Legends of Hyboria

Something rotten in Zingaria Part 1

Two disparate youths and an older Zamoran who is old enough to know better are among the only survivors of a surprise Pictish raid on the caravan they are travelling with in Northern Zingaria. Enslaved and chained they are led north east towards Pictish lands but their wits and strength allows them to escape and kill their captors in a explosive test of arms.

The town guard from nearby Imboca ride out after reports of Pictish raids, led by the capable Beloso. Seeing the worth of the survivors he brings them back to Imboca and suggests they talk with Don Atilio, the mayor of the small trading town.

Don Atilio sent riders south to the provincial capital of Rodenzo to report the Pictish raids and ask for assistance. However the Don also has a pressing personal matter in that his cousin Moxica was supposed to marry his daughter Idoya yesterday but has not turned up. Moxica run a mining camp two days north into the mountains. Fearing the Picts may have cut him off, raiding the tin mines or worse he offers to pay the adventurers 50 silver each to bring him word of the mines and his cousin Moxica.

The party agrees and heads north the following morning through the picturesque hills of northern Zingaria with a cool autumn breeze at their backs. By evening they see something is very wrong, a hill station has been sacked and the inhabitants murdered…or perhaps sacrificed to dark gods by a band of Picts seemingly led by a shaman who they spied uttering guttural prayers and incantations to some primordial entities.

Laying low they came back after dark when they were certain the Pictish band had moved on and expertly took care of a small group of Pictish scouts before spying a large creature walking confidently and deliberate down the road towards them. A feline monstrosity of thick sinew and muscle, it’s long canines betraying it’s impossible existence and sparking genetic memory from when mankind was hunted by such long extinct beasts – the Sabre-tooth Tiger spotted them and readied itself for the attack!

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Something Rotten In Zingaria Part 2

A fierce fight that drove off the Sabre-tooth revealed it was tracking an escapee from the main mining camp of Bastida, one of their cooks who went by the name of Tork.

Tork having been stripped of almost all his equipment by the Picts decided to stick with the other characters in the hope that while they scouted out Bastida he could sneak in and get his gear.

Fine planning and stealth saw the group enter what was left of Bastida and dispatch the few Pictish sentries. However things took a turn for the worse when they discovered the mine was host to at least thirty Picts including an ill-looking and foul-smelling Shaman.

Not wasting any time the group used a combination of distraction, quick strikes and some unbelievable trickery (that part being mostly the domain of Dimitri – or Dimitri the Great and the band of Picts now call him) saw the Shaman dispatched, the Picts confused and the few remaining Zingarian miners, including Don Moxica being freed.

Needless to say this was a result beyond the wildest expectations of Don Atilio, who showered them with silver, wine and his finest foods upon their return. The group also has also gained the beginnings of a reputation in this particular area of Zingaria, and likely infamy among the southern Bear Clan of Picts who raided into the territory.

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Kidnapped!!??

Months after their last adventure the group are in Arenjun, Zamora – better known as the City of Thieves.

A botched attempt to rob the fabled Tower of the Elephant resulted in a retreating battle with armoured guards and a foul giant Spider! Escaping by the skin of their teeth they found refuge (and far too much wine) in Malvolio’s Tavern. The following morning before they had the chance to nurse their hangovers they were awakened by the City Watch who placed them under arrest and bid them come to the Governor’s palace. Not liking their tone noble Sinan put on her airs and graces to such a level that the group were more escorted than arrested to the palace.

Brought before the corpulent Oleksa the Stout (perhaps the best ‘thief’ in Zamora, whose skills seem only cover ordering tax collectors to bleed the populace dry) they were given Hobson’s choice: face charges of burglary and be handed over to the dread sorcerer Yara or help him quietly find out what has happened to his bride Julianna who was taken from his matrimonial chamber the very night before. Wisely agreeing to help Governor Stout, particularly after silver is mentioned they investigate the bed chambers and find evidence that kidnapping might not be quite as involuntary as the Governor claims. Wanting the matter kept quiet (for who would respect an oppressive governor who cannot even protect his own prized possessions?) the party spend the next day and a half investigating around the city before making their way out – following a led of a rider carrying a bundle at speed before dawn and heading East towards the Pass of the Goat.

The hawk eyed Chinara spotted rider’s tracks going off to the mountains long before reaching the pass and the group decided to follow. Aside from a wary mountain lion following them but not fancying it’s chances with four mounted adventurers the day progressed well and they found themselves on winding shelf roads in the mountains. Dimitri saved at least one party member a long drop when he spotted a trap that would have swept a rider off his own and down the mountain and they safely arrived at a sunken plateau in which they could see a camp of at least 15 men. Deciding to rest the night on higher ground than risk a fight whilst tired they made camp.

In the morning they spotted a ravine with the remains of slave or prisoner wage led by two priests of the long forgotten blood thirsty God; Kovag-Re…of which Dimitri promptly looted the long decayed bodies of their golden amulets.

Deciding diplomacy would be the best option they then rode into the camp and were greeted by Bogdan and his band of Bandits. A cover story of looking for a sister named Julianna was quickly blown when Julianna appeared from one of the tents and clearly clung to the handsome Bodgan, who was clearly her lover.

Not quite sure of what to do next they were rudely interrupted by the booming voice of Oleksa himself who, along with a detachment of City Watch and his personal guard had quietly followed the party. Making it clear they would not be getting any silver and would be forfeiting their lives the party quickly sided with the lovers Bodgan and Julianna and a fierce fight ensued.

Finding themselves pushed back to the entrance of a cave the tide quickly turned with an unlikely strike to Oleksa from the thrown dagger of Dimitri in a brilliant example of cutlery interruptus. The blade was poisoned and was already at work by the time the second dagger hit the hard to miss fat mass of the Governor. Trickery courtesy of a well placed smoke bomb and the lamentable cries of the Khitan noble saw the watchmen retreat with losses.

The adventure ended with Bodgan and Julianna’s eternal thanks and quick packing. One does not slay the governor of a city and expect no reprisals. Light of coin and hungry of belly the party will have to decide the easiest way to get far away before the City Guard come back in force!

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