Zirnakaynin: Blood and Darkness: The Gladiatrix Saga

Game Master Dragoncat

A campaign set in the drow city of Zirnakaynin, following a band of gladiators as they fight their way to gold, glory and the promise of freedom.

Performance Combat Rules
Maps!

CROWD ATTITUDES!
Anabel: Indifferent
Brevka: Helpful
Kaxatja: Friendly
Lilamma: Friendly
Lyra'an: Helpful

VICTORY POINTS: 2

Current Date: Starday, 7th of Sarenith, 4705 AR


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So, how would you like to approach this?


So, how would you like to approach this?


Female Half-Orc Primal Spelleater 1 | HP 14/14(16) | AC 15 (13), T 11 (9), FF 14 | CMD 17 | Fort +7(9), Ref +3, Will +4(6) | Init +1 | Perc +0 | SM +0 | Performance Combat +5 | Rage Rounds 7/7

If Kaxie and co. are on the back door...

Brevka flings open the door with a crash and stalks in to survey the scene with a smirk tugging at her lip.


Just before Brevka kicks the door, Anabel says a prayer and lays a hand on the half-orc's arm. "Spirits guide you."

Guidance on Brevka.


Female Fetchling Knifemaster 1 | HP 10/10 | AC 16 (14), T 14 (12), FF 12(10) | CMD 14 | Fort +1 Ref +4, Will +0 | Init +10 | Perc +4 | SA +1d8

Taking advantage of Brevka's ability to command attention, Lyra'an slips in after her, smoothly sticking to the wall as she flows into the room.

Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Sleight of Hand (conceal blades): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17


Female Tiefling (Kiton Born) Skald 1 Init +2 Hp 10/10 AC 17 T 14 FF 15 Fort +4 Ref +2 Will +1 Spd 30 DR 2/Silver Perc +3 Pic

Ah, subtelty.. long time no see!


Female Neutral Drider HP 11/11 | AC: 14/T 12/ FF 13 | Fort: +3; Ref: +1; Will: +5 | Init: +2 | Per +6 ; SM: +2 | Spd 40 ft. , Climb 20 ft.| CMB: +2 CMD 13 (+25 vs. trip) | Darkvision 60ft | Performance Combat +6

Kaxatja scuttles to the back with Johysis.

”Please shoot the vagrant if he so much as moves against us...” the drider asks politely, keenly aware of the difference in station between thrall and warden...


Kaxatja wrote:
”Please shoot the vagrant if he so much as moves against us...”

Johysis chuckles. "You sure he's even worth the bolts?" She asks, one of her crossbows trained on the sleeping vagrant.

--------------------------------
When Brevka kicks in the door, she's greeted by a surprised yelp.

The interior of the shop is remarkably tidy, with multiple shelves of various alchemical reagents lining the store. The floor is well-polished and carved of lacquered black wood. A flight of stairs leads up to another floor.

Standing behind a rectangular counter, with an array of bubbling flasks and vials mounted on a wall behind him, is a male drow with long, messy hair. He's wearing a black tunic with a grey, filthy smock. His grey eyes widen in shock as Brevka barges into his shop.

"What is the meaning of this?! The door was open, you single-minded brute--" Daveth starts. Then he sees the sash Brevka is wearing.

Whatever he was going to say next dies on his lips.


Female Neutral Drider HP 11/11 | AC: 14/T 12/ FF 13 | Fort: +3; Ref: +1; Will: +5 | Init: +2 | Per +6 ; SM: +2 | Spd 40 ft. , Climb 20 ft.| CMB: +2 CMD 13 (+25 vs. trip) | Darkvision 60ft | Performance Combat +6

Kaxatja is about to reply when she hears the dramatic entrance of Brevka.

The drider stands taut, net ready to throw if anything comes toward her.


Female Half-Orc Primal Spelleater 1 | HP 14/14(16) | AC 15 (13), T 11 (9), FF 14 | CMD 17 | Fort +7(9), Ref +3, Will +4(6) | Init +1 | Perc +0 | SM +0 | Performance Combat +5 | Rage Rounds 7/7

Brevka quickly stalks forward, immediately removing any kind of comfortable distance between them.

"Hello, honored Daveth. There were some vials our mistresses expected, but it's the damnedest thing; clearly some treachery has befallen your runners. We're here to ensure safe, prompt delivery."


Daveth blinks a couple of times as Brevka swaggers up to his counter.

"Oh." His eyes dart to the sigil on the half-orc's sash before meeting her eyes again. "Of course, of course."

He ducks underneath his counter and pulls out a sheet of parchment. "Now, House Parastric has contracted my services for many deliveries before. Which one was your order, again...?"

GM Rolls:
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

DC 22 Sense Motive:
Daveth is definitely hiding something. He likely knows exactly what delivery you're here for, and he's stalling for time.


Female Tiefling (Kiton Born) Skald 1 Init +2 Hp 10/10 AC 17 T 14 FF 15 Fort +4 Ref +2 Will +1 Spd 30 DR 2/Silver Perc +3 Pic

Our last order is to maim you if you try something stupid, like trying to fool us. I would more than happy to carry that order. As slowly and painfully as possible. With as much imagination as you never dare get nightmares about. You know very well why we are here, and which vials are missing.

Intimidate: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24

The spiked chain whirls for additional effect, but the stone cold voice and the madness gleaming in the Tiefling eyes might be enough


Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8

Unsure whether or not Daveth is being deceptive, Anabel nevertheless speaks up. "There is no reason things need to get violent. If you simply gives us the order that was promised, everybody can walk out of here with all of their limbs attached."

Diplomacy vs Elves: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18


Female Fetchling Knifemaster 1 | HP 10/10 | AC 16 (14), T 14 (12), FF 12(10) | CMD 14 | Fort +1 Ref +4, Will +0 | Init +10 | Perc +4 | SA +1d8

From off t the side, Lyra'an comments in a calm, matter of fact manner that is slightly chilling. "I'd listen if I were you....the last person we let her work on....ugh....soooo much blood."

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Intimidate (aid another): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17


Daveth twitches when Lilamma brazenly threatens him and flinches when Lyra'an emerges from behind one of the aisles of potions.

"Er... um... yes. Yes, I-I remember now." The herbalist swallows and looks down at his parchment, his hands starting to shake. "Just the one order here left unclaimed. Of course."

He looks around at the four gladiatrixes, all within reach of him. He bites his lip, his eyes darting towards the back door of his establishment before he sighs in defeat.

"There's... well, there's one problem." He takes a step back from the counter. "I, uh... I had it. But it was stolen."

He swallows in fear.


"Stolen? By whom?" Anabel inquires.


Daveth swallows again. "Bunch of junkies. They-they mugged me as I was returning from gathering reagents last night. Attacked me outside of my own shop!" He huffs in a vain attempt to look indignant.

"I dropped what I was carrying and fled inside--Haagenti must have felt generous, because they didn't pursue me. They just took what I gathered and sauntered off laughing like they just scored big."

"Never should've taken that shortcut home. Amateur move."


"Show us."

Assuming Daveth complies, Anabel will look around for any tracks or signs of struggle.

Survival: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16


Daveth tentatively steps out from behind the counter, trying to angle himself so that he doesn't bump into Lilamma's spiky gear on the way. He makes his way to the back door of his shop, opens it and steps outside.

"I figured that cutting through the back alleyyyyyeeEEEEEEEE!" He shrieks in terror when he sees Kaxatja's arachnid bulk and Johysis' crossbow pointed at his head. The vagrant sputters and barely musters the effort needed to uncurl himself from his cloak.

"Hey, Davey-boy." Johysis grins and keeps her crossbow level. "How's work?"

Daveth scampers behind Anabel.

Anabel's Survival Roll:
There are a few faded tracks in the unpaved dirt of the alley, leading off to the northwest and down another alley. There are also a few spots of blood in the dirt, following the tracks.


The mongoose on Anabel's shoulder chitters and points at the dirt. The elf nods in agreement. "I think Daveth has spoken the truth. There is blood here, and tracks leading down that alley to the northwest."


Female Tiefling (Kiton Born) Skald 1 Init +2 Hp 10/10 AC 17 T 14 FF 15 Fort +4 Ref +2 Will +1 Spd 30 DR 2/Silver Perc +3 Pic

Sleight of hand: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17

As Daveth seems distraced, Lilamma wraps Taki, her spiked chain, around the alchemist throat. She doesn't tighten her grasp, fortunatly, but the spikes make their presence known, delicatly piercing the flesh, just a little.

A few small drops of blood appear. Nothing serious. Just an indictment to stay very still.

You wouldn't try to lie to us, don't you? It is in your best interest to tell us all you know, all you have seen, about these thugs, so we can find them and slaughter them. I propose you come with us, in fact, so you can see what happens to those who are a nuisance to House Parastric, and aren't cautious with their properties. It will be very instructive. It might give you all the reasons you need to be more diligent. I hope you like blood, and the sounds of broken bones, and cries for mercy??? I enjoy these. Always funny. Or maybe you could stay here, with both legs broken? Your choice.

Intimidate: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25


Daveth *squeaks* in terror as Lilamma snares him with her chain.

"N-no! No! No! Notatall!" The herbalist stammers out.

"There were five of them--a pair of duergar, a drow female, a troglodyte, and their kobold slave. The kobold had purple scales, of all things... the female was in command." Daveth swallows. "I think the kobold was the only clear-headed one of the group--the rest were all strung out on... something. I don't know what."

The herbalist doesn't seem inclined to run.


Female Neutral Drider HP 11/11 | AC: 14/T 12/ FF 13 | Fort: +3; Ref: +1; Will: +5 | Init: +2 | Per +6 ; SM: +2 | Spd 40 ft. , Climb 20 ft.| CMB: +2 CMD 13 (+25 vs. trip) | Darkvision 60ft | Performance Combat +6

Kaxatja watches, her face an inscrutable mask. She pouts at the herbalist from her high stature.

”The drow female. Did she cast any spells? Or any other others? Tell us everything about them that you can to ensure there are no complications. Of which you WILL be a part.

The drider’s trident jabs toward Daveth to impress the...er...point(s).


Daveth shakes his head. "The female might have been a spellcaster, once. She didn't cast any spells, and didn't look like she'd be able to in her state."

"Don't think any of the others are spellcasters--at least, if you don't count the duergar."


"Shall we follow the trail to try to track them down?" Anabel asks.


Female Neutral Drider HP 11/11 | AC: 14/T 12/ FF 13 | Fort: +3; Ref: +1; Will: +5 | Init: +2 | Per +6 ; SM: +2 | Spd 40 ft. , Climb 20 ft.| CMB: +2 CMD 13 (+25 vs. trip) | Darkvision 60ft | Performance Combat +6

”Yes.” Kaxatja replies simply.

”Johysis, can you manage young Dav here...” the drider asks their appointed sitter. ”We need to concentrate on ending the thieves...


Johysis snickers. "Eh, why not."

She walks over to Daveth and roughly hauls him to his feet. Her crossbow is pointed at the small of his back. "It'll be a chance to get caught up." She chuckles as she marches him along.
--------------------
Anabel leads the party on a hunt for Daveth's assailants, following the spatters of blood left behind on alley walls and stray bits of cobblestone. Eventually, the trail leads northwest, to what looks like a dingy, condemned flophouse. It's a long, one-story building made of wood paneling that's seen far better days. Patches of strange violet mold creep out from between the panels in places, and a general foul odor of waste and cheap intoxicants leaks from its boarded-up windows.

Daveth gags when he sees the building and looks over at a nearby street sign. "Where are we--Blight Row. Ah. That would explain much."

New map!


Female Half-Orc Primal Spelleater 1 | HP 14/14(16) | AC 15 (13), T 11 (9), FF 14 | CMD 17 | Fort +7(9), Ref +3, Will +4(6) | Init +1 | Perc +0 | SM +0 | Performance Combat +5 | Rage Rounds 7/7

Brevka dispenses with any idea that bloodshed is unlikely and bares her borrowed steel as she walks up to the boarding house, nudging the door open with a push from her broad palm.


Anabel grants Brevka guidance again before she opens the door.


As Brevka pushes the flophouse door open, a male drow in brown rags stumbles through, reeking of some sort of drug. He trips over his own feet and almost falls on the half-orc--

Grapple?: 1d20 ⇒ 9

--his flailing hands grabbing for something to break his fall, and coming close to her shin guards. He collapses to his knees and noisily vomits up a stream of something green before rolling over and clutching his stomach, shaking like a leaf.

The main room of the flophouse is even filthier than the building's exterior would suggest. The floor is made of stained grey wood that's rotted away in several places, exposing the cavern floor beneath. A scant few violet glowing crystals are mounted on the walls, providing a very dim glow that barely illuminates the rest of the building. The sounds of snoring, snorting and muted groans of pain fill the air.

Three large piles of ratty pillows and blankets have been set up in the middle of the L-shaped room, each of them occupied with wretched-looking drow, duergar, troglodytes and even a few humans. Some of them lie staring up at the ceiling with blank expressions on their faces, their mouths hanging open and drooling. A few of the flophouse's tenants are still up and walking about--or rather, staggering about. On the northern and southern sides of the flophouse are doors leading into quarters barely larger than the party's cells in the ludus, and dirtier.

Behind a counter next to the flophouse's doors is a squat, grey-skinned duergar dressed in perhaps the only clean set of clothing in the building. The sleeves of his white shirt have been torn off, exposing his bulky, powerfully-muscled arms. A sturdy-looking warhammer is hanging off of his belt.

"What're you lookin' at, greenskin?" The dwarf grumbles. "Ya certainly look like you don't belong anywhere near here."

The building's interior is dimly lit.


Female Tiefling (Kiton Born) Skald 1 Init +2 Hp 10/10 AC 17 T 14 FF 15 Fort +4 Ref +2 Will +1 Spd 30 DR 2/Silver Perc +3 Pic

Lilamma twist and whirl her spiked chain, uttering a few arcane words

small bots of light, red as blood, appear around her, casting ominous shadows on the walls


Female Neutral Drider HP 11/11 | AC: 14/T 12/ FF 13 | Fort: +3; Ref: +1; Will: +5 | Init: +2 | Per +6 ; SM: +2 | Spd 40 ft. , Climb 20 ft.| CMB: +2 CMD 13 (+25 vs. trip) | Darkvision 60ft | Performance Combat +6

Casting an not-at-all-no-really-it’s-fine anxious look at Johysis and Dav, Kaxatja cases the building, beginning to make a circuit of its walls to locate means of egress.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14 [to see or hear soberphobes as they erupt from building]

Kaxatja is heading around in an anti-clockwise direction from the doorway...


Kaxatja's Perception:
You make a circuit of the building, carefully stepping about.

You notice that the squat building has many windows--most of them boarded up, but a couple of them lying open. Most of the occupants of the flophouse's rooms are either unconscious or too addled by drugs to take notice of a giant spider-woman walking outside.

2 windows are open--one on the north side of the flophouse, one on the south side. I'll mark them on the map.


Female Neutral Drider HP 11/11 | AC: 14/T 12/ FF 13 | Fort: +3; Ref: +1; Will: +5 | Init: +2 | Per +6 ; SM: +2 | Spd 40 ft. , Climb 20 ft.| CMB: +2 CMD 13 (+25 vs. trip) | Darkvision 60ft | Performance Combat +6

Deftly stepping between detritus and muck on her tarsial claws, shaking them daintily to dislodge unwanted mess from the furry tufts of her paws. She makes a face.

”Two open windows - one north, one south. The rest boarded up.” she reports to the others as Brevka makes her introductions inside at the counter.


Female Half-Orc Primal Spelleater 1 | HP 14/14(16) | AC 15 (13), T 11 (9), FF 14 | CMD 17 | Fort +7(9), Ref +3, Will +4(6) | Init +1 | Perc +0 | SM +0 | Performance Combat +5 | Rage Rounds 7/7

Keeping a firm grip on her blade, Brevka menacingly taps her sash. "I'm not the one out of place. Some people from this flophouse took something that didn't belong to them. A drow, a kobold with purple scales, a trog... and two duergar." She leaned in conspiratorially, "House Parastric wants to make an example, but they need to get what was taken from them. There's still a way for everyone to walk away."


Female Fetchling Knifemaster 1 | HP 10/10 | AC 16 (14), T 14 (12), FF 12(10) | CMD 14 | Fort +1 Ref +4, Will +0 | Init +10 | Perc +4 | SA +1d8

Her blades so perfectly concealed that she appears utterly unarmed, Lyra'an slips into the door, drawing a bit of attention as she moves up beside Brevka, a flicker of a smile on her face as she gazes at the assorted trash scattered about the flophouse.

Sleight of hand: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27


The duergar looks Brevka up and down before wrinkling his nose. "Aye, that I'll figure."

"Yeah, I know of the group you're lookin' for." He points to the northern row of flophouse rooms. "Eleventh one is where the kobold sleeps. His masters are almost never far behind."


Female Half-Orc Primal Spelleater 1 | HP 14/14(16) | AC 15 (13), T 11 (9), FF 14 | CMD 17 | Fort +7(9), Ref +3, Will +4(6) | Init +1 | Perc +0 | SM +0 | Performance Combat +5 | Rage Rounds 7/7

Brevka smiles broadly and strides off towards the kobold's room.

"Smart man."


Brevka (and anyone who goes with her) makes her way over to the room the proprietor indicated. The unpalatable smell of filth seems to be slightly less pungent, coming from this room. As Brevka approaches, the sounds of high-pitched straining and growling come from the door.

Inside, sitting on a pile of brown blankets and a ragged grey pillow, is a kobold with purple scales trying to pry open what looks like a jet black metal canister. The kobold is wearing a reasonably clean suit of black leather armour and a short sword is belted on his hip.

"Not yet, boss! This be stuck on tight." The kobold says as the half-orc steps into the doorway. "Hey, you got crowbar or something? Maybe that'll get it open."


Female Neutral Drider HP 11/11 | AC: 14/T 12/ FF 13 | Fort: +3; Ref: +1; Will: +5 | Init: +2 | Per +6 ; SM: +2 | Spd 40 ft. , Climb 20 ft.| CMB: +2 CMD 13 (+25 vs. trip) | Darkvision 60ft | Performance Combat +6

Kaxatja heads back around to the northern side window to prepare for any possible outcomers...


Anyone else?


Anabel casts guidance on Brevka again, ready to back the half-orc's play.


Female Half-Orc Primal Spelleater 1 | HP 14/14(16) | AC 15 (13), T 11 (9), FF 14 | CMD 17 | Fort +7(9), Ref +3, Will +4(6) | Init +1 | Perc +0 | SM +0 | Performance Combat +5 | Rage Rounds 7/7

"Well little one. Maybe you aren't meant to open it."

Brevka kept her voice light, letting the more overt menace of Lilamma's madness act as a counterpoint.


The kobold freezes at the sound of Brevka's voice, then slowly turns his head around. His eyes are yellow and his pupils slitted, dilating when they see just who is standing in his doorway.

"...er..." The kobold puts the canister behind his back and turns to face the massive half-orc. "...Me don't think Boss will accept that answer."

"She's... um... very angry." The kobold is starting to shake.


Female Tiefling (Kiton Born) Skald 1 Init +2 Hp 10/10 AC 17 T 14 FF 15 Fort +4 Ref +2 Will +1 Spd 30 DR 2/Silver Perc +3 Pic

Lilamma pouts

Oh, that's sad. Would you like me to be angry at you instead?

There is a dangerous, toothy smile, reminiscent of a man-trap (Lilamma's mouth being too small for a bear trap)

Intimidate: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14


Female Half-Orc Primal Spelleater 1 | HP 14/14(16) | AC 15 (13), T 11 (9), FF 14 | CMD 17 | Fort +7(9), Ref +3, Will +4(6) | Init +1 | Perc +0 | SM +0 | Performance Combat +5 | Rage Rounds 7/7

"Let us talk to Boss then. She'll see reason."


The kobold blanches when Lilamma looms next to Brevka.

"Um..."

Brevka wrote:
"Let us talk to Boss then. She'll see reason."

"Good luck with that." A scratchy female voice says from behind the party.

A few of the still-conscious wretches scramble away from the source of the voice. The speaker is a female drow, dressed in half-clean and ragged black robes that still have some silver-coloured embroidery along the shoulders and seams. She's flanked by a pair of duergar in ragged padded armour and a troglodyte with flaking, sickly-green scales.

"If you lot know what's good for ya, you'll clear off. What that kobold's got is ours--and you've already stepped in it coming here." The female growls, a few sparks of violet light leaping off of her fingers.


Female Fetchling Knifemaster 1 | HP 10/10 | AC 16 (14), T 14 (12), FF 12(10) | CMD 14 | Fort +1 Ref +4, Will +0 | Init +10 | Perc +4 | SA +1d8

With all the people involved, Lyra'an somehow manages to almost disappear into the background, drawing minimal attention and remaining preternaturally still in the wan light.

Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26


Female Neutral Drider HP 11/11 | AC: 14/T 12/ FF 13 | Fort: +3; Ref: +1; Will: +5 | Init: +2 | Per +6 ; SM: +2 | Spd 40 ft. , Climb 20 ft.| CMB: +2 CMD 13 (+25 vs. trip) | Darkvision 60ft | Performance Combat +6

Kaxatja steps near the open window, trying to see or hear anything from within...

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18 Essentially to determine if by chance this window happens to be the one opening out of the room the kobold is in...


Kaxatja's Perception:
Peeking in through the window, you can see a pair of duergar and a troglodyte around a drow female in tattered mage robes. There's a few violet sparks leaping from her fingertips and she doesn't look like she's in the mood to negotiate.

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