Marek (Steven P. Ross) - Scythian Adventurer
Alethia (Tammy Powers) - Saturnian Mercenary
9th Simanu, Year 506 Meta Kataklysmos (M.K.)
The place: Somewhere in the grasslands mixed with scrub and hilly mountains, between Scythia and Vir. Very close to the Haunted Dells. On what remains of a battlefield. the time: The early spring of the year 506 Meta Kataklysmos (M.K.). The player Heroes are Marek (SteveR) and Alethia (Tammy). The Antediluvian world is one that has all sorts of tales to be told about its Heroes. And this is the beginning of the saga for a new set of Heroes who don't even recognise their potential yet...
Two player Heroes confront each other on what remains of a field where two forces of mercenaries and defenders confronted each other. Alethia (Tammy) is a Saturnian mercenary currently working for the Atlantean sorceror, Jerent the Golden, who is searching for the Talisman of Koracq. Marek is a Scythian adventurer currently in the employ of Eridu, a Lemurian alchemist in possession of the Talisman. Alethia's mercenary group was told they need to proceed and attack the site to which they're being led by their scout leader. Marek's side was told that they have to prevent anyone from reaching the fort. [Note that neither of them is high enough in the hierarchy to know who they actually work for, and what is being sought or protected.] They stand facing each other at a modest distance, seemingly the last two alive on the battlefield.
Alethia orders Marek to surrender, and he does so. She tells him to drop his weapons, which he also does, a little too easily. She tells him to give her the object, but he asks her what object, and continues to stall her. Eventually, he tells her that he can lead her to the object, and she agrees to this. As Alethia and Marek set off, a large flock of corpse birds arrive on the scene, and start to feast. Alethia becomes annoyed at his stalling tactics, and she knocks him unconscious; she moves his weapons some 15 metres from him.
She heads back to the part of the skirmish field she left, and starts to check on her mercenary comrades. From what she can tell, there's no one left alive. She is attacked by a pair of corpse birds, but takes no harm from them. Checking another part of the skirmish area, she hears that someone is still alive. He or she is surrounded by the birds feasting, and she charges in among them, driving them off, though her shield gets somewhat damaged from their attempts to peck at her. She finds that one of her friends from the mercenary company, Macco, still lives, but he's quite injured. She treats his wounds as best she can, and manages to prop him up against a tree. The area becomes lightly covered in mist even as she works on him, binding the wounds more tightly.
Meanwhile, Marek awakes from his enforced slumber, to find himself about to be attacked by corpse birds. He actively avoids the creature's vicious beak attack, and it is partially impaled in the ground of the battlefield. Seeing his weapons, he gets up and dashes in that direction to grab them. Seeing Alethia attending to someone, he checks on the battlefield for any of his surviving comrades. He spots a woman moaning, and as he heads in her direction, Marek sees that she's an Amazon; she's been badly injured, a heavy warhammer wound, that has caused her breastplate to buckle and partially embed in her chest. She moans, and tells him her name, Hylacea. Marek starts to drag her away from the main battle area, and as he does so the corpse birds utter a raucous cry and take off, departing the skirmish site. As he rests Hylacea up against the nearest tree, the ground mist becomes somewhat denser. Marek tries to pull the embedded parts of the breastplate from Hylacea's wounds, but is unable to do so; she lapses unconscious once more.
As both Marek and Alethia notice the ground mist is intensifying, Macco tells Alethia that they are in the Haunted Dells, so-called because there are rumours that bodies come back to life here in horrible form, though no one knows the reason why. The two and Marek hear what sounds like rattling, which Alethia takes at first to be some sort of snake, but the Heroes learn it's much worse - as skeletal arms erupt from the ground of the battlefield, followed by the rest of the fully animated skeletal warriors. They turn on the Heroes, picking up weapons from dead combatants as they move. The Heroes are able to grab blunt weapons (maces) from the bodies of the dead combatants on the field, and face the creatures. Three of the creatures attack Marek, and while he manages to kill one of them, he is badly wounded. It is only with the assistance of the Hesperian, Hylacea, who throws some heavy rocks with force, that the skeletons are destroyed, exploding into bony shards as they do so. Alethia faces a pair of the creatures, and is able to destroy them, though she is wounded as well.
In the aftermath of the skeletal warrior attack, the player Heroes regroup. Alethia is able to remove the piece of breastplate from Hylacea's chest, as Marek uses his medicinal knowledge to staunch the flow of blood and partially treat her wounds, but she falls unconscious for a short time again. Alethia hammers the dents out of the breastplate buckles as best she can, but the armour will now ill fit Hylacea.
Hylacea talks to Alethia and Marek. They learn of the situation leading up to the skirmish (see the second paragraph above), and Hylacea says that neither Jerent nor Eridu should retain the Talisman. Her Hesperian priestess mentor, Charana, had a vision from her Goddess that the Gorgons would use the Talisman and would doom the world with it. She tells them that she's been sent to ensure that the Gorgons do not get it. Alethia asks her what she intends to do, and Hylacea tells her that she will destroy the Talisman, but she doesn't know how... yet. She attempts to recruit the Heroes to help her get into Eridu's fort (she says that she knows of a secret way in). When asked, she tells the Heroes that the Talisman allows one to summon the Sons of Ba'al [(i.e., demons]. Marek tells her that he will help her because she's a comrade-in-arms, and she helped save him from the skeletons. Besides, if Hylacea is doing the bidding of a Goddess...
Before Alethia can respond to Hylacea, Macco calls out for her, and she goes to him. He's feeling somewhat better, and asks Alethia what's going on and who the other woman is. Alethia brings him up to date, and he asks her to help him over to the Hesperian and the Scythian. Macco asks Hylacea for more information, and learning a bit more, he tells her that he plans to help the Hesperian on her quest, surprising Alethia when he explains his past - he is Gorgon-born, was a servant/slave for some time, but escaped from Gorgos and eventually became a mercenary, fighting the good fight and opposing the Gorgons at every opportunity.
Alethia tells Hylacea that she'll help her go in search of the the Talisman of Koracq. She's not sure of Hylacea's true motives and isn't sure she trusts her, and she's still thinking of trying to return the Talisman to her employer, a fact that's not lost on Hylacea. Since the group is somewhat injured and needs a bit of time to recover, hylacea suggests they gather up their gear, leave the battlefield, and seek shelter in the nearby woods before attempting to assault the fort. The two Heroes and their new "allies" grab their gear, and seek out shelter and some rest.
The Sunday players, spross and Tammy, have finally started their campaign game of Atlantis: The Second Age and this game session was the first actual play session. However, as spross had to work during the evening, we played a somewhat shorter than usual game session, and finished around 4:30 pm.
The game session started off a bit roughly, but things smoothed out as the session went on. I was afraid that Tammy and spross would never join forces (heck, they didn't learn each other's character names until well into the last half hour!), but I needn't have worried too much about that, as both players got into the spirit of the game and did a good job cooperating when the need arose, but there is still the character distrust of one another after meeting on the remains of a battlefield for the moment, though we'll see how that goes in forthcoming game sessions.
Overall, I was pretty happy with how the game session went, and the basic plot is really a simple one that is pretty standard for the Sword & Sorcery genre with some extra little sub-plots going on as well.
In any event, I'm looking forward to the next game session.