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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Rommel's Bad Day
    By Ian Hoskins

    Based on a story told in the Naughty Slyph by a scorched looking Dwarf.



    Rommel Toecutter had just had a very bad day, probably the worst of his life. He had been nearly killed three times, his brother had been killed, and nearly half of his guild had been wiped out. All because of four impudent adventurers.
    "This was too much", he thought. Why can`t they just die like every one else.
    This time the plan had been perfect, except it was him that it was him that was nearly dead not his adversaries. Also he was going to have to move the thieves guild again. Lying in his quarters deep beneath the city of Loth he thought over the days events, wondering where he had gone wrong.
    Several months ago Rommel, had been the chief lieutenant, of one of the minor thieves guild in the southern slums when he had first encountered the adventurers. A recent victim of the guild, one Ronald Darkstone had hired three adventurers to recover his lost treasures. The three, a half-elven mage known as Zor, a fat paladin called Sir Bilbo, and a priest with the unlikely name of Zappo, were old friends of Darkstone's after he had met them in some country hamlet.
    Tracking the thieves through the sewers the eventually found their way to the guild in the southern part of the city. By boat they had sneaked across the harbour and enter the guild through the secret harbourside entrance. Guards rushed to intercept them but they had been quickly cut down by the paladin. The trio quickly fought their way past the lesser guild members until they had reached the guild hall itself.
    Here the mage cast several spells that defeated most of the assembled thieves, and sent the rest running. Rommel at this time was going through the treasure store (doing a long over-due inventory) when three Adventurers burst in on him after having killed the guildmaster and plundered the old man's corpse.
    Rommel quickly grabbed his sword and fought bravely with the trio, nearly killing the cleric and injuring the paladin. But the blasted mage Zor, cast a spell that sent a arrow of pure acid slicing into his arm wounding him quite badly. Before any of them could finish him of, he quickly activated his (stolen) teleportation ring and fled to his room in a nearby inn. Gulping down several healing potion he gathered up his belongings and fled, leaving behind a small present for his pursuers. Slipping across the road he hid in a nearby shop and waited to watch the fun.
    Nearly fifteen minutes later the adventurers arrived at the inn, having found their way out of the sewers and back into the street. He almost laughed out load when they came straight back out of the inn tailing wisps of smoke from the fireball trap he had left them.
    That small triumph made him bit better, but he was still very upset about the loss of all that beautiful treasure in guild. Rounding up the remaining guild members he plotted revenge, preferably one that wouldn`t injure him, and gain him lots of treasure and magic to add to his collection.
    He lost track of the three adventurers soon after that, according to sources in the city they had travelled south looking for an ancient treasure, believed to be hidden on some island to the south-west. In the time that they had been gone, Rommel had been busy. With the help of his brother Thargor he had built his new thieves guild into one of the most feared organisations in the whole city. Even the watch now feared to enter his domain. Money was rolling in and business was good. But deep inside Rommel still ached for revenge.
    "Suppose someone starts spreading stories about how the great Rommel Toecutter was defeated buy a bunch of weakling fresh from the country", he though often.
    So when he heard that the Paladin Bilbo was back in the city, fresh from a bloody campaign in the mountains north of the city, he did some enquiring. Soon he had discovered much, the Cleric Zappo seemed to have retired from the group after their successful journey to the southern islands, and in his place had come a halfling thief & a slightly mad dwarf from one of the southern clans. Quickly his devious mind set into motion. He knew that the adventurers had fought many Dinosaurs and the like when they had travelled to the south, so he arranged for one of his friends to accidentally hatch some of the giant lizards into the sewers, knowing that the four would be asked to help catch them.
    Once they had accepted Rommel's plan was in motion. Spending a small amount of the money he had made recently he hired a clan of wererats to help him trap the adventures, and for a little extra hired the rest of the clan to guard the entrance into his new guild. One of Rommel's agents, the wererat Pravus set the plan in motion. Hearing that the adventurers had been successful in killing on of the dinosaurs he followed the as they went to collect their reward.
    While they were rest in one of the cities many taverns he walked up to them and introduced himself, and with a short piece of improvisation managed to get the four to follow him to where he knew one of the dinosaurs was hiding. With three other wererats he herded the companions into a large cavern where a small dinosaur had been chained to the wall. Pravus and his three companions changed their forms into their ratmen form and attacked the adventurers. However they were no match and after inflicting a minor scratch to the small thief they fled north through the sewer.
    Rommel in the mean time had been very busy covering his body with every magical item he owned, and preparing to fix these adventurers once and for all. The wererats led the party into his trap a dead end passage where he waited to deal with them once and for all. Seeing the party he almost laughed out load. What a pathetic bunch of pansies. The paladin looked like he was in serious trouble of bursting out of his armour, the thief was to small to be a problem. The mage was only a skinny half-elf, and the dwarf look more than slightly mad, especially by the may he kept bashing his head into things.
    Rommel lifted his heavy crossbow, thunderstrike and let fly with a bolt that blew a large chunk of stone out of the wall just above the Thief's head. The party pulled up quickly surprised by the appearance of this new enemy, giving Rommel time to insult them, trying to get them to attack him. The thief started accusing him of stealing money from his bank, something he had never done, mainly because he hadn`t thought of it. Anyway talk was boring Rommel, was one dwarf who enjoyed action much more. Quickly he pulled out a small globe, containing a powerful fireball spell. He was just about to throw it into the parties midst when the paladin pulled out a large crossbow and with an amazing shot blew it out of his hand.
    At once a huge ball of fire filled the small room, turning the four wererats to ashes almost instantly and blowing the four adventures out of the room and back into the tunnel beyond. Rommel, however was prepared with a powerful ring that provided immunity to the weaker magical spells, so he walked through the fireball quite easily. The adventurers were not quite as lucky though, with most slightly singed by the blast as it spread down the sewer tunnel after them.
    Rommel smiled, "that should keep them busy for a while".
    The party however had magical items of their own, especially the powerful magical weapons they carried. Unfazed by the minor damage from the ball of fire they rushed back into the fight holding their weapons determinedly. The Halfling, Slarti carried a powerful short-sword that glowed with a bright silver light, and most of the rest of the party carried magic of some sort. Rushing straight at him they came, the Zor leading with a magic missile spell.
    Fortunately for Rommel the ring he wore deflected the spell and is own powerful weapons and armour deflected most of their attacks. The paladin Sir Bilbo, and the mad dwarf Ronald Goldigger launched a series of strikes at his body, while Slarti tried to sneak around behind him and thrust his sword through a chink in his armour. For several minutes they danced around each other, both sides landing blows before Rommel decided to even the odds a little more. With a deft flick of his wrist he allowed a hidden wand to slid from a arm holster into his shield hand, a wand of fireballs.
    Zor however saw the move and warned the other who quickly disenganged from combat and sped away down the corridor, just making it to softly around the corner as the flames spread down the tunnel. Rommel laughed sure he was free of these pest now. But unknown to him, the adventurers had even more magic up their sleeves. With a couple of potions, the mage Zor enhanced Sir Bilbo's strength, and increased Slarti's size making them more of a match for Rommel.
    Back they rushed, eager to do battle with the evil Dwarven assassin. As the battle raged on Rommel began to worry, several slash from the enemies swords had got through even his tough armour and now he was feeling the effects of the wounds. But grimly he gritted his teeth, and fought on deflecting blow after blow. At last however the weight of number began to wear him down, and it didn't help when that maniac of a dwarf started chewing on his legs as he was trying to fight off the paladin and the enlarged thief.
    Eventually he managed to kick Ronald away, but as soon as he did, the paladin tossed a small sack at him. The sack burst covering him in a highly volatile oil. Torian fire he realised, naming the highly flammable oil used by the Torian legions in siege weapons. A minor spell from the mage ignited the oil sending Rommel up in a ball of flame, his ring having no effect against non-magical attacks. At once he dropped to the floor and rolled around in the sewerage, eventually dousing the flames. But he was still in trouble, Slarti leapt at him, smashing through his weak defences to leave a long gash down his side.
    Now Rommel was in trouble, wounded badly and still smoking from the wicked fire oil, so he did the only thing he knew to do in a situation like this. He teleported away using his second ring, fleeing to the main hall of his new thieves guild. As soon as Rommel began to speak the activation words of the ring the party rushed him, but they were too late to stop him escaping. But unknown to Rommel, Zor also had a similar ring, and after some discussion about the risks they decided to use the ring to follow him. Unfortunately the didn`t know for sure where the Dwarf had fled to so the rings magic went wrong sending them instead to 60ft above the new thieves guild which was hidden under the harbour.
    With a loud splash the party landed in the water, right in the nets of one of the cities many fishing boats, and through an amazing turn of luck they were pulled from the harbour before the weight of their armour pulled them to the bottom. After another long discussion on the deck of the fishing vessel, Zor decided to use the ring again, this time it was successful bring them into the centre of the main hall of the thieves guild, right in the centre of a mass of wererats.
    As both the party and the wererats stood watching each other, Zor noticed a slightly door in the eastern wall, and once again using the power of the ring teleported them over to the door, allowing the party to rush through and slam it shut before the wererats could reach them.
    Of Rommel there was no sign, but towards the end of the corridor, another open door awaited them. However behind them was a horde of wererats already trying to bash the door down. The dwarf Ronald, always looking for a good fight volunteered to hold the door closed while the rest of the party went looking for the assassin. They didn`t get far though as two statue at the end of the corridor, that they had taking for statues came to life and attacked them. Slarti & Bilbo attacked quickly while Zor hid behind a chair, out of danger for the moment.
    The battle didn`t last long with the monsters no match for the experienced fighters. With the statue now converted to rubble covering the floor, the party rushed through the open door into a short tiled corridor with another set of doors at the other end. Here Slarti pulled up the others and quickly searched the floor for any hidden traps, luckily noticing a large trap door in the centre of the corridor.
    Avoiding it the party carried onwards, not noticing that the doors behind them, had shut silently, trapping them. They noticed it soon enough when holes in the walls opened and started to fill the corridor with water. The party however were ready for the trap and using an especially enchanted axe, Slarti smashed his way through the end door, freeing them. Behind the door was a large carpeted room, strewn with fine furniture. Standing in the centre of the room was a large dwarf, slowly swinging two heavy looking maces. The dwarf quickly introduced himself as Thargor Toecutter, and then proceeded to try to kill the party members.
    By this time the potions Slarti & Bilbo had taken, had worn off and they now faced an enemy far more powerful than they. For several minutes the battle raged back and forth, with both the dwarf and the companions taking several wounds. But Thargor hadn't counted on having to face a mage, unlike his brother he didn't carry a invulnerability ring, instead prefering more open magic, like weapons & armour. Seeing that his companions were in trouble, he cast several magical missiles at Thargor, each burning through both armour and skin, leaving the dwarf dying on the carpet, his blood mixing in with the crimson carpet.
    As the party rested, taking several healing potion to recover their strength, and heal their wounds, they heard the sound of a battle to the west, having completely forgotten about Ronald the dwarf with their own problems. Quickly they leapt to their feet, and using the trapdoor in the corridor outside the room, managed to pluck Ronald from the wererats grasping claws, at the same time trapping several of the foul creatures in the pit. Surprisingly, Ronald had already dispatched most of the rat, using two more bags of Torian fire to do so.
    Now they were reunited the party went back to the room at the end of the corridor intent on questioning Thargor, but the Dwarven warrior, had used the time to crawl into an alcove in the south of the room, an alcove that was also a teleporter. With a bright flash he disappeared, and as quickly as they could the party rushed after him. A scant second after they found them selves in another hall, this one filled with mercenaries ready to kill them. However they were again too quick, Zor filling the room with the blast of a large fireball, killing not only the mercenaries, but Thargor as well.
    Slarti, quickly searched the bodies, recovering a couple of bags, that look just perfect for exploring later once they got out of this mess. Spying another door on the other side of the room, they rushed through it, finding themselves in a long corridor head south under the city. Following the corridor, the party eventually found themselves at a ladder leading upwards. Climbing cautiously they found themselves in the burnt out taproom of an inn, the same in where Rommel had teleported to last time he had fled from the party. It was however empty, with no Rommel to be seen. The party slowly made their way home, nursing injuries, but luckily all still alive.
    When he had teleported into the thieves guild after fighting the party, Rommel had drunk a couple of healing potion to heal the worst of his injuries, then he had summoned his hired thugs, the wererats to guard the room, before going to his rooms to rest. His rest didn't last long as battle tore apart his guild once more. Using a clock of invisibility Rommel walked through the shattered rooms, following the bath of destruction though the eastern part of the guild. His room fortunately were in the western part. Finding his brothers body, took away any enjoyment he had at the though of his enemies failure to capture him.
    The deaths of the wererats and the mercenaries didn't bother him so much, he could always hire more, but his own brother was another matter. Fortunately the guild had several priest working for them, and one was powerful enough to resurrect Thargor, and heal Rommel, but it would be a long time before Thargor was back to his normal vicious self.
    So it was a very annoyed and grumpy Dwarf who made his way down to the Naughty Slyth that night, ready to tell a tale of woe to any who would listen, and drown his sorrows in drink, while planning his next devious plan to kill off these annoying adventurers.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

  2. #2
    Moo! Are you happy now? Arjan's Avatar
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    Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.

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