Alea Iacta Story Hour: A Mythic Rome Campaign (Baby Announcement: 8/17) - Page 9





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  1. #81

    Music galore

    Oh, you can definitely post the "Meloch the Pygmy" song. We included Llyr's Rules of the Druids, didn't we? And hey, Chalky is far better than a lot of nicknames. (It comes, for the record, from the Latin word for the Philosopher's Stone.)

    Thanks, Fimmtiu, for the encouragement. It's good to know people are reading. In the next post (to come tomorrow or Thursday), the party actually unites behind the same goal for the first time!
    --Orichalcum
    "You know, Roman emperors have plotted against each other without the help of random Celtic people." --Metellus

    All roads lead to Rome, so come visit the Alea Iacta Story Hour.

 

  • #82

    The Meloch Song

    To the tune of "Eleanor Rigby":

    MELOCH THE PYGMY

    Meloch the Pygmy
    Lives with Cornelia Crispa, he works as her slave
    Her mama gave
    Meloch the Pygmy
    To her dear daughter to train her in dark mysteries
    And fertility

    All the Roman babies
    Where do they all come from?
    Romans need a pygmy
    To help them get it on

    Oh... look at all the horny people...

    Meloch the Pygmy
    Tiptoed past Marcus and tried to make off with the staff
    He almost cut him in half
    Heilyn the Blacksmith
    Is pissed at the pygmy, now watch as the curses they fly
    Hope no one dies

    All the angry people
    Where do they all come from?
    Blame it on the pygmy
    He always eggs them on

    Oh... look at all the angry people...

    [more verses to follow, as plot advances]

    Cheers,
    Sidekick

  • #83
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    Excellent!!!
    Keep going you fool!!!

  • #84

    Fifth Session: All Roads Seventh Post: Cornelia Gets Tough; the Party Gets Going

    That night, we sleep well, and the Gaulish stone floor, while hard, is pleasantly warm in late spring to my fur. The next morning, Cornelia has a private interview with her cousin Gnaeus. He explicitly asks her to consider a marriage proposal from Septimus; she, politely but quite firmly, refuses, and reiterates her desire to see her mother and settle in Rome for the time being. He tries to persuade her, but finally accepts her denial and the rest of the day is spent in somewhat awkward avoidance. The rest of us go shopping, and Melech prepares a feast of Kaspar the Xth, to my resigned horror.


    After a much less formal dinner where conversation focuses on the weather and the pretty Massilian architecture, we retire for our last night in Gaul. A few hours before dawn, Melech and I both awaken with a rush at the noise of someone in Cornelia's room, who kicked us lightly as he went by. Looking inside the room, we see the vague shape of a small, thin man leaning over Cornelia's bed, and Melech screeches at the top of his lungs. I cry out too, more from the pain of having Melech scream right next to my ear than out of desire for help in a situation we can clearly take care of by ourselves.

    Several things happen in the next few seconds. The man, startled by our cries, trips slightly and braces for balance with his hand on Cornelia's chest. Cornelia wakes up, screams herself, and punches the guy in the face, sending him reeling backwards.Cato flies into his face and scratches his cheek sharply. Metellus and Marcus come running towards the doorway. From the rooms of Heilyn, Wena, Llyr, and Verix, we can see torches being lit.

    Marcus shouts, "Take your hands off the domina Cornelia, thug!"

    Metellus, more calmly says, "Drop your weapons, and come out. Now. And we might not kill you."

    The man drops whatever he was holding in his left hand, an odd flat rectangular object, to the floor, and Meloch grabs it before it can break, stammering, "Don't kill me!"

    "Septimus???" Cornelia says, in tones of utter outrage and contempt. "I should have known." She gathers her blankets around her, managing to maintain a remarkable impression of dignity. This does not stop Marcus from casually staring at the sight of Cornelia in her nightgown; Metellus keeps his eyes fixed firmly on Septimus. Meloch and I, of course, have seen it all before.

    As the rest gather, they also see Gnaeus, standing in the doorway of the courtyard, and from the other exit to the courtyard they see several people running. Llyr looks at Metellus, "Permission to follow, Tribune?"

    "Certainly. Take Heilyn and Marcus. Find out what they know and teach them a lesson. No killing." Metellus raps out, every inch the leader for once.

    Heilyn smiles savagely. "That'll teach them to violate the laws of hospitality like this. I mean, assaulting your cousin! In your own house! Do you Romans have no morals whatsoever?"

    "Go. Now." Metellus says. The three warriors gleefully take off in pursuit of the fleeing men, grabbing swords and hammers as they go but not particularly bothering with full armor. Marcus sleeps in leathers, anyway.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us turned to Gnaeus, while Septimus continued to cower in the corner. Wena, glancing at him, spoke finally, "Why are you fully dressed? It's three in the morning." Indeed, as we all then noticed, he was dressed in a full white toga and bronze-clasped sandals.

    "Well, um...uh....I heard the commotion, and wanted to be prepared for whatever was happening; that's why I brought my old sword..." Gnaeus fumbles in response.

    "You knew about this, Gnaeus. I can't believe you would allow your son to...assault Cornelia like this!" Metellus says, for once stepping firmly to Cornelia's defense.

    "That wasn't the plan," Gnaeus blurts out. "We intended honorable marriage."

    "Oh," Meloch interrupts. "Would that be with the help of this curse tablet?" He holds up the rectangular object which Septimus dropped in his panic.

    "What???" they all shout.

    "I know something about love magic, and I'm quite certain this tablet was intended to be slipped under Cornelia's pillow. It has her name and Septimus's name on it, and I believe was intended to induce at least temporary feelings of love for him." Melech declares. The rest of us wince.

    At this point, the fully dressed Cornelia steps out of her bedroom into the dark courtyard and confronts the rest of us. I have never seen her this angry, not even during the combat with Aeduana.

    "Cousin Gnaeus, cousin Septimus. I cannot believe that you would violate the laws of both kinship and hospitality in this fashion. You asked me, directly, if I was interested in marrying your son. I told you that I was not. Attempting to magically enchant me against my will and then, what, drag me to the altar of Juno for a clandestine marriage before I regained my senses? It''s not only tawdry and evil, it's also a remarkably stupid plan. As apparently befits your entire family. At least cousin Decimus isn't here, unless he was one of those people running in terror.


    Our ship departs a few hours after dawn, and it is no time to be running around Massilia looking for an inn. Meloch will be guarding my door for the rest of the night; I suggest strongly you not try any more...plans. We will speak again in the morning, and discuss exactly how you will make recompense to me and my friends for this indignity." Cornelia wheels, turns, and stalks into her bedroom. Meloch and Cato and I follow. Wena and Verix come close to applauding.


    Gnaeus retorts after her, "It was for your own good, silly girl. You need a man to run those fat farms of yours, and why shouldn't my son profit from them? You would have settled down soon enough..."

    He subsides when the combined glares of Metellus and the rest of us start to burn into his skin. Metellus, coldly, speaks, "I suggest you return to your quarters. We'll see you in the morning, I suppose."


    Metellus waits until the other warriors return. They tell him that they tracked the group of thugs to a tavern, where they beat them up until they confessed that they had been hired by Gnaeus for "an easy escort job" taking a woman and his son safely to the temple of Juno, and fighting anyone who tried to stop the "path of true love." The thugs were left with more than a few bruises to remember their stupidity by; they say Decimus ran off into the far reaches of the city, and Marcus, Heilyn and Llyr decided not to pursue.
    Last edited by Orichalcum; Monday, 13th October, 2003 at 11:52 PM.
    "You know, Roman emperors have plotted against each other without the help of random Celtic people." --Metellus

    All roads lead to Rome, so come visit the Alea Iacta Story Hour.

  • #85
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    I can't help but think that the eligible Cornelia's problems in this area are only just beginning.

    Which must be a lot of fun for the DM!
    Keep going you fool!!!

  • #86
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    Cornelia's Long Night

    There was no way I could go back to sleep after that. Oh, I didn’t think they would try it again – not after what happened the first time. I was just too angry to do anything more than pace back and forth.

    Poor Cato – there are times when I’m grateful that he and I share our feelings, and then there are times when I feel sorry for him. The poor little thing had fluttered up into a corner of the room, trying to get as far away from me as possible. I’m not going to hurt you, I thought at him as I swished around a corner.

    No throwing? Cato’s ‘voice’ in my head trembled. Only then did I realize that I had picked up the wine decanter from the nightstand and was starting to lift it threateningly.

    “No throwing,” I sighed out loud, setting the decanter carefully back on the table. My hand started trembling again as soon as I unclenched my fingers. I didn’t want to hurt him. I wanted to hurt them! Off I went again. Back and forth, back and forth.

    Spells aren’t so bad? Cato ventured hesitantly, after a moment. You do charm spells…

    “Not like that!” It came out louder than I had meant it, and I held my breath for an instant after, listening for the sound of people coming. But the silence held, and I continued in my mind. I don’t do spells like that. Sneaking into my bedroom? My bedroom! At night! And I only charmed Metellus once! And it was only to get him to take me to Caledonia, not for – for anything else!. I have never done anything like that since!

    “And I won’t,” I said, out loud again. My voice was a little steadier now, and I kept going. “I will never do anything like that to Metellus again. I promised him.” I paused, feeling a small warm smile come to my face at the memory of Metellus coming to the rescue, his voice commanding the others in my defense. “And I’m going to keep that promise,” I continued. “If I am to marry Metellus, I will do it honestly.” I knew Melech was still outside my door – I let my voice grow just a bit louder as I continued, so that he would hear. “No charms. No love-spells. I will do it honestly.”

    The anger was going out of me now, and as it left, I realized that my knees were shaking too, along with my hands. I let myself slump down on the bed, sighing, “Oh, what am I going to do? What can I do to them? They’ve disgraced the family – but if I make it known what they’ve done, it will disgrace me, too! I can’t do that to myself, to my branch of the family…” I wasn’t sure if I was even talking to Cato anymore, or to myself. His scattered owl-thoughts fluttered confusedly at the edges of my mind. I sent an absent reassurance back to him as I stood up again slowly. “But I can bring some others to my defense. Other people in the family…”

    Carefully, with still-trembling fingers, I slipped my great-grandfather’s mask out of my traveling bag, and unwrapped it. Did I even have enough to make a funeral offering? Well, there was a bit of wine left in the decanter that I had nearly thrown…and there was a honey-cake that I had sneaked away from the dinner table for a late-night snack. That would have to do.

    I set the mask up on the bedside table, poured out the wine-dregs and placed the honey-cake before it, murmuring the prayers that brought forth his spirit. I waited…waited….I could never tell when he was there, until he spoke. “Great-Grandfather?” I ventured.

    The voice echoed deeply in my mind. “Great-Granddaughter?” There was faint surprise in the hollow words. “Why have you called on me?”

    “There has been a great dishonor done to the gens Cornelii.” I could feel his presence begin to darken with anger. “I need your help to avenge it.”

    “Who has harmed our family?” he intoned.

    “Some of our own. Gnaeus Cornelius Nepos, and his sons Decimus and Septimus. They attempted to force me to marry Decimus by means of sorcery. A curse tablet, placed on my…person. In my bedchamber. At night.”

    Anger rumbled in my great-grandfather’s voice. “Worthless descendants! Their sleep shall not be easy. Not for months to come. Their dreams shall be haunted by their ancestors. They shall not be allowed to forget the dishonor they have done to their kinswoman and their family.”

    Finally, I let myself smile. “Thank you.”

    “Are you safe, Great-Granddaughter? You do not remain in their house, still, do you?”

    “It’s the middle of the night, Great-Grandfather. There’s nowhere else to go…” I sighed. “But we’ll be gone first thing in the morning. And I don’t think my friends would let anything else happen to me between now and then.” Another thought struck me, then. “Nepa. Oh, no, poor Nepa. Having to live in this house, with them? I don’t feel safe leaving her here. Not with people who would do such a thing to one of their female relatives.” Great-Grandfather didn’t reply – was he even still there? The wine was running low; he might be gone already, with the funeral offerings used up and their power to hold his spirit here gone. Still, I kept talking. “I don’t think she’s safe. But…could we take her with us?

    “Yes,” I said, answering my own question. “We can.” My thoughts sped up, my words hardly able to keep pace. “No! I’ll offer to take her with us. I’m not going to force her. There have already been too many attempts to force the women in our family to do things. I’ll let her choose. I’ll…make her father tell her what he did. Yes! That will be part of his punishment – to have to confess it to his daughter. And then, after she knows exactly what her father has done, I will let her choose whether she wants to come to Rome with us.”

    I looked to Great-Grandfather, but I already knew that what I had decided was the right thing to do. And in any case, he didn’t answer. I sighed. Whether he was there or not, I made my usual farewell to him: “Vale, Great-Grandfather. Tell Father I love him. We’ll speak again soon.”

    Gray early-morning sunlight was starting to come into the windows as I sat back and turned my eyes away from the mask. Cato was still on his high perch, head tucked under a wing. “Lucky that you can sleep,” I said softly. And then I stood up, and started out to face the day.
    "We're just babies making up a game....But four babies playing a game can make a play-world that licks your real world hollow." --CS Lewis
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    What I Write: The Cheyenne Mountain Irregulars: A Stargate Story Hour

    What I Play: Alea Iacta: A Mythic Rome Campaign
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    Cerebral Paladin's Story Hour

  • #87

    Fifth Session: All Roads Seventh Post: Ultimatums and Pirates

    The next morning, we packed hurriedly. Between the cracked walls and the stunning lack of hospitality, I was glad to be leaving the Cornelii Nepotes. Gnaeus stumbled timidly out, clearly cowed by the weapons drawn at his appearance. Cornelia, dressed practically but elegantly, turned to him.


    “Cousin. Despite the fact that I could have you and your sons imprisoned or possibly executed for instigating such an assault, I will not do so. Such an act would only further dishonor your family. However, in my opinion this is not a fit household for a young woman to be raised in. If you don’t want me contacting the authorities, summon Nepa, now, and inform her what you tried to do to me last night. I am offering her the opportunity to accompany me to Rome and seek a fate apart from your sordid destiny. You will not try to stop me, although she may refuse, if she wishes.”


    Gnaeus feebly protested, but was quelled by our glares. Nepa, the mouse-like daughter, was duly summoned, and reacted in shock and horror even to the somewhat bland version Gnaeus gave of the previous night’s activities. She stood in silence for several minutes, as we all watched her.


    Finally, quietly, without much show of emotion, she spoke, “Could I go to Rome and become a priestess of the Maiden Goddess? I don’t want to live here anymore; I don’t want to get married. I’d like to study, and pray with other women, and be alone.”

    Cornelia, slightly disconcerted but with a generous heart, responded, “Of course you can! There are lots of temples of Diana in Rome, I’m sure, that would be glad to have you.”

    “I don’t really have much to pack. I can be ready in just a bit; I know you...we...have a ship to catch.” Nepa turns and goes off to her room.

    Her father yells after her, “How dare you? Insolent girl! We’ve fed and clothed you for all these years, and you have a responsibility to profit this family by making a good marriage.”

    “No, she doesn’t, not anymore,” Cornelia intones with steel in her voice. “You abandoned any rights to her when you chose to condone the assault of a relative in your own home. Make your farewells; you won’t be seeing either of us again.”

    The rest of us pack hurriedly and leave for the docks with Nepa, who keeps her head resolutely downwards, refusing to look at her family. We set off on a small but fast merchant ship, the Bacchus’ Grapes, heading directly to Ostia, Rome’s port, with a cargo of expensive wine. Initially, the trip is going well. I, of course, am seasick, but only Meloch notices, and most of the other members of our group, despite the bonding over the triumphant defense of Cornelia’s dubious honor, still are ignoring the pygmy and his monkey. Heilyn spends his time trying to talk to dolphins over the side of the ship; he eventually succeeds in befriending one, who follows our ship, leaping and doing flips for everyone’s enjoyment but mine. I can do flips, but no, the perpetually smiling sea animal gets the oohs and the aahs and the thrown food. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.

    Wena, who has the sharpest eyes in the party, notices off in the distance a plume of smoke, and asks the captain to sail towards it. Upon doing so, she and Llyr realize that the smoke is coming from a badly damaged ship, heavily listing in the water, with wounded people lying around the deck. Cornelia insists, somewhat against the better judgement of the noninterventionist Metellus, that they sail towards the ship and rescue the wounded. Marcus reminds Metellus that they can claim the ship as rightful rescue bounty, and it’s probably worth a lot of money.

    Only a few seconds before the side of their boat scrapes against the side of the damaged ship, the Lugh-blessed eyes of Wena, Llyr, and Heilyn realize that the people on the other ship have no real wounds, but rather blood artistically spilled over them, and that the ship looks less damaged than initially thought. They shout a warning, and we all draw weapons and prepare for a fight directly before the “wounded victims” pick up the swords lying under their bodies and storm the Bacchus’s Grapes. At the same moment, arrows fly at the crew and all of us, wounding Meloch and Marcus, and a large number of figures who look distinctly less like innocent wounded sailors and a lot more like ruffianly pirates appear on the deck of the other ship.

    In the next few rounds, a variety of interesting things happen, as I climb up to the crow’s nest, which seems by far the most suitable place for a monkey during a raging sea battle. I have, after all, read all the Greek novels, which always include pirates, and often heroic monkeys. First of all, Meloch turns invisible, his favorite trick, and, as I know through my mental link, bounds across to the other ship and begins making life difficult for the pirates. A priest of Mars appears on the stern and commands Metellus to surrender; Metellus hesitates but resists the urge. Meanwhile, a female figure in robes appears on one edge of the prow and a fireball erupts in the middle of our ship; luckily, the fragile Meloch and Cornelia are out of range, and everyone else does a remarkable job of falling prone to the deck. On the prow itself, an enormous Nubian man appears, wearing little besides a loincloth and a large leopardskin draped across his torso; the enormous bow he wields sends a bolt hurtling into Heilyn and is then dropped in exchange for an axe.

    Both Marcus and Metellus jump across to the other ship, nimbly jumping on the rowing planks that criss-cross the hollow hold and avoiding the arrow shafts coming from the hidden archers within the hold, but Meloch, my ever-impulsive partner, gets to the Nubian first and drops his invisibility to shoot a True Struck Sleep Arrow at him. As usual – you think he would learn – getting into direct combat with our most powerful enemies does not go well for the pygmy, and he is quickly fairly battered, and the Nubian, although injured, does not fall unconscious. However, Meloch evades the Nubian long enough to send most of the archers in the hold and on the deck into a nice peaceful slumber.

    Meanwhile, Cornelia and Wena are very effectively preventing the priest of Mars from casting by stunning him whenever he tries to pray. In a nice example of positive teamwork, they also take care of immobilizing the rest of the pirate scum. Marcus shouts, “Remember, we want them alive! We can sell them for lots of money!”

    Heilyn charges and, between his spells and his hammer, nicely bludgeons the sorcerer into near-unconsciousness and sends her body toppling over the side of the boat, where it is held under water until drowned by the dolphin. Meanwhile, Marcus and Metellus have flanked the enormous Nubian; while they are taking damage, they are also dishing it out. Cornelia, Wenna, and the highly accurate Verix, with his bow, immobilize the priest of Mars and bind and gag him.

    Eventually, the Nubian looks wounded enough that Marcus begins striking to subdue him, on the grounds that he’d make a wonderful captive, but Metellus fails, deliberately or accidentally, to hear Marcus’s advice and decapitates the Nubian with one fell swoop of his sword. The head goes flying off the railing of the ship, and comes right back up a second later, as the dolphin proceeds to play “Bounce the Nubian.” The dolphin asks Heilyn if it can keep the “fun toy,” and Heilyn, finally realizing what sort of bloodthirsty companion he’s adopted, and how much safer and more reliable monkeys are, tells the dolphin that, yes, it can keep the head, but he never wants to see it again. The dolphin goes leaping off into the sunset, bouncing the head of the enormous pirate captain on its nose with savage glee. Too late, Heilyn realizes that being able to Speak with Dead might have been useful.

    [Edit: Meloch, in fact, did not have any directly offensive spells at this point, being a master pygmy of misdirection and non-lethal magic. In general, the party has an annoying habit of not actually killing people in preference to capturing them, which has led to me needing to deal with the effects of prisoner interrogations. Bunch of annoying pacifists. ]
    Last edited by Orichalcum; Monday, 13th October, 2003 at 01:19 AM.
    "You know, Roman emperors have plotted against each other without the help of random Celtic people." --Metellus

    All roads lead to Rome, so come visit the Alea Iacta Story Hour.

  • #88

    Fifth Session: All Roads Eighth Post: The Booty Belongs to Us

    Once the surviving prisoners have been immobilized, we turn to examining the treasure and goods on the pirate ship and figuring out how to divide them amongst ourselves. The Romans argue that Metellus, as the highest ranking officers, should have final say over the distribution of the booty; this, of course, means that Meloch and I, as mere slaves, only get what Cornelia decides to pass along to us. But, still, all together we get a lot of interesting stuff:

    1. 1 medium-sized non-magical trireme, equipped for speed, with a nasty ramming prow in the shape of a gryphon. Metellus decides to keep this ship, on the grounds that it might be useful later on.

    2. 4 potential slaves, including one priest of Ares and three
    nasty good-for-nothings who have skills with bows. These wind up being sold for 350 sestertii (gp) each, while the priest of Ares, after a long discussion, is killed.

    3. 1 leopard skin magical torso wrap, sized extra large., which I believe Heilyn takes.

    4. 3 flasks which Llyr believes to contain Greek fire.
    Non-magical. Llyr, who knows how to use Greek fire, appropriates these.

    5. 2 long cloaks which two of the pirates used to help them hide well in the hold. Low level illusion magic. Arcane. Llyr takes one of these, and Meloch the other.

    6. A light mace which Heilyn believes to be of superior
    worksmanship, which is sold for cash.

    7. 2 ceramic bottles, carefully stoppered with wax, containing a substance with low-level healing magic in them. Cornelia takes these.

    8. 4 oilskin bags, containing low-level water-spirit magic liquid inside them, tied to both sides of the small dinghy. I believe Wena has all of these; they are later identified as potions of Water-Breathing.

    9. Around the Nubian's head, a headdress with
    three long, sharpened crane feathers. Each is magical and has had certain bits plucked out to form a specific pattern in the feather. Meloch recognizes this as an item used by his people in their wars against the evil cranes; he says that each feather can be used once for a specific effect. The feather on the left allows him to fall safely from a great height, the one in the center produces a full-sized date palm tree when detached from the headdress and thrown at a solid surface, and the one on the right can transform into a small dove and be used to convey a message. Also, the headdress infuriates and frightens cranes. Meoch merely tells Metellus that it's a tawdry artifact of his people that can produce food in a crisis, so Metellus lets him keep it.

    10. 2 small pouches attached to a belt worn by the Nubian, each containing brightly colored desert sand. One radiates medium-level illusion magic, the other enchantment magic. Both arcane. Meloch and Cornelia take possession of these; one of them is later established to have four doses worth of Improved Invisibility; the other is still unknown to most of us.

    11. Within a wooden chest locked away in the hold we find two greaves which appear to be made out of a clear hard crystal, edged with copper. Medium-level psionic psyport magic. After investigation in Rome, Wenna discovers that these increase the wearer's speed if the wearer is psionically active and also have some other unidentifiable power not connected with normal reality.

    12. A small glass vial with some very strong-smelling herb inside, also in the chest.Heilyn figures out that this herb has strong healing and energy-producing properties, but has not yet fully identified it.

    13. A necklace of pearls, unmagical but reasonably high quality. Verix gets to keep these.

    14. A large elephant tusk, hollow, with a copper mouthpiece, apparently intended as a horn. Arcane Magical - Illusion and necromancy. No one knows what this does yet, but Metellus is keeping it.

    15. A set of lockpicks and tools apparently intended for breaking into places. Non-magical. Llyr decides his are better and these are sold.

    16. 6 Masterwork short bows, 24 daggers, 8 sets hide armor, 8 gladii. Non-magical. These are sold. In total, the cash is around 2400 sestertii.

    17. Decorated Leather Collar, low-level psionic telepathic magic on it, around the neck of the priest. Decorated leather armlet around the arm of the Nubian, same patterns and psionic signature. Upon experimentation, it is discovered that whoever has the armlet can generally telepathically control the person wearing the collar. Marcus, with glee, keeps this.


    After sorting all of this out, we finally arrive at Ostia, the port of Rome, which we find somewhat startlingly quiet. During the five-mile walk to Rome, however, we find more and more people heading towards the city. Finally, we get through the western gate of this enormous marbled city of a million or more people. There are hordes of people lining the streets, and as we watch we see a parade of some sort going by of soldiers - rank after rank of Legionaries marching in full uniform. Marcus counts 14 Eagles, including the Eagle of the 12th from Britannia, marching by. Asking the crowd, we are informed that the Legions are marching off to Parthia [modern Iran, roughly] to fight a new great war against the Eastern Empire in the ancient desert lands.


    Finally, a golden chariot, ringed by purple banners, passes us by. Standing tall and proud in it is a white-haired, scarred and weathered but tough-looking man, dressed in golden armor and wearing a golden laurel wreath; his tunic is edged in purple. The crowd kneels and exclaims at the presence of the Sacred Emperor, Lucius Mamercus Aemilianus, as he rides out of Rome to fight what will undoubtedly be his last great war on the Parthian front.

    Suddenly, a smooth, soft, vaguely oily male voice is heard in the heads of various members of our group, virtually everyone except for Heilyn, Meloch, and myself. "I would give you greetings, " the voice says, "but really, I have advice instead which will be far more relevant. Leave. Now. This city is not for you; you will meet only doom and suffering here. And really, I'd hate to have to slowly and painfully kill you and all those you care for." The voice fades out, as the humans look at each other, stunned.
    Last edited by Orichalcum; Monday, 13th October, 2003 at 11:54 PM.
    "You know, Roman emperors have plotted against each other without the help of random Celtic people." --Metellus

    All roads lead to Rome, so come visit the Alea Iacta Story Hour.

  • #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orichalcum
    the priest of Ares, after a long discussion, is killed.

    17. Decorated Leather Collar, low-level psionic telepathic magic on it, around the neck of the priest. Decorated leather armlet around the arm of the Nubian, same patterns and psionic signature. Upon experimentation, it is discovered that whoever has the armlet can generally telepathically control the person wearing the collar.
    You know, right about now I'd be getting worried that I just killed a potential ally ...
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  • #90

    re: Priest of Ares

    So, the Priest of Ares was being controlled by the collar, but the humans had taken off the collar and interrogated him. They found that he hadn't wanted to be a pirate minion of the Nubian, but that he was a fairly nasty, war-mongering man who couldn't be trusted if sold as a slave not to go around killing his owners. They contemplated keeping the collar on him and using him themselves, but decided the collar was more useful than the Priest and so slit his throat. In case you hadn't noticed, this isn't a party that behaves according to modern moral standards.

    They also discovered, in the course of interrogating him, that the chest with the herbs and the greaves had been taken off a ship carrying an elderly Greek philosopher, who pled for mercy but was ruthlessly killed by the Nubian. The Nubian had somehow known about the path of this particular ship - according to the priest of Ares he would get these sudden intuitions about profitable cargoes - and set out to intercept it and kill the philosopher in question.
    "You know, Roman emperors have plotted against each other without the help of random Celtic people." --Metellus

    All roads lead to Rome, so come visit the Alea Iacta Story Hour.

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