FADED GLORY: The Black Eyes of the Demon Scorpion (FINISHED!)




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    FADED GLORY: The Black Eyes of the Demon Scorpion (FINISHED!)

    Author's Note: This is a story hour inspired by the North Carolina Gameday on April 23rd, 2005, played by Rel, Nakia, Riggs, Tiberious, and myself, and DM'ed by Old One. It is a combination System of Grim Tales, with the Magic System and other elements of the Black Company Campaign setting house-ruled in.

    The setting is best known to readers of Old One's Faded Glory story hour, the Emorian Empire, beset on all sides, but managing to triumph against odds most perilous. I've have little experience with story hour writing, but I hope you find it a fun read.
    - Henry




    Faded Glory:
    The Black Eyes of the Demon Scorpion


    Or, a grim tale of the Imperial Bureau


    The long-simmering guerilla war between the Emorian Empire and the Sythian Confederacy has exploded into full-scale conflict once again. Constant forays by Sythian troops and their Fire Witches are threatening to over-run the regions of Upper Pyladia. The sorcery of the Fire Witches has proved to be most puissant in recent battles and divinations by the Imperial War Wizards indicate that legendary items knows as the “Black Eyes of the Demon Scorpion” are providing a significant power boost to the Sythian mages. Further, a large army of Sythians is being trained at the southern reaches of the region known as the Wadi el-Arish for a decisive strike against Emor’s southern defenses.

    The Emperor Legatus X has put forth a bold plan: An elite legion of Emor’s finest would travel across the desert known as the Demon’s Anvil, penetrate the Sythian heartland and disrupt the gathering Sythian forces, buying time for the Empire to shore up her southern defenses. The strike, however, is cover for another, more important mission…the capture or destruction of the Demon Scorpion’s Eyes.

    An elite team from the innocuously-named Imperial Inspection Bureau accompanies the mission:

    • Maxian of Tyriel: Holy Warrior of Osirian, Hammer of the Sythians;
    • Myrwyn the Swift, beautiful but deadly Archer of Emor;
    • Brandis Tollheart, Halfling diplomat and scout of the Bureau;
    • Boldric of the Brigantes, former slave but freeman and peerless warrior
    • Vercinius, physician of the team and minor enchanter
    • S. Antonius Bellicus, Patrician, student of the Arcane, senior War Wizard


    Aided by two score of hand-picked legionnaires and four competent Imperial War Wizards, they are separately tasked with securing or destroying the Fire Witches’ fiendish power source. Rashad ibn-Aziz, a turncoat Sythian warlord, guides the team and claims to know a secret way into the inner sanctums of Wadi el-Arish. Overall command of the penetration team is entrusted to Senior Centurion D. Octavius Varus.

    The small team presses on through the night, making a forced march toward the Wadi with the intention of launching a night invasion of the Fire Witches’ stronghold. The Turncoat Rashad leads the team through winding arroyos and sun-baked deadlands before entering their goal: a rune-carved portal at the base of a low-ridge line, the secret entrance. The rising of Osirian’s Eye reveals tell-tale dust clouds to the west: The battle between the Emorian Legion and the Sythian forces is joined.

    After an hour of careful movement through ancient corridors of worked and natural stone, a magical missive reached Centurion Varus:

    Holding western portion Wadi.
    Outnumbered 3-to-1, with more enemy arriving.
    Water and supplies holding.
    Expect your success soonest.






    The dark cavern seemed to mute all sound, and the dozen Sythian guards took the quiet for granted. Reports had recently filtered down warning of Emorian forces to the north; even these were miles away, however, and no one had ever dared challenge these deadly guards for access.

    The Halfling-sized draft of air that stole past them did not perturb these warriors; neither did the subtle chink of metal that wafted down the passage at one point. The guards at the table near the exit tunnel did not even note the shadowy figure that gently strode into view and spoke cursed words of power that heralded the end.

    With a crackling sound like crunched bone, blindness descended upon the nearest guards. Simultaneously, streaks of silver and azure flew to the table and EXPLODED, decimating all of the blinded guards in an instant. Cries fell. Shouts rang out. Legionnaires stormed the guard post chamber, slaying quickly, mercilessly. An order was barked to warn the outpost!

    It never happened. Maxian of Tyriel, armor-clad Holy Warrior of the Empire, saw to that. Maxian was a true Son of Emor, prominent Aquiline nose, hardened jaw, both broken and reset before, and he truly lived up to his given title. His intimidating cry shook the Sythians with cold fear. The seconds were enough to leap into the midst, to slay the Commander where he stood.

    Following him closely, the lovely and dexterous half-fey Myrwyn followed. Everywhere she fired her bow, death reigned. Roaring behind her, the Mighty Boldric of the Brigantes surged forward to deliver oblivion with his glaive, larger than the tallest man. One Sythian surprised the group by being minorly trained in magic; he got off an enchantment, and Maxian felt disoriented. Boldric, one stroke later, put an end to any future deviltry.

    The final Sythian bolted for the door leading into the stronghold, but before he could open it, the outline of a Halfling-sized bow shimmered slightly in the air as it spurred the guardsman in his family treasure, followed up by a swift jab to the eye with its tip. The flat of Maxian’s blade clopped the guard to the floor, and the guard chamber was won.

    Brandis, coated with his short-lived Dust of Neverwhere, slowly shimmered into view. The Senior Centurion Varus strode into the room, surveying the scene. “Excellent work, Inspector Brandis.” He turned, bowed slightly to Antonius and the other war wizards, then to the other inspectors. “But time is short. If we fail, the very Gates of Emor are lost.”
    Last edited by Henry; Tuesday, 6th December, 2005 at 02:09 PM.
    Robin Williams (1951-2014)
    You will be missed far more than you ever knew...

 

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    Woot!

    Henry,

    Great start! Of course...I am a bit biased...I should have given you two extra action points ! Maybe I will place one on deposit for next time...

    ~ OO
    Check out the Faded Glory Story Hour

    Check out another great Story Hour set in the Faded Glory world Rel's Faded Glory III: Glory Reborn

    Check out yet another Faded Glory SH from our Grim Tales/BCCS Hybrid NC Game Day VII Event Black Eyes of the Demon Scorpion


    Check out the "Send My Kids to College" Auction Thread Old One's Auctions

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    Henry, this is some of the best writing I have seen in this forum.

    It reminds me of someone... I would say Howard, although it's a bit more patrician and not coarse enough. But in the gripping detail and the choice prose, definitely.

    If you can keep up that level of writing... hoo-ooof.

    Awww, hell, I take back any reservations. It's downright Howard-esque.


    Wulf
    Last edited by Wulf Ratbane; Thursday, 5th May, 2005 at 08:07 PM. Reason: removed sig

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    In another world, on another plane, a red skinned tiefling bores of a conversation with a fiend and looks over to see this adventure taking place. Caught twixt the adventure he is on and the adventure taking place, he feels remorse for not being in two places at once.

    AKA, I sat at the table next to game, wishing I could play both. I'm glad I'll finally know why some of the things I heard happened!
    Mark Causey (formerly adamantineangel)

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    Great stuff, Henry!
    Brannon, Untold Co-Creator! - http://www.untoldthegame.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashy
    Great stuff, Henry!
    Couldn't have said it better. Well, except for adding, "Give us more!"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry
    The final Sythian bolted for the door leading into the stronghold, but before he could open it, the outline of a Halfling-sized bow shimmered slightly in the air as it spurred the guardsman in his family treasure, followed up by a swift jab to the eye with its tip. The flat of Maxian’s blade clopped the guard to the floor, and the guard chamber was won.
    EDITORIAL DM NOTE: Trick is one of my favorite new talents. I had saddled Rel's halfling Brandis with another, less useful talent that was all but made useless by his weapon finesse skill. After perusing the other talents available for that slot, he chose Trick which allows the user to daze an opponent for one round with a successful use...it quickly became a source of mirth for DM and players alike !

    ~ OO
    Check out the Faded Glory Story Hour

    Check out another great Story Hour set in the Faded Glory world Rel's Faded Glory III: Glory Reborn

    Check out yet another Faded Glory SH from our Grim Tales/BCCS Hybrid NC Game Day VII Event Black Eyes of the Demon Scorpion


    Check out the "Send My Kids to College" Auction Thread Old One's Auctions

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    Awesome job, Henry! Excellent writing!
    No, "Nakia" is my real name.

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    <Just to make Henry feel like other popular SH writers>

    Hey! How about an update?!?

    BUMP!

    Get going...quit slacking!

    !

    ~ OO
    Last edited by Old One; Friday, 6th May, 2005 at 06:46 PM.
    Check out the Faded Glory Story Hour

    Check out another great Story Hour set in the Faded Glory world Rel's Faded Glory III: Glory Reborn

    Check out yet another Faded Glory SH from our Grim Tales/BCCS Hybrid NC Game Day VII Event Black Eyes of the Demon Scorpion


    Check out the "Send My Kids to College" Auction Thread Old One's Auctions

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old One
    <Just to make Henry feel like other popular SH writers>

    Hey! How about an update?!?

    BUMP!

    Get going...quite slacking!

    !

    ~ OO
    It wasn't even off the first page!

    Wish I had readers who would bump my SH up to the top when it was barely halfway down the first page...

    Oh, and re-bump.

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