When the revolution's folk-hero Goag the Goat-Herder was finally captured by the Imperium's forces, he was hog-tied and presented publicly for a particularly gory execution. The plan was to chop off the goat-herder's limbs, one at a time, for all to witness as a dire warning, followed finally by a beheading.
The first limb to be chopped was Goag's leg. As the limb separated from the man's body, it miraculously animated and hopped away, escaping. Confusion reigned momentarily. The onlookers whispered of holy magic, now convinced that a true miracle had just occurred and that Goag was indeed worthy of Sainthood. The Imperial executioners were likewise spooked, their plan seemingly back-firing spectacularly, but after some deliberation, they continued Goag's execution. Instead of hacking off more limbs however, they decided to burn the man at the stake, and be done with it.
There would be no second miracle that day, as Goag did indeed burn to a crisp in great agony and the revolution was set back a decade.
But many who were there that day, never forgot the 'Leg that got away', and spread the tale far and wide. For the next twenty years of the bloody struggle between the peasant armies and the Imperium, the symbol of the downtrodden peasant forces became a naked, hairy leg. Flags were made with Goag's leg as a symbol, and the struggle's fighters began rolling up one pant leg in battle, to show their love of Old Goag, and as mocking gesture to the imperials, akin to flashing the middle finger. Cutting off one pant leg permanently became the custom of the peasants, and many revolutionaries during the struggle, had one bare leg exposed at all times. In fact in history texts of later ages, the peasant army came to be called 'The Army of the Leg', or 'The Goatherd's Many Toes'.
As for the leg itself, it is said that after it hopped away, it kept right on hopping, running tirelessly to and fro, across the vast lands of the Ryyven Krus, inciting the peasantry to rebellion (as best as a leg could), and raising morale among the downtrodden.
Anecdotes circulated during the revolution, about the leg appearing here and there, usually thwarting the Imperium forces in some way, then running away again. One tale related how the leg appeared one day atop a cliff where an imperial battalion was stationed, and proceeded to 'kick' a dozen men off the summit during a moonless night of confusion. Another tale relates how Goag's leg appeared out of the blue one day in a small village and round-house kicked the visiting, hated, tax collector to an ignoble death. Another appearance of the leg was reported on a particular battlefield, where the limb saved a small boy about to be overrun by uncaring soldiers. As the child hugged and held on to its thigh, the leg hopped away to safety from the midst of the bloody battle.
The legend of the leg, so infuriated the Imperium that an actual bounty was placed on the animated limb at one point. Twenty gold dragons were promised to whoever could capture the damnable leg and 'slay it.' Needless to say, the bounty was called off after some time, as a new phenomenon began occurring. Poor peasants had their legs chopped off by countless greedy bounty-hunters looking to collect the reward by passing off various legs as Goag's original.
PCs and the Leg
The Leg can be encountered by PCs whenever they are involved in a campaign that revolves around any struggle or revolution against 'the Man.' The leg appears as a filthy, hirsute, and extremely muscular limb, with long black toe-nails, and a mild stench. Though lacking 'intelligence' the leg is sentient and can even communicate by various toe scratches in the earth and muscle twitches. It makes for a decent 'party member'. It doesn't require nourishment or rest, and will coordinate its 'hit-and-run' attacks whenever needed, delivering surprisingly powerful kicks. The leg's singular 'goal' is to foment rebellion and win the unwinnable war. It will attempt to goad and prod the PCs to participate in helping the rebel forces however it can. Though limited by its form, the leg can be persuasive and never, ever gives up.
If and when the people's rebellion ever actually claims victory over the Imperium's forces, Goag's Leg will finally 'rest' in peace, dropping to the ground and quickly rotting away.
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? Responses (7)
I like this sub for its potential to be either serious or silly (and working in both counts). I also like the fact that you could have the leg truly running around inciting peasant rebellions or that being such tales and rumours made up by the peasant army. Overall, just a very flexible, fun and utility sub.
A very enjoyable leggy submission. 5/5
At first glance I thought, 'a leg?' And after the first two paragraphs I was hooked. I'd actually like to read more about it (not that it needs a better explanation, just that I was really enjoying the story.) Very nicely done.
Thanks, I suppose the Leg can have further adventures :)
My favorite part about this is the legend that the leg inspired -- the army of men with one leg exposed, cutting one pant leg off permanently, etc. I can imagine a noblewoman sympathizer cutting a rather high slit into an evening gown; leaves both deniability, and instant recognition with her co-conspirators.
That was just plain weird. I like it!
Until the end I had figured it to be simply just a tale. That all of the deeds were actually done by members of a rebellion and supposed 'witnesses' claimed it to be the Legendary Leg... I would find it entertaining for the PC's to be placed under a mantle of doing deeds in the name of said Leg to fuel a rebellion further while trying to hide the fact that its just a bunch of non-sense.