Dark Sun: Spirit Champions
Lesson One, never judge a book by its cover.
We arrived at what once was a decent size town, most was covered by years of neglect and sand so the true size was hidden from us at this time. Towards the middle of the town stood a large intact temple surrounded by out buildings in various forms of decay. In the court yard of one of the most intact building s I spotted the rest of the party who had gone on the Ramm and had agreed to meet us here after we finished our business in Tyr. I was still far enough away that I couldn’t make out their faces, but smiled because I counted three which meant my buddy Marax had been allowed out to play. As we got closer my smile dropped when I realized the third member wasn’t a redhead. I drew my axe and quickened my pace and sensing trouble I raised my axe to quickly end the hostage situation.
Tearyn and Zyx both yelled at me to stop as the cloaked figure dropped to the ground and curled up in a fetal position. The blade was already in motion and it was only my superior battle reflexes that drove the blade into the ground and not into his skull. The women were still yelling in that shrill female tone I’ve heard numerous times when it came time to pay for services that I didn’t have the funds to cover.
The others caught up as I pulled the boy from the ground and demanded who he was and why he was here, then the odor hit me. I sniffed, looked at the boy then at the quickly drying puddle in the sand and then back at the boy. “You disgusting and stinky little boy!” I smiled and added “I remember my first lesson in Gladiator training was to shit ourselves if we were unarmed and then smear the waste into the attackers face to throw them off guard. Hahaha, good times, good times, now go clean yourself up and come back and present yourself properly and tell me where you picked up your Gladiator tactics.” The women were still making noise so I held my hand up, palm out and their shrillness soon trailed off to blissful silence.
The boy turned out to be some kind of caster which disappointed me because I was hoping I had a gladiator apprentice to work with. As their story unfolded the boy was saved from some crazed Defiler by the women who ending up letting him get away. The women could see the look of disapproval that crossed my face so they quickly added. “We did it as a show of power, we could have killed him outright but we wanted to show the other casters in the city that we are not afraid of anyone by allowing him to escape and showing them all that the possibility of him seeking revenge on us at a later date would not cause us to lose a wink of sleep.” I had to laugh to myself at how they always stretched the truth and always came out on top in the tails they spun.
After lunch and they lengthy tail of fiction we all gathered around the temple to first search for traps and then to find a way in. The huge wooded door, now petrified with age didn’t budge when we all pushed on it so I pulled my axe and rotated it to its battle hammer side and swung with all my might at where I felt the hinge would be on the inside of the door. I was reward with a shearing sound and a metallic clank. The clank excited the entire party because it was the sound of metal falling and hitting the stone floor behind the door. I heaved my hammer and let fly three more times and the doors crashed down. I quickly bashed the metal parts from the door and dropped them in my pockets. Worn and somewhat brittle it was still metal, that along with Tearyn bluffing the hell out of the people at the Ramm market we would soon have enough to get our business off and running.
Me and Tearyn made our way into the hall, I checked for traps while opening the windows to let in light for those without my lowlight vision. The others funneled in and soon all but the kid were in the room, which was fine with me since sand doesn’t work very well for cleaning stink. I was checking out the 10’ stone Dwarven warrior statue for hidden panels or hollow spots while the rest of the party moved causally deeper into the room, well everyone except Little Bit, AKA Tearyn. She was bouncing off the walls like a kid in a sweets shop. Then it happen, click, she stopped moving and blood slowly drained from her face. We all stopped moving and starting looking for bow darts flying from once canceled holes in the walls or the ceiling to start slowing moving downward to crush us. When nothing immediately happen we all breathed a sigh of relief and I was just about to give the all clear when movement caught my eye. At first I thought it was just my imagination until it turned its head and looked down at me with those fiery red eyes while raising its massive two handed Bastard sword and bringing it down hard on my armor. I was knocked back and stunned from a moment. The ringing in my ears were replaced with screams, not those of battle but the kind associated with a 10’ stone statue coming to life and almost taking out the parties grand champion warrior in one blow.
I regained my senses just in time to pull my axe too ward off another blow while rolling to one side and swinging with everything I had in me. The sound was deafening and surly must have dealt a massive amount of damage, the small fist size piece of stone I knock off said otherwise. The others were wide eyed with fear but seeing no way to retreat they drove in hammering away at the stone behemoth. Little Bit moved down a hallway and opened another door in hopes of getting it follow her and since she was small try and double back and lock it in before it crushed her with its mighty sword. Her plan while brave and daring failed to plan for another stone giant, we now two to fight and the amount of damage we had already wreaked on the first would have decimated a decent sized army. I wondered if my STD would show up after dark and claim our souls. We were all showings signs of fatigue as Little Bit ran back into the room screaming. “Here comes the other one…we are so freaking dead!”
The boy had been tossing useless magic for the most part but seeing the one who had saved him in trouble caused a change in his face. He stepped into the room chanting while waving his arms around and then pointed at the one chasing Little Bit. Sparks shot from his finger tips into the behemoth which promptly ceased motion. We were no longer worried about getting pounded by the second one so we drove harder into the slowly crumbling stone warrior until only rubble was left.
We then used the motionless statue as a “cool down” by hacking it to pieces. I collected the faces to hang over the Inn’s fireplace once it was built I then looked over at the boy and gave him thumbs up, pulled out my prized keg and beckoned him over. We all sat down, grabbed some food and treated our wounds while discussing today’s encounter, all conversation ceased when we realized we still hadn’t made it out of the first room, someone sobbed