BotA, Etc. – Gladiators of Zhaartahl IV

Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of characters and a terrible beast in Barbarians of the Aftermath/Barbarians of Lemuria/Etc. format. Because he wanted to, that’s why.

The Shade Ale was flowing freely in the gladiator’s quarters. The men drank toasts and oaths and dirty jokes, all in honor of the undefeated duo from the west.

“If we defeat the Lord Mayor’s prized Boorm Cat, we will be made free men!” Adran bellowed, laughing as the cobalt blue fluid sloshed over the rim of his mug. The others roared and pounded their tables in boisterous excitement. All except the small pale man at the giant’s side.

“If we slay the Lord Mayor’s prized Boorm Cat,” the little man whispered, “he’ll have us killed immediately. He thinks of that damned thing as his own flesh and blood.”

“Come now, Hanlan,” Adran answered quietly. “Did not the arena master himself tell us this welcome news?”

“He lied, Adran. I could read his… face,” the wiry Baltierran’s voice trailed off, well aware that other ears were likely to overhear their conversation. “We can’t fight tomorrow. We have to escape. Tonight.”

“Flee? From the greatest challenge a man could hope to face? Where else are we to fight a Boorm Cat? There are no more in the wilds. The damnable Vanth have seen to that.”

“That may be true. But it also may not. The Vanth aren’t generally known for their truthfulness. And wouldn’t it be better to live long enough to find out?”

“I suppose. I suppose,” responded the Kortman. “So what is the escape plan this time?”

“Just follow my lead, Adran. Unlike last time…”

In the far distance the bells of the grand clock tower tolled nine times, indicating that the city’s gates were closing. And signaling the time for the lights to be extinguished in the gladiators’ quarters. The Lord Mayor was especially insistent that the people’s entertainers be well rested before their turns in the arena.

Adran / Lifeblood 15 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 2 Mind 0 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Gladiator 2 Barbarian 1 Thief 1 Miner 0
Boons: Determined, Steely Gaze, Hard-To-Kill
Flaws: Savage, Honorable
Languages: Kortmanish
Equipment: Sword (d6+2), Very Light Armor (d3-1), Shield (1)

Hanlan / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5 /
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 1 Mind 2 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense 2
Careers: Thief 2 Scholar 1 Psychic 1 Gladiator 0
Boons: Carouser, Man About Town, Natural Thief
Flaws: Compulsive Gambler, Unlucky
Languages: Baltierreien, Kortmanish, Thoog, Vanth
Equipment: Sword (d6), PsiDagger (d3), Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Boorm Cat / Lifeblood 30
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 2 Mind 1
Combat Abilities: Defense 3 Protection d6
Attack with bite +5; 2d6 damage
Attack with 2 claws +3 per attack; d6+3 damage each
Attack with all 3 attacks at +1 each

Once the dominant predator of Zhaartahl IV, Boorm Cats have been hunted to near extinction by the alien PsiLords of Vanth. A few of these terrifying creatures likely remain in the wilds, but none have been seen in more than a decade. A handful of specimens remain in captivity, where they are often well-cared for and highly prized.

Boorm Cats stand 8′ tall at the shoulder and are generally 10′ to 15′ in length. They are covered with a thick coat of azure and ochre striped fur and have piercing blue eyes. Though their size, strength and speed make them deadly, it is their keen intellect that makes them truly dangerous. They are cunning hunters and exceptionally clever combatants. Worse still, Boorm Cats are known to possess a number of psychic powers, including the ability to cause a single target not to be able to perceive them.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 thoughts on “BotA, Etc. – Gladiators of Zhaartahl IV

  1. G-Man

    I like the space-fantasy vibe from this one. It brings back a lot of memories of Vance and 70’s fiction, including those Warren magazines you turned me on to.

    What does the psi-dagger do? Is it like the sword that mushroom mutant has in BotA?

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Thanks, G-Man. That’s exactly the vibe I was going for, so it’s great to hear it came through.

      The psi-dagger is indeed intended to be the same as the mushroom man’s sword in BotA. I wasn’t feeling terribly original this time out 🙂

Comments are closed.