Wednesday, July 25, 2018

1d6 Random Low Level Dire Plots From Around The Colosseum Table For Your Old School Sword & Sorcery Games

The blood spatters the ground & the crowd goes wild, from across the empire have been brought slaves & not all men. Through the thick roar of the crowd a lone woman leaves the thick of blood combat & makes her way along the thick marble stairs. She looks beyond distraught as she's watched another of her husband's friends die at the bloody end  sword of a sharp sword. But she has a plan & in the shadow of her pagan god's statue she meets her contact. The sharp end of her thieves guild's plot unfolds like the uncoiling of a sea creature's sting into the heart of the empire. Alien moons wheel overhead the only witness to this clandestine meeting.

From around the colosseum of a thousand worlds men, beasts, & more deal in the art of the death by combat for the entertainment of the masses. But there are far more to the goings on around these venues of entertainment & death. Thieves guilds, slaver's rings, & a vast network of businesses depend upon the bread & circuses for their very existence.
Anytime that PCs around such a place there is a 30% chance of them getting into the thick of some dangerous or dire plot related to the 'games'. The local thieves guilds often have close ties to the assassins guilds because of the high stakes gambling going on around the colosseum.
PC's may win d100 gold pieces or have a price put on their heads which they make work out within the dire circles & stages of the colosseum itself.

There is a strangeness in my soul
   A dark and brooding sea.
Nor all the waves on Capri's shoal
   Might stay the thirst of me.
For men have come and men have gone
   For pleasure or for hire.
Though they lay broken at the dawn
   They did not quench my fire.
My pity is a deathly ruth
   I burn men with my eyes.
Oh, would all men were one strong youth
   To break between my thighs.
Any many a man his fortune spread
   To glut my ecstacy
As I lay panting on his bed
   In shameless nudity.
But all of ancient Egypt's gold
   Can never equal this,
Nor all the treasures kingdoms hold,
   A single hour of bliss.
Within my villa's high domain
   Are boys from Britain's rocks
And dark eyed slender lads from Spain
   And Greeks with perfumed locks.
And youths of soft and subtle speech
   From furtherest Orient,
Wherever arms of legions reach
   And Roman chains are sent.
Why may I not be satiate
   With kisses of some boy—
They only rouse my passions spate
   I never know such joy
As when through chambers filled with noise
   Of wails and pleas and sighs
I stride among my naked boys
   With whips that bruise their thighs.
I drift through mists red flaming flung
   On hills of ecstacies
As shoulder-wealed and buttock-stung
   They shriek and kiss my knees.
A Roman Lady
by Robert Ervin Howard

'Agents' are always on the look out for solid raw talent  for the 'games' and can pay 10 to 60 gold pieces on the lower end of the gladiatorial spectrum. Those fighters of 1st to 2nd level can pick up the occasional game but getting 'noticed' might put them in the cross hairs of an agent's slavers or worse. Hiring an agent for 5 coppers an hour will provide the fighter with some protect from these vultures that loom around the games.
There is also the fact that particularly attractive pick up pit fighters could potentially pick up another five to six pieces of gold by finding their way into a jaded noble's bed room.
These same places often are the nests from which dire plots & weird schemes for adventurers can often find themselves growing.
1d6 Random Low Level Dire Plots From Around The Colosseum Table
  1. Agents are looking to smuggle into the city a rare combat enhancing herb. What they don't know is that the stuff is called the bane of Orcus. It will create 1d10 super tough zombies(double hit dice)  made for going on a rampage. The job will pay about 50 gold pieces per person to smuggle the stuff in & the guild will disavow the PC's should they get caught. Should the gladiatorial council get word of it there will be a very large price on the PC's heads.
  2. A senator's husband or  wife is actually an agent for a low thieves guild involved in the smuggling in the games high quality weapons for favored fighters. There is a particular sword they want to smuggle into the games for 20 gold pieces. The sword will go to a politically charged gladiator's match but the opposition is aligned to put a price on the heads of anyone helping in this endeavor.
  3. Hectos The Raw is a low level scum & bookie for the locals who wants to recruit some adventurers to help him steal a piece of jewelry from an up & coming senator's wife. He will pay 30 gold pieces to plant it in the quarters of a  star gladiator. The piece however is worth 200 gold pieces & Hectos is connected with the assassins guild. 
  4. The PC's are approached by an ancient looking yet stout fighter who wants to recruit them for a little work breaking into the Colosseum to place a disk of moon silver & brass at a certain location. He's looking for revenge against a gladiator who killed his brother. What the PC's don't know is that this fighter is a werewolf & is going go on a rampage against a certain senator.He's willing to pay 30 gold pieces for the job and its quick in & quick out. Well except for the fact that the assassin's guild knows about it. But there is 30% chance they may stand down.
  5. The priests of the god of gladiators & combat are looking for recruits for a feast game. This will of course only be till first blood. But they have a special feast planned for the PCs should they win but a certain senator doesn't want the priests to gain political favor. So he's hired 1d6 first level fighters to take out anyone taking on the job. The priests are offering 20 gold pieces for the match and a treasure map. 
  6. Effectus The Black Shroud the necomancer is offering 30 gold pieces to anyone who will face down his undead creations. He's know for his spectacular necrotic affairs & may want to hire the PC's on as his stable of fighters. A rival of his has other plans for the PC's! 

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