Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

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Lazybones
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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by Lazybones » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:25 pm

+2700xp for full-party posting.

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Lazybones
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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by Lazybones » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:33 pm

As always, everyone, thanks for an excellent campaign!

The postscript is unrelated to the base story, so feel free to post a wrap-up about your character's life after today's session ended.

On to X-COM!

Shadani
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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by Shadani » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:23 pm

((So by that, you mean we're not just picking up a few years/decades later, right? Meaning we will somehow be doing a thing centuries after our characters are supposed to be dead? Just checking for clarity, here, before I write a big eulogy for nothing.))

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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by Lazybones » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:54 pm

Shadani wrote:((So by that, you mean we're not just picking up a few years/decades later, right? Meaning we will somehow be doing a thing centuries after our characters are supposed to be dead? Just checking for clarity, here, before I write a big eulogy for nothing.))
That is exactly correct.

LB

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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by Shadani » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:30 am

((This is probably more than a little self-indulgent, but, hey. Ask me to write a postmortem on a character I've enjoyed playing, and you get what you deserve. ;) ))

Eleni had always said she wanted to see the world. To see the places her teacher had talked to her about, and more. To learn whatever people who lived in those lands had to teach her, and perhaps even to find someone worth teaching. To do the things she had always dreamed of doing.

It took her a while. Despite what Hermes had told them, she fully expected everything to fall apart in Argos; for some new calamity to rear its ugly head and demand her attention, as it always had before. But as time went on and catastrophes failed to materialize, Eleni was forced to acknowledge that their lives had, indeed, changed. It seemed she would actually get the peace she had wished for.

And frankly, she was starting to get bored.

So one day, her friends found her in travelling clothes, packed light and ready to leave. She said her farewells (with tears and smiles alike) and told them she might be back one day, but that it was not likely to be soon.

Everywhere she passed, she left her mark. In Phyrgia, she was invited to the royal court to teach the heirs of Midas and stayed there for a time, but soon left to satisfy her own curiosity in Persia. There, she learned much from the magi and, though their respect was hard to earn and their greatest secrets closely guarded. In time, some of the more curious disciples began to come to her rather than the old masters, wanting to learn of schools of thought that they would not speak of, and she happily obliged them - in part because she genuinely enjoyed the mentor, but also because she relished the inevitable controversy. A strange woman from some barbaric nation from the west, spreading strange ideas - how delightfully scandalous!

Had she wanted to, she could have stayed in the capitol to become a woman of great influence. But that had never been her plan, and she found herself bored by the petty politics and intrigues that ruled the city - intrigues that the magi were far from immune from. And so she left before things had a chance to get too ugly, taking with her a few particularly stubborn pupils.

On the road, Eleni avoided palaces and temples. Together with her pupils, she saved a few towns and villages from raiders, and the goods works reminded her pleasantly of her old friends. Eventually, they met up with a caravan of merchants and fellow scholars headed towards Ra-Kedet - a place Eleni had always wanted to revisit. And so, she joined them.

She was beyond pleased to find that the Great Library had prospered in her absence, and proceeded to explore its contents in earnest, as well as contribute several volumes of her own writing. By now, it had been many years since she had left home, so she took the opportunity to write a few letters to Argos, telling her friends of her adventures and sending along copies of some of her writings. Mostly the things she thought they might be interested in - the stories and legends from the lands she had seen; not so much the philosophical treatises.

It was tempting to simply get on a ship leaving for Argos to see them all again, but there were things she wanted to see first. Thebes and Memphis; Daishur and Abydos. Some of her students joined her, while others elected to wait or become scribes and caretakers at the Great Library - a calling she encouraged in those who found joy in the work.

On her journey up the Nile, she became enamored by the stories from lands even further south, and wound up travelling far into Kush until they reached Meroe, and from there joined a caravan to the land of Punt, where the pyramids were said to be made of gold and ebony.

Perhaps it was a reluctance to return home more than curiosity that drove her by that point, or a fear that if she returned now she would never find the courage to leave again.

Punt was in many ways the exotic, unfamiliar land she had always dreamed of exploring. She was invited by its king and queen to join them at the royal palace, as they were eager to learn more of distant lands - and though Eleni had grown wary of nobility at this point, she decided to accept their offer. To her surprise, she wound up befriending the ruling couple, and found herself staying there far longer than she had intended, gathering followers and refining some of the ideas she had been working on all the while.

When at last she did leave, it was as a favor to the king and queen, to help broker a treaty with a people from across the Red Sea - the Saba. She accomplished this task admirably, but on her way back - just as she was pondering a return north - a strange storm struck what was supposed to be a calm sea route.

It is here that Eleni's stories start to become... strange. Her writings relating to this period were rarely written in Greek, and many of the lands and peoples she speaks of are not seen on even the most detailed maps found in Greece at the time. And when she told the tales herself - for she did, eventually, return home - it was always with a strange smile on her face that left people wondering just how much of it was true.

She spoke of being rescued by a people she called the Naga, who live beneath the sea and whose cities are older than the Great Pyramids. They taught her the language of storms, though she never quite managed to explain to anyone else quite what that meant. When she remembered how to breathe air again, she traveled to the nearest shore and found herself in India, where the people came to know her as the Pale Wanderer. She met with gurus, advised kings, debated devas, bargained with yakshas and protected innocents from the wrath of rakshashas and asuras. These stories were some her absolute favorites to recount, but they were particularly hard to follow - not least because she often felt the need to borrow foreign words to properly explain herself, which would inevitably lead to long linguistic tangents.

Eventually, Eleni found herself somewhere she called the Roof of the World, a place she described as being the most starkly beautiful she ever found. Beyond it, she finally arrived at the land she believed her master to have come from. She called it Zhonghua.

She found it to be a land in turmoil, but by this time she had little patience for kings and their wars. She instead spent her time amongst the sages, spirits and stranger creatures that dwelled there, and discovered that they had many interesting things to say. Her favorite tales from this period involve her turbulent friendship with a strange fellow she called the "Old Monkey" and being repeatedly invited over for tea by a particularly talkative dragon. "Only she wasn't really a dragon like the ones we've seen," she would always hasten to add. "There's not really an adequate word for it in Greek. Sort of like - you know what? Never mind. Dragon's probably close enough."

There is far more, of course. Enough so that it was easy to believe she made most of it up, though she never seemed the least bit insincere when speaking of her journeys. When finally she did decide to retrace her steps, it was after a great loss. She had founded a school somewhere in the mountains, and would say of it little except that she had not been able to protect it. Not from everything. Not by herself. "I used to believe everything was worth learning, and worth teaching," she would sometimes mutter, with more than a little bitterness in her voice. "I was wrong."

All throughout her journeys, she left behind her a trail of parchment and papyrus. The things she wrote in her early years found their way to Argos or Ra-Kedet, of course, and more than a few scrolls remained in Punt, but when travelling through even more distant lands she quickly came to realize that she would not be able to carry her work with her forever. And so, she'd made an effort to write only in the letters of the land, so that those who found what she left behind might find some sense in her thoughts. Altogether, she had probably written a small library's worth of texts, but it pleased her to think of it scattered throughout the continent in a dozen languages. It was almost like she'd left behind a puzzle - one every bit as convoluted and untidy as her life had been. She hoped that someone could piece it all together someday, or at least that the individual pieces would be of value to someone out there.

She returned to Argos many decades after her departure, old but still graceful - and if anything, even more impressed with herself than ever before. She was happy beyond words to see her old friends again, and to finally share with them all that she had seen and done. Whether they wanted to hear about it or not.

She was likewise happy to learn that the students she had left behind in Ra-Kedet had not forgotten her, and when word of her return spread many of them found their way towards Heropolis. They brought with them others - people who had sought out the Great Library in Ra-Kedet and heard the stories Eleni's pupils had told about her; read the things she'd left there. They were eager to learn at her feet and, though she had thought her teaching days behind her, she eventually relented.

"I'm thinking of starting a school," she told her friends one day. "Nothing like the gladiator school, of course. No, no, no, I mean the sort of school where you might actually learn something useful. Or at least interesting."

The school became one of Argos' greatest jewels. Its by now silver-haired mistress was feared, loved and respected by her students in roughly equal measure. Eleni tried always to not merely teach them more of the world they already knew, feeling that they should always be fascinated by the unfamiliar; inspired to discover. Though frustrating at times, she found the work fulfilling, and a fine way to spend her waning years, though she occasionally felt pangs of regret at the thought of all the places she never quite got to see.

A few choice students, she even introduced to the art of magic - and once word got around of this, it brought even more would-be pupils to Argos. But while she welcomed anyone with a genuine desire to learn, she was extremely selective when it came to the arcane.

"It's not something everyone can learn," she would say. "And more importantly, it's not something everyone should learn."

Years later, she came to accept that she probably did not have very many years left. She entrusted her school to some of her more promising alumni, and once again packed lightly.

"I don't suppose anyone feels like one last journey?" Eleni asked her friends, smiling mischievously. "There's still a lot to see out there. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to die in Greece."

She didn't.

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Mirgalen
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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by Mirgalen » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:03 pm

It was a very cold winter night, the wind was blowing strongly enough to scare children and widows or those who might fear ghosts. Everybody was asleep. Andreas woke up, he knew it was now the time and he was ready and confident. He had a backpack ready. He silently went downstairs in the dark. He then lighted a candle and grab the vellum, ink and quill he had prepared. He then wrote: "My dear friends. We have been through many adventures together. We faced death several times, we went to Hades and Olympus and back here. I thank you all for giving me the chance to see this and other worlds. Now however, it is the time for me to go and find a place far from the cities, the wars, even the Gods. I am going to miss you and know that you will miss me too. Fear not, I will be fine and know that you too will be. I do not expect to see you as I am going very far. Yet, would this world need to be saved once more I will gladly join you. You will have to find me first so look for the highest mountain this is where I will be. Farewell. Andreas Appolodorus"

He sealed the letter with red wax and wrote "To Eleni and Friends" above the seal before leaving it on the table.

Soon after Andreas left with a rather large bag. He quickly travelled to a barn and entered it. He emptied is bag. There was not much there as he he left most of his belongings in his former home. In the bag there was a scale mail, a sword, a longbow, some arrows, a hunter's knife, a round shield, a helmet, a pair of leather boots and a few sets of clothes. He quickly dressed up, he now looked like a mercenary. He then grabbed a nearby saddle and put it on a large black warhorse. Soon after a rather large cavalier in armor was seen on the road departing from Argos. Some say he had glowing eyes just like Andreas the champion of the arena.


OOC

Since I messed up the levelling of Andreas and do no want to trouble our DMs with de and re-levelling I am going to take a single fighter lvl just to have overwhelming critical (and in due time devastating critical). I guess a d6 extra damage is not going to change much in game.

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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by Topato » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:53 pm

Telemachus hung around Argos and Heropolis for a couple of years after, helping out with the village and the city where needed, all the while waiting for the other sandal to drop. When it didn't, and it finally seemed like the area would know peace for the time being he found himself with itchy feet much like Eleni.
They talked it over in the too quiet evenings, talking about the places they'd seen and wondering what others might be out there. Wondering what mischief Andreas might be getting up to since he'd left a couple of years ago. While Eleni favoured the exotic sun-drenched lands to the east and south in her imaginings, Tel couldn't help but think of the wild green forests of the north and west that they'd seen on their way through the continent.
When the time finally came for them to bid farewell, He set out to the north, meaning to hug the coast for a while and visit the peoples of the Mediterranean shore first, then to head inland and see the cities and tribes of the interior. He'd heard there were lands of eternal winter far enough to the north, and thought that would be an interesting thing to see.
He travelled far and wide, stopping for a few months here or there and lending his strength where it was needed, battling monsters and raiders and the like. Leaving dozens of stories of the monster-slaying giant behind him.
He criss-crossed the continent somewhat before reaching the far north, where the winters were indeed long, and the days could last for months at a time. He met people who were great seafarers, and spent some time sailing with them.
His varied adventures lead him into meetings, both good and ill, with strange gods from other pantheons, receiving blessings and curses in almost equal measure. The meddling of gods seemed to be a constant everywhere. He began to turn his thoughts to why, to how these gods all came to be and how, if it were possible, could humanity be free of their interference..

(Heh I couldn't help but remember the end of Conan not quite what Tel did, but the right tone: http://youtu.be/3p7sc0BPbv4?t=2h5m56s)

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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by Vanya Mia » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:57 pm

((Loading up the Heroes mod, LB. Shout if it's the wrong one. A matter of moments to swap.))

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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by smartalec » Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:06 pm

((collaborative post 'tween VM and I, here...))

***

"Get the men to gather what they can. Burn what you can't carry. We keep heading north."

A few whistles and commands saw the black-armoured men fan out across the fields. Some heading for the granary, others to the fig trees, others - the most enterprising - to what looked like a distant winery. But Nikomedes, stern, hard-faced Nikodemes, killer of men, bandit general of the Wolves of Lacedaemonia, simple foraging was not for him. With his three best, he marched straight down the dirt-path, towards the old house in the middle of it all.

Evaristus, always-thoughtful Evaristus, spoke. "We're leaving Argos, too?"

"Corinth'd be better pickings, or Sicyon. We'll gather more men there. We'll not be forgetting Argos, you can be sure." The door gave under a firm kick, and the four men marched inside. "See if there's some wine in this shack. After that - oy."

They stopped, and each men stood in wonder at the unexpected sight. It was a farmer's house, too much said so; the imprint of mud on the floor, the rough furniture, the loom in the corner. Yet, across one wall of the room was a collection of treasure more suited to a king's bedroom. Glazed pottery stood upon plinths far too modest to hold them. Swords with still-bright edges dangled from leather ties. And above the hearth, a brilliant shield of faded gold.

As his men gaped, Nikomedes moved forward, his instincts unerring. He reached out, felt the rim of the shield, and nodded. It was real. "Well, this I did not expect..."

"Is that you, my love?"

A creak upon the stair saw three blades pulled from their sheathes to greet an old man, hale yet stooped with years, his seamed face used to smiles. But it was not a smile he wore, when he beheld Nikomedes and his men. He scowled at the bandit-warlord, and held up a finger. "I don't think that belongs to you."

The warlord snorted. "Run or die, old man."

"No, and... no." The old man stepped down from the stair, and planted his feet. One hand found a hoe, resting against the wall.

Nikomedes regarded this answer in silence for several moments. At the last, he shrugged. "Have it your way." He waved his men forward, bothering himself with unlatching the shield from the wall. They advanced in good order, blades held in front of them, used to killing and seeing off high odds.

The old man stood still. Then, he moved, stepping fast and hard to the left, the old wood of the hoe's handle cracking across the head of the first man with the speed of a thunderbolt. The second snarled and stabbed forward, only to find the blade of his sword caught in the hole at the centre of the hoe's blade, and it was tugged from is astonished grip as the old man plunged the splintered wood into the neck of the reeling first. The second died soon after, his own blade finding his stomach in the old farmer's hands.

Evaristus, ever-thoughtful Evaristus, took a look at the blood of his comrades on the old man's new sword... and ran. He held the shoulder of Nikomedes, bandit-warlord, but Nikomedes would not yield. Instead, Evaristus ran to the fields, calling for the men.

The old man bent creakily, picking up the other fallen sword. He regarded Nikomedes, talon-sharp blade in his killer's right hand, the golden treasure in his left. "Calling for your friends? Hardly seems fair."

"You'll be dead by the time they get here. I'm going to kill you with your shield, you old whoreson." Nikomedes snarled, face contorting with the fury of Ares as he charged.

"Two things -" The old man worked to catch the general's blade between his own. "One, better'n you have tried."

His sword was caught, but Nikomedes was wily still. He had a shield, and he slammed forth with all his strength, sending the old man stumbling to the ground, one sword skittering from his grip. Nikomedes spun his sword in his hand, readying the point for a downward stab. "And two?"

The old man looked up at him... and smiled. Nikomedes, killer of men, the bandit-warlord, had only a moment to puzzle on this strange reaction, before a spear sprouted from between his shoulder-blades. He screamed a silent, breathless scream, and sword and shield fell from nerveless fingers. With the last of his strength, he turned, staggering in pain, to see a woman of years, with fading hair but strong of arm, and stern of face.

The old man smiled as the woman pulled a sword from the wall, and made an end of Nikomedes, killer of men. "Two. It's not my shield."

***

Polytropos took Kataramene's hand, as she helped him up, fussing over his tunic. "Are you alright?"

He scoffed, dusting himself off. "I woulda had him, you know."

"Yes, sure you would." Kataramene rolled her eyes. "We need to get our things, there's a whole load of them in the fields, they're taking the crops and getting ready to fight."

"Seriously?" Pol frowned in puzzlement at her. "Well, that's unwise of them, isn't it?"

She looked at him, a look with years of understanding behind it. "You think we should send for the children?"

He looked back, and his eyes spoke to her without words, one hand playing up and down her arm. "It's only a bandit army, love. The kids've got more important things to do, I hope."

She nodded, biting her lip. He moved towards her, and they held one another, for as long as they dared. Then, when the calls and clamour of the gathering army in their fields could no longer be ignored, they took what weapons and armour they had, gave one another a great, honest grin, and went out.

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RogueZair
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Re: Heroes of the Peloponnese Game Thread #3

Post by RogueZair » Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:14 pm

Zokos was clearly stunned by the size of the bag of gold handed to him from "his share" of the spoils. "This is more gold than I think I've ever seen in one place, but I suppose this happens to all of you frequently." he says, almost to him self.

"If anyone needs me, I'm going sailing." He says with a small smile, and heads toward the harbor.

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