Pruod-Skotran

Session 14: May 12, 2012
Gathalicism

As told by Stone:__

A heated discussion between a band of adventures continued below
ground, when it was revealed that I, Brother Stone, the first disciple
of Gathalimay and the instrument of his all powerful wisdom and wrath
was now on board.

Together we emerged to the surface, the plateau was in ruins.
Destroyed camps everywhere. Desecrated corpses littered the ground.
The unholy apparition of your fallen comrade was seeing talking to a
Shardmind (to whom some of you called Lucy).

We approach silently, but stealth was not meant to be.

Gathalimay 1:1 “To sneak in shadows is to hide in fear, STEP FORTH IN
THE LIGHT! Let the non-believers see your face before you cleanse them
off their disbelief!”

Your fallen friend turns around, and in sight of the glorious power of
Gath, his guise was cast away to reveal the true cloaked figure
underneath.

The Shardmind slams the staff into the ground as several more cloaked
figures appear declaring “When they’re dead, bring me the key!”

The bull charges the first cloaked figure, and being imbued with the
righteous wrath of the Gath strikes down the corrupted soul with one
mighty blow.
Still possessed with the musical spirit, he charges the shardmind.

As the other cloaked figures spread, an explosion of energy emits from
the staff, throwing everything backā€¦during the action the Shardmind
escapes.

A glorious battle erupts with the cloaked minions, determined to face
the cleansing song of Gathalimay!

Gathalimay 1:2 – “MOCKERY!” he said…..it is not enough to smite
non-believers, one must viciously mock them!

As we strike down the figures, the dead begin to rise. They approach
to taint to all-powerful Gath, and I move to fight for the glory of
his mighty song!

Gathalimay 1:3 – “Fortune does not favor when I try to smite my
enemies, because I test my followers to defend the word from those
that cast it aside!”

The dead, facing the unbelievable might of Gathalimay turn themselves
after another. They approach the elf Thalie with their corrupted
touch.

As we defend the elf, the dead continue to rise.

By the wisdom of Gath, we follow him out to find your caravan supplies
and watcher Johnson, and move off the plateau.

The undead horde follow, but we make our way ahead.

We set off in the desert. discussing the trials just passed, and the
unholy horde that was shambling behind us.

“In his music we pray, all praise Gathalimay.”

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Session 13: April 7, 2012
"For the glory of Gathalimay."

Gathalimay and Nyym start back towards Kalpa. The robed figures turn back towards Kalpa. Kalpa pushes back the lid to the sarcophagus to reveal a skeleton with a large hammer. Kalpa grabs the hammer and holds it above his head. Nyyym tries a stealthy attack on the robed figure on the stairs. Though he has combat advantage, he misses. Kalpa goes total defense shouting “I will give you one more chance to kneed before I smite you.” The figures back away. Kalpa moves towards the door with the hammer whispering to Gathalimay and Nyym “let’s get the fuck out of here.”

Merielle, Thag and Thalie are staring at the dead ogre trying to decide what to do next when they suddenly hear muffled voices. They continue to creep down the hallway. As they progress they hear voices gruffly, and some kind of discussion. At the end of the hallway they see two ogres arguing over a thrycrine. Thag happens to speak thrycrine so he asks the praying mantis, “what’s up dude? Do you need help?” The ogres are confused. The thrycrine uses this to his advantage and hits the first ogre. Merielle splits the tree to hit both ogres. Thag brutally slams the second ogre, knocking him down. Thalie takes the first ogre down with a critical arrow. At this point the Thrycrine jumps up the side of the wall to a tunnel up above. The remaining ogre looks at the bull and then jumps down to the tunnel below. The party hears a splash and peers over the edge to see a 30 foot drop off, but it is too dark to see the bottom.

Meanwhile, Gathalimay, Kalpa and Nyym are running through the passageways when a Thrycrine pops up looking rather wounded. Merielle hears them up above and builds a bridge of roots between the levels so that they have a passageway down. Gathalimay hears the Thrycrine arguing as he’s crossing the bridge. He pauses and heads back to peer around the corner and thinks he hears the Thrycrine mention his name. He moves towards them and says “hey guys, are you talking about me?”

Merielle, Thag and Thalie head down the hallway.

Gathalimay speaks with the human and the Thrycrine. The human says “Tell me where the Gathalimay is.” Gathalimay pipes up, I know where Gathalimay is." The human approaches Gathalimay, and kneels in front of him, “your power is great. Allow me to serve you!” The Thrycrine takes off. Gathalimay says “why would I want a runt like you?” The human responds, “I’ll be worthy.” Gathalimay retorts, “You’re not useful to me.” The human ponders this and then says, “I will be useful, what can I do?” Gathalimay asks him if he knows what Skittles are. Kalpa glows softly and kneels down. Gathalimay relents and says “follow me, 2 steps behind me at all times and we’ll see how you perform.”

Merielle, Thag and Thalie head down a sloped hallway. They stop at a dropoff, where there is a bridge across a chasm that appears to be filled with muddy water. Four goblins are across the chasm. Thag crosses the bridge and falls kneed deep in the mud. Thalie kneels and prays at the edge of the chasm. One of the goblins hexes Thag who is blinded in his remaining eye. The jelly in the mud also attacks him. As the attacks progress everyone is blinded. Eventually Thag kills a jelly and a goblin, but the party is forced to retreat.

Gathalimay and Kalpa send the human, Stone, down ahead of them. Stone anchors a 50 foot rope and starts climbing down. When he gets to the bottom he cracks a sun rod and illuminates a lake below. Gathalimay and Kalpa head down the rope and into the water. They see a tunnel on the far side.

Merielle, Thag, Thalie and Nyym retrace their steps and see the rope hanging down. They can hear Kalpa and Gathalimay from below and decide to head down. Nyym climbs down first and fills his water skins and then heads back up the rope. Thalie goes down next intent on filling the water skins. As she makes contact with the water, it starts moving however and she hears a voice that says “Yes. You’ve done well. Go forth and wage war on those that defile the world.” The water swirls faster and faster and Thalie scrambles up the rope to exchange the full skins for empty ones. She climbs back down to try and get additional water.

Gathalimay and Kalpa sit down to watch the water swirl. Gathalimay folds a ritual book page into a boat and it whirls away, caught up in the eddy. Kalpa ties a rope to a rock and wades into the whirlpool, crawling slowly into the torrent. He slips and Gathalimay and Stone pull him out.

Thalie scrambles back up the rope and the party prepares to head back out. They move quickly down the hallway as the sound of the water gets louder and louder.

As they reach the point where they killed the ogre, Sam comes around the corner. He is wandering, eating pocket jerky and looking for the Admiral. Thalie thinks something is off, and Merielle thinks she can see through Sam. Thag tries to strike him and hits him pretty hard. The water gets louder, and the party takes off down the hallway heading for the exit. The ghost of Sam follows.

Kalpa, Gathalimay and Stone head down the tunnel and end up behind the goblins and the jelly. Stone runs forward screaming “For the glory of Gathalimay you will die!” The goblins turn around startled. Stone kills the first two and knocks the third into the jellies. With the way now clear, Kalpa, Gathalimay and Stone run across the bridge.

The party regroups back in the room with the stairs that exit to the arena.

For its efforts, the party earns between 275 and 350 experience points with 10% bonuses for gold coins.

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Session 12: March 10, 2012
"There's no penis on that stickman." or "Hammertime."

After resting the party decides to look for someone to resurrect Sam. First they must find their way out of the maze.

Thag, a bull, loves mazes and thinks he can find some way out of the underground. The party first explores the man-made section of the underground. Nyym opens the door at the end of the hallway after doing a stealth check. This reveals a small antechamber, which looks religious in nature. Nyym creeps up the stairs that lead off the small room and finds a room full of statues. Kalpa follows Nyym making considerable noise. There is an altar of some sort up above and this appears to be a temple to some elven god.

Nyym attempts to explore the other rooms stealthily, constantly thwarted by Kalpa who bursts into rooms with no regard for the noise he’s making. Thalie follows Nyym and Kalpa and in a room lined with bookshelves, selects a few tomes om magical theory to take with her.

Next the group finds a kitchen with a fire pit, but it seems to be a dead end.

The group retraces its steps and heads down to the open area where it fought the goblins. Nyym moves towards the hallway at the end of the room. Gathalimay sends out his seeing eye which finds a smaller figure hunched over a larger figure. It appears to be looting the body. As it hears footsteps approach it turns around and reached for its sword.

Kalpa shardswarms over to the other side of the body on the floor and begins intimidating the goblin. The goblin reports the chaos up above, with the mob wanting water. The goblin is searching for treasure. At this point, Nyym creeps over to the stairs at the end of the room and sees some daylight. He recognizes this as the area where he snuck in and got caught.

The goblin moves off the way the party came, and Nyym tries to disguise Gathalimay with his disguise kit. The party agrees to meet at the yurt. Merielle fey steps out into the crowd. One by one, the party emerges attracting no real notice. The campground is in chaos as people are packing up their belongings and fleeing.

The party gets to the yurt and finds Johnson defending the yurt and the kanks with a large, sharp piece of bone. Quickly, the party packs up its belongings and the yurt.

The party then discusses its options. It could try to head out to Imtari, which is the closest populated area. There are clerics of the old ways there and they should be able to resurrect Sam. However, the party only has enough water for one week, and Imtari is approximately 2 weeks journey away.

At this point Nyym speaks up. He explains that he has come to Sarharabellum because he was hired to follow Lucy and kill her. He tells the party that she is the defiler wizard who has been wreaking havoc on Saharabellum. Nyym wants to go back underground and find Lucy. Kalpa agrees with this plan.

The rest of the party is less interested in finding and fighting Lucy, but agrees that it will need more water before journeying out into the desert. Thag is worried about heading back into the caverns while carrying Sam’s body. Even though Merielle has already taken one of Sam’s toes (in case the party doesn’t have his whole body, but can resurrect him anyway), Thag decides to decapitate Sam and keep the head with him. The rest of the party objects, but there is no reasoning with a bull. The party agrees to go back underground in search of water.

Johnson is left in charge of the kanks and the belongings that the party doesn’t want to carry, and the group heads back to the cavern. This time the group explores the older tunnels down by the bridge. After crossing the bridge, the party finds itself looking down over a 10 foot drop. In the distance it can hear crying and whimpering voices.

Nyym climbs down the cliff and creeps forward. He can see prisoners in cells, and a chest at the end of the hallway. Kalpa guards the hallway, while Nyym sneaks down to the chest. He manages to sneak by 4 guards who are taunting prisoners without making a sound. He opens the chest undetected and finds gold coins. However, he loses his grip when closing the chest and the lid slams down attracting the instant attention of the goblins.

Quickly the 4 goblins descend upon Nyym and bludgeon him into unconsciousness. The gurgling commotion draws Kalpa’s attention and Kalpa alerts the rest of the party. Merielle kills the first goblin by shooting a well-aimed arrow from afar. Gathalimay kills the second goblin, but misdirects and makes it look like Thag scores the kill. Thalie kills the third with her Lance of Faith and Kalpa kills the fourth. Kalpa immediately investigates the chest and finds assorted clothes and pocket items, but no gold. Gathalimay checks the dead goblins and finds 50 gold and the keys to cells. He lets the prisoners go free. The party tries to get information from them, but can only learn that they were dragged in and imprisoned, and then taken to the open area of the cavern and used as a power source.

Once the prisoners have fled, the party retraces its steps. Here it disagrees as to how to proceed. Gathalimay, Kalpa and Nymm want to go towards the open cavern to find Lucy. Merielle, Thag and Thalie want to head in the opposite direction to find water. The party splits up.

Thalie, Thag and Merielle head back towards the bridge. Along the hallway there is a small door. Thag opens the door to reveal an anteroom with a tapestry on the wall. Candles are burning. He pushes the tapestry aside and it reveals a small chamber behind, with a dais and a small decorative urn made of solid metal. The urn is decorated with runes and sigils, but Thalie can’t discern its purpose. She puts it into her bag to study it later.

Gathalimay, Kalpa and Nyym follow the corridor in the opposite direction and hook back. They come into a room and peer over the edge of another cliff to see a pit down 20-39 feet. They continue down a set of stairs, down an incline and stop at the top of a second set of stairs. They can make out a big room, with 6 robed figures standing within. At the end of the room is a large sarcophagus. They retreat briefly, and Kalpa decides to go back and find the other three. He will try to convince them that he has found water so they will come down here and help in the fight.

Kalpa retraces his steps and finds Thalie, Thag and Merielle in the hallway. Kalpa bluffs that he has found water, but not well and the three refuse to return with him. Kalpa goes back to Gathalimay and Nyym.

Thag, Thalie and Merielle continue searching the passageways. They are doing fine until they come upon a large ogre leaning up against the wall. They try to sneak by, but the ogre wakes up. The group fights, and the ogre offers to let the three retreat peacefully, but they persist. Thalie finally takes him down.

Meanwhile, Gathalimay, Kalpa and Nyym try to decide what to do. Kalpa manages to persuade the other two to attack. The plan is to bottleneck the robed figures in the room or on the stairs so they can kill them.

Kalpa starts down the stairs (with Gathalimay and Nyym staying out of sight). As Kalpa enters the room he tries to convince the robed figures that he is a shardmind defiler. He starts into the room glowing, “I am the all powerful wizard…. follow me or die.” All 6 robed figures turn and face Kalpa, blankly. “I don’t think you understand,” continues Kalpa, “I will kill you all.” The robed figures move forward and close around Kalpa. Nyym assumes his shade form. Gathalimay starts casting his wizard curtain.

Kalpa bellows, “This is your final chance!” and shardswarms 3 spaces forward. The robed figures move forward towards the stairs, completely ignoring Kalpa.

Gathalimay and Nyym take off running.

For their efforts Gathalimay, Nyym and Kalpa earn 200xp; Thag, Thalie and Merielle earn 350xp, and each earns 10% bonuses for the coins

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Session 10: February 11, 2012
"Somewhere between a throng and fucked."

The Stairs

It is pitch black as the hole behind the party closes. Kalpa glows softly and the party can barely make out the stairs. They make their way down the stairs and find a door and a tunnel. It is quiet and the party decides to take a short breather and heal up.

All of a sudden the party hears voices from down the tunnel. There is one loud booming voice that is angrily cursing and another higher-pitched voice that sounds like a goblin. The louder voice is saying “….finally found the last piece… can get out of this place… get out of here…”

Sam picks up a rock and throws it down the tunnel shouting “Hello, we have a wizard who’s hungry!”

There is a moment of silence and then the loud voice shouts “find out what that was, take that an him out of here!”

Gathalimay casts out his seeing eye towards the light at the end of tunnel and it reveals several robed figures with spears climbing up the passageway. Sam walks around Kalpa and says “I’m a representative of the Bishma Boys Fighter Society and I’m selling pocket jerky!” He notices a very large ogre and a few small goblins. Further back he can see a few goblins moving what appears to be a human bound Ewok style. Sam falters, “we’re gonna need more jerky.”

Gathalimay hypnotizes the first goblin and makes him turn around and kill the goblin standing behind him. The second goblin dies. Another one moves up to take his space. Kalpa taunts “he’s gonna kill you next” and the third goblin hits the first.

The big guy growls “drop him, take the box and go” and the goblins drop the human and start to move off.

Thag checks the door for heat (which seems to be remarkably room temperature) and slowly opens it. He moves down the hall around the corner where he sees another room, a door jamb and some broken furniture in the room. A second room off of this one reveals a storage room full of shelves covered in mold.

Sam attempts to slap the goblin with his pocket jerky as Gathalimay mocks the first goblin.

Thag continues down the hall, charges through the third door and continues on through the maze.

Sam sticks the jerky in his mouth, pulls out his axe and says “It’s business time!” A spear comes through the crowd of goblins and misses Sam.

At this point the human becomes conscious and begins to struggle with his bonds.

Merielle launches a careful attack which kills the first goblin. Sam sees Thag come up from behind the goblins (he has followed the maze all the way around) and cleave two goblins at the rear. Kalpa teleports down the hallway among the goblins. The big guy yells “shit never mind that – get over here.”

Gathalimay runs down the hall to get to Thag. Thag brutally slams the big ogre down and then runs to the human and cuts the ropes that bind him. Thag vaguely recognizes the human as someone from the caravan. He thinks his name was Nyym. He gives him the silver tip on his horn to arm him.

Sam screams “save the cow man!” and scoops Thalie up running towards the maze, to circle around and help Thag. The ogre spars with Nyym and Thag. Merielle takes another goblin out. A few seconds later Thalie runs into the room and heals Thag. Gathalimay has followed Sam and Thalie. He bursts from the hallway. Sam kills a goblin, but three more retaliate against him and he goes down unconscious. Thalie uses her lance of gaith to kill a goblin and Kalpa takes down the final goblin. The ogre takes a swing at Sam’s unconscious body and in a horrible instant Sam is dead.

In a rage, Thag kills the ogre. Once the ogre is dead, Thag says a prayer to the Raven Queen for Sam’s soul. Kalpa looks for the box that the ogre was protecting and finds it full of armor.

The party introduces itself to Nyym, who was exploring around town and got caught by the goblins and ogres. He has been down here in the tunnel for a while, but he doesn’t know how long.

The party decides to retreat back to the room with the broken furniture and the storeroom since it has only one exit, and can be guarded while the party rests. They take Sam’s body with them, wrapped in leathers found in the box. Merielle, Kalpa and Nyym search the store room. In the process they disturb the mold spores which have a toxic effect (-3 to attacks). The remainder of the party stays in the other room and tries to rest.

Nyym goes to move the bodies out of the tunnel and into an alcove. Gathalimay goes to help him. Nyym gets Gathalimay talking, and Gath spills the party’s secrets. Then Nyym and Gath return to the room to take a rest.

A few hours pass uneventfully. At one point there are sounds of people passing through the tunnel, but the party is undisturbed in the side room.

For its efforts, the party earns 300xp with 10% extra for each gold coin.

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Session 9: January 14, 2012
Attack of the Skittles.

The Arena

The party, save Kalpa heads back to the yurt following their win in the arena. Kalpa watches the remaining matches, noting that the Shardmind team seems to have a plan and stick to it in battle. At the end of the day, the standings are as follows:

Flock of Seagulls defeat the Imtari Immolators
Shambala Shardminds defeat the Dialya Destroyers
Pidry Pounders defeat the Hansa Harriers

The Yurt

Sam roasts the Admiral for dinner and keeps the Crodlu tail as a remembrance. He gives the beak and claws to Merielle who fashions herself a necklace and the Admiral’s skin to Thalie who sets about drying it to make boots. Thag prays to the Raven queen to accept the soul of the dear departed Crodlu.

The party sleeps and the night passes without event, though the rain continues to fall. Kalpa and Thag stand guard and have a philosophical/theological discussion about the Raven queen and soul.

The morning dawns and finds Thalie hard at work distilling two more leaves into potions which she distributes to each member of the party.

Thag pulls another vial out of his vestments and gives it to Sam, encouraging him to drink it for strength. Sam, unsure of its contents, spills it on the floor and Gathalimay tries to catch whatever drops he is able to. Gathalimay feels oddly strengthened by the contents.

Evening comes and the team heads over to the arena for the evening’s matches.

The Arena

The matches are as follows:

Pidry Pounders vs. Imtari Immolators
Bishma Flock of Seagulls vs. Shambala Shardminds

The party watches the first fight, enthusiastically placing bets. The Pounders carry the day lining a few of the party members’ pockets with extra gold.

Then the time comes, and the Flock of Seagulls take position in the arena. They await the entry of the Shardminds. Sam begins the fight by throwing his axe at the first Shardmind to enter the arena. It misses, but he uses his telekinetic powers to neatly pull the axe back to his hand.

The first Shardmind darts forward and attacks Sam. Thag rushes in and knocks a few prone. Gathalimay’s concerted effort lends both Sam and Thag extra strength. Thag injures one Shardmind with his great cleave, and Sam puts the hurt on another.

The crowd is starting to get all riled up, cheering the fighters on.

Thag uses his devastating strikes and manages to reduce one of the Shardminds to crystalline bits and pieces, and its life light goes out. Merielle reduces a second to a pile of rubble with a careful attack.

If possible the crowd gets even more wound up.

Thalie begins to chat for a sacred flame to aid the party in battle, but before the flame can light there is a loud sound and a meteor crashes to the ground, leaving an enormous crater and reducing the Shardmind to dust. The party members are thrown backward from the force.

The crowd and the party stare in stunned silence. Merielle notices that the rubble in one corner of the arena is disturbed and reveals a stairwell leading underground.

Gathalimay recovers quickly and steps forward, arms outstretched and screams “My meteor minions!”

Suddenly the crowd comes alive and screams of “Defiler!” “Defiler wizard!” are heard. Thag rushes forward towards the remaining Shardminds.

Kalpa, to the astonishment of the party, screams “Gathalimay grant me the ability” and glows softly.

More meteors crash to earth. One reduces another Shardmind to dust. It is pandemonium now with many members of the crowd rushing onto the field towards Gathalimay. One of the remaining Shardminds screams “Kill the Defiler!” and swarms Gathalimay.

Another meteor crashes down, killing the Shardmind in pursuit of Gathalimay and throwing the crowd back.

Merielle grabs Gathalimay, and fey steps down the stairs. She pauses for a moment to slap Gathalimay and then they continue down the stairs. Sam grapples with the last Shardmind, trying to bring him along on the party’s retreat. Thalie follows Merielle and Gathalimay down the stairs, and Thag follows her. Kalpa charges the Shardmind, who manages to break free from Sam. Sam heads down the stairs. The crowd charges at Kalpa who screams “My master will be back to defile your souls!” and then swarms down the stairs. Another meteor crashes down and seals the rubble over the hole, plunging the party into darkness on the stairwell.

For it’s effort’s, the party receives 250xp, with 10% bonuses for those receiving gold coins.

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Session 8: December 10, 2011
The one in which Gathalimay wets himself.

The Arena

The party has just finished fighting and the crowd is excited and cheering.

Then all of a sudden, there is a collective groan and the crowd becomes sedated, like the onset of a sudden headache. The announcer makes some pronouncement of the group’s win citing “unorthodox tactics” and “unfair playing” but affirms the win. The crowd disburses.

The Admiral snacks on some of the dead goblins.

At the end of the day the results are in:

The Bishma Flock of Seagulls beat the Xephanan Chewers
The Imtari Immolators beat the Hansa Harriers
The Pidry Pounders beat the Dialya Destoyers
The Shambala Shardminds beat the Meerkish Manglers.

The Xephanan Chewers and the Meerkish Manglers are out of the tournament. The other two losing teams buy their way back in for the fights the next day.

The group returns to the yurt to rest and sleeps the night through, with Kalpa standing guard.

The next morning

The uncharacteristic rain continues, and the barrels fill up. As the party emerges from the yurt, they notice that the people seem more animated today. The group decides to pay a visit to Felix.

After crossing the bazaar, they find that Felix’s tent is no longer where it was the previous day. There is just empty space. Johnson is standing around.

The group asks Johnson about where Mr. Felix has gone and he answers that Mr. Felix has left. Apparently Mr. Felix is unhappy with Johnson who “borrowed” an artifact that Mr. Felix had and used it to cause the rainstorm. The rainstorm has interfered with whatever plans the defiler wizard has, and so Mr. Felix has decided to move on.

The group inquires what Johnson’s skill set is, and it turns out that he has been a caravan master in the past. The party has a brief discussion and invites Johnson to join the party. Johnson will watch the kanks and remain with the party until the tournament concludes and then the party will employ Johnson as a caravan master to make its next journey.

The party heads over to the arena to check out the day’s fights.

The match-ups are posted as follows:

Bishma Flock of Seagulls v. Imtari Immolators
Dialya Destroyers v. Shambala Shardminds
Hansa Harriers v. Pidry Pounders

Thalie and Thag escort Johnson back to the yurt. Sam, Gathalimay and Merielle wander the bazaar looking for some armor for Sam. Kalpa wanders off in search of the shardminds. Sam ends up purchasing some clam shell gauntlets and gets Merielle some brown crodlu boots (which she disposes of without Sam’s knowledge).

The Arena, sunset

At sunset, the party heads over to the arena. Today the announcer asks the Bishma Flock of Seagulls to let the other party enter the ring first. The Immolators are announced and enter the ring. The team is made up of six lizard men, five of whom carry spears and 1 carrying what looks like the large serrated tooth of a large carnivorous animal.

The dragonborn take up formation. Thag charges into the arena and strikes first. Sam runs and leaps off the wall launching himself at the closest lizard man. Several of the lizard men launch a fire-breathing attack that wounds the party.

Only a few moments into the fight, with his curses failing, Gathalimay retreats to the far corner of the arena where he falls on the ground crying while wetting himself. The crowd throws rotten produce at him and begs for a fight.

Meanwhile Sam grapples with one of the lizard men and throws it into one of the fire columns in the arena. The team isn’t faring so well though.

In the pity round the team makes some slight advances: Merielle knocks one of the lizard men off the wall and Kalpa manages to bloody another one. Finally two are dead and one is unconscious. Two walk of the field onto the sidelines in surrender.

The Admiral valiantly fights against the lizard man with the serrated tooth, but the lizard man bests him. Sam and the party reel in shock as the Admiral expires. The last lizard man walks off the field in surrender and the Flock of Seagulls is declared the winner.

For its efforts the party earns 250xp, with 10% bonuses to those with gold coins.

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Session 7: November 12, 2011
Why do demons always taste burnt?

The Yurt

Morning dawns. It isn’t bright and sunny today, but rather cool and overcast with rain in the forecast. Thalie sets up some makeshift rain barrels behind the yurt in hopes of catching some of the water to defray party costs.

The party wakes up terribly thirsty and down, even though they have been drinking enough water. They can’t think of a reason for this, and even Thalie can’t really understand what is going on.

As the party gathers in front of the yurt, they see that Seurat and his caravan are ready to leave. Gathalimay asks Kalpa to ask Seurat one final question – if Seurat can decipher any of the dwarven symbols on the object. Kalpa goes to ask him.

As Kalpa leaves, a Tiefling approaches the yurt, smiling. He announces that his name is Johnson and that he bears greetings from Lord Felix who dwells in a large white tent at the far end of camp. Lord Felix requests the honor of the party’s company.

Thag elects to stay at the yurt and Sam, Gathalimay, Merielle and Thalie head off in search of the white tent. They wander north, through the bazaar until they arrive at a large white tent guarded by a couple of well spoken ogres.

Mr. Felix’s Abode

As the party enters the white tent, they have the feeling that something isn’t quite right – the inside of the tent is far larger than the outside would appear. The tent is also very clean. In the center of the room, a large demon sits in an opulent chair. He welcomes the party and indicates that he has a proposition.

He shares that the first match (to take place later today) is between the party and the Xephanan Chewers, a group of goblins. Mr. Felix is a man of substantial means, and he earns those means through taking bets on large events. He would like the party to display their showmanship and perhaps feint losing in order to encourage more betting. The party wants to know what is in it for them. Mr. Felix questions the group about its health. He notes that something is off in the water supply and that he can provide the group with both a cure, and fresh water for the remainder of the tournament if they choose to work with him. He gives Thalie some leaves which She recognizes as being from a Tree of Life, a powerful source of magic.

Merielle is not interested in working with Mr. Felix nor in fighting with an unfair advantage, even when he offers her an eladrin bow. The party agrees to consider the proposition and to return within a few hours to give Mr. Felix an answer.

Meanwhile Kalpa meets Seurat. He recognizes the symbols and believes they say something about water being the giver of life, destroyer of stone.

The Yurt

Back at the yurt, Thalie brews some tea for the party. After drinking the tea, the party begins to feel better. Everyone shares what they have learned.

The teams in the tournament are:
1. Dialya Destroyers – an 8-9 foot human, some animals, orcs
2. Hansa Harriers – human, elf, dwarf, mull, half-orcs
3. Meerkish Manglers – ogres and orcs
4. Pidry Pounders – mulls
5. Shambala Shredders – shardminds
6. Imtari Immolators – dragonborn
7. Xephanan Chewers – goblins
8. Bishma Flock of Seagulls

When Kalpa relays what he has learned from Seurat, Sam places the object in a cup of bad water to see if it will reverse the effects.

Kalpa expresses interest in meeting Mr. Felix. He and Thag leave in the direction of the white tent.

Gathalimay and Merielle wander camp. Sam goes to chat up the ogres guarding the white tent. As the sky gets darker and darker, Thalie stays behind to distill a few of the leaves.

The Camp

Gathalimay and Merielle try to slink around the camp unobtrusively, and note that pretty much everyone looks as though they are ailing. The merchants are less active in the market, many just sitting in their stalls listlessly. The other teams seem to be drinking more water in an attempt to hydrate, and there are no more friendly competitions. Everyone is subdued. The only exceptions are the Shardmind team (because they don’t need to drink so haven’t ingested the water) and the mull team. The ogre guards seem unaffected by whatever is ailing the rest of the camp. Gathalimay speaks with them and learns that they love his music and that they report to boss “Bignose.”

Mr. Felix’s Domicile

Thag and Kalpa head over towards Mr. Felix’s tent. Kalpa wants additional water before giving his answer. Thag notices that the merchants closest to Mr. Felix’s tent seem less ill. Kalpa asks Mr. Felix how he knows it’s the water, and Mr. Felix remarks that he can taste the difference in the local water, but that he doesn’t know poisons. Thag suggests that if Mr. Felix heals everyone in the camp, they will spend more money in betting on the fights. Kalpa tries to communicate silently with Mr. Felix about whether he knows any more information about the shardminds. Kalpa also tells Mr. Felix that he will fight for him in exchange for more information. He does this telepathically, so Thag is unaware of the offer.

Mr. Felix finds Kalpa’s offer intriguing and as a sign of good faith he shares that he knows a defiler arrived at the camp a few days ago and suspects that it is he who is poisoning the water, but that he doesn’t know of any further plans.

As Kalpa and Thag leave, Sam arrives to parley with the ogres.

Sam chats up the ogres to try and learn more information about Mr. Felix. He learns that he never fights and never gets mad. Sam proposes a friendly fight with the ogres that they will supply him with water if he wins. Sam returns for the fight with Admirial Pigglesworth as his second. It’s a good fight, and Sam manages to knock one unconscious, but ultimately can’t quite best them. He earns 350xp for his efforts.

Meanwhile, back at the yurt, Thalie has distilled 3 bottles of a light healing potion (10HP) from one of the leaves. There are 4 leaves remaining. It has also started raining and her barrels appear to be working, collecting a few barrels worth of water.

The Entrance to Water Storage

Gath suggests that the group try and learn more from the ogres near the water. The plan is that Gath will distract the ogres by singing, and Thag, Kalpa and Thalie will cover Merielle as she fey steps beyond the ogre guard. The plan works and Merielle gets down the stairs and into a hallway that smells of water and ogre. As she turns the corner she runs into an ogre. The ogre swipes at her and she runs, back up the stairs busting through the ogres. The ogres begin arguing among themselves, which the party uses as cover to retreat to the yurt.

The Tournament

As the sun sets, the party heads over to the tournament ready to fight. The Bishma Flock of Seagulls enter the arena first, followed by the goblins. The party decides to launch a surprise attack on the goblins as they enter.

The fighting is hard, especially with the goblin archers atop the wall, but the party fights well against the underboss, three skull cleavers and 2 sharp shooters. It is Thag who ultimately finishes off the underboss, and he cuts of his head and struts around with it to cheers from the crowd.

The party earns 200xp for its efforts, and 10% bonuses for gold coins.

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Session 6, October 9, 2011
Where the DM wants to kill us with the night teeth.

Gathalimay stuns everyone with his mastery of rap. as he narrates the adventures up until now.

Early morning

After the previous evening’s adventures the party wakes in the early morning. Acne still hasn’t returned. The party goes off in search of water and potential training facilities for the upcoming fights. Gathalimay decides to stay by the yurt and sing, hoping passersby will grace him with donations.

Sam purchases a few days worth of water, and notices that Seurat is doing the same. Seurat reports that he is leaving and heading north with the caravan; apparently Saharabellum was just a stop on a longer journey. Sam tries to negotiate with Seurat for passage after the tournament. Kalpa asks Seurat if he is aware of anywhere where the shardminds live together and Seurat is not. The group continues to barter with Seurat and manages to purchase 5 kanks for 6 of the diamonds it recovered from the goblins. The party follows Seurat back to his quarters and takes possession of the kanks.

Now that the group has kanks, it decides to move the yurt to the outskirts of the encampment, near a large boulder pile, so as to “stable” the kanks near the yurt. Once settled, Sam and the Admiral head out in search of someone to teach mounted combat. Kalpa and Gathalimay wander the areas in search of the competition for the tournament. Thag and Thalie stay at the yurt to guard the kanks. Merielle heads back over to the refuse pile to see if Acne is there.

Kalpa and Gathalimay learn a bit about the other teams. One is a team of shardminds, another of goblins, another mixed team, and one with ogres that is favored to win the tournament. Kalpa explores the possibility of poisoning the ogres.

Meanwhile, back at the yurt, Thag and Thalie are watching the kanks when Acne comes back. He looks terrified and tells a mostly incoherent story about the night coming alive with teeth and chasing monsters. He is unable to be more specific and after telling his tale is exhausted and falls asleep. Merielle returns from the refuse pile with a toe from the half-orc to feed Acne when he wakes up from his nap.

Evening

Sam returns after his riding lesson, and Kalpa returns after searching out the ogre camp which is located near the arena at the opposite side of the encampment. Sam decides to stay at the yurt and rest up while the rest of the group follows Acne to the refuse pile to see if there are any new bodies. There are none, and Acne takes a thigh to eat later. The group beds down for the night.

The Wee Hours

The party is awakened by a blood curdling scream. All at once, Acne is dead and the yurt is alive with shadows. They are not undead, but feed off of other shadows and hate bright light. Kalpa and Thalie begin to use their radiant damage to fend off the enemy. It is Sam who kills the first, and Kalpa takes the second after it has melded with Thalie. Thalie kills one using a divine glow and Merielle kills another with her deadly careful attack.

When the shadows have all been killed, the group buries Acne. Gathalimay sings a heartfelt song. The party reluctantly tries to get more rest before morning, and Merielle stands guard, wary of night shadows. The rest of the night passes without incident.

The next morning

On the final morning before the tournament the party sets out to explore and compete in the various contests. Gathalimay, Merielle and Thalie head for the bazaar. Sam and the Admiral go back to training and make good progress. Kalpa leaves in search of herbs and healers, potentially for nefarious purposes. Thag hangs out with the kanks and prays to the Raven queen.

For its efforts in subduing the shadows the party earns 200xp, with a 10% bonus for each gold coin.

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Session 5: September 10, 2011
Functionality

As always, Gathalimay summarizes the previous session’s adventures in song.

Mountainside

At dawn the caravan begins to assemble again and start the journey up the mountain. The party is bringing up the rear, and navigates the winding roads up the mountain. Up near the top rim of the mountain, the party can see a few onlookers. The roads are narrow and steep and the party is riding pretty much single file with Kalpa taking the lead and Thalie and Lucy bringing up the rear.

All of a sudden the party can see several large dust devils approaching with intent. This collection of small tornadoes hits the middle of the caravan throwing travelers off kanks and throwing kanks down the mountainside. Gathalimay is familiar with the dust devils and hurriedly informs the group that they are flighty, impulsive creatures of the wind and earth. He cautions the group to try and slow them down or weaken them.

Merielle rushes up the mountainside, with Sam riding the Admiral up after her. Both begin battle with the devils. Meanwhile, Gathalimay intimidates one of the dust devils. Thalie remains down on the trail and uses her longbow with some success. Thag lumbers up the mountain. Kalpa remains on his kank and charges forward on the path up the mountain. Lucy teleports away from the scene.

The next bit passes in a blur. The Admiral battles fiercely, the party struggles to overcome the devils. Thag undertakes a sisyphusean effort, repeatedly charging up the hill at the dust devils and thrown back down by their strong winds. Thalie manages to kill the first dust devil, Kalpa’s radiant damage overcomes the second, and the Admiral earns his keep killing the third in a deadly pounce. However, it is Gathalimay who finally confuses the dust devils with his taunts and barbs and questions, at which point the remaining two devils retreat.

There is applause from the top of the mountain, and cheers from the onlookers. The caravan slowly rights itself and continues up the mountain. The party notices that Lucy is standing atop the mountain with the onlookers. No one has been seriously injured in the scuffle.

Saharabellum

The caravan summits the mountain island. The party first notices the ruins of a good sized keep, as well as the tents pitched all over. The island is alive with activity as a bazaar is in progress.

The party finds a spot to set up the yurt near the arena. Kalpa and Gathalimay go to find Seurat to take possession of the water and use it to pay the entry fee to the tournament. The other party members explore the camp, in part looking for the big blue tent that Lucy says contains the companions she is supposed to join. The see a variety of small groups gathered and informal competitions: crodlu races, a bard-off, archery contests, and wrestling. Thalie notices at the edge of camp some figures carrying a body and watches as they throw it down on a pile of bodies. Merielle is preoccupied – she notices that the body being carried casts no shadow, though the figures carrying it do. Thag announces that he sees a big blue tent. Done exploring for now, the party returns to the yurt to rest up from the journey.

Meanwhile, Kalpa and Gathalimay find Seurat who is glad to see them. He wishes for them to take the water, but Kalpa and Gathalimay can’t take the 100 gallons by themselves. Kalpa manages to persuade Seurat to let them borrow a kank to transport the water. Seurat reluctantly agrees and Kalpa and Gathalimay head over to the entrance. They register as the team from Bishma under the name Flock of Seagulls and learn that the fights will commence in 3 days, in the evening.

Kalpa talks to the assistants as they unload the water from the kank. He asks whether there are any other shardminds about and the assistant tells him that there is a team of them scheduled to compete in the tournament. Kalpa follows the assistants and the water, he is stopped by two guards at the top of a staircase that leads down into the tower. Kalpa tries to intimidate the guards to let him pass, but the guards are unmoved. Kalpa gives up and he and Gathalimay return the kank to Seurat.

Camp

After resting and eating the group decides to enter some of the friendly competitions and perhaps make a bit of money in the process.

Sam practically drags the Admiral to the crodlu races, and the party follows to watch. Sam rides Pigglesworth and the two together manage to best three other crodlu racers. Sam is ecstatic!

Next the party heads over to the bard-off to cheer on Gathalimay as he out-bards the other bards. It’s a close call, but Gathalimay bests them all with his dancing feet. Several members of the party win bets that they made on Gathalimay’s win.

Sam and Thag are anxious to enter the wrestling tournament, so the party heads there next. Sam and Thag work together and handily beat all their opponents. Again, members of the party win some wagers.

Finally the party heads over to where the archers are congregating. Both Thalie and Merielle manage a decent showing, and earn the party a bit more gold.

From time to time, the party notices that there are a few unarmed humans in robes and hoods that seem to appear wherever they go. Merielle points out that these robed figures are the ones she saw carrying the bodies. The party discusses this after the archery and decides to go check out the area where the bodies are. Merielle and Kalpa look for the body that cast no shadows, while Thalie keeps an eye out for the robed humans.

Merielle and Kalpa find the spot and there are 4 dead bodies, or rather parts of dead bodies. On the top rests the non-shadow caster. Merielle sneaks closer to the body and notices a movement at the edges. She manages to stay hidden in the shadows and spots a cobald hacking bits and pieces off the body. Kalpa comes forward and intimidates the cobald. He learns that the cobald’s name is Acne and that he has been here for about two years. Meanwhile Merielle examines the body. It appears to be a half orc, most probably the progeny of a human raped by an orc. The body has some strange claw marks on it, but they don’t look like those created by talons, more like those made with something razor-like or metal. There seems to be something supernatural about the body.

Kalpa learns very little else from Acne, but resolves to take him with the party as a useful spy. He manages to intimidate him and with Merielle’s help ensures he won’t be nibbling on party members.

The party decides to head back to the yurt for the night. As they approach, they see the robed humans in front of the yurt. The party gathers protectively around Lucy, but Lucy walks over to the humans. One of them leans close to where Lucy’s ear would be and whispers something to her. Lucy nods her head in agreement, confirming that these are the men she is supposed to meet. She says goodbye to the party and departs with the men. Kalpa sends Acne after them to learn where they go and to listen to their conversation.

_The party receives 200xp for combat, plus 10% bonuses for those receiving extra coins. _

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Session 4: August 13, 2011
On the road again...

The Yurt

The party is gathered in the yurt, catching its breath from the evening’s adventures. Gathalimay pulls out his lute and summarizes the group’s frustrations in song.

The group decides to renew the search for Lucy, since traveling further with the caravan without their charge is pointless. Thag and Kalpa remain in the yurt to watch over the sleeping Helga. Thalie, Merielle, Sam and Gathalimay head out to search for Lucy. Merielle picks up tracks and the group takes off. The wind is still howling when the group reaches the edges of camp, near some large refuse piles, where the tracks end. Sam hides in the refuse pile. Gathalimay calls out to Lucy, and the group hears Lucy’s voice in their heads. She is afraid of Kalpa. Thalie assures Lucy that Kalpa is back in the yurt and asks her to appear before them. Sam tries to intimidate Lucy into appearing and suddenly she claws upwards from the sand. Merielle asks her to rejoin the group. Lucy declines.

Thalie tries to ascertain what her apprehension is and Lucy responds that she knows that the group can’t watch over Kalpa all the time. Sam bursts out of the refuse pile and flexes to show his brawn and pledges to protect Lucy. Gathalimay agrees, and says that Lucy should hide under her cloak, and Kalpa can travel separately from the group. After more consideration, Lucy agrees to return to the group.

Gathalimay returns to the yurt to talk with Kalpa, who graciously agrees to travel separately from the party. The rest of the party then returns to the yurt to rest before departure. It is approximately 3:30am.

To soon, the noises of the camp being broken are heard. Thalie stays with Helga and Lucy to get them set up and ready to travel. Gathalimay tells Lucy that Kalpa will travel separately from them. The storm seems to have broken, leaving everything dust covered. The kanks shuffle restlessly.

Seurat accounts for everyone and then the caravan begins to backtrack out of the canyon. Once outside, it turns in a northerly direction and continues undisturbed until midday. At noon, the caravan takes a break to water the animals and rest from the heat.

Three days of travel pass uneventfully. Kalpa falls in with Seurat and they seem to get along nicely, talking and laughing.

Cliffside

On the afternoon of the third day, the group is approximately halfway to Saharabellum. The caravan halts at the edge of a cliff. Seurat sends the slaves off to investigate how to scale the cliff face, and the group sets up camp for the evening. Seurat explains that the surrounding area used to be an inland sea, but that it dried up one afternoon during the course of a wizard fight. What remains now is a steep cliff, down into a bed, and in the middle of this bed rises a steep mountain that once was an island. Seurat indicates that the group will have to scale the cliff face, cross the bed and then journey up the mountain island to reach Saharabellum at the top. Seurat tells the group that he hasn’t been through this part of the world before, but something about that doesn’t sound quite right to the party.

Gathalimay leaves to find Kalpa and learns that Seurat used to be a slave to a wizard, and remembers very little from his childhood.

Once the yurt is set up, Thalie pulls out the map and other objects retrieved from the goblins. She tries to determine the use of such items, and notes that the one with dwarven writing has a magical purpose. However, these days, most people avoid any magical objects for fear of being considered wizard. Gathalimay returns to the discussion and asks Lucy if she understands any of the dwarven writing. She does not.

The group also asks Lucy how they will know who she is supposed to be meeting and when she will be safe to hand off. Lucy tells the group that Lucius has given her a secret passphrase that her allies will know.

Sam goes out to help Seurat and settle the Admiral for the evening. Gathalimay sings the group a ballad of Ahdryatmin, a sad story of a world dying. The story tells of the few good wizards trying to save the world and a sorceress who sacrificed her own life to be ward over an area which is now the only green area in the midst of the desert world.

Gathalimay, Thalie, Lucy and Helga stay in the yurt and Sam, Thag and Merielle decide to go explore the cliff face.

Down the cliff

Sam astonishes the group with his master climbing skills, doing daring feats of acrobatics down his climbing rope to the midpoint. Merielle keeps pace behind and climbs safely down to join him. Thag climbs much more roughly and by halfway down is sorely in need of a rest. He attempts to tie off on the rock face and falls when his arms give out. Sam heroically cuts his rope, falling down to where Thag is and tries to swing a grappling hook into the side of the cliff to catch himself. Merielle saves the day by lassoing both of them. Sam ties Thag off while hanging upside down. The group adds safety ropes.

They resume climbing and Thag falls again. Sam manages to grab him by the horn, but noticing they are only 10 feet off the bottom of the cliff, drops Thag down below. Merielle reaches the bottom. She notices that the earth is strange here – some parts a short distance from the cliff face are softer and churned up as if something has been tunneling. The ground starts moving a bit and Merielle swears she sees the sand churning a bit. The group scans the cliff face and can see no obvious way down for the caravan and decides to return to the yurt.

Camp

Meanwhile, back at camp, Thalie decides to join other members of the caravan. She heads to the common campfire where a half orc is telling a store about the battle fought here long ago. He talks of 2 wizards, the most powerful defiler wizards in the land, who sucked the very life out of the land with their spells. According to the half orc, the wizards originally came to the islands with armies of slaves and used the lifeblood of the slaves to fight. Eventually they ran out of slaves and began drawing on the life of the land and the sea. The sea creatures began to die, and the seas began to boil. The wizards waged war for 5 days straight, decimating the slaves and the sea. Finally, one wizard cast a meteor spell that bombarded the island, killing both himself and his adversary.

Thalie listens to the tale with interest and the pieces seem to be falling together. She wonders if Seurat was indeed a slave of one of these wizards and was here a long time ago. She realizes that these events took place a few hundred years ago, and that Seurat may be much older than the party realized.

While Thalie is occupied, Gathalimay and Helga share songs.

Nighttime falls and the party sleeps.

Just after the party falls asleep, there is a tremor under the yurt. Merielle wakes everyone up and the party runs out of the yurt. Something bursts through the ground, and the party sees 2 big scaly black animals burst out of the sand. Merielle shouts that they are Anakors, and that they must have tracked the scent of her blood through the sunset and followed her back to camp. The ground rumbles again and Thalie screams at Lucy to teleport out of the area. More Anakors burst out of the ground and attack Helga, who dies almost immediately.

Lucy is able to escape and the party begins to fight its 5 foes. After a few rounds of combat, Merielle manages to knock out 2 of the Anakors with her arrows. Both Thalie and Sam are grabbed by Anankors, and the group fears that they will be dragged under the sand. Someone summons Kalpa, as Lucy has teleported away from the group. Thag charges and knocks the Anakor off Thalie. Merielle’s arrow finds the one holding Sam. The Admiral rushes in and attacks the last Anakor, which burrows underground, taking Helga’s body with it. Kalpa retreats and goes to report the events to Seurat.

Thalie checks the corpses and finds nothing of interest. The group moves the yurt away from the hole in the ground created by the Anakors. Sam, Gathalimay, Thag, and Thalie sleep. Merielle stands guard and waits for Lucy to return.

Morning comes and Lucy returns at daybreak. Camp is struck. Seurat comes around to account for everyone and seems unconcerned about the evening’s events. He indicates that the slaves have found a way down and that the caravan will be departing shortly.

At the base of the mountain

The caravan ends up heading west, down what was once a shoreline, which is now a ramp into the bed. The group journeys across the bed without incident, and two days later finds itself at the base of the mountain. It looks like a volcano that has been flattened on top, and there appears to be a well traveled path up the side of the mountain. The caravan makes camp for the night, and prepares to start up the mountain the next morning.

Sam tries to tie up Thag and Thag and Sam get into some tussle (which no one quite understands) and both get in a few good hits. Merielle calms them down and the group settles into an uneasy sleep.

For the days adventures, the party gains 300xp each, plus a 10% bonus per coin.

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