Date: Sun 19 Jan 1997 - 03:55:28 EET
Things now begin to hot up!
MAD PRAX - BEYOND SUN DOME (part #13)
I. Lord Invictus Rouses the Troops!
Moments after the wyvern rider disappears into the darkness, bugles ring
out calling the reveille and magical lighting once again illuminates
the camp. Hundreds of Templars rush to arms, and assemble before their
leader, the Light Captain Invictus. In his gold ceremonial armour,
Invictus looks dazzling, brilliant, handsome, golden (a combination of
Glamour and Lantern spells).
At last, the PCs find out what's going on, as Invictus's voice booms
out across the field:
"Templars, Warriors of the Son, know now why our beloved Count sent
us in force here to Harpoon. Late last night a Lunar dispatch rider
[Sarshas] delivered a message to the Sun Dome from our Lunar allies at
Pavis. It was reported to us that a Giant Cradle, the first to come
floating downriver in over seven centuries, was reported upriver of Pavis.
The Lunar Governor Sor Eel requested that we aid them in stopping this
Cradle, boarding it, and plundering it of treasures beyond the ken of
mortal understanding. Hence our rapid deployment to Harpoon.
"The Lunars hurriedly planned a boarding action of their own at Pavis,
and shortly after dusk an Imperial Wyvern Rider landed here with the
jubilant message that the Lunar forces had succeeded in halting the
Cradle and were preparing looting parties to board and strip it of its
"How smug and self-satisfied our Moon-worshipping allies and their
bald-pated governor must have felt then, perched on the edge of their
greatest success! But before they could remove their spoils, a huge
storm (which fitfully blows itself out around our feet now as I speak)
caused the river to rise and lifted the Cradle back into the River.
Another Wyvern Rider delivered this news moments ago, along with a
desperate plea from Sor Eel for us to succeed where his hoplites had
"Tomorrow, the Giant Cradle will come downriver to Harpoon. It shall not
pass! We shall launch three great arrows from our spear-throwing machine,
and drag it to the shore with our oxen. We shall then board the Cradle and
take as rightful plunder the choicest loot aboard; the Lunars may have
our scraps as their spoils!
"Sleep well then, Sun Domers, for tomorrow we make history!"
The Light Captain's speech is greeted by a rousing cheer, and the Templars
labour through the night to make ready their assault!
I. Last Orders
As Yelm arises the Sun Dome Templars begin assembling along the river bank,
to await the Cradle's arrival. It appears that the river has risen
somewhat during the night. Archers form lines behind heavier-armed Templars
at the rivers edge, who balance scaling ladders on small boats and rafts.
The Sun Dome army is a glorious sight, and its leaders are resplendent in
their uniforms of dazzling gold. About mid-morning the Count himself
arrives, and his golden entourage sets itself up on the bluff beside
the spear-throwing machine to watch the proceedings.
Shortly after the Count's arrival, a pair of wyvern fly in from Pavis.
Sarshas notices that one of the riders is none other than Bor Eel, brother
of the governor and his most trusted lieutenant, obviously hastily flown in
here to safeguard Lunar interests during the Sun Dome pillage of the
Crowds of civilians (those who didn't flee earlier that is) cluster
in the distance, anxious to watch this marvellous battle.
The oxen have been yoked into three great teams, each linked to a coil of
bronze chain. Attached to the chains are three huge harpoons, each 25
meters long and tipped with a razor-sharp obsidian point inscribed with
runes and symbols. Around the shaft of each arrow, the characters
notice the gold rings they brought from the Sun Dome, which seem to
sparkle with magical energy in the sunlight.
Lord Invictus calls Yelanda and her band before him for their orders;
the task he has in store for them is one of the most dangerous he can
"You still wish to prove your worth to the Sun Dome cult I assume? I
have for you then a most dangerous task, one at which even a doughty
Templar might balk, let alone a mere woman such as yourself. Know that
if you succeed, my resistance to your attaining rune lord status will
"Once our great missiles have been shot, I wish for you to lead a small
assault team up one of the chains and along the spear shaft. Your job
is to prevent the defenders of the Cradle from chopping through the spear
before we can pull the Cradle into shore. I already have volunteers to
carry this out with the first and second harpoons; I ask you to volunteer
to lead the third? What say you?"
It is assumed that Yelanda jumps at the chance to prove herself in
front of Invictus, the Count and the whole Sun Dome cult hierarchy.
If she refuses this mission, Lord Invictus sends her in disgrace to the
Count, where she can serve the dignitaries iced drinks during the
"Now I need two volunteers to accompany Yelanda" (Turns to Melo Yelo)
"You, baboon, I know that for some time you have yearned to join the Sun
Dome cult. You are just the sort of nimble creature this task needs,
and if you acquit yourself well, I shall have a word in the priests' ears
about your candidature. Well, will you join us?" Invictus gives Melo a
Now, this is precisely the lucky break Melo's been looking for, and he
should salute back vigorously. Leaping on Invictus and hugging
him enthusiastically would definitely be frowned upon.
"And you, Lunar, you remain under our command. Join Yelanda, and
help us succeed where your governor's legions failed."
Bor Eel then comes down for a little pep-talk. He praises this "spirit
of cooperation between the Lunar government and our Sun Dome allies",
and, patting Sarshas on the back, says that he hopes he will be "a
shining example of Lunar military prowess". He then embraces Sarshas and
kisses him on both cheeks, and whispers in his ear, "Make sure you show up
these illiterate dirt farmers by being first onto the Cradle's deck.
Accomplish this and I can see doors opening for you all the way to the
top". While this is going on he slips Sarshas a silver medallion. It
is a Truesword matrix (when cast on a scimitar, it doubles rolled
"Good Luck", says Bor Eel, and gives the Lunar salute.
"Loyal militiaman, we do not expect you to do a Templar's work, for
that is not your place or station. But you can use your gift of the
bow as fire support for your comrades."
Next: The Cradle Cometh!
>From the Notes From Nochet files:
(XXIX.000-70/xcori) Old Kralori proverb: The man with feet sweeps for the
man who has none.
End of Glorantha Digest V4 #99
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