The Tyrian Wastes

Tyrian Wastes (Part VI)
Our heroes meet their match

As our heroes recover from their fight with the undead and marvel at the interior of the Face in the Stone, Pieter is eager to explore the other passageway they had passed near the entrance. Yazu follows him back but heads outside to check on the rope they climbed down on. He seems especially worried that others may also be headed their way.

Pieter ventures down the other passage and discovers something they’ve never seen before: naturally flowing water. A deep channel passes right though the tunnel, slowly flowing in one direction.

While some in the party begin to leap across, Yazu decides to swim down and explore the water. After a couple dives he realizes that there seems to be a beast resting at the very bottom. It is motionless and seems to be some kind of insectoid shape. He point it out but only Nnttkk can seem to make it out through the water.

Meanwhile Llorana sneaks ahead to where the passageway opens up and finds more hedgekin hiding. They don’t notice her but seem to be anxiously awaiting enemies approaching and on shaman-looking one seems ready to hit a gong-like alarm as soon as they detect something approaching.

Pieter is eager to fight them but Yazu has second thoughts as he peers into the water and wonders if the beast could awake. The others are hesitant as well so all agree to head back.

Back in the temple room they had fought the undead in, the party is baffled as to how to get into the next door, which seems to require a key in the shape of a cross. As they ponder how they can gain entrance in the antechamber, a rival group of mercenaries arrive! A burly Goliath, a hefty mul, and Gith spellcaster from the Red Cord mercenary company size up our heroes and suggest they leave or else face a fight. It looks like House Shom hired out multiple groups to take on their task.

Llorana secretly uses her telekenetic grasp to pop the key into her concealed palm. Our heroes step aside and allow the big Goliath to walk past toward the electrified door, many of them readying to pounce when the Goliath gets a surprise shock! But just as she reaches for the door Pieter yells out “I don’t think you want to do that,” and explains what would happen. The Mul then gets suspicious and yells for them to attack!

Our heroes battle in the cramped chamber, Yazu battling the Goliath at one end while Pieter faces the other two down the hall. Llorana tries to finesse her way around the battle striking blows and then dashing around, while Nnttkk blasts from afar. Even though our heroes are able to bloody their rivals, eventually they fall to their opponents. Pieter and Llorana are beaten into unconsciousness while NNttkk and Yazu meet their end.

To be continued?

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Tyrian Wastes (Part V)
The Face in the Stone

In the wake of the battle with Yarnath’s Raiders, our beleaguered group mourns the loss of their comic relief, Jhakal. After removing his shiny new magic hide armor and Giantkind Gloves which Nnn’tkk sadly adorns himself with, they build a funeral pyre and send his ashes to the wind.

The Mul who took the life of the raider who slew Jhakal is shunned by the caravan folk after harsh words accusing him of being involved with the raiders and is left behind with the party. He introduces himself as Yazu. Nnn’tkk quietly mutters the Thri-Kreen equivelant of ‘gesundheit’. The party questions Yazu and grudgingly accepts that he means them no ill will even though he is marked with the bear snake-skull tattoo of the raider band. Yazu adds his quiet strength to the group.

After geometric inspection of the whirlwind, the party decides to investigate its depths. Pieter wraps himself in garments to protect his face from the whirling sand, and ventures directly into the whirlwind grasping one end of a rope that the rest of the party holds tight. After a grueling trial of blind wandering, pushing against the immense force of the harsh sand, Pieter emerges! Several feet away from where he started.

Seeing that their strongest member is uninjured, the group decides to send in their slightly weaker, but highly intuitive Thri-kreen. Wrapping himself expertly against the sand, creating a rope harness, and securing the free end of the rope to a rock, Nnn’tkk plows in to the whirling sand and overcomes the wind to emerge in the calm eye of the storm. Nnn’tkk ties his end of the rope to a close rock and examines what he sees before him.

A large rocky structure sits in the center of the eye of the storm; its entrance shaped like a face with two obelisks at its forefront. Squinting from the distance, Nnn’tkk can see several creatures in the darkness of the cave-like maw. Knowing that getting closer could mean a fight, Nnn’tkk attaches his harness to the rope and quickly rejoins the others on the outside of the whirlwind to update them on the situation.

The entire group decides to venture to this Face in the Stone. Wrapping against the sandblasting and grasping the rope lead, they venture into the whirlwind and out on to the other side. Llorana barely manages to keep with the group, and was almost swept away.
After catching her breath, Llorana sneaks closer to see what she can of the creatures and the obelisks. Pieter’s assessment of the obelisks is that they could be arcane in nature, judging by the glyphs carved on their faces and the shimmering electricity faintly seen.

The cave seems to be inhabited by Hedgekin. Pieter and Yazu attempt some diplomatic shouting. The fight begins. Hedgekin appear from the walls, and the pillars send out jolts of lightning. Luckily the first shot of lightning aimed at Pieter is deftly grabbed and tossed aside. The rest of the party joins in and swiftly dispatches the chittering beasts.
The party examines the halls of the cave, and discovers a door (making sure to stay out of the pillar’s line of sight!).

The glyphs on the door are vaguely translated to say something about a Relic/Dust Kraken/Mouths of thirst. The party takes a short break to determine their options.
Yazu decides he should try charging the door. As he runs past Pieter, who is relieving himself on the cave wall, Pieter turns hastily around to see what is going on and sprays Yazu with urine just before he slams into the door. Lightning jumps out of the door and blasts a nearby cave wall, but the door doesn’t budge.

Rolling her eyes, Llorana approaches the door with her locket. As she draws closer, it begins to hum and vibrate. She opens it and the rod inside flies into the door, causing it to shimmer vibrantly and disappear. The doors slide open.

A corridor is visible beyond. There are three doors, one to the left, right, and straight in front of the group. Checking behind the doors on the sides of the passage, the group finds a basin-like altar in each of them. The one of the Left of the corridor has a maroon liquid and the one on the Right of the corridor has an aquamarine liquid. Both liquids become clear water after a minute of being removed from their basins. A dusty hedgekin skeleton lies in the center of the corridor.

The group decides to test the third door. Behind this door is an alcove with crackling fire, flickering light, and faint heat. Braziers light each corner and a huge Beast Snake skeleton with ember-glowing eyes is in the center of the room. Behind the skeleton is a bone altar.
The group enters the room. Pieter heads for the head of the skeleton to examine the ember-glowing eyes. Salt zombies erupt from the ground, followed by more zombies. 2 Flaming skeletons erupt from the braziers in the far corners and the fight begins. During the fight, the skeleton’s tail animates and swings at any hero that ventures too close. Pieter scrambles to the altar to decipher the runes and stop the snake’s animation while the rest of the group dispatches the zombies and flaming foes.

After the heroic battle is completed, Pieter jots down the glyphs into a journal while Nnn’tkk sketches a map of the corridor and the group takes a break. Heading back to the altar basins, Yazu takes a drink of the aquamarine liquid and finds he has enough strength to reuse one of his powers that he usually can only use once per day.

Testing the two liquids at once shows that together they form a black, acidic bile. The rest of the group also takes drinks from the aquamarine liquid, restoring their strength of the daily-power variety while Yazu races to the maroon liquid to take a drink. Nnn’tkk barely squeaks out a caution before Yazu takes a gulp and bends over in horrendous pain. A brief healing rest later, the group decide to take a break and think about what to do next.

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Tyrian wastes - Part IV
Where a face is found in the sand

Nnn’tkk Wakes up in the middle of the now busy but quiet street. Evidence of the fight that knocked the party out is all around, as well as signs of a subsequent skirmish involving Vodronites. Jhakal slowly stirs to consciousness next, coughing ominously.

In a nearby alley, Pieter and Llorana wake up, unharmed except for bruises, but rudely marked with a tattoo of the Lion god on the shoulder. Scared and angry they move out into the street to find their equally confused allies. The party searches the street for a while but there is no sign of Morg. Jhakal is told by his tribe that he has the shakes, an illness that could get worse. An eLizard is sent to Morg on the slim chance he is still alive, and the party leaves the city and heads north-east to the mountains in search of the missing caravan and a sandy face.

Two days of uneventful travel, aided by Nnn’tkk’s supporting rituals and the party’s general survival skills. Plus, the group was able cure Jhakal of the shakes.

Afternoon of the third day. Party follows signs of general traveling things. Party stumbles upon clear signs of Crystal Spiders. Maneuvering to go around the Crystal Webs, the party is unsurprised when, first one, and then two Crystal Spiders rise up from the sand and attack. These are dangerous creatures, and it doesn’t help that a grove of vicious cacti grow in the middle of the battlefield. But the party manages to dispatch all evil flora and fauna in the area without losses.

Again following signs of travel, the party notices a mysterious giant dust tornado, swirling ominously on the edge of a distant cliff. Arriving on the scene, they see a Raider camp, of the same raider group that attacked Shom. Wreckage of the missing caravan is strewn about the camp, and a group of Shomfolk are tied up in a corner, near the edge of the swirling sandy death. The party watches in horror as one of the prisoners is picked up by two raiders, dragged kicking and screaming, and thrown into the tornado. A rescue committee starts formulating plans without delay.

The planning session is promptly aborted when it becomes clear the raiders intend to finish off the remaining prisoners as soon as they can. It’s now or never. Llorana Sneaks close to the group of prisoners while Jhakal takes her Kradlu and sends it stampeding through the other end of the camp. Then Llorana is discovered and the camp rises to fight the intruders and, in a senseless display of wickedness, make sure they at least kill as many of the prisoners as they can.

The party fights an large group of more than a dozen raiders. Thankfully, most of the raiders are poorly equipped with spears and daggers that leave Pieter and Jhakal (in his shiny new magic hide armor) unimpressed. Still, the shear number of baddies is terrifying, a few among them are dangerously skillful with the blade, and Jhakal‘s recent illness seems to be taxing his ability in combat. The humanoid males engage and delay the enemy, while Llorana tumbles around the battlefield, cutting prisoners loose and rudely stabbing people in the back. Some of the prisoners join the fight, including Yazu, who is able to wield a found spear quite well. Nnn’tkk Sets people on fire, and blows up other distant enemies in a jet of silt. Then is felled by a tough Mul’s dagger and/or spear. Llorana manages to rescue two prisoners who have already been thrown to the sand-jet, but survived thanks to Nnn’tkk’s strengthening magic. Then Pieter saves Llorana’s life by not attacking her.

Only a few baddies remain, but they do not intend to go down quietly. Presently only one remains. The tough Mul. He considers his options, then turns to run. In blind rage, Jhakal goes after him. Luck turns against the allies. Jhakal catches up to the running baddie, who turns to fight and fells the dimwitted Goliath. Jhakal drops to the ground and, already fatigued from his recent disease, fades into oblivion despite help from others. The bad Mul knocks down Pieter next, before being finally defeated by Yazu’s spear.

The surviving party members sit on the ground and think what to do next.

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Kalak's Echo
The Aftermath of Kalak's Overthrow

In a prequel adventure, this story takes place in Tyr, not long after the overthrow of sorcerer-king Kalak but a number of months before the famed Shomway gladiator event. King Tithian is still wrestling with his new position and the other powerful groups of the region are trying to take advantage of the power vacuum.

Introduction
An archer in the Skirmish Guard overhears some merchants in a bar discussing the trafficing of arcane reagents. A member of the Veiled Alliance, he decides to break into the Wavir merchant house where the logs of these sales are kept and discovers that the merchant Heron Wavir is highly involved in the trafficking. The archer passes on this information to his archery unit’s commander, Kanis – who is also secretly his superior in a Veiled Alliance cell. Kanis passes the information on to Cyrix Ulbane, a Templar and also an associate of Kanis’ from the rebellion. Both of them had assisted the Deposers of Kalak – rebels who had directly removed Kalak. The arcane reagents makes Cyrix suspicios that Heron has connections to The True, a secret group trying to preserve Kalak’s dictatorship.

Crashing the Party
Cyrix quickly makes arrangements to confront Heron at a meeting of merchants that he is hosting at his mansion in Tyr’s noble district. She contacts another associate, a tiefling merchant sorcerer named Elodie, to infiltrate the the meeting with her and Kanis. After entering the mansion and scoping out the festivities, Cyrix heads upstairs to change costume and pose as a guard. Heron makes his appearance and is overseen meeting with the merchant Devon, and they secretly exchange items upon parting.

After discussing strategy, Elodie is introduced to Heron and Kanis heads outside. Elodie discusses the sale of precious metals while Kanis scales the building to the second floor, where Cyrix is now acting as a guard outside the room. Kanis slips into an adjacent room after struggling with the locked window, while Elodie lures Heron upstairs. They successfully trap him in the room and confront him about being part of The True, upon which he transforms into a giant ugly brain-thing.

A battle ensues and the beast is defeated, turning back into the charred body of Heron. A shade then shoots out of his eyes in a black spray and Cyrix yells for everyone, including the crowd that has now amassed outside the room, to duck and cover their eyes. After many moments pass, Cyrix says it should be safe and everyone looks to find that a boy down the hallway, Jonathan Shom is now possessed, his eyes pitch black. Cyrix shoves her way through the crowd, and grabs the boy, pushing his mother aside, and they all escape to a safe house elsewhere in the city.

Time Bomb
The boy now in their possession, Cyrix reveals that the shade is likely connected to Kalak in some way, and will be able to regain power inside the boy within a few days. Shades cannot be killed conventionally – killing the boy would just let the shade escape to the next nearby victim. The group decides that they must figure out a way to destroy the shade inside the boy, or at least transport it far away from the city, where there would be less potential hosts for it. Cyrix reveals that she had heard of another shade slain recently through the use of an inversion lens combined with powerful arcane magic, but the results of this tactic was unpredictable.

Not long ago, Elodie had appraised the item of a fellow merchant, Rokash Vordon. It was a pouch that contained a rare strange material – white sand – that Cyrix said has been used to banish magic. Kanis, secretly a member of the Veiled Alliance, heads back to examine the Wavir merchant logs to document the individuals involved in the sale of arcane reagents and to see if there are any more clues to help get rid of the shade.

Elodie discovers that Rokash has left town and is now a day’s journey away, at an encampment near the Vordon Iron Mines. The group heads out to find Rokash, the possessed boy in-tow, and meets him under a guise: Elodie introduces Cyrix as an interested buyer of the pouch. They discover that the pouch was found by a slave in the iron mines: an area well-guarded where only Vordon and their slaves may enter. After some negotiation, they arrange a deal: Rokash will help the group infiltrate the mines in exchange for a third of what they find and 1000 gold. For their cover, Cyrix will sell Elodie into slavery to join the miners (signing all documents as proof), while Cyrix and Kanis will be supplied with guard uniforms. They all make their way up to the mines – Elodie now sold into slavery, Cyrix and Kanis under the cover as new guards “reassigned from Altaruk” and the shade-boy nicely hidden, tucked inside Cyrix’s backpack.

Once inside the mines, they free the slave who originally found the pouch and head further into the dark tunnels to retrace his steps, hearing an explosion and voices further in the darkness. They notice some meaning eyes in the blackness but head onward. They eventually encounter a strange, rippling substance where a tunnel ventures upward. It is almost like as if a pond were flipped upside down, with light emminating from it. Others are hesitant but Elodie peaks her head up inside, finding a beautiful and lush version of the mountain range they are in. There is vegetation, a blue sky, and snow-capped peaks. Yet beyond a mile of her vision, this reality seems to fade away. Before Elodie has time to appreciate the view, she gets smacked with magic and falls back into the mine tunnel, hearing a voice say “leave this place!” on her way out of the portal. Cyrix reminds everyone of the fabled Eladrin race who were able to carve out pockets of the “old world” and preserve it in secret locations like this one.

They also find footprints near the portal and decide to follow them, leaving the Eladrin eden be. Heading down a different tunnel, back in the direction the mine’s entrance, they encounter a battle just before reaching the outside. At the entrance is Rokash and Vordon guards fighting their way in. On their way out are a number of human and dwarven thugs who seem to be under the command of the merchant Devon who is now wielding powerful arcane magic. The adventurers attack Devon’s crew from behind and Devon quickly turns her attention to them. Cyrix leads the charge and takes on many of the thugs while Kanis fires his arrows from the rear. A number of combatants near the entrance are set aflame from Elodie’s arcane magic and Kanis’ firestorm arrow. Though powerful, Devon is finally obliterated by a series of Elodie’s powerful blasts.

As the rest of Devon’s minions surrender, Elodie quickly searches the body of Devon to find a powerful glass sword in a sheath similar in material to the pouch holding the white sand. She hands it to Cyrix but Rokash and his remaining guards quickly interrupt with a ultimatum: hand over Elodie as Vordon’s legal slave or a single force of arcane magic would obliterate the glass sword. Cyrix is very conflicted but knows the sword is their only chance to destroy the shade. Eloide is handed over as a slave and Cyrix rushes over to the boy and slits his throat with the glass sword: the shade is destroyed. The Vordon leave with Eloide in their possession and Cyrix promises revenge!

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Tyrian Wastes - Part III
In which everyone gets knocked out... repeatedly

Having finally escaped (in slow motion) from the barely standing city of Shomway, the party meets up while heading towards Tyr. After some initial debate they decide to journey together after some extremely well protected nap time. Cyrix takes second watch and promptly bolts once the rest of the party is asleep, Nnn’tkk takes off after her (the rest of the party decides sleep is more important) and eventually manages to seduce Cyrix’s cradlu and convince it to slow down. After ascertaining that the bug isn’t really a threat, Cyrix hands off some information about where to start digging for information on Nnn’tkk’s missing sister, specifically pointing towards House Vordon. Cyrix takes off and Nnn’tkk makes his way back to the group, proving that one can eventually find one’s own magically camouflaged campsite.

In the morning the party continues on towards Tyr, meeting up with a caravan along the way and exchanging guard services for food and water. Jahkal is kept calm through the use of a well monitored alcohol drip. Eventually everyone makes it to Tyr without incident, entering through the somewhat sketchy Elven markets which leaves everyone wary except Morg : “It’s a good thing that everything valuable is already in my butt”

Members hit the local tavern looking for information on the events at Shomway, but it appears that they’ve outrun the news. The only useful piece of information is that there’s a strong House Shom representation in town that may provide useful information in the morning. Jahkal meets up with people from his tribe and learns that they’ve been scattered and lost a decent amount of material after the attack on Shomway. It’s decided that he should still keep a low profile for a while. Everyone bunks down for the night.

The next day Morg finally gets some real clothes and a shiny new hammer, along with putting his magical implement somewhere more useful than in the holy item slot. Meanwhile Nnn’tkk and Jahkal debate their allegiances and their next move. Llorana takes off for the Shom Emporium and meets with Rico Shom (aka Rico Suave to his close friends). They exchange information on the recent events and Rico is interested to hear that Hosue Vordon was present during the attack, asking for physical proof which Llorana claims she is unable to provide. Rico mentions that Davith Vordon recently arrived in Tyr and suggests that any information gathered on him would be most welcome. We learn that the attack was organized by a raider group led by someone known as Yarnath. He seems to believe that House Shom is withholding information on a location known as The Face in the Stone and threatens to escalate his attacks until the surrender what they know. Rico seems convinced that the house is unaware of this location and how to access it as it’s apparently under some kind of lock. In order to prevent further attacks he’s looking to hire a band of adventurers to look into the location of this “Face” and the fate of some recently attacked caravans. Llorana suggests her group and promises to return with them and some information on Vordon later that afternoon.

Llorana heads off to find Nnn’tkk in the Elven Markets but once there is tipped off by an elf that there are a number of Vordon guards looking for her. Making careful progress towards the elf’s last known sighting of Nnn’tkk, Llorana sees the same damn elf leading the Vordon folk in a search for her (Pieter was right about the elves… evil bastards). Llorana books it back through the crowds towards the Shom Emporium eventually scaling a building and sprinting across the roofs in an attempt to gain ground. She makes it back ahead of her pursuers and meets with Rico again, informing him of the search for her and the locket she swiped from Vordon. A message is sent to the rest of the group and they find their way to the Emporium.

Once there Llorana explains the situation and shows everyone (except Jahkal who’s discussing his next move with his tribe) the locket and it’s strange interior with a floating rod capped by a circle). After swearing Nnn’tkk to silence about the necklace she offers them the choice of accompanying her on the mission from House Shom promising them a hefty reward from the house if they are successful. After some debate (“Moridin, if I’m supposed to go with these people give me a sign” “… Your ass itches”) the group decides it’s a pretty good way to make some money and agree to sign on. Jhakal spies on some trade secrets and ways to break into the emporium. They talk to Rico and agree to set out to either 1) Find The Face in the Stone or 2) Find the lost caravans.

On their way out of the city, the group is ambushed a block from the Shom Emporium. A strong psyonic claiming to serve Hammanu – the Lion God – and his group of dwarves and Thri-Kreen attack and beat up the group with a series of painful psyonic blasts and some good old fashioned arrows to the chest from archers on the rooftops. Despite a valiant effort, everyone eventually gets knocked unconscious (sometimes getting briefly revived before being knocked unconscious again) and the creepy cat-obsessed psyonic proves victorious.

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Tyrian Wastes - Part II
In which lots of walls (and people) get blown up

The party takes up stances outside the shady looking door to a subterranean door and busts in with Jhakal taking point. Faced with a number of very large lizards as opponents, Morg runs forward and tries to smash one of their faces in with his hammer only to miss and get stabbed two times – he then collapses and spends the rest of the battle making an inordinate number (read, 7) of successful “blood congealing” rolls. The lizards demonstrate that some of them have pretty nasty psyonic powers and start attacking the party. Jhakal dashes through the fray to free the captured caravan drivers, who decide to join in by grabbing rocks and beating up the nearest lizard – which is surprisingly successful. The fight progresses for a while with lizards slowly being sliced/smashed into little pieces. Battle ends when Jahkal makes an epic leaping attack with his spear and pins the last giant lizard to the wall,

Pieter loots the bodies and recovers an amulet and a fire opal while the rest of the party gathers up the stolen caravan supplies and starts packing them onto the damaged wagon. Everyone heads back to town and rewards are distributed by the caravan leader.

Jahkal takes off for his tribe’s encampment with Nnn’tkk following behind while Morg is sent back to the slave pens. Llorana resumes her duties in the Shom household and agrees to introduce Pieter to the baron though nothing much comes of the meeting. Eventually Pieter leaves the house and starts trying to figure out a way to get involved with the gladiator event the next day. Nnn’tkk is also determined to get in on the action and seems to have a very particular interest in the templar that will be fighting. Enough so that he bribes Jahkal with a pair of fancy gloves to get the half-giant to arrange things with his tribe so that both Nnn’tkk and Jahkal can fight and an attempted rescue can occur. After convincing his tribe that he is unfit to fight and lusting after the gloves, they devise a plan for the tribe to secretly assist the group in the the templar’s rescue.

Pieter is also interested in attempting a rescue though in his case it’s focused on Morg. To this end he starts strolling around the slave pen area, getting some odd looks and an eventual rebuff from the guards. Switching tactics he starts to sing (in dwarven) a message instructing Morg to help rescue Cyrix and offering him freedom in exchange. Also, “Guards, guards, your mothers are whores!! … It rhymes in Dwarven” “Of course it does, everything rhymes with whore in dwarven”. A second attempt to contact the mul is made via means of an enchanted iguana which delivers the same message specifically to Morg. He seems to consider it and then promptly eats said iguana.

The next day events for the gladiator fight get set into motion at last. Cyrix is forced to fight 5 rounds against increasingly intense monsters, including things like innix and crystal spiders (which Pieter does a nice job of assisting with through magic manipulation from the crowd). She proves herself to be an extremely talented combatant and makes it all the way to the last round which is where the other gladiators come in. The fighters are surprised to be blindfolded and have their weapons taken away, led away one by one to separate chambers within the arena. This messes up Nnn’tkk and Jahkal’s plan of working together from the start, but everyone makes due as chambers are connected to each other, one by one. Jahkal is the first to make his way to Cyrix and eventually convinces him that they’re on the same team, all the while trying to find a way out.

On the other side of the arena Morg is busy facing off against another slave, hiding in a corner and begging his opponent not to attack. This continues for a couple of rounds, until it suddenly becomes apparent that he’s been working on manipulating a suspicious looking cube the whole time. Morg shoves the cube into the other slave’s hands and takes cover, a good call seeing as seconds later the cube explodes violently and breaks down multiple interior walls of the arena.

Llorana takes the impromptu display of fireworks to be her cue and under the guise of moving him to safety manages to neatly lift the locket off of Davith Vordon. After making sure his bodyguards are “taking care of him” she starts booking it through the manor. At the same time more explosions sound and manor walls start blowing inward – its obvious an attack is occurring from the outside but everyone’s too panicked to determine from where. One of the projectiles lights the outer wall of the arena on fire and Jahkal manages to slam through it thanks to his mountain form. He and Cyrix take off into the fray, heading for his tribes reserve of cradlu. Morg, Nnn’tkk and Pieter eventually all find their own exits and head for the cradlu as well, after lots of jostling and shoving they all arrive and hop onto the birds, taking off away from the town as fast as possible.

Llorana eventually reaches her own mount and takes off, only to have a band of brigands catch sight of her and begin pursuit. They appear to know who she is and are insistent upon capturing (and/or killing?) her. She notices the raiders have strange tattoos of a snake wrapped around a skull. Luckily she manages to lose them in the sand dunes and double back to head in the opposite direction.

With Shomway in flames and slowly crumbling, the slightly worse for the wear party all head away from the city and start thinking about what to do next.

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Tyrian Wastes - Part I

Round One of the Tyrian Wastes Campaign

Our characters for the most part have started their adventures in different cities:

Nnn’tkk shows up in Tyr looking for a way to journey to Shomway. He hires himself out to the Grist Tribe, an Elven caravan headed in that direction and in doing so meets Jahakl, one of the tribe’s guards. Their first few days of travel are (happily) uneventful and lead mostly to a begrudging friendship between Jahkal and “Buggy”. Eventually they are attacked by a band of 5 traders and fighting ensues (and lasts forever because no one can roll higher than a 3… We’re blaming this on a freak sandstorm that sprung up in the area). During the fighting Nnn’tkk displays his ability to turn into lots of little bugs and attack enemies swarm style. The elven caravan finally triumphs after Nnn’tkk chases the last attacker all over the desert, only to have Jahkal land the last shot. They pick up their belongings and continue onwards to Shomway with the Elves being significantly happier about their decision to hire the giant bug as a guard.

Meanwhile, Morg is trapped in a slave caravan (run by a trader named Davith Vordon) that’s also being transported to Shomway. He’s been stripped of weapons and most anything useful, but has managed to retain a certain implement in his “holy item slot”. Along the way he gets thoroughly beat up by: the sun, some exceedingly nasty plants and a big silt pocket. Seven of his fellow slaves die in the silt packet, fortunately Morg is not among them. The party continues trekking on towards Shomway.

Elsewhere, Pieter is making his way to Shomway, alone through the desert. He gets set upon by a pack of four brigands but manages to freeze them to the ground which makes short work of their attempted robbery/murder. He eventually kills two of them (while narrowly avoiding another silt pocket) and the other two make a run for it when he gives them the chance. After recovering from the attack he continues on his path.

Party members all eventually make it to Shomway :)

The city is undergoing preparations for a large gladiator match scheduled for 2 days hence. It’s being put on by the Baron Eldoth Shom and is a invitation only event. The rumor is that the baron has procured a templar knight who will be thrown into the ring and forced to face off against a number of opponents – both volunteers and slaves.

Jahkal, Nnn’tkk and the rest of their caravan arrive in Shomway and begin to unload their shipment of hides and meet up with the rest of the Grist tribe, who have been hired to set up the gladiator arena. At the same time, Morg’s slave caravan arrives at Baron’s manor and Vordon is greeted warmly, it’s obvious the Baron is happy about his presence. Llorana is introduced for the first time as one of the Baron’s attendants. While they’re still exchanging pleasantries a commotion outside calls for their attention. It seems a caravan from the Wavir Merchant House ran into that same sand storm that interfered with Nnn’tkk and Jahkal’s fighting abilities, and though their passengers made it safely to Shomway one of their wagons has been left in the desert somewhere.

The baron is obviously displeased by the Wavir presence, they are definitely not on the guest list for the arena match, and tries to throw them out immediately. But it appears Vordon owes them a favor and so asks his host to allow their presence overnight and help with the retrieval of their wagon. Wanting to stay on Vordon’s good side, the Baron agrees and puts Llorana in charge of a salvage mission. In order to contribute Vordon offers up one of his slaves (Morg) to accompany her and they put out a call in the town for any volunteers to assist. The offer is taken up by only one man, our own Pieter, and so he joins the effort.

Across town Nnn’tkk and Jahkal have gotten wind of these developments and the not-so-reputable Jahkal has convinced Nnn’tkk that they should borrow some cradlu and head out ahead of the official party to see if they can find the wagon and the goods it carried. They head out of the gates in the direction indicated by town gossip and Llorana, Morg and Pieter follow soon there after.

Both parties move forward, trying to spot evidence of wagon tracks in the shifting sands. As Llorana and crew continue their ride the sounds of scuffling and steel ring out across the sands– the party kicks their cradlu into a run and head towards the commotion. They arrive to find Nnn’tkk and Jahkal surrounded by five silt runners who are armed with exceedingly annoying (and sometimes poisoned) blow darts. Fighting ensues – Jahkal turns into a walking mountain, Nnn’tkk does the bug swarming thing again, Llorana fails to hit anything for the majority of the battle, Pieter does a fair amount of damage from behind a bush (being now paranoid of silt pockets) and Morg seems to fall down a lot, which corresponds to bright lights flashing out of the air/his chest and slamming into enemies. Eventually the silt runners are killed/driven away and the dust begins to settle on our adventurers – finally all in the same place at the same time!

Llorana and Nnn’tkk approach one another, presumably for some introductions, when Jahkal takes off bolts back to his cradlu and takes off. The rest of the group follows (except for Pieter who stays to check things out around the scuffle site) and introductions are made while trying to chase Jahakl down. Eventually he stops and its decided that everyone can work together (Llorana tells the others she can get them some kind of reward for helping with the recon mission if they promise not to jack anything) and the party heads back to the original site to do a more careful sweep for tracks. Turns out Pieter has already found the trail so once everyone’s reunited they take off and find the much abused wagon soon after. Jahkal promptly singles out the wine skins and downs a couple (very sneakily) while the others pile up what they can and take note of some large drag marks leading away from the wagon. Deciding to follow the indentations the party eventually comes to a doorway that leads down into a stone basement of some point. Jahkal approaches to open the door, and -

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