Anan the Wanderer (Steven P. Ross) - Ophirite Adventurer
Alethea (Tammy Powers) - Saturnian Mercenary
Dubaku of Ophir (NPC) - Ophirite Sorcerer
Orabela the Silent (NPC) - Balam Tharshi Thief
21st Du'uzu, Year 506 Second Age (SA)
Over the past month and a half, the player characters decided to travel back to Hellas, except for Marek who decided to go back to Scythia. Alethea, Macco, and Hylacea caught a ship, the Lady of Hesperia, and Macco left them when the ship docked at Cyrene, on the coast of Dabba, as he was heading for Gorgos. The ship continued on to Cadaza in Tharshesh, dropping off Alethea, and then was bound for Hesperia.
In Cadaza, Alethea arrives to find a city in turmoil. There are several major cracks in the city's walls, the city having come under attack by an Atlantean sorcerer, Jerent the Golden, who was seeking revenge on Namtu's Fighters for not delivering a magical item that he sought (see the previous adventure). Once he had destroyed Namtu's Fighters and their quarters and barracks, the other mercenary companies, seeing a void that could be filled and taking advantage of various mercenary company weaknesses, went to war. Seeing the smouldering wreck of a galley in the city's harbour, Alethea recognises it as having been one of those belonging to Namtu's Fighters.
Anan the Wanderer had come to Cadaza seeking his fortune, and is staying at a small, wrecked traveller's hostel called the Golden Pangolin. He is currently trying to plan out what to do. His reveries are interrupted by the owner, Sahanis, who asks if he is able to pay his lodging today; Anan says he cannot. Sahanis tells him that if he can't pay him by the morning, he'll be kicked out and some of his possessions will be claimed in lieu of payment. Anan heads out for the main Cadaza marketplace, in hopes of finding a job at the bazaar, but finds the central agora to be completely deserted, except for what appear to be several bodies.
Meanwhile, Alethea edges away from the docks, attempting to make her way beyond the walls, but is somewhat recognised due to her previous adventure [Renown of 62]. She covers her features with her hooded cloak, and tries to keep moving to make her exit from the city proper. At the North Dock Gate, she recognises Harkon Darkeyes, a former member of Namtu's Fighters, on duty at the gate with a female guard, whom she does not recognise. She acknowledges Harkon and learns from him some of what's been going on: the city's Regent is either hunkered down in a First Age bunker for protection or has fled the city; Jerent the Golden has attacked the city in revenge for the deeds of Namtu's Fighters, razing their base of operations and killing most of the mercenaries; neighbouring cities and the enemies of Cadaza are preparing to descend on the city in its time of weakness; some of Jerent's forces, Nethermen, roam the city wreaking havoc. Harkon says that while Jerent's forces may have wiped out Namtu's Fighters, if anyone could have survived it would have been Meginfrid [the company's leader]. He's tougher than nail, more experienced than twice the soldiers of Tartessos, and Alethea realises that if Meginfrid is still alive, he'll be found in one of his boltholes. His second-in-command, Chavra [a large Nubian, who is said o have put a spear head through something called steel] might know.
Harkon tells her that Jerent the Golden was in the city, killing an entire contingent of soldiers of the Regent using horrible magics when he first arrived. The rumours also state that there were snake-men accompanying the sorcerer. Jerent has since left the city. People are leaving the city, fleeing to the towns of Sagura and Ebro, though some attempted to flee by ship; the vessels were destroyed by gouts of flame that blew them up or by whirlwinds. A large group of Namtu's Fighters returned by ship from Oggia, but the ship was destroyed two days ago in the harbour; the smouldering remains are still there. The vessel, Komarin's Bounty, was said to have exotic cargo, including animals, aboard. When Harkon prods her, Alethea admits to having been involved in the business around which Jerent's revenge is based, but says that the Talisman was destroyed. She tells him that she's going to check out the Namtus' blasted barracks for survivors. The other guard, Jinqua [an oriental woman from a far off country] says he left Netherman (and if the rumours can be believed, snake-men) forces that are still roaming the city, wreaking destruction wherever they go. She fought a couple of Nethermen two days ago, so that she should be careful. They're tribal by nature, not well-organised, but work by instinct together. She'd also fought them before in a campaign in the jungles of Awalawa, and adds that there was no sign of the minor sorcerers working for Jerent the Golden. Harkon and Jinqua wish Alethea good luck, "may Tharvan keep your blade sharp," and Alethea exits the city boundaries proper.
Back in the central marketplace, Anan the Wanderer looks around to see if there's any immediate danger. Not seeing any, he heads for the nearest body that he sees, but as he gets there is attacked by a lion. He is raked twice by the lion's claws for some serious injuries [he takes 3 and then 6 damage]. The lion stops its attack, sniffs the air, and then flees to the centre of the agora and the area of the message pillars there. Anan hears slithering, and turns to flee through one of the entrances to the agora, but stops up abruptly as three Nethermen bearing clubs and spears emerge from several entrances. He attempts to flee back the way he came, but is struck by a strange spear and takes serious damage [16 points of damage]. Given his previous wounds from the lion's claws, this is too much for Anan and he collapses to the ground unconscious.
For the most part, this was a pretty good game session of Atlantis: The Second Age, and I had a pretty good time of it. The start of a new adventure is always somewhat taxing, as might be expected, adding to the grief this time out that spross is playing a brand new character, having decided not to play Marek again. As usual, he's not settling comfortably into this character, trying to play a scholarly type as a serious adventurer type, and as can be seen in the final sequence of the afternoon, took a serious beating. (And there were several changes of heart and hesitations on his part during the fight, that meant that it went much longer than it did but got shortened in the end considerably with the final blow being struck.) Tammy seemed to enjoy herself, and was surprised at some of the things that awaited her and spross in Cadaza, so I was pretty chuffed about that. She's pretty tough to surprise for the most part. :)
I was pretty pleased with the game session overall, if a bit frustrated at spross's vacillation, but am looking forward to next week's game.