Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Leptis Magna Season 1, Episode 6

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.

Macer can scarcely believe his luck with the success of both Mago and Kemsa. Kemsa picks up a new skill, but Mago’s saving drop 1 gold for the extra maintenance payment.

Macer stood next to the Governor, Vespasianus, and that rich merchant who Macer had earlier entertained (clearly the private fight and new friendship with the merchant got Macer near the Governor). However, Kemsa’s opponent being killed in the arena started a chain of unfortunate events.

The next gladiator scheduled after Kemsa was Isaac, who was quite disturbed at the death. At the start of their fight, Isaac stepped back and preached to the crowd that the games are an abomination, and that life is precious. He fell to his knees and started to pray. The crowd got very agitated and yelled at the Governor “Are these the games you promised us!? Where is the action?” and “Go back to Rome!”. Perplexed, Isaac’s opponent looked to Vespasianus for some guidance.

The rich merchant, standing between Vespasianus and Macer, all of a sudden started at Macer “Ah Ha! Is that not the man who threw the fight at your villa? This explains it, he must be one of those Christian sect members!”. “A Christian?” asked Vespasianus, “they are being blamed for the calamity in Rome, and are being arrested”. Vespasianus looked at Macer “Are you harbouring Christians in your ludus?”. Lost for words, Macer was thinking of a response when a large turnip struck Vespasianus. The crowd started to riot and was pelting the Governor with turnips, yelling “Go back to Rome and take these turnips with you” and “Do you want more turnips, here they are!” throwing more. The legionary guards quickly surrounded Vespasianus and secreted him away from the stands. The mob now burst into the arena in a crazed frenzy. Macer quickly fled down the stands behind Vespasianus and through to his gladiators.

[NOTE: This scene was inspired by Suetonius's sentence "The chance of the lot then gave him (Vespasian) Africa, which he governed with great justice and high honour, save that in a riot at Hadrumetum he was pelted with turnips."]

Macer quickly gathered his gladiator troup along with his own guards tried to push through the masses and flee Hadramentum. All the time, the gladiator troup and Macer were being pelted with turnips that were flying all over the place. Despite the confusion, Mago notices a boy had fallen and was being trampled by the mob, and in the distance, he spotted Isaac, who survived the riot so far and seemed to be escaping to freedom. What does Mago do:

1) Continue pushing through with Macer to get out of the city,
2) Break ranks, and save the life of the boy,
3) Break ranks, chase Isaac, and bring him back to Macer for punishment.

Oh dear. I wondered, when you referred earlier to Isaac being from that new sect, what would come of it!

Kemsa picks up the new skill "Stamina"  - excellent!

Just to cross check with you:
Mago now has 3 skills: Dodge, Reflex, Stamina.
Kemsa now has 3 skills: Dodge, Attack, Stamina.

Without consciously thinking, Mago shoulders through the crowd and grabs the boy, carrying him back to safety. Seeing Isaac in the distance, Mago secretly wishes him good luck, although it is unheard of for a gladiator to escape - as they are all branded - and if Isaac is recaptured he will probably be crucified or sent back to the arena with no chance of Missio.

After carrying him to safety, the boy asks Mago what his name is, and Mago tells him he is a gladiator and to cheer for him in the arena. The boy gives Mago an old silver amulet as a thankyou gift and runs off. Time is pressing and Mago quickly rejoins Macers group (so he is not seen as an escapee….) and Macer gets out of the city. They all journey back to Leptis Magna, glad to be away from the troubles of Hadramentum.

After a couple of months, it was time to plan for the great Festival of Liber Pater to celebrate the harvesting of the grape crop. Mago has been matched against Asiaticus (4 skills: Reflexes, Attack, Dodge, Stamina), and Kemsa is up against Kassandros (4 skills: Reflexes, Attack, Dodge, Stamina). They are both matched against strong opponents so have been given a good timeslot in the games. Both will also gain a skill if they win, and money at last!

The day starts full of excitement, with the parade commencing at the Temple of Liber Pater, moving past the Arch of Tiberius and towards the amphitheatre. All await the fights of the two undefeated gladiators from Macer’s ludus.

Setbacks for Macer's rising stars!

I was convinced Mago was not going to survive this fight. Asiaticus acquired 10 strength to Mago only 7. And Asiaticus was extremely aggressive, using his extra AP from the Reflexes skill to come to close quarters right away. He immediately hit Mago for 4 strength, putting Mago on the defensive. Asiaticus took only 2 strength loss (no big deal when he had ten to begin with) and whittled Mago down with sustained sword and shield bashes over several turns to only 1 strength remaining. At that point Mago was also exhausted, having 1 strength and 4 fatigues. It seemed all over. But then ... Asiaticus started throwing terrible AP dice, and also Mago managed to entangle him in the net. For seven turns Asiaticus threw no higher than 4 for AP (+ his extra AP for Reflexes). Entangled took away 3 AP, so he had between 0-2 AP each turn available to try and cut free and / or close with Mago. He was unable to break the net, and Mago was able to offload all his fatigues by not spending any AP, and then get in two or three decent side-hex hits on Asiaticus, taking him down to only 3 AP. Asiaticus was then the exhausted one. He was able to cut away the net, but then lost his sword. Mago finished strongly with two good hits that Asiaticus could not withstand.

If Mago recovers from his wounds, he will acquire the 'Attack' skill. I am not allowing the 'Veteran' skill until at least 4 other skills have been acquired.

Mago: lost 6/7 strength, 0 fatigue, Vincit (Won).
Asiaticus: lost 13/10 strength, 4 fatigue, Peruit (Killed).

Kassandros initially adopted the tactic of keeping away from Kemsa, using his +2AP advantage. Eventually however he got tired of that (maybe hints from the crowd?) and he started attacking. The results initially were few effective hits and rapid building up of fatigue by both gladiators. But then it started to get serious. Hard core fans in the crowd explained to their friends that up til now Kassandros had just been testing Kemsa, to see what his weaknesses might be. Now, Kassandros slipped through Kemsa's guard with his sica, twice in two turns, taking Kemsa down to only 3 strength. Kemsa hit back with a shield bash and spear attack, taking Kassandris to only 2 strength. Both gladiators were now also on the brink of exhaustion. Then Kassandros was able to trip Kemsa (double 2 special result) and stand over him so he was forced to surrender. His appeal-to-the-crowd score was 10 before modifications, so the crowd were easily persuaded to spare him. It remains to be seen whether Macer will be so generous ...

Kemsa: lost 5/8 strength, 3 fatigue, Missio (Lost but given Mercy).
Kassandros: lost 5/7 strength, 2 fatigue, Vincit (Won).

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