Continued from here, is the second episode from my North of Lemuria series of Untold: Adventures Await #UntoldBG and Barbarians of Lemuria mashup.
Episode 2: DEATH from ABOVE
A Dangerous Dilemma
The episode begins in the court of King Kalvar in Vintergart where raiders have captured someone or something. Asara has come seeking answers about her blade, and more about the druid Marro, but has found nothing but a vacant area of yurts and buildings with signs of a recent skirmish everywhere they look. Among the bodies are some of the raiders — scantly clad hardy barbarians from further north who are pocked by some pestilence. Manda begins picking through the bodies for more detail while Asara wants to be far from them. The Satarlan girl is at a loss as to what transpired.
Asara quickly picks up a trail of survivors and possibly captives. She follows the clear trail, setting a brisk march to catch up. After a daunting march leaving Manda behind, Asara catches up with the host. The area is clearly marked by the circling of carrion beasts high above in a no man’s waste.
The Plot Thickens
There, Asara finds a dastardly wizard of some sort who commands the throng of pocked northmen. The poor captives are kept in cages awaiting some terror to befall them. In a large tent nearby come the cries of men as they are taken one by one for the sake of some cruel experiments. Asara watches in horror. When the Valgardians emerge, they are similarly pocked as their captors and behave in a mechanical, almost zombie-like state. Asara sees Marro among the men alongside the wizard. Although the distance from her vantage point is too great to be certain, the barbarian woman is almost certain she recognizes Dark Warlord Tolech, the villain who swept down from the north to terrorize and wage war with her people.
Like a dream, Asara remembers serving as a physician, tending to the wounded during that horrible time in her young life. Savages of unknown motive driven by their warlord descended upon the people of the White Bear clan with supernatural ferocity and relentlessness. She remembers seeing the warlord upon a beastly steed of shaggy fur and dread fangs and saw into his eyes. Waves of fear swept over her. She knows the man in the distance that she now looks upon is he.
An Heroic Undertaking
The episode continues near the cages of Tolech’s camp by night where the warlord’s bestial guardian raises an alarm at Asara’s approach. She quickly moves to silence the source of the horrific shriek, finding a squat ill-tempered reptile bred and altered through sorcery to survive in the harsh northern clime. Red eyes glitter and a maw filled with razor sharp fangs bares to her. It hisses and growls. With a terrific effort, Asara evades the behemoth’s clumsy advances and slays the nasty reptile after several well-timed strokes of her blade. However, between the terrible noise of the beast and pleadings of the distraught and desperate captives now aware of her presence, the minions of the evil warlord rouse themselves in confusion, groping for their weapons.
Thinking quick, Asara runs to the nearest cage that has the most number of men hale enough to put up a worthy resistance. She toils with the lock, being somewhat proficient in disabling shackles and locks. However, she is too beleaguered to finish the job before her challengers descend upon her. Soon three pocked savages fan around her, cutting off escape. She downs one and takes a gash from the axe head of another. She finishes the other two in rapid succession and searches quickly for the keys, opening the cages.
Among the men is an aged man she recognizes from her clan, Draghan, who is a healer and wizened man — she is surprised to see him. The two embrace, but soon the entire camp is roused.
- Asara spent 1 Hero Point, having 3 remaining
- Asara took 3 LB damage
The Truth Revealed
Suddenly, chaos erupts as the airborne scavenging beasts, a handful of fearsome drakks, swoop out of the night air, attracted by the scent of the dead guardian beast’s blood. The minions go wild with terror as friend and foe alike are snatched up into the air by the formidable pterodactyl-like terrors.
The Final Showdown
The final showdown takes place along a darkened valley leading away from the encampment where the snatching drakks pursue Asara and the fleeing Valgardians because, in their enraged state made worse by Tolech’s aura of fear, they will attack anything. At the same time, some remaining savages give chase to the throng in desperation, commanded by their warlord.
Asara spurs on her kin, urging them with her force of presence. This gets the slower of them more motivated. She seeks a narrow choke point through the tundra valley or shelter — but there is no such place in this blasted land. Knowing the drakks are fueled by the scent of blood, Asara veers from her people, attracting a small horde of minions to attack her. She taunts them and suddenly she is thronged by a dozen mindless savages. She begins heaping bodies about her with bloodied sword despite the many wounds the crazed pocked minions inflict upon her. Then, seeing that their attention is turned to the winged horrors in the sky, she evades them, pressing forward with all her passion. However, her foes are as driven as she, and now the fell things from the sky begin snatching at the men and bodies as she is mobbed once more. She slays more and barely dives aside as a massive talon nearly impales her.
Free at last from the wild throng, she flees as fast as she can. No longer dogged by Tolech’s minions, she has only to lead her terrified and famished people from the crazed flying beasts. At last, the Valgardians are no longer pursued by man and flying beast. However, their ordeal leaves a tremendous and devastating toll. Many of King Kalvar’s finest have died this day.
- Asara ends with 6 LB remaining and 3 HP
To Be Continued
Asara is heralded a hero of unparalleled bravery after her actions. Once the remaining folk return to Vintergart, Asara is heaped with such jewels and baubles as they have to offer — what little remains that was not hauled off in the raid. A fractured people now bears a great sorrow, and Kalvar, now safe in his court, plots vengeance against Tolech and asks Asara to help lead the men. He is, after all, an aging king less vital than the days of his youth. She is intrigued, for she would welcome the chance to avenge herself against Tolech and Marro.
Still interested in the riddle of her blade, she finds a moment to reminisce with Draghan, paying him kindnesses and what gold she has so that he can recount the story of her father’s blade. Draghan only replies that she should seek out her father’s lover who is said to have journeyed south beyond the mountain passes into the steaming vastness of Lemuria. Khala is her name, and she alone knows the sadnesses that were bound to the blade. Where she may be now is anyone’s guess.
Asara has a tough choice ahead of her…would she take up Kalvar’s cause in the name of vengeance? Or seek to discover the secrets of her ancestry? What other plots do Tolech and Marro prepare to unleash upon Kalvar’s remaining men?
- Asara receives 3 Advancement Points
- She raises her Appeal to 1, and her Thief career to 2, thus spending her points