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Champion
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The Good and the Greedy


"Gold, and lots of it."

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The old drunk repeated his promise to Thorsson and Gilius. The two exchanged a glance, pretty certain that this self professed wizard was no different to the other drunks in the tavern. But empty purses had encouraged them to hear him out.

"It's not far from here, I have a map. There's treasure aplenty in there, and armfuls of gold. But it will be dangerous, and I can't do it alone. I need muscle, and you two have it in abundance."

Thorsson and Gilius had met at the battle of Skagga's Pass, when Thorsson, a mercenary from the frozen north, had been employed by a band of dwarfs to help them defend a profitable mine at the foot of the Purple Peak mountains. Just after a grim, foggy dawn, Goblin wolf riders had poured out of the pass and charged the small company of dwarfs and their mercenaries. At the end of the fighting, not many of the band were left standing. Thorsson and Gilius were among them, and they had stuck together ever since.

"How far is this cavern of riches?" Thorsson asked the drunk, his rumbling belly and near empty drinking horn increasing his tolerance for drunken rambling by the second.

"And just how dangerous are we talking?" Gilius added, having drained the last of his ale and blown the foam from his beard.

"About a week on foot." The wizard replied "I have supplies enough for the journey. And we split the loot 3 ways, fair is fair. Are you lads interested?"

The two mercenaries exchanged glances again. Thoughts of another day unloading crates at the harbour for a single gold coin did not hold appeal to either of them, and the sense of invulnerability poverty had provided them had won out.

"We leave at first light," Thorsson grinned "and you'd better be right about the treasure old man, or you'll find the dungeon gets a lot more dangerous for you."



The hike to the mountains was a tedious, plodding affair. The old drunk, who had identified himself as Fritzl Hazeltashce, had repeated his promises over and over on the march, the prospect of gold and jewels propelling each aching foot step of the grumbling dwarf and barbarian. They camped at the foot of the mountain pass that lead to the cavern mouth the wizard had spoke of, deciding to get a good nights sleep and a good breakfast before entering the dungeon in the morning.

After breakfast, the trio plodded up to path to the entrance of the cavern. A scuff of rocks made them wheel on the spot, to catch a glance of a green cloak disappearing behind a rock.

"Come out and break words," bellowed Thorsson, unsheathing his sword to emphasise his distaste at people hiding "or I shall break you instead."

"I mean no harm, friends." then green cloaked figure said as he emerged from his rock hideaway.
"My name is Ranil Quickquiver, thief and adventurer. I followed you from town, I am here to assist your quest."

"You're a lousy elf cut throat." Said Gilius, gripping his axe tightly.

"We don't want your help, turn back while you can." Thorsson added.

"Friends, friends," Fritzl said "let's not quarrel. There is gold enough for all. Ranil, I am Fritzl Hazeltasche, wizard of the Red Sun college. My stout friend here is Gilius the Quarrlesome. The north man is Thorsson Wolfsbane. We are most grateful for any assistance in the dungeon below."

Thorsson lowered his sword, nodding at Gilius. The two friends accepted the situation, figuring if nothing else another sword in the dungeon could make the difference between treasure and a brutal death.

"Come on then, lets waste no further time." Thorsson said, lighting his torch.
9/Sep/2017, 12:17 am Link to this post Send Email to lukestreet   Send PM to lukestreet Blog
 
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Champion
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Re: The Good and the Greedy


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The band of adventurers edged along the thin cliff side track, clutching at a guide rope crudely spiked into the rock face. Icy winds lashed at the group, and Thorsson did not hesitate to head straight into the cavern.

The cavern entrance soon narrowed to a small hall with a algae covered stair case descending into the darkness. Brushing the cobwebs aside, Thorsson led the party onwards with his torch.

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The party plodded on through the dank halls, staying quiet to listen for approaching dangers. Peering through the gloom, the torch illuminated a mouldy t junction.

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"Which way then, wizard?" asked the barbarian.

"What? I don't know." Replied the grey bearded conjurer with a shrug.

"You said you had a map?"

"Yes, to reach the cavern. I don't have any details of the actual place."

"Useless fool!" Snapped Gilius "I should have guessed a parlour magician would have led us in here blind. We go right, it's always right."

"I say left," countered the elf "the ground seems to be well trodden that way. Anything we might be interested in would surely be that way."

"Stupid elf," Gilius spat "my peoples built these halls. What would an elf know about dungeons? If we want advice on how to prance about in trees we'll ask you."

"He makes a good point, Gilius." Thorsson said, tilting his torch to illuminate the left turn "it seems like that foot steps are quiet new."

"Fine." huffed the dwarf, swishing his axe through the dank air.

The party moved on, encountering the first room. The torch soon illuminated a dying dwarf adventurer, pale with blood loss. He looked up at the adventurers, and in a weak voice spoke.

"Friends. This cavern is fraught with dangers. I am not long for this world. Take my key, it will help you open the portcullis."

"What portcullis, brother?" Gilius asked, kneeling down to take the key.

A portcullis slammed shut behind the group.

"That one." said the bleeding dwarf, as he passed his last breaths.

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"Great," said Gilius "Going left was a swell idea. We're trapped."

"Quit belly aching Gilius," Thorsson said "we have the key, let's press on and get us this treasure."

The group leave the room and dead dwarf behind, pressing into a corridor. As they enter, Fritzl trips on a wire and a sack of scorpions empties onto him from the ceiling.

"Gnaaaargh!" He croaked as the beasts stung him. The party set to work exterminating the critters, Fritzl was sore but mostly unharmed.

They press on through the empty, twisting halls. It soon seems like the place is deserted.

"Where's this treasure, old man?" Thorsson asks, swinging to stare at the wizard.

"It will be here. We must continue." The wizard said, pointing the barbarian onwards down the corridor.

"We should have turned right." said Gilius.

The group turn again, and see a thick wooden door. Bestial yells are coming from behind it.

"Is everyone ready?" whispered the barbarian. The group raised their weapons in the affirmative. The barbarian shoulder barged the door open and the party charged in.

They had found a fighting pit crudely dug into the ground. Three minotaurs were fighting over the battered carcass of some unfortunate villager, and braying orcs were cheering them on. The horde turned to look at the gate crashing heroes, and within seconds moved to swarm the party.

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Gilius hacked an Orc down straight away, as Fritzl read aloud from a battered scroll, the words themselves seeming to physically wound the largest Minotaur. He immediately started a second incantation, the magic flowing through the room causing the ground of the pit to rip asunder into a gaping hole. One of the minotaurs tumbled straight to his demise, but the others pushed away from hole, forcing one unfortunate Orc archer into the pit. The pit trapped the largest wounded Minotaur and some archers on the far side of the pit, but the other monsters swarm on the heroes.

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"Kill everything!" bellowed Thorsson, impressed that the wizards powers went beyond tricks to entertain drunks.

The Orc archers let fly with their arrows, one of them seriously hurting Fritzl. Ranil tosses the drained wizard a healing potion as he holds off a snarling Orc.

The melee fills the room with chaotic brawling, the barbarian striking a painful blow on the attacking Minotaur. The monsters land telling blows on some of the heroes, and a desperation fills the air. Fritzl calls on every ounce of magical power he has to open another pit of despair in the room, plunging some more orcs to their doom.

The red mist descends on the barbarian and he slays the Minotaur with a huge blow, his swinging blade felling an Orc before it comes to rest. Gilius put down another two Orcs with a mighty axe blow, but an Orc archer who had slipped behind the group let loose and arrow, and it struck Gilius directly in the eye, laying the dwarf warrior low.

Thorsson charged into the corridor to aid his friend, healing power from wizard flowing after him. Invigorated, The dwarf regained his feet, and he and the barbarian charged into the Orc ambush behind them.

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Ranil let fly with an arrow to the other side of the pit, slaying the Orc archer and leaving the enrged Minotaur on it's own, trapped. Ranil smirked; just target practice now.

His joy was short lived as reinforcements arrive, two Orc warriors backed up by goblin archers. The goblin arrows occasionally ring true but are too puny to hurt the heroes.

The barbarian and dwarf put down the orcs as the wizard healed his compatriots' wounds. Ranil put arrows into the goblin archers, until only the Minotaur remained, roaring from his prison in the pit.

The warriors regrouped as Ranil put a final arrow into the growling beast. It's carcass toppled into the pit, and the warriors breathed a sigh of relief. It was an intense battle, leaving the warriors banged up and Gilius missing an eye.

"That was one hell of a fight. Let's find this treasure now." Thorsson said, as the group ransacked the area. Each warrior filled his pack with gold and trinkets, enough to buy a good week or two living the high life in the nearest city, but certainly no fortune.

Fritzl kicked aside a goblin carcass and discovered a trap door. The warriors regrouped as Gilius opened the hatch.

"Well, this is interesting." Said Fritzl as the torch illuminated the prisoners inside the small compartment in the floor. Minotaur bait, no doubt.

The group freed the prisoners, and escorted them from the dungeon to their nearby hamlet. They received a heroes welcome, gifts, wine, and feasts. Bellies full and wounds healed, the warriors pressed on to the nearest town to enjoy the fruits of their adventure.

The warriors went their separate ways, drinking and spending gold, and, in Fritzl's case, getting a particularly bad tattoo. They had been in town only a few days before they each received a couriered letter, asking them to report to the city watch commander that evening.
9/Sep/2017, 12:18 am Link to this post Send Email to lukestreet   Send PM to lukestreet Blog
 
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Champion
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Re: The Good and the Greedy


That was great, I really enjoyed that and I'm looking forward to the next one.
9/Sep/2017, 1:22 am Link to this post Send Email to Insert nickname here   Send PM to Insert nickname here Blog
 
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Re: The Good and the Greedy


Thanks a lot! I am sure the warriors will descend into the next dungeon very soon.
9/Sep/2017, 10:18 pm Link to this post Send Email to lukestreet   Send PM to lukestreet Blog
 
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Champion
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Re: The Good and the Greedy


"You can't flash that sort of gold around without questions being raised."

The watch captain smirked then took a bite from his apple. He had ordered the adventurers brought to him; he had dirty work he had no intention of doing himself, and he thought this latest group of wanderers were the perfect stooges.

"We came by that coin fair and legally." Ranil said, cutting off the dwarf before he could make the same point in a much more vulgar manner.

"True," replied the commander, "but your gold doesn't give you a right to raise havoc in my city. A boozy wizard apparently set our respected town cryer alight after a drunken dance contest led to moves that came a little to close to weaving a fire ball spell. We have a dwarf who has been accused of witch craft, which is a first, and an elf who likes to duel in the street. And as for you, northman, the dent you put in our tavern's stock has our cooper working around the clock."

"So what are you saying," asked Thorsson "your city doesn't welcome those with gold to spend? Is it a bribe you're after?"

The watchman smirked again "Far from it, Barbarian. I actually have an opportunity for you to earn some more gold. And a little leeway in how you spend it."

"Get to the point," said Gilius, his dwarf patience exhausted "what do we have to kill?"

The commander rose from his chair. "A green skin Shaman has been aggravating some of our land holders to the east. His bandits have been stealing and ransacking the farms, and taking trinkets to heap at their altar in the shrine they took over. Some of my men went to drive them away but never returned. This task would suit a group of your skills. Kill the bandits and destroy the shrine, simple enough."



"This place stinks."

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Gilius expressed his distaste with the mission as the party worked their way down the slippery stone steps. Thorsson probed the darkness with his torch, illuminating the gloom. The party had followed the clumsy tracks to the shrine and wasted no time in descending into the catacombs. The smell and the piles of dung outside had left them in no doubt that they would find green skins in here.

They wended their way through the initial corridors and found the first room. Stealth was not an issue here; Thorsson booted the door straight off of its hinges, startling the snotlings that were cavorting in the dinge.

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The warriors hacked into the small green skins, their squeels echoing around the chamber. They had been teasing a snake with their clubs, and the venemous beast dashed away, sinking his teeth into Gilius' calf as it passed.

"Vicious little bugger!" He said as he rubbed his calf with one hand and punched the head of snotling in with the other.

The warriors quickly defeated the snotlings and pressed on through the twisting hallways. They soon came upon a body, most of the bones gnawed clean, doubtless by the snotlings.

"One of the city watch," said Fritzl "the others may be inside."

"Lemme see what kit he had." The dwarf said, toeing at the bones to reveal a jewelled helmet. Thorsson picked it up and put it in his pack.

"So we rob corpses now?" Ranil asked, his morals only so low as to steal from the living.

"He has no use of it now," Thorsson answered, indignant "and it should fetch a decent penny back in town."

"Come on, lets kill this green skin Shaman and get out of here, it stinks." Gilius said as he barged his way onwards. As the party entered the next room a squig bounced out of the shadows, goaded on by it's cackling herders.

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Ranil ran the snarling beast through with his sword as the barbarian hacked down both herders. So far the green skins had been easy to murder.
15/Sep/2017, 2:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to lukestreet   Send PM to lukestreet Blog
 
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Re: The Good and the Greedy


"This should be some easy coin, friends." said Fritzl, his own sword not yet released from it's scabbard.

The team pressed on, encountering another chamber. As the barbarian lifted his lantern into the darkness five dark elves, enthralled by the magic of the shaman, snarled and raised their crossbows.

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"Attack!" bellowed Thorsson in a frenzy, setting about the cruel elves. Fritzl made a majestic sweep of his arm and the ground underneath some of the elves splintered apart, dragging one of the elves down into the soft earth below. The rest of the elves proved to hard to hit for the group and answered the assault with a flurry of crossbow bolts, hurting the enraged Thorsson badly. Suddenly, the corpse of another of the city watch loomed out of a dark corner to attack Gilius.

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"What foul magic is this?" Gilius asked as the unfortunate victim staggered towards him on unsteady feet. An arrow from Ranil killed the abomination before anyone could answer.

"Get your head back in the fight, dwarf!" Ranil yelled, spurring Gilius to bound forward and hack down two dark elves with a thunderous blow. Thorsson and Ranil moved in to kill the last crossbowmen as Fritzl casted healing spells towards his compatriots. Hacking the elven thralls down, the group plundered the room for treasure and caught their breath.

"Ok, we move on." Thorsson growled as he turned his torch further into the dungeon. The group traipsed into a t junction when a flagstone suddenly gave way under Ranil's feet and he was plunged into a pool of corrosive sludge.

"Gnaaaarggh!" was all he could manage as the dwarf and wizard rushed to his aid. The elf was hauled out by his allies, and cracked open a healing potion, rubbing the salve onto his blistered skin.

"Foul green tricksters." Ranil said. "These boots cost me a tidy sum, and now they are ruined."

"Quit griping elf, I can hear something." Gilius said, as the party pricked their ears to see if he was correct.

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He was. A dozen skaven clan rats poured out of the abyss to swarm the party. The battle raged, clashing steel and squealing rat sounds filling the dank corridors.

The group pushed the rat attackers forward into another chamber as they snuffed out their lives, when more dark elves attacked, this time armed with halberds. The group engaged the elves, putting them down after a mighty tussle.

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"Still think this is easy, conjurer?" Gilius asked, sopping the black eleven blood off of his axe.

"It's not as simple as I had first anticipated, I must admit."

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The group ducked under the next doorway, and encountered a narrow chasm. They edged across slowly, then turned into the next area...

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... a collapsed passage. They carried on single file, and came out into a dead end.

"Bah," Gilius spat "this stinks of an ambush."

"Regardless, we can't stay here, we must head back and try another route." Thorsson replied.

They trekked back slowly, listening for any approaching beasts. The group reentered the t junction and took the other route.

The next chamber was again packed with clan rats. Fritzl opened a chasm of despair and rat men plummeted in. The others finished the fight quickly and the warriors pressed on until they heard bestial chanting and saw the flickering of fire light from underneath the door.

"This must be it, everyone ready to fight?" Thorsson asked. The others shook their weapons in the affirmative.


The warriors burst into the altar room, and the Orc Shaman bellowed in anger at the intrusion.

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His minions swarmed the warriors and bright, magical light filled the air as Fritzl's powers split the altar asunder, killing the Shaman's archers but the shaman himself deftly side stepped the carnage. The other engaged the Orc fighters that had swarmed them, swords and axes hacking through the dark at the beasts. The Orc Shaman retorted with magic of his own, attacking the wizard with a magical blow that dealt only minor damage.

Four more zombified city watchman raised up from the ground, driven by poisons and who knows what magics. Gilius roared at the offence, hacking down a green skin with his axe and using a magical talon he'd looted to kill another three. Fritzl continued with his magics, drawing on his stores of magical power to further rend the shaman's perch apart, but still the crafty Orc spell caster dodged aside.

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"We must kill the Shaman!" Ranil yelled as he dodged away from his attackers to engage the shaman. He struck the magical Orc but it was too tough a beast to harm.

"Stupid elf weakling, hit him properly!" Gilius bellowed as he surged forward and delivered a mighty blow with his axe, the death rune etched into it glowing red. The blow all but finished the Shaman, who countered weakly with another magical head-but to Fritzl.

"Enough!" Shouts Gilius as his next blow splits the head of the Orc Shaman. The warriors quickly despatch the reanimated soldiers and set about looting the shrine for anything of value.


Outside, the warriors clean their cloaks and weapons in a stream before the journey back to the city and their reward.

"You know, we could make some serious coin as swords for hire." Ranil remarked as the trek began.

"Agreed. Elf or no, you're a good fighter, and even the old trickster can really help out in a fight with those spells of his." Gilius said, adjusting the straps on his treasure laden pack.

"There must be tonnes of work for a group like us in the city, we should team up a little while longer." Fritzl added.

"Agreed," nodded the barbarian.

The group trudged to the city, whereupon the barbarian stocked up on supplies, and drank himself silly, whilst the others engaged in training to sharpen their skills before the next piece of work.

When complete, they marched into the office of the watch captain, who grinned from ear to ear when his stooges returned for more.
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