Gladiators in Raam

The conspiracy acts
Party in the city

Rewarded with a jug full of distilled date wine and a recalcitrant slave girl for entertainment, the four gladiators spent the night back in their hole in the slave pits. Saret, Zu., and Xibulba were awake when the slave girl was brought back up and the fighters were told to prepare for another matinée. Skree, however was hung over and could barely manage to climb the ladder when it was time. Apparently she had drunk as much arrack and the full-sized men.

The remaining three gladiators from yesterdays matinée, Jagan, Enkash, and Galeeb were joined by a towering Half-giant, Kareek the cheater. (Also called Kareek the Cheater, or Kareek the Poisoner by some.) This time the fight was to be a three way.

Xibulba chose first, teaming with the Half-Giant. Zu. picked his former partner Galeeb and the Halfling, hoping that Skree would snap out of it once battle began. Saret selected the previous winner, Jagan, and his old partner Enkash.

Once the teams were in position, a cryer explained the rules to the gladiators and the crowd. Capture-the-flag. First team to have one member holding all three flags and keep them until a count of ten would be the winner.

The battle was quite a scrum, with Zu.‘s team racing for two flags while the other teams converged on a single flag. However, in each flag’s post hole lay a silk wyrm spawn, presenting an unpleasant surprise for those grabbing the first flags. Enkash gave Kareek the cheater murderous looks as he suffered poisoning following a well struck blow, but he and Jagan pounded on the hulk while Zu. and Saret scuffled behind them for one of the flags.

Once each of the flags was held by a gladiator, the teams converge into a brawl and the thin crowd slowly entering rushed to find seats in the excitement. The Half-Giant went down under the onslaught of the other two teams. Cheering broke out in spots. Eventually Skree ended up with all of the flags and used summoned spirits and teammates to hold off pursuit until the horn was blown. Two time winner, the vicious Halfling of the wilds was becoming known to the matinée crowd.

That afternoon, a bound prisoner with a bag over his head was sent into the pit of the four gladiators. iamkai’s voice asked to be hidden in the cell. While he had escaped the fight with the silk wyrm, he was still trapped in the arena, being moved from slave pit to slave pit to avoid templar investigators. The four buried him in sand and left him a breathing hole, then rebuffed the eventual searchers with bluff statements to their obvious questions.

Later, Charn, the “friendly” guard asked for help once more. The plan to get Iamkai out of the pits had to happen tonight, while most of the allied guards shared a shift. But an escort was needed and the guards couldn’t do this while working. However, just letting Iamkai go with the four gladiators would surely doom the guards to interrogation and execution. If the gladiators could escort him out of the city, and then sneak back into the slave pits undetected, the guards would be safe. Later rewards or escape would (allegedly) be given to the prisoners that helped.

Much debate took place, some of it involving Iamkai. He suggested that once out he could get wealthy allies to buy the prisoners and get them jobs that were less dangerous, eventually getting them out of the city. The four took this as a promise, but also figured that if the plan went sour they could just abandon the guilty guards to their fate.

Dresses as a rich man, Iamkai and his “daughter” Skree were escorted by two “guards” and a “captain”. A bluff in the temple district, then fighting off a mugging near some dark alleys, and a rest at a safe house, finally led the party to the edge of the city. Ash fell in scattered flakes as detritus from the crematorium in the Untouchables quarter blew over this part of the city.

While searching the stone wall of the crematorium, Iamkai and his escort were attacked by zombies that lurched up from the nearby pile of bodies waiting their turn for cremation. A trap? Certainly an unusual circumstance. xibulba held them back with his shield and heavy armor while Saret rained “mindfire” on them and Zu. axed the ones that broke through to the rest of the party. Grabbed by one of the salt-caked bodies, Content Not Found: xubulba was ravaged by the creature as it torn at his armor and gnashed at his neck. He fell, but the rest of the group finished off the salt zombies.

Iamkai eventually found his hidden object while the party tended to the fallen “captain”. Behind a large stone high in the wall was a large tome, complete with a small metal lock and clasp.

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In a dark room
An offer they could not refuse

Eventually the four gladiators are roused by heat and thirst from their drug-induced sleep. Some have vague memories of being sold at the auction, which might explain the drugging, since each of these four were dangerous men.

The term “men” should be used loosely here, since the halfling has no human ancestor, but the other three can each trace human decent, at least partially.

Yelling for water only earned a moment of light and the ridicule of a guard. Saret, one of the prisoners, suggested that the prisoners were in the Kuaban, the hidden prison of the Kuotagha, Raam‘s secret police. But at least they weren’t dead.

Eventually a meeting is held with a middle-class citizen, a “Merchant”. Madur left them no choice but to agree to fight for him in the arena. They were all gladiators now.

Given drugged water to make it easier to transport the prisoners, the band found themselves awakening again, this time in a deep pit with sandy floors. Soon they were told that it was time for a matinée fight and they were taken to the armory one-by-one. At the gates of The Natural Arena they were told the rules: team up with one of the four unknown gladiators, four teams, last team standing wins.

Once in place the eight gladiators made their quick strategies based on the few weapons and armor scattered across the arena and then rushed at each other to fight. Skree and Jagan won the fight when Enkash conceded because his partner Saret was knocked out. Zu. and Galeeb were immediately attended to by healers, who brought them to consciousness. Xibulba and his partner were in worse shape, with only one of them surviving the event.

That day some guard (it was later learned that other guards call him Charn) made an offer to Madur’s four gladiators. Help with a plot of theirs and receive some rewards, perhaps even escape in the future. A templar had been imprisoned following the Raam Templar Loyalty Sweep and was due to “fight” in a demonstration fight which he was not expected to survive. The guard and some allies were going to create a distraction to get the templar, Iamkai, off of the field. They needed gladiators to jump in and fight during the distraction to cover the escape.

When the signal was given, the four gladiators rushed onto the field, hearing the rattle of a small avalanche from the hillside above the arena. They fought silk wyrm spawn while cutting the ties that held Iamkai to a post in the center of the arena as rocks and dust obscured the action. The crowds were baffled, but when the dust cleared to reveal a full size silk wyrm engaged in combat with a set of warriors, they cheered. Soon, however, the gladiators followed the templar’s escape out of the rubble obscured tunnel opening, fleeing from the tough monster’s venom attacks.

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