Date: Sat 18 Jan 1997 - 09:48:37 EET
I had to justify the appalling pun in the title somehow, and here it is!
MAD PRAX - BEYOND SUN DOME (part #10)
I. Mad Prax
Before them, the characters see a huge man in a horned helmet
attempting to hamstring and otherwise maim a terrified horse.
The horses's rider, a Lunar judging by the uniform, lies shuddering in
the ditch by the road, and the ground around him is splashed red with
fresh blood. The huge man's alticamelus (high llama) nonchalantly pulls
at the stubble on the other side of the road.
Riding through Sun County towards a rendezvous with the Cradle, Mad
Prax came across this Lunar messenger and decided to kill him. Why?
Well, for start the rider was a Lunar, that would've been enough of
itself. Even worse, the chaos-moon bastard was riding a horse!
Mad Prax has the mad gleam in his eye of a Berserk (explain to novice
players the finer points of the Berserk spell, eg. attack chance doubled,
cannot be downed until killed, will attack anything in his path, falls
exhausted at the end of the spell, etc.).
Various party members have reasons for reacting to this situation.
*Yelanda has the geas "never permit a horse to suffer needlessly".
*Sarshas notices that the Storm Bull's victim was a fellow Lunar.
*What a trophy that alticamelus would be if Bob could down it: now
that'd really show those other hawks!
*Melo Yelo just loves the taste of fresh horse meat: will his craving for
it override his desire to act like a good Yelmalian? (roll over his
CON x3 to resist the urge). MArs has never eaten a high llama before,
but they look tasty too!
*Mars might just want to survive this encounter, by avoiding the
Storm Bull berserk and his dripping sword, but because Yelanda cannot
to talk to the foreigner directly, might call on him to be her
Mad Prax has cast Berserk on himself, and is too mad to bother remounting
his llama, Dalhi. Instead, he'll just level his bloodied lance and charge
the characters (pausing only to take a swipe at a "chaos milepost" and
pile of "chaos alticamelus droppings"). He later fights with his
Mad Prax is in total chainsaw mode (sword attack chance is 160%!), and
will obliging chop the entire party into chutney if he can get to them.
Note, however, that in about 12 minutes Mad Prax *must* collapse
with exhaustion, and this is the PCs' key to survival.
The PCs should try to avoid a lengthy fight; in fact, they should try to
avoid fighting Mad Prax at all! Here are a few possible ways the PCs
might think of to avoid becoming Mad Prax's next victims:
*If they can keep beyond Mad Prax's grasp for another ten minutes, he
must collapse anyway due to the Berserk (an ideal spell here is Melo
Yelo's Slow spell; another is Sarshas's Befuddle).
*If successful, Sarshas's Madness spell will make Mad Prax catatonic
(but note that if the spell is too successful, the "Paranoia" result
only makes Mad Prax even more pissed off, particularly at Sarshas!)
*Join Mad Prax's side and help him slaughter lots of "chaos trees",
"chaos rocks" or even (gasp!) "chaos alticameli"!
*Finally, if the horse Mad Prax is torturing is killed, Yelanda no longer
is obliged to protect it.
Note that it is not possible for the player characters to dispel Mad
Prax's Berserk: Yelanda and Bob know Dispel Magic 2/Dismiss Magic x1;
Dispel Magic 3 or higher is required to knock out Berserk. It'd be a nice
II. The Knot Writing Message
The players must either kill Mad Prax or leave him unconscious after the
Berserk spell wears off. Tied onto his belt is a length of knotted
leather cord, which Melo Yelo identifies as Praxian knot writing. Melo can
have a go at deciphering it, by succeeding with his Read Praxian skill for
each separate phrase:
"River......seeks aid of......Storm......join us where.....White
Rock......meets......River of Cradles."
III. The Injured Tribune
The Lunar horseman is another Lunar tribune, who Sarshas recognizes as
Tarquin Moonrise. He is dying, having been impaled in the chest by Mad
Prax's lance. He needs a large amount of Healing, possibly Heal Wound or
even Heal Body. In his message bag there is a document marked with a
Lunar seal. Tarquin will not permit it to be opened, saying it is a
private message from the Lunar governor for Duke Raus, a Lunar nobleman
with landholdings further down the river. The governor ordered that it
be delivered with due haste.
If the seal is broken, the document (in New Pelorian) commands Raus to
join Sor Eel in Pavis to "celebrate the most amazing event to have occurred
in this god-forsaken province for seven centuries". It does not
Tarquin demands Sarshas's horse so he can continue on his way. As he
departs, he tells Sarshas to "keep up the Lunar side" and to "show these
Yellow bastards a trick or two if you can!".
*It is possible that Sarshas will decide to deliver the message to Raus
in Tarquin's place, leaving Tarquin behind. This happened in playtesting,
and is quite in keeping with Sarshas's personality. If Sarshas does not
ride off, the player now uses Tarquin Moonrise as his character.
Coincidentally, Tarquin's stats are identical to those of Sarshas (they
make 'em in the same mould at the Imperial Military College.)
*Mad Prax from Beyond Sun Dome*
Storm Bull initiate of the High Llama People.
Hit Points: 16
Magic Points: 12 (currently 08)
DEX sr 2 + SIZ sr 1 = 3
19-20 Head 20 12/6
16-18 L.A. 18-19 12/5
13-15 R.A. 16-17 12/5
12 Chest 11-15 14/8
09-11 Abdm 07-10 14/8
05-08 L.L 04-06 12/6
01-04 R.L 01-03 12/6
Travelling Gear: Total Encumbrance = n/a. Fatigue = n/a. Cuirboilli
and soft leather on limbs, lamellar on chest and abdomen, cuirboilli
horned helmet. Also liberally smeared with Rhino Fat.
Lance and bastard sword.
weapon sr attk/par% damage Enc/AP
Lance (on foot) 3 72/-- 1d10+1+1d6 3.5/10
Bastard sword 5 160/-- 1d10+1+1d6 2/12
Spirit Magic: n/a. Note that Mad Prax has already cast Protection 6
on himself, before the Berserk spell. Note that the Protection spell only
has a 5 minute duration.
Divine Magic: n/a. Berserker x1 (cast).
Skills: Bellow like a Bull 100%.
Languages: Praxian 32/20, Pavic 12/--.
Mad Prax's High Llama mount
INT 4 (fixed)
Hit Points: 29
Magic Points: 10
DEX sr 3 + SIZ sr 0 = 3
17-20 Head 19-20 4/10
14-16 L.F.Leg 17-18 4/8
11-13 R.F.Leg 15-16 4/8
08-10 ForeQ 10-14 4/12
05-07 HindQ 05-09 4/12
03-04 L.R.Leg 03-04 4/8
01-02 R.R.Leg 01-02 4/8
weapon* sr attk/par% damage Enc/AP
Kick 6 56/-- 1d8+4d6 --/--
Rear & Plunge 10 31/-- 2d8+4d6 --/--
Bite 6 15/-- 1d2 --/--
*Note an alticamelus can attack only once per melee round.
Next: Crop Circles?
>From the Notes From Nochet files:
(XXIX.12-59/CDXCVIII) The Universal Splendor and Power of Yelm: A Hymn
by Solinthor (592 S.T.). "Thou dawnest beautifully in the horizon of the
sky/ O Living Yelm, who wast the beginning of life!/ When thou didst rise
in the eastern horizon/ Thou didst fill every land with thy beauty/ Thou
art beautiful, great, glittering, high over every land/ Thy rays are upon
the earth/Though thou art in the faces of men/ Thy footsteps are unseen."
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