CAS

CAS

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Inspiring Illustrations - This Feast of Battle


26). This Feast of Battle

NOTE: These are adventure seeds and setting work for my own Hyperborea campaign inspired by the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerors of Hyperborea Gazetteer

War has always been a living thing among the Kimmerians and their half-breed kinsmen. The Kimmerian-Kelts are an offshoot of centuries of warfare between the clans of the Kimmerians and the tribes of the Kelts. The mixed breed children born of these wars, the raids, the rapine, the endless chain of murder and revenge, have been rejected by both sides. Sometimes abandoned to nature and never more than starving and mistreated outsiders existing on the refuse of either society these unwanted children slowly banded together and formed their own tribes but as a single clan. Their hatred for their pure breed kindred has welded them into a single sprawling family where every member is a brother or sister regardless of tribe or chieftain.

Recently this unity of purpose has become embodied in the spirit of a single man. Zhalov of the Yellow Beard has become the first of their clan to unite all of the Kimmerian-Keltic tribes under a single ruler. Born of a Kimmerian slave held in Keltic lands Zhalov broke his shackles and escaped his servitude fleeing into grasslands of Vol. Hunted by a warparty of Kelts he turned on his attackers time and again but was slowly forced into a stony outcropping which sat on the verge of the mire that is the Lug Wasteland. At last he was cornered and in his fight among the stones he slew six of the surviving warparty and sent the last few Kelts fleeing his wrath. Wounded and with a storm approaching Zhalov sought shelter among the rocks and found a crevice no wider than his own shoulders which he crawled into.

When the light of dawn touched him Zhalov was surprised to find that he was not alone in his shelter. The crumbling body of some ancient warrior shared his cave. Beside the body was a sword whose edge crackled with lightning when he touched its hilt and a strange weapon that was nearly the death of him. At first he could not decide if the strange device was a weapon or some tool of the ancient man who had died in the cave. Its shape was odd and it had the look of something that might be used as a crutch with a smooth metal end that fit nicely beneath his arm diminishing down to a length of hollow round metal. Peering inside the hollow he could find nothing.

Zhalov was weak and badly wounded, but the cave had the feel of death to it now and he would stay there no longer. With the use of his new found metal stick he pulled himself back through the crevice and into the sunlight. The stones around him were slick and in his descent he slipped, his hand clutched at his metal stick and found the odd strip of metal that projected from its side. Suddenly the stick erupted in a flair of lightning which shattered the rock nearby. Zhalov was sprayed  with tiny flecks of stone but he felt them not and only stared in wonder at this powerful weapon he had been banging against the stones.


Weeks later Zhalov was riding deep within the grasslands of Vol on the horse of a Kimmerian who fell to his lightning blade. He found himself looking at a swirl of horsemen in the distance. It was a dark year for the half-breed tribesman of Vol. The Kimmerians were raiding in force, slaying the old, enslaving the young, riding off with what loot they could find and the horses and herds of their victims. In a blaze of blue fire Zhalov rode down upon the Kimmerians. His thunderstick causing fear and panic as he approached, his lightning sword unstoppable. The prophecy of the great savage fighting man had been fulfilled and the feast of battle had begun.

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