Call of the Gods II: Trial of the Champions in Ambria | World Anvil

Call of the Gods II: Trial of the Champions

19/04 - 24/04 793 AoS

The Call

  A soft humming could be heard emanating from the Temple. Inside, the Prophets Leara and Arael prayed to the Gods, calling for guidance. A single candle was lit at the altar of each Aspect, flickering their light against the Temple walls. A sudden breath of air swirled inside the room and all but three went out.   Arael gazed upon the remaining candles and spoke aloud, “Indulgence, Moderation, and Wrath. Is this who they want us to find?”   “I see them,” Leara turned her blind eyes toward her brother. “I see their names: The Bountiful, The Wise, and The Undying.”   “We must call the Blood Priestess and prepare for the Houses,” Arael answered.    

The Call is answered

  Once again, Aeos Island welcomed the Houses of Ambria to its shores. Dorrum The Wise sage, Lady Eliriel The Bountiful, and mysterious The Undying introduced themselves to the Houses and called for aid. Each of them would need a Champion to represent them, and to bring followers to their cause. The Gods would award Favour to the Guides for tasks these followers would do. The first day was a rush of activity as the three Guides set tasks to determine their Champion.   The Bountiful's first activity was a series of games. Though many were distrustful of her powers, the games were simply that - just games. And only one person died. Those who wished to prove themselves to Lady Eliriel entertained her first with a word finding game, then a battle of egg/chicken/dinosaur/monkey/Ambrian, then an agility boxing match, then a shoe toss game and finally a game of coits. The winner of each of the 5 games were allowed to move on to the next task. For this, the Bountiful entrusted her candidates to track down her lost precious tokens, which had been scattered when she came through her Gateway. They spent the day searching and collecting and finally, two people brought them all back to her. The Bountiful explained to the first candidate that to be her Champion they must give up all titles, ranks, wealth and possessions - including weapons and shields. And in return they would share in all her power. Tempted as they were, the first candidate could relinquish all but one title. The Bountiful was not pleased, and sent for the second candidate. This one - En, of the Eldar - willingly pledged himself to the Bountiful and gave everything to her. In return, they and their followers would be granted extra boons and buffs in the following days.   The Wise's first task was a series of riddles and tests, and the answers lay with inhabitants of the island. The Blood Priestess, The Prophets, Trell, as well as old man Arthur and the Wizard gave different riddles or puzzles to all who asked and some were harder than others. Once all five had been answered, or as many as could be done, the candidates returned to Dorrum. Only some impressed him enough to continue. For the second task, the Candidates had to venture around Aeos in search of his Meditation Spots - each placed at a ley line attuned to the six elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Wood, and Metal. At each of these spots, a scroll could be found with a parable about Dorrum's life. Without taking it or copying it down the candidate had to return to the Wise and answer questions about its contents. Three candidates satisfied Dorrum's questions and were asked to play a game of Nim. Only one player could win. Torook, of the Seekers of the Hidden, was pronounced Champion and blessed as a level 4 healer with extra Mage spells - but only defensive spells could be used and no harm could be done for the event.   The Undying's first task was a series of duels held in the arena in town. One handed, two handed, ranged, and daggers were set upon each other, while a game of quarto was played for those less violently inclined. The winners of each were asked to bring her two vials that had been stolen. Four thugs, jealous ex-lovers of the Undying were loitering around town and had run off with them. And they did not make the hunt very easy. Finally, the two vials were returned to the Undying and she poured them evenly into two goblets. The Undying drank one goblet of this poisonous concoction and asked her candidates to do the same. In doing so, they would die permanently at the end of the event if she did not become the next Guide, but until then they would be immune from the Blood Priestess' book. It was Captain Quinn of the Northern Wind, from the Pirateer's Collective, who drank the poison and sealed his fate as Champion.   And so it was that the three Champions of the Guides began their journey. The next two days were filled with tasks that would gain them God Favour, which would be displayed in jars at the Church. Relics, outposts, altars and offerings could be found in the wilds, which needed to be found, captured, or moved in various locations in return for Favour. The opposing teams were pitted against one another so that they had to fight and race to win.   Another task, completely different in nature, required a Champion and their chosen team to replicate an idol with clay. However, the idol existed in a realm that could only be reached by one person and either they or their companions were stricken with an ailment such as blindness or paralysis, that made sharing information difficult. With a limited amount of time to work the teams attempted to craft their idols. Only after the idols were presented to the Church was the true form of the idol revealed and Favour was granted for the shape, orientation and colour of the closest to its original.   Each Guide had an altar in the wilds, which required a Capstone to be in place at the toll of the Friday evening bell. At this toll, the last of the tasks would be scored and the Guide with the least amount of Favour would be knocked from the competition. The Champions each selected five followers to become Altar Keepers, who were the only ones able to touch and move the Capstones. The Capstones were quickly hidden to protect them and several times fights broke out among the teams for control over them.   By the Friday evening bell, it was clear that The Bountiful's Favour was, in fact, the least bountiful. Stricken with grief, the Bountiful stormed off to nurse her wounded pride. Her followers in The Grim Harvest and The Eldar sought a new Champion to follow.   While these tasks were being done, whispers circulated of a strange obelisk in the woods. It was soon discovered that this obelisk was, in fact, a tombstone for the Warmaster, laid by the Prophet and Blood Priestess in memory of their fallen comrade. And without a body to bury, her spear was locked inside. Recognising the potential power of this vessel, the Ambrians decided to petition the Guides to help them release the spear and gain the blessing of the Prophet and Blood Priestess. The Guides were the only beings on Aeos Island strong enough to transport the spear and laid it in the Church for safekeeping.   At the dawning of the last day, the final two Guides - the Undying and the Wise - fought for possession of the Bountiful's altar. The Wise's Champion Torook and his followers were the first to claim the altar, and successfully defended against the Undying's forces until the morning bell rang.   In the afternoon, the ultimate showdown began. The Undying and her Champion, Captain Quinn, gathered their forces around her altar, setting up barricades and defenses. Across the field, the Wise and his Champion Torook stood with their forces, ready to attack. A mighty battle ensued, with both sides seeing heavy losses. Though outnumbered in force, the Undying's side held for a long time. As the afternoon drew near, Torook pushed for the altar, placing his hands upon it as the bell tolled. The Wise claimed victory and was hailed the newest Guide of Aeos Island.   But his work was not done. The Wise stepped forth with the Warmaster's spear. Captain Quinn, with his life on the line, had convinced all three Guides to help him avoid death's clutches in the event that the Undying were to lose. The Wise, the Blood Priestess and the Prophet each put a hand on the spear, using its power to open a Gateway to the Spider God's realm. There, Captain Quinn was protected from poison and could stay alive. A handful of brave souls stood with him, entering the realm once more to find clues to rescue their friends still trapped behind. So it was that they, and the Undying, stepped through the Gateway.
 

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