless humans and half-humans of both
genders. Each with a collar around their neck. A group is sitting around them, crude jokes can be heard and quiet laughter. Every now and then one of the people sitting will suddenly get up and quickly walk into the tavern.
Inside the tavern is they are quickly met with a wall to which they can go through a door to either the left or right. They each decide to take one and head into a room filled with standard pub fare. Tables, benches, bar stools, and at the back of the room is the bar. With a tall, muscular elf pouring ale for costumers. He does not deliver any of the ale though, in fact the people at the tables never get up, each table seems to have one or more of the shirtless half-breeds going back and forth getting and giving drink orders. There are less well dressed people or various race sitting at the bar ordering their own drinks. At this point the adventurers notice the difference, the people sitting at tables are all dressed like nobles.
The adventurers try to speak with anyone, but the slaves do not respond. The middle class is be harsh and rough. The nobles are the most accepting of the characters as they approach and begin telling exciting stories. They are told that Reshar commonly goes to the festival plane, and with a little more convincing (the sharing of a secret for a secret) they are told the password to get the bartender to allow them access is “cabbage”.
The elf bartender nods toward a back doorway with the sign “employees only.”
Upon walking through the door, the characters are suddenly in another plane. They walk out of a wooden door into a narrow alley. The sound of crowds and music, a stringed instrument, can be heard.
Main stage – Hundreds of creatures sit on a hill facing a massive stage. On the stage three
winged creatures fly around each other trailing silks which form patterns of unimaginable
colours and intricate designs which send the crowd into “ows” and “aws” again and again. They finish the act with an amazing piece, tying the silks into a knot, they rolls themselves up in the silks until all three beautiful maidens wrap themselves into the knot and disappear. While a huge burst of applause explodes from the onlookers, a human walks on stage, multi-coloured tunic, wearing a large head piece. He makes a few jokes which aren’t really funny but the creatures sitting on the hill laugh. He announces the next act, a two headed troll sorceror, the adventurers notice that while one head is doing the magic, the other sleight of hands the volunteers on stage of their coin purses.
Walking onto the cobblestone street reveals lines of vendors along either side of the road. Selling every sort of item and wear. Food of every sort, skin inking, tribal tattoos, weapons,
chainmail, as far as the road goes. And the road continues as far as the eye can see. The vendors do not shout out for their wares because each vendor has lines of people waiting to be served. In the streets are bards and gymnasts slaving away for crowds of people. Every humaniod race can be seen, from humans, from halfings to goliaths and orcs. Everyone seems to be rushing somewhere if they aren’t in a line at a shop or watching one of the bards. Suddenly a few people begin to run and scream, a strange mist reaches a human running and suddenly puffs of blood surround the person until he is completely consumed.
The adventurers manage to defeat the Bloodmote Swarm (LM 88). In gratitude one of the vendors answers a few questions, he doesn’t have much to say but he guides the adventurers to the Green Room behind the main stage. There is an opening to a fabulous building made of sculpted granite. Two rather large orcs stand by the door, both have clubs and swords in their belts. The adventurers decide to pass through violence and cut down the orcs quickly.
The Master of Ceremonies from the show is there but he no longer appears funny and energetic, he is old and weary, bent and tired. When approached he tells the adventurer that he is an old martial arts master who studied with Reshar, “I lost everything here. A sad tale I’m sure you care not to hear. I lost everything, even Unfettered. So long ago. To find the sword you must be search through the ARGH!!! Search in the ARGH!!! –sigh-
It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.
The more of it there is, the less you see.
To my lord and foes always lovely and deadly,
Altering face and form.
At my grip, warriors weep,
In my arms, babes sleep."
His riddle puzzles the adventurers but they answer him, “Darkness.”
“That’s right. Search there to find the entrance to the weapon’s resting place. To unlock the door you need to place a ARGH, you need to look for IT, to find the way.
It has a golden head
And a golden tail
But it does not have a body.”
By now the adventurers have realized he is cursed that he cannot give the direct answers and they answer this riddle as well, “a gold piece.”
“Go now. Search behind me.”
Behind the MC are a number of cages with various fantastical creatures in each of them. The areal creatures from before are in one cage. An ent rests in another. A talking chimp. The list goes on. One cage is filled just with darkness. This is the cage they break into.
They throw a GP into the darkness and it gives way to a maze of red clothes. Finding their way through the adventurers reach a large brick doorway. The Director, blocks the path to the swords. “I’d heard there was intruders. What so you want from me? Here are tickets to take you home. Just leave.” He cannot be reasoned with and after being beaten down, upon his death he transforms into an Atropal Scion (LM 84) and shouts, “Pass along a massage if you live, God’s do not die so easily. Parts of me live on!”
The Scion will attacks immediately. Fantastic swords are on display through a door behind him. There are six swords.
1. A masterful piece with two blades both pointing upward, away from the hilt. Each blade
is beautifully sharp on the outside and thick and blunt on the inside. (+2 Sword, +1D6 to
2. Although clearly functional, this greatsword appears strangely unfinished. Its blade,
though sharp, lacks any sheen or polish, and the leather wrapped pommel and handguard
appear crude and blocky. No gem or ornamantation of any kind adorns this weapon. (+1
3. The most majestic of all the weapons in front of you. This saber is adorned with great
gems and beautiful diamonds. The blade shines with the light of the sun such that you
have to look squint when looking at it. (-1d6 sword, +4 Cha)
4. The blade of the next sword bears a picture of a pile of coins on one side and a pile of
skulls on the other. The hilt in made of polished dark wood in the shape of a woman. (+3
sword, 50% deal crit damage, 50% damage returned to bearer)
5. The next blade in front of you appears almost invisible. The hilt is brilliant and well
crafted. The blade itself appears sharp and lethal if transparent. (+4 ethreal short sword)
6. The final sword appears the most devistating. It’s blade is a wicked cut of some dark
material, tinted black with the smell of blood. The hilt is made of metal and simple in
built but with arcane markings on it. (+2 evil bastard sword)
Each time a sword is taken a giant appears:
Hill Giant MM 123
Stone Giant MM 124
Front Giant MM 122
Fire Giant MM 121
Cloud Giant MM 120
Storm Giant MM 125
By the third giant the adventurers decided to grab all of the swords at once and run. Reading the tickets they received earlier they find an address for a play house. Outside the
play house are four creatures, two Greathorn Minatuars (MM4 100) and two Annis Hags (MM 143) who take the tickets and demand money. The adventurers pay the toll and get in while the giants deal with the bouncers outside.
Inside they find themselves in a pit with hundreds of people from every different race. Box
seats look down on a raised stage where a single door stands. On the stage are what look like carpets of human flesh. The boxes are empty except for one, a giant creature stands in it masked by a green hooded cloak.
As they walk through the crowd, some one begins to cough and call for help. The person is dying, but the adventurers must get back with the swords. Once the person dies, they almost immediately lunge out and bite the nearest creature. Very quickly the people all around the pair of adventurers are dying and turning to zombies. The undead attack until the characters are almost to the stage, 200ft of undead mosh pit.
Suddenly the whole ground surges underneath. All around the bodies and ground seem to
rise up and begin attacking as one. Approaching the stage the evacuated but horribly animated humanoid skins begins roiling and coiling slithering in an aggressive manner toward the characters. Finally reaching the stage there is a loud thud of something solid hitting the ground behind them as they rush ahead. The giant creature has joined the battle on stage and beneath its hood there are two heads and from the sides are massive, muscled arms.
The adventurer run, they pass the zombie horde, the Boneyard (LM 89), the Forgotten Shell (LM 100), and the Hooded Pupil (LM 108). Wanting nothing more thanto be out of this nightmare and back home. The characters pass through the backstage door and come out of it into an alley. They are quickly met by a water elemental who tells them the mayor requests their presence.
The town hall has been moved to the former prison. A fortress but from which Jules runs the city. Entering his office the adventurers are met with a rather non-descript mundane man. Above him on the wall are the heads of a baselesk and a tarrasque. “You fine sirs, have something that is of great value to someone I have interest in. DON’T say his name. That’s the nasty thing about deities, say their name and they can see and hear everything in your location. I’m purposing a deal. Name your price, in exchange for the sword. If that doesn’t work for you think of this, you are doing a task for the God of Hate. I will make sure he does not get the blade.”
They refuse all deals Jules purposes and leave the strange office. A well dressed teifling in red with black hair and a white streak approaches them and asks if they are ready to deliver.
Back at the park they stand infront of the god-dwarf again. “You’ve done well. More than others I have sent. Now I offer you great respect and honor. To battle here against your peers, with me as the audience. The champion will receive the greatest honor I can bestow upon him. Or you may leave as cowards with the loot you have obtained on your quest, minus my sword.”
One of the adventurers begins to walk away and the other laughs a laugh of someone twisted by his experiences. They fight and the twisted adventurer kills his friend, his partner, his mother’s second son. And he turns ready for honour to be given to him, the Crab picks up his ax, puts on his helmet, and as the adventurer realizes what is happening he is filled with both joy for the end to come and a sadness he is beyond understanding. He raises his sword only to have it be cleaved in two along with his body with one mighty swing from the God of Hate.