Our heroine, Simona Hert is a magic-using member of some strange forgotten race. She has been turned in to the Bladesage Council of Wizards for the crime of being a witch by her former employer, the bookseller
Story Games Name Project, SGNP: Quinn Gavula
and has been in The Citizen’s Tower for over a year.
A week ago, her trial was held. As usual for these cases, her trial was held without her present and only involved the Council leaders. Predictably, she was found guilty of witchcraft. The sentence imposed was to be burned at the stake.
Simona prepared herself for her death. Her life had been lonely and hard, she had no illusions that she was to die and there was nobody who could help her.
But help (of a sort) came from her own memory. In her time at Quinn’s bookshop she had read widely. Not only books on disguise and magic but also history. And there was one very old text, dating from before The Conjurer’s War that mentioned an ancient ritual of punishment. The Council, in order to give their leadership legitimacy, had often claimed that their laws came from an earlier age and that they were only following the paths that had been laid down before.
So Simona believed that she had found an opportunity to survive.
In the ancient times, convicted criminals were given the choice to commute their death sentence to something even darker…
Inside an old shrine in the centre of the city is what appears to be a narrow well. According to Simona’s text, the hole was incredibly deep and led to a vast underground cavern. In place of execution, criminals were given the option of “exile”. Which in this case, meant being lowered down into the dark and left to survive alone.
Simona yelled for her guard, and when he finally arrived, insisted she be taken before the Council to claim her right to exile. At first he laughed but she was so insistent that he decided to take her request to her superiors . Nobody knew anything about the Exile ritual until her request finally arrived at
a junior member of the Council. He researched her claim and found it to be valid.
And now we find Simona standing in a decrepit old shrine, surrounded by half the Ruling Council of the city, the City Executioner, Lucere (with a copy of the old text Simona herself had found) and her accuser Quinn Gavula.
She is dressed in warm clothes and they have given her a small pack. It contains a small quantity of basic supplies, a few days a food, a waterskin and a few torches. There is also a dagger at the bottom of the pack, bound so that she couldn’t use it in a last minute bid for escape.
Lucere moves to stand next to her and reads from a scroll:
“Simona Hert, this Council has found you guilty of witchcraft and has sentenced you to die by fire. By ancient law, you have claimed your right to be Exiled to the Ancient Depths. This sentence is hereby enacted.”
The executioner stands behind her and places a large noose over her head. She panics briefly, thinking that the Council are going to execute her anyway. But he places the noose lower, under her armipts and then tightens it. The rope extends behind her to the pulley system above the well. The executioner lifts her and places her in the well.
The rope is still short, so she barely hangs into the well. And then they turn the pulley and she starts to descend.
Within a minute she is down futher than light reaches. Another minute and she can no longer hear the mechanics of the pulley, just the twanging of her rope as it moves gradually down and down. The dark and the silence make it hard to judge time. She alternates between blinding terror and calm acceptance a number of times before she senses a change in the atmosphere. It is colder, but there is more to the change than that.
Another age follows and then she sees a very faint light below. Very soon she can see what seems to be the bottom of the hole and then she is bracing herself for hitting the ground. Almost as soon as she does she notices the rope slacken and begin to fall. She moves quickly to the side, fearful that hundreds (or more) feet of rope are about to fall on her. But surprisingly, it falls quickly and there is at most 20’ of rope. The end of which seems to have been burned.
More of the Golden Diamond Campaign | The Ancient Depths: Scene 1 | The Ancient Depths: Scene 0 | Simona Hert | Golden Diamond Campaign Procedures | Amelai Ravensdottir | Stone | Padmus Ironjaws | The Golden Diamond campaign | The Conjurers' War and the Locusta | Here Comes The Bladesage
08 Aug 2021 | < Previous | Next >