Ralts' Story Hour

Ralts Bloodthorne

First Post
Gather ye round, children, and I will tell thee a tale about the current band of lunatics that populate my gaming group. First of all, let us describe both player's and characters and character generation techniques. In red is the amount of years they've been gaming with me.

  • Hammerhead Zak: Zak's impulsive, quick minded, with a serious streak of "No matter what it is, I'm going to play it to the best of it's ability." He could roll all 10's, and still enjoy himself. Zak doesn't mind losing a PC to either dice rolls or plot, and has often pulled the "You run, I'll cover you! Go! Get out of here!" schtick.5 years
  • Heather Dawn: My wife. She's sneaky, domineering, highly intelligent, knows how I GM, and likes the combat just as much as exploration and diplomacy. 14 years
  • Hammerhead Brian: Brian's a solid player. He likes his characters well grounded, and has a liking of playtesting rules and options. Brian has a tendency to play highly effective support players. 7 years
  • Hammerhead Brad: Brad's an iffy player, with a tendency toward munchkinism and fit throwing, but that's been ground out of him. He has a tendency to give up too easily. Oh, yeah, and I have to break him of the problem because he's my son. 1 year
  • Hammerhead Johnny: A decent player, but with a tendency to not really focus what he wants in a character, and getting lost very easily about what is going on. I recently told Johnny he had to go back to basics and play a fighter.1 year

While it's probably unusual that people put player bio's in Story Hour, it'll give you an idea of what kind of mind/person is behind the PC sheet.

Below is a breakdown of the rules we used for character generation:

  • 3d6, no rerolls, straight down the line.
  • Unearthed Arcana Generic PC's only. No feats to be chosen yet. No spells chosen yet.
  • Adolescent ages only. Complete families (rolled with the chart in the back of Hero Builder's Guidebook) so no: "I'm an only child whose parents vanished up thier own buttholes." crap.
  • Native American or MezoAmerican names only.
  • No equipment. 10% of rolled money.
  • One rank in a single profession skill. This will represent the profession they have been apprenticed into.
  • No deformities or disabilities.
  • All rolls witnessed by the GM (myself) and copies made for my records.

So, after the rolls (man, some of them were hideous. I allowed Zak 3 rerolls of his stats since his first three had nothing above SIX! in them) the characters were made up. We had...

  • Spot on Leapord (Zak):
    Spot on Leapord is the son of what passes for nobility in the small settlement of Chautepoltek, not the oldest, but not the youngest. He is the 4th son of 9, and the 6th child of 14, and is largely ignored by both his mother and father, and is known throughout the settlement as a troublemaker. He is skilled in fighting as he was trained like the others in his family in hopes that he would be able to join the Ruby Jaguars or the Ruby Pumas. He is dating (and having relations with) the oldest daughter of the settlements high priest of Quezalquotal. He is currently apprenticed to his uncle to learn how to build the canoes that the settlement depends upon. Spot has bronze skin and black hair/eyes.

    [*]Faceless Child (Brian):
    Born with a caul over his face, Faceless Child's birth made his mother's hair turn white. A small, thin scar surrounds his face from where the caul was cut away. He is tall, skinny and gangly, and has been apprenticed to the herb gatherer, and spends a lot of time staring at things others can't see. This creeps out most of the settlement girls, so he is single and often giggled at. Child has bronze skin with patches of pallid skin, dead white eyes, and is bald.

    [*]Namala Treelegs
    Namala is a younger twin of two fishers in the settlement. She is currently apprenticed to the settlement blacksmith, and many of the other young villagers are afriad of her great strength and relative clumsiness. She often helps her parents by carrying the catches of fish for them, and is known to be able to bend a bronze sword with her bare hands. She has deep bronze skin, black eyes, short black hair, with burn scars on her forearms and hands from her apprenticeship at the blacksmith.

    [*]Burrows Like Rabbit
    Burrows is one of the few gnomes in the village and suffers from frequent headaches and was born with a birthmark shaped like a leapord on his shoulder. Burrows parents left him early, and he has no brothers and sisters in the village, and knows nothing about his parents, having been raised by a local widow who died last winter.
    Penalty One. The arguement: They're still alive, I just don't know who they are, will come back to haunt him. Burrows is 2 1/2 feet tall, and weighs 35 lbs, with bronze skin, black eyes, and black hair. He is not apprenticed to anyone, and spends his time fishing on the banks of the river. Strike Two. There's going to be some SERIOUS penalties coming down the road

    [*]Mazten Fangedjaw
    The child of one of the village prostitutes and an orcish Ruby Jaguar, Mazten is a rough and tumble boy who enjoys his job of cutting away the jungle from the edges of the farms and hauling off the wood for use at the temple. While he is popular with the other young girls because of his taboo status, he has no serious relationships, although he does dote on his mother despite her village status. Mazten has dark green skin, black hair, black eyes, and the left tusk is broken.

And so, we have our cast, now for some data on the setting.

The Great War ended long ago, the Ancients were cast down, the great towers of thier cities reduced to dust, and thier houses becoming places of the dead. Those who survived avoided those places, for those who journied within died as thier spirits fled thier bodies through bloody vomit and skin peeling away.

The Great God Quezolquatol took pity on us, and sheparded us into the jungle, so that we might survive away from the great blasted places where the Ancients had once fought. In time, our kindom thrived as Quezolquatol granted us a God King, flesh of his flesh, blood of his blood, made mortal. The God King chose the most faithful to serve him, to accept his sacrifices for the harvest, for rain, and for the river to flow and the seasons to turn.

It is an honor to be chosen for sacrifice, only those who are the best are given unto the bosom on Tlatoc, the God of Death, to bring life to our Kingdom.

The Ruby Jaguars: Standard village guards of the God King. They wear ornate wicker armor (yeah, you read that right, WICKER armor) and weild obsidian or animal tooth/claw studded clubs, obsidian daggers, and carry wicker basket shields.

The Ruby Pumas: Wearing wicker or leather armors, and carrying brass shields, bronze weapons, these are the elite, the official soldiers.

The Priests: These guys accept and make sacrifices in the name of the Gods.

The terrian is heavy jungle, with mountains to the East. THe village is small (300 people total, including children) and beside a river. It has 12 Ruby Jaguars, 2 priests and subsits mainly off of corn and wheat farming, fishing, and scrape mining the copper and tin from the nearby hills. Most of the buildings are adobe with thatched roofs.

The campaign starts the day sacrifices are being chosen for the God King's wedding ceremony, and all of the eligible sacrificial potentials are lined up to be inspected by the priests. Most of the village is hopeful that they or thier child will be chosen for sacrifice for such a glorious event.

Except our heroes.

The day was hot and muggy, and the river moved sluggishly, with the frogs and small waterbugs keeping close to the shore to avoid the hammering rays of the burning sun. Low in the sky, the red moon, The Eye of Quezalquotal, stares at those waiting in line with cold judgement.

Faceless Child wandered down the line, a bucket in hand, giving drinks of cool water from a bronze dipper to those who eagerly awaited thier turn to see if they were worthy of sacrifice or not. Beside him, the old slave Nekalahama, shuffled along carrying a yoke with four extra buckets upon them. Nekalahama had been captured in raid before any of our heroes were born and the thought of him as anything but a slave was alien to them.

The old slave had taught each of them to read, a skill rare outside of Spot's family, braving being killed by having rocks stacked upon his chest to educated the youngsters.

"This sucks. I don't want to be sacrificed to some stupid God." grumbled Burrows, earning a smack across the head from Namala.

"Don't speak heresy. This is for a holy day." Namala growled, bunching up a large fist. "If you keep insulting the Gods, you'll find yourself bent backwards over the altar with your heart being cut out despite your small size." Burrows grumbled, but kept silent.

Child moved to the front of the line in time to see the high priest Tlaztolek exit the examination room, his face flushed with rage, and his daughter following meekly afterwards, a large red handprint across her face and the rune for "Harlot" still bleeding from being carved upon her bare right breast. Quickly watering the supplicants at the beginning of the line, Child hurried back to his friends.

"Spot, you're in trouble." Child whispered in his deep voice, which did not fit his scrawny frame.

"What is Tlaztolek mad about this time? Did I leave my loincloth in his daughter's room?" Spot snickered, smashing a flying, poisonous insect.

"He knows what you did to his daughter. He's marked her as a harlot for all to see." Child answered. Namala looked worried at that.

"We've all covered for you at least once. He's going to want us all killed to purify his duaghter." Namala mused. "Great, we're all marked for death thanks to Spot on Leapord's desires."

"What do we do? There's too many Ruby Jaguars around the gate of the village." Burrows squeaked.

"Follow me." Child said, dropping the bucket and taking the yoke off of Nekalahama and handing each of his friends a bucket. Together, they wandered down to the riverbank, wading waist deep into the water.

With a wink, Child ducked under the water and began swimming away. It took everyone a moment to realize what was going on, and they followed him, swimming downriver.

It wasn't long before the hue and cry went up in the village, and several of the Ruby Jaguars followed the riverbank, looking for our youthful heroes.

After following the current for awhile, our heroes struggled against the current and made it to the opposite bank before they were swept into the slow, deep area where the Fanged Devil Fish lurked to devour any who entered thier waters.

Climbing up on the bank, Namala could see the Ruby Jaguars running down the banks of the river, following them with the intent of bringing them back to face the wrath of the high priest of the village.

"You got your wish, and the rest of us have lost everything, you little weasel." Mazten growled, smacking Burrows on the back of the head. (I had let everyone else hear the backgrounds for each of the characters, and the annoyance of what Burrow's player had pulled by not following the rules of generation was plain and evident. I had pretty much decided to let my players keep it in house, as far as punishment went)

"That's enough, we need to get moving." Namala said, looking around. Spot nodded, and took the lead, and our heroes left behind thier childhood for the unknown.

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Ralts Bloodthorne

First Post
The friends entered the jungle, the experienced Ruby Jaguars quickly gaining upon the teenage children. Burrows kept falling behind, and, exasperated, Namala hefted him like a sack of grain and carried him deeper into the thick jungle. They chose speed over stealth, knowing that thier meager skills gave them no chance to lose the soldiers that had been blessed by the God King and were now bent on returning them to the priest.

Toward noon, they had travelled farther than they had ever been from thier village in thier life. Burrows complained constantly of the bouncing of Namala's hips, until the young woman lost her temper and slung him against a pile of vines.

Which stopped him dead and bruised him instead of enveloping him.

Curious, Spot reached forward and pulled, revealing a hideous statue of a beast headed man carrying a crooked staff. It had gaping jaws full of sharp teeth, and beady eyes that judged thier souls. (Failed Willpower check, are now considered shaken until further notice) They stumbled back, then skirted the statue carefully, watching it for signs of life. After all, did not the statue of the God King come to life each solstice and during trials?

Beyond the statue, hidden by the Bhubhu Trees (think a jungle version of the Joshua Tree) was a stone building, vines draping it, and black doors covered with thick moss upon them closing off secrets.

A House of the Dead.

Fearful, but realizing they would need shelter from the oncoming night, and hopeful that the Ruby Jaguars would not enter, Spot, Burrows and Child gathered thier courage and moved toward the House of the Dead.

Pulling on the moss grown metal caused the vines to fall away, and the mold to collapse like a curtian, and although the staring faces of long dead Ancients engraved in the metal judged them, they gritted thier teeth and finished pulling open the door.

Inside, the could see pillars rising out of the pool of stagnant water that had pulled into the depression that steps led down too. Birds flew from inside the building, thier cries alerting the Gods that they had intruded upon a house of the dead. On the far side of the long room, a large man with the head of a hawk could be seen, his eyes gems that glittered and gazed into thier souls.

Namala led the way, carrying Burrows, with Spot following, heading through the water, watching for snakes, and climbed the steps to where the Bird-God stood in silent judgement. Outside, Child watched for any sign of the Jaguars.

Looking around, Namala spots two rectangular holes in the walls, a doorway far different than the triangles that she is used to. Curious, she enters the one on the left and begins poking about the debris with a stick, killing the rainbow snake that lunges at her. Spot enters the one on the right and uses a stick to move around the debris, killing the Jade Spider that leaps at his face, spitting venom.

Together, they find three metal robs with Godrunes inscribed on them, and six smaller metal rods. Namala is excited, as she has never seen metal that shines like the sun, but is cool to the touch. She is fascinated by her own reflection.

They take thier newly found booty toward the outside just as Child rushes in and tells them that the Jaguars are coming. Screams erupt from the jungle as the Jaguars see the Beast headed man, and they flee from the sight of such a terror. (It's a statue of Set, BTW, inside the building, it's a statue of another Egyptian Pantheon god)

Glad that the Jaguars are gone, they make camp for the night. While everyone else is asleep, Spot takes his bronze dagger and enters the House of the Dead. Crossing the water and climbing the statue, he works loose and removes the left eye of the statue.

And is hit in the face with a spray of acid. With a scream, he hits the floor and begins writhing around in agony. Namala rushes to his aid, and brings him outside the House of the Dead, the stone still in Spot's hand.

Spot swears that all God's will be crushed beneath his bare feet, and vows to throw down all of them, starting with the God King and moving up.

Child has still not moved, and is staring at the fire, his face dreamy.

Night closes in with Spot badly wounded from acid, and Child in a fugue state. They are alone, without food, and only a bronze dagger between all of them.

Epic Threats

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