Blended Solo RPG (Session 5)
Rested and eager to set out again, the amazons rise with the sun and part in pairs, hunting what they can to replenish their depleted supplies of food and water.
OOC: Is the hunting good?
(Oracle:) Yes, and. . .
The woods here are rich with game and, working together, the amazons easily gather enough provisions to round out their supplies and continue on. Spirits are high, the the air is pleasantly cool, and the smell of wild jasmine wisps along the breezes as the soldiers make their way steadily toward their distant home.
Making their way along the edge of a burbling brook, it's just after midday when the amazons come upon a place where the brook is separated from a large pond by a huge beaver dam. Sitting atop the dam is a grinning tiefling with a crown on his head and a massive, hollowed out horn in his lap.
"Ladies, outstanding in their battlefield," the tiefling calls out to them, spreading his arms to the sky. "I thought you'd never get here."
"Who are you?" Lysandra asks, her eyes as hard as steel.
"I go by the name of Xarreus," the tiefling says, not rising even as the amazons spread out before him. "I know all of your names already. A little demon whispered them to me."
"What do you want with us?" Ptolema asks.
"Straight to business," he sighs, then leaps up onto his hoofed feet. "Right. You've been swindled."
"Swindled?" Lysandra asks. "How? By whom?"
"Why, by Erebos, the God of Death, of course!" The tiefling gives a showman's smile. "An amazonian trireme typically carries a crew of two hundred, does it not? Roughly one hundred seventy rowers and thirty hoplites?" When the amazons only look at each other, the tiefling laughs. "You gave him every speck of food that you had, and he gave you one sister for every loaf of bread? Don't you feel swindled?"
"We feel blessed," Alekto speaks up, simmering with a growing rage. "Most never see their friends and family returned from the land of the dead!"
"True," Xarreus looks at the horn in his hands with a soft frown, then perks up again. "Well, if you truly feel that way, then I suppose my work here is done."
"Wait," Ptolema raises a hand, and the smile that crosses his face as his eyes meet hers is wicked. "What work? If you feel that we might have secured a better deal from Erebos, saved more of our sisters, then please, state your case to us."
"You see this horn?" Xarreus says, holding it up. "This horn was cut from the head of a great horror of the infernal realms. It is imbued with the power to call souls up from the dead. Erebos is lord of the dead. He could have returned all of your sisters in battle to life, but he chose not to. I, on the other hand, would be happy to use this horn to call them back."
"In exchange for what?" Ptolema asks.
"Favors, errands," Xarreus waves away any explanation. "I will give you a quest, and in exchange for completing it, I will use this horn to summon back some of your sisters. Keep questing for me, and I will bring back more. If fortune is on both of our sides, you may yet return home with your whole troop at hand."
Ptolema and Lysandra look at each other, but Lysandra is the first to speak.
"What do we have to lose?"
"We've already tread too close to death once, my friend," Ptolema starts, but seeing her friend's hopes start to fade, she squeezes the old amazon's shoulder and tries a smile. "But, well, if there's an opportunity to bring more soldiers back to their families at home, then perhaps it is well worth any risk."
"Then it is settled," Xarreus grins from atop his dam.
"What is our first quest?" Lysandra asks, shading her eyes with a hand.
*This is an unpublished episode from last year. I lost interest after Session 4 and then forgot to finish this one. I may continue it, we'll see! You can find the original starting post here.