Pruod-Skotran

Session 1: May 7, 2011

Everyone has been in Bishma for at least a short length of time and employed at the gliadatorial arena, save Kalpa who has been a frequent spectator.

The remainder of the party members (Thagrosh, Samuel, Thalie, Merielle and Gathalimay) have taken up residence in a yurt on the outskirts of town. Our story begins when the gladiators are summoned to the domicile of Alkor (the arena master) so that he can present the group with a proposal.

Alkor’s Domicile

Alkor’s domicile is a lavish, Arabian styled home. The table is overflowing with food, rich tapestries adorn the walls, and the room is full of pillows. Alkor is reclining at the head of the table and warmly welcomes the group. The party notices that the welcome has never been quite this warm before.

Alkor relates to the group that a patron has approached him and is interested in auditioning a group of gladiators. The patron may have an opportunity for the gladiators to work as a team and transport an object across the desert. More details are not known.

Alkor offers the group their regular wages to appear in two days time and fight some creatures of the desert. He cautions that the patron is looking for the group to work together as a team and will judge their worthiness by that. The fight will not be to the death, but if anyone is incapacitated or knocked unconscious the offer will be withdrawn.

Gathalimay suggests that he may know of another to bring to the fight. He leaves to approach Kalpa and invite him to join the group. The group prepares for the audition.

The Arena, 2 days later

The group arrives at the arena gates ready to fight. They can see that the arena has been prepared for creature combat. On the wall opposite the gate, 5 silt runners are chained to the wall. The arena has been modified so that there are a number of stone pillars (approximately 1.5 feet in height) as well as concentric rings of trenches and loosened dirt.

The silt runners are deep desert raiders that can easily run across loose silt and sand. They wear clothes, treasures and body parts of their previous kills. What they do not wear as trophies, they eat.

The chains release the silt runners and Kalpa leads the charge into battle with Samuel and Thag close behind. Gathalimay, being of fey origin, draws 3 of the 5 silt runners to him. Merielle and Thalie remain further back offering coverage with their bows and healing where needed. Merielle makes the first kill with her archer’s accuracy and Sam finishes off the final silt runner by striking it down with the corpse of one of its fallen brothers.

Alkor approaches the group at the gate and invites them to his abode later that evening, as well as paying each gladiator 5 ceramic tiles.

Alkor’s Domicile, later that evening

The group enters the domicile, and notes that it is arranged as it was previously. There is a new gentlemen waiting there for the party, Lucius. He introduces himself as the mysterious patron and notes that he has been watching the group for months, assessing their worthiness. He expresses disappointment in the lack of teamwork demonstrated with the silt runners but agrees to give the group another chance. He explains that in 1 month’s time, in the middle of the desert, there will be a large gladiator gathering. Lucius is looking for an envoy to travel there and deliver an object to an associate at the gathering.

Lucius tells the group that he has acquired a large creature of waste, a Kank, for tomorrow’s battle and hopes that the group will approach it with dedicated teamwork.

Somehow, the group convinces Lucius to increase the rate of pay and cut Alkor out of the deal altogether. So each gladiator can expect the standard 5 ceramic tiles, plus a 50 ceramic tile bonus if victorious tomorrow.

The Arena, the next morning

The party confers prior to entering the arena. Kalpa hopes to communicate telepathically with the Kank. Thag, Kalpa and Samuel agree to lead the charge, with Gathalimay following. Merielle and Thalie remain further back to provide coverage with long bows and healing. Finding difficulty in convincing the beetle not to fight, Kalpa taunts the beetle instead. Gathalimay attempts to intimidate the creature to some success. The party fights well, and the beetle is eventually felled with Thalie’s spiritual weapon.

Lucius is impressed by this victory and expresses his congratulations. He invites the party to join him later that evening at Alkor’s domicile to receive payment and discuss future opportunities.

The party receives 200xp for it’s combat, plus 10% bonuses for those receiving extra coins.

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Session 2: June 4, 2011
A grand adventure...

Alkor’s Domicile

The party has returned to Alkor’s domicile after fighting in the arena. It is evening. The table is laden with food, and the party awaits Lucius’ arrival. While waiting Gathilamay regales the group with a song.

After about an hour Lucius arrives. With him he has a human female, and another person of diminutive stature. The latter is cloaked and their features are completely hidden.

Lucius expresses his approval at the teamwork displayed in the arena, and notes that teamwork is vital to surviving in the desert. He tells the party about a grand tournament, Saharabellum: Battle of the Desert, to be held in the middle of the desert with representatives from all the cities in 2 weeks time. Lucius’ plan is to sponsor the party as the team from Bishma, and will cover entry fees (100 gallons of water) and allow the party to keep any winnings in trade for escorting the human female, Helga, and his daughter Lucy across the desert. He explains that his wife has died, and as he is involved in politics he is worried for the child’s safety.

Lucius has already arranged for the entire group to join a caravan presided over by the Caravan Master, Seurat. Seurat has come highly recommended with a good reputation for getting people across the desert safely despite the fact that he never hires caravan guards.

Lucius leaves the party to discuss the proposal and plans to return in an hour’s time. The party discusses the adventure and agrees to accept. Lucius returns, and when the party informs him that they accept the proposal he promises to send Seurat to them to confirm departure in a few days.

The Yurt on the Edge of Town, the next morning

The next morning there is a loud rustling outside the yurt. The party exits the yurt to find a surly dwarf, his skin brown and sun burnt and wrinkled like a grell. He introduces himself as Seurat. He will be providing the group with mounts – the majority of the party opt to ride kanks, but Samuel aspires to own and ride a crodlu. Seurat hopes that the group will be orderly and efficient and informs them that he will not tolerate questions. He expects them to leave two mornings hence, early in the day before the sun is high and the desert hot.

For the next two days the party prepares for its expedition. Samuel spends a large amount of time and money procuring a crodlu and riding lessons. He is so excited that he names his crodlu Admiral Pigglesworth, but just calls him The Admiral. Thalie spends her time praying to Avandra for luck on their journey.

The entire party exchanges their currency (tiles – the currency in Bishma) for gold and gemstones and water.

The morning of departure

A human slave comes to the yurt to retrieve the party. The party gathers in town to prepare for departure. Suddenly, out of no where, Sam enters, sort of riding backwards on an annoyed-looking crodlu. The crodlu attempts to bite Sam.

Lucius is nearby, cautiously watching the group. Helga and Lucy are already mounted on kanks. Thalie examines the other members of the caravan, but cannot find anything amiss. There are approximately 30 people in total in the Caravan, half are slaves of different races and the other half are people in robes assumed to be travelers. In addition to the kanks and crodlu there are inix loaded down with bags, water bladders, and supply crates. The kanks each have a few days of rations in case anyone gets separated from the group.

Seurat mounts his kank and starts leading the party generally northward out of Bishma.

Noon

As the sun is at its highest, Sam is startled as his saddle works itself loose and slips sideways. He is fairly dragged for a short distance until he can regain his seat. Everyone checks their saddles, but in general everyone is comfortable as kanks are known as the “Cadillac” of the animal world. The caravan slows down a bit in the hottest part of the day to avoid taxing the animals.

Sunset

At sunset, Seurat wheels the caravan to the West, leading it toward what looks like a box canyon. Some of the stone near the top of the canyon looks like it has been worked (chiseled) at one time or another. The group comes to full stop in the canyon, and Seurat surveys the land, looking in all directors. Back in the distance the party can see a sandstorm on the horizon, and Seurat hopes that the canyon will provide shelter from the storm. He mumbles something about convincing large ants to let them stay.

The party begins to descend to the bottom of the canyon and the smells of ammonia and refuse soon become nearly unbearable. The group can see large holes in the sides of the canyon, and endless refuse piles. The kanks resist each step of the way. Sam’s crodlu is dead set against going and makes his dissatisfaction known by biting Sam ferociously on the arm.

When they reach the bottom, Seurat orders the slaves to stop, tie up the animals, and to begin organizing the supplies. Seurat then climbs one of the canyon walls to survey the land.

The party, having brought its yurt, begins setting up for the evening. Lucy and Helga go into the yurt when it is erected, the better to stay out of sight. Sam attends to his crodlu. Kalpa stays outside the yurt, but attempts to communicate telepathically with Lucy and ask if her trip was tolerable.

Thalie tries to engage Lucy and Helga and is astonished when Lucy removes her hood. Lucy is in fact not a child, but a shardmind, one of the gemstone people.

Evening

Sam ties his crodlu to his ankle so it won’t run away in the evening and comes into the yurt. Kalpa remains outside and talks to the animals, in particular Sam’s crodlu who is a curious sort of animal with many questions.

Seurat appears at the yurt and comes inside. He says that something seems different in the canyon right now. He reports that there used to be large ants here, but that the place is deserted now. But despite his reservations, the dust storm is getting closer so he suggests they remain here for the night as it has provided him with shelter in the past.

Sam, Merielle and Kalpa decide to go exploring. Sam brings his crodlu along to the dismay of the other explorers. The group heads towards the north wall as the sandstorm begins howling. As they climb up the northern wall they approach the entrance to a tunnel. Kalpa starts glowing softly. The group enters the tunnel which extends back and opens into a large room. Merielle notices a bit of cloth sticking out of a crack in the wall. Kalpa hits the wall with his hammer, noting it is not quite solid, and the crack gets larger. Merielle pulls at the cloth and the crack closes. Kalpa hits the wall again and dislodges a section revealing a secret door. The piece of cloth falls on the ground.

The party peers in the door and finds a staircase leading downward. Approximately 30 feet down they hear shuffling and stone grating on stone. Clearly someone is here.

Meanwhile back at the yurt…

Thalie is attempting to learn more about Helga and Lucy. Helga, it turns out, got hired on to be Lucy’s servant, only a few weeks before the group’s departure. Thag tries to speak to Lucy and questions what people want from her. Lucy begins explaining that the shardmind are divided into several factions. Originally they were all part of the Living Gate, but when that gate shattered the different factions came into existence. Lucy said each of the factions believes that one day the Living Gate will be regenerated. There are those who believe this will only be accomplished if all shardmind are killed so the energy can go back to the gate. Lucy shares that Lucius has protected her since her mother perished in an attack, but is not her biological father. He is convinced that the Living Gate can be reproduced through some arcane working and has arranged for a more peaceful faction to collect Lucy at the tournament.

Back at the cave

The group reaches the bottom of the stairs and finds the landing a dead end. They are convinced that there must be a door, but cannot find it. Kalpa hits the walls with his hammer until he finds the wall that sounds the least solid. With a few good whacks, Kalpa reduces the wall to rubble. He goes to enter the wall and immediately gets shot with a crossbow by a goblin. The three agree to return to camp to gather the party and figure out how to proceed. Sam is overjoyed to find his crodlu waiting outside the cave despite the fact that it chewed through its rope tie.

The Yurt, Night time

Sam is off reporting the group’s findings to Seurat. Merielle and Kalpa return to the yurt. As soon as Kalpa enters the yurt, he begins to attack Lucy. Thag takes a swing at Kalpa to try and stop him. Kalpa hits her hard and Lucy fragments into shards and disappears. Helga runs from the yurt screaming. Merielle goes out to try and bring her back, Kalpa appears dazed and doesn’t seem to know what he has done.

Sam returns from talking to Seurat to find the commotion. Merielle and Thag are trying to find out what happened to Kalpa. Gathilamay recaps what the group has learned in song.

Thalie goes looking for Helga and finds her with some other travelers who have obviously sedated her. Thalie leads Helga back to the yurt and puts her to bed.

A few moments later a shriek comes from near the north wall. The party gathers its weapons and head in the direction of the cave, hoping to find Lucy there. At the base of the wall, they find an injured and unconscious gnome named Burlinghoff. They heal him to consciousness, and ask him what happened. In between sobs he tells the group that the goblins have taken his wife.

The group decides to continue on up into the tunnel and try to find Lucy and Burlinghoff’s wife. As they reach the bottom of the stairs, they see a goblin repairing the wall. He takes off and after a bit of stumbling (Thalie runs into Sam who has fallen asleep) the party follows him into the passage.

The passage is narrow and full of turns. The group quickly finds itself besieged by three goblins and has trouble rallying in the fight. As the party begins to make progress in fighting the three goblins, two more show up to reinforce the first three. After what seems like endless fighting and the last goblin has fled, the party journeys back upstairs into the big room to regroup and take a short rest.

The party receives 300xp for its combat with 10% bonuses for those who received coins

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Session 3: July 23, 2011
Let's all go kill some goblins...

The Cave Great Room

The party stops for a short while to rest and recuperate from its misadventures in the goblin tunnels. Gathalimay strums on his loot and sets the groups predicaments to song.

The party notices that this cavern upstairs is fairly rough hewn, almost as though it were naturally created, whereas the tunnels below are much smoother, straighter and definitely created by man. Perhaps the lower hallways and rooms were once part of a fortress or temple that fell in the time of the wizard wars. The party also takes notice of the other exit to the cavern down at the far end.

Merielle begins to scout ahead down the passage and around the corner and discovers a cavern larger than the one the party is in. She notices that the ammonia smell from outside and the entrance cavern is much stronger here. Gathalimay cautiously follows Merielle and explores the pile of rocks at the end of the cavern where it appears that a passageway has caved in. The rest of the party, save Kalpa, gradually arrives and begins to remove some of the rubble in an attempt to see what is beyond the cave in.

Kalpa heads back downstairs but finds no goblins lurking.

He returns upstairs and joins the party in the cavern just as scratching, clawing rumbling sounds are heard on the other side of the wall. The party thinks it sounds like ants, perhaps clawing their way out and abandons removing rocks.

The party regroups and decides to continue to pursue the gnome’s wife and to see if Lucy may be prisoner as well.

The Goblin Tunnel

To avoid the confusion in the narrow tunnel of the previous endeavor, Merielle and Sam go ahead down the passageway to explore while the remainder of the party stays at the tunnel entrance at the bottom of the stairs. Sam sparks up a sunrod and throws it down the hall. He doesn’t see any movement. Kalpa sneaks into the passageway behind Sam and Merielle. The three explore the area. Suddenly there is a whooshing sound and Kalpa is stabbed by a spear. Sam and Merielle rush to Kalpa and see a goblin down at the far end of the hallway with a ballista. The rest of the party, hearing the commotion rushes in prepared to fight.

Sam starts down the hallway towards the goblin but the goblin abandons his ballista and runs around the corner. Sam advances to the ballista and reloads it hoping to use it against the goblins. The party forward through the narrow tunnel. Once they turn the corner they can see the goblin ahead in an opening that appears to be a large room. The group advances toward the room, with Thalie taking control of the ballista. As the group enters the room the goblin turns and rushes through one of the sets of the double doors at either side of the room.

Thag takes off in pursuit of the goblin and tries to grab him. After a brief scuffle he drags the goblin back to the room by the scruff of his neck. Kalpa tries to communicate with the goblin, as he is the only member of the party who speaks goblin. He learns that the goblins are working for Big Chief Snaggletooth. They do indeed have prisoners that the goblin indicates are beyond the double doors – “dinner” he calls them. Kalpa also learns that there are more goblins beyond the doors. Finally Kalpa tells the group that the goblin has said that he has seen Lucy upstairs and outside the cave. The group believes him.

From behind the double doors the group hears the clattering of armor. Sam goes to check and reports that there are 4 goblins coming down the hallway. Thag ties up the goblin he has captured, and the party assumes battle positions. After a brief fight, the party has killed 3 of the armored goblins as well as the one tied up in the room. The one remaining gets away and runs down the hallway through another door.

Sam runs down the hallway, closes the door, and then kicks it in very dramatically. He throws his sunrod in for light, and the hallway appears to be empty. The group listens but can’t hear any sounds.

Sam picks up the sunrod and leads the party cautiously advances down this new hallway and sees a stairwell at the end of the hallway, leading back down into the depths of the cave. Light and faint voices waft up from below. Sam pushes ahead and begins to sneak down the staircase. As he enters the room he throws his sunrod down in between three goblins, in a room of eight. At the far end stands a Goblin Hexer, and the prone unconscious body of a female gnome is at his feet.

Then he charges the first goblin and pins him down. The party rushes in. Thag is able to kill two goblins right away and attack a third. Thalie foolishly jumps into the center of battle and tries to attack the 4 nearest goblins, sustaining injury. The party manages to kill all but the final goblin, the Goblin Hexer, who retreats through the door at the end of the room abandoning his prisoner. Thalie tries to open the door but it won’t budge. She turns her healer’s attention to the gnome and determines that though unconscious she appears to be in good health.

Merielle fey steps to the other side of the door and wrenches it open. As the party peers into the room beyond, they see what look like 7 large skulls from some ancient form of lizard. The Goblin Hexer runs to the far side of the room where he is partially obscured by one of the large skulls. Thag skirts the perimeter of the room to get to the far end, avoiding stepping in the middle of the skulls. Sam and Thalie move further into the room. The party hears clanging noises coming from the skull at the end of the room. Suddenly the skulls mouths open and breathe fire into the center of the room. Sam takes the most damage, but Thalie is hurt as well. Thag, still at the perimeter is unharmed.

Gathalimay sees the fire and, haunted by stories about dragons, grabs the gnome, taking off down the hallway running as fast as he can away from the scene. Those already in the room rush the Goblin Hexer and Merielle is able to kill him.

Thalie eagerly collects the goblin’s possessions. On him she finds a bag of pretty rocks and 14 cut diamonds the party estimates they are worth about 500 gold each. There is also a small package wrapped in leather. She opens the package and passes the contents to the other members of the party. It contains a rod about as long as a finger, four times as thick capped on each end in copper and a map of what appears to be Adar.

The group agrees that they should return to the caravan and figure out how to find Lucy next. The night is wearing on and morning can’t be far away.

The Yurt

After returning the gnome to her husband, the party gathers in the yurt for a rest and to discuss what comes next.

The party pores over the map they removed from the Goblin Hexer. Gathalimay knows that the map is of Adar as he recognizes some of the places marked on it. He has heard stories about Uutkleza, but remembers that it is a vast wasteland now. One of the other locations on the map is Ahdryatmin where a sorceress was supposed to have sacrificed herself to keep the area safe from defilers. He believes that the party is somewhere around the location on the map marked Qram, but has never heard of this place. The party begins to contemplate its next move.

For the days adventures, the party gains 400xp each, plus a 10% bonus per coin

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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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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 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 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 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 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 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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