Peltast – 1

(Right, proper 1-man solo using deluxe T&T. Our mook is a human warrior named Cassius Secundus [the lucky, on account of his 6 luck, though he may be The Second too]. Other than a Con 16, Dex 13, Wiz 8 and the aforementioned luck score, he’s about as average as can be [although two high and two low stats kind of evens out, too]. Starting out with 90gp, he’s packing a small shield, a club, and two daggers [pugiones?]. He also managed to scrape together enough money to buy an adventuring kit, but he’s by no means wealthy. In fact I’ll work that into the first scene).

(He needs a talent, so since his Con is his best stat, he’ll have Endurance. It’s as good as anything).

(Since there’s a table for it, Cassius is 5’8″ and 155lbs, so not a giant but he’s more Roman than Viking anyway).

(For oracles, dungeons, wilderness & everything else I’m using issue 12 of D12 Monthly by YumDM).

(As there’s no set wandering monster rule for T&T [in this edition] it’ll be a luck SR [oof] set at the dungeon level or arbitrarily assigned wilderness ‘level’).

(Dice tell me Cassius starts in a forest, so let’s go).

Heart pounding, sweat glistening on his tanned brow, Cassius Secundus sprints through lowland woods. Nimble feet carry him over the half-rotted trunks of wind-felled beech and around the sky-clawing trunks of centuried holm oaks. He doesn’t know when he picked up the large, heavy branch he clutches in his right fist, but its weight and relatively good balance adds more to his confidence than its robs from his speed.

Lungs burning, Cassius slows his pace. The wind no longer carries the snarling howls of wild dogs. He pauses for breath, driving his club into the mulchy ground and bends double at the waist to purge exhaustion from his lungs.

At first, he ignores the flicker of sunlight-on-metal, shrugs it off as another of the many effort-stars bursting across his vision. Only when his breathing calms and the tremor in his aching legs abates does he take note of the sight before him.

(Are we actually in ancient Rome? 4, yes but… not for long?)

“Ares’ balls!” Cassius gasps.

Shifting his bludgeon into a double-handed grip, the young man walks on trembling legs to the sight before him. He drags his gaze from the rounded bronze helmet to the grinning, sightless skull it protects. Tooth-shattered ribs jut from scraps of a rotted linothorax. A pair of broad-bladed daggers hang from a belt that droops around exposed hips. A crescent-shaped peltast shield covers what remains of the dead fighter’s legs, though no bone or armoured footwear extend beyond its rim.

Club jutting from his right fist, Cassius creeps toward the remains. It does not move, does not speak, but its dark, empty eye sockets implore him to take the war harness.
Swallowing fear and the bitter taste of bile, the young man reaches out with trembling hands and scoop the helmet from its resting place.

The ancient bronze weighs on his skull. His neck muscles bunch and contract at the unusual sensation. Bronze guards brush gently across his cheeks.

He takes the daggers next, unfurling the snake-like belt of tiny woven chains and wraps it around his waist. The metal bandolier feels light on his hips. The daggers feel heavy, dependable.

He takes the crescent shield, squeezes its strap tight. Leather creaks and flakes, but holds firm under the pressure. A second strap brushes his arm, sending a shiver through his spine. Again the young man swallows, expecting a constriction cure to steal his breath as he slips the strap over his shoulder.

Relief punches from his lungs in a short, barking laugh. He flips a dagger from its sheath, inspects the blade with an eye honed by time spent with the guards of his master’s villa. The weapon is keen, well-balanced, and with the correct flick of his wrist will fly as true as any sling stone.

Rumbling growls shred his good humour. Fists tightening around blade and bludgeon, Cassius Secundus turns slowly on a heel.

The dog is small compared to its pack-mates, but the tenacity that kept it on the hunt when the others fled burns bright in its eyes. Sandy brown fur rises in sharp spikes along its shoulders. Saliva drips from rending teeth that belong in the jaw of a much larger dog. Muscles ripple beneath its short, tan pelt. The creature does not growl, just leaps and bites.

{Round 1:)
(Wild Dog MR 20 (3d6+10) = 25)
(Cassius (4d6 club + 3d6 dagger ) = 20 (3 spite) [Warriors get +1d6 damage per level on any weapon used. Also, I run spite on a 1, not a 6)
(Cass should take 5 points of damage but he’s wearing a helmet [shield’s on his back so out of play] so it’s reduced to 2 points.

Fur and fang consume Cassius’ world. Rotten breath floods his lungs. Savage jaws snap at his face, clank against his cheek guard and cut a burning line in his chin. Turning, moving he wields club and blade with precision, opens red lines in the creatures snout.

(Round 2)
(Dog MR17 (3d6+9) = 16 (2 spite)
(Cassius 7d6+1) = 26 (1 spite)
(Dog takes 10 damage [spite is taken into account on winning total only]. Cass takes 2 damage. Spite isn’t mitigated by armour).

Warrior play behind high, white-washed walls floods Cassius’ brain. Heart racing, blood leaking from his tooth-scarred chin, his training finally clicks. When the dog jumps he is ready, throws his weight behind the heavy club and lashes out with his dagger. The crazed beast yelps as it crashes to the mulchy forest floor, takes claws down his shin as it retreats.

(Round 3)
(Dog MR6 (3d6+3) 18 (1 spite)
(Cassius: 7d6+1) 28 )1 spite)
(Dog take 10 hits. Cassius takes 1)

Defiance in its eyes reflected in its rolling growl, the maddened beast snaps again at Cassius’ bare shin. Tooth barely touches flesh before the leaden weight of seasoned oak crushes its skull.

Blood cutting trails from open wounds, Cassius stares at his pummelled foe. Blade and bludgeon jut from shaking hands. His chest heaves with the effort of breathing.

“Gods,” he murmurs, swiping blood from his chin with the back of his knife-hand.

He drags his eyes from the bloodied carcass, turns his attention to the leafy canopy and the snarling howls that rip through the forest silence.

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