Thursday, February 8, 2018

Myths of Lemuria, part 1

An actual play journal of a Barbarians of Lemuria (Mythic Edition).

Tonight, I ran a short (2-hour) session of BoL for three great players, and it was a total blast. Set up as an impromptu one-shot that was postponed, four of us met for the first time. The initial idea was to play a quick game without too much forethought about theme and background anchors. Barbarians of Lemuria is particularly well-suited for this. With a starting location and a vague idea of an initial hook, and that’s all that’s needed.

Four of us on the East Coast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest met on hangouts a ran with it. Our heroes included a former pirate/dancer/assassin who wielded twin rapiers and carried a bow named Garde, a mighty-thewed northerner named Brom with a broadsword, and another former pirate/thief/mercenary/gladiator named Agroc. Garde and Agroc shared a similar background that included a vengeful Satarlan duke who scoured the face of Lemuria in search of both.

The action was set in Urceb, “the Forgotten City” on the windswept eastern Lemurian coast. There, further removed from other centers of civilization, the three adventurers found themselves searching the undercity for forgotten treasures like many others attracted to the remote locale. A thriving market existed from the selling of trinkets and treasures filched from forgotten warrens underground. Likewise, unscrupulous merchants sold dubious maps to treasure hunters for exorbitant prices.

Our heroes had one such map…a poor copy of some other one marked on a canvas. The adventure began in the remote tunnels further from the center of the undercity. Their map had led them true so far. They encountered none other in this part and found portents that their path had not been taken by anyone within recent history. They found an infestation of uzegs but kept true to the map.

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The three found a dead-end that was marked as a continuous passage. The mighty Brom tore asunder a brick and mortar wall erected in some unknown point in the past. They found themselves in a forgotten crypt. Immediately, they found an onyx idol of strange fashion and several handfuls of ancient coins among the niches of interred corpses.

However, a pair of scorpiders attacked! Quickly, the three defeated their foes. After collecting their newfound wealth and encouraged by the find, they continued into the crypt. Their way became increasingly labyrinthine and bore signs of ancient construction. They passed through an undisturbed temple until a sudden and uncanny gust blew out their torch.

Agroc quickly lit a new one. However, during the tense darkness and silence (broken only by Brom’s curse), Agroc felt a strange sense of vertigo. The others noticed nothing. When the flame returned, they found themselves somewhere entirely different — upon an island of stone. Two spans crossed a mysterious fluid channel surrounding the table of stone. At the end of one span the three faced an unsettling robed figure with concealed features.

Agroc asked the figure who he was. The figure answered in a hissing voice tinted by an ancient accent. “Are you the ones for whom I have been waiting?”

Agroc replied to the negative. Garde, who had his bow ready, asked if the figure could show them out. The figure replied, “Unfortunately, you may not leave.”

Brom, who had no love of sorcery, charged the foe and nearly cut the villain in two. The emaciated figure turned to run, but Garde ran him through with a well-aimed arrow from his bow. Agroc checked the body and found the shriveled and disturbing visage of a bloodless sorcerer. Was this one of the fabled sorcerer-kings?

Suddenly, animated bloodless corpses came out of the woodwork and closed in on the three. The heroes carved a path through the swath of minions toward the direction for which the undead sorcerer was intending to make. There they ascended a stair. That stair turned out to be a dais bearing an open sarcophagus. There was nowhere to run…with a landing behind the sarcophagus ending in bare wall. Trapped!

Dozens of walking skeletons assailed them. Brom launched the immense stone lid of the sarcophagus, taking out numerous minions, while Garde slew two more with his bow. Agroc searched the back wall and with great success (boxcars!) found a secret entrance. The three escaped to find…
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A trove of mythic wealth!

There were idols, golden-chased bracelets, crystal-studded jewelry, coins of ancient mintage…far more than the trio could hope to carry away. However, they were trapped in a treasure vault with a limited supply of air. With great care, they picked up their choice items. Garde retrieved a beautiful jade statuette similar to the onyx one they found at the beginning of the crypt. Brom saw a larger idol on a pedestal. Putting his mighty hand to it, he discovered the piece to swivel, activating another hidden door in the back of the vault.

The heroes exited, finding themselves in the grassy plains outside of Urceb. However, their adventure did not end here!

With the great hidden door of the vault sealed behind them, they carried what they could back to the city. Immediately, they gained the attention of its curious and grasping folk. They were bombarded by questions. All were careful not to reveal the location of their find. Brom first unloaded his onyx statue, but failed to see the interested onlookers during the dealmaking with a local merchant. He was followed back to the Wistful Wench where the three spent their ill-begotten gains. Agroc also bought a sloop with his money so that they could scour the coast. The rest they drank away and wenched.

However, several malicious figures entered the establishment. Agroc saw them and warned Garde. Brom was oblivious due to enjoying the sumptuous bounty of pleasures. The thugs were ordered to attack the barbarian. The three heroes were quicker to react. Brom tossed a table into their midst, taking out nine, while Garde shot a tenth. The leader fled.

Of course our heroes would give chase! Through the crowded streets, Garde took the lead and tumbled overhead and onto the back of the fleeing villain. The robed figure got up and drew a blade. Garde drew his rapiers and prepared to meet him in battle. However, the villain reached for a bag at his hip and tossed a fragrant powder at the assassin. Garde fell into a slumbering heap when the dream lotus pollen hit his nose. Brom and Agroc lost the fleeing man, but retrieved his pouch, which was marked by the sign of Hadron.

They had gained the interest of the Black Druids! Fun was had, and the four of us look forward to the next opportunity to resume this saga. With any luck, I’ll continue to chronicle the adventures here.


  1. Yep, that's a great little game! :) I wish I had time to try also Honor+Intrigue that uses the same system but makes combat more complex...

    1. Never got H&I, but heard it added a bunch of nuance. If I could pick only one game for a deserted island, BoL might be it...funny thing is it's simple enough I might not even need it! ;)

    2. Yeah, that's right, in fact my idea is to use just the setting, the Boons and the different use of the abilities (that I found more balanced)... anyway next time I'll have to try somethint even bolder: a session using Bol in a modern setting (with monsters and sorcerors included)