Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Leptis Magna Season 1, Episode 2

Following on from the last episode, we carry onto the next round. My posts are in blue, Marks are in green, and any post-editing commentary are in red. The gladiator rules used are Munera Sine Missione - note that this version may have differences to the current version. Each round will be posted as a weekly episode.

Mago loved the games. Upon entering the arena for the first time, he was in awe of its beauty, being only recently completed, with a large monument dedicating the structure to the great and powerful Nero. Holding 16,000 people, there were large cheers at each turn of the fight. The crowd was screaming "Mago! Mago!" at the win. The Editor spared Pertinax, mainly as he was on the "Roman" side, and it was not good form for the Romans to lose.

Macer was very happy at the showing of Mago and Kemsa. Mago earned 4 aureus for his work. Kemsa only earned 2 aureus, which he found puzzling, as Kemsa thought he did a far better job than Mago.

The fat guy was not the governor, it was the Editor of the games. Despite the wins of his Novus gladiators, Macer was fuming, his arch rival in Leptis Magna, the Lanista Mettius Ulpius Noctua, made side deal with the Editor, and had his gladiators take the afternoon games. Macer's gladiators had the early session, before any people of importance arrived to see. In a fit of rage, when addressing his gladiators after their brilliant victories, Macer slammed his fist on the table. "This is an insult! We were placed just after the acrobats and jugglers! Does not the Editor understand the quality of my Ludus?!"

A devious slave of Macer, the Syrian called Samasu, came with information that the bribe money from the despised Noctua would be paid to the Editor tomorrow night. "This is the work of trained gladiators" thought Macer, and he plotted to steal the money en route, In doing so, it was a win-win. Not only would the Editor be offened by Noctua's failure to keep up his part of the deal, Macer would become richer by the ill gotten gains!

Macer spoke with Mago in private. "You showed great courage in the arena! More than the low quality gladiators in Noctua's Ludus! I need some special work done, which needs someone who knows how to fight." Macer explained the situation, and that Samasu would accompany Mago on the mission, as well as Kemsa, given that Mago had some wounding compared to Kemsa's scratch.

Without armour, and armed only with swords, the intrepid group of 3 were to intercept the money as it travelled down a dark alleyway and return it to Macer. They were not to reveal their identities, lest it be traced back to Macer.

They waited in the shadows for what seemed many hours, until late at night, a group of 4 men walked purposefully down the road from the direction of Noctua's villa to the Editors villa. Once they had passed, Mago gave the nod and with Kemsa, they quickly dispatched the two men in the rear. The two in the front quickly turned around. One of them was quite big, and drawing a gladius, quickly knocked Kemsa aside with a hit to his head from the pommel, and Kemsa fell unconsious. The second stranger looked at making a quick lunge at Mago, which would have been fatal, but the devious Samasu struck him from behind with a dagger. The big man pivoted and struck Samasu with his sword, and Samasu fell. Mago then thrust his gladius and toppled the big man.

Both Kemsa and Samasu were on the ground, along with the 4 other men. Around you there is yelling and screaming from the few people scattered around, and in the distance, you can hear the distinctive metallic thudding/clanging sound of the armoured city prefects draw closer. Mago notices that the big man has an over filled purse tied to his waist. Does Mago;

1) Check both Kemsa and Samasu, to see if they are OK and revive them. OR

2) Rip the purse off the big man and run (a) back to Macer OR (b) into the distance to escape and make a bid for freedom.

Over to you....

Mago thought fast! The guards were still a couple of minutes away, so he quickly checked his two companions and to see if he could revive them ... Hopefully still time to scuttle into the surrounding alleyways and get away.

Good choice…

Mago quickly reached down to Kemsa, and with almost instant response, he groggily awoke. Samasu looked injured, Mago bent over and picked him up. By now Kemsa was standing up as well. In the distance, Mago could see the prefects round the corner at the end of the alley, with the lamp light glistening off their armour. Having no time to do anything else, Mago, carrying Samasu dashed away, followed by the swaying Kemsa. The prefects began to chase, but were confounded by a large group of drunken revellers who inadvertently got in their way. After a while, Samasu was able to walk, and the three navigated their way back to the ludus, narrowly avoiding a second prefect patrol that passed by them while they stood still in the shadows.

Macer greeted them at the door, a moment Mago was dreading as they failed to recover the money. Mago was about to start explaining what happened when the smiling Samasu interjected with "Success my Dominus", and handed over the purse to Macer. Mago figured that cunning Samasu had the presence of mind to rip it off the big man with an outstretched arm as Mago was picking him up, given they were lying next to each other on the ground. Mago also curiously noted that the purse seemed a lot thinner to what he remembered in the alley. Macer, unaware of what the original bribe amount would have been, was overcome with happiness, waving the purse aloft. Both Mago and Kemsa receive 2 aureus each to add to their savings.

There was much celebration in the ludus, with wine for all and other delights on offer. Over the coming weeks, all gladiators with their first win were branded with the mark of the ludus, as they were welcomed into the gladiator brotherhood. Mago rarely, if ever saw the elusive and devious Samasu, as he was a household slave, and was continually out on business for the Dominus.

After what seemed an age, the festival of Fortuna was coming up, with gladiators, beasts and circus performers being sought from far and wide. Mago has been matched against Mus (Mus has 2 skills - Reflexes and Dodge), and Kemsa against Botanicus (Botanicus has 1 skill - Dodge). Also remember that Mago and Kemsa have picked up a skill each from their previous wins, beating opponents of equal level. May "Fortuna" shine upon the house of Macer....

I think Macer will be happy about the performance of his Africans at these games. It seems Fortuna is indeed smiling on him ... for the moment.

Both Mago and Kemsa had picked up the "Dodge" skill based on previous experience. Thanks for reminding me about that.


The bigger they come, the harder they fall! Mago spent quite a few moves avoiding combat at the start of this bout, hoping to be able to turn a flank, but that did not work and in the end he tried a trident attack from the front. After a couple of rounds of sparring both figures were 1 strength down. Then one of those rare sets of circumstances happened: first Mago was knocked down, but - stroke of Fortune - was able to recover without injury. Then Mus was knocked down by a "double 3" in his own turn. Tripped over his own shield perhaps. Then - another stroke of Fortune - Mago threw 6 AP (plus his extra AP for being Light, and having the Dodge skill = 8AP) and was able to attack the prone Mus from a shieldless side hex, and inflicted 6 wounds. Mus was somehow able to get up again but was too groggy to put up much resistance as Mago finished him off. The crowd granted Mus missio.

Mago: lost 1/9 strength, 1 fatigue. Vincit (won).
Mus: lost 9/8 strength, 1 fatigue. Missio (lost but given Mercy).


This turned out to be quite an easy fight for Kemsa. He advanced cautiously but Botanicus rushed headlong into combat. After a couple of indecisive rounds with both gladiators using their Dodge skill to avoid wounds, Botanicus suffered a 5 point wound. After that it was just up to Kemsa to keep out of trouble and deliver the final blow. He was not able to kill Botanicus however, who successfully appealed to the crowd, despite not having wounded Kemsa at all.

Kemsa: lost 0/10 strength, accumulated 2 fatigue. Vincit (won)
Botanicus: lost 8/7 strength, accumulated 2 fatigue. Missio (lost but given mercy).

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