Champions of Bhumant

How I Became Captain

I woke up with a splitting headache chained to a huge oar. There were several rows of men ahead of me and a strange creature beside me similarly chained. Was this a real live Kraken? There was a chained man on a drum ahead of me and a man behind me bellowed for them to row. When I looked behind me I saw row after row of the same. The bellowing man was large with slanted eyes and a club he used to enforce compliance. The Kraken next to me demanded to be freed, claiming to be a mage. He was swiftly struck in the head by the club and slumped forward.

I applied himself to the oar despite my aching hands and kept my head down. What had happened? Where was I? How had I gotten here? Where was my gear? This is not how adventures go in the tales!
Eventually the Kraken stirred. He no sooner pulled himself upright than he started shouting again for freedom! Another blow to the head quieted him as he slumped unconscious.

The next time he awakened he asked me to help free him! This man was crazy and dangerous. The Kraken was going to get me hurt or killed! I tried to ignore the Kraken, but he kept at it. I didn’t see another way out of this and, damn it I’m not a coward! I glanced around surreptitiously. The guard was walking to the end of the aisle, his back to us. I did what he could to help my neighbor pry one hand free of its manacle.

The Kraken was able to free his other hand and then released me from my bonds as well. The Kraken said he was going to take down the guard and asked if I was with him. I looked for something to use as a weapon and, before I knew it, a stream of water appeared, froze into an icicle and impaled the guard through the head! This guy really was a mage!

I leapt forward and grabbed the downed guard’s cutlass. Two more guards approached. The mage asked me to cover him. Both Guards attacked, but I parried just like in practice and held them off easily.
Another prisoner raced forward and strangled one of the guards with the chain dangling between his manacled wrists. I swiftly dispatched the remaining guard. The smell of disembowelment was awful, but I managed not to vomit or pass out. We were free!

Well, ok we were trapped in the hold with 100 other chained prisoners, the gods only knew where and with however many other guards on the ship. But this room was free of guards. For now.
The prisoners started to free each other. A crab-like creature went over to the ladder and somehow extended its eye up through the door. Gross. The mage started giving orders like he was in charge. The drummer proved to be a wealth of information. He thought our gear was on the other side of the wall behind him and that there were 20 of our captors on the deck above us. I asked the mage if he could break through the wall to our gear and he complied.

The next room was not a hold, but sleeping quarters. Oops. There was only one occupant in the room. The Kraken somehow handled him and began distributing pistols and cutlasses. The crab warned us and hid behind the ladder as another of our captors approached.

The mage asked if anyone had experience with the pistols to shoot the man. I told the group not to use guns since they were too loud and we still had surprise on our side. At my suggestion, we hid the bodies of the other guards among the rowers and resumed our seats, cutlasses at the ready. The man climbed down the ladder and the crab snapped him in half with his claws!

As the rowers and drummer were freed we kept up the drumming and rowing to buy some time. In a few minutes another man started calling down from the deck asking why someone was taking so long bringing up the rum. I looked around for where the rum was with little success, then the drummer pointed me to a storage closet at the back of the room. The closet was divided between huge barrels of rum on one side and gun powder on the other. Luckily they were clearly labeled. I grabbed two bottles of rum and handed them up the ladder, buying a bit more time.

I searched the sleeping quarters and found my bow and quiver. We needed to take out as many of our captors as we could quickly and quietly before they knew wat was happening. I climbed to the deck from the sleeping quarters with the mage right behind me. The mage shot 3 streams of water at the nearest men killing them and I took 1 with the bow.

The mage loosed 3 more streams of water against the captain, navigator and helmsman. The navigator fell and the other 2 looked dazed. The crab-man and the man who had killed the other guard downstairs erupted from the hold and each took on the nearest crewman. I aimed carefully and shot the captain directly in the head. He was hurt but survived.

The mage demanded surrender, but the crew fought on. I aimed again and shot the captain in the head fatally. The crew laid down their arms. The Kraken again tried to take over.

By pirate law, he who kills the captain is the captain. I accepted my new rank on my new ship and named the mage my first officer. The prisoners were freed and offered employment.

Now this is how an adventure is supposed to go! Onward to fortune and adventure!

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Background - Baxter

Xander Seabrook was the Lord of a midsized fishing village. He had a lovely wife, two sons and a daughter. A decade later, the family was blessed with another son. Lady Seabrook and her daughter doted on the new baby and kept him close. Since Lord Seabrook’s time was spent on his duties with the assistance of his older sons he had no objection.

Young Baxter was raised and educated within the manor with all his needs provided for by his mother, sister and servants. He had a great talent with a bow, but no real responsibilities. As he entered adolescence, he grew tired of being babied and longed to see the outside world. He just knew that with his talents he could go forth and make his own name and fortune.

At 15, he decided he was man enough to take on the world. He gathered his bow & quiver, a change of clothes and what coin he could easily lay his hands on and took a small boat as far away as a day’s paddling could take him. He wasn’t sure if it was far enough, but his hands hurt. He had the muscle to keep rowing, but had soft hands which blistered quickly (a malady he had never suffered before). Since he had never been to any of the neighboring towns, he was sure he didn’t have to worry about being recognized and returned home. He was tired and thirsty after the day’s work. At the docks he asked a worker where he might find food and drink. The man and his friends were kind enough to show him to a nearby tavern and he thought it only right to thank them with a drink. Rather than wine, the men ordered whiskey, which he had never tried. The stuff tasted awful, but he wasn’t going to let them think he couldn’t keep up. After one look at Baxter’s coins, the barkeep was happy to keep the drink coming. The world was getting a little hazy, but it was fun and everyone was so nice! Why hadn’t he ventured out before? His head started to dip a bit.

The next thing he knew, he woke up with a splitting headache chained to a huge oar.

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Of Gods and Demons (and werewolves chasing sticks!)
WTF was David Smoking last night?????

Having beaten Thrond off (pun intended!!) he wisely chose to flee through his tower to a realm in balance. There he led us a merry chase to his supposed place of power. We kept up with him and even managed to hit him a few times though he kept growing and easily shrugged off our blows. Once ensconced in his own realm he turned to face us. I admit to failing to understand exactly what was happening as our blows were inconsequential to him. Baragund DID manage to at least annoy him when Thrond chose (unwisely) to grapple with the, while still only a juvenile, mighty red drake. Baragund handled him like a chew toy, dropping him from terminal velocity range. The splat sound and slight bounce Thrond made was MOST satisfactory. Unfortunately Thrond healed almost all of his wounds. So Baragund did it again from even higher up this time!

In the meantime a pack of werewolves led by 2 alphas were meant to keep us busy. I connived them into chasing an imaginary stick and Sister Mary J promptly blasted all the lesser weres to ash. After his second bounce, Thrond was forced to consume the 2 alphas to heal. Some god of light appeared at that point and drew Thrond into combat. Thorn put together the fact that Thrond was dependant upon his ruby medalion for protection and he and Schultzy began shooting and destroying it.

A demon lord came and Thrond devoured it, causing himself to grow to epic proportions and destroy the lesser god facing him. We now surmise that we must destroy his items of power in order to successfully vanquish the wanna be Dark Lord.

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Roadblocks
Tron is stalling

We entered a forest (which we later found to be illusionary, must remember to gadgeteer Greater Mind’s Eye Goggles!). There we were jumped by vampire spawn. We slaughtered them fairly easily save one who flew away. This one was dragged back by Baragund and, to my amazement, re assembled itself using parts of the other vampire spawn! In the end there was a very tough, almost impossible to kill Vampire abomination. Fortunately Sister Mary J communed with her god and her ruler smote through the Vamp’s withered heart with holy wooden fire. The thing turned to ash and the forest vanished.

We made our way up almost to the battlements of Tron’s tower. Oh, some wandering bag of bones crossed our path about 1/2 hour prior to reaching the tower. I can only hope the tower itself falls as easily…… We shall see soon enough….

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Comte: Battle with Were's
Where Wolf? THERE wolf!

Today’s event’s are punctuated by our finding the pass leading to Thrond’s citadel in the mountains. He sent a rather dedicated band of were creatures to dissuade us from our pursuit of him. We easily beat off (no pun intended!) the first wave of them, honestly taking things more or less for granted. The last Were was hauled aloft by Baragund to be dropped into a crevase. Unfortunately this creature managed to teleport itself to the remains of its fellows and absorb them into itself creating some kind of proto were. What followed was basically a detente where we beat the werewolf bloody and it regenerated and fought on. I eventually used the hair of Sum Yung Guy and had it detain the were. The hair advised me that a sacrifice such as sacrificing Graile would suffice to kill the were. I immediately discounted such a measure as Graile is his own being, not simply some “item” to be bartered and/or sacrificed! In the end the hair held the were and we proceeded on to confront Thrond in his own element. A thought that, quite frankly, fills me with fear…… Also, the fact that the hair called Graile a “lesser item” really kinda ticks me off……. I mean, this is my friend here, even if he IS a cup…..

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Comte: Traveling
Walking in a Winter Wonderland

We traveled from the tower for approximately 2 weeks. We visited 2 local villages. We found a cart in which the people had been forced to eat each other and still died (we did bury and consecrate them). We met a very nice woodsman who directed us to a logger town. The logger had GREAT ale (95/100) and another woman cooked great food (92/100). We are now preparing to venture into the deadlands of probable vampirism as we have noticed the local flaura withering in unusual ways. More to come. It is colder than usual for this winter.

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Comte: A Blasted Future World
The shit has really hit the fan!

So, we freed Bearnabus and were on our way back through the portal realms to the Barony. On the way we were warped to what we believe to be a possible future of our world. A world blasted by devastation and fire. A blighted realm with not a living soul save for an old friend Altair (the vampire slayer) who we had last seen captured by Thrond (the vampire overlord). Apparently something that Thrond did affected the timeline of our realm adversely. Now we have to try and figure out what happened and how to fix things….. In this blighted realm we found Altair had been turned and abandoned for all eternity with no food source. We staked him and are now at the past location of the Barony.

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Comte: Last Absent Friend
How many times must we rescue people?

Once again we venture into the abyss to rescue one of our own. This time the Psychic Bear Bearnabus. Judged more worthy than the child/spy Bean he was being held by a lord of the flame demesne. Following paths shown to us my the mysterious wizard Dresden who imparted his knowledge to Graile we ventured forth into the paths between worlds. And once again we encountered the strange likeness to Takeishi that we had met before. I feel he is inextricably tied to our cause. As usual he proved his worth in aiding our endeavor. We fought our way through typical minor obstacles set before us by the ruler of this plane. finding ourselves before a large demonic being we proceeded to, as Dresden would say, “lay the smack down on him”. I sapped his vigor, Thorn & Swen shot him, our new companion the Nun Sister Mary J Wana smote him with heavenly force. In short order he fell before us.

Amazingly we found Bearnabus in fine health (98 roll out of 100) and proceeded to exit the area. For our next travel I would truly enjoy traveling to the capital of Bhumanti and presenting oursleves to the, reportedly, lovely and single queen of Bhumanti.

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Demons!

So, in pursuing the demons into their lair in search of their leader, I found myself overwhelmed, and I was rendered unconscious. Next thing I knew, I awoke, standing in front of Altair, of all people! I quickly realized that I was in the middle of a battle. At home in my comfort zone of combat, I saw that a group of men clad only in flames were running at and past me. So, I slipped my blade across the ribs of one of them. They began to generate some manner of psychic assault, but the one that I cut lost his concentration, and blew the minds of the others out. The two that remained were easily dispatched. After exchanging greetings with this same party of adventurers that I seem to continue to run into, they told me that one of their allies was held captive (Do they EVER not have an ally who is captured by demons?) by a demon lord of some strength. So, we walked right through the front gate and were confronted by four giant constructs. They also fell with relative ease, barely challenging us. So, as soon as we had dropped those, the demon himself appeared. Without a word of challenge, he dispatched two smaller minions and began stalking toward us. He also afflicted the Comte with a magical silence, which I found to be rather amusing. So, the small, quiet man named Thorn put an arrow in one of the minions, ending his life, and put another arrow through the head of the other one. Altair charged the monster, raking his sword along the armor on the demon’s side. One of the newer members of the party, a quiet, diminutive woman of prayer, boldly approached the demon, and blasted him with a bolt of magic, followed by the single largest blast of magic that I had ever witnessed, rocking the demon heavily, nearly knocking him from his feet. He didn’t look so good after that. Then the Comte rode forward, launching a pair of small, but deadly darts, which left the demon looking quite weak. I ran in, flipping through the air, and striking his head with both of my blades. I barely touched the ground, pivoting and leaping back and up, whipping both blades into his head once more. This felled the beast. We started discussing where their friend could be found, and I sat on the corpse, only to find out that the corpse wasn’t a corpse! The demon had regenerated itself, rising to fight again. The quiet archer pulled back his bow and buried his arrow in the demon’s eye, once again ending its life. This time we hacked it up, rending it limb from limb. It didn’t come back after that. Now, we move on to scour the tower for treasure and such. After that, on to the next fight!

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Comte: Best day EVER!!!!
and I'm pretty sure the others had fun too!

So, did you ever have one of those days where everything goes right? Like the stars align to provide you with everything you not only wanted, but didn’t know you wanted until you had it? Well that’s my NORMAL day. THIS day was something special! My pure awesomeness somehow even rolled over to Swen, Baragund, Thorn and Zuchtengeist. Our barony expanded exponentially. I and Swen made good contacts with traders as well as visiting Nobles from Bhumanti (I made “special” contact with many of the attending Noble’s daughters (and a few wives and some of the younger mothers)) Baragund found a mentor in an Ancient Red Dragon that claims the Northern mountain range as his own (Boy, would Michael be PISSED!!!!) Thorn met a rather bedraggled Field Marshall of Swen’s acquaintance who comes begging favors (unfortunately Swen also got drunk and peed on the shoes of a Bhumanti Duke Wellington, I’m pretty sure the Duke would have had Swen drawn and quartered if he weren’t in our territory!) Oh, and to top it off, a Goddess has taken personal interest in my well being! (I’m fairly certain the Goddess is a sort of Aphrodite/Athena/Dionysius hybrid! She sent a very lovely messenger who I’m pretty sure was into me (though that part about me being dead soon was kind of troubling, I’ll have to look into that *side note, what does prolonged consumption of beverages exclusively from The Holy Graile do to one’s mortality?))

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