Thursday, 16 May 2019

Level Zero - Acolyte & Slave

The staff came down with such force across the old man's bare back that it broke in two: a piece of the shaft was sent hurtling into the distance before clattering on the ground, the only sound in the courtyard. The old man lay motionless on the floor as the assembled crowd held their breath. 

For a moment it seemed as though the guard would be satisfied with this punishment: it had been a minor slight, after all, and the offence had been met with exacting force. Davit mouthed a silent prayer for it to be true, for this to be it, for the guard to walk away and leave the once proud old man to wallow in his humiliation. But he knew the look in the guards maddened eyes. His prayers were not going to be answered

Davit turned his face away, locking eyes for a moment with the young woman from the temple. Her narrow, dark eyes fell to the floor in shame. As the guard began to bring down blow after blow upon the prone form of the old man, the young acolyte took a step forward. Davit gripped her upper arm, imploring her not to intervene. She was no ordinary slave like he - she was a Mekonini, a temple had - but she was not immune to the summary justice of the temple's guardsman.

The young woman's name was Aia, and she had been raised in the service of the city's priests. At twelve she was deemed to be of sufficient devotion to merit formal induction as an acolyte of the goddess Ishka. On her seventeenth birthday, just weeks ago, she was ordered to travel to the site of a new temple under construction on the outskirts of the city. Her initial ecstasy upon witnessing the sublime scale of the project was soon to be subsumed by guilt, as she came to understand the extent of human misery necessitated by such grandiose undertakings.

Aia had been without an ally when she first began to experience this crisis of faith, but the slave Davit had been of some comfort her. Now, his hand still clasping her arm, she realised she wanted nothing more to run away with him, to flee the nightmare into which she had casually meandered.

The guard had not relented. Aia had hoped that sooner or later he would, and she  would be able to tend the old man's wounds. But there was heard no sign of this happening now, and she dared not look for fear of what she might behold.

Leave this place

The voice was not her own, yet it had come from within her own thoughts. She glanced up at Davit, who did not seem to have heard anything.

Take him with you. Tonight. Leave this place.

The acolyte felt a new strength rising in her blood. She turned away from the miserable scene unravelling in the grounds of an unconsecrated temple, and taking Davit by the hand, led him to a shaded corner.

"We're leaving."

Aia's voice was firm, immovable.



* * *

Backgrounds for the Realms of the Indigo River:

    Bariya (slave)

  • Your hit die is 1d4
  • You have four hit points +/- your constitution modifier
  • Rolls 4d4 for each stat, no swaps
  • Pick one skill appropriate for your highest stat: this represents your slave profession or trade
  • Role 1d12 to determine the weapon that you stole when you escaped. You do not have competency with this weapon.
    1. Club
    2. Club
    3. Club
    4. Staff
    5. Staff
    6. Staff
    7. Sling
    8. Sling
    9. Sling and club
    10. Bronze dagger
    11. Sling and dagger
    12. Shortsword
  • Your only other possessions are 1d10 copper coins, a set of clothing appropriate to your trade/craft and one of the following (roll 1d8):
    1. A holy symbol
    2. A full wineskin
    3. Five days worth of (stolen) iron rations
    4. A cameo of an ancestor
    5. A gold coin
    6. A platinum coin
    7. Roll once on the trinkets table (5e PHB)
    8. Roll twice on this table; ignore this result and repeats
  • You're free now. Go! Live your life.

    Mekonini (temple hand)

  • Your hit die is 1d4
  • You have four hit points +/- your constitution modifier
  • Rolls 4d4 for each stat in order, but swap the highest score for wis or cha
  • Knowledge of religion and one other (suggested: literature, history, arcana)
  • Possessions: common clothes, ceremonial robes (lowest degree), bronze knife, some holy item, d6 silver coins +d10 copper
  • Your possess one of the following items(roll 1d8):
    1. A healer's kit
    2. A full wineskin
    3. Ten days worth of (stolen) iron rations
    4. A cameo of an saint/god/demon
    5. 1d6 gold coins
    6. 1d4 platinum coins
    7. Roll once on the trinkets table (5e PHB)
    8. Roll twice on this list, ignore this result and anyrepeats
  • You have forsaken your temple, which makes you either an apostate or a heretic. Which one is it?

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