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DAHQ: Introductions 
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Post DAHQ: Introductions
A Roman centurion pants as he tries to get his breath back. His clothes are slashed and torn, his armour is dented. He leans back against an unscalable cliff face with water trickling down it, and his feet splash in the pool below as he shifts his position.

"So, Ansgar," he snarls, "my Century is all gone and you think to make an easy kill! But as Christ is my witness I shall put your head on a stake before this day is through!"

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Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:06 pm
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions
Ansgar looks around, smiles, and says in a cocky tone, "I do not see the son of your One God here. I will tell you who is here though, I am Ansgar ..."

Ansgar's words were overshadowed by a eerily low-toned moan which rose steadily in its horrible pitch until all around were silent and searching for its unnatural source.

Ansgar sighs and says loudly, but in a friendly tone, "do I not honor your head properly? Have I not treated you well?"

He hands his spear and shield to a man standing next to him. He removes the shoulder straps holding the finely crafted and dyed leather case. He sets the leather case down on the ground at his feet and opens the top. He reaches in and pulls out a severed head, and as he does, the moaning becomes louder as the mouth opens.

Many men around the Irish and Roman warriors took several steps back. Although clearly shaken, the Roman warrior did not flinch at the sight of the severed head of the fearsome Fomorian King Senach.

Ansgar smiles broadly, chuckles deeply, and says, "Good, he did not flinch. Did you not see it Senach?"

Slowly, and in a deep and disturbing tone, Senach's severed head says, "it means nothing! Romans are seasoned soldiers and have trained for such sights."

For the first time Ansgar's voice takes a hard tone, and he says sharply, "tell me truthfully now! Is he worthy of your wife's geas?"

Several tense moments pass without a sound and nary a breath from the men surrounding this singular scene.

Suddenly, the head's mouth opens wide and emits a low and rumbling moan of pain and pity, "ODRAS! My Love!"

Emotion races across Ansgar's face and he firmly turns the head to face him, and says to it an authoritative tone, "Senach! Do not start again! Answer me now! Remember, you do your wife and Queen a disservice by deceiving me when it comes to my nine heroes."

With an eerily audible sigh and sense of defeat, Senach says, "Yes, this Roman Warrior is worthy."

All anger and frustration instantly fades from Ansgar's face and countenance, and exuberance flashes for a moment before he takes on a somber appearance and tone when he says to all men around him, "behold the severed head of the Fomorian King Senach! I killed him in single combat and honor his Head! I am Ansgar mac Bevan!"

Ansgar moves the head around with Senach's face to the men around him, and then ceremoniously places the head back into the leather case.

Ansgar stands and speaks to the Roman soldier in a casual manner, "be at ease Roman, catch your breath. You are a hero worthy of single combat. You may have my head on a stake today, but I may take yours today as well. Shall we see? Do you accept my challenge to single combat?"

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Fri May 01, 2009 2:02 am
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions
The Roman's face works. Gradually he recovers his composure. He draws himself up to his full height and holds his sword between you and him.

"I shall fight you, barbarian. And when I have defeated you I shall smash your foul demon into pieces. My name is Caius Liburnius and my fathers have sat in the Senate since the days of the kings. I have slain whole tribes of your people in the name of Rome, and one more shall now be to my credit."

The warriors standing around growl with displeasure, and a couple make a move towards Liburnius. But the Roman stares hard at them, and with a glance or two at Ansgar they stand back.

"Come then, barbarian! God wills it!"

********************************************************************
Liburnius will be calling on various Augments, but I won't bore you with the details. He has more skill than you with the sword, coming to 10M total.

You would be able to Augment with several Abilities, e.g. Brave (+2), Terrifying in Battle (+3), Cult of the Head (+2), and maybe more. The idea is to narrate the augments into your description rather than just get them automatically.

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Fri May 01, 2009 4:23 pm
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions
Here's a picture of Roman soldiers of this time:

Image

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Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 pm
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions
Ansgar laughs out loud and says, "steady, steady brave Caius Liburnius. Be at ease for the moment. Your family is from the days of the Roman kings? Then you know the Old Ways. We have agreed to personal combat, now we must prepare. It would be beneath me to fight you at an advantage now, and unworthy of you."

Ansgar asks some the men around him to bring up some food and drink, and another man to bring a horse blanket.

Turning to Caius he says is a easy tone, "I offer you what little hospitality that I have to give. Please accept it as it will give me time to prepare my hair for this fight."

Several men quickly came up and laid out several horse blankets, along with several gourds of drink, a loaf of bread, and a quarter wheel of cheese. Then they quickly backed off.

Ansgar walked over to one side of the large blanket and gently placed the leather head case on the ground next to the blanket. Slyly, he looks up and gives an ever so slight nod towards Caius.

He then motions with his arm as he says, "please, sit and refresh yourself for our fight."

Ansgar also takes his packs that were brought and placed next the blanket by the men around him. He digs through one of the packs and brings out a small linen cloth, and a small clump of soap. He steps forward and places them a little over half way across the blanket.

As he steps back, he says, "please take no offense, but perhaps you would like to clean up a bit before our battle. I only offer this to you out of respect for your head. When I take it today, I want it to be in the best possible condition. Your head will serve me well, and keep King Senach company while I quest to fulfill the terrible geas of his wrathful wife, Odras the Fomorian Queen."

Ansgar motions for Caius to sit, and he does so himself. He starts to pull out his hair dressing tools out of his pack and lay it out on the blanket in front of him.

Finally, the cautious Roman veteran moved forward and walks towards the edge of the blanket, glaring down the lesser men around Ansgar. However, he stopped at the edge of the blanket and just stares at Ansgar.

Ansgar sighs heavily as he looks up at Caius and says, "can you not see that that I am giving you proper respects, as in the Old Ways? You say that your one god wills this fight? My gods, the Tuatha De Danann, also will this fight. I must do the bidding of Queen Odras' geas before I can return home the shores of my birth. You must kill me before you can return to Rome."

Once again, Ansgar motions in a friendly manner for Caius to sit and relax. Mere moments in reality, but they seemed disjointed and out of time to those around. Ansgar enjoyed this strange stretching of time, and perceived it as a deeply and profoundly spiritual moment. He had felt it during the battle of Ness where he killed King Senach, and accepted the geas by Queen Odras.

Caius finally sits on his knees on the opposite end of the blanket, and reaches for a gourd. He sniffs it, and satisfied, takes a long drink of water while keeping an eye on his surroundings.

Ansgar smiles broadly and laughs before he says, "ah, that is better. Let me tell you a story while I prepare my hair, and you refresh yourself."

Two men come up to the blanket, one with a large wooden bowl and one with large gourd of water. They set it down and then retreat a distance away from the two Warriors.

As Ansgar starts to prepare his hair, he starts talking in a story tone. He tells Caius about how he joined a Fianna and the band traveled into the Otherworld mistakenly, as they were tricked by some Sidhe. There in the Otherworld, they made a bargain with a Sidhe king and made war upon Fomorian King Senach's Island. With prideful demeanor, and an almost boastful tone, Ansgar relates the terrible and glorious battle where he killed King Senach's two sons before he faced the wrathful and grieving Fomorian king in single combat.

His tone changes slightly when he describes the heroic fight between himself and the monstrous and furious King Senach; it became both somber and respectful. Ansgar tells Caius in all honesty that he feared facing the terrible Fomorian king because he was known to wield a magic sword.

"In the end, it was both his lust for retribution and my ability to stand firm against such a terrifying and powerful Fomorian king that allowed him to expose himself, and for me to exploit it and take his head clean in a single, faithful stroke. I followed the proper rituals as a faithful member of the Cult of the Head, and took his head and magic sword. My stroke ended the war, but only began my wanderings," Ansgar says as he finishes with his hair.

Looking over at Caius, Ansgar is pleased to see that Caius used the linen, soap, and water to clean up and refresh himself. Also, that he had eaten some food and drank his fill of water while Ansgar related the tale leading up his geas by Queen Odras.

Ansgar places all his hairdressing tools back onto the rolled out leather case, and then slides it across the blanket towards Caius.

He motions for Caius to take it and use it as he says, "please, use these as you will. A Warrior can never look too good going into battle. Please I have only one more preparation, and the story of how we come to fight this day."

Ansgar speaks with the men near him, and a couple of minutes later they return with some more gourds, covered in some kind of blue paint or dye. Ansgar starts to strip naked, and as he does he starts back into his story. He relates to Caius how terribly wrathful Queen Odras was in her grief that the death of her sons, husband, and King- killing off her line and legacy. There on the battlefield and just after Ansgar properly took possession of the head, the vengeful Fomorian Queen laid down a terrible geas on Ansgar. He may not see the shores of Ireland again unless he kills a hero worthy of her husband and sons once a year for nine years in succession. Ansgar tells Caius in all honesty that he accepted Queen Odras' geas because he could not deny her it, as he was the man that killed her bloodline in one day.

Taking some of the blue woad, Ansgar starts painting his body as he says, "so, you see Caius Liburnius, blood of Roman kings, your head will hold first position of the nine heads that I need to return home. Also, as you can see by treatment of Senach here, I will treat your head well and with proper respect."

Finally, Ansgar finished with painting his body ritually with the blue woad. He stood there naked except for a gold torc and several gold bracelets. He hair was spiked and randomly colored with the woad with hand prints. As he stands to his full height, Ansgar is a fearsome sight.

Looking Caius in the eyes, Ansgar says, "it is time."

============================================

OOC:
Sorry, I had a busy family-filled weekend. Also, I am kind of flying without a net here. I don't know how much leeway I have with NPCs, if any at all. I tried to incorporate the following abilities into my narrative: hairdressing (doing his hair for battle), diplomacy (talking Caius to let them prepare properly for the battle), Geas by Fomor Queen (told him story of how he got the curse and the terms of it), Worships the People of Danu (told Caius his gods had fated this fight, and that he follows the Old Ways), member of the Cult of the Head (told Caius about properly honoring and taking heads ritually), Fomor King's Head (told Caius story of the gruesome battle and fight with the monstrous Fomorian King Senach), Brave (he faced King Senach in single combat knowing he had a magic sword), Honorable (he allows Caius to refresh himself and pays him proper respect befitting a Warrior of stature, and worthy of his personal geas), Generous & Hospitable (he offers everything he has to Caius), Terrifying in Battle (spiked hair, naked, and painted in woad), and, finally, Magic Broadsword (he told Caius the story surrounding King Senach's magic sword).

Okay, I hope that this kind of hits the mark of what I need to do as a player in HQ. Please let me know any feedback. Of course, as a player, I am going to try and maximize my bonuses, so just let me know what you decide applies or not, or if I have to do any thing else to touch it up, etc.

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Tue May 05, 2009 1:52 am
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions
It's all good, Drohem. Normally NPCs and their reactions etc would be my territory, but I think a little more leeway is probably necessary in a PbP game to stop the game from dragging. Exactly how it works is something I'm feeling out as I go.

In any case, I would have had Liburnius act substantially as you described. I like that you give him respect as a character.

These are your Augments based on your own assessment:

Hairdressing +1
Diplomacy +1
Geas by Fomor Queen +2
Worships the People of Danu +2
Member of the Cult of the Head +2
Fomor King's Head +2
Brave +2
Honorable +2
Generous +1
Hospitable +1
Terrifying in Battle +2
Magic Broadsword +2

TOTAL = +20

Assuming Ansgar is using Broadsword & Shield, that gives him a skill of 3M2 (3M=23; 3M2=43). NIce one. Masteries cancel out, so Ansgar faces Liburnius with a skill of 3M, while Liburnius has 10 (clearly outclassed, brave man).

Now you roll a d20 and tell us what you got.


[ETA: Normally you would state a goal, but I'm assuming your goal is 'Kill him.']

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Tue May 05, 2009 3:58 am
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions
OOC:

I rolled a 19!

I use InvisibleCastle for my online dice rolls. I used the campaign name 'Dark Ages HeroQuest.'

Edit: Oh yeah, Ansgar is trying to take his head!

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Tue May 05, 2009 11:29 am
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions

Oh dear, I rolled a 14 for Liburnius.

This is how it plays out: you rolled a 19, which is above your target number of 3, and therefore a failure. However, your mastery bumps the result one level on the Simple Contest Results table, making it a success.

Liburnius rolled a 14, which is above his target number of 10; hence a failure. He gets no bumps because his mastery was cancelled out.

Image

Success vs failure on the table equals a minor victory for you. In this situation I would say that Ansgar reduces Liburnius to a defeated status and has him at his mercy (disarmed, heavily wounded etc). Normally in a FTF game I would narrate what happens, but perhaps you would enjoy doing that?

This is a simple contest. We'll try extended contests later in the game, I think.


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Tue May 05, 2009 3:50 pm
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions
droog wrote:
Normally in a FTF game I would narrate what happens, but perhaps you would enjoy doing that?


Why yes, I would enjoy that! GM giving me free reign, muwahhaha! I write it up later tonight.

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Tue May 05, 2009 9:32 pm
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Post Re: DAHQ: Introductions
By the time that both warriors were ready for their battle, it was almost twilight. Ansgar saw this as a good omen, and the fitness of the situation- life and death would be settled at the weakest point between worlds. The men moved about ten yards away from the cliff to a patch of good ground for a fight here. Partially stalling a bit until twilight, and with part dramatic showmanship and genuine reverence, Ansgar takes out the severed head of King Senach and places it on several large stones that he piled together.

"There you are Senach. So you may see this fight," Ansgar says in a friendly tone.

[Insert GM text here if needed]

As the last rays of sunlight are long and diffused, it is time for their duel and the two warriors square off several yards apart. Ansgar had offered Caius the opportunity to take whatever weapons he would off his fallen soldiers. All those men watching would have bet that the Roman soldier would have taken up a scutum and pilum. Ansgar was pleased and smiled wide when Caius curtly refused. Ansgar was armed only with his longsword, and Caius had his gladius in hand.

With an easy and fluid motion, Caius takes several quick steps on the attack at Ansgar and deftly draws his pugio with his off hand. He knew he had to account for Ansgar's longer sword; he's killed many barbarians from many tribes, and was no fool. Almost in the same instant Ansgar was on the attack as well, taking powerful and skillfully placed strokes to keep Caius from getting too close.

There was no more talk, and there was no more courtesy between these men. Both warriors were skilled and it was a worthy match. After almost ten minutes of fierce and furious battle, the physical toll was taking root in both men, although their mental and spiritual intensity was not slackened, nor sated yet.

In the end, the tip of Ansgar's longsword cut cleanly and deep into Caius' inner right thigh, several inches below his genitals- severing his femoral artery. Dropping his weapons and falling to his knees, Caius grabs his thigh with both hands trying vainly to stem the flow of blood. With a slight nod, he looks up at Ansgar and acknowledges his fate with resolute dignity. Raising his sword for a killing stroke, Ansgar looks Caius in the eyes and lets out a Ki shout as he decapitates the worthy Roman soldier Caius Liburnius.

Ansgar reaches down and picks up Caius' severed head, and yells, "I am Ansgar mac Bevan! See I have killed Caius Liburnius in single combat!"

[Insert GM text here if needed]

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Mon May 11, 2009 1:54 am
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