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The Glaive of Acastus...Take One...

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The Glaive of Acastus...Take One...

Postby mikemacdee » Friday March 29th, 2013 5:34am

Here's an anecdote about running my custom quest The Glaive of Acastus with two inexperienced friends as the heroes: Linda was the Wizard Mordecai, Paul was Brillough the Barbarian. Sorry for the lack of photos.

“My master sends his gratitude: he is old and his adventuring days behind him, or else he would march boldly into the heart of the coliseum ruins himself. Supposedly the champion gladiator Acastus met his demise in the arena lion pits shortly before the city fell, so his remains may still lie in one of those pits. If so, return with his legendary glaive. But take care, friends: the spirits of the fallen still dwell there, and they take delight in punishing the greedy.”

As the bruiser, Brillough volunteered to scout, checking the first corridor for traps. Mordecai, shameless fool that he was, didn't take his client's warning seriously: on his first turn he checked the entrance for treasure and invoked the ire of a fallen gladiator, who took the form of a Chaos Warrior (the wandering monster of the quest). Being first-level heroes with crap for supplies, they fled like sissies down the trap-filled corridor, expecting the beast to follow. It opted instead to stay put, blocking access to the coliseum entrance -- there it waited patiently, knowing there was nowhere else for its victims to go.

The panicked heroes managed to find their way to the arena (and the lion pits) with minimal exploration and undead slaying. They stumbled onto a secret door early in the dungeon, but left it alone to tend to more urgent matters. Remember that secret door, 'cos we'll be coming back to it later.

There were four lion pits in the arena, and one of them contained Acastus and his glaive. But how were the heroes expected to know which pit was the right pit? By dropping into the pits one by one and searching them for treasure, of course!

You see where this is going: lots of angry Chaos Warriors, severe combat disadvantage for heroes whilst in a pit. The heroes figured it out pretty quick, too.

So Mordecai got a bright idea: he'd cast Stone Skin on Brillough! That way being in a pit wouldn't put him at a defense disadvantage when he inevitably pissed off another warrior spirit. Lo, but it was only after Mordecai cast the spell that he realized if Brillough dropped into a pit he'd lose a body point...and lose the spell. Which meant Mordecai, the pansy wizard, got to do the dirty work!

Actually they managed to find the glaive with minimal fuss, to my chagrin, but Mordecai was beaten to hell from throwing his scrawny butt into pits for several turns, and they still had to deal with the Chaos Warrior guarding the exit. They were in good shape, all things considered, and decided to head back to the entrance and see how well they managed against the 'Warrior before deciding what to do next. If they beat him with minimal fuss, they'd explore the coliseum thoroughly (and find all the other monsters and traps waiting for them). En route to the entrance, they passed the secret door they found earlier. Mordecai -- again, shameless fool that he was -- opened it on a whim.

A horde of skeletons spilled into the room and devoured Brillough while the screaming wizard fled. Mordecai did the dirty work in the arena, remember, so he had the coveted glaive -- he could just up and leave! After briefly considering fighting the skeletons and looting his dead partner, Mordecai thought better of it and used Swift Wind and Veil of Mist to escape the skeletons, slip past the 'Warrior, and win the quest.

In the very next adventure, we met Paul's new character, Klorox the Crestfallen -- the brother of Brillough. Klorox began adventuring in the hopes that he would find the one responsible for his brother's death and avenge him. He told this sad tale to his newest adventuring partner while resting between quests. This new partner happened to be Mordecai. So for another adventure or two, Klorox "unintentionally" guilt-tripped Mordecai into doing all kinds of dangerous crap that the barbarian should've been doing; meanwhile Mordecai struggled not to let it slip what really happened to Brillough, lest Klorox cleave his cowardly butt in twine.

It turned out Klorox actually knew all along and was manipulating Mordecai on purpose for his own amusement. Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen!

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Re: The Glaive of Acastus...Take One...

Postby Sjeng » Friday March 29th, 2013 8:03am

hahaha, cool story :)
pictures next time! ;)

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