Conan: Blades of Shadizar

Chapter I, Session I, Part VI

To Live or Die by the Sword

From the Memoirs of Darius the God Slayer

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We were stopped short by a captain of the Royal Guard with blade in hand. Clearly, he was not here to arrest cultists, but was instead himself a devotee. Knowing that Danyo was still recovering from his kidnapping as well as Kara Prama’s domination, I sprang forward. This captain, who I was later to learn was called Diodor, was quick with a blade. He was far better than any soldier I had seen. My skills proved better. The combat was a whirl of blades. In the end he fell (not dead, as I was to find later, but unconscious) and I stood, unmarked by his blade. I found that I had, however, been marked by Kara Prama’s claws. I stopped briefly to strip him of his silvered breastplate and his fine shortsword, and off we went into the tunnels.

The shaking became worse as we ran through the seemingly endless passages. This underground complex would soon collapse, bringing Lady Nehira’s home down upon us. Of this, I was certain. Coming to the library chamber we paused. It would be a shame if all of this information were now lost. Pulling two sacks from my kitbag, I passed one to Danyo, and we quickly filled them with as many scrolls as we could in the short time we had before fleeing through the tunnels once more. The three of us had made it through the tunnels and out of the gates when, with a loud rumbling and a cloud of dust, the temple and tunnels collapsed and the earth swallowed Lady Nehira’s home.

We did not slow to comment on the change to the city’s skyline, instead running through the city’s streets to make our way back to the Desert. We paused before entering Ninotchka’s. I realized that I was still dressed as Kilya and decided to remedy that. Once I again looked myself, we entered Ninotchka’s with myself in the lead. Harasym, his lieutenant Fadey, and an assortment of the gang stood by the bar. Even as they turned to face us, the room fell silent. “You have a lot of nerve showing your face here,” Harasym growled. “By Ong’s leonine head…” I muttered. In an instant, blades were out. I had by blood up. I had just finished killing a being that was being worshipped as a goddess…I wasn’t going to be bullied by simple street thug. The combat was brutal. Danyo and I felled several of Harasym’s gang as we made our way to Harasym and Fadey. Blades and blood flew as the two of us dealt well deserved death. Soon, I was facing Harasym while Danyo took on Fadey.

Harasym was good, nowhere near as good as Captain Diodor, but good nonetheless. We circled each other trading blows for some time. His men held back, not interfering with their boss’ fight. Danyo was handling his own against the long haired and moustached Fadey. Fadey fought theatrically. Danyo may have lacked technique, but more than made up for this with ferocity Fadey’s dark eyes began to show fear as Danyo’s onslaught continued unabated. Fadey stood no chance at all against Danyo’s fury. Danyo screamed with fury as he gutted the hapless Fadey. Danyo was given no break. As Fadey fell, Dany found himself surrounded by members of the gang. The fighting continued to rage.

Harasym and I traded blows. I do not think that it had yet occurred to him that this could only end in his death, such was his arrogance. Batting away his blade, my short sword cut deeply into his flesh. I smiled savagely. The dance was about to end. In desperation he lunged at me. I dodged, deftly sidestepping his attack as I sliced into his throat with a backhand stroke of my sword. There was shock and surprise in his eyes as he fell, his head severed from his body. Turning, I saw Danyo fall, surrounded by enemies with Fadey and several others lying dead at his feet. Moving to his aid and praying to the gods that he yet lived, I engaged the scum who had felled him. I saw fear in their eyes as the understanding that Harasym was dead registered. Most of them had been wounded by Danyo before he fell. I made short work of them while the rest of the gang’s survivors began to flee. One fired an arbalest at me before he fled. This was a terrible mistake on his part. Turning to flee, he never reached the door. My blade ended his worldly worries.

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