Some of you may recall, about a year ago, the start of an imaginative campaign called Fuzigore. At the end, I commented that the next step was to zoom in on one particular person and their experience, and to feed that into the overall game. Here, then, is Ocram’s’s account.
Ides of Hcram
We have arrived safely in Sirap, although not without incident. I have delivered the scroll to Oicn, and he seemed pleased to have received it. He took me to the market and helped me to get an excellent price for the wine – 35 denarii! The drum beats of war are increasing the price of all imports here, I think, but a fivefold return is more than I could have hoped for.
The biggest thing on the journey, though, was on the first day, towards evening. We had walked all day, leading the donkeys, thirteen merchants in all. We were all, I think, looking forward to the inn, washing the dust off and having a meal.
Suddenly, Mr Yrret, near the front, cried out in pain. Almost at once, Mr Kcab, behind me, screamed. Father, we were under attack. I looked round to see Mr Kcab on the ground, with a scoundrel or two running at him. As I looked, another stood up and shot a bow at our party, but it missed, and another javelin came in hitting Mr Nevele in the arm as he was trying to draw his javelin.
The scoundrel who had hit Mr Yrret shot his bow again, but missed. Then, at a cry all of the scoundrel charged at us. Mr Eno and Mr Eerht threw their javelins at the one in front but missed. Behind me, Mr Nevele tried to defend himself from one of the scoundrels, while Mr Evlewt had to fight another one.
Father, I started running towards the scoundrels at the back, to rescue Mr Nevele. Mr Enie shot his bow at one of the scoundrels and hit him in the chest, and the scoundrel fell over. It was a great shot and I saw it with my own eyes, father!
As I turned, I saw Mr Evif loose as sling stone against the scoundrel at the front, and he too hit. See father, how the good merchants of Emor can defend their good name and that of their country! The scoundrel fell as the stone hit his leg and he lay there, moaning.
Mr Xis and I arrived where the other scoundrel was still fighting Mr Nevele. We both lashed out at the scoundrel, but neither of us hit him. I did so want to be a hero, father! Lots of us were now fighting at the back of the donkey train where poor Mr Kcab lay on the ground. There was lots of confusion, but I think Mr Xis hit one of the scoundrels in the leg, who then made to hop off. I was going to hit him again but Mr Xis said ‘Let him go, lad’ and I did, because the other two scoundrels decided to run off then as well, leaving us all panting, with weapons in our hands and looking at each other and wondering what had happened in those few moments.
We patched Mr Nevele up as best we could, and did our best for Mr Kcab, loading him on his own donkey. I do not think that a wounded man on a donkey is the best treatment, but it was all we could do, for evening was drawing on and we had to get him to the inn.
The innkeeper was extremely good, and he patched Mr Nevele up really well, but he struggled to help Mr Kcab, and we agreed to leave him there until we returned while the innkeeper brought him back to consciousness, he having fainted after being hit in the leg. Indeed, the arrow was still sticking out of it. I hope we will find him better when we return.
We sat in the bar afterwards and ate and drank, but none felt like carousing, and after a while I started to shiver and Mr Xis said I should retire and I wrapped myself in a blanket and slept.
The next morning we set off again, the innkeeper having assured us that the road to Sirap was clear. My Lord told you to ask me to keep my eyes and ears open. Aside from the scoundrels on the first day, this day we saw some cavalry men, and travelled with them for a while. I may say we were all pleased to see them after the attack the day before.
Anyway, the commander told us that they were going to a muster of the whole T-sae army which was called out for battle. He said that if any of us would join him, he would be pleased to have us along, but none would, and he laughed and took his leave of us.
The next day we met a merchant train he told us that the way ahead was clear. They too were going to the T-sea muster to sell at the market there. They said that they were expecting raiding parties from Ht-ous, but we would be as safe in Sirap as anywhere. They said they had met several tens of warriors going to the muster, and the next day we met some ourselves, although they must have been late for it and passed us without a word.
The day after we arrived in Sirap, where the trading conditions were good enough, but as I said Mr Ocin helped me to get the best price I could have imagined for the wine.
So father, I wait at Sirap for a returning caravan, and remain your most obedient son,
So, now, I really do need to get painting some more Gauls for the inter-Cillag battle which is now on the horizon. Ocram’s journey has fleshed out some of the earlier issues, and we are definitely looking at a battle, not some ineffective raiding by the two sides.
The skirmish with the bandits did cause me a little pain. I spent some time looking for my copies of either Runequest of Flashing Blades for rules for the combats, but found neither. I think they have vanished over many house moves. So I had to make my own up, based on Runequest’s ‘strike rank’ concept and Flashing Blades’ ‘slash, lunge or sidestep’ tactical approach. It seemed to work quite well, and the skirmish (despite the write up above) was quite exciting and fun to do. It actually lasted 32 strike ranks, which I suppose would be about 4 minutes in real time.
Now, back to the paintbrush!