Heroes and Heroines
Live Action Roleplaying
Source: Marius The Magnificent
To the High Protector, Lady Foxglove
Most Urgent and TOP SECRET
CC: Lord Artemis, Angel, The Town Criers Guild, Joe from the bar, Brian “The gossip” Smith, the pretty elf lady from the Iron League (the one with the blue eyes like sapphires, hair like gossamer, and the overly protective brothers.)
Your most wise and noble High Protector of the Protectorate, Marius brings most shocking news.
Over a year has passed since legionaries have been confined to barracks due to the terrible darkness of Nurgle-19 that has swept the Protectorate, but at last the protectorate is back and for a mission so important there could only be one group of heroes that such a mission could be entrusted to.
However as they weren’t available the Mini-Auxiliaries and Marius were called upon to guard a small number of foppish and vaguely competent mouthpieces who were tasked to bring the cure of Nurgle-19 to our dearest and closest allies who would never betray our trust and would always stand with us against the scourge of necromancy. In return we would receive a scroll that would allow us to teleport and tree-shift directly to them.
Before this could happen we would need to reach the Queen at her summer palace and we could only teleport as far as we could, and so it was that Marius with the mini Auxilies (consisting of the brave barbarian Johan, the mighty fire and earth mage Tina, the unparalleled scout Piper, and the mighty fighter Tyler), and some hangers on (such as the squogre Sweetpea (who’s name is half true, she is sweet, but isn’t a pea), the Hospitaller Mai’Shen (who it seems still hasn’t learned how to use a weapon), and the wizards Twigg, Vaughan, and Mai of the lesser schools of Earth, fire, and fire respectively) had a long walk through the forest until our meeting with royalty.
Naturally the walk was long and uneventful, apart from the bandits, monsters, headhunters, undead, Enchantians (Enchanticans? Enchantites?), and general mischief makers but Brave Marius and the mini Auxillaries saw protected the fragile party members and saw them safely to their destination…sort of.
Our party assembled and made the rituals of preparation, asking for the mighty element of the air to see us swiftly and safely to our destination. We travelled through the void and arrived deep in the dark forest that separated us from our destination, Marius himself determining the direction we must travel, aided only by the stars, the breeze, and the wide path signposted to the Emerald Empire Border.
Striding onwards the miles fell before us but lo, the eyes of she who sees all, the scout Piper, had spied a cunningly hidden enemy, some impish creatures, flickering flames outlining some, ice surrounding others amongst them, we asked them to stand aside, that we meant no harm to them, but as so often happens on such occasions, our parley failed and battle began. A strong shield wall presented itself to the front and the enemy soon was forced to flank our small group, but there they met a barrage of magics from our core or wizards and mages. Where they could land a blow Mai’Shan would appear with a healing touch and soon the forces of these strange and magical creatures were dispersed and destroyed.
We carried along, and were accosted from behind by a twisted and diseased tea bush, never has Marius seen such a stunted and deformed plant and it would have fallen upon us unawares, was it Marius’s supernatural 6th sense that saved us? Was it Tina’s clever keeping watch behind us and raising the alarm and organising our defences? We shall never know, but slay the teabeast we did, and its’ strange smelling fruits we plucked, to take to the Empire for them to analyse what effect the tea disease would have on their favourite brew.
Pressing on we found a strange creature lurking by the side of the road. It appeared similar to an imp or hepathic creature, but no violence did it offer us, instead it spoke, questioning us and offering some small information in return, it had been pulled from another plane of existence into ours where it wandered, seemingly able to detect, understand and even manipulate magic. The creature pointed vaguely to where it’s portal was, somewhere deep in the Empire possibly, or maybe in the other direction, it was hard to tell with all the trees, but it confirmed that no other creature like it had come through with it, and it saw no body with crystals for eyes, as had been used as hepathic portals. Finally it wandered off down the path, as Twigg asked after it ‘What did you say your name was’ it replied “I didn’t” which Marius believes translates from the foul Hepathic tounge to John. Or possibly Derrick.
Leaving this puzzle, shortly after we were accosted by a group of bandits who denied out right as the Protectorate to pass as we wished.
Their leader was a brave and handsome fellow, charismatic to boot, in a thrice the squogre had fallen for his charm and had handed over our supplies of chocolate as payment for passage, but betrayed we were for they fell upon us once we had passed over that most precious item and battle raged, Marius himself laying about him with his staff, if only any of the enemy had seen him behind the tree it would have been poorly for them. As it was the brave efforts of our mini cohorts saw off the threat, leaving one last bandit (a weedy and sickly looking fellow) bound to the ground with Marius whacking him with his large staff from behind while the small warriors swarmed the helpless wretch. Strangely, the day seemed to often involve David having bind or weld cast on him and a good beating to follow from the bloodthirsty mini-pack.
A swift search of pockets saw treasures found, especially a stash of Empire Marks, though somehow the chocolates had disappeared. Without our delicious supplies we were forced to travel onwards, turning off the main path to make our way up the hill.
The journey seemed endless, without sustenance (fruit you say? Did Marius gain his fine figure on mere fruit?) we had to trudge for many minutes, possibly as many as five! Then treats of another kind for Piper (for no enemy escapes her eyes) has spotted a foul group of putrid undead including skeletons, a necromancer of the Druidic school, ghouls, and (blessed for Marius) a pair of fine Zombies.
A ferocious battle ensued, the Zombies lumbering forward, Twigg casting Binds of the Ghouls, the Mini-Auxiliaries racing forward to engage the necromancer and his skeletons. The battle seemed as good as won, but then the skeletal worrier was hit with a power weapon and went berserk, and another undead caught up with Mai’Shen who, despite Marius’s offers of training, has still not leaned how to use a weapon, or even to kick for the vulnerables. Alas that fight was brief and one sided, Mai’Shen was down and bleeding profusely. Sweetpea raced back to see to him and indeed it was bad, for he required no less than a major elixir to revive him, it seems that his hedonistic lifestyle has left him with a taste for the expensive things in life.
But worse was to come, for Marius had dealt with the Zombies but he is not Marius the not-a-zombie killer, and that is what he faced now, a thing that was not a Zombie. As a background, of course everyone likes and admires Marius, but with Mai’Shen it borders on fanatical devotion and hero worship, for when he saw Marius injured, adrenalin surged through his body and immediately after being elixered he was on his feet and providing healing to our brave hero of the story. It wasn’t until the battle was over that he realised he wasn’t feeling so well, and sank back down for a little nap.
But that was still to come, for in the midst of the battle, the mini-auxiliary Tyler was surrounded, with Sweetpea administering to Mai’Shen he was alone facing the druidic necromancer himself and although he bravely held his own against this twisted practitioner of the dark arts, he too was eventually brought to the ground and required an elixir of his own. Thank the magical elements that he was revived safely and continued to lend us his strength for the journey - for worse was to come.
The undead dealt with we staggered onwards, our resources depleted. We looked for a place to rest and recover, finding a likely spot, though just as we prepared to settle down we spied a group coming towards us on the road. Preparing for battle, we gave a sigh of despair, for it was Kinook and a band of Supayans.
This was bad, for we had no wish to sacrifice any of our members, but after discussion Kinook announced to Marius “Me Kinook, you’re superior” and so agreed to a series of duels to decide who would be sacrificed.
A circle was formed, and first Tina, our precious fire mage, was called forward. She was shielded from danger by mighty spells and gifts of power and endurance, and battle began. Although her opponent fought bravely it seems that Tina was eager to provide the great Supian with heap big sacrifice. Her staff whirled and twirled and her opponent was shortly given the greatest honour a Supian could receive while Tina was beaming with nary a scratch. Clearly this was not in the plan, for another duel was demanded and this time Piper stood forward, twin daggers in hand.
Forward shuffled an older Supian, his weedy and aged frame belying a cunning glint in his eye. Battle ensued and blades snickered and snackered, but nimble young scout was too quick for her opponent and in a moment of glory, she found herself behind the stumbling creature who found himself sacrificed with a flourishing throat slit.
Satisfied Kinook blessed the sword of Tyler with a great magical power, to aid us on our quest before departing with his remaining entourage.
We prepared to settle down again when our repose was disturbed by some peasants, fleeing something that had frightened them, maybe a monster, maybe an enraged field mouse, who can tell for peasants are scared by almost anything. One was injured and screaming, which disturbed Marius so that he was forced to put him to sleep as he sobbed something about a broken arm. These people had upon them pamphlets exhorting the citizens of the Emerald Empire to rise up against their masters and lords, to throw off the shackles of injustice and hereditary power, to seize the means of production and to distribute the wealth to the workers. All harmless banter it seems, Twigg and Vaughan advised them against such activates in the future and sent them on their way.
With these unwashed individuals dealt with we proceeded to nemonce and meditate to regain our exhausted powers. Refreshed we continued and soon met an Emerald Empire guardsman. He gave his name as Sergeant Fredrickson, who greeted us with the friendship we have come to expect from our great allies and kindred spirits. It was wonderful to see how we were on the right path and he directed us towards where the Queen had her summer palace – though he did go on about Angel, our beloved bartender and apparently ‘Hero of the Protectorate’. “Oh Hero Angel this…” and “Oh Hero Angel that…”, well I am sure that such a simple fellow could be easily impressed I guess.
Assured of our path we continued. Further signs of civilization abounded when we met a wise looking scholar, and his oafish manservant. The scholar engaged us in wonderful conversation, his sparkling wit lifting our spirits. It seemed that this gentleman of refinement and fine breeding was the foremost tea expert in the Empire, on the look out for new and exciting strains of the Empires delight. We showed him the tea we had taken from the diseased teabush and he told us of a blight sweeping the wild teas of the forest, one that left the leaves shrivelled and bitter, the drinkers ill. At last he offered us a great deal on some restorative blends that he had in his pouch, teas to heal the body of all those who shared the pot.
Leafing (get it? Tea leaf – leafing.) the fine gentleman (with our advice to hire someone a bit smarter and presentable than his current servant) we pressed on, the path twisted and turned taking us into a darkened glen, overlooked by towering pines and gnarled oaks. There our path was blocked by a ragged crowd of strange travellers. We introduced ourselves and demanded to pass unmolested, when Marius proclaimed his name they became excited, clearly having heard of Marius before. Striding forward, the offer of Marius’s autograph had them in great anticipation, perhaps too much for our suspicions were raised when one of them cast a dark engulfment on the Protectorates’ favourite magical son, could it be they meant us less than good will?
In the chaos a wild battle burst out, with wild magics and surges of power sent flying in either direction, a hastily erected shield wall with Johan, Tyler, and Sweetpea protecting the bulk of our party. Holding off the enemy we wore them down, but they would not roll over, instead the cruel enemy used a sever-spiritual-connection on the Squogre, and into a swoon she fell, most delicately and gracefully falling to the forest floor.
Immediately Johan thrust his shield over her and stood between the maiden and danger, seeing off not one, but three of the enemy. The others arrived as soon as they could, and pushed the ruffians back, but in the swirling chaos Johan was struck down and had to be revived by another of our elixirs.
It was finally upon the re-appearance of Marius in the midst of the battle (once it was mostly over and safe again) Marius, Piper, Tina and Vaughan chased the remaining enemy into the hills, where he would have escaped if it hadn’t been for the sharp eyes of Tina who spotted him hiding in the undergrowth. Queue the pursuit and finally it was agreed that he would give up his possessions for being left with his life.
Enriched in sprit (and especially in money) we revived our companions and cast our healing spells before checking over the bodies of Marius’s autograph hunters. There we found a poster, from Spindle and Spindle inc. placing a bounty on the heads of many protectorate citizens, Pop Squark, the Smelly one and his human tramp companion, Week, Mutinez, Tumwine, and most terrible of all – Marius. So these weren’t Marius’s over excited fans, but rather bounty hunters.
We worked out that despite the names spelt so poorly these were Pip Squeak and many other auxiliaries. Surely this was a plan to weaken the Protectorate by targeting it’s most fierce protectors, such a foul and underhand trick, a warning to all to be on their guard.
We pressed on, eager to bring this plot to the attention of the Queen for her to take action, but we had two more hurdles to pass. The first a young peasant boy distributing a flyer, calling upon the uprising to take place against the established order. He was pursued by a mob of thugs, we would have protected the squirt but Vaughan warned us against interference in the Empires’ affairs and so we raised no hand when the poor urchin was seized and struck down by one of the heavy handed yokels. They searched the body and appeared not to find what they were seeking, accusing us (I mean US!) of having taken it. We assured them we had not taken it, and lectured them on their cruelty towards their fellow man. Greg (for they were all named Greg it seems) hung his head in shame and Marius believes he has learned his lesson.
We let them go in peace, though afterwards we found we had acquired a piece of coded paper. Luckily Mai’Shen had a device upon him to read cryptic clues, the down side was it left him unable to speak legibly afterwards – which meant he made as much sense as usual (“oh it’s wrong to hurt others” and “No Marius, you have to share the cake” and “No Marius, that food is for the patients”. – see gibberish)
When we finally got some sense from him, Mai’Shen told us the paper advised that the plot to overthrow the Empire was being orchestrated by someone who was manipulating Spindle and Spindle for a darker purpose, nothing it seems was as it seemed here.
At last we reached the summer palace of her majesty, but our way was impeded by a motly horde of evil doers, and worse between us and them a portal that only let through the weakest and most vulnerable of our party, so Marius and the mini-Auxiliaries could only watch as Sweetpea, Twigg, Mai, Mai’Shen, and Vaughan made a most ferocious battle with a swarm arthritic and wheezing enemies. At the peak we were set upon from behind by another magical creature, seemingly of fire. The mini-auxiliaries gave great battle, Tylers’ magical sword proving the difference as Johan, Tina, Piper, and Tyler proved too powerful for the creature.
When we turned again the magical barrier had dropped and we could rush to the aid of our companions who had overcome their own challenge and so we pressed on the few last steps, presenting ourselves to the guards and receiving a hero’s welcome.
But as we waited outside the royal window for our audience we overheard a most troubling conversation, the Queen herself was entertaining a necromanceress. One who was offering her an alliance behind our backs, asking the Queen to accept and in return allow necromancy in the Emerald Empire, claiming that we, the protectorate, had abandoned our dear friends and were stuck in our backwards thinking and ways against the use of undead.
Lastly she offered the Queen recognition and sisterhood, knowing that the King of the Empire was a fool and baffoon, and why should she as a woman have to rule from the shadows. Marius feels that our visit will have shown the Queen that we have nor abandoned our friends, and the election of the Lady Protector Foxglove can serve as a signal that we welcome strong women in positions of power, and so if the Queen wants to wear the biggest crown we would have no objection, so Marius is sure no further harm will come from this necromanceress.
Most importantly we received a scroll to unlock teleport and treeshift access to the Empire, and trade, mutual aid, and a ready supply of tea and Battenburg cakes could resume.
Yours most faithfully,
Marius the Magnificent, Slayer of Zombies, slurper of tea, eater of cake.
P.S. Thanks to Andy for a wonderful adventure and a great start to larping in person again. Also to his hard working crew of monsters who played an exciting variety of roles and were shown no mercy by the swarm of mini-auxiliaries.