the CURSED CITY
This started with SGAM. I only got three episodes in during the month of November. Nevertheless, I’ll continue as long as the project holds my interest.
ASARA the BLUE
Attributes. Strength 2, Agility 1, Mind 1, Appeal 1
Abilities. Melee 2, Ranged 1, Defense 1, Initiative 0
Careers. Barbarian 2, Blacksmith 0, Healer 1, Thief 2
Languages. Axian, Lemurian, Valgardish
Hero Points. 4
Traits. Battle Harness, Can’t Lie, Feels the Heat, Quick Recovery, Trademark Weapon (Valgardian Long Sword), Tundra-Born
- Chain Mail Bikini (2)
- Sword (d6)
- daggers, 2 (d6L)
A Dangerous Dilemma
On their way to Volgar to rally new warriors for their army, Asara, Manda, King Kalvar and his Vintergart court find themselves mired in the Dead Bog, where some reptilian thing hunts Hamach, the King’s trusted physician. Hamach falls behind. They hear his terrified scream followed by a monstrous shriek.
Asara rushes to get there in time, but is too late. She spies a nasty giant snake-like creature without appendages, and thick rubbery skin covered with sharp spines. The horrific monster steams in the cold, giving off unnatural heat. The monster has swallowed Hamach whole. Finished with its meal, the unnatural bloated thing slithers off into a crack in the earth.
The others join Asara to see the thing escape. They are horrified and grieved.
The Plot Thickens
Some of Kalvar’s men move to investigate. Some cry out. Under the earth, they find a wholly mysterious subterranean city of exotic aspect. Towers of basalt and minarets of crystal gleam in the dim shaft of light. The site exudes a sickening unwholesome pall. Asara warns them not to be distracted by the discovery. However, there is talk of treasure and exploration…the lure of gold is too overwhelming, and several move toward the lure.
The King calls for his men to abandon the folly, but to his dismay, their greed overwhelms their loyalty. Asara follows, telling Manda to remain behind with the King. Ahead beyond sight, she hears astonished shrieks as they discover horrors in the cursed city.
An Heroic Undertaking
Taking a torch and wielding her sword, Asara plumbs the darkness after her doomed companions. She soon finds herself in a large guardhouse straddling the entrance to the accursed city. There, she finds an ornate goblet inset with large fabulously cut opals and diamonds. A flying carrion lizard sits atop the arch eyeing Asara as she cautiously enters.
She sees the cup and as if by magic a spell begins to take hold. The carrion critter shuffles in its roost, anticipating its latest meal. She is ensorcelled by the beautiful objet when the terrible serpent sets upon her.
Size. Very Large
Constriction. If the creature scores a mighty success against a smaller foe, it constricts the victim, doing d6 damage every turn unless the victim makes a formidable (-6) strength task.
By luck, Asara dodges when the thing strikes, trying to set upon her with its massive girth. Asara readies herself, shaking off the lure of riches. Fortunately, the thing is slow and clumsy. It relied on surprise to attack its foe. Asara’s luck in avoiding its first lunge gives her a fighting chance. She skips away, avoiding its snapping jaws. Several thrusts fail to do much to its rubbery hide. She continues her deadly dance, and finally opens a grave wound along its side.
The thing turns to slither away, but Asara dogs its course, not letting the horror escape to harm others. She catches up and strikes. The monster turns to protect itself, hissing menacingly. Its affront keeps Asara from striking its vitals. She fails to move fast enough and gets knocked aside by its girth. It lunges to swallow her, but she rolls aside in the last moment. The opening she wants presents itself! She strikes, scoring a mortal wound. Ichor and blood ooze out, but it’s not dead yet. Another slice with her ancestral sword, and she slays the fiend.
- Asara takes 1 lifeblood damage, which she can heal later
- She has 2 out of 4 Hero Points remaining.
The Truth Revealed
Asara cleans her blade. Unfortunately, good men have died. She scoops up the goblet — it’s worth is great, though it may be cursed. She smells something foul that she thinks is not the beast she most recently slew. Not far away, she finds a putrid nest of the beast. Hungry horrific offspring clack and smack on the remains of the men. The beast was providing for its young and protecting its nest all along.
The Final Showdown
As her disgust from the revelation wells up, she hears a hollow, disembodied voice. “You have desecrated the city of Zaggath! You have destroyed my divine creature! A curse upon you!”
It is the voice of a god… or so Asara thinks.
At the same time, the nasty critters swarm toward her in a repulsive surge. She flees with all alacrity, however, she is surrounded and cut off. These things have claws and talons and do not wholly represent the precise nature of their mother, but rather some sort of evolved thing.
She fights her way toward the exit. Their numbers are overwhelming. When she cuts down two, three more appear to take their fallen siblings’ place. Talons and teeth bite and tear, and quickly Asara is bloodied. Still she fights determined. She cuts a swath toward the passage leading away where fewer may assail her.
At last, she emerges bloodied, yet alive.
To Be Continued
King Kalvar, Manda, and the others hear the grim news that their companions are no more. However, it is not a complete loss. Asara slew the horror and many of its young. She also found a handsome goblet worth a king’s ransom. With it, Kalvar can but more loyal troops in his cause.
She withholds the encounter of the disembodied voice that cursed her. Was it the dark god Zaggath? Was there truth to the utterance? Would the goblet bring further trouble? What other horrors lurk in the cursed city waiting to be unleashed upon unsuspecting folk?
- Asara ends with 2 lifeblood and 0 Hero Points
- Having gotten and spent treasure, she gets 3 Advancement Points
- Asara buys the Champion career and brings it up to rank 1 (2 APs)
- Asara buys 10 rabble followers from among Kalvar’s men (1 AP)
- Asara takes the “Cursed” flaw, and starts the next episode with one fewer Hero Point (3)